With all of the local music and sports talent from our area comes some national outdoors recognition. The History channel’s “Swamp People” has now added two local men to their team. The new season of the highly popular, nationally aired program about people that follow traditional means in order to work outdoors begins on Feb. 14. It will be shown each Thursday at 8 p.m.
In the event that you haven’t seen “Swamp People,” it is about both men and women that hunt alligators in the Louisiana swamps. They are shown as they prepare to go, how they locate hunt areas, and actually taking the alligators. Add to that the excitement of weather conditions, personal problems, and even fun events and you have “Swamp People.”
Troy Broussard was raised in Port Acres and now lives in Fannett where he grew up hunting and fishing in the local bayous and marshes. As a youth he was a champion duck caller. By spending so much time in the duck blinds and traveling in airboats, the marshes became second nature to him. As Broussard grew up, he added alligator hunting to his resume. He could locate places along the bayous and in the marshes where the big gators lived. Whenever there was no open alligator season, Broussard would spend countless hours fishing.
Trotlines would furnish enough blue and channel catfish for the family and friends to enjoy. Locating and catching the marsh’s largemouth black bass also became second nature to him. Added to those outdoor activities, this swamp person is also a commercial crabber. To top it all off, Broussard is a fire captain for the Port Arthur Fire Department. With his many years of experience in the marshes and swamps, it would seem only natural for the producers of “Swamp People” to select him to be one part of a new two-man team for their super popular television program.
The other team partner is none other than the popular waterfowl hunting guide Harlan Hatcher. Hatcher is a native of Fannett and has been guiding waterfowl hunters since he was old enough to do so.
Hatcher is a giant of a man with a heart just as big as he is. Over the years this outdoors expert has guided alligator hunters as well as waterfowl hunters. When those seasons are closed, Hatcher spends his time at night hunting frogs along the bayous and in the many crawfish ponds that are on The Drake Plantation’s duck lease. At one time, Harlan made his extra spending money trapping fur-bearing animals. He also is an expert at ridding ranches of nuisance predators such as coyotes.
Harlan’s family was much in demand as house-building carpenters for many years. While he was one of the carpenter brothers, he found that there was a good living to be made in the crawfishing business. Here, again, The Drake Plantation was also in the crawfish business, so it was a natural fit for them to unite. Hatcher drives the truck that hauls thousands of pounds of the tasty crustaceans for the booming business.
With all of the aforementioned activities that are the lives of both Troy and Harlan, their obsession with down and dirty alligator hunting is at the top of the list.
The producers as well as the other members of the “Swamp People” cast did much research and yes, face-to-face living, before these two were selected to be the newest alligator hunting.
I have seen the promos on the History Channel and I can hardly wait for the shows to begin. With these fellows’ experience and passion for the outdoors, the program should be super interesting.
Broussard told me that they were just being themselves. Sort of like what you see is what you get.
Billy Halfin can be reached by e-mail at bhalfinoutdoors [at] aol [dot] com.