Fish don’t get much uglier than the alligator gar, but lately the dinosaur-like monstrosity has attracted a following… of crossbow-wielding sportsmen trying to kill it, the Wall Street Journal reports. Part fishing, part monster hunting, bagging an alligator gar is a thrilling exercise, and at up to 8 feet long, they make great trophies. In many states officials, fearing the gar could become endangered, are enacting fishing limits.
Those limits are enraging commercial hunters, who catch alligator gar by the hundreds for sale in Mexico. Others find the idea of protecting the gar absurd. For centuries the fish has been despised; fisherman thought—somewhat erroneously—that it ate their prize game fish, and its huge rows of sharp teeth terrify swimmers. One hunting guide protested, saying, “Even if we wanted to kill ‘em all, these fish are too smart.”