Choot ’em

Swamp People, a reality television show is extremely popular in Louisiana. The Landry family is located in the Atchafalaya Basin in southern Louisiana. Their claim to fame is hunting alligators, or as the Cajun people say, “Al-a-ma-ga-tor.”

I have my own in-house al-a-ma-gator hunter. Oh, yes. Every year it is the thrill of winning the ‘tags’…you must have a license to hunt the beasts, and you must put in your name for the ‘lottery.’ For some reason the dh has been winning tags for several years in a row. Either he’s lucky or there are fewer and fewer hunters in our central Louisiana location.

This year he won five tags, so off he went with his line and chicken from Wal-Mart. Hunting for alligators is extremely skillful. All you need is a pond with an alligator, a line with a chicken hooked to it, and a pistol. Throw that chicken in the pond, tie the line to an anchor and come back the next day to see if he took the bait. The dh did that.

The next day, he tugged on the line, and sure enough, there was a hungry alligator attached to it. Only thing was, the al-a-ma-ga-tor was huge. So, he called his two sons. They were at work, but could leave early to give their dad a hand. So, they showed up in their work clothes. Since one is a Nursing Home Administrator and the other is an Attorney, we’re not talking sneakers and jeans. They were in dress clothes.

Fearless as they are, they held onto the line with the alligator and dragged him to the water’s edge. One of them took the pistol and at his father’s command to “Choot ’em” (a phrase that comes from the reality show) — shot the alligator in the only place you can safely shoot, the top of the head, where there is small hole in the skull located right behind the eyes.

The alligator took offense to that bullet and did what an alligator does. He started to roll. Remember the two sons are holding onto the line, and as the alligator rolls, they are being pulled closer and closer into the water. The dh is yelling to “let go of the line,” as they are being dragged forward, tangled in the line at this point, when the alligator stops and the kid with the pistol gives him two more taps in the head.

Mission accomplished. Sort of.

They needed to get the alligator out of the water, so they tied a chain to him and drug him out with a truck. Since he was so huge, they got a front end loader and picked him up and put him in the back of the truck.

Here’s a picture of their catch.

This beauty is approximately forty years old, 11′-9″ and weighs in at approximately 600#.

Honestly, would you want this swimming in your pond?

The property is on what we call our ‘camp’ and small kids are not free to roam the property, as you can see, it can be dangerous. But the smiles on the hunters face is worth it.

The kid in the picture is six foot three, to give you an idea of how huge that alligator is. He changed his clothes after he was dragged into the water.

As far as I know, I am the only woman who has to have an alligator skull as part of her living room decor. It doesn’t look too bad with a purple bow on it’s head. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Note:  this post originally appeared on Delilah Devlin’s blog…

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10 Comments on “Choot ’em”

  1. Carol says:

    Pepper, I love this scary story! So glad everyone was safe. Going to send my son your link so he can read. Thanks for sharing.
    Carol DeVaney

  2. K.E. Saxon says:

    Holy cow, that’s a big one! I love the alligator skull decor, what a hoot. Great post!

  3. What’s the point of killing an alligator (or the chicken either for that matter?) Besides, there was no sport in it at all. I’ll never understand what it is about killing that thrills men. Maybe it’s just that they’re from Mars.

    • We have small children who go to our camp. I wouldn’t want them to walk upon an alligator this size. Alligators can charge at someone at twenty miles an hour. I know I couldn’t get out of range if one came running at me, much less a small child. They can be agressive. Alligators are not an endangered species, and buyers sell the meat and the hides. Fried alligator is delicious. If you ever see it on a menu, try it.

  4. E. Ayers says:

    OMG! Pepper, that made my day. I haven’t laughed that hard in ages. Give those baby boys a big hug and a kiss, and their daddy, too. Ya gotta love a man who has no fear!

  5. marymarvella says:

    Reality TV has nothing on your guys! What a great story!

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