Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Join Me in January on a Tour of the Everglades

Wisconsin is noted for many things, and among them is the fact that hundreds of thousands of people go out  every year in search of the wily whitetail deer. Armed, at times, with nothing more than semi-automatic weapons, camouflage and special scents, these hunters laugh in the face of danger when it comes to the possibility of taking down the antlered beast. Of course, now that hunting season with guns is past, there is little to do except for waiting for the start of ice fishing (I went once and caught a LOT, but when I tried to cook it, it all melted). So, for those of you itching to kill and gut something, I propose we go to Florida in January.
The Everglades has been over-slithered (as opposed to being overrun) by Burmese pythons since the first one was spotted in 1979. With all the natural enemies thousands of miles away in, well, Burma (or Myanmar if one works for the government), the snake has proliferated to such a degree that estimates for declining populations of raccoons, opossums, and bobcats indicate a 99% drop in their numbers! Admittedly, running over a 'coon or 'possum on the road is icky, but 99% fewer? Wow!
To compensate for the fact that pythons have made the Everglades their personal Golden Corral buffet, the Florida Wildlife Commission has instituted its first ever Python Challenge contest. Once an individual pays the $25 entry fee (and, no doubt, signs a waiver of liability!) and completes an online training course in python-hunting safety, the game is afoot. The idea is to rid the Everglades of as many of these snakes as possible through use of an "incentive-based model," according to Carli Segelson of the FWC.
Incentives? Oh there are incentives: $1500 for the person who bags the most pythons between January 12, 2013 and midnight on February 10th. Add another $1000 for the person who sends the longest one to its maker, and you've got enough icentive for two reality shows featuring "hillbillies" or "rednecks" or whoever stars in those TV shows I don't watch.
Caveats? Oh, there are those, too. Burmese pythons get HUGE, as one can tell from the photo on top. The largest found to date was more than 17 feet long and weighed in at a hefty 164 lbs. As a result, one might suspect there's a modicum of danger involved...but still...
The goal, of course, is to kill not capture these predatory beasts, but it is important that said killing be done humanely. Recommended methods are to shoot it in the head or decapitate it with a machete; I suspect, though, that something that big might have other ideas, especially if one walked up brandishing a machete.
And hunting around midnight in the Everglades?
No, thanks. Only the fearless need apply.
And I'm not.
Watch for it on Discovery or NatGeo.


Post a Comment

<< Home