New Orleans ... the Big Easy Historic Louisiana plantation homes Louisiana Alligators Louisiana Alligators TV shows filmed in Louisiana: Duck Dynasty, Swamp People, and others Louisiana Cypress Swamps Historic Louisiana plantation homes Louisiana Postcard Collection Louisiana Maps and Parishes The Louisiana Capitol in Baton Rouge: history, photographs, facts Search Louisiana Destinations Louisiana Boiled Crawfish ... get 'em while they're hot! The Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge Hotels, motels, vacation rentals, and other lodging in Louisiana Shop the Louisiana-Destinations Lagniappe Online Store Destinations Home ... at Louisiana Destinations About Louisiana-Destinations

Popular Destinations Today in Louisiana
Seen on Louisiana TV

The American Alligator is the largest reptile in North America.

Alligator in a Louisiana swampThe Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana is home to a large alligator population, and site of the filming of the hit History Channel TV Series Swamp People
(photograph by the author)

Many in Louisiana and across the country have an interest in, and fascination with, the alligator. A variety of swamp tours, alligator tours, alligator ranches, alligator expeditions, alligator parks, and nature tours cater to tourists in Louisiana.

The first reptiles appeared 300 million years ago and ancestors of the American alligator (Alligator Mississippiensis) appeared 160 million years ago.

Alligators have been harvested in Louisiana for over 200 years. These alligators are harvested for their skins which are to make boots, shoes, belts, and saddles, and in years past their oil was used to grease steam engines and cotton mills. Their meat is also considered a delicacy.

Alligator Sizes

Females can grow to approximately 9' in length and 400+ pounds. Males can grow to approximately 13'+ in length and attain weights of nearly 1,000 pounds.

Louisiana Alligator Harvesting Program

The State of Louisiana administers an alligator program in which ranchers collect over 350,000 alligator eggs, trappers harvest over 28,000 wild alligators and farmers harvest over 250,000 farm raised alligators annually. Raw meat and hide values are estimated at over $10 million for the wild harvest, and over $40 million for the farm harvest annually.

WeLoveCrawfish.com ... photos, crawfish season, Cajun foods, ordering and much more! ... click to visit now

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) manages the American alligator as a commercial, renewable natural resource. LDWF's sustained use program is one of the world's most recognizable examples of a wildlife conservation success story. Louisiana's program has been used as a model for managing various crocodilian species throughout the world.

Since the inception of LDWF's wild harvest program in 1972, over 800,000 wild alligators have been harvested and sold bringing in millions of dollars of revenue to landowners and trappers. Conservative estimates have valued these resources at over $230,000,000, providing significant, direct economic benefit to Louisiana.

The Louisiana AlligatorThe Louisiana Alligator
(courtesy of the Louisiana Office of Tourism)

LDWF sets seasons using data collected over several months via high-technology such as GIS to determine alligator populations. Alligator hunters apply for alligator tags prior to the season. The alligator hunter application includes a license application form containing alligator hunter information, a legal description and map of the property to be hunted, and a landowner’s signature indicating permission for the hunter to harvest alligators on the property.

LDWF personnel review each alligator hunting application and enter each property into a GIS computer system which assesses property acreage by habitat type and makes appropriate tag allocations (the number of alligators that may be harvested from that specific property).

Prior to the wild alligator season, alligator hunters travel to the LDWF office where they are issued the appropriate licenses and alligator tags.

Currently over 2,000 licensed alligator hunters harvest 30,000 to 35,000 wild alligators annually in Louisiana.

read more about the successful American Alligator program administered by LDWF

Alligator Season Dates in Louisiana

East Zone - Opens last Wednesday in August (season lasts 30 calendar days) - August 29, 2012
West Zone - Opens first Wednesday of September (season lasts 30 calendar days) - September 5, 2012

Alligator Prices

In the late 1980s, alligator prices peaked at over $40/foot, but by 2010 a big size gator went for only $15/foot.

Prices went up again in 2011: 5’ gators were worth $4/foot whole, and $6/foot skinned. A whole 8-foot alligator might be worth $22/foot in 2011, and a skinned one could sell for $24/foot. Any gator 9-feet or longer was worth $26/foot whole and $28/foot skinned.

The Louisiana Alligator ... subject of the hunt on Swamp PeopleThe Louisiana Alligator ... subject of the hunt on Swamp People
(photograph by the author)

Swamp People

Today, the story of alligator hunting in Louisiana is being told on the TV series "Swamp People" on the History Channel. Swamp People debuted in August of 2010, and has become a runaway hit ever since, with Season 5 beginning in February of 2014.

The show follows a group of alligator hunters during the 30-day Louisiana alligator season in various areas of South Louisiana, including the huge Atchafalaya Swamp in the Atchafalaya Basin in south central Louisiana. Our family roots are from nearby Paincourtville, Napoleonville, Plattenville and Labadieville, where my grandfather worked in the sugar cane fields along Bayou Lafourche.

Various episodes of the "Swamp People" series are filmed in South Louisiana, including Bayou Sorrel, Honey Island, Bayou Pigeon, Pierre part, Morgan City, Houma, Pecan Island and other locales.

Several of the alligator hunters have become celebrities, such as Troy and Jacob Landry, Elizabeth Cavalier, Bruce Mitchell, Junior Edwards, and others.

"Choot 'em" is a phrase heard popularized by Swamp People, voiced by gator hunter Troy Landry of Pierre Part, a small community in the swamp close to the cities of Donaldsonville and Thibodaux, and Lake Verret. To learn more, visit Troy Landry's website at ChootEm.com

WeLoveCrawfish.com ... photos, crawfish season, Cajun foods, ordering and much more! ... click to visit now

Photographs of Louisiana Alligators

You're the hunter ... can you spot the alligator in this photo?
(photograph by the author)
Can you spot the alligator in this photo?

Be wary, and watchful ... they are everywhere!
Louisiana alligator crossing LA Highway 27 at Sabine National Wildlife Refuge near Holly Beach

(photograph by the author)
Louisiana alligator crossing the road at Sabine National Wildlife Refuge near Holly Beach Louisiana

Louisiana alligator basking in the sun
(photograph by the author)
Louisiana alligator basking in the sun

Alligator swimming in canal near Pierre Part, Louisiana
(photograph by the author)
Alligator swimming in canal near Pierre Part, Louisiana

Alligator hidden in swamp grass in south Louisiana
(photograph by the author)
Alligator hidden in swamp grass in south Louisiana

Five (or probably more) alligators lined up waiting on a meal
(photograph by the author)
Alligators lined up waiting on a meal


Boiled Louisiana Crawfish from the Atchafalaya Swamp ... it's nearly crawfish season in Louisiana ... can you taste them? click to learn more about Louisiana crawfish
Boiled Louisiana Crawfish from the Atchafalaya Swamp ... it's nearly crawfish season in Louisiana ... can you taste them?
More about Louisiana crawfish

Links of Interest about Louisiana and Alligators

Copyright © 2014 Louisiana-Destinations.com All rights reserved.