Troy Landry has been a part of Swamp People from day one. Deemed the “Steve Irwin of Louisiana,” Landry knows what it takes to come face to face with an alligator and win. For the most part, through the 12 seasons of the History Channel show, Landry and his three boys have built a steady income on alligator hunting.
However, just like with any wild game, some seasons just aren’t as good as others. In those cases, it can be hard to make ends meet, especially since gator season only lasts a month. So, when Landry and other hunters are short on time and luck during the season, it’s a wonder how they make enough income to last the rest of the year. Luckily, the Swamp People star has a backup plan.
For the most part, Landry relies on crawfish to supplement the rest of his paycheck. Unlike gators, crawfish season lasts from February to mid-May, giving fishermen a little more time to gather the catch they need to keep the lights on in their houses.
But that doesn’t mean that making a living off crawfish is any easier. As of 2016, the cost of alligator skin is roughly $17 per foot. Meanwhile, the price per pound of Louisiana crawfish is just four dollars. So, to make the same money off of crawfish as you would a 12-foot gator, you’d need to catch roughly 600 pounds.
‘Swamp People’ Star Says Sometimes ‘It’s Almost Not Worth’ Killing an Alligator
Even when Landry’s had a good gator season, the market for luxury items defines how much he’ll make off of his game. For gator hunters to make a profit, the price per foot of skin needs to be at least $20. Back in 2011, the Swamp People star explained that the price for alligator skin went from $40 to $12 per foot.
“It’s almost not worth killing a big gator,” Landry told TV Tango. “It’s almost not worth it. You have to wait so long for them to get that big.”
So, the Swamp People star has a Plan C.
“If there are no crawfish, we have to do other things,” Landry shared. “My whole life, except for maybe one or two years, where I had to work for somebody else for a few months, I lived off the land. Sometimes your money runs out if you have a couple of bad years in a row. But I’ve been very fortunate.”
He continued, “When the fish wasn’t biting, a friend of mine has a construction company and I was a helper. I’m not afraid to have a shovel in my hands all day. I’d do anything.”
Of course, being a reality television star doesn’t hurt the bank account, either. Landry expressed his gratitude for his spot on the History Channel with Swamp People during the tougher gator seasons.
“The last couple of years the alligator market has been terrible,” he said. “Thank god History Channel came along.”