If anyone doubts alligators have made a comeback in the United States, they should get a load of the hunt in Louisiana we just heard about from subscriber Drake Dawson. Seems he has an ongoing relationship with an outfitting duo who will let you take as many as 15 alligators, one of which you can take home with you as a trophy. Dawson says the one he took home last September as a trophy was a whopping 12-footer that weighed in at 650 pounds. The two outfitters are cajuns by the name of Emil and Thomas Breaux. Their base of operations is a 4,500-acre tract of swampland between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. "These hunts are conducted during the month of September, either 2 x 1 or 2 x 2, from special vessels called mud boats that float in very little water," Dawson writes. "The outfitters bait a series of floating lines called `limb lines' attached to a 40-foot rope in various areas of the swamp. The outfitter and hunter then check each line for hooked gators. Because the lines are fairly long, the animal maintains enough mobility to make shooting it a real challenge. You can spend several very exciting hours trying to kill a large alligator in this fashion...."
Dawson says the outfitters take only four hunters a year. Cost for a three-day outing is $2,900, plus $150 for what's called a non-resident alligator hunter helper's license. The hunt fee includes airport pick up, transportation during the hunt, trophy preparation, and accommodations and meals in a fully-equipped cabin on the bayou. As stated earlier, hunters can also keep their choice of the largest alligator they kill, including 30 pounds of meat which the outfitter will flash freeze. To keep a second alligator, you must purchase a $500 Louisiana non-resident hunter's tag which will give you full legal control over another animal. Dawson describes this outfit as a family-run business that provides guests with traditional Cajun hospitality and home-cooked Cajun delicacies such as crawfish, snapping turtle and alligator. Dawson says he has hunted with the Breaux family several times and is acting as........(continued)