Skip to comments.Florida's 'Python Challenge' draws adrenaline junkies, eco-warriors
Posted on 01/12/2013 4:07:33 PM PST by george76
The chance to traipse through Florida's Everglades in search of wild pythons up to 15 feet long has attracted nearly 700 thrill-seekers from throughout the county.
The Sunshine State is offering cash prizes in the month-long Python Challenge, which begins tomorrow and is aimed at helping to control the exploding population of the non-native Burmese pythons, which have devastated Florida's eco-system. Anyone is eligible for the hunt
cash prizes of up to $1,500 will be given to hunters who catch the largest and most pythons. The pythons that have nearly eradicated entire native species such as deer, bobcats and rabbits are believed to be traceable to abandoned pets and pythons released from a breeding facility destroyed during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that as many as 100,000 exist in the Everglades. Although the snakes are not venomous, experts say they could potentially pose a deadly threat to small children. They kill by squeezing, then swallowing, their prey.
Aside from the obvious goal of reducing the Burmese python population in the Everglades, we also hope to educate the public about Burmese pythons in Florida and how people can help limit the impact of this and other invasive species in Florida, Segelson said. We are also using the Challenge to gauge the effectiveness of using an incentive-based model as one tool to address a challenging invasive species management problem."
The online tutorial recommends that hunters use machetes to decapitate their quarry, or dispatch them with bullets.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we don’t seem to have any of them up in the panhandle.
It would be nice to kill the largest one and get $1500 to boot.
I think the largest is going to make more than one boot... ;-)
*ping of interest*
If it's invasive species you're after you can always come over to Louisiana and play in the Nutria Control Program. Governor Jindal will pay you $5 x tail, plus you might find other buyers for the fur and meat. In 2011-12 the program paid out about $1.7M, so I don't know why you'd want to play around trying to score $1500 for a python :-)
Because while you hunt the python the python hunts you.
Keeps it interesting.
Those Nutria’s run 100 times faster than a slithering python. Therefore lot of wasted bullets for the nutria vs. 1 good aimed shot to kill the python.
I do have one Python I am very partial to.
It’s stainless, and with a 125 grain JHP ‘barks’ very nicely.
Can I borrow Eva Marie for a few days?
Drunk crackers with guns chasing snakes through swamps?
What could possibly go wrong?
[I say ship up ‘em all up to Nutria World and let nature take its course]
The pros on Python Hunters have a rip of a time locating them.
I can’t imagine this is going to be a rousing success...and lots of native snakes are going to get accidentally whacked.
Unseasonable cold snaps have been steadily killing them off, either outright or via respiratory infections, anyway.
The Burms just aren’t built for even the warmest parts of FL.
They’re tropical snakes.
The native gators have been feasting on them happily, though.
PETA is not happy
And you never will.
They’re barely able to survive the ‘cold’ of the glades.
It cracks me up that people in the northeast are terrified that they’re going to be invaded by Burms.
My snakes are in climate controlled containers and when the electricity goes off, I’m in a blind panic to keep them warm until it comes back on.
A few hours below their necessary 90 degree temps will give them respiratory infections.
/looks at 50mm with narrowed eyes
100,000 in the Everglades doesn’t sound like they are exactly going extinct. ;-)
I am not so sure.
South Florida has crocodiles which are generally found only in very warm climates.
Bravo python hunters, git r done.
LOL! You just made my day.
It's too bad FL doesn't put a bounty on the Burms and then make it legal for the hunters to sell the skins to makers of boots, belts, purses, etc. Put some profit in it for the hunter and they'll make a real dent in that invasive species population.
That would really upset the PETA freaks. :)
The only good snake is a dead snake.
I'm taking a vacation to
Flo North Dakota and could use some help with the driving. She'll be safe with me. >:)
Just put a decent bounty on ‘em and they won’t last long.
In Louisiana we call that a "lifestyle choice."
I agree, but a decent bounty could get expensive for Fl with the numbers of them.
Bella, however, is agreeable as long as you let her ride shotgun.
Crocs are a lot tougher than Burms.
That number is bogus.
“PETA is not happy”
Oh, that’s novel.
They’re only happy when they’re killing old ladies’ dogs.
Another invasive species down here in Florida is the Lionfish. They are eating the other fish species on the coral reefs. Fortunately they taste very good and everyone here is encourage to spearfish them. No limits of any kind.
” The only good snake is a dead snake.”
And I’m supposed to feel bad for not being scared of them?
I don’t like the thought of dead ‘hunters’.
They need to be red to match my vest.
[wish I could afford ‘em]
If I spot a snake a good distance from me, they don’t bother me. It is when I almost step on one before I see it that they startle the heck out of me.
I’ve always wondered how you aim for the center of mass on a snake.
No limits, but don't try to handle them. Nasty little buggers with venom that can kill kids and make adults very sick.
With all those hunters, they found a juvenile red rat snake.
That was not a Burm.
The last lines of the report are the giveaway.
Freezing weather = dead Burms.
“Nobody needs a snake that big.”
“Nobody needs that many bullets.”
Think about it.
That photo’s been debunked forever but I really enjoy this guy’s pithy take on it:
1. Pythons are constrictors and this one certainly constricted such a large animal before attempting to swallow it. Therefore the alligator was dead and couldn’t have clawed its way anywhere. Alligators are practically clawless anyway.
2. The python’s head had been chopped off.
3. The simple expanation of this story is thus:
a. Python constricts and swallows Alligator, just as Anacondas do to Caiman everyday in South America.
b. Redneck fisherman sees python in water, easy to club and kill because of the alligator in its belly.
c. Redneck fishman cuts python’s head off for souvenier, naturally cuts open snake’s belly to see what it had swallowed. Curiosity satisfied, redneck throws headless python with protruding alligator back into water.
d. Photographer sees dead python and photographs. Ignorant press concoct ridiculous story about python swallowing live alligator and exploding.
e. mystery solved, end of story Bigger mystery: why are people believing something so stupid?
What in the heck is that a picture of please?
It’s *not* a Burmese Python that swallowed a gator and then “blew up”.
See post #38, above.
There are plenty of videos of alligator - python interaction on youtube.
As to the fragility of pythons perhaps you can explain the rapid growth of pythons in the Everglades and the lack of small native wildlife.
In some areas the native wildlife (birds, racoons, rabbits, squirrels, etc) has been eliminated.
The people who actually work in the park dispute those numbers.
Has no one considered that the same abnormal freezes killing the snakes is affecting everything else, as well?
The Everglades are being squeezed by human encroachment.
There’s a *lot* of building going on right on top of it.
Birds, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels? No, they can take a cold snap with no problem.
In case you missed the link I posted previously featuring the words of those who work most closely with the glades:
As in so many bogus crises, there is massive politics and fear mongering going on.
Feral cats are far more devastating to ecosystems *everywhere* than these isolated Burms could *ever* be yet everyone would rise as one in indignant protest if they declared a National Cat Killing Month.
It is only because these are not cute, furry, doe-eyed mammals that this can be an issue.
Feral hogs are destroying the ecosystems all over the US.
I don’t see any federal laws being passed on them.
I see this issue like others see gun control.
*I* may not want an arsenal of 100 round ‘assault rifles’ myself but I support the rights of others to have them, if they choose to.
We’ve seen ‘breed ban legislation’ quietly slide from today’s most vicious breed to the next breed down the list and I guarantee, the list will keep getting longer until HSUS and PETA get their way and all pets will be outlawed.
*That* is the overwhelming issue, here.
Look at what is -behind- and -beneath- this tempest in a teapot.
It’s not about some wild snakes.
It’s about regulating domesticated animals/pets.
Their brilliance is in picking something ‘scary’ that most people will cheerfully support banning....kinda like ‘scary black guns’.
“PETA is not happy”
You’re only half right.
They are not concerned that the snakes are being killed.
They are concerned about the *method* of killing, as they should be.
Cutting the head off does not kill the animal.
It can and will suffer for quite a long time after decapitation.
PETA is happy to see animals killed, as always.
There’s nothing in your link referring to “breed ban legislation”. The Python Challenge has nothing to do with domestic Pythons.
You keep watching this hand while I pull a rabbit out of a hat with the other:
Let’s not look at what people are doing [very profitably] to the Everglades.
Let’s designate a scapegoat.
Bet the building continues long after the evil snakes have died off.
“but allowing hunters to decapitate pythonswho remain alive and in agony and who will writhe for an hour even after their heads have been cut offis despicably cruel,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said....”
Oh, BTW. Ms Newkirk is an idiot.
I only mentioned your flawed theory on abnormal freezes hurting the warm blooded critters. Never said a thing about over-development.