Swamp People: How much do alligator hunters make? Salaries explored!

History docuseries Swamp People captures the reality of an alligator hunter’s job, and it doesn’t come easy. So, how much do they make?

It is set on the Atchafalaya Basin, in Louisiana, where the cast members take to the swamp and hunt alligators during the 30-day season.

Occasionally, the hunters catch alligators as big as 12 foot, which proves to be quite the struggle to get into the boat.

We looked into how much alligator hunters make, plus the salary that the Swamp People cast make while filming the show…

Screenshot: Swamp People: Liz and Justin’s Bounty Gator (S6, E11) | History YouTube

How much do alligator hunters make?

  • Less than $20 – $40 per foot of unprocessed alligator

Reportedly, Louisiana alligator hunters used to make between $20 – $40 per foot of unprocessed alligator.

However, in 2017 and 2018 there was increased competition coming from overseas and this caused gator sales to drop to an all-time low.

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It is thought that fewer people are out hunting, which has led to a below-average alligator harvest in recent years.

The cast of Swamp People have the added benefits of earning at least $10,000 per episode, with some cast members earning $25,000.

What do Swamp People do with alligators?

  • The Swamp People often kill and sell the alligators after catching them

The hunters often profit from their meat and their hides. Those appearing on Swamp People are all registered and licensed to catch alligators.

Swamp People have the tags necessary to allow them to make hunting gators their job, which takes up 30 days of the year.

The alligator hides are used in a variety of luxury goods such as shoes, belts, suitcases and leather. As a result, Swamp People can make lots of money by selling the alligators after catching them.

There is a rule according to The Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council that you have to tag an alligator after catching it. However, if you own your own hunting grounds then you can breed as many gators as you wish.

When is alligator season in Louisiana?

  • Louisiana’s east zone opens on the last Wednesday of August, while the west zone opens on the first Wednesday in September

In 2020, the Louisiana alligator hunting season was extended to 60 days, and ended in late October in both east and west zones.

Usually, the hunting season lasts for 30 days in total.

An alligator Sport Hunter License costs $25 for Louisiana residents and $150 for non-residents.

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