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Are Burmese Pythons Killing YOUR Deer?

by Cody Altizer 13. February 2012 14:56
Cody Altizer

Deer hunters and managers all across the country know that predator control should be taken very seriously if you want to maximize the deer hunting on your property.  This means properly managing coyotes, wolves, bears, bobcats and snakes.  Wait, what?  Snakes?  Yes, more specifically giant snakes.  Burmese pythons, in fact, have set up show in the Florida Everglades and dramatically reducing the fragile ecosystem’s local deer herd.   

South Florida Water Management District employees found this 16 ft. Burmese python on a tree island while clearing off non-native plants.  The animal was immediately killed.

Burmese pythons are a non-native snake species that are threatening not only whitetail deer, but other various types of wildlife in the Florida Everglades.  Likely released into the wild as pets some 30 years ago, these sneaky serpents have become a major problem in the Everglades as recently as the year 2000.  Since then, rabbit, fox, bobcat, possums, raccoons and whitetail deer numbers have dropped dramatically.  

The snake measured 44 inches across it's stomach thanks to just recently having consumed a 76 pound whitetail doe, roughly the same size as a small child.

In October 2011 South Florida Water Management District employees discovered a 16 foot python while removing non-native plants from a tree island.  The snake was killed, cut open and found to have just consumed a 76 pound whitetail doe, the largest intact prey ever found in a Burmese python in Florida.  The snake reportedly had 44 inches of girth in its stomach thanks to the doe.

The unlucky whitetail doe that was consumed by a Burmese Python in the Florida Everglades.  Burmese pythons, like coyotes and wolves, are a predator to all forms of wildlife, not just deer.

The Hunting Network Staff would like to know what YOU would do should you ever encounter one of these non-native trouble makers in the wild.  Would you be the predator or the prey?  Let us know on our Facebook page.

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