Whether you’ve watched this show or not you might get a feeling about what it covers just from the title alone. Swamp People is about those that go out into the swamps in order to hunt one of the most dangerous creatures alive, alligators. Now you might think that an alligator is simply too dangerous to go after since they can be lethal on land and especially so in water. But these folks make a pretty decent living on what they bag and tag, plus the fact that their living has been made into a show depicting just how they go about trapping and killing these gators for numerous purposes. One thing you can be rest assured is that next to nothing goes to waste when it comes to these scaly buggers since these folks have been doing this kind of thing for generations. Despite the push by those that claim that this is glorifying the cruel and unusual methods of killing alligators the show has still flourished.
Here are a few things you might not have known about the show, if you’ve watched it.
10. They’re only allowed to hunt for a 30-day period.
At one point alligator hunting in Louisiana was actually outlawed due to over-hunting that had taken a heavy toll on the species. The practice of hunting has been in effect for nearly five decades now but it’s been heavily-regulated. This means that the hunters only have 30 days to meet their yearly quota, so you can imagine that they’re out there on a daily basis doing what they can since they have to fill all their tags.
9. A lot of the shots are staged to create the maximum amount of drama.
Should you ever see a person stick their arm into waters where they know alligators to be lurking then you can thank the creative team on the show for this since no one in their right mind is going to stick their arm into the domain of something that can bite through bone with one chomp. Most of the time hunters will do what they can to get the gators to surface and then blast them, but sticking your arm into the water is akin to dangling a bleeding limb into a shark tank.
8. They have to slow things down for the camera.
If not for the cameras being on them the hunters would likely be all business and going as quickly as they could in order to meet their quotas. But in an effort to work with the camera crew and get the best shot the hunters tend to slow down a bit and draw things out a little more.
7. The hunters do need a license in order to hunt.
This should be pretty obvious since the regulations levied on the practice of hunting are quite strict and not to be trifled with. The thing about hunting gators though is a person has to know what they’re doing and how to keep themselves safe. This is about more than just gun safety after all, as the hunters are on terrain where the gators are in far more control.
6. It doesn’t matter where they’re at, regulations have to be followed at all times.
The laws for hunting gators and what methods can be used vary from state to state and the hunters have to be well-versed on how to go about their business depending on where they’re at.
5. The cast doesn’t get a lot of spare time just to relax.
The hunting season is short but the cast tend to make a lot of appearances and conventions and other gatherings. It might interrupt with their personal lives but at the very least they’re being compensated monetarily.
4. Boots aren’t optional, neither is staying in shape.
A good pair of boots can make all the difference if a hungry gator decides to try and take a chomp on someone’s foot. Also, considering how much alligators tend to weigh on average the cast members have to be in good shape to haul them up or, if the gator isn’t cooperating, hold them in place until their partner can get the shot they need.
3. The cast members need a second job to survive.
While they definitely do what they can to make their quotas and in some cases do just fine, one month out of the year doesn’t really cover the cast members throughout the entire 12 month span in-between. On top of that, the value of their catch tends to fluctuate quite often so they need something else to pick up the slack in their finances.
2. They’re usually required to take antibiotics.
The hunters take a lot of precautions when it comes to gators, but one that people might not think about is the fact that they take antibiotics to prevent against any unknown diseases that a gator might be carrying. Think about the fact that gators aren’t picky about what goes into their mouths and the added fact that infection might not affect them, but one bite can infect a hunter with a host of germs that might do more harm than the bite could.
1. There’s no keeping alligators as pets.
This isn’t something that’s been dictated by the show, but by Louisiana law. Alligators, when they’re young, might be kind of fun to have around, but upon becoming adults they’ll gladly take down anything or anyone that’s in their sight.
So yes, it’s a reality show, with more emphasis on the reality.