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John's Journal... Entry 165, Day 1

Hunting Alligators

What's the Latest Information on Alligators

EDITOR'S 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, Louisiana.

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.

Question: 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 a bow?
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.

Question: 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 800 pounds.

Question: 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 info@lodgeoflouisiana.com.




Check back each day this week for more THE LODGE OF LOUISIANA ...

Day 1 - What's the Latest Information on Alligators
Day 2 - A Typical Hunt for an Alligator
Day 3 - What You Need to Hunt Alligators
Day 4 - Catching Live Alligators
Day 5 - Find Out What Else the Lodge of Louisiana Has to Offer

John's Journal