A baited hook hangs low to the water of Shell Island, Louisiana where commercial gator hunters Julius and Rebel are part way through the annual alligator hunting season. The state of Louisiana is home to the largest alligator population in the United States, estimated to be almost 2 million. Alligators are North America’s largest reptiles and are considered a renewable resource in an industry that has thrived in America’s deep south for centuries. The first large alligator harvests occurred during the early 1800s. The alligator farming industry in Louisiana alone annually harvests 140,000-170,000 gators which are valued at over $12,000,000.