The hit History Channel show “Swamp People” is in its 3rd season. The show follows real alligators hunters in the heart of the Louisiana swamp, during the 30-day alligator hunting season.
Alligator hunting has been a way of life for many Cajuns since the 18th century.
According to the History Channel:
- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries heavily regulates the state’s hunting and fishing seasons.
- Hunting season for alligator begins the first Wednesday in September and last for 30 days.
- Alligator hunting is intensely managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, which only allows licensed hunters to participate and restricts the activity to defined wetland habitats of the Atchafalaya swamp and coastal waters.
- Alligator hunters must obtain a license and a limited number of tags from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries.
- Alligator hunters must either own or lease land that is classified as wetland habitat in order to qualify for tags.
- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries only distributes tags for property containing sufficient alligator habitat that it has determined capable of sustaining an alligator harvest.
- The goal of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries’ alligator program is to manage and conserve Louisiana’s alligators as part of the state’s wetland ecosystem while providing benefits to the species, its habitat and other species associated with alligators as well as economic benefits to landowners, alligator farmers and alligator hunters.
- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries’ alligator management program is one of the world’s most recognizable examples of a wildlife conservation success story, and has been used as a model for managing various crocodilian species around the world.
- Louisiana’s wild alligator population is estimated at roughly 1.5 million animals; another 500,000 live on alligator farms.
According to the Louisiana newspaper Vermilion Today, alligator hides go for about $12 to $15 a foot. So, for example, a 10-foot gator might go for about $120 to $150. So, Troy and his team fill their 400-tag quota with at least 7ft. alligators (the average size of an alligator, sometimes they catch 10-12 ft. gators), at $13.50 per hide, the team stands to make $37,800 in 30 days.
To watch episodes of “Swamp People,” tune in to the Discovery Channel on Thursday nights at 9/8:00 p.m. central.