On this week’s Swamp People episode titled Texas 911, we learned a lot of things.
Mostly that the Louisiana gator hunters come together and will gladly help a neighboring friend in need at the first sign of trouble, even across state lines.
The 10th day of alligator season sees Harlan “Bigfoot” Hatcher in Texas make an urgent plea for help to his Louisiana Swamp People friends.
The show opened with Troy and the patriarchs in an ad hoc meeting, worried for their soggy friend in Texas as Hurricane Harvey decimated Houston and the surrounding cities. That’s what working people do for each other along the Gulf Coast, said Troy Landry, who spearheaded this meeting of the minds.
That horrendous storm dumped record levels of water as it stalled for days over the greater Houston area. These Louisiana folks have lived through Katrina and other huge hurricanes and know that, sometimes, you really need a friend to help you recover from nature’s wrath.
Watching the episode made clear a great many things:
The Cajun Cartel Mobilizes, Mostly
Volunteers from Louisiana were called the “Cajun Navy” in the news, as these fisherman and swamp people like our History stars all made their way to the flooded areas of Texas, sharing supplies, hauling people and animals in their boats.
Troy, Daniel, RJ, and Bruce, aka The Cajun Cartel, were part of this Louisiana flotilla of rescuers who all came together to help their fellow Swamp star, Harlan “Bigfoot” Hatcher.
Daniel Edgar said he could not help, but he did offer up one of his boats.
Bruce Mitchell said he is in. Immediately we cut to RJ Molinere and Troy heading out to the highway in one truck, while Bruce was driving in his.
The devastation of having five feet of rain dump in the same place for four agonizingly long days shows up in the tragic scenes of destruction piled high along the roads heading into Texas.
The profound sense of loss is not lost on Troy, RJ and Bruce Mitchell who said: “These piles of debris on the side of the road aren’t trash, they are people’s lives.”
Texas is hotter, has more gator-huntin’ red tape and grows ginormous alligators
Well. All that chatter about the Lone Star state being bigger, better et al, seems to be proven true.
Hurricane Harvey dumped the most water of any storm on record ever. While out in the bayou and hunting, Bruce Mitchell was shocked and bitched a blue streak to Harlan “Bigfoot” Hatcher about all the paperwork they had to do for each gator kill.
He said: “You just about gotta have a secretary and a lawyer to hunt over here [Texas]…looks like you need more pens than bullets out here!”
Not to mention that the heat of Texas is legendary and it really got to Troy and R.J. as they fretted about rotting alligators in the holds of the boats. The gators they pulled out of the Texas bayous seemed way bigger than anything we’ve seen thus far on this season of Swamp People.
Dey all be Grand Noirs and Houdinis!
Off to Texas they travel
“Right before alligator season started, we got [hit] by Hurricane Harvey,” said Harlan “Bigfoot” Hatcher.
The guys drive up to help Bigfoot for two days to hunt gators in a hurry and help with some construction and clean up. Bigfoot has been unable to hunt at all because of all the flooding and his friends Coy and Jay greet the Cajun Cartel…minus Daniel Edgar.
Side note: Jay looks like a millennial version of Glenn Guist!
Bruce and Bigfoot Bag, Tag and Drywall
Bruce and Bigfoot bag a feisty 9-footer right out of the gate as we learn that Texas rules for gator season are different and more restrictive than Louisiana’s laws.
Bruce helped Bigfoot fill over half his quota in one day, and the appreciative Bigfoot then took him to his devastated home where Bruce had a complete loss of words. It was heartbreaking.
The two rolled up their sleeves and got to cutting new sheetrock after a long day of hunting. This is what working people do when force majeure strikes. Bruce is more than happy to help Bigfoot right his ship.
Meet Coy and Jay Foster
Meanwhile, Harlan’s young pals Coy and Jay Foster are helped by Troy and R.J., as Coy explained how desperate they were and described the damage done to his home by three foot of water that settled inside. All the sheetrock and carpeting and woodwork inside his home was trashed.
Coy and Jay bag a 12-footer and need assistance from Troy and R.J. to help them pull the carcass into the boat. Good lord, Willie Edwards weighs 138 soaking wet and can get a 500+ pound gator in his boat BY HIMSELF!
Troy ribbed them on his never needing any help to put a gator in HIS boat — and he taught the Texans a Louisiana trick to gain leverage for getting the big boys up and in the hold.
Coy was worried as he gave Troy and R.J. a tour of his destroyed homestead, with the men immediately rolling up their sleeves and helping clear debris while Coy’s wife watched on.
Troy and R.J. have 60 years of gator hunting experience between them and they are happy to help. Despite their career-long rivalry, they were obviously having fun working together while helping their neighbors out.
Next week, the preview showed that Bruce nearly gets eaten up by a land-charging gator as they wrap up their Texas do-gooding and head back to Louisiana.
Where’s Willie?! More Big T please, and hopefully, Chase and Jacob Landry will appear at some point in the season again. A big “hmm”.
Swamp People airs Thursdays at 9/8c on History.