2013 Python Challenge

Has anyone participated in this python challenge before? I remember hearing about it last year and i think me and a friend are going to do it this year. For anyone that has done it before...it is worth it? hard to find snakes? easy? Do you need a boat or can you hike out to find them



  • Spotsgonefishn'Spotsgonefishn' Posts: 225 Officer
    I think I may be doing this. I truly don't think
    I have much of a chance seeing a python much less killing a big one and winning the thing but why not have a nutty excuse to go walk the 'glades for a day. One of my buddies has had some success snaking in the past so I'll hit him up for some tips. Beer will be a must.
    "From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." -St Arnold of Metz
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,727 Captain
    What's really needed is a serious bounty program for these animals.... and that particularly includes Everglades National Park. If we had such a program you can bet that I'd participate - particularly on nice sunny days when winter is at its coldest...

    To put it mildly these animals are a serious problem in the 'Glades. I haven't seen one swamp rabbit along the road to Flamingo since 2005... (and as a working guide trailering a skiff down to Flamingo for many years, I always enjoyed seeing great numbers just before dark or just before sunrise...). After the rabbits disappeared... then the racoons and possums. Nowadays the only roadkill you'll see are birds and reptiles, period. In the meantime the Park is "studying the problem" and now the darned pythons are showing up in Key Largo... Foxes, bobcats, hawks, and other predators in the areas with these snakes are losing their food source (and their ability to reproduce...), while the pythons are reproducing in great numbers, have no natural predators (a 'gator will eat one... but the pythons are more of a land animal than an aquatic one....).

    Thanks heavens no one has released a breeding pair of tigers into the 'Glades.... since, like the python, they'd be happy as clams in a mangrove jungle area where there's only one road in miles and miles of jungle.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • BluebirdBluebird Posts: 126 Officer
    You know Capt. after the big blow that wrecked the lodge i noticed the marsh rabbits had disappered as well. I wondered if it was a combination of the storm surge and the snakes that may have diminished the numbers we see going through the park and hoped that in some hardwood hammock somewhere they would survive. Buuuuut i could picture a snake just going from burrow to burrow wiping out colonies in no time, especially a big snake. Sad shame! I dont think there would be enough we could do at this point to eradicate them.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,727 Captain
    We may not be able to scratch them as you say... but at least we ought to get serious about trying to get rid of them... For anyone up north that thinks the python is just a south Florida oddity... you really need to see the video some scientific types did on them. They found by actual experiment that the python can easily withstand winters as far north as the Carolinas (six of the animals kept outdoors an entire winter in much colder conditions than we have in Florida survived just fine, thank you.....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • 91tiger91tiger Posts: 511 Officer

    I have been wondering for several years what happened to all the small game in the park. I remember my first camping/fishing trip to Flamingo back in 1997, I stopped and got some chicken at the Mobile station on the way in knowing it would be my last decent food for about 4 to 5 days. I was setting up my tent and heard a noise up in my boat and 2 raccoons had opened the compartment on my Maverick and were running off with all my chicken. The coons were as thick as fleas around the campground and the old restaurant every time I went down. Then after the lodge was destroyed by Wilma, my fishing in the park was mostly running over from Islamorada. In the last 3 years since I got my little RV I have been camping/fishing down there a lot more again and I have yet to see a single raccoon or possum around the campground. I do see them along the gulf shorelines occasionally but I have really been wondering what happened to them at the campground. I always thought most of the pythons were up closer to Homestead but there is no question something has eradicated the small game all the way down at Flamingo too.

    I have never seen a python while camping down there but there was a juvenile rattle snake in the T-loop campground shower this October. My buddy was nice enough to catch it and bring it back in the RV for me to see. I left him and his new friend in the RV.

    Just like the times I have fished with you, I never seem to stop learning from you Bob.
  • Shady_GradyShady_Grady Posts: 52 Deckhand
    I have never done it but a few buddies and I are talking about doing it. If nothing else it would be a good excuse to get out in the woods and it would be sweet to kill one if it did happen. :USA
  • BluebirdBluebird Posts: 126 Officer
    I saw that study, they actually climebed trees to get heat and eat the birds that would land on the tree. Adaptive SOBs !!
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,727 Captain
    I can't claim to have seen very many pythons since the only time I see them is along the road down to Flamingo. The last one, a year or two ago, was only two or three miles from Flamingo and every inch of 20+ feet long (it was stretched right across my lane with seven or eight feet left in the grass). I spoke to one Park biologist who said that they were in large numbers near Flamingo..... my best guess is that they're dispersing into areas with more food... as their food supply in one area diminishes.... and that's probably why they're being found in the Key Largo area now....

    Like I said, they're a serious problem that needs action now....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • captrvcaptrv Posts: 146 Officer
    Back in the mid to late 90s my buddy was living and working at Flamingo. He would find those suckers warming up on the service roads and would sell them to the pet stores in Homestead. They had to start turning him away because they couldn't sell them faster than he was bringing them in. I can only imagine how many there must be now!
  • MoganSlayaMoganSlaya Posts: 131 Officer
    Those pythons aren't just in the glades....My buddy and I were heading out Black point channel one morning and the bay was like a lake...I had just jumped on plane and noticed 100 yards in front of us something swimming on top of the water. I motored up to it and saw it was a baby python. Well about 1.5-2ft, and we grabbed it. It rode in my console storage the entire day, and my buddy gave it to a friend. We did call the FWC to report the finding and they stated that they had been turning up around turkey point and black point areas recently. Never seen another one, but that morning definately suprised me!!

    Assembly Solutions LLC
    "solving ALL your assembly needs"
    Put down the instructions....and call for a qoute!
  • tj5485tj5485 Posts: 139 Officer
    If anyone plans on doing this. shoot me a pm. I dont know anything about catching them, but im all in for an extra helping hand
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,727 Captain
    If it's me going after them "catching" wouldn't describe how it would work. Every one of those critters would be in two pieces before they went into the bag....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • searenitysearenity Posts: 117 Officer
    captrv wrote: »
    Back in the mid to late 90s my buddy was living and working at Flamingo. He would find those suckers warming up on the service roads and would sell them to the pet stores in Homestead. They had to start turning him away because they couldn't sell them faster than he was bringing them in. I can only imagine how many there must be now!

    Where are the python pics? Everyone claimed there were thousands of snakes? Has anyone caught one yet?
  • dougmaysdougmays Posts: 288 Officer
    I went out with a couple buddies saturday and sunday a couple weekends ago and we sludged around in the glades and drove a bunch of back trails...saw nothing! Sunday saw a bunch of gators, moccasins, black racers, and even a deer.

    i'm not to sure how "nuisance" these creatures are. Only 37 caught in 3 weeks from what i heard
  • HialeahAnglerHialeahAngler Posts: 9,601 Officer
    Lucky is always on a python hunt.
  • rodzrodz Posts: 659 Officer
    I have caught Boa Constrictors several times in my backyard. First one I took to a reptile shop out in west Dade and the owner told me of a guy in the early 1990's that was about to get busted by the Feds for possession of exotic wildlife without a permit. In turn he released his bounty in the nearby Deering Bay area just north of Black Point. This included every snake imaginable, lizards and even some primates. Some survived some didn't. The Boas did. The ones I caught(this year) are youngsters and the shop told me the adults bare about 50 offspring per year, now multiply that times twenty years and you start to get the idea. It's a nice cool day today so they should be out sunning.
  • flatsfisherflatsfisher Posts: 1,381 Officer
    good luck, kill em all
  • FlagtailsFlagtails Posts: 573 Officer
    A couple of years ago I was taking some Scouts on a camping trip to Camp Everglades. The sun was setting and as I drove down the road I see this long (very long) snake crossing the road. It must have been 14 feet or more because it stretched the entire width of one side of the road and was very thick. Well its no longer thick as my four truck tires took care of that. Got out of the car and sure enough it was a Python.

    One less Python in the Everglades.


Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file