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By Emily Bontrager
It is not every day that a local teen travels down to Louisiana to hunt an alligator. In the middle of September, Luke Krogmeier, age 15, headed down to Louisiana to try his luck at alligator hunting.
Luke lives outside of Kahoka, Missouri with his parents, Craig and Sarah Krogmeier. He is an avid hunter and loves to hunt deer. His favorite weapon to use while hunting is a bow.
“I mostly enjoy sitting in the woods and just the experience,” Luke explained.
Luke’s sister, Allie Brothers, lives in Louisiana with her husband Kyle and their four daughters. The Brothers family has their own YouTube channel, Brothers Sisters Outdoors, where the family post videos of their hunting trips, fishing trips, and much more.
Some of their videos include hunting gators, deer, hogs, and other animals.
This year, Luke had the opportunity to spend time with his family alligator hunting in Louisiana.
“My dad was going to go alligator hunting with his granddaughters and the opportunity came up and I thought it would be a cool experience,” Luke explained.
According to Sarah, the Brothers family obtains alligator tags through a lottery and that determines how many alligators they can shoot in one season.
“The first year they got four tags and this year they got double that,” Sarah explained.
At the beginning of this year’s 2022 alligator season, Maribeth, Luke’s niece, shot a 12-foot gator. This has been her biggest gator she has killed.
From September 14 through September 19, Luke and the hunting group tried to catch a gator. Luke was accompanied on the boat by his father Craig, his brother-in-law Kyle, nieces Norah and Maribeth, and his hunting buddy Tristan McAfee, who is 4 years old and from Kahoka, Missouri.
Every day, Luke and the hunting crew went out on the water to bait the seven lines to try to catch an alligator. The group baited the lines with chicken, which was attached to a hook and line.
“The alligators think it is a bird sitting on top of the water, so they come and get them,” Luke explained.
The group traveled to a few different private properties around Monroe, Louisiana, which is where the famous Robertson family lives. The Robertson’s starred in the hit television show on A&E called Duck Dynasty.
In one of the ponds the bait lines were set in, the alligators were killing ducks, which did not sit well with the owner.
“The gators were stealing ducks in a duck hunting pond, so the guy wanted to get some of them out of the area,” Luke said.
In some cases, alligators can become a nuisance to property owners. The hunters help these areas by decreasing the alligator population during the hunting season.
“They do have a bit of a gator problem and one of Kyle’s friends’ in-laws had two dogs come up missing over the last two months and they think it was a gator,” Sarah said.
Around 5:00 p.m. on September 15, the group set out to check their lines and they found just what they were looking for.
“Before we got the boat in the water, we saw what we thought was its tail flicking up. Whenever we saw it, we thought it was the one we saw from the night before. We thought it was a 12-foot gator wrapped up in the line, but it turns out it was a little alligator pulling moss up on the line,” Luke said.
The bait line was tied around a tree that was by itself in the water. Kyle paddled the boat up to the line and carefully pulled the gator up to the surface so Luke could shoot it. Luke had to aim for the soft spot on the gator’s head for a clean kill.
“It was pretty easy because I got the gun as close to its head as I could,” Luke said.
After a successful kill, Kyle and Luke pulled the gator into the boat, taped its mouth shut, and tagged it.
His father, Craig, was able to film the whole experience.
“He more so enjoys watching other people hunt, than hunting himself,” Luke said.
Luke’s gator was the only gator the group caught that week, and it was 7-feet and 11 inches long. One of the things that the group noticed, was that the gator was missing part of its foot.
One of Luke’s favorite parts of the gator hunt was shooting the gator. He also enjoyed spending time with his family in Louisiana.
Luke decided to bring back some of his gator meat and to mount his gator’s head. He should be received his mounted head in December.
If given the opportunity, Luke would like to go on an another alligator hunt. He recommends that other hunters go on a hunt if they have the chance because it is a great experience to be a part of. To check out his video of his alligator hunt, you can visit Brothers Sisters Outdoors YouTube channel or Facebook page.