MARTIN COUNTY (CBSMiami/CNN) – After his leg was nearly ripped off by an alligator, a Florida hunter has a harrowing tale to tell.

James Boyce, 46, was taking part in a hog hunt on Saturday in the DuPuis Management Area/SW Corbett Wildlife Area, which sits along the Martin-Palm Beach County Line, when a gator latched onto his leg.

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Frantic and desperate for help in the middle of the woods, Boyce first called 911 and then started screaming for help.

“I just screamed and I look and there’s this gator right there,” he said. “He started pulling me back and he keeps grabbing and grabbing and I’m like oh my gosh this is really happening.”

Luckily, Danny McClellane was nearby hunting with his family. He saw the rescue helicopter circling and heard Boyce’s wife screaming. He raced over and helped Boyce’s wife put zip ties on her husband’s leg, making a tourniquet.

“The wife did an amazing job,” said Brad Bost, a pilot for MCSO’s Aviation Unit. “She initially saved his life with the tourniquets she applied.”

“We lifted him up on the buggy trying to get him to where the trauma hawk could land,” said McClellane.

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Boyce was stranded for nearly two hours before first responders arrived.

“Due to the conditions, how bad the weather was, how bad visibility was, and trying to find them in a 22,000-acre state park, it’s a needle in a haystack,” said Bost.

He was flown to St. Marys Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery.

Doctors said he had puncture marks from the teeth of the alligator on the anterior thigh and the soft tissue, vessels and veins were torn.

Boyce said he’s an experienced hunter and has been doing it for more than 30 years. He said the gator came out of nowhere.

Doctors said the surgery went well and there was no nerve damage. Boyce is now recovering at home.

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