Burmese Python Hunting Season in the Everglades

 For hunters who like a little variety, an interesting hunting season arrives next month. From March 8 – April 17, hunting season opens on Burmese pythons in the Everglades. Hunters with a valid license who pay a $26 permitting fee will be free to try to kill and remove some of the estimated 150,000 pythons that have reproduced from pets that were released in the past. Then they can sell the skins to eager tanners, who will pay top dollar for the sought after skins. The fashion industry may see a surge in snake skin boots, purses and jackets in the fall!

The python hunters will have their work cut out for them. The Burmese python can grow up to 26 feet long, and they eat everything, large and small. Everything from rodents to deer and bobcat have been found in the bellies of captured pythons. Even alligators have been their prey, so a man wouldn’t be a problem for them. Luckily, they are fairly docile, although they are extremely strong. The problem isn’t their aggressiveness so much as their rapid proliferation through large clutches of eggs, and the fact that they are munching their way through threatened and endangered species.

Just about anyone who has grown up in Florida has spent time hiking, boating, hunting, fishing and camping in the Everglades, and the amount of wildlife one can see is amazing. The wildlife fluctuates, of course, but there is a delicate balance between the native species and the non-native pets that are released to proliferate and wipe out the beautiful variety we’ve always enjoyed.

Everglades tour guides have been trying to make the best of things, showing cowering air boat riders the Burmese pythons they find, along with the more traditional gators, herons and spiders. Meanwhile, classes on python hunting techniques are also being offered. Unfortunately, the new python hunting season is way too short to really make a dent in the problem. And it doesn’t even address the growing problem with Nile monitor lizards, or the extremely aggressive African rock pythons that are threatening the ecosystem of the Everglades. Until people stop thinking of the River of Grass as a convenient way to rid themselves of unwanted pets such as Burmese pythons that have grown too large, we will continue to see drastic changes and a decrease in wildlife variety in our beloved Everglades.

Burmese Python Hunting Season in the Everglades

Neighborhood: Florida Everglades
Everglades City, FL 34139
United States of America