My new career opportunity ?

  

Category:  Fields and Streams

Via:  petey-coober  •  11 years ago  •  34 comments

My new career opportunity ?

Python Challenge Offers Cash Prizes to Florida Snake Hunters
By ABC News | ABC News Blogs

Call it the Python Challenge: That's what wildlife officials have issued to hunters in an attempt to reduce the population of Burmese pythons, which have become an invasive species in South Florida wetlands.
Jan. 12 kicks off a month of hunting giant snakes in Florida, and the winners will receive cash prizes as high as $1,500. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson Carli Segelson told ABCnews.com that the goal of the contest is both eradication and documentation.
"Our goal is to help get rid of the python from the wild, educate the public about the snake's impact on the Florida ecosystem, and inform them of what impacts non-native pets can have if allowed into the wild," Segelson said.
Florida's first ever Python Challenge takes a head-on approach to eradicating the nuisance species that has been spotted in the Sunshine State since the 1980s. In their native South Asia range, the non-venomous python can measure up to 26 feet, though the longest ever found in Florida measured 17 feet.
Interested hunters will be placed in one of two categories: permit holders, who already have permission from the state to hunt Burmese pythons and are allowed to enter special wildlife areas, and the general public.
"To keep things fair," Segelson explained.
The prizes offered to each group are the same. Contestants from the general public must be registered through the contest website .
According to Segelson, there has never been a documented Burmese python attack on a human in the Florida wild. The breeding populations, she said, are generally found in sparsely populated areas. Contestants are allowed to hunt pythons only in the state's Everglades, Big Cypress, Holey Land, and Rotenberger Wildlife Management Areas.
"The problem is with animals," Segelson said, "the pythons eat native birds, reptiles, and small mammals, many of which are threatened species."
The commission's website offers registration, safety training, rules and guidelines, and tips on how to identify Burmese pythons. The site also offers a list of ways to safely kill the snakes once they are found. Methods include use of a machete to decapitate the snake or use of a firearm.
"Whichever method they use, hunters have an ethical obligation to dispatch the snake as humanely as possible," Segelson said.
What happens to the snakes after they are killed? The official site says the specimens must be delivered to official drop-off sites no longer than 24 hours after harvesting. Researchers will gather data from the snake, including size and location where it was found, which they hope to use to better understand the biology of the Florida invaders. Officials will return snakes to interested hunters after taking measurements, and the hunters may choose to preserve the snake or its skin.
A Hollywood, Fla., company says it will buy the longest snakes from Python Challenge participants. Brian Wood runs All American Gator, a company that usually harvests wild alligators for use in clothing, accessories and furniture, and sells the products at the company's showroom.
"We intend to do all that with the python skins," Wood told ABCnews.com. "People will use salt to preserve the snakes and then sell them to us. We'll pay anywhere from $50 to $100. That's for snakes eight feet long and up."
Florida currently prohibits possession or sale of Burmese pythons for use as pets, and federal law bans the importation and interstate sale of the species.
In addition to the $1,500 prize for the hunter who bags the most pythons, $1,000 will go to whoever gets the longest specimen; in addition, a name from each category will be drawn at random and that person will receive a prize as well.
The Python Challenge will cap off with an awards ceremony Feb. 16 at Zoo Miami, where the winners will be presented their prizes and awareness events will be held for attendees to learn about invasive species and encounter live snakes. Segelson said the contest has attracted a lot of media attention and looks forward to a big turnout when all is said and done.
"We only started getting the word out this past Wednesday," Segelson said, "and we already have people registering. There was a lot of interest in Burmese pythons before and it is no surprise that people are so interested."

LINK
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/python-challenge-offers-cash-prizes-florida-snake-hunters-204628413--abc-news-topstories.html

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Larry Hampton
Professor Participates
link   Larry Hampton    11 years ago

Watch, a hundred idiots hunt these snakes and die.

The Snakes in the meantime go out for drinks.

Too bad Komodo Dragons weren't an invasive species there as well; now that's entertainment! I see a new reality show in the works.

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

I think you're right . There is a bar in south Florida called the "Viper Pit" [if I'm not mistaken] . Sounds like the perfect gathering place for either pythons or biker gangs [or both] .

 
 
 
TTGA
Professor Silent
link   TTGA    11 years ago

Watch, a hundred idiots hunt these snakes and die.

Could happen, but probably not from the snakes. There are a lot of things out in that swamp that are a lot more dangerous than Pythons. probably a simpler, cheaper solution would be a bounty on the snakes, but these folks are looking for publicity in order to raise funds. If they put a bounty on them and eliminated them, there would be no contributions and the people running the event would be out of business.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
Professor Participates
link   Larry Hampton    11 years ago

Possibly for the curious even!

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
Professor Participates
link   Larry Hampton    11 years ago

Just because I heard "Viper Pit" all I could think was "gay bar"!

:~)

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

Oddly enough it is the pythons which eat gators rather than the reverse . I read that just recently . Now , if you don't mind , can you recommend appropriate firearms to employ in python hunting ?

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

Neetu ,

Perhaps I should have put a question mark on the end of the title ... OK , I added it .
I'm a city boy . As a result you won't be finding me out in the swamps at any time and definitely not among a bunch of armed drunken hunters . But I thought this made for an interesting article . There are parts of the country which have a problem with critters which escape to the wild and then thrive . Another example is wild hogs throughout certain rural regions . They can be quite a difficult problem .

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

Well , in full disclosure , I'd inform you that I did take a canoe trip through the Everglades quite a few years back .
It was actually fairly pleasant . The water was so clean you could drink it just dipping your hand over the side .I don't know if it still is unpolluted ...

 
 
 
LoneRanger01
Freshman Silent
link   LoneRanger01    11 years ago

I once thoughtof making a career change,..the wife said no,...I never knew why,...what could possibly be wrong with being a judge for the woman worlds topless trampoline championship games,...lol they are real...lol

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

Never knew why !24.gif

 
 
 
Nigel Dogberry
Freshman Silent
link   Nigel Dogberry    11 years ago

Pocket knife.

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

You know these are giant sized constrictor snakes ... right ?

 
 
 
Nigel Dogberry
Freshman Silent
link   Nigel Dogberry    11 years ago

Yup. Just cut their spine with your pocket knife.

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

Good trick Nigel . I guess having a lockback you can open with your thumb is a plus .

 
 
 
wmolaw
Professor Silent
link   wmolaw    11 years ago

You most likely won't believe this, but in my youth (or "yute") I hunted moccasins for money. $9 per live snake. Could make $100 or more a day. Hell, you hit a big nest, get them pissed off enough to hang around and you could make more.

Not that dangerous, and one hell of a lot better than picking oranges, I can assure you of that!

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

Cool ... Thanks for reminiscing . That was a lot of money for unskilled [?] labor back in the old days .Did they turn them into belts ?

BTW , welcome back ...

 
 
 
wmolaw
Professor Silent
link   wmolaw    11 years ago

Thanks, and no. They were actually used in research for better anti-venom. Kind of cool. They weren't killed, just constantly milked so they could use their venom for testing, testing, testing.

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

OK , so you had to actually capture them alive . No wonder the pay was so good ...

 
 
 
wmolaw
Professor Silent
link   wmolaw    11 years ago

Hell yes! A broom stick, some elec staples and wire, no issue!

And reflexes, good, young reflexes.

 
 
 
A. Macarthur
Professor Guide
link   A. Macarthur    11 years ago

Some of the large constrictors have eaten deer!

Peckish python: 16ft-long snake found with adult deer in its stomach

By Emma Reynolds

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    11 years ago

Pythons are renowned for eating big animals whole . What I find odd is that these really big pythons will eat gators instead of the opposite .

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    10 years ago

Not if [s]he can't catch the hopper ... And fish are much easier prey .

 
 
 
Nigel Dogberry
Freshman Silent
link   Nigel Dogberry    10 years ago

I bet that was a stinking mess. That's some snake.

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    10 years ago

Come-on down to FLA . We are giving these critters away for the taking !

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika     10 years ago

I'm on my way Petey. I'm bringing Rocky with me.

th?id=H.5011523647636595&pid=1.9&m=&w=300&h=300&p=0

 
 
 
sixpick
Professor Quiet
link   sixpick    10 years ago

The Largest Snake in the World Has Invaded the United States

Trail Lakes Campground just happened to have a herpetologist on staff. Rick Scholle, who runs the campgrounds roadside zoo, examined the snake and realized that he was looking at a juvenile green anaconda. A nonvenomous constrictor native to South America, the green anaconda is the biggest, heaviest species of snake in the world. It definitely does not belong in the Florida Everglades.

Image of Eunectes murinus. A green anaconda.

Courtesy of National Museum of Natural History Image Collection

For the entire interesting article: Click
 
 
 
sixpick
Professor Quiet
link   sixpick    10 years ago

Snakes of the Florida Everglades

Venomous, Non-venomous, and Invasive

Link

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    10 years ago

I hope Rocky is very nimble . His teeth appear to be up to the task ...

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    10 years ago

Geez , just when we had gotten used to the idea of Burmese pythons invading we now have to adjust to accommodating the really big anacondas . The gators won't stand a chance ...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika     10 years ago

Wolverines are very quick and nimble Petey. Their claws are very dangerous as well as those fangs.

 
 
 
Nigel Dogberry
Freshman Silent
link   Nigel Dogberry    10 years ago

A friend of mine had a pet snake. I didn't like the thing. I only picked it up once and that was enough. I don't like snakes. If I find a rattle snake in a residential area, I take it out to the desert and turn it loose. It shouldn't be in town.

 
 
 
A. Macarthur
Professor Guide
link   A. Macarthur    10 years ago

10621_discussions.jpg I have my own issues with Timber Rattlesnakes (my driveway in the Pocono Mountains, NE PA). Because of (IMO) Global Warming, they come down the mountain earlier and earlier every year.

10622_discussions.jpg?width=721

Timber Rattlesnake - a Portrait (Same one as above)

10623_discussions.jpg Then there's this critter who sometimes fishes next to me (Brown Watersnake, not venomous but aggressively bites (people who get to close) like me f'rinstance. Hey! That's my Bluegill you S.O.B.! Well, I was gonna put it back in the water anyway.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika     10 years ago

A good idea BF.

 
 
 
Petey Coober
Freshman Silent
link   seeder  Petey Coober    10 years ago

I would trade a few snakes for gators any day . Just be glad your state is too cold for them ...

 
 

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