Alligator Trappers Go Hunting At Beauvoir

BILOXI (WLOX) -- Beauvoir is trying to evict some unwanted visitors. But it's not what you might be thinking. These visitors are four alligators that washed into the Beauvoir bayou with Hurricane Katrina.

Oyster Bayou offers Beauvoir visitors an experience with nature. But there's something in the water they may not be expecting.

"We have four alligators out here. We have two big ones," said Beauvoir Director Richard Forte.

That's why alligator trappers searched the shores of the bayou late Friday morning. Gators plus visitors equals liability.

"We didn't want to lose a tourist. But I wish there was a way we could keep them here, really," said Forte, who often enjoys watching the larger gator sunning itself along the bayou banks.

"Didn't see 'em," said alligator trapper Lynn McCoy, who was part of a team of three.

"We're fixing to walk down this side over here and look down through this," he said, motioning toward the southern side of the bayou.

Four gators arrived at Beauvoir with Katrina.

"I named one Beauregard because General Beauregard and Jefferson Davis did not get along. I thought that would be appropriate to have him named Beauregard. He's about eight feet long," Forte explained.

Beauvoir is one of the more unusual sites for a hunt, but calls about nuisance gators are on the increase. Trappers received between 150 to 200 calls in the three coastal counties last year.

"I think cause there's more alligators now for one thing. And more and more people moving to the water," said McCoy.

Unable to spot the gators, trappers traded binoculars for a fishing pole. Wildlife biologist Matt Brock tried his luck snagging one. He managed to hook... a log.

"A log that's not gonna move," Brock yelled to the other men onshore.

Seems the gators are more sneaky than the trappers.

"They are. They ain't cooperating right this second," a smiling Lynn McCoy admitted.

Score one for Beauregard and his fellow gators this day. But the trappers will be back. Gator hunters know the value of patience and persistence.

"Right now, they ain't working out with us very good. But we're trying," said McCoy, "And we'll be back."

Once the gators are caught, they'll be relocated to the Pascagoula River system. Before they're released, the alligators will be tagged and have monitors attached. It's part of a new project to track the movement and habits of these animals.