In the USA there is a cable show called "Swamp People". The show follows several pairs of alligator hunters who hunt in the swamps of Louisiana. The alligator hunting season is one month long, and begins the first Wednesday in September. Before the season starts, the gator hunters must purchase a hunting license for $25 from the state fish and game department to legally harvest an alligator. There is no cost for the tags but certain requirements must be met
The swamps of Louisiana are home to an estimated 1.5 million alligators.
"The expert alligator hunters on Swamp People can control some of what makes them successful in the swamp. They can keep their equipment in good condition, hire the best helpers available, and decide just how many tags they think they can fill in the 30 (or 37) day Louisiana alligator season. But, there are a lot of things in their business that they just can’t control, and one of those things is the market price for alligators.
"In the late 80’s, when alligator prices were at their peak, alligator hunters could sell a big gator with an excellent hide for over $40/foot. But, in 2010 (the second season of Swamp People), that same big, beautiful gator only sold for $15/foot. So, the same 10 foot gator would’ve brought in $400 in 1989 and only $150 in 2010. As Troy Landry has said many times, he’s not sure what he would’ve done if The History Channel hadn’t come along when they did.
"So when Troy and Clint hauled “The Godfather” into Duffy’s in the Swamp People Season Three premier, the tape that stretched from toe to tail read 13 feet exactly. If “The Godfather’s” old, black hide was in perfect shape and they sold him whole, he would’ve been worth $338 (13 ft. x $26/ft); and, if they skinned him first, he would’ve brought in $364 (13 ft. x $28/ft). That means that a 13 ft. monster in 2010 is still worth less on the market than the $558 (13 ft. x $40/ft); it would’ve sold for in 1989 but a whole lot more than the $195 (13 ft x $15/ft) it would’ve brought in just last year.
"And, that 13’ 6” behemoth that Liz Cavalier and Kristi Broussard could barely get into the boat? In 1989 (if they hadn’t been in middle school), they could’ve sold him for $540. Last year, they would only have gotten $202. But this year, they should’ve picked up at least $350.
"So, what would all this mean for an alligator hunter’s bottom line? Well, that’s a bit more complicated and difficult to pin down (although you can read about our best estimate here). But, we can do a little guess work and make some educated guesses about how much cash the buyers might count out into the Swamp People‘s palms by the end of the season if they fill all their tags."
In: Other Entertainment
Tags: alligator hunting, swamp people, gators, critters, hunting
Location: Louisiana, United States (load item map)
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