Python Roundup Kicks Off In The Everglades

Posted by Shapley Hunter on Fri, Jan 11, 2013, at 11:33 AM:

This will like put the animal-rights people at odds with the environmentalists...

"Nearly 400 people have signed up to enter the Everglades and do battle with Burmese pythons, the giant constrictors that have emerged as the latest and weirdest threat to South Florida's wildlife.

"The 2013 Python Challenge, which begins Saturday, has attracted participants and media interest from around the United States for a monthlong event that will feature prizes of $1,000 for catching the longest snakes and $1,500 for catching the most.

"Participants do not need hunting licenses, unless they're under 18, or have experience with snakes. The only required training can be done online. Given those slender requirements, some have questioned the wisdom of encouraging amateurs with firearms, particularly non-hunters, to take on pythons in the wild.

"Going out into the bush in Florida is a potentially dangerous thing to do," said Stuart Pimm, a prominent Everglades scientist who is professor of conservation ecology at Duke University. "This is very, very rough terrain. Getting stuck out there without enough water could be a life-terminating experience."

"But assuming people use caution, he said, they could kill enough of the giant snakes to help the Everglades.

"This is a very serious threat indeed," he said. "It could radically change the composition of the species that we find in the Everglades, and the Everglades have enough threats without the snakes. I think extreme measures are extremely appropriate."

"Warren Booth, assistant professor of biology at the University of Tulsa and science director of the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers, which represents the reptile industry, said he saw the hunt as a potential "disaster" for people and native snakes.

"You've got venomous species, like the eastern diamondback rattlesnake and the cottonmouth," he said. "I think we're going to see native wildlife being killed and a potential human safety issue with people being bitten."

"Carli Segelson, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is supervising the hunt, said the commission will have extra law enforcement officers on the ground for the event and will provide training on identifying venomous snakes and avoiding harm to native wildlife.

"Of course any time you do something like this people are going to have concerns," she said. "I think that overall, people understand that this is a problem that needs to be dealt with and are very supportive and understand that these actions are warranted."

"Participants have signed up from 17 states. Among them is Tyler Newbolt, of Lake Worth, who is having a friend fly down from Michigan for a week of python hunting. Newbolt, 27, an experienced hunter of hog and deer, is looking forward to the chance to go after an unusual species with his .22 caliber rifle.

"It's just something fun to do," he said. "I'm definitely interested in the Everglades and the ecosystem. I'm a big advocate for the Everglades."

"Bruce Moore, of Pembroke Pines, plans to bring a pistol loaded with snake shot, pellet-filled cartridges that allow a pistol or rifle to function as a mini-shotgun."


On the other hand, I can see 'Python Roundup' as being the next big redneck reality show hit, coming soon to a cable channel near you...


  • Do they taste just like chicken?

    -- Posted by Old John on Fri, Jan 11, 2013, at 11:48 AM
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    Probably. Depends on what you feed 'em, I reckon.

    There will probably be a big sale on python-skin boots and handbags next month. Get 'em while they're hot!

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Fri, Jan 11, 2013, at 11:59 AM
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    Oh yeah, I can see "Python People" on History Channel coming! "Choot 'em!"

    Old John;

    I lived in Florida back in the 70's and them okies down there would eat anything! As I recall rattlesnake was pretty tasty, closer to frog legs in flavor and texture than chicken.

    -- Posted by Data48 on Fri, Jan 11, 2013, at 1:45 PM
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    I figured common would spin this.

    From PETA:

    "This bounty hunt is misguided in the first place, but allowing hunters to decapitate pythons -- who remain alive and in agony and who will writhe for an hour even after their heads have been cut off -- is despicably cruel," PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a statement.

    -- Posted by We Regret To Inform U on Fri, Jan 11, 2013, at 2:10 PM
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    Python Carpaccio:

    500 grams Python meat (as fresh as you can get)

    1 Juice from large or 2 medium size lemons (about cup)

    2 Juice from limes (about 2 tablespoons)

    2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

    2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

    3 tablespoons shallots (sliced)

    3 tablespoons fried shallots

    3 tablespoons peanuts

    1 bunch of herbs -- mint, basil and coriander (shredded/chopped)

    chilli flakes


    Partially freeze the python meat so that it's hard and easier to slice.

    Slice the python VERY THINLY.

    Place the python in a large bowl, squeeze the juice from the lemons and limes on to the meat.

    Add 2.5 tablespoons of sugar.

    Mix all the ingredients in the bowl well.

    Press the meat into the lemon-lime juice solution. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and stow away in the refridgerator for 2 to 3 hours. The acid in the juice will cook the meat.

    Stir the mixture once after an hour.

    Toast some peanuts in a dry hot pan, being careful not to burn them.

    After about 2 or 3 hours, drain the meat. Gently squeeze the meat to get the liquids out.

    Rinse the bowl and return the meat to the bowl.

    Add 2 to 2.5 tablespoons of fish sauce. Mix well together.

    Prepare the rest of the garnishes. Thinly slice a bunch of fresh shallots. Shred some mint leaves and coriander with your fingers. Slice some basil leaves.

    Lay the python slices out in a single layer on a large plate. Sprinkle the garnishes over it.

    For a spicier python dish, add some chilli flakes, crushed chillis with seeds, Or slice some fresh chillis and throw on top.


    Python meat is tough and does not have the same consistency of most commonly-prepared snake meats. Slow-cooking is recommended in order to tenderize the meat to an edible consistency.

    It may be a descent meat for making jerky...

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Fri, Jan 11, 2013, at 2:11 PM
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    If you don't want to travel to the Everglades (or the jungle) to get your python, you can obtain it from Pete's Fine Meats in Houston, but it won't be as fresh as that you obtain yourself.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Fri, Jan 11, 2013, at 2:20 PM
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    One of the advantages of the coming ice age is that it will probably drive the pythons out of the Everglades.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Fri, Jan 11, 2013, at 2:25 PM
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    I'm not sure if Polar Bears will be more or less damaging to the Everglades than are the pythons, but I guess we'll see...

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 3:48 PM
  • I knew Shap would have a receipe. Its it a tried and true receipe? LOL

    -- Posted by Mowrangler on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 4:27 PM
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    No, I haven't tried the python recipe. Apparently, them critters ain't made it this far North, yet.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 4:35 PM
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    January 18th is National Peking Duck Day.

    1 (5 lb) duck

    2 tablespoons maltose or 2 tablespoons honey

    2 tablespoons dry sherry

    1 tablespoon white vinegar

    3 tablespoons cornstarch

    10 scallions

    1/2 cup hoisin sauce

    2 teaspoons sesame oil

    Chinese pancakes

    Cut off duck wings at second joint, remove excess fat and skin, rinse and dry well.

    Insert chopstick thru neck opening and force along the wing bone under the skin until it protrudes slightly at the second joint.

    Push other end along other wing so that you end up with a duck that has its arms straight out like a crucifix.

    Tie a string on to the middle so you can hold the duck and hang it up.

    Bring 6 cups of water to boil in a wok.

    Add maltose or honey and stir to dissolve.

    Add sherry and vinegar.

    Make a slurry out of the cornstarch and add to wok.

    When liquid returns to a boil, dip the duck into liquid and spoon liquid over duck.

    Repeat until duck is thoroughly moistened.

    Repeat dunking once more.

    Hang duck by string in a cool airy place with a bowl underneath to catch drips.

    Leave for 4-6 hours until skin is dry and taught.

    Put roasting pan on lower oven rack and fill with 2-3 inches of water.

    Oil rack above pan.

    Preheat oven to 350.

    Remove chopstick and string.

    Put duck on oiled rack in center of oven breast side up.

    Cook 30 minutes.

    Turn duck breast down for 45 minutes.

    Turn breast up for 30 minutes or until skin is dark brown.

    While duck is cooking make scallion brushes.

    Trim roots,cut off most of green part, leaving a 3 inch piece.

    Make several 1 inch lengthwise slits in each end of scallion, put in ice water for 20 minutes, drain and refrigerate.

    Carve duck and separate meat and skin.

    Mix hoisin with sesame oil and 1 tbl water.

    To serve: use scallion brushes to wipe hoisin mixture on to pancakes, add duck skin and meat and scallion, fold one end over and roll up.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 4:47 PM
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    I wonder how that would taste if one substituted python meat for duck?

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 4:47 PM

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