Atchafalaya Basin: the Place Where it All Started
Not many people around the world are aware of Atchafalaya basin in US, but mention the word Swamp People and people instantly recognize what we are talking about. It is the amazing popularity of a reality TV series on History Channel by the same name that has brought to world Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana State in US. This is the place that has become the center stage of an adventurous activity called alligator hunting and the fact that it is being shown live on TV is what has caught the imagination of people around the world. Swamp People History Channel has single handedly made History Channel rise to the top of the popularity charts.
Cajuns, who are the native people inhabiting the basin, have traditionally hunted alligators for a living. With gator population in the swamp increasing so much as to disturb the ecosystem there, Louisiana State authorities hit upon a novel idea to keep this gator population under check. They started to issue licenses to hunters and invited them to a hunting season in the basin. This season lasted for a month that begins early September.
But even more novel was the idea of the people behind Swamp People who decided to present the daily activities of the hunters live to the audience. This daily chores also included alligator hunting which was enough to catch the fancy of the people around the world. Hunters from outside the state also give auditions to become a part of the reality TV show. Currently season 2 of the show is being aired while the cast for season 3 is already being finalized. In fact, Swamp People season 3 is being planned to be bigger and more impressive than the earlier two seasons.
Atchafalaya basin is an area ruled by nature with minimum intervention of human beings. Though alligator hunting is being allowed here, it does not mean it is a free for all activity. Numbered tags are given to individual hunters and his hunting season is over as soon as he has exhausted these tags. The season is only 30 days long and you have a right over the area that is given to you as a hunter. You can choose to lease out the property if you think it is beyond your capabilities. It is a fact that alligator hunting is not everyone’s cup of tea as it is very dangerous though full of thrill and excitement.
The manner in which hunters trap alligators is very exciting as the team remains in a boat using rotting chicken as bait. As soon as an alligator comes forward to bite off the bait, hunter needs to shot at a soft spot at the back of its head to kill it down.
To popularize the series further, producers of the program have made Swamp People shirts with slogans printed over them that are conversations between the hunters talking place during the episodes. These shirts are selling like hot cakes these days. With season 2 currently on, efforts are on to find the cast for the 3rd season.