by Jenna Quick
by LaToya Roberts
Hunting in South Louisiana is a way of life that dates back to the first settlers of the region. It’s a a life of enjoying and living off of the abundant natural resources like ducks, deer, squirrels and rabbits.
“It’s here and we have it here to enjoy,” says Capt. Chuck Comeaux of the Wildlife and Fisheries Department in Thibodaux. “We’re blessed here, in ‘Sportsman’s Paradise.’”
Comeaux says hunting and fishing in Louisiana goes back to the first settlers who hunted to eat, sell or trade.
“Most of our ancestors here, down South, started as hunters,” says Comeaux. “The society became all about hunting and fishing.”
Since then, the hunting tradition has changed a little because of government regulations and less dependence on hunting to survive, Comeaux says. And even though hunting is not the only way to make a living today, some of the traditional practices, passed on from generation to generation, are still common today.
“Hunting is in my blood,” Comeaux says. “My grandpa, my father, me and now two of my sons, we all hunt because that’s what we were raised to do.”
Another local hunter, Houma resident Aaron White, who grew up duck hunting with his dad, says he’s looking forward to passing on the tradition to his own kids one day.
“My dad starting taking me duck hunting when I was really young,” White says. “I’ll never forget the excitement of the upcoming duck season. I still feel the same today.”
Vacherie native and avid hunter Thomas Joseph, Jr. says he has been hunting as long as he can remember — leaving with his dad and brothers before the sun came up and not coming home until after dark.
“I remember helping my daddy prepare for his hunting trips when I was a little boy,” says Joseph, who enjoys small-game hunting like rabbits and racoons best. “I was so excited, that I used to be ready and out of the door before he was. I loved every moment of it.”
Joseph says even though his own children aren’t interested in hunting, he shares his knowledge and love for hunting with many of his friends, nephews and other relatives.
“It was a tradition in my family growing up,” Joseph says. “Even though my daughter doesn’t like to hunt, I’m glad I can call on some of the people that I’m close to to come with me when I have a taste for rabbit stew.”