We are past the mid-point on Swamp People’s month-long hunting season in Louisiana. You can feel the stickiness of the swamp and no matter how cold it is wherever you are, that kind of heat makes you see things. In Ronnie’s case, he nearly keels over from heat stroke.
Hot and humid is an understatement with a heat index topping 117 degrees. Your brains are cooking at that point.
Now the race is on as more risks are taken to get these monsters lurking out there in the muck. They adore this muggy heat and are biting at everything tonight.
This week, it is midnight hunting for King of the Swamp Troy Landry and his “big buddy” Terral Evans, both of whom were called by the State Park in an emergency situation.
Their stop is Twin Ponds — a strange name since it is just one pond. This is a destination for anglers and recreational swimmers and is now under siege from gator population explosion.
They use a new baiting technique and the cover of darkness to get the hunting set up. There are a billion eyes staring back at them, you never want to fall out of a boat in the nighttime in the swamp.
Ashley (Che) and Ronnie are up and at ’em at the crack of dawn on Belle River and its blistering hot. “Even the shade is hot,” says Ronnie who is 6’5″ and well over the heavyweight status.
As their day gets on, Ronnie becomes progressively more worn down and is cramping and nauseous, all of which are very bad signs.
It’s ‘baby, come on baby yeah baby, come to papa baby’ time as a line is down and they reel in a gator and Ronnie looks to be experiencing heat stroke. Not good.
Ashley whips out a pickle and makes Ronnie eat it and drink the juice. That was Willie Edwards’ go-to fix if y’all remember. It helped Ronnie for the moment.
He hauls up a gator and then collapses a bit. Ashley picks up the slack and offers to pull the lines and lets him take over the gun.
On down the road, Ashley pulls in an eleven footer and Ronnie dropped his gun in the swamp during the commotion. Then he retrieved it while the gator was under the boat.
They got back to the dock and then Ronnie’s bicep popped.
Che says: “We need to go to the doctor, that ain’t good.”
Ronnie hates hospitals and doctors and finds himself in one in Morgan City. The “little lady doctor” as Ronnie calls her also hunts gators. She gives him the go-ahead to proceed with caution.
Florida snake hunter Dusty Crum and Jacob Landry are baiting with python – which they say tastes like chicken – to get their fill of gators. We got some black and white footage of them skinning a python. Jacob is open to Dusty’s hunting ideas.
At first, the python bait doesn’t seem to appeal to the gators. Finally, they get their first one, an eleven-footer that nearly pulled Dusty in but they got him. All I can say is where is Holey Boley, Ho, aka Holden? This Dusty and Jacob pairing is as dull as dishwater.
Over in Bayou Pigeon and Dead Man’s Bayou, we see Mr. Daniel free soloing as last week we saw Big T hurt his knee and it has him out for the count.
Let’s do some math. Daniel Edgar is close to 70. The temperature is over 100 degrees, and it’s just one man in the boat to get what could be potentially a 500+ gator up and in the hold. Nothing is adding up correctly.
Well, you gotta hand it to the old guy.
Mr. Daniel got the gator but had to shoot him twice as he realized the beast was alive hoisted up in the winch. As his day progressed, he hauled up even more monsters and it was getting to him like Ronnie, more from exhaustion and less from heat stroke.
Then his boat totally crapped out on him.
He says: “This is the worst place I could possibly be to have this kind of problem.” He contemplates having to spend the night in the swamp and in the eleventh hour, he fixes the motor. Cheated death again! You can hear sons Joey and Dwayne telling stories about their tough old man around the gumbo pot.
Back to Troy and Terral, their late night baiting worked and their boat is already filling up. Hot weather is a boon for catching the gators we learn, despite how miserable everyone is from the heat.
They get 27 gators from the area. Troy says the heat and hunting is “in their blood” and he and Terral pig out on … wait for it….chicken.
“It don’t smell like that in the boat,” says Terral. Heh.
See y’all next week.
Swamp People airs Thursdays on History.