We ventured out early into the mist covered cypress bog. The humid air clinging close to our skin as our senses were on high alert for a gator to jump out of the water into our small craft. I did not know what to expect on this hunt, as the only previous reptile hunting I had done was for snakes in the backyard. We had assisted our guide the previous evening with putting some new gator hatchlings into an existing nest and had vanished before the peeping gator babies could alert the female to come back their aid. This was our attempt to assist in conservation in any way possible. We had also learned of the Cajun people and had an excellent alligator creole for dinner.
Armed with a 22 mag we slowly approached the first bait……As the captain pulled up on the taught line the ancient relic of a dinosaur rocketed from the water! My heart raced as I glimpsed my first swamp monster! I carefully put the sights on the area we had been instructed and quickly disengaged the safety with the efficiency of highly trained reflexes. With a "whack” the bullet smacked the beast perfectly in the brain and it quickly expired.
We carefully drug the animal onto the boat and I looked on with fascination as my first beast was a remarkable 9’6”. Almost driven to extinction in the last century this beautiful reptile has flourished with the assistance of the hunting community and the Louisiana Department of Natural resources. Efforts such as ours to reestablish a viable population has once again created an abundance of these ancient animals for sportman to pursue. I enjoyed being in Louisiana and certainly their slogan “Sportsmans Paradise” rings true to me with every new adventure I have in this great state.
Posted on Sun, September 6, 2009
by Alec Janda filed under