"You can go out there for days and days and days and not see one python," snake hunter Justin Matthews said last month. "I don’t care how much experience you have. It is going to take some luck."
see Plenty more where those came from — final take in Fla. snake hunt is 68 pythons – CNN.com.
Achh! With possible 10K+ pythons to be culled in the Florida Everglades, people have been walking around looking for patient and camouflaged hunters… That’s just stupid. I have never seen a python in the wild and don’t want to but they are snakes and I know how snakes hunt, by smell… Hint: Use bait and guard the bait, 24×7. Pythons also sense heat so it may help to have live mammalian bait.
These snakes hunt in the trees and swamps so make a trail of scents at the boundaries of forests and swamps and leave the bait where you can watch it. Watch the snakes pile on. Be patient. Snakes move slowly but waiting and letting them come to you is much more efficient than walking miles where your motion alerts the snakes to be still and their camouflage developed over millions of years works for them.
Many years ago I had plenty of experience with garter snakes. They live in similar although colder terrain and they hunt by smell. Let a frog, earthworm or small fish come withing metres of them and the tongue (the sense organ) will flick more and more rapidly with the head moving from left to right to judge direction as they home-in on the prey. When they are really close and the tongue touches the prey, they lunge and it’s all over. They can catch a jumping frog in mid-air. Amazing.
Once again, knowledge is key to a successful hunt. I have been hunting more than 50 years. Simple things like knowing what the quarry is doing makes the job much easier and faster.
Here’s how not to do it. You can see a snake tracking a rat here. See that tongue flicking? That’s what it uses to hunt. If you want to hunt snakes you have to guard the bait at night, too. Smell and heat-sensing work best then.
Smell can also be used against the pythons using dogs.
“So far Jake and Ivy have located 19 pythons, one of which had 19 eggs.”
Two dogs did better than 1000 humans walking around.