Alligator behavior: how Isaac changed hunters' season

Friday, September 7, 2012 - 10:53pm

Third generation alligator hunter Eugene Loupe and his crew hit the waters around Lake DesAllemends first thing every morning during alligator season until their 25 tags are filled.

"We've been doing it so long that we’ve learned a few tricks to get them in the boat,” said Loupe. “It's just fun getting out there and doing this kind of stuff."

But Hurricane Isaac put a dent in their plans.

"With Isaac we lost power for three days, and we had to run on generators power just to keep the freezers going," said Loupe.

The season usually begins on the last Wednesday of August for Eastern Louisiana. This year that's when Isaac stalled over the state. So, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries had to moved that date back to Saturday September 1.

"A hurricane is always going to effect us, because we always have the rising waters,” said Loupe. “We always have the fish kill because of the oxygen that is bad in the water."

After a storm Loupe says gators fill up on all the dead fish, and it could take a while before these big guys get hungry again

That could be a problem. Loupe says the first week of the season is the time when hunters fill the most tags. If the gators don't bite it could mean hunters will out be on the water longer.

"We fish for about a week and a half and we're done,” said Loupe. “We may have to fish two weeks three weeks ... just depends on how slow it's going to get."

Alligator season last 30 days. Loupe says there is still plenty of time to meet his quota and get his fill of fun.

"You know it's a real thrill trying to get one up,” said Loupe. “Once you shoot them and kill them. Then, you get them in the boat. It takes two or three guys sometimes to roll a big twelve footer in."

According to the state department of wild life and fisheries website: “Louisiana alligator hunters currently harvest over 28,000 wild alligators.”

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