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July magazine issue on Python Hunting

The article in the July issue about python hunting was pretty cool, but the numbers remain ugly.  The article states there are 30,000 to 150,000 pythons.  In the last "Python Challenge" hunters removed 223 pythons.  Unfortunately that doesn't help at all when the overall population is considered.  Maybe the Python Challenge is good for awareness, but the money would be better spent on other methods.  How about micro drones programmed to find and kill?

Replies

  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,732 Captain
    Python challenge (note the lower case....) - kind of a joke since they aren't allowed to hunt them in the Park - where they're super concentrated... if memory serves... Yes, the Park has a snake hunter's program but that big, much publicized "challenge"  - not in the Park -where I'm working when guiding... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • gogittumgogittum Nature CoastPosts: 3,500 Captain
    Python challenge (note the lower case....) - kind of a joke since they aren't allowed to hunt them in the Park - where they're super concentrated... if memory serves... Yes, the Park has a snake hunter's program but that big, much publicized "challenge"  - not in the Park -where I'm working when guiding... 
    I read something about that.  What's the problem with hunting them in the park ??  Is it something to do with that idiot woman in Talla who wants them killed so "humanely" so's they don't suffer ??  They might squirm around some after, but a bullet thru the brain kills them instantly.
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 494 Deckhand
    My guess is that rule is due to hunting or holding a tournament in a national park is probs not allowed without some serious permitting, if its allowed at all.

    I think drones would be cool but doubt we have the tech that would be rugged enough, small enough, and effective enough to kill them in any meaningful numbers. My idea would be to put out more funding for people killing them or even form a more designated branch of the FWC tasked with removing them. I also think training hunting dogs to sniff them out may be effective.
  • Sonnyboy16Sonnyboy16 Gainesville, FLPosts: 113 Deckhand
    The problem: too many residents moving from NY, NJ to Florida (specifically South Florida and Orlando) that whine to their elected officials (aka politicians) about hunting. If you move to our state - please leave your Northeast "views" behind.
  • BlueRacerBlueRacer Posts: 96 Deckhand
    My drone comment was sort of a joke.  I'm just afraid we need some kind of biological solution rather than just hunting.  Maybe something like the Keys mosquito program.  I just hope the state people are "thinking outside the box" and aren't relying just on hunting.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,732 Captain
    Just to give you a hint of the rules that govern Everglades National Park (where I've been a permitted guide since 1996....)... Drones are prohibited as well - and you need a specific permit to do any commercial filming there as well... Welcome to my world.

    The Park is roughly 90 miles east to west by 90 miles north to south (from Key Largo to Chokoloskee and from the northern boundary - all the way south across the water to Islamorada..  That's a lot of wilderness, water,  and just plain jungle.  In fact there's only one road in the entire Park and it's the road down to Flamingo - all 38 miles of it.  Yes there are a few minor extensions off of that main road and you can add the Loop road up along the northern perimeter - but that's it - and every bit of it prime snake habitat (and pretty much just like where the Burmese python comes from).  We also have a few African rock pythons as well -but the vast majority of the pythons are the Burmese variety.

    Biologists call them "cryptic" meaning if one isn't moving it's hard to see it since it's native camouflage allows it to blend right in with its surroundings... You practically have to step on one to find it in daytime - and the nights are something else - out in the Everglades.... During daytime the pythons rest up - they hunt at night - and they're the perfect predator, dead silent, slow moving, they're designed to hunt warm blooded animals.. They'll go up a tree or down into a burrow - no small warm blooded animal is safe from them - and when they get big - larger prey is on the menu... All of the small animals I was used to seeing, starting in 1974... are gone now and the only roadkill you'll see along that road - are birds or reptiles - no warmed blooded critters at all... 

    Before any of us knew about pythons, back in 2006 I noticed after hurricane Wilma that one year later I wasn't seeing a single little swamp rabbit by the roadside as I towed my boat in the dark just before dawn on the way down to Flamingo.  I asked a Park biologist about it - but never got an answer... A year or two later the news broke about the pythons - and the news hasn't gotten one bit better - all these years later... 

    Something to consider... once those darned snakes run out of food - they're going to move to where there is food... and that's where people live... 

    Anyone wanting to re-post this is welcome to do so... The more people who know just maybe we'll get some serious action on this problem - before someone loses a child.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • 18Egret18Egret Posts: 46 Deckhand
    Very well said Bob...You forgot to mention all the Raccoons. They all gone..... Pete Silot
  • Gary SGary S Posts: 3,177 Captain
    Had a friend catch a python on the way to Flamingo and bring it to the rangers office. They started giving him a bunch of grief about harassing wildlife so he just dropped it on the office floor and walked out.  
  • gogittumgogittum Nature CoastPosts: 3,500 Captain
    Gary S said:
    Had a friend catch a python on the way to Flamingo and bring it to the rangers office. They started giving him a bunch of grief about harassing wildlife so he just dropped it on the office floor and walked out.  
    That's beyond sad....that's a disgrace.  What a pack of ***holes.
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