“Swamp People” is a multi-season reality TV show, which has been one of the most popular through the years. It follows people who live in the swamps of the Atchafalaya River Basin in Louisiana, USA, who are engaged in one of the most dangerous jobs in the world – hunting American alligators!
The show has been broadcast on History Channel since it debuted on 22 August 2010 – the latest and eleventh season of “Swamp People”, consisting of 14 episodes, aired from January to April 2020. During all the seasons, the cast has changed frequently, so “Swamp People” has a huge cast list– about 20 current and nearly 40 more past members.
Like most reality shows, “Swamp People” has its own dark secrets, and many fans of the show aren’t familiar with them. We are going to reveal some of the most interesting secrets. Just stay with us ‘til the end!
- 1 The Original Cast Was Fired Under Mysterious Circumstances
- 2 History Channel Attempted To Silence One of the Fired Cast Members
- 3 They Are Allowed to Hunt Only for 30 Days
- 4 They Are Accused of Being Cruel to Animals
- 5 The Cast Members Usually Have to Take Antibiotics
- 6 Alligators Aren’t So Massive
- 7 The Success of “Swamp People” Affects Alligator Prices
- 8 Lucky Shirt for Editing Purposes
- 9 Troy Landry Sues Companies for Using His Catchphrases
- 10 Troy Landry Lives in a Luxury House
- 11 Roger Rivers Jr. Sold Meat Illegally
- 12 ZZ Loupe Appeared on “Trading Spouses”
- 13 ZZ Loupe – A Professional Wrestler
- 14 Chase Landry Was Arrested for Shooting at a Shrimp Boat
- 15 RJ and Jay Paul Had a Road Rage Incident
- 16 Nick Payne Attacked a Policeman
- 17 Nick Payne’s Troubled Past
- 18 Trapper Joe Has a Long history of Domestic Assault Charges
The Original Cast Was Fired Under Mysterious Circumstances
Following the sixth season of the show, the History Channel replaced the entire original cast members under mysterious circumstances for the upcoming season. Neither the network officially announced their firing, nor did they share the reasons for doing that. According to Starcasm magazine, the fired cast members claimed that they weren’t given a reason and they were just told they weren’t returning to the show. It was followed by rumors that they were fired because they asked for too much money to extend their contracts; however, they denied it.
History Channel Attempted To Silence One of the Fired Cast Members
Shortly after she was fired, Elizabeth Cavalier – better known by her nickname Gator Queen Liz – expressed her anger on social media.
She wrote in one of her Facebook posts, “Due to unknown reasons by the production company ‘Original Media’ my family and myself, along with other original cast members, besides Jeromy and David, will no longer be participating in the Swamp People series, starting with season 7.”
Liz added, “It saddens me to know that our fans are the ones who will suffer from these unexplained actions by the new management of this production company.” Thereafter, Liz claimed that she was told by both History Channel and Original Media that she shouldn’t talk about the firings; why did they try to silence her? They didn’t seem to want her to bring out more dirty laundry about them, and their dismissing of former members.
They Are Allowed to Hunt Only for 30 Days
At one point, the popularity of alligator skin leather led to overhunting in Louisiana, which greatly endangered the species, so the state decided to outlaw hunting.
The practice of alligator hunting has been applied for more than four decades and has been strictly regulated according to The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Most importantly, the season of hunting ‘gators lasts only for 30 days. Moreover, hunting at night is prohibited, So, the cast members of the show have to be fast as well as careful, in order to have as many successful hunts as possible and meet their annual quotas in the allotted time.
They Are Accused of Being Cruel to Animals
“Swamp People” has been under fire from animal rights activists ever since it premiered, who petitioned the History Channel to cancel the show. According to the protest site ForceChange.com magazine, their petition stated that the show “does nothing to educate people about history, it only promotes killing. It is very immoral to air a show that depicts people torturing and killing animals.”
Even renowned British actor Dominic Monaghan, known for his roles in “Lost” and “Lord of the Ring”, reviled the show. According to E! News magazine, he tweeted, “If alligator populations need to be controlled, I understand, but the act should not be glorified on TV. Disgusting. These are living creatures.” He also added that “Swamp People” is nothing more than “a show about rednecks killing ‘gators.”
However, The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries describe the regular alligator harvest as a conservation effort, stating that it’s carefully controlled and numbers regulated, as well as populations carefully audited annually.
The Cast Members Usually Have to Take Antibiotics
When it comes to alligators hunting, the cast members are obliged to take many precautions to stay safe and sound – they usually take antibiotics to protect themselves from various infections and diseases that ‘gators can transmit.
We all know that the gators aren’t picky about what they eat, and even though infection may not effect them, they can be carriers, in which case one nip would be enough to infect the hunter.
Alligators Aren’t So Massive
“Swamp People” viewers can easily be fooled that the alligators hunted on the show are massive, that they weigh about 500 pounds. However, the reality is a little different, since giant ‘gators are very rare. It’s clear that the hunters usually catch a number of average-sized gators during the hunting season, after which they choose only the largest ones for the show.
The Success of “Swamp People” Affects Alligator Prices
A huge success of the show has had a significant impact on the alligator meat industry. In his interview with Louisiana Travel magazine, Troy Landry said, “Since the show came out and showed us fishing alligators, it’s been very positive for the sale of alligator meat.”
He continued, “The demand for alligator meat has almost doubled – it don’t look like it affected the hide or skin sales as much, but it has effected it a little bit to the positive.”
Moreover, Miami News Times magazine reported that shows like “Swamp People” and “Gator Boy” have “fueled a surge in prices as alligator meat became a novelty in restaurants throughout the South”, and that “trappers couldn’t catch enough alligators to meet the demand.”
Lucky Shirt for Editing Purposes
Troy Landry distinguished himself among the other crew members by always wearing a striped polo shirt. It became his trademark, and he opened up about it in his interview with Louisiana Travel magazine, saying, “It is my lucky shirt, and I had about seven or eight of ’em and I’m down to about three now. I’m trying to find me some new ones, and the wife can’t find none that’s exactly the same. […] I need to find me some new ones and we’ve been looking, and they are hard to find exactly like that. But it is my lucky shirt. That’s why I catch all those big ones—I always wear that shirt.”
Ain't nothin' like some Louisiana cookin' this #Thanksgiving. #SwampPeople
Besides wearing it for good luck, Landry also wears it always “for edition purposes,” as he explained in a Facebook post. He wrote, “I know everyone is wondering why I wear the same shirt? The answer is: we all do! Mine just stands out because of the stripes,” and then added, “We bought ten of the same shirt so they don’t have to get waged everyday.” He probably wanted to write “washed” instead of “waged”. Anyway, you get the point.
Troy Landry Sues Companies for Using His Catchphrases
Troy Landry is also known for creating a number of catchphrases. Some of the most popular are “Choot ‘Em”, “Mudda Fricka”, “Tree Shaka”, and “Tree Breaka”. To the surprise of the large part of the audience, Troy has shown that he is quite possessive when it comes to these catchphrases – according to Insurance Journal magazine, Troy filed a lawsuit against three companies for using his sayings on their merchandise without his agreement in January 2012.
— #SwampPeople (@SwampPeople) October 15, 2020
He said that his own company, Troy Landry Productions, should be the only one that sells items with his catchphrases.
Troy Landry Lives in a Luxury House
When he isn’t filming the show, Troy is focused on running his own crawfish harvesting business. In his 2014 interview with Wide Open Spaces magazine, Landry said, “The show’s been good for us, and we’re making a lot of money doing other stuff.” He also added that he hauls between five and six million pounds of the critters annually. Besides that, he makes around 230 appearances per year as a guest-star “at trade shows, store openings and private parties,” which also brings him income.
It appears that the most popular star of the show is making a lot of money, since he lives in a luxury house with his wife Brenda, who is a teacher by profession.
According to TVOM magazine, the house is completely made of cypress which he found in the bayous. It is located literally next to a Louisiana waterway, so he can enjoy the water whenever he wants.
Roger Rivers Jr. Sold Meat Illegally
Several cast members have had problems with the law – one of them is Roger Rivers, Jr. In May 2017, he was arrested and booked on, believe it or not, 20 charges – 18 related to wildlife violations and two related to drugs. To be more precise, his charges include: “six counts of selling alligator snapping turtles, three counts of selling without a reptile/amphibians collector’s license, three counts of taking alligators without a license, two counts of failing to tag an alligator, two counts of selling fish caught recreationally, two counts of possession of marijuana, one count of selling alligator meat illegally and one count of selling deer meat,” according to KTBS-3 News.
This guy seems to have been quite busy ignoring the law! Nonetheless, he was released the same day on a $10,000 bond.
ZZ Loupe Appeared on “Trading Spouses”
Long before he became known as an alligator hunter, “Swamp People” star Zamariah ‘ZZ’ Loupe made his debut in the world of the entertainment. At the age of seven, he appeared on the reality show “Trading Spouses”, along with his mother. On the show, his mother switched places with vegan Barbara Gates, who tried to give him advice on nutrition, but the seven-year-old ZZ paid no attention to it.
ZZ Loupe – A Professional Wrestler
As soon as he left “Swamp People”, ZZ Loupe started pursuing a career as a professional wrestler. He joined the ranks of the World Wrestling Entertainment, and singed with the WWE Performance Center. ZZ made his debut competing in the sixth season of the WWE series, entitled “Tough Enough,” and finishing as the male runner-up.
Moreover, he was the cast member of the WWE reality series “Breaking Ground”. However, his wrestling career didn’t last long, since he was released from WWE after only a year.
Chase Landry Was Arrested for Shooting at a Shrimp Boat
In September 2016, Troy Landry’s son Chase Landry, was arrested for shooting at a shrimp boat while he was hunting alligators in Bayou Chene. According to Starcasm magazine, he admitted that he shot at the boat because the boaters didn’t want “to slow down and would have sunk their boat.” Luckily, it was just a warning shot, and no one was hurt since he hit “a plastic gas can which was on top of the cabin of the commercial shrimp boat.” Chase was eventually charged with illegal discharge of a weapon, and booked into jail, but shortly afterwards, the conflict was swept under the rug.
RJ and Jay Paul Had a Road Rage Incident
Back in 2013, TMZ magazine reported that R.J. Molinere and his son Jay Paul Molinere “got into an argument with a 24-year-old man” while they were driving on a highway. Instead of continuing on their way, the father and son team followed the man to a nearby store, and attacked him with a beer bottle. About a month later, they surrendered and claimed that they weren’t guilty. They were charged with aggravated battery, and released on $1,000 bail.
Nick Payne Attacked a Policeman
The former cast member of the show, Nick Payne, hit the headlines back in 2011, when he attacked a police officer and ended up in jail. According to TMZ magazine, the police report says that they were called to a domestic disturbance. When the police officers got there, Payne attacked one of them with his “hands/fist/feet”, and then fled the scene. In no time he was arrested for “disturbing the peace, resisting arrest and felony battery of a police officer.” – his bail was set at $10,000.
Since he didn’t have enough money to pay it, Payne remained in custody for some time. The network’s rep told the magazine, “Nicholas has not been part of the show since filming concluded last season, and we have no additional comment.”
Nick Payne’s Troubled Past
After that arrested, it was found that the former reality star has a troubled past; it wasn’t his first problem with the law, since he already had an active arrest warrant from another state for a 2010 battery case. Six years earlier, Payne also pleaded guilty for another assault incident, for which he was sentenced to five days of community service.
Trapper Joe Has a Long history of Domestic Assault Charges
It seems that fighting alligators wasn’t enough for “Swamp People” star Noces Joseph LaFont, Jr., also known by his nickname Trapper Joe. In July 2012, he was arrested for domestic violence and booked into custody.
TMZ magazine reported that he tried to burn his girlfriend with a lit cigarette, and then punched her in the chest after the two got into an argument at the Buena Vista Hotel and Spa. An eyewitness told the magazine that Joe even “grabbed her by the arms and shook her very hard.”
After that, he was arrested on a domestic abuse battery charge once again in June 2013, and then once again in May 2015, when he was accused of breaking two of his girlfriend’s ribs after he pushed her hard.
So, does all this excite you enough about the behind-the-scenes goings-on with “Swamp People”? We hope that you enjoy the series, and the characters appearing in it, now that you know a little more about them.