msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 9/17/2009 12:09:20 PM ET 2009-09-17T16:09:20

A 16-year-old girl has bagged a 10-foot alligator in a South Carolina swamp.

At 3 a.m. — and with a crossbow.

The State newspaper in Columbia reported that Cammie Colin — a 10th grader, softball player and cheerleader — was probably the youngest female to ever bag an alligator in South Carolina.

Colin had won one of 1,000 lottery slots for the state's annual public alligator harvest, which aims to control the population estimated at 100,000 gators. Hunters are required to use a crossbow or a harpoon.

Colin, at 5-foot 4-inches and 120 pounds, was the only person in her group authorized to shoot the 353-pound gator. The Lexington resident was with a guide, her father, an uncle and her brother in an 18-foot boat early Sunday in the headwaters of Lake Marion.

The crossbow fired an arrow with a line attached to it, so that when the arrow hit the gator the hunters and their boat were dragged by the animal for about an hour until it tired. At that point, the guide shot it through the head.

"My classmates were amazed," The State reported Colin as saying. "They didn't think I was serious about going gator hunting."

Hunting runs in the Colin family, and the teen's parents said they'd be following the hunter's rule of eating what you kill.

"We have 40 pounds of alligator steak in the freezer now," said Carrie Colin, the teen's mom.

Cammie Colin said she's also acquired a new nickname after the hunt.

"Almost all the teachers call me 'Killer' now," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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