Explore The Bayou With Guided Gator Hunting In Louisiana

By Ruthie Calderon

Hunting alligators is a challenge for outdoorsmen of all skill levels. As the largest reptile on the continent, this animal offers up a fierce fight putting the strength and endurance of the hunter to the ultimate test. Louisiana is home to the densest alligator population in the country, which is why it is a popular destination for hunters from all over the United States. Anyone who wants to increase their odds of bagging one of these beasts can find affordable guided gator hunting in Louisiana.

Alligator hunting season in Louisiana lasts for 30 days with opening day determined by whether the animals live in the western or eastern zone. The season usually opens sometime in late August or early September, but the date varies slightly from season to season. The law requires hunters to harvest alligators after sunrise and before sunset with no harvesting allowed after nightfall.

Non-resident and resident hunters must apply for hunter's permit. They are only allowed to hunt gators when accompanied by a guide licensed by the state. To be eligible for a license, the guide must rent or own land designated as official wetland habitat. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries monitors the population and issues tags when the habitat can support a harvest. Any hunter born later than August 31 1986 is required by law to attend a hunter education course.

Hunters may harvest alligators by bow and arrow, hook and line, or firearms, with the exception of shotguns. The use of hooks baited with chicken and beef is the most common method of luring the animal to the kill zone. The hunter has the option of dispatching the hooked gator with a firearm or a bow and arrow.

Hunters must tag the animal immediately after dispatching it. Tags lock onto the gator's hide and must be positioned about 6 inches from the tip of the tail on its underside. Many hunters sell their gators to licensed commercial dealers. The tags must stay on the gator until the buyer tans it and uses it to make a product.

Many guides operate lodges near where the hunting takes place. Guests can choose from rustic ranches with cabins or luxurious bed and breakfasts that include cable television, well-stocked wet bars, meals served in a dining room, and more. Some lodges offer screened in porches, media rooms, game rooms, and additional common areas where guests can mingle and talk about their experience.

Many lodges will charge a trophy fee for each alligator the hunter claims because harvests are not guaranteed. Trophy fees are usually charged on a per foot basis. A portion of the fee is used for parts and hide preparation for tanning or taxidermy. The hunter also has the option of taking home meat from the animal.

Hunters can find an alligator hunt package to suit any budget size. Veteran and beginner hunters alike will enjoy the challenge presented by this unique activity. With the help of an expert guide, every hunter has a chance to bag this Bayou beast.

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