What a trip! This past weekend I had the privilege of going on a Python/Anaconda 48 hour hunt in the Everglades with my cousin Josh, my Uncle Matt, and my brother-in-law John. Any trip with the 3 of them is awesomeness waiting happen.
This was the first ever "Reptiles of Concern" (Reticulated Pythons, Green Anacondas, Burmese Pythons, African Rock Pythons, Scrub Pythons, Nile Monitor Lizards) hunting season that Florida has done. The Florida Wildlife Commission hopes to stop the movement of these invasive species from moving north by opening up the hunting season. Here are a few photo's of the different snakes I listed above-
Josh and I may very well have been the first two people in the world to purchase the license for this. We were so on board. An opportunity to hunt down the worlds largest reptiles with a machete doesn't come along every day and we weren't about to miss out! It wasn't long before Uncle Matt and John were in as well.
The Everglades are like another country. Almost 50 percent of the animals down there are invasive, meaning that this is not the country they are supposed to be living out in the wild. Even the fish down there in the locks are invasive. Check out this bird- I don't actually know if it's invasive but I do know it's crazy.
We packed up my truck with all sorts of gear and weaponry and took off from Orlando at 2am Thursday morning. Why so early you ask? Our goal was to arrive in the Everglades right as the sun was coming up with the assumption that would be the perfect time to spot a giant snake trying to get into the morning sunlight to get warm. Had the sun come up that morning I'm sure we would have slayed them... Unfortunately, we did not kill any snakes. Nor did we catch any fish... We believe it was the ridiculous weather that foiled us and not a lack preparation, skill or determination on our part. It was cloudy with off and on rain showers the whole time and a steady 15-20 mph breeze. Not ideal snake hunting weather. Regardless, it was fantastic trip and company alone made it worth while. We are already looking forward to next year when the new season arrives.
Though we didn't ever find or see any pythons we did come across a bazillion gators. They were everywhere. I think if I was ever to hunt gators(which is definitely on my to do list) in a place where you are currently not allowed to hunt gators it would be here... on Levee 67 in the everglades.
While we were hiking down one of the canals looking for snakes and gators we found this- A dead gator. I think it's safe to say this gator was taken out by an enormous python.
So of course we proceeded to pull it out and take pictures of it. Two things to note about the following video: John almost tossing his cookies from the stench after pulling it out and Uncle Matt posing with it towards the end. Both of which made me laugh really hard.
Such a rad trip! I highly recommend the experience to anyone that likes a good ol' fashion adventure-