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*This* is why they spook at logs...Watch Animal Planet! see top of post 1

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  • Florida Cothers: $1500 Contest

    For you Florida cothers: Starting January 12 and ending Feb.10th, we think those are the dates, you can collect burmese pythons in the Glades and win $1,500.00. To help buy a new saddle, or for some other tack.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      Umm...yeah...at first glance this seems like a cool idea. I'm not so sure...finding and removing Burmese Pythons is a good thing but allowing *anyone* who thinks they can do it to go into these parks and run willy-nilly in search of invasives has trouble written all over it.

      How much environmental damage will these folks, and their vehicles cause? How many native snakes will be killed due to misidentification? How will this month-long event be monitored for someone "importing" the biggest or the most snakes? And how many idiots will be nailed by venomous snakes when they just "have to get a picture!"?

      There are a lot of Burms out in the wild, most in Everglades National Park, which is off limits to hunters. Of the areas where hunting will be allowed, two are at the border between Palm Beach and Broward, pretty far north for finding pythons. The other two areas are definitely python territory but finding the snakes will be like finding a needle in a very large haystack. Lucky hunters will find a few along the levies if the night has been cool and the day is sunny. Or they might find one on a tree island if the snake is sluggish from a recent meal. Otherwise, the snakes are so well camouflaged and secretive, I doubt too many will be found.

      Bottom line, a few snakes will be taken out of circulation. I'll be pleasantly surprised if they find many, and even more pleased if they manage to *not* get themselves or native animals hurt in the process.

      Comment


      • Excellent post 2Jakes. Sending the general public out to search for and catch *anything* for monetary reward is a scary idea and probably just massively increasing the workloads of everyone else.

        Ecosystems are very very delicate things. Like the Butterfly Wing Theory, it seriously only takes one small change to completely upset what was working as it should naturally.

        Now Burmese pythons habitating a non-native area is definitely a *bad* thing for that ecosystem.

        But adding a bunch of fortune hunters is actually worse.
        You jump in the saddle,
        Hold onto the bridle!
        Jump in the line!
        ...Belefonte

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
          Excellent post 2Jakes. Sending the general public out to search for and catch *anything* for monetary reward is a scary idea and probably just massively increasing the workloads of everyone else.

          Ecosystems are very very delicate things. Like the Butterfly Wing Theory, it seriously only takes one small change to completely upset what was working as it should naturally.

          Now Burmese pythons habitating a non-native area is definitely a *bad* thing for that ecosystem.

          But adding a bunch of fortune hunters is actually worse.
          Absolutely correct on all points MistyBlue.

          Comment


          • And the python hunt in the Glades starts today.

            800 people signed up for the month long python hunt in the Glades which starts today. 800 people wandering through the swamp. Wonder how many will be shot by other hunters; how many will be bitten by snakes, and how many will encounter gators who are hunting the hunters? We're predicting that the animals win this contest and bag more hunters than hunters bag snakes.

            We warmbloods saw the video of the big australian snake on the wing of the plane. There are huge snakes all over the world. Some of them avoiding the scanners at the airports. And that movie about snakes on a plane may not have been so fictitious at all.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              I spent all day at the opening day event...it was interesting...some people who probably know their way around the 'Glades and plenty that have NO clue. The next month should be very educational...

              Anyone care to make some predictions?

              How many pythons will be caught?
              How many hunter injuries (911 worthy)?
              How many incidents of people who require air rescue to find them when they are lost and it gets dark and scary?

              No prizes other than bragging rights, but it will be a fun little guessing game...who'd like to start?

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by WildandWickedWarmbloods View Post
                800 people signed up for the month long python hunt in the Glades which starts today. We're predicting that the animals win this contest and bag more hunters than hunters bag snakes.
                You Warmbloods are very smart!

                Comment


                • OK is it a month or 3 months that the hunt will be on?

                  We'll play: Let's see, maybe 3 hunters shot by other hunters, 14 hunters bitten by snakes (of different types, not just pythons), 12 hunters with close encounters with gators resulting in the hunters being chewed by gators, and 127 snakes bagged. And maybe 26 or so hunters injured while trying to hold onto big snakes, LOL. Oh and emergency first responders being called out 67 times to rescue hunters who are lost or scared or whatever. Costing the state more to manage the hunt than if the state had paid for professional hunters to do the job.

                  And if the guy in camouflage at the first day of hunting was smart, he'd buy a snakeskin suit and snakeskin boots.

                  It's going to be survival of the fittest in the Glades. And the hunters are going to lose that contest. Get the vials of anti venom ready as those hunters won't be able to tell one snake species from another. Mr. water moccasin, meet the hunters!

                  Comment


                  • I'm curious as to why they are picking winter in Florida for this hunt. On the plus side, I would presume that the underbrush dies down a bit and perhaps the snakes might be slower and easier to capture. On the other hand, if there is a seasonal cold snap, even that far south, I would guess that the snakes would be tucked away, inactive, and non-catchable.

                    Caught a clip on TV this morning and recognized some of the crew playing with a large python. Bet y'all will be busy rescuing some of the hunters and cleaning up afterwards. Good luck.

                    Oh! And they are allowing firearms too? Bet that will be an entirely separate mess.

                    Comment


                    • Just thought: Couldn't there be a market for Florida bred python skins for fancy leather wear? Also, how do they taste? There are exotic meat markets for far lesser things.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        Yep, they are allowing the hunters to shoot the pythons. And yes, that has a lot of potential for "accidents"...as does a bunch of people who are unfamiliar with the Everglades poking around out there. The winter is probably as good a time as any to search for the snakes...a cold night will bring the pythons out to sun on the levies in the day. A lucky hunter might get one that way. At the event yesterday it was comical some of the people who were there with high hopes of catching the snakes. One guy was trying so hard to impress me with his extensive knowledge and the fact that he had brought his airboat with him so, after the opening, he could run straight up to the Holey Lands (one of the hunt areas) and start catching pythons. LOL, that area is way up north at the Broward/Palm Beach County line...waaaay too far north for pythons! I just bit my tongue and told him to "go get 'em and stay safe". I guess he will have fun looking. The vast majority of the hunters have absolutely no clue how hard these animals will be to find!

                        Oh, and that large python in the clip is the one that I pulled out of the pool Christmas Day of '11. She has grown about a foot since then and she is still just as ill-tempered as when we got her.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by betonbill View Post
                          Just thought: Couldn't there be a market for Florida bred python skins for fancy leather wear? Also, how do they taste? There are exotic meat markets for far lesser things.
                          I think the skins wouldn't be cost effective (the many hours to find one snake wouldn't be paid for from the one skin) if there was a real market for it. Farming the snakes would be a better bet. I understand they taste pretty good, maybe a little chewy, but the ones in the Everglades are so full of mercury that it isn't advisable to eat them.

                          Comment


                          • What are our stats so far 2Jakes? And I watch the show all the time.. had no idea you were a COTH'er
                            www.thetexasequestrian.com

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by Belmont View Post
                              What are our stats so far 2Jakes? And I watch the show all the time.. had no idea you were a COTH'er
                              I haven't heard any news yet. My next workday is Tuesday, if there are any incidents or python kills I should hear about it then. Ill keep you all posted (no pun intended, LOL). Some of the newspaper stories about the hunters are scary, these guys are heading in to the Glades with multiple guns, rifles and sharp instruments...what are they thinking? Maybe that the pythons are actually part of the zombie apocalypse? This hunt is an accident waiting to happen!

                              Glad you watch the show Belmont! I'm pleased to meet you!

                              Comment


                              • Ah! Can't wait for updates! And very please to meet you also!
                                www.thetexasequestrian.com

                                Comment


                                • I saw this briefly on the news this morning and think it is a disaster in the making. It's been well documented on this thread that I am phobic about snakes, but I don't wish them harm. The person being interviewed...I think it was Steve Irwin....was commenting on their suffering if they are not dispatched quickly and humanely. I doubt that will be forefront for these yahoo bounty hunters.

                                  I felt sorry for the snake on the wing of that plane!

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by foundationmare View Post
                                    I saw this briefly on the news this morning and think it is a disaster in the making. It's been well documented on this thread that I am phobic about snakes, but I don't wish them harm. The person being interviewed...I think it was Steve Irwin....was commenting on their suffering if they are not dispatched quickly and humanely. I doubt that will be forefront for these yahoo bounty hunters.

                                    I felt sorry for the snake on the wing of that plane!
                                    I don't know who they interviewed but it wasn't Steve Irwin. He's been dead around 9 years now. Funny about the hunting thing, though, at one time in my area there was a bounty on coyotes, I believe it was around $5/scalp. Coyotes were hunted to the point of decimation. The state and county decided they no longer wanted to pay a bounty for coyotes so the program stopped. The coyote population rebounded in spades. The folks that killed the coyotes for the bounty were mostly farmers/ranchers and hunters intentionally hunting predators. IIRC, there weren't any more hunting accidents, lost hunters, etc. than normal. Why wouldn't this work for the pythons? Would Florida or the counties affected be willing to fund a bounty on pythons?
                                    I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

                                    Comment


                                    • I'm so late to this party that everyone slept off Round 1 and have started afresh!

                                      2Jakes. Could you kindly repost the video of that long-a$$ b!tch of a snake? I had a great weekend and think that "I'm all that and a bag of chips." I need to be taken down a peg, and nothing would do that like the video of a huge female snake just cruising along being bad-a$$ and making no apologies for that.

                                      Thank you.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                      • Lisa, Cornelia Guest weighed in on FB. She is a wealthy debutante who showed hunters. She is horrified that these beautiful creatures will be killed (if she only knew how unlikely that is). Others posted about trapping and releasing elsewhere, or trapping and taking back to native country. Trapping a snake? Not likely! Pretty amusing.
                                        Laurie

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          Originally posted by wireweiners View Post
                                          I don't know who they interviewed but it wasn't Steve Irwin. He's been dead around 9 years now. Funny about the hunting thing, though, at one time in my area there was a bounty on coyotes, I believe it was around $5/scalp. Coyotes were hunted to the point of decimation. The state and county decided they no longer wanted to pay a bounty for coyotes so the program stopped. The coyote population rebounded in spades. The folks that killed the coyotes for the bounty were mostly farmers/ranchers and hunters intentionally hunting predators. IIRC, there weren't any more hunting accidents, lost hunters, etc. than normal. Why wouldn't this work for the pythons? Would Florida or the counties affected be willing to fund a bounty on pythons?
                                          I think the difference lies in the hunting prospects....coyotes are (relatively) high profile as compared to pythons. The pythons are camouflaged and solitary, ambush predators, at home on land, under grass, and in the water. Supremely hidden. Significantly more difficult to find than coyotes, who, while cunning and smart, are land locked. Also, the pythons are in largely in wild areas (Everglades) as opposed to farming areas so hunters must go looking for them versus seeing/shooting them in the course of their normal day.

                                          So, I guess the answer is yes, a bounty would be good for those that wish to hunt for pythons...and there *are* people who will hunt without a bounty...but, for people who are looking to make money from pythons, it won't take long for them to do the math and figure out that the "$xx bounty money divided by the hours spent hunting = <$5"isn't worth their time.

                                          Foundationmare, yes, it is truly a recipe for disaster. That is what everyone who has half a brain is thinking and/or saying. And one doesn't have to love snakes to see that this is has the potential for catastrophe for native animals and the environment. Thank you for being forgiving enough of snakes to still care about them.

                                          Comment

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