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Guest Blogger: Pepper Phillips
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Swamp People, a reality television show is extremely popular in Louisiana.  The Landry family is located in the Atchafalaya Basin in southern Louisiana.  Their claim to fame is hunting alligators, or as the Cajun people say, “Al-a-ma-ga-tor.”

I have my own in-house al-a-ma-gator hunter.  Oh, yes.  Every year it is the thrill of winning the ‘tags’…you must have a license to hunt the beasts, and you must put in your name for the ‘lottery.’  For some reason the dh has been winning tags for several years in a row.  Either he’s lucky or there are fewer and fewer hunters in our central Louisiana location.

This year he won five tags, so off he went with his line and chicken from Wal-Mart.  Hunting for alligators is extremely skillful.  All you need is a pond with an alligator, a line with a chicken hooked to it, and a pistol.  Throw that chicken in the pond, tie the line to an anchor and come back the next day to see if he took the bait.  The dh did that.

The next day, he tugged on the line, and sure enough, there was a hungry alligator attached to it.  Only thing was, the al-a-ma-ga-tor was huge.  So, he called his two sons.  They were at work, but could leave early to give their dad a hand.  So, they showed up in their work clothes.  Since one is a Nursing Home Administrator and the other is an Attorney, we’re not talking sneakers and jeans.  They were in dress clothes.

Fearless as they are, they held onto the line with the alligator and dragged him to the water’s edge.  One of them took the pistol and at his father’s command to “Choot ’em” (a phrase that comes from the reality show) — shot the alligator in the only place you can safely shoot, the top of the head, where there is small hole in the skull located right behind the eyes.

The alligator took offense to that bullet and did what an alligator does.  He started to roll.  Remember the two sons are holding onto the line, and as the alligator rolls, they are being pulled closer and closer into the water.  The dh is yelling to “let go of the line,” as they are being dragged forward, tangled in the line at this point, when the alligator stops and the kid with the pistol gives him two more taps in the head.

Mission accomplished.  Sort of.

They needed to get the alligator out of the water, so they tied a chain to him and drug him out with a truck.  Since he was so huge, they got a front end loader and picked him up and put him in the back of the truck.

Here’s a picture of their catch.

This beauty is approximately forty years old, 11′-9″ and weighs in at approximately 600#.

Honestly, would you want this swimming in your pond?

The property is on what we call our ‘camp’ and small kids are not free to roam the property, as you can see, it can be dangerous.  But the smiles on the hunters face is worth it.

The kid in the picture is six foot three, to give you an idea of how huge that alligator is.  He changed his clothes after he was dragged into the water.

As far as I know, I am the only woman who has to have an alligator skull as part of her living room decor.  It doesn’t look too bad with a bow on it’s head.  At least that’s what I tell myself.

Pepper Phillips
“The Devil Has Dimples”
Southern sass with a touch of heart…
Coming soon…”Unconditionally”

10 comments to “Guest Blogger: Pepper Phillips”

  1. Dale Mayer
    · February 28th, 2012 at 12:12 pm · Link

    Hi Pepper,

    This is the second time I’ve seen this picture – and it’s just as awesome! Unbelievable size for that gater. And for someone like me who’s never seen one – kinda freaky.

    Love the skull in the living room bit!


  2. Cynthia D'Alba (AKA ArkansasCyndi)
    · February 28th, 2012 at 12:25 pm · Link

    I LOVE this picture. And I need an alligator skull! Save one for me from this year’s hunt. okay? 🙂

  3. Delilah
    · February 28th, 2012 at 12:53 pm · Link

    Yikes! I live in Central Arkansas, and alligators aren’t unheard of in this region, but they are rare. There’s a little pond-lake at the bottom of the hill from where I live, a murky swampy thing called “Clear Lake”—yeah, someone had a sense of humor. Anyway, there are supposed to be alligators living there. I haven’t seen one yet, although I stop every now and then to look. I think it’s kind a cool and scary. Now, if I saw one that big, I’d probably pee my pants.

  4. Mary Marvella
    · February 28th, 2012 at 1:17 pm · Link

    3 men and 1 gater. Tough old guy. Only you can tell such a story as though it happens every day.

  5. Winnie Griggs
    · February 28th, 2012 at 1:23 pm · Link

    Pepper, that’s one big gator – I can see why your hubby needed help to land him! So do you cook alligator meat?

  6. Pepper Phillips
    · February 28th, 2012 at 1:47 pm · Link

    Cyndi, wish I could send you a skull, but the dh sells the alligators for the hides…with the heads. They are paid by the foot and inches.

    Delilah, throw a chicken on a thin rope and tie it to something and see if you ‘catch’ anything. But don’t haul it in, you might need a permit! They are Federally protected.

    Dale and Mary, when the season is on, Lord knows what he is going to catch. Thankfully he isn’t stupid enough to tackle it himself. Though there have been times….

    Winnie, yes, we do eat alligator meat, but not lately, since he is selling the things. I prefer mine fried. You can also make an alligator sauce piquant which is quite good.

  7. Barbara White Daille
    · February 28th, 2012 at 1:53 pm · Link

    Pepper – loved that story, and it’s even better the second time around!

    I’ll bet the skull looks lovely at Christmastime.

  8. Pepper Phillips
    · February 28th, 2012 at 3:42 pm · Link

    Ah, the living room skull. They are threatening to put deer heads in there. Since the skull in on the bottom shelf of an end table it doesn’t stand out, I don’t mind. But really…

  9. Mary Preston
    · February 29th, 2012 at 3:09 am · Link

    OH MY GOD!!! Are you kidding me. People do this for FUN!!!

    By the way , the bow, nice touch.

  10. mixe
    · March 1st, 2012 at 5:55 pm · Link

    Oh my god!! *stunned*

Comments are closed.