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9ballbilly
June 15, 2012, 07:09 AM
I understand there is now a month long hunting season for these snakes in Florida and have a couple questions. Other than the fact that they are an invasive species what's the point of hunting them? Is there a market for the skins? What type of firearm(s) would be appropriate? Is there a preffered hunting method for them? Any info would be appreciated, thanks.

Edgehill
June 15, 2012, 07:37 AM
The pythons are damaging the Everglades. They have no natural predators and are eating anything they cross, including alligators.


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buggley
June 15, 2012, 07:55 AM
a .22 is probably ideal. snakes dont move like most game animals do. i would imagine you could get within 25 yard before they even payatention to you. the hide would be cool to have but the meat would be good too. i bet it taste like rattler but it would be bigger

Doyle
June 15, 2012, 08:28 AM
I think you are misunderstanding some things. You can kill a python in Fl any time without regard to any special season - they are a non-protected invasive season.

The special one month season is just for areas where hunting is not normally allowed (i.e. parts of the everglades, state owned land, etc.). For those hunts, you won't be carrying a weapon. It is grab the snake, stuff it into a bag, haul it back to the ranger station for disposal.

aarondhgraham
June 15, 2012, 08:30 AM
Python skin boots are very popular and very expensive.

In the mid 90's I managed a Tandy Leather store,,,
We sold python skin by the yard,,,,
IIRC it went for $59.95/yard.

I would use a .410 and try to hit them about 6" behind the head,,,
You have the skull which sells well and lots of skin for projects.

Aarond

P.S. I once sold a western gunbelt with python inserts for $1,200.00,,,
There was also a lot of carving, turquoise, and silver on it,,,
But the python skin called the price.

Yep, there's a market for the skins.

.

CCCLVII
June 15, 2012, 09:05 AM
Python skin is pretty expensive. It would look great on a OWB holster.

9ballbilly
June 15, 2012, 05:06 PM
Thanks for the info guys.

Doyle: Do you mean it's legal to take them with a firearm at anytime of year as long as you're in an area that normally allows hunting?

Also, would my .177cal pellet rifle at 1,000fps be a reasonable choice?

Art Eatman
June 15, 2012, 05:30 PM
Legal anytime, anyhow when feral snake hunting on private property.

The pellet gun? Head shots on little ones, maybe. But they range from three or four feet on up to fifteen feet or more and can weigh a couple of hundred pounds, easily.

You can also have fun with the monitor lizards, down around Fort Myers. :)

Hansam
June 15, 2012, 05:44 PM
It is grab the snake, stuff it into a bag, haul it back to the ranger station for disposal.

With the size that these snakes can grow to be I'm not sure I'd want to grab a live snake, stuff it into a bag and haul it back to the ranger station for disposal.

I'd rather shoot it or if a firearm was not allowed spear the dang thing then grab, stuff and dispose.

In any case there IS a market for snake skin and I don't know about others but I happen to like snake meat.

insomni
June 15, 2012, 05:59 PM
lmao a pellet gun for a snake?? those aren't garters you're talking about...

most of the people I know who go after Rattlers go with a .410 for the close range power and spread.

I figure some sort of shotgun blast to the head would do a python in.

buggley
June 15, 2012, 07:26 PM
just got the image of a snake gig lol

Art Eatman
June 15, 2012, 09:38 PM
I'm really doubtful that it's a grab-a-snake deal in the limited-hunt state lands. I'd have to see that from the Fla wildlife rulebook.

9ballbilly
June 15, 2012, 10:40 PM
I'll be relocating there in a few weeks so I'm really interested in hunting opportunities on state owned land. Up here in NY the only snakes I've run across were easily dispatched with a load of .22lr or .22mag. birdshot. Although I have no plans to try and tackle pythons bare-handed I would be interested to know if they can be taken on state owned land legally.

Art Eatman
June 16, 2012, 09:55 AM
"...if they can be taken on state owned land legally."

Yes, but there is a specific season. The Fla wildlife folks have a website with all their rules and regs.

Doyle
June 16, 2012, 05:20 PM
With the size that these snakes can grow to be I'm not sure I'd want to grab a live snake, stuff it into a bag and haul it back to the ranger station for disposal.

I'd rather shoot it or if a firearm was not allowed spear the dang thing then grab, stuff and dispose.



Yep, those are the rules. Hunters particpating in this special hunt are given a training session for handling them.

Art Eatman
June 16, 2012, 08:10 PM
Doyle, I'll take your word for it. But what those rules say to me is that those who wrote them don't believe that the snakes are any sort of serious problem. Those rules do not allow any serious reduction in the snake population.

kilimanjaro
June 16, 2012, 10:58 PM
The people writing the rules are apparently more concerned about Bubbas with guns than they are about invasive species destroying the ecosystem. They must not know about the Bubbas being their fellow citizens and the species being a snake....

Art Eatman
June 17, 2012, 06:50 AM
It would be easy enough to limit the deal to shotguns, which would be more effective than rifles or handguns. Gun-hunting in Florida has not been a major health hazard for a century or two...

9ballbilly
June 17, 2012, 07:43 AM
The intent of my OP was to gain some knowledge of hunting on public land in Florida, especially invasive species. Toward that end I have two more questions. The Twelve mile swamp area looks to be the closest area to where I'll be. Does this area contain a huntable population of feral hogs and nutria? According to the info on the WMA website a $625 area use permit is required as well as a hunting license. Does anyone know if this is correct? It seems very expensive to me, particuarly if it is an annual fee. I'd like to hear from any members familiar with the area or hunting areas nearby that would be less expensive. I have no experience hunting in Florida so any info would be appreciated, thanks.

Doyle
June 17, 2012, 09:43 AM
Art, remember that this special hunt is only for areas that are also full of "tourists". On lands outside of those special areas, pythons are totally open for anything you want to throw at them.

9ballbilly, 12 Mile Swamp is not a WMA. It is a Cooperative Area. That means that it is privately owned and the owner is allowing limited public access controlled by the FWC. Yes, the fee is relativly large but it is for the entire hunting season. People who participate in hunts on these kinds of land think of it as an alternative to getting into a lease/club (something that is EXTREMELY expensive in most of FL). There are only a very limited number of "slots" on each of these cooperative units so don't count on being able just to walk in and pick up one. If you want to hunt when you come on vacation you'll probably be better off getting aa guided pig hunt on one of the ranches. Those usually run a couple hundred bucks (unless you kill a "trophy" boar).

shortwave
June 17, 2012, 01:01 PM
You can also have fun with the monitor lizards, down around Fort Myers.


Yes you can.

Just spent some time around that area and the monitor lizards are all over from Ft. Myers clear to the Keys. They've been giving residents(and their little lap dogs) fits.

Too, IMO, Fla. wildlife division should put a bounty on these snakes as well as the lizards.

Don P
June 17, 2012, 03:28 PM
Dam snakes are as bad as the wild piggies runnin around. Useless snakes and at least you can see the pigs to shoot at them.

hogdogs
June 17, 2012, 07:20 PM
lmao a pellet gun for a snake?? those aren't garters you're talking about...
No they ain't but a little thin skull they have as well as a kill zone of spine their entire length...

If my pellet gun drops 250 pound hogs with instant results, Iwould choose it for any snake on the planet...

Brent

Capt Charlie
June 17, 2012, 10:42 PM
lmao a pellet gun for a snake?? those aren't garters you're talking about...

No they ain't but a little thin skull they have as well as a kill zone of spine their entire length...

Always respectfully Brent, do NOT underestimate these snakes. In years gone by, I was a serious student of herpetology, especially of large constrictors. I've owned and handled the "big 5": Retics, African Rocks, Green Anacondas, Burms, and Scrubs, and they are incredibly powerful and resilient. I've seen them survive injuries that should have killed them 5 times over. Even though they may be "technically dead", they can still react reflexively.... and constrict.

In the past, it was thought that these snakes simply stopped prey from breathing. Not so. We now know that they squeeze so hard that they stop the heart from pumping blood. One study found that the big ones can squeeze with a force of over 90 pounds per square inch.

While there is no hard and fast rule, the rule-of-thumb is, never attempt to tackle a constrictor 9 feet long or over by yourself. They are far stronger than you might think.

The problem in the Everglades is far more complex than first thought, and I fear that ecosystem as we know it, is gone forever. The media has focused on Burmese Pythons, but there are also African Rock Pythons, which are far more aggressive.

Throw in hybrid vigor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterosis) and indeterminate growth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indeterminate_growth) when these two interbreed and have few natural predators, and you have the makings of a nightmare straight out of a science fiction movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVRhRzE_AkQ&feature=related

The accidental introduction of Brown Tree Snakes to Guam (http://www.livescience.com/7638-guam-birds-forest-survive.html) that resulted in the eradication of most of the island's birds, should serve as a mild example, and I fear that, in the long run, this will be far worse.

hogdogs
June 18, 2012, 06:25 AM
I have personally supplied the 40 pound pigs to feed a near 20 footer...
Herpetology is one of my pass-times...

You can walk up much closer than you realize...

Brent

Steel Talon
June 20, 2012, 01:06 PM
Never hunted pythons before,but Ive killed a ton of rattlers over the year usually with 38spl snake lolads. I think that I would carry a 410 shotgun

Doyle
June 20, 2012, 01:35 PM
Never hunted pythons before,but Ive killed a ton of rattlers over the year usually with 38spl snake lolads. I think that I would carry a 410 shotgun

You kind of missed the whole point of the thread - on one of those special hunts you wouldn't be carrying any firearm. Those special hunts are live-catch only.

Steel Talon
June 20, 2012, 08:41 PM
:o Thanks Doyle.... When it comes to snakes I'm hard-wired to go to guns lol

No way no how would I ever go on a live snake catch hunt

BigMikey76
June 21, 2012, 03:15 PM
With the size that these snakes can grow to be I'm not sure I'd want to grab a live snake, stuff it into a bag and haul it back to the ranger station for disposal.


I'm right there with you. A buddy of mine had an 11 foot long pet Burmese years ago, and it took four grown men to pull it off of his 120 lb rottweiler when it got out of its terrarium (one of those men was me, and, as some of you may know, I am a pretty big guy). The dog had some broken ribs, but he made it, and it took everything we had to get that snake put back away. I would not want to tackle one of those bad boys alone.

He got rid of the snake the next day.

Panfisher
June 21, 2012, 04:01 PM
The special "no gun" season may be only a month long, but other areas sounds like year round and guns are fine. I wouldn't hesitate to use a "pellet gun", of course mine would be lauching a whole bunch of pellets at once!!:)

Doyle
June 21, 2012, 06:13 PM
Panfisher, even though the pythons are making appearances in other areas of S. Fl the bulk of the population is still in the 'glades. Since most of that is either National Park land or state-owned preserves there isn't a whole lot of opportunity for shooting one.

I predict that that will change as the population begins to migrate northward. Most of the snake problem started when Hurricane Andrew blew through back in '91. There were a few reptile distributors that abandoned their property during the hurricane and the storm opened up a bunch of cages releasing a whole bunch of invasive species. Couple that with the deliberate releasings of individuals whos snakes had grown too big to handle and we had a breeding population. In 20 years, they have bred enough to become a real problem. 20 years from now, I'm sure they will have begun to spread out.

swopjan
June 22, 2012, 05:12 AM
why can't you dispatch them with machetes or clubs? I can see how yahoos and firearms are a no-go around tourist areas, but that shouldn't mean said yahoos should be forced to live-catch. seems like it would be more effective to kill them in the field than back at a station.

Doyle
June 22, 2012, 07:19 AM
Swopjan, good question. I don't know why they don't allow killing in the field with non-firearms. Seems like a bow (set up like for bow fishing) would be another good choice.

Beagle333
June 22, 2012, 09:37 AM
While there is no hard and fast rule, the rule-of-thumb is, never attempt to tackle a constrictor 9 feet long or over by yourself. They are far stronger than you might think.


I once grabbed an 8' redtail boa. My friend jumped on me (and it) to help. Best description looked like something out of the movie "Men In Black" :eek: or something similar, with two grown people being whipped around and beat on the ground by a large, long muscle as thick as a man's thigh. We got it in the bag..... but it beat the hell out of us. :cool: ('Wouldn't do it again.)

Art Eatman
June 22, 2012, 09:47 AM
Actual tourism in the Everglades is limited by Mama Nature to a few areas, of the gazillion acres there. It's a swampy/jungly equivalent to the BLM or USFS lands in the western states. Beaucoup acres, few people wandering around. Snake hunters using shotguns would be no danger to tourists.