Troy Landry is an American hunter, fisherman and TV personality, born on 9 June 1961, in Pierre Part, Louisiana USA. He’s known for being the star of the reality TV series “Swamp People”.
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Troy was born Duffy and Mrytle Landry’s first of four sons. Although there’s no information about Troy’s childhood, it’s known he studied in Pierre Part Primary School and Middle School.Along his brothers Guy and Bubba, he started fishing and hunting at an early age following their family’s tradition.
Of French descent, his parents faced many problems growing up as they didn’t speak English well, and were economically underprivileged, Troy declared: ‘My parents didn’t have electricity or power. They grew up with nothing’.
Troy Landry is a skilled fisherman, dedicating from eight to nine months a year in harvesting and marketing crawfish. Earnings from commercial fishing allowed Landry to establish his own seafood restaurant in 1992.
In addition, Troy has helped his father to set-up his own bait shop named Duffy’s Shell, which also serves as one of their hometown’s few gas stations. Baits sold at the store are caught by Troy himself, as buying it is more expensive: ‘It comes from the East Coast. We used to get bait from Florida to Maine for crawfishing, but now we compete with everybody for bait. We even compete with people at Sea World for bait. We used to pay 10-12 cents per pound.
Now, because they eliminated commercial fishing in a lot of states, we have to pay up to 40 cents per pound.’
Not only is fishing Landry’s main occupation and principal source of income, he considers it a hobby as well, catching turtles, frogs and catfishes in his spare time.
Troy Landry has been skillfully hunting gators for decades, job for which he’s known as “King of the Swamp” in his natal Louisiana.
American gators are legally hunted in various south-eastern states of US in a tradition dating back to 1700’s, seasons usually lasting four weeks in each designated zone. Troy regularly takes part in this dangerous practice two times a year, starting 25 August in East Zone, its end giving him a free week until the start of September, when another season starts in West Zone.
Alligator skin is well sold as a luxury item internationally, though in recent years its price has lowered from $40 to $12 for 1ft (0.3m) for hide, which has almost made Landry stop this hunting: ‘It’s almost not worth killing a big gator. It’s almost not worth it. You have to wait so long for them to get that big.’
Despite this, demand for gator meat has been increasing steadily, which has helped to sustain Troy’s business. Moreover, gator trapping is a profession Troy has dedicated many years of his life to, therefore finding success at it: ‘We usually catch alligators when nobody else is catching any. I don’t think it’s because we are better hunters, I think it’s just because we have a little more experience and a few little tricks up our sleeves, that others may not always think of.
We manage to catch five or six really big ones every year. Most hunters only catch one every 10 years. Paying attention to the little things makes a difference’.
Swamp People – TV Debut
Troy was cast to appear in the reality TV series “Swamp People”, which premiered on 22 August 2010 on History Channel. The show focuses not only on Landry, but also on other Louisiana-based hunters, who risk their lives catching gators in Atchafalaya River Basin’s swamps.
Landry usually appears in the show alongside his son Jacob Landry, and others hunters such as his friend Clint Landry and his own brothers Guy and Bubba.
His popularity in the show resulted in him starring in its 2018 spin-off “Swamp Mysteries with Troy Landry”, which has been significant to Landry’s life, unexpectedly changing it: ‘They’re pulling me in all directions. I’m enjoying it though. I like to make other people happy. I put other people before me. I never expected this to happen. I figured fishermen would enjoy the show, but not so many people from so many different walks of life.’
Despite the good reception the show has gathered, Troy was initially worried about show’s representation of gator hunting and what it entails: ‘It’s real nasty in the boat; at the end of the day, it gets ugly. I was really worried they were going to make it a blood battle on TV. I find History Channel did an awesome job. They show us harvesting the gator but didn’t focus a whole lot on the killing part.’
He’s also content about producers including his family and other’s hunters in the show, positively portraying their simple lifestyle.
“Swamp People” has changed other aspects of people’s lives as well, as not only tourism during gator hunting season has increased in Pierre Part thanks to the show, but also demand and consumption of alligator meat.
Troy married Bernita on 26 September 1981. Although there’s no information about the couple’s history and first meeting, it is known Bernita was previously married to Randy Hotard, with whom she had a son named Brandon in 1976.
Troy developed a strong relationship with his stepson, who has appeared in “Swamp People” accompanying his step-dad in his gator hunting journeys.
To show his gratitude, Brandon posted a photo on his official Facebook page commemorating 2013’s father’s day: ‘Some may consider it unfortunate that I’ve had to endure divorced parents. But I consider myself blessed to have two great dads who have raised me and guided me through my life.’
Bernita welcomed two sons with Landry, named Jacob and Chase; both are recurrent stars in “Swamp People” and hunt full time with their father.
Reportedly, Landry’s family earned an estimated of $25,000 per “Swamp People” episode. Beside this, Troy’s commercial fishing and hunting activities has been providing for his family for decades, so his estimated net worth is over $2 million, as of mid-2020.
Troy Landry is a man of white ethnicity, who is 5ft 8ins (1.77m) tall and weighs around 195lbs (88kgs). Despite his TV star status, Troy remains humble, and usually wears simple clothes and caps.
Troy Landry’s appearances on TV have affected his family in a positive way, he told Louisiana Travel: ‘My momma went to the doctor last week in Baton Rouge, and when she told somebody she was from Pierre Part, they asked, ‘Do you know the Swamp People?’ She said, ‘Yeah, one of them is my son.’ My momma told me she had to take pictures with these people and sign autographs for them. It’s unbelievable, yeah, it’s unbelievable.’
Troy has a signature Ralph Lauren shirt, which he wears for good luck.
Besides turtles, Troy’s favorite food is grilled alligator, he told Louisiana Travel: ‘We pan fry it, and we make a sauce piquante, a stew, that’s very good. The white meat, we like to grill it or fry it up or put it on the fire pit.’
Although Troy has managed to live off the land (or water) his entire life, there have been hunting and fishing seasons in which he has hit a bad luck streak. Seeing himself in need of money during those times, Troy worked as helper in a friend’s construction company.
Off-gator season, Troy still goes deer hunting.