Outdoors Louisiana Style
The Outdoors as a Way of Life
By Guy Ralph McDonald
With the possible exception of a life and death situation, a permanent change of residence for native south Louisianans is practically nonexistent.
Why is this so? What is the mystique about this land that is below sea level, prone to flooding and destructive hurricanes, seasonally infested with hordes of blood-thirsty mosquitoes, currently having one the highest unemployment rates in the country and some of the highest incidences of cancer?
For many people it’s simple: the outdoors as recreation – or a way of life.
The coastal areas were created by the Mississippi River which literally had no boundaries and formed broad overlapping deltas we call the marsh. It is because of this gift of nature that such a variety of marine and wildlife exist. And although our coastline is only 216 miles long, if one followed the meandering lines of the irregular deltas, the distance actually traveled would be over 15,000 miles.
Alligator Hunting in Lafitte, LA:
The Real Story
By Jamie McDonald
Television programs focusing on the allure of Southern Louisiana have created quite an explosion. Fishing, hunting, cooking and all things Louisiana, particularly the adventure of alligator hunting has reached an all new popularity. An alligator adventure was about to become my own reality. Growing up in the New Orleans area has exposed me to these monsters of the bayou. Living off the land and all things Cajun were going through my mind as I imagined a boat full of gators, each of them having their 81 giant teeth all snapping in unison.
The night before my big alligator hunt was reflection time, as sleep escaped me. There he was, Blondie the Gator Hunter, in his element, his head inches from the gaping jaws of an alligator, doing exactly what he loved, with precision and skills learned through his lifetime. And so it was that I was invited to a recent meeting with Chris Winter, Sr., at his home in Lafitte, LA. I felt a special kinship with him as he spoke of the many things that he learned from his father, reminiscing about the important days in his past.
WHERE THE REDS ARE
You just have to know how and where to find them!
By Guy McDonald
All good camp owners know that there’s always something to be done, whether it’s a new hinge on a screen door, a loose piece of tin on the roof that has to be secured or simply sprucing up that little piece of sportsman’s paradise. Work before pleasure is a philosophy to live by.
It was mid-summer, one of those windless, swelteringly humid days so typical at this time of year. Some friends and I were at my good friend Eddie Barrilleaux’s camp near Bay Round southeast of Lafitte on the day prior to the opening of the white shrimp season. Eddie looked at me and smiled. “I’ll take care of the camp chores. You go out and catch supper. What do you think it’ll be?” “Why, redfish, of course.” I quickly countered. Naturally, I didn’t hesitate. The tide had just begun to fall and dusk was only two hours away. I had to act quickly if I was to make good on my promise of fresh reds.