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Friday, May 17, 2024
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Opening Day Blues

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That’s right, I’ve got the blues….  It’s opening day of archery season this weekend in the Southern portion of our state and I’m going to have to sit it out.  Heartbreaking, right?  Oh, I’ll survive I suppose; just one of those times where work just gets in the way.  Oddly enough, though, work will be taking me south for a few days next week, so I guess I’ll just carry my bow along and sneak off for a hunt or two if I get the chance.

I’ll be down in the Everglades again from the 6th of August until the 10th, helping to catch pythons and get some great film for a pair of TV shows I’m producing.  And there are plenty of snakes out there to be hunted down!  My friend Myron Looker has been catching them up left and right as this is the time of the year when the nests hatch and the hatchling Burmese pythons are on the move and hungry.  He caught nine in one night recently and assisted a young lady in capturing a seventeen foot long female Burmese along a roadside.  

Out of the egg, you’ve got a 24 to 26-inch hatchling.  By the end of their first month out of that egg, they will have grown to at least three feet in length.  Depending upon their success as hunters, by the end of their first year, they can have grown upwards to seven and eight feet in length.  The rate of growth these alpha predators exhibit is mind-boggling to me and is a huge part of why they’ve so successfully invaded our state and depleted such huge numbers of south Florida’s wildlife.

Pythons aside, I’ll be setting up a couple of side trips for whitetail.  Since I’ll be camping out only a few miles from the entrance to the Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area, I’m thinking it ought not to be too difficult to slip in and out.  I’ve hunted the Big Cypress in the past and the easiest way I know, to hunt on the fly, without scouting, is to locate the oak flats near the waterways.  The WMA is crisscrossed with canals and creeks and once I find the oak flats I assume they’ll be feeding in the late evening or at nighttime once it cools off, I look for where they will be crossing the water to get there.  

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It’ll be wet, hot, mosquito-filled mornings and evenings on stand while snakin’ at night and grabbing a siesta during the heat of the day.  It’ll be tough, but with a few considerations, I’m certain I can place things in my favor.  With proper hydration, a belly full of determination, and of course, my film crew’s permission, this next Everglades adventure ought to really give me lots to write to you about. 

I surely thank you for all of your input and as always, if you have any feedback, give me a shout at [email protected].  God Bless and Good Hunting!


Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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