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Snake Hunt In Florida
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Contributors to this thread:
JL 13-Jun-18
JTV 13-Jun-18
spike78 13-Jun-18
JL 13-Jun-18
Shuteye 13-Jun-18
Coyote 65 14-Jun-18
bigswivle 14-Jun-18
Grey Ghost 14-Jun-18
Shuteye 14-Jun-18
Grey Ghost 14-Jun-18
bigswivle 14-Jun-18
Grey Ghost 14-Jun-18
bigswivle 14-Jun-18
JTV 14-Jun-18
Grey Ghost 14-Jun-18
South Farm 18-Jun-18
From: JL
13-Jun-18

JL's embedded Photo
JL's embedded Photo
Got this in the inbox a bit ago. Any takers??? Would have to get checked out on 3 snakes as a pre-req.

Calling all hunters: Everglades National Park wants you to kill its Burmese pythons

Jenny Staletovich, Miami Herald (TNS) Posted at 3:47 PM Updated at 3:47 PM

MIAMI — Faced with an unrelenting spread of invasive Burmese pythons that have mostly wiped out marsh rabbits, bobcats and other small mammals, Everglades National Park is doing something for the first time in its 70-year history: Opening park borders to paid hunters.

Superintendent Pedro Ramos announced plans to team up with state wildlife officers who last year began hiring hunters to kill the voracious snakes.

“We’ve been chasing this problem trying to find a solution and frankly we ran up against a wall over and over again,” he told the Miami Herald. “That history requires us to be open-minded and flexible.”

Adding the park to territory already being patrolled by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and South Florida Water Management District hunters will open up the epicenter of the python invasion to hunters’ cross-hairs more than two decades after they first appeared.

But the move is not without controversy.

In 2015 when Ramos agreed to allow volunteer hunters into the park for the state’s popular Python Challenge, backlash from an environmental group prompted him to scale back participation to all but a few permitted trappers.

The National Park Service bans sport hunting in parks, but not managed removal of unwanted wildlife. Rock Creek Park, north of downtown Washington, has been holding a contentious hunt to cull deer since 2013 to save the park’s native plants. About 75 areas managed by the National Park Service covering more than 50 million acres allow hunting, which sometimes causes confusion over rules in parks.

The park has also allowed the Swamp Apes, a volunteer group of military vets, to trap snakes for about a decade.

But competition with paid programs for hunters appears to be driving down participation: In the last year just 70 or so snakes were caught inside the park compared to about 200 snakes during each of the previous two years, said chief biologist Tylan Dean.

After years of failed efforts — including snake-sniffing dogs and tagged Judas snakes — Ramos said it’s time for more aggressive tactics.

“This to us is clearly not hunting in a national park. This is a serious effort to bring people who want to help us with this problem get these things out of the park,” he said. “It is a program aimed at removing an exotic species that is having some very deep negative impacts on this landscape.”

It’s also an attempt to learn more about their habits, he said, and slow a spread that in 2016 reached the northern Florida Keys for the first time. The snakes are so difficult to detect, and marshes so impenetrable, that even determining their numbers remains difficult, said Kristin Sommers, the state’s exotic species coordinator.

“The low range would be tens of hundreds and the high range would be hundreds of thousands,” she said.

South Florida may never be free of the snakes, but managed hunts in recent years have shown promise. Last year, the wildlife commission and the University of Florida brought snake hunters from India for a month-long pilot project that bagged 14 pythons in two weeks, including a 16-foot female carrying dozens of eggs. The water management district’s paid hunt topped 1,000 last week.

Authorized hunters will be vetted by the Fish and Wildlife Commission and need to meet a handful of qualifications including proof that they’ve legally bagged at least three pythons. Hunters will also earn the same rate paid to district hunters: minimum wage plus $50 for every four-foot snake and $25 for each additional foot.

They will be given access to almost every corner of the park at all hours, but will not be allowed near visitors including the Coe Visitor Center and Anhinga Trail, while the park is open.

The park hopes to get hunters started as early as July and eventually have up to 120, which would triple the number of volunteers now trapping snakes.

“Using current technology to eliminate pythons is impossible, so we’ll try to eliminate as many as we can,” Ramos said. “Maybe some day we’ll find a way to really get the upper hand.”

From: JTV
13-Jun-18
Looks like fun ... when I lived in Texas, I would go with a friend on Rattlesnake roundups where he'd collect venom to be transformed into antivenom .. got to be cautious and respecful of them, but it was a blast ...

From: spike78
13-Jun-18
Time to move to Florida for a new career. Would be interesting to bow fish for them. I would think the most effective way would be a shotgun with some 2 or 4 shot.

From: JL
13-Jun-18
I never hunted them but I might be inclined to use a bow fishing setup so once ya hit them and they go under the water, ya know where they're at.

From: Shuteye
13-Jun-18
Tegu lizards are also a problem in Florida. They grow to about four feet long and are eating machines. They eat birds, small animals and eggs. They love alligator eggs and will dig up a gator nest. They lay and watch momma gator go to the water and then they move in and dig up the eggs.

From: Coyote 65
14-Jun-18
I don't think having enough alligators is a Florida problem.

Terry

From: bigswivle
14-Jun-18
The Everglades is supposedly a better habitat than there native habitat, hence why they're thriving.

From: Grey Ghost
14-Jun-18
I've spent a week fishing in the Glades for the last 3 years in a row. Haven't seen a single python, yet.

If anything, they have a Bull shark problem. We couldn't keep those damn things off our lines last April.

Matt

From: Shuteye
14-Jun-18
Grey Ghost, gut those sharks when you catch them. Cut them in steaks and ice them down. No bones and you can grill the steaks with the skin on. When they come off the grill the skin will peel right off.

From: Grey Ghost
14-Jun-18
Shuteye,

Some of them were pushing 10 feet long! I wasn't getting my hands or limbs anywhere close to them.

Matt

From: bigswivle
14-Jun-18
The sharks have taken over the glades. Thanks guy Harvey

From: Grey Ghost
14-Jun-18
I agree, bigs.

Even if you happen to hook a different species of fish, the sharks will usually have them in a matter of seconds. Watching a bull shark absolutely destroy a tarpon is quite a sight to behold, but it gets old quickly.

Matt

From: bigswivle
14-Jun-18
It's everywhere GG. Bahamas are infested with sharks. Can't hardly get a big tuna to the boat anymore. The amount of tarpon that get eaten in Boca Grande pass is incredible

From: JTV
14-Jun-18
We used to wade fish for sand sharks off of the Texas City Dike, nothing like shark on a grill, Butter and lemon seasoning... cut them into steaks... MMmmm... BTW, Ive lost Specs and flounders on 12 ft long stringers to sharks, while wading ... for sharks, we would go with the tide and current, find the mullet running along the shore, wade out and walk backwards into the current... floating cut bait about 30 yds behind...when those fish hit the bait, drop the rod tip, let it tighten, then set the hook.... those things would jump more than any Steelhead... about the same size too, 6-15 lbs... we'd get them in close, grab 'em by the tail, walk back to shore, put them in the cooler, and wade back out....catching a dozen in 2 -3 hours was normal.... Fun as all get out !!

From: Grey Ghost
14-Jun-18
Bigs,

I hear you. A buddy of mine guides on Sanibel Island. He got sharked 15 times in one week while tarpon fishing. I was fortunate to go 4 for 8 on poons in my boat, and only got sharked once, but I saw several other boats that weren't as lucky. It sure makes taking the grip and grin tarpon picture interesting when you boat one.

Matt

From: South Farm
18-Jun-18
Not no, but HELL NO! You people are crazy!!!!!!

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