The view as Lindsey sets out of one of her biggest hunts ever. But like most outdoor excursions,
this adventure and the excitement that came with it really began long before she showed up for the hunt.
The Reel Deal: Chasing Swamp Monsters
by Lindsey Lucas
Many people tend to write just about the experience of a fishing or hunting trip – and obviously, that is the highlight of any special trip.
But something they always seem to forget is the feelings getting ready for such a trip. The joy and excitement in the anticipation of the trip is a big part of the whole experience.
My most recent trip was to the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Mississippi to experience an alligator hunt. When I saw my dad posted on Facebook that I was drawn for the gator hunt with Sippi Girls, I was extremely excited. I texted my dad saying, “A gator hunt!”
The feeling of excitement just overwhelmed me. The most dangerous thing I have done so far was a snake-grabbing rodeo in Mississippi but this time I was going on a hunt for an animal that could practically eat me.
As I counted down the days for my biggest hunt yet, I could feel the excitement AND a sense of fear coming. I had no clue what to expect. I had been told that in Mississippi, we would be hoping for a new state record.
At the time, the state record was 14-feet and three inches. The thought of catching a gator bigger than that gave me the chills. I could already imagine me standing behind a gator bigger than me. I knew doing this hunt would be a huge opportunity to me since I have never met another 16-year-old girl who has gone on an alligator hunt.
Dad and I have decided that since I have school Monday and the trip was on a Sunday, we would drive to Mississippi and immediately after the hunt we would drive straight home for me to get back in time for school.
Not really knowing what to expect we put the reservoir in the GPS and off we went. With seven hours ahead of us, there were plenty of naps and stories shared. With the clock ticking down minute by minute, the nerves started working up all over again. I start watching videos of gator hunts and looking at photos trying to get an idea of what I have gotten myself in to.
The more I looked at photos the more excited I got picturing myself behind a gator that big.
When we finally arrive to the Reservoir and now all I feel is pure excitement. As we head towards the boat, I can feel reality setting in, I was truly about to go on one of my dream hunts. I put my life vest on, sit down and off we went into the deep swamps.
I was absolutely blessed and humbled to win this hunt with the Sippi Girls. Rob and Emma Powell, along with their buddy, David Bridges, put us on them. Our first gator was a little more than 11-feet-long, and he had been double-banded! What a trophy!
The hunt itself was incredible and perhaps a story for another day. But the entire experience of this and every other hunting or fishing adventure – whether for gators or for crappie – are the reason those of us who love the outdoors do what we do.
Lindsey Lucas, 16, is obsessed with all things outdoors. She dreams of becoming an accomplished outdoor media provider and influencer. She hopes the tips and experiences she shares will prove inspirational for other young men and women in her Gen Z age group.