Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Python Drop Off Station

Florida Python Hunters have been hanging out at the Drop Off Station quite a lot this past week. They have been getting up close and personal, helping perform necropsies, and obtaining official measurements of their catches. The UF researchers have been awesome to work with.  

Ch 7 Fox: Features Ruben and the Crew

Check out this link Here! Ruben was interviewed by Ch 7 after the kickoff Jan. 12th. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Another Good Day of Hunting

Photo by: Steven Featherstone
This is what we are looking for, but it's not always this easy.
With the overcast skies and rain Saturday morning it did not look like a hopeful day for the Python Hunters. But determined to use our day off out in the Everglades we headed out early for a hunt. Ruben and George in one car, Blake and Devin in another, in order to cover as much ground as possible. Most of the morning went with no success. The morning started out with little hope until about 9:30am when the clouds separated and gave us some sun. By 10:30am the sun was beating down hard and warming up the ground. Both groups had covered several miles of canal by this point. At 11:54 AM I (Blake) and Devin spotted the first python of the day. She was half way sticking out of the weeds on the edge of the canal heading back into the brush. I quickly ran and grabbed the tail and began the fight. Feeling that the snake was stronger than me, I yelled for Devin's help. The snake was inching forward out of my hands but together we were able to remove the snake and bag it. 

Not 5 minutes later Ruben calls to tell us, him and George had got one too. 

We met up and took a few group shots with our catches of the day. 

Monday, January 14, 2013


CBS notes the Florida Python Hunters in their report of the 2013 Python Challenge.
Check it out Here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Three Big Ones

All four boys went out last night with no luck. George and Ruben were up bright and early this Sunday morning and came out on top. They not only caught one but THREE pythons while out with a New York Times videographer. It is always stressful taking people out hunting, you just never know what you'll find. So ending the day with three in the bag was amazing! Not bad for the second day of the Python Challenge.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Florida Python Challenge

The Florida Python Challenge starts today Jan. 12, 2013. Blake, Devin, Ruban and George all headed up to the UF Research Center for the kickoff earlier today. After meeting with many news crews and media they are ready to get this challenge started. Ruban Ramirez is the Hunter Hopeful to win this thing, he's got it all, experience, time and talent. But we know that every hunter needs a little luck. Even though there are tons of pythons living in the Florida Everglades, their color and pattern make it nearly impossible to spot them. Not to mention the thick, deep grass that covers the Everglades. Want more information on the Python Challenge check out the website Here. The boys are heading out on a hunt with some media tonight.

We will be updating this blog as much as possible durning the challenge, but lets be honest if we aren't hunting we are going to school, work, or spending time with our families. So every catch will probably not be accounted for.

Wish us luck and let the Challenge begin!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jan. 4th Catch

There was already a truck parked where I planned to start my hunt, which usually meant another hunter there. Turned out to be a hiker. He was a short, old man with a scraggly beard who had the shakes real bad, no teeth, and a huge fear of snakes. He wished me luck and I began my hunt at about 12:30pm. I only walked about 15 yards before the familiar pattern and sheen of python skin caught my eye in the grass just off the trail. Burmese Pythons in the Florida Everglades are healthy and well fed. This one was nice & fat. I could also make out scars he had acquired from eating things that fight back, like gators, bobcats and coons. It was an awesome sight! I imagine the feeling you get from spotting a wild Burmese Python must be a bit like finding a unicorn. I took some pictures before snatching it from the weeds. The snake immediately shot musk and got me on the arm and chest. Musk smells like a dead, wet dog but it means success! Meanwhile, the old hiker happened to see it all and came as fast as he could, while keeping his distance. His shakes were twice as bad as when I first met him! I had the python by the tail with its body facing left while I handed my camera to the old hiker on my right. Just then, the snake decided to change directions. The old man backed up as fast as he could but without his cane it didn't work so well and he fell flat on his back! Cigarettes flew from his chest pocket but he shot back up like lightning! I wore the snake out and grabbed him behind the head. He wrapped around my arm and sqeezed it hard enough to put a pretty good hickey between where two of the coils had been! The old hiker was scared to death but digging this! My boy helped me get measurements (it was an 8'7" male), and bag the snake. He later told me it was the most exciting thing to ever happen to him.