HOUSTON - Five-year-old Simon Hughes stands three foot something and 44 pounds dripping wet, but like many kids in the piny woods of Texas, he can handle a gun, a skill he's been practicing for over a year.
His father Scott Hughes says there's good reason for the early training.
"Everything on the ranch will either bite you or stick you," he explains.
To make his point, the elder Hughes walks to the marshy edge of his property where under murky water a dangerous predator has lurked, largely undetected for a good chunk of a half century. Call it long running luck that would run out for the creature with a single bite into a baited hook and a face-to-face encounter with a 5-year-old.
"It come out, the biggest alligator I've ever seen," says young Simon of the highly hostile reptile, twenty times his size.
His father Scott had a different description.
"Like a Tyrannosaurs Rex or something," he says.
In a flash Simon brought his single barrel, 4-10 shotgun to bear and blasted.
"Simon was a champ, couldn't ask for any better. He was just fearless," recalls Chuck Cotton, a veteran guide and family friend who witnessed the shot.
The small charge of bird shot hit the brain of the 800-pound reptile. ...
Evidently, in Texas, an 800 pound alligator is no match for a tiny five year old, 44 pound kid with a .410 shotgun.