"Swamp People" On The History Channel

It's not something I would watch. And this is why:

From: http://swamp-people.blogspot.com/

"There is some controversy surrounding the show. Swamp People represents a programming change that could cost the History Channel its most loyal viewers. While it is clear that the Cajuns depicted have a rich cultural history and strong traditions, there’s little attempt to show the history of those connections. Primarily, the show depicts swamp-dwellers trying to kill or exploit alligators and other animals.
Viewers may also be concerned about the animal cruelty documented the show. While alligators are vicious hunters, and the population must be contained, the methods of hunting them are brutal. The alligators are often baited in unattended traps. When a gator snags the bait, it becomes hooked. The animal is then trapped, impaled live on a hook for hours, until the hunters come to shoot it. Often, it takes several shots to kill the animal."
imabear imabear
51-55, F
13 Responses Oct 22, 2010

Stingray8854 - Being from the south too (South Carolina) I understand your frustration with people not understanding our traditions and way of life. Personally I hope they dislike it enough to stay right they are and not come and try to change things. I enjoy hunting as much as anyone and enjoy the fruits of the hunts. Our crop of dear continually distroys crops, collide with cars causing many deaths (from the ensuing wreck) etc... However, I am 100% against the method of gut hooking an animal which continually pulls and snatches for hours or a day before being killed. No one will ever make me believe the gator isn't in agony before being killed. I have no problem with the kill just the pain, which has to be massive, the animal endures before being killed. These are Gods creatures which I believe were put here to provide food for the masses but I do not subscribe to the torture nor do I believe the man upstairs smiles on us for putting his creatures in that much continuous pain. There has to be another way to harvest these guys.

Olesouthernboy, you have to understand something. We have about two MILLION alligators here in Louisiana. The reason they use the baited hooks and lines is that there's a VERY big quota of alligators to be taken in a short period of time, by a relatively small amount of hunters. The average harvest of alligators here in Louisiana is about 35,000 per year, and that's only during a month long season. This is not traditional hunting. It's more like commercial fishing. They use the hooks and baited lines for much the same reason commercial fishermen use nets. These guys on the show do shoot alligators and kill them pretty much instantly when the opportunity presents itself. But setting out baited lines, often over a HUGE area of the swamp or coastal marsh, is the only PRACTICAL way to take out enough of them during the season. I'm quite sure they'd rather kill them all instantly if it were possible. And besides, alligators already swallow lots of "painful" things on their own. Broken turtle shells, live crabs (remember, alligators cannot "chew"), and even WEIRD things like large pieces of torn, jagged metal. Who knows why? No clue. Anyway, hopes this sheds new light on the subject.

two million?? then why is it that proper regulatory procedures are taken? Why is it that they are not tagged and weighed at an early age and the babies taken when they are young or the eggs simply destroyed. It's a ridiculous show that only shows off what Americans love the most. Guns

There's so much APPALLING ignorance on this thread, and plenty of emotionally driven RANTING without a shred of FACT to back it up. You people DON'T have to like or watch Swamp People, but it's AMAZING how you post your HATE and IGNORANCE on this subject when you don't have a clue. Whether it assaults or offends your delicate, anti-hunting sensibilities or not, hunting alligators is an ECOLOGICALLY SOUND activity that's IMPORTANT. It's the CONSERVATIVE, SUSTAINABLE use of a RENEWABLE NATURAL RESOURCE. You people want to DEMONIZE these people for what they do. Ask yourselves this question: How many times have you swatted a fly? A mosquito? Hundreds or thousands of times, right? How about stepping on a spider? A cockroach? Perhaps you hire an exterminator. These are LIVING CREATURES too and whether you do it yourself or hire someone, you've killed LOTS of them just as DEAD as the Swamp People kill alligators. And how many of you EAT these insects? Or otherwise use them so they're not wasted? You people are long on HYPOCRISY and REALLY short on RATIONALITY and FACTS where this subject is concerned. You don't want to acknowledge the FACTS behind this because they fly in the face of your EMOTIONAL, CLOSED MINDED, IGNORANT AGENDA. This is NOT wanton animal cruelty as you want to portray it here. Is it pretty? No. Does it benefit the species as a whole, along with other wildlife and the environment? YES! Look it up. Try the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) website and search "alligator hunting" Here's some of what you'll find. Go to: <br />
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http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/alligator-hunting-regulations-overview <br />
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"LDWF's sustained use program is one of the world's most recognizable examples of a wildlife conservation success story...a model for managing various crocodilian species throughout the world"..."The basic philosophy...through regulated harvest, ...provide long term benefits to the survival of the species, maintain its habitats, and provide significant economic benefits to the citizens of the state."<br />
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You'll find the same basic reasoning at the wildlife authorities websites of Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and others. Reasoning that's BACKED UP by the DECADES of RESEARCH from WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTS that CONFIRM the importance of alligator hunting. By the way, do you eat? Then you KILL or give it your approval. Face the TRUTH. Even if you don't eat meat, there are THOUSANDS or even MILLIONS of small creatures that DIE so you can eat vegetables. Get OVER YOURSELVES PEOPLE. Get past your EMOTIONALLY DRIVEN, ANTI-HUNTING PREJUDICES and look at the VERIFIABLE FACTS and the TRUTH for a change.

What is appalingly ignorant is that voyeurism of this kind of treatment of animals is what makes it so obviously cruel.Someone getting their "jollies" out of watching any animal suffer has a screw loose somewhere.
It appeals to the basest of humans.

well, there's nothing emotional about my statements. They are scientifically driven, motivated and researched.
Check the Humane Society of the United States-- Wildlife Overpopulation discussing the use of immunocontraception regulating a species instead of spreading bullets and bullet casings all over the area.
Shooting, making a show of it and getting all excited about 'the big one' is not population control, it is ratings. High-fiving a dead alligator in your boat is not scientific nor environmentally driven to be respectful to the animal population. People are using the ' way of life' syndrome as an excuse to ignore the fact that this population control could be done in a more environmentally safe and respectful way. Instead, these people are happy about shooting a big one that gives money for the size. It's appalling really, and shows how much humans need to evolve.

The so-called "Cajuns" can justify themselves all they please, but it's no more than bloodlust and the all too human desire to kill for pleasure. And as much as it is "politically incorrect" to say so, if--any--population on this poor planet has to be controlled, it is the human one! I have never heard of an alligator responsible for war, terrorism, pollution, murder, rape, robbery, assault, or torture for the joy of it, have you? It is absolutely correct that PETA should take a stand against this "show", but then, they don't take a stand against much of anything important for animal welfare, do they? They only talk big, which is why I cancelled by membership.

You know what? I'm one of these "so-called Cajuns", as you so condescendingly put it. I'm not on the show and I don't hunt alligators, but I'm from the same area of Louisiana and I hunt, fish, and have done plenty in some of the same swamps and marshes. I have a lot in common with these people and have met some of them. You claim it's "no more than bloodlust" and killing for "pleasure". Let's see you back that up with PROOF and EVIDENCE. You know what? You CAN'T, because that's based on NOTHING more than your IGNORANT OPINION. Yeah, they get excited about it, because they're getting PAID for the alligators. You know why? Because there's a MARKET for them. People eat the meat, the hides are used for leather goods, the bones are used in various products, very little is wasted. Even the FAT is being used at one of our universities here in Louisiana for alternate fuel, biodiesel research. They've found out it can be converted to fuel, and are looking at ways to possibly use it some day as a "greener" alternate fuel source. It's so easy for the IGNORANT to DEMONIZE people and activities they don't understand, and yet it just takes a few keystrokes to LEARN something on the subject. Try looking at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) website, and search "alligator hunting". See what our WILDLIFE AUTHORITIES have to say on the subject. I'll even make it easy for you. Here's a few statements at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/alligator-hunting-regulations-overview
"Louisiana's program has been used as a model for managing various crocodilian species throughout the world." "...through regulated harvest,...provide long term benefits to the survival of the species, maintain its habitats, and provide significant economic benefits to the citizens of the state." This is NOT "bloodlust" or killing for "pleasure". By the way, it's not just in Louisiana. From the Texas Parks and Wildlife website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_w7000_1011.pdf "Responsible recreational and commercial harvest
is a critical component of effective habitat
management, which guarantees the future
of the alligator and the many other
species of animals and plants that
share its habitat." In Georgia: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/610 "The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is a conservation success story...Georgias flourishing alligator population is managed through a regulated hunting season."...See a pattern here? There's other states as well where the authorities and WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTS, based on their DECADES of RESEARCH, agree with alligator hunting. It's the CONSERVATIVE, SUSTAINABLE use of a RENEWABLE NATURAL RESOURCE. Furthermore, you say you've never heard of an alligator responsible for war, terrorism, pollution, murder, rape, etc. Well OF COURSE NOT! You're trying to attribute human criminal activity to animals. I'll tell you what they ARE responsible for. It doesn't happen often, but they DO sometimes ATTACK, DISMEMBER, and even KILL people. You know who's most vulnerable to attack? Our CHILDREN, because of their size and tendency to look for toys under bushes, in flower beds, places alligators HIDE PERFECTLY in neighborhoods and backyards to attack prey once they've grown accustomed to humans. That's right, there's TWO MILLION of them here in Louisiana alone, and they're not just in the swamps these days. They show up MILES from the swamps in our CITY PARKS, NEIGHBORHOODS, and even FENCED IN back yards. Attacks on humans are rare, but "close calls" are NOT so rare. Attacks on pets and livestock are COMMON. The incidents of alligators showing up in many human populated areas AWAY from the swamps was almost UNHEARD OF until the alligator population really TOOK OFF here in Louisiana in recent decades. Hunting them is a PROVEN way to keep these dangerous encounters to a minimum. If they WEREN'T hunted, there would be FAR more dangerous encounters and invariably more TRAGIC fatalities. Even in the wild, without hunting numbers would soon increase to the point that their habitat would no longer support them. They'd overpopulate, deplete and kill off their prey in the wild, which includes ENDANGERED animals. Starvation, stress and diseases would harm them FAR worse than hunting. Any imbalance of predator and prey in the environment HARMS the environment. They're apex predators as adults, which means no other animals hunt them and keep their numbers down. Much like pruning a tree for it's overall health, the law allows SOME to be taken, a small percentage of the overall population, and the rest THRIVE. You don't have to like or watch Swamp People if you don't want to. But now you have no excuse to be ignorant on what they do, and WHY they do it. You should get past your anti-hunting prejudice and consider the FACTS for a change.

You have to be some kind of stupid not to see that when a person gets all Yahoooey when they kill a huge alligator to not see that is bloodlust. The proof? The proof is that you people are so damn dumb not to see what you're doing is wrong and it's not a true scientific way of controlling a population of a species.

I can't understand the history channel. Killing animals and laughing making fun of it is just wrong. They have beating hearts and brains which are probably larger then the people who are killing them. The History channel dissapoints me. These animals have been here way before us and have evolved over millions of years. To make a show and $$$ leaving them hooked to a trap to suffer until some toothless, heartless, low life comes to kill it for $. It's so wrong. And to see all the posts on FB of all the people who watch the "show" with there children, saying on how they love the show and are sad that the seasons coming to and end is scary. We are so not civilized although we act as we are. It's so sad. If they must be controlled which I don't believe they do at least do it in a humane way not on tv and profiting over it. I only wish that anyone who has anything to do with this show dies a slow and horrible death and then returns to earth as a animal and gets hunted. I hope all who profit from this get sick and suffer for a long time!!!! We are the only animals who kill for fun.

Your post reeks of so much narrow minded IGNORANCE and HATE that it's hard to know where to start. Typical of your anti-hunting kind, you'd rather wallow in STUPIDITY rather than do just a little RESEARCH, because the facts fly in the face of the CRAP you're spewing here. For starters, here's what the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has to say on alligator hunting:

"LDWF's sustained use program is one of the world's most recognizable examples of a wildlife conservation success story. Louisiana's program has been used as a model for managing various crocodilian species throughout the world."

"The goals of LDWF's wild alligator harvest program are to manage and conserve Louisiana's alligators as part of the state's wetland ecosystem, provide benefits to the species, its habitat and the other species of fish and wildlife associated with alligators."

"...through regulated harvest...provide long term benefits to the survival of the species, maintain its habitats, and provide significant economic benefits to the citizens of the state."

There's a REASON for this, and you calling them "toothless, heartless, lowlife" etc., proves you're an ignorant, condescending, elitist JERK. The hunters get paid because there's a MARKET for alligators. People EAT the meat. The hides are used for leather goods. Almost NOTHING is wasted of these animals. The bones are used in various products and even the fat is currently being used at one of our universities here in Louisiana for biodiesel fuel research. And by the way, you don't think their numbers need to be controlled? You don't LIVE HERE. These alligators show up MILES from the wetlands in our NEIGHBORHOODS and CITY PARKS among our CHILDREN. This was all but UNHEARD OF around here not many years ago, until the alligator population really took off. And they DO sometimes attack people. If not for hunting them there would be a LOT more dangerous encounters. Know who's most at risk? Our CHILDREN. And even aside from the danger an overpopulation of alligators poses to humans, if they weren't hunted they'd deplete their natural sources of prey in the wild, including ENDANGERED animals, and create such imbalance of predator and prey that not only ALLIGATORS would suffer as a whole (starvation and disease, FAR worse than hunting imposes on them), but OTHER wildlife AND the environment as well. The law allows only a STRICTLY ENFORCED limit to be taken, about maybe two percent of the population at most, and the rest of them THRIVE. SHAME on you for showing your APPALLING IGNORANCE on this.

I cannot ever agree with the way a man uses deadly machinery to kill a living being. I appreciate and respect local culture but geez..I guess if it must happen then at least let it happen outside of the living rooms of urban areas...people watch this show to simply relish sadistically upon each and every shot.

I could not agree more, the alligator are treated and killed in a very cruel and disgusting way. To say that the hunters do not relish in their kill is a lie, the hunters show great display of victory and relish in their kills, very large amount of killed alligators I might add. The show is cruel, disgusting and truly glorifies rifles amd animal cruelty. Disgusting.

I'm surprised this show has been met with so little protest. I know alligator populations need to be controlled, but the hunting methods depicted on the program are sickening. I had no idea that that animal cruelty applied to some animals but not others. Apparently no one cares when the animal is not cute.

There's a reason they use those methods, and it's not because they want to be cruel. It's because there's a large quota of alligators that need to be harvested, in a short, month long hunting season, by a relatively small number of hunters. That's a very simplified explanation, but in a nutshell, it has to be done that way. It's actually mandated by law. Otherwise, the quota would never be reached in a month's time. Also, these people are not sport hunting for trophies. They're doing this to make a living, or supplement their income. They have to maximize their catch in the limited time they have.

No matter what you say killing the animals that way is cruel and I am totally appalled that a tv show could be made from that. I can't understand why people would want to watch that! I can't believe it's on tv here in Australia. What an awful way to treat a living creature. And you can say all you like but it's animal cruelty!

what a pity they seem to have so much fun doing it.
I'm sure it's a burden.

I've never seen this show or even heard of it. It's interesting, I had an alligator in my neighborhood about a year ago, we called animal control and after about 3 hours they had not showed up. Luckily an old Cajun that lived a few blocks away dealt with it.<br />
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By dealt with it, I mean he got some raw chicken, tied it with a piece of string and led the alligator back to the drainage ditch from which it came. There are better ways to deal with the problem than to shoot the animals. People are living in the alligator's natural habitat, not the other way around.

I appreciate your respect. I couldn't help but notice that you capitalized the word "Cajun". As a Cajun myself, I appreciate that. Not for anything out of vanity or a sense of self-importance, but we are a recognized culture within Louisiana, descendants of "Acadians" hence the slang "Cajuns", from Canada. I have to respectfully disagree with you though. While it's true that some, a FEW people, actually "live" in the alligator's natural habitat, the vast majority of us don't. Yes, Louisiana has HUGE swamps and marshes, but that only makes up about a fourth of the state's land mass. Except for a relatively few people, hunting / fishing camps and some oilfield and natural gas related work sites, the swamps and marshes are almost completely uninhabited by humans. We're actively working to minimize our impact on the environment. You can hardly watch the news or read a paper without learning of some group at work to save our wetlands and swamps. It's not like we're draining the swamps to build ***** malls, subdivisions, and golf courses. We have plenty of higher ground for that, which is NOT alligator habitat. Fact is, here in south Louisiana, alligators have really increased in numbers in recent decades. Sightings in populated areas were all but unheard of not too long ago. They don't happen really often now, but certainly enough to cause concern. Recently someone's dog was killed in a gated community and a gator showed up in our city park in a pond frequented by children feeding the ducks. This is in a small city of about 35,000 people, many miles away from the swamps. And about relocation, we do that. Most of the time it works out well, however not always. Alligators, for some reason, often return. They've even been known to travel long distances over land, returning to the same spot weeks after being removed. And there's no mistaking them for another gator, because the authorities that handle them, local police, sheriff, and wildlife law enforcement, tag and document them for identification. If this happens often enough, it's inevitable that the gator has or will lose it's natural fear of humans, and an attack is inevitable. The most likely target is pets and children. In those cases, it's irresponsible for the authorities NOT to kill them. It's just a necessary thing here sometimes. As for the Swamp People hunting alligators, they represent a small part of our people who do something that's necessary around here, and the hunting season is strictly regulated by Louisiana law. If they weren't hunting alligators, keeping their numbers in check, they would over populate and attacks would be far more common. Despite having approximately 2,000,000 alligators here, statistically Louisiana's only had two documented attacks on humans since 1948. That's due largely to organized, legal alligator hunting.

I need to add something. I said we have organizations working to "save" our swamps and wetlands. What I really meant to say was preserve them. It wouldn't be true to say we don't have any impact on these places. We're not perfect. However we do work to minimize our impact with public awareness, litter clean-up events, etc. Huge areas of our wetlands are designated as national wildlife refuges. In other words, we do take the environment seriously. I realize I've gone on "long - winded" here, it just seems as if some local perspective is in order.

you are long winded and you're the only one advocating the way they do things on the show you do know that right?

Thank you for you intelligent, reasoned comment. I agree.

As a lover of animals and Nature, and also a person who understands the necessity of hunting, I find the depictions of alligator killing on this 'show' nauseating. Is the show about a sub-culture of the United States or is it about watching people slaughter alligators? I think the History Channel is using the veneer of history to cover up the truth of what they're going for here - barbaric voyuerism. Why do we need to see majestic, interesting animals shot execution style at point blank range? What is that supposed to prove? It proves that Americans love a bunch of stupid rednecks. <br />
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Add it to the rest of the shows glorifying logging and destroying our land and wildlife; yeah, that's exactly what these so-called educational channels need to be doing. . . fueling our ignorance instead of extinguishing it. <br />
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Stupid rednecks? THAT statement is appalling. Instead of bashing a culture you don't understand, you'd do well to research us first. I said "us", because I'm one of them. I'm not a gator hunter, and I'm not on the show, but I am a Cajun and these are people of my culture. How dare you call us stupid. Alligator hunting, and the methods they use, are a necessity here in south Louisiana. We have nearly two million of them, and without this strictly regulated hunting season they would over populate, kill off their natural food sources, and turn to humans as prey. Already alligators show up in populated areas, sometimes many miles from their own habitat. Case in point, I live in a small city of 35,000 people. It's several miles away from the swamps, and has been here for about 250 years. Just recently a gator killed a dog in a wealthy gated community subdivision, and another showed up in our city park, in a pond where the children often feed the ducks. Both places are short walking distance from my home. It doesn't happen often (thanks in large part due to alligator hunting), but when alligators kill our pets and show up among our children, it's a problem. These incidents were all but unheard of until recent years when the alligator population really took off. We do not hate alligators. Law enforcement relocates them unharmed when possible. However this doesn't always work because they often return. Bottom line, alligator hunting is NECESSARY here, whether it's palatable to the rest of the country or not. Yes, thousands are killed. Millions thrive. And besides, there's far more to our rich Cajun culture and heritage than just alligator hunting. Very few of us, these guys included, actually live in the swamps. We're among the friendliest people you'll ever meet, we love a good time, and we love our environment. We're NOT a bunch of "stupid" rednecks as you so rudely put it. Try extinguishing your own ignorance instead of fueling it. I know I went "long winded" here, and yes, I'm offended by your remark, so I had to get it off my chest.

Totally agree with your comment bloodofnumenor. Of course it would be an American program.

Fish & Wildlife relocates them. Habitat destruction plays a large role here - maybe we just shouldn't develop every empty acre.

We do relocate them here in Louisiana. But to say this is habitat destruction just isn't true. We're actively PRESERVING their natural habitat. What's happening here is NOT human encroachment on alligator habitat. With few exceptions, our swamps and coastal marshes where alligators live are almost completely uninhabited by humans. On the contrary, alligator population is really climbing in recent years, and their numbers need to be kept in check.

How would you deal with the problem of agressive alligators? I agree that being trapped/hunted is no fun for the alligator; what's the answer?

I live near the same area where the show is filmed. Not in the swamp, but in a small city of about 35,000 in the vicinity, a short drive away. Thank you for understanding. The fact is, organized alligator hunting and the methods used, are dictated by Louisiana law. If you're interested, you can google the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Alligator Program, or the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council. Many people think these guys on the show are just a bunch of swamp running hooligans out to kill alligators for no good reason. Not true. In reality it's part of an organized system. It's much like commercial fishing, and practically nothing of the alligators is wasted. Wildlife biologists analyze alligator population data, and the harvest limits are set accordingly. Again, thanks for understanding.

I don't watch it either. I can't watch anything like it, but I know enough to always try to find ways to spread awareness and find other people who are doing the same.