Skilled python hunter makes use of looking canines to trace down reptiles invading Florida’s swamps – WSVN 7News | Miami Information, Climate, Sports activities

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(WSVN) – A professional python hunter uses a few four-legged helpers to spy out snakes hiding in Florida swamps.

He uses a team of trained dogs to hunt invasive species of pythons.

Mike Kimmel is a trapper, snake hunter, and conservationist who specializes in capturing invasive species that run rampage in the swamps of South Florida, including pythons, iguanas, and monitors.

Kimmel said that he differs from other python hunters in that he uses a pack of trained dogs, particularly his dog Moose.

“Well, me and Moose, we are a great team together. He stays close to me when we hunt pythons, hopefully a bit in front of me, slowly lays his nose on the ground, works a scent path, takes me to where he thinks the python is, and when he finds that python he stays stand, locks himself up and of course points at it, similar to a bird dog. Then I know it’s time for me to go in, pick up the python and get it out of the ecosystem, ”he said.

Kimmel said that in the short time he began using it, Moose had shown great success in hunting pythons. He said he has worked with Moose since childhood to hunt invasive reptiles, and he understood the mission of keeping them out of Florida’s wetlands.

However, Kimmel believes that while he and Moose are successful in removing pythons from swamps, they are barely able to handle the problem as some of the native wildlife has returned to the areas they focus on, but python infestation is getting worse everywhere else.

“For me, the use of dogs and the use of new technologies is a cornerstone. These pythons are adapting and we have to keep adapting to them, ”he said.

Florida currently does not allow state-appointed trappers to use dogs in any of its Python programs. Kimmel said the state should reconsider how effective hunting dogs are.

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