Tuesday Video Lunch: Fishing Bites


While Kristin obsesses over the Florida Python Challange (or “Snake Jihad”,) another insane Florida animal hunt is this week’s Video Lunch.

But before we get to the main course, we need a bit of an appetizer. It is possible that some of our readers are not familiar with noodling. Noodling is a form of fishing, in which the fisherman enters the water and puts his hand into dark holes and other likely hideouts for catfish. The catfish bites the intruding hand, either because it is pissed off or hungry, and then it becomes a battle of strength and will to decide whether the fish is caught or escapes. Sure, sometimes there are snapping turtles or snakes in those holes, but only sissies shy away from thrusting their limbs into the murky unknown. These women are not afraid:

So that’s noodling. Get in the water, shove your hand where it might get bit, and get ready for a fight. Just a few points about noodling before we proceed to the actual story for today:
1. Shirts are optional.
2. Country music is not optional.
3. The ladies in that video seem to have pet deer; this is also optional although not advisable since at least a few men have been gored to death by their pet deer.

In Florida, one of the few states where noodling is legal, some guy has decided to take things up a level. First, he isn’t keen on getting wet, so he just lies on the dock. Second, instead of going after catfish, he takes on tarpon. Tarpon is an interesting choice because they can get to be 8 feet long and 280 pounds and they are prized as game fish because they put up a fight like a sleepy child at bedtime. (If you’ve never been a babysitter, you may be surprised to know that it is the sleepy children who are most insistent that they don’t want to go to bed, but it is true.)

What!? After all that wrestlin’ he let it get away? I bet he doesn’t even have a pet deer!

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Python Challenge 2013: Snake Jihad, Snakepocalypse Vid


 

Of the 400 people who have signed up for the challenge that start tomorrow, this is the guy I know will not succumb to unpreparedness.

I predict this guy will murderhouse at least 5,000 snakes by the end of this weekend. Most of them likely to be Burmese pythons.

How many weapons does one man need? All of them.

Whacking Month in the Everglades, Python Challenge 2013


Here’s what I know about this so far:

  • It takes place in the Everglades where the nonnative Burmese Python is wrecking the ecosystem and proliferating faster than the rabbits I want to compare them to.
  • There will be two main prizes: $1000 for biggest snake and $1500 for most Burmese Pythons caught.
  • No, you cannot just cut up and sew together several snakes together to win $1000. You’d know that if you’d read the instruction manual.
  • Hundreds of people ranging from professional hunters to complete amateurs are bringing all types of weapons to this month-long extravaganza. All ages welcome!

I get the feeling that this will not go well for someone. Not for the obvious reasons like the 17 footer found months ago or the kids, pets, and large animals the snakes have taken out. No, no. The real fear didn’t hit me ’til I read through the manual which seemed both comprehensive and patronizing all at once. Behold.

Python manual

If you see a python being consumed by another swamp monster, let it go.

So, I’m already wading through the fucking murky Everglades swamp and in the back of my mind thinking about the alligators that were in no addressed in the training AND I’m looking for pythons. Big, angry grand daddy ones. I have so much trouble keeping my footing in the shower that I’m already done with this challenge, but let’s just see what the rest of the amateurs will have to deal with.

There wasn't enough to worry about.

There wasn’t enough to worry about.

There are a plethora of non native species roaming about mixed in with native snakes that are poisonous and non poisonous and I really hope the 15 seconds you guys used scrolling through the images on the PDF helps you sort em all out (especially the endangered ones). They are all brownish and look like snakes. Write that down.

Put your hand in its mouth to fish out possible other pythons.

Put your hand in its mouth to fish out possible other pythons.

I had an issue with the handling methods in the photo until I realized that the snake is probably already dead. Just so you know though, kneading is not the proper way to dispatch a python – try a gun, a machete, or a captive bolt. Just be sure to, you know, be super careful with that while you’re faffing around the Everglades with your kids.

All that to say…I will be obsessed with this story for the next month, starting January 12th. Stay tuned!

Tuesday Video Lunch: Snake Lunch


For this week’s Video Lunch, we’ve chosen a video that might make you lose your regular lunch. (Seriously, if you are easily grossed out by animals eating each other, don’t watch this video.) While mammals such as yourself tend to eat lunch daily, snakes keep far less regular habits. When consuming large meals, snakes can take hours to ingest the food and over a week to digest it. After eating, the snake’s heart and liver grow substantially to support all of the digestive activity. Wait a second, recently fed snakes have drastically enlarged livers? Perhaps we’ve stumbled on a way around the California foie gras ban that we discussed in a recent podcast.

On the 11th Day of Xmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Eleven Vipers Viping


For Christmas this year, little Jimmy asked for night-vision goggles. He had been extra good, wrote Santa several nice letters, and had even spent time working at the local soup kitchen. He really, really wanted night vision goggles. They were exactly what he needed for a tactical edge over his friends in imaginary covert ops and would also come in handy when spying on his sister’s hot friends during sleepovers.

Green tint notwithstanding, boobs are boobs.

Unfortunately, little Jimmy has found himself in the middle of Kristin’s Gloriously Masterful Interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas, so he is bound to get something a little more… exotic. Even more unfortunate for little Jimmy, everybody over at Animal News: The Podcast is sick to death of birds. So I’ve eschewed the OBVIOUS choice of “Sand Pipers Piping” for day eleven.

Stupid bird! That'll give you cancer!

No, Jimmy is getting a box of rattlesnakes this year. Tough nuts, Jimmy. But hey, we aren’t just here to jerk people around. Rattlesnakes were chosen specifically to address Jimmy’s wishes. See, Rattlesnakes are pit vipers. And pit vipers come with built-in infrared night-vision.

The eponymous pits on the face of pit vipers are heat sensing organs. They are some 30 times more sensitive than military issue infrared cameras. Also, since there are two of them, pit vipers can actually “see” heat in stereo, making it possible to not only identify the location of prey but also determine where and how it is moving.

However, the pits do pretty much look like giant nostrils.

The heat sensing abilities, combined with the snakes’ ability to smell in stereo (so that’s why they have a forked tongue,) the hypodermic needle-like fangs, and the ability to strike in a third of a second, make vipers awesome killing machines and awful Christmas gifts.

And just in case Jimmy’s box o’ rattlers doesn’t kill EVERYBODY in the family, we hid an eyelash viper in the poinsettias.

Happy Holidays!