What's the Latest Information on Alligators
NOTE: Morgan Perrin of Lafitte, Louisiana, has hunted alligators since
1979. Perrin comes from a family of alligator hunters as far back as 1930
and guides hunters to alligators for the Lodge of Louisiana in Barataria,
Question: When did alligator season get reopened?
Perrin: Alligator hunting was open to the public for years. Anybody anywhere
could shoot gators. The gators had been hunted so much you could only
get about $2 a foot for them. Their numbers became so few, that the federal
government shut down the hunting of gators in the 60's. In 1979, the season
was reopened, but with more regulations governing the hunting of them.
How have you hunted alligators?
Perrin: We've gone out, stalked them and shot them with a rifle. I've
also hunted them with a hook and a line, and now I bow hunt for them.
Question: What's the secret to taking a big gator with
Perrin: By riding around in the boat, we can tell where big gators live.
For one thing, you can smell a big buck gator because he'll put off musk
in his territory. You can find his trail by where he's crossed a levee
to get into a marsh, and/or where he's laying or taking a sunbath during
the day. Mostly we just watch an area to pinpoint alligators. Of course
a big gator is big for a reason, generally he's really smart. So when
you find a big gator, you may have to make a lot of effort to get up close
enough to him for a shot. With a rifle you can get a good shot from more
of a distance away. But to shoot a gator with a bow, you'll have to get
close to it, which makes a bow hunt for alligators more of a challenge.
How big is a big gator?
Perrin: The biggest gator you'll see right now will be about 12-feet long,
weighing between 600 to 700 pounds. This section of Louisiana homes two
styles of gators -- one a long, slender gator that shows a lot of white
on its belly, and the other a dark gator with a yellow tint, often just
as long as the other type of gator but really round and fat. They both
have the same market value; however, I prefer to hunt and bag the darker
ones. I think they look nicer.
Question: What's the biggest gator you've ever taken?
Perrin: I took a 13 foot, 4 inch gator that we estimated to weigh around
What's the biggest gator your granddad or your family ever has taken?
Perrin: I heard my grandfather took a gator measuring a little over 14
feet in length and weighing approximately 1,000 pounds.
For more information about hunting alligators, fishing
and/or duck hunting at the Lodge of Louisiana, you can also visit the
Web site at www.lodgeoflouisiana.com
or e-mail the lodge firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOMORROW: A TYPICAL HUNT FOR AN ALLIGATOR