“One, you have to really love it. Two, you have to sacrifice things for it. Three, you get out of it what you put into […]
Written by: Lily Landreth< Back to Articles
A conversation with Rowdy Parrott could easily whip up a person’s appetite. The 24-year-old professional steer wrestler comes from Mamou, Louisiana, and has Cajun cooking in his genes, whether it’s with game he’s harvested or crawfish that his family raises. “We eat a lot of wild game,” says Rowdy. “We get duck, squirrel, deer, all kinds of different things. You can put squirrel in rice gravy, and ducks, we breast them or bake them, or cook them in rice and gravy too.”
Rowdy grew up knowing where the food on the table came from, helping his family farm until they switched to raising crawfish four or five years ago. They raise the crawfish in ponds formed by rice fields. The crawfish burrow underground when the rice fields are drained and harvested, then return to the surface when it rains and are harvested from November through July. Rowdy’s family harvests as many as 400-500 sacks of crawfish a day, and he helps with loading and shipping them to restaurants and stores.
Rowdy also loves hunting with his family, especially duck hunting with his dad and brother. “We love it. We get up early in the morning and go hunting in the rush fields, and we have some pretty good dogs. I have a cousin who does the training. It’s so fun; it’s addicting. Duck hunting is usually fast-paced. You might sit in a blind and talk, and deer hunting is more quiet, sitting in a stand and waiting.” As much as he enjoys the action of duck hunting, Rowdy likes the quiet of deer hunting even more. He hunts white-tail deer on his in-laws’ ranch in West Texas, where deer season runs November to January. “They’ve done a lot of work out there, so it’s all set up. Duck hunting is fast-paced, but I like sitting and watching all the deer and being outdoors. My wife, Lynette, likes to hunt. She doesn’t do it as much now that we have our son, Pacen, but she went with me a couple times this year, and I’m ready for Pacen to start getting old enough to do it.”
While Pacen isn’t quite old enough to go hunting yet — he’ll turn 1 in May — he is a seasoned traveler already, trekking down the road with his parents since he was 6 weeks old. Rowdy met Lynette through rodeo, competing with one of her cousins before he started pro rodeoing. She rodeoed in high school and continues to ride horses with Rowdy. “I couldn’t do this without my family,” says Rowdy. “They have been amazing and always supported me and helped me get up and down the road.” He’s the first in his family to rodeo at this level, though his grandfather fought bulls. “We showed cattle and would always go to rodeos. I just liked it and decided I was going to try to do it, and I got hooked!” Rowdy started with team roping and made it to the NHSFR in 2009, followed by winning the LHSRA state title in steer wrestling in 2011. “I used to do all the events, but I just love the rush that you get steer wrestling, and the contact. I’ve always loved it since I first started,” says Rowdy, who made four trips in all to the NHSFR. He and his parents, Mitch and Tammy, and brother and sister, Remey and Tobi, also traveled to the IFYR during his high school career. Rowdy won PRCA Steer Wrestling Rookie of the Year in 2014 and made his debut at the WNFR in 2017 riding his gelding George. “To go there and do it was awesome — there’s not many other words for it. That topped it all, and I wanted to do better, of course, but I was satisfied with my first NFR and I’m just ready to go back.”
Rowdy finished 12th in the steer wrestling world standings, and he’s sitting in the top 20 this season after making the rounds at the winter stock shows and rodeos in Texas, including The American Semi-Finals. His younger brother, Remey, is steer wrestling for McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and entering PRCA rodeos as well. “He goes at it pretty hard, and he’s doing pretty great,” says Rowdy, who also rodeoed on the MSU team and majored in criminal justice. “This is my job and it’s all I want to do. I love competing. The main goal is to go back to the NFR and chase that gold buckle.”