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'Swamp People' Star Arrested for Hitting a Cop

10/3/2011 5:56 PM PDT

One of the gator hunters on the History Channel reality show "Swamp People" is rotting away in a Louisiana jail cell ... after cops say he attacked a police officer last month.

TMZ has learned Nicholas Payne -- who served as apprentice to overall-wearing, American flag bandana sporting bad ass Bruce Mitchell -- was arrested on Sept. 23.

According to the police report, cops in St. Tammany Parish, Looooosiana got a call about a "disturbance" at a private home ... and when they got to the scene, Payne committed a battery on one of the responding officers with his "hands/fist/feet."

26-year-old Payne was arrested for disturbing the peace, resisting arrest and felony battery of a police officer. Payne's bail was set at $10,000 -- but he hasn't forked over the cash yet ... so he's still locked up.

A rep for History tells us, "Nicholas has not been part of the show since filming concluded last season ... and we have no additional comment."

Payne is due in court next month.

'Swamp People' Dog Sayin' I'm Out for Good Is a Croc!

10/1/2011 2:20 AM PDT

The loveable gator hunting dog from "Swamp People" is back in action after a heart scare.

Tyler was rushed to a vet back in January after a heart scare.  The dog is a fixture on the boat during gator hunts, but he was sidelined after his medical emergency. 

The good news -- Tyler is back in action.

The bad news -- gator season sucks, because of Tropical Storm Lee, which is wreaking havoc in Louisiana because it heats up and lowers water levels, making it hard for gators to swim and for hunters to catch them.

'Swamp People' Star Mmmmm ... Rodent Stew

7/21/2011 5:00 AM PDT
It ain't your mama's Southern cookin' -- "Swamp Star" Troy Landry tells TMZ, he's working on his own little COOKBOOK featuring real backwoods bayou faves ... and it includes rodent stew!!!!!

According to Landry -- the guy who basically cooks everything on the show -- SEVERAL publishers have already approached him about a book deal since "SP" premiered last year ... but he's still weighing his options.

Landry tells us, he's currently compiling a master list of all his recipes -- which includes his most famous dish called "Nutria Sauce Piquante" ... a gumbo made from a semiaquatic rodent called a nutria ... basically an over-sized rat.

Troy says he picked up his recipes while working at his father's restaurant as a kid -- but don't worry ... we're told the cookbook still has kinda normal things ... you know, like deep South chicken (okay, still scary).

As for his dad's restaurant -- it shut down a few years back. Sad? Yes. Surprising? No comment.

'Swamp People' Star -- Bad Heart Threatens Career

7/18/2011 3:25 PM PDT
The most beloved star of the hit reality show "Swamp People" is in danger of missing Season 3 after a serious heart condition almost took his life earlier this year ... TMZ has learned.

It's not Troy ... or Trapper Joe ... or the badass Guist Brothers -- it's Bruce Mitchell's faithful sidekick Tyler ... the lovable gator hunting dog.

TMZ spoke to a rep for Bruce -- the guy who rocks the overalls and the American flag bandana -- who tells us Tyler was having "heart troubles" back in January ... and had to be rushed to the vet for emergency medical care.

We're told things got so bad "the dog almost died."  
Luckily for Tyler, doctors were able to treat the illness ... and he's been resting at home and taking heart meds ever since.  
The rep tells us Bruce is unsure if Tyler will be able to join him on the boat next season ... saying Bruce is "hopeful...but still not sure."

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