18′ Python. Again.

A handout photo of a near record-breaking Burmese python found in Everglades National Park near Miami.A Burmese phython found in Florida measured 18 feet, 2 inches, short of the state record by 6 inches

Engineers in the Everglades stumbled upon a near-record-breaking Burmese python measuring more than 18 feet long during a routine inspection of levees on Tuesday, a water management district spokesman said.

Murdoc says that any day where you find an 18-foot snake is definitely NOT ‘routine.’ But whatever.

Last year, a snake collector in the state discovered the largest python on record there, measuring 18 feet 8 inches, commission spokeswoman Katie Johnson said.

The pythons, which can grow to more than 20 feet in their native habitat in Southeast Asia, are one of the most problematic invaders of Florida’s sprawling Everglades wetlands.

They eat indigenous species and their food sources, fueling concerns that the predator snakes will fundamentally change the ecosystem.

The snake was killed. Officials say they think that there could be up to 150,000 pythons in the Everglades. Murdoc thinks maybe snakemeat sandwiches should be pushed.

Eat them out of existence.

NSSF Opposition Letter to Proposed Lead Ammunition Ban (AB 711)

Regarding the proposed lead ban in California:

First, absent sound science of an adverse impact to wildlife populations, there is no justifiable basis to restrict use traditional ammo. If sound science exists then wildlife managers (not legislators) should lead the identification of possible remedial measures available that adequately address the issue and implement the measure that is least costly to the sportsmen.

Also:

5 Yr. Lead Ammo Ban Fails To Reduce Levels of Lead In Condors

Despite a 99% compliance rate by hunters, there has been no reduction in condor lead posioning during the 5 years that the lead ammunition ban has been in place within the condor corridor.

Going Hog Wild in Texas

feral swine at nightCompetition to kill the most feral hogs starts

A competition among participating Texas counties to kill the most feral hogs and to educate the most residents about the animals starts Monday, and Hays and Caldwell counties are getting ready.

Both have offered a $2 bounty per feral hog tail to encourage people to participate in the program, a grant competition administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Counties can collect points during the Hog Out County Grant Program from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 for the number of feral hogs taken and the number of people who participate in an educational course to learn about the animals.

I think we’ll be seeing more programs like this.

Oink Oink

Michigan’s ban on wild pigs takes effect today

As of today, wild pigs, or feral swine, are officially outlaws in Michigan — illegal to keep, even in a private hunting preserve.

The state Department of Natural Resources has had shoot-on-sight approval on the critters for more than a year while trying to work out regulations for the game ranches that import them for trophy hunters. But with the Legislature failing to agree on anything, the DNR’s invasive species designation took effect Oct. 1 and will be enforced as of today, DNR Public Information Officer Ed Golden said Friday.

“We delayed active enforcement to give anybody who had them an opportunity to depopulate,” Golden said.

Coyotes

Sebastian on natural selection:

It’s not surprising then, that when humans start tolerating the presence of other predators, or even encouraging it, those predators will tend to lose their natural fear over time, and spread those fearless genes onto their offspring. Pretty soon you can’t leave rover out, or leave the kids out to play, without having to worry. When predators who tolerate the presence of humans are shot, they are removed from the gene pool. Nature selects only for predators that fear humans as a fellow predator, and steer clear. When you’re dealing with an animal like a Coyote, which is not endangered and adapts very well to new environments, it’s difficult for me to see why this is an issue for anyone.

Uncle says the same thing in a slightly more direct way:

This is my habitat now. The only reason coyotes are showing up in our subdivisions is because we provide them easy meals and most people don’t shoot them.

Eat them out of Existence

iguana in the crosshairsA Diet for an Invaded Planet: Invasive Species

Jackson Landers:

As the Locavore Hunter, based in Virginia, he teaches urbanites how to hunt and butcher deer. He has branched out from the locavore life to invasives, and lionfish are one target. But as he has pushed the envelope of the invasivore approach, he has hunted and eaten feral pigs, two species of iguana, armadillos, starlings, pigeons and resident Canada geese. He says that all of these activities will be chronicled in a book, “Eating Aliens,” and perhaps a television show as well.

Mr. Landers, who grew up in a vegetarian household, taught himself to hunt. He believes that eating invasives can have a real effect. “When human beings decide that something tastes good, we can take them down pretty quickly,” he said.

I’ve mentioned hunting and eating feral iguanas before (and received a lot of positive feedback on the subject) and think that making a sport and/or delicacy of some of these problem species is a legitimate way to address the issue.

(Via Instapundit)

Feedback on Florida Iguana Hunting

Over at Murdoc Online, I’ve been subjected to all sorts of harassment, ignorant commentary, and uninformed drivel about politics and the war. Here at GunPundit, though, most commenters are surprisingly rational. Sure, a few wackos chime in every now and then, but it’s mostly pretty solid conversation and reasonable debate.

iguana in the crosshairs

Except for the posts on hunting invasive species, especially Florida iguanas. Here are a few for your entertainment.

A while back I got this one on a post about iguanas:

As an iguana owner I would like to shoot you in the head at close range and shoot your dog and cat with guns what kind of pathetic a$$hole are you anyway. Go home to your trailer, trash.

Or this one:

OMG!!! I cannot believe what I am reading. As a wildlife rehabilitator and a rescuer and keeper of reptiles, including iguanas, I am absolutely infuriated! May the herds of iguanas you are hunting retaliate against you and leave you rotting and dying in a ditch in hell!! You bastards!

Because, yeah, feral invasive lizards attacking people would convince humans to stop hunting them.

And

stop bitchin its not the igaunas fault that their homeland (Florida) has been over populated by people

Hah. “Their homeland.” It’s like all those idiots who equate illegal aliens in the US with the immigrants that came through Ellis Island. That no makey the sensey.

Then there was this one that I simply had to completely edit due to the unacceptable nature of the comment. I think I’ve only deleted or edited about 8 or 10 comments in over seven years of blogging (and several of those were by the same idiot) so just be assured that if Murdoc felt the need to change it, it was pretty rough. But here’s a bit of the original:

you stupid fu[$$]ing human filth, you just dont get it do you. you should kill yourself instead…all I got to say is, if I ever see or find one of you ignorint fu[$$]s killing and not eating them… the gun aint goin to be pointing at the iguana but, You, and, it anint goin to be know BB gun… more like 40 cal.. so watch yourself and what the fu[$$] your doin because, there’s more people out there like me. waiting.

Left by someone calling himself ‘Mutant,’ and who am I to argue with his description of himself?

And this one just came in from Jennifer:

I am an iguana lover and seeing that picture of you with a dead iguana makes me sick.I hope you rot in hell.Dont worry asshole carma will give you all you deserve and more,hope to see you strung up by your balls with someone holding you up with a smile on their face while you suffer and die.

Thanks, Jennifer. I appreciate your feedback. It’s always nice to hear from the adoring public. A point of clarification: That isn’t me in the photo, it’s Terry Gibson from a story in Outdoor Life. Here’s a photo of the iguana without Terry in it.

Ah, comments on iguana posts. The gift that just keeps on giving.

Anyway, Murdoc wouldn’t mind getting in on the iguana hunting. And, as it’s in Florida with air guns, it sounds fun for the whole family.

Arkansas Wildlife Officials Want Wild Hogs Killed

Via Grand View Outdoors:

Arkansas wildlife officials have relaxed hunting rules to dramatically reduce the number of feral hogs, which do an incalculable amount of damage to wilderness and crop land each year.

The beasts introduced in by Spanish explorers have bred with domestic hogs and spread at a rapid pace over the past couple of decades.

In essence, they can be shot on sight and the shooters don’t even have to do anything about the carcass.

Leave it as a warning to others, I guess.