Father and sun gator hunting duo R.J. and Jay Paul Molinere spent close to a decade on the hit History Channel series “Swamp People.” The pair instantly became fan-favorites for their fearlessness and skill in the face of wrangling 500-plus lb gators. But how did they end up on the show in the first place?
Well, one could say they were born for it. R.J., Jay Paul’s father, hails from the United Houma Nation of Native Americans. In an interview with Powows.com, he described how hunting alligator is a cultural tradition that dates back centuries for his people.
The skill is handed down from generation to generation. So, of course, he raised his son in the same manner. Fascinatingly, gator hunting was outlawed for a decades-long period in the mid 20th century due to overhunting. When it was finally reintroduced on a seasonal basis in the 1970s, R.J.’s mom taught him how to hunt.
Come 2011, “Swamp People” was looking to diversify the cast a bit following Season 1. Naturally, R.J., Jay Paul, and their cultural heritage proved a perfect fit for the show.
“After the first season had been filmed the show was wanting to add someone of Native American heritage for Season 2. They were put in touch with me but while we talked they said they were looking for just 1 guy,” R.J. said. “I told them I had a partner and couldn’t do it without him, they were not sure it was gonna work but took footage of Jay Paul and I back with them to show to the producers, anyway. Then we got a call and they said they liked what they saw and wanted us for the show.”
The pair went on to appear in more than 100 episodes of “Swamp People.”
What Are the Former ‘Swamp People’ Stars Doing These Days?
According to IMDb, R.J. and Jay Paul Molinere haven’t been involved with “Swamp People” since 2019.
Per The Cinemaholic, the duo departed the show following Season 10 without any announcements from them or the network. Apparently, they ran into some legal trouble in 2016. Though that was all cleared up years before they made their exit.
Yet, “Swamp People” fans are still curious about what happened to the Molineres. Well, not to worry. Jay Paul’s Instagram account reveals a seemingly content gator hunter who is busy raising a family.
Based on his feed, Jay Paul is living his best life with his wife and kids. It appears that he keeps himself busy by continuing to hunt anything and everything under the sun. He’s even gotten his kids involved. They may not be ready for gator quite yet, but rest assured, dad and grandpa will still have a few tricks up their sleeves when the time comes.