The swamps and bayou’s that surround the New Orleans area are one of the greatest outdoor sanctuaries in the world. Known as The Sportsman’s Paradise, it should be near the top of your list of places to visit while in the Big Easy.
Swamp tours are a great family adventure while on vacation in the Big Easy. Most of them take about 4 hours door to door and buses leave from Downtown/The French Quarter. Many companies will provide combo trips with either a plantation tour or a walking tour of the French Quarter. It is best to go on a nice day. If it is raining too hard, most of the tours will be canceled. Pricing is cheaper for kids and drive-ups at most companies.
The fishing outside of New Orleans is some of the best in the world. Trips are about $300-$500 for a group. The only down-side is that the weather, wind, and tide all have to be good or the trip will be a bust. The time of year doesn’t matter here as much as it does in other places, but the day-to-day conditions have a big impact on fishing. The reason for this is that the water is so muddy that when it gets ‘dirty’ the fish just don’t bite.
The Gator Season is during the month of September and is highly regulated. You must have a permit (and typically you must have right to land to get a permit), to harvest a gator. While you get to kill your gator with the weapon of your choice, there is a catch. The camp will catch the gator first on a huge meat hook with half a chicken, much like fishing. They hang the hook on a tree branch about 2 feet over the water and the gator then goes up for the chicken and gets hooked. Then you drive up in the morning and kill the hooked gator. So harvesting your gator is even less sporty than a ‘European Hunt.’ Trips run about $1000 – $4000.
WHAT IS A EUROPEAN HUNT?
For those of you that have never been on a ‘European Hunt’, some people ‘raise pheasant’ (a pheasant is a wild cousin to a chicken) and throw them off towers and let their patrons shoot them. Don’t worry about missing your wild chicken on the way down; most establishments will go out and kick-em to get your chicken back in the air. Yes, I really do have buddies that do this….