"I always get the same thing from people: 'You hunt? No way!' " Cara says. "But you can still be a girly girl and go hunting," she says. "I don't have to subscribe to a man's lifestyle to be a great hunter.".
Earlier this month Cara Mantovani had a birthday to celebrate. Her friends wanted to if know Cara, a realtor who admittedly loves shoes and purses, wanted to go to Miami for her party. Cara had other plans …
What Cara really wanted for her birthday was a gator hunt, and her boyfriend TJ Arvas was more than happy to help. TJ is a world-class trap shooter and avid hunter. Over the last few years he helped introduce Cara to hunting, but she had never been on an alligator hunt before.
Cara spent the first morning of the hunt shooting her rifle, a .270 Remington 700. There’s not much room for error when you’re gator hunting and Cara wanted to make sure she was capable of making a perfect shot. After she was dialed in, they headed out to the marsh to glass for lizards.
Cara passed on several alligators in the 6-foot to seven-foot to range. Then finally they spotted a big gator prowling the swamp. Cara crawled up a dike and steadied her crosshairs on the gator’s head as it floated 85 yards away.
She made a perfect shot and the gator rolled in the water. One stiff leg flipped above the surface.
Cara’s gator measured 9 feet long. After Cara retrieved her birthday present, TJ even had time to take this hog.
“I always get the same thing from people: ‘You hunt? No way!’ ” Cara says. “But you can still be a girly girl and go hunting,” she says. “I don’t have to subscribe to a man’s lifestyle to be a great hunter.”
They cut up Cara’s gator and she has already cooked up some of the tail meat. “I get the skin back in six months,” Cara says. “I guess that will be my Christmas present … I wonder if Louis Vuitton does custom gator skin purses.”
MONSTER S.C. GATOR Mary Ellen Mara-Christian caught this massive alligator in South Carolina while fishing with her husband Mark and guide Kevin Davis of Blacks Camp.
The trio caught the big lizard on Lake Moultrie on September 15th. After Mara-Christian hooked the gator with a heavy-duty fishing pole the group went to work hauling it to the boat. It took about two hours to put him down for good.
The gator weighed 1,025 pounds and was 13.5 feet long.
Mary Ellen, 48, is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds.
The .22 that the group brought along wasn’t powerful enough to kill the gator, so Mary Ellen knifed it, severing its spinal cord.
Both Mark and Mary Ellen are serious hunters and Mark is a part-time hunting guide in Maine. The couple plans to have the alligator mounted in their home.
Mary Ellen and her hunting party didn’t know just how big the the gator was until they were able to bring him onto shore. “Until we saw it on land it was like holy crap … he is a beast,” Mary Ellen says.
Here’s Mary Ellen’s gator next to a large alligator.
The South Carolina gator hunt is a relatively new development and the state only gave out 1,000 licenses this year.

Cara Mantovani is a girly girl from Florida who celebrates her birthday by slaying monster alligators. Confused? Click here.