Q: Why does he call himself the Python Cowboy? A: He is trying. Trying so very hard. To get a woman, any woman, to look at him. Just once.
2 months ago
Mike "Python Cowboy" Kimmel is a licensed wildlife trapper of invasive and dangerous species, contracted python hunter, and owner of Martin County Trapping and Wildlife Rescue. www.pythoncowboy.com
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You have these TV shows that make especially the Python thing seem like it's a lot worse than it is. You know, or a lot easier than it is, I should say. It's a bad situation. We have our native wildlife being wiped out. But it's not like you're just going to go out there and you're tripping over Pythons. You know, it's not the case. I search very, very hard to find that. There was an estimate of 500,000 Pythons in the Everglades. Could be more. I personally think there's less. Really? I do. I do. We don't really know what's out there. The estimates have been 100,000 all the way up to 3 million. How do they estimate? That's the thing. They're just going off of captures, really, and the decline of native wildlife, which there's other factors at play when it comes to the decline of our native wildlife. Obviously, Pythons are eating up our native wildlife in the Everglades without a doubt. There is a lot of evidence of that. But our Everglades is a struggling place as it is right now between the water management, the overpopulation of our state. We have a growing Panther population that we're looking like we're having trouble sustaining. Sustaining? How so? Well, we see a lot of depredation in Collier and Henry County. When you mean depredation, you mean attacking wildlife? Attacking, not so much wildlife, but pets and livestock. Livestock. Yes, sir. And we just see that there's more Panthers than we're accounting for just from vehicular deaths. So if the current Panther numbers were accurate, over 30 percent of the Panther population dies every year just for motor vehicles. And that doesn't really seem right if you think about that. There's no way a third of the population dies every year for motor vehicles and is continuing to grow. And they're just not that stupid. So it's sort of an uncalculated, they haven't calculated it correctly, but you'd think there's more of them. There's quite a lot of sightings, right? So sightings are rare, but that's just because it's a very elusive animal. And they're out in the middle of the Everglades. I've seen more photos of them over the last few years than I've ever seen before. We've had attacks. Oh, really? Oh, yeah. We've had, I believe, a couple in the past few years each year where people are out turkey hunting or sitting on the ground calling for a turkey, calling for a coyote, something like that. And a Panther comes in and thinks some guy got mauled on his face or something like that. It's pretty wild. Of course, the animal realizes what's happening and gets out of there. But he still gets attacked. But he still gets attacked. Me personally, just from Python hunting down there over the years, I've seen a dozen or more of them. I've been sleeping in my tent in the middle of the night out in the Everglades. And I'm woken up by a Panther growling right next to my head outside my tent, circling my tent for about 15 minutes. Oh, Jesus. And I did. I had a shotgun in the tent. I also had a baby raccoon I rescued in the tent with me. Oh, whoa. That I think may have been a reason he was stalking me a little bit. And I pop out of my tent with my shotgun and my flashlight. I thought it was a big bull gator just from the sound. I've never heard a Panther growling inches from my head. And dude, it is bone chilling, bone chilling. Oh, my God. It was so deep and like just devilish sounding. I thought it was a big bull gator. It's the only thing I could think it was. And it would be on this side of the tent right next to my head. Then it was on the other side of the tent. Back on this, no footsteps in between. I'm like, what is going on? I'm like, am I sure anything? Nothing. I'm like, am I surrounded by alligators? Like what's going on? Oh, my God. I pop out of my tent and nothing's there. Nothing. Not a thing. So only thing it could have been is a Florida Panther. Maybe two of them. I don't know. Wow. Yeah. It's so creepy that they can sneak around and not make any sound at all. Well, it makes me think how many times did I have one right next to me? And I had no idea. I saw one in Montana two years ago. Excuse me, in Utah two years ago, and it freaked me out. And I was in a truck 30 yards from it. My friend Colton goes, a cat. I go, where? He goes under the tree and I look and I see the glowing eyes. Yep. Because it was dusk. And then I put my bino's on them and I was, you know, maybe 30 yards away. And its fucking head was like a pumpkin. It was a big male. Like I've seen cats before. I've seen small ones. Like I saw one in Montecito, California and it was like, you know, like 50, 60 pounds. I thought it was a coyote until I saw the tail and I was like, oh shit, that's a cat. But this one was different. This one had massive forearms. Well, he just massive. It was just sitting there with his pumpkin head. And that's it. The mountain lions are different. You know, they're not a different species or breed, but they're different struck, you know, physically than our Florida panther, but not anymore. Really? So the, the, our state government and all their wisdom took Texas cougars, brought them down to Florida and interbred them with the last few remaining Florida panthers we have. Oh no. So they're no longer a Florida panther. They're now Texas cougars and they are bigger. They are more aggressive. And, you know, we're, we're dealing with it for sure. What a stupid move. Yeah. We've seen that it's the cane toads, cane toads in the sugar cane fields, the boo-foo toads that we're dealing with now. Same thing. They brought them into control insects in the, in the fields and they wind it up eating everything but the insects basically. And now they're a big problem. If you look at the, Those are the kind of toads that eat rats. Yeah. They're, they're, they're venomous actually. They're, they're toxic. They're, they produce a toxin from them and some people try to get high from them. Those are the people that like they cut themselves and put the toxin on their arm, I think. Yes, or they'll smoke the skin or smoke the dry toxin. Really? Yeah. I don't know how, how effective it is. What is Bufo? What is the actual chemical compound? It's like, there's a word like, I want to say one of the toads, it's similar to DMT. Okay. That's five methoxy dimethyltryptamine. That comes from some toads. Is that the Bufo toad though? Here it goes. Bufogen is a toxic steroid obtained from the toads milk, the poisonous secretion of the skin gland on the back of the neck of a large toad. Yeah, the cane toad. The toad produces this secretion when it is injured, scared or provoked. And what does the toxin do? Why do people want it? That's what, that's like a real poison that gives you like some crazy visions or something. That's not, I don't think that's not the same one as the one that produces dimethyltryptamine. Yeah, it may not be. It's definitely not some toad, I would suggest trying to get high up. I think you'd get more sick. What about just Google getting high off cane toads? Yeah. Told venom addiction and abuse. Oh my gosh. Typically. People are fucking toad venom addictions. Licking toads, particularly cane, oh you can lick them, can be dangerous. However, it may cause muscle weakness, rapid heart rate and vomiting. Well, it's, so I used to have a dog. This is right there. My dog's getting high on cane toads. Should I be worried? They love it. They love it. You know, a dog, a dog can die from it very easily. It's a big risk, smaller dogs especially. But I used to have a dog that would search them out, chew them up, and just sit there and trip balls all day long. Okay, this is saying that it does secrete synthetic 5-methoxy DMT. That's what I heard it, it was similar to it. Oh, okay. So the cane toad is the one they use for that. I've heard of people doing that. What they've done is they take the toad and they rub the toad on a windshield. And they get. Tried. All it out and then they scrape that stuff off of the windshield and they smoke that. I'm like, Jesus, Louisa. That just seems so degenerate. Yeah, that's rough. It seems so degenerate. Mike Tyson said he died after smoking psychedelic toad venom. Okay. He calls it the toad. A lot of dudes call it the toad. Yeah, I've never done that one. I mean, I've done the synthetic version of it, but I've never done the- Well, what was that like? It's like it does feel like you died. It feels like you cease to exist. It's the only experience I've ever had where you cease to exist. When you take regular DMT, you're still there. You're still experiencing it. When you take that five-methoxy, you go away and you think, oh, no, I fucked up. You really think you're gone. So the natural is the way to do it. Well, I think that's natural too. I think your body produces that as well. They're all just all the really potent ones. They seem to have something to do with human neurochemistry. Your brain makes all of them. Yeah. That's the craziest. Yeah, it's very interesting, but it's just crazy these fucking people have addictions. There's an addiction center to lick and toes. I didn't think it would work if you just licked it. I thought you had to smoke it. I wouldn't think so either. These kids today, they find a way. That's it. They huff paint. They do whatever they find. Where there's a will, there's a way. Especially where you live, bro. Yeah. Especially where I live. The one state where you could say the state and then a man, everybody goes, oh. Oh yeah, we're very proud of that. We're very proud of that. There's so many Instagram pages and Twitter pages dedicated to people in Florida doing crazy shit. Yeah. I think I've been Florida man a few times and add that to my belt. How did you get involved in Honey Pythons? First of all, can you bring that Python head up? Let me see that Python head. I did see it because I purposely didn't look. This is actually the one that bit me. I almost bled out in the middle of the Everglades, caught by myself in the middle of the Everglades. That bit you? Yeah, yeah. This snake, 17 foot, seven inches, 135 pounds. And that's no eggs inside of it, no meal inside of it. That's solid snake muscle. At the time, that's about what I weighed. It was a fair Everglades battle royale. Oh my God. Can I see it? Yeah, absolutely. Now, tell me the scenario. What happened? So, I was- The mouth on this thing, Jay. Yeah, look at all those teeth. Look at that. It's insane. And that head actually has shrunk substantially from the freeze drying process. All critters freeze dried that for me. And it takes all the moisture out of it and really shrinks down. So, I was out hunting the Everglades. I was actually out in my 14 foot John boat by myself. And I was checking spoil islands out there. These islands were dug maybe 100 years ago or more when they dug the canal. They were made 100 years ago when they were digging the canal. And they've been up there gaining vegetation, getting real nasty. And a lot of these critters come up on them to breed, to feed, and to nest. And I was out there looking for a python like I normally do. And I came across her. I knew immediately when I saw her that she was very large, possibly the largest python I've captured. And I could only see the back half of her, maybe like the back third of her. But I could tell she was a monster. My heart is pounding. I'd be lying to you if I said it wasn't. But my main fear in a situation like that is not that this snake's going to kill me. I'm confident in how to handle these animals, confident in my ability. But I'm worried this thing's going to get the best of me, overpower me, and possibly I lose it. It gets away into the swamp to eat more of our native wildlife. Coming across an animal like this, even with the situation we're in in the Everglades, is still a once in a lifetime opportunity. It really is. I've caught a number of them, but I spend a lot of time out there. So I'm getting ready to capture this snake, building myself up to it. The safest way to go about it is to find the head, grab the head with both my hands, and keep her from coiling on me, wrapping around me. I can't find her head. Her head's buried in vegetation, buried in the maiden cane. I just can't see it. And she's working her way slowly off the island. So I know I got to quickly do something. I'm afraid if I get closer to her head, I'm going to spook her, and she's going to try to start moving away. I grab onto her tail, and this is kind of a bad situation to be in, especially with all the thick vegetation. These snakes can easily overpower you and will actually drag you out into the swamp. There's just no stopping it. It intertwines in all the weeds and just drags you. So I know grabbing this thing, my goal is to piss it off and get it to start striking at me, where I can see that head and grab ahold of that head. Otherwise, this thing's gone. So I get ahold of it, and it starts dragging me. It's pulling me off the island. So is it wrapped around you? Or are you just hanging on? No, no, no. It's stretched out. But you're hanging on. I'm hanging on to it. Yeah, this thing's eaten alligators, eaten deer. It's the biggest thing out here. It's not worried about nothing. It's not scared of me. You know what I mean? It's kind of seeing what I'm doing. So I got ahold of it, and it's starting to... Are you wearing gloves? No. How are you able to really grab it? If I had gloves on, I wouldn't be able to grab it. I need my bare hands to be able to work and feel everything, have the grip. Gloves will just get in the way. Eating something with like a texture to it? I don't want any of that. Okay. I don't want any of that. They just get in the way. So I got the snake dragging me out into the swamp, losing this battle. I'm able to dig my heels down into the limestone that I'm standing on, the limestone island, and I'm able to stop her. I'm not gaining on her, but I got her stopped, and we're kind of in this everglades tug of war right now, and she starts to get pissed off. She starts hissing. She starts turning around on me, and this is what I want. But I got to not get bit. You know what I mean? Holy fuck. A snake this size, to my advantage, they're slower than a smaller snake. They have a lot of body mass. They're going to tire out quickly, and her strikes aren't going to be lightning fast. So she's striking at me. I'm dodging her strikes. Oh my God. Everything's going good. You're flowing Mayweather out there. Doing a little duck and weave. Everything's going good. Normally, when a snake strikes, it's going to strike out, recoil back, get ready, strike again, recoil back. That's how they strike. That's how they get that power. They kind of recoil their body. So it struck. I dodged it. It recoils back like a third of the way and hits me with this little sneak attack strike that I wasn't expecting. This snake is anywhere from 10 to 20 years or more old. So it's been around the block. It's a smart snake. Snakes don't normally do that. I think she kind of knew what she was doing. She struck. She got me on my arm, got an artery, got some veins coming off my artery. That doesn't do it justice at all. Their teeth are all their punctures. So they're like needles. So they punctured down deep. But you can see that top one gets right into my main vein. And the real bad one was on the top of my arm that you can't see where it's on this. I think it's an artery. I may have wrong coming coming on the top of my arm. And I got very lucky. Normally, when they bite, they they latch on and she would have latched on. She would have wrapped around me. And I would have been in a very, very bad situation being out there by myself. Thank the good Lord. I had him on my side that day. She struck. She bit. I was able to grab her head. And I don't know if it's how I pushed it forward and pulled her off or what. Because all their teeth are recurved, like fish hooks almost kind of. Got her right off of me. Grabbed her head, pushed her off of me. She didn't latch on. She was trying to bite again. Maybe maybe that she didn't think she had a good bite and she was trying to regrip. But I got lucky. Now I have her head. I'm bit. I'm spraying blood all over the Everglades. But I have her head. So now now my main thing is controlling her without exerting myself too much. Because every time I'm I'm doing anything, I mean, it's it's I've never seen blood come out of my body like this. You know, really. Um, my heart's pounding. Adrenaline's going and my main thing is just to stay calm. I don't think I'm necessarily going to bleed to death. I mean, the amount of blood I'm seeing across my mind, but but I really don't think I'm going to bleed to death. I'm worried about blacking out from blood loss. The heat exert exerting myself. What's this snake going to do if I black out? It's going to wrap around me. It's going to kill me. 100%. You know, I don't think it'd necessarily be able to swallow me and eat me. Maybe, but it could definitely kill me. So I'm really trying to control my heart rate. Try not to exert myself. The snakes biting at me, you know, going nuts. You can see the video on my YouTube of where I'm just covered in blood and I have a snake bag with me to put whatever snake I was planning on catching in the bag. This snake is way too big for that bag. So I actually am able to use that bag to tie off my arm and kind of do a little red. You're holding it down. Yeah. Why I got the head in one hand and I'm turn a kid in my arm. Think it was like this turn a kidding my arm with with the other and got my arm sent shut. You know, kind of got the bleeding under control. And I was able to kind of collect myself. This snake is pretty much worn out at this point. She's cold blooded. So they gas out after about a 10 minute fight. She's like a limp noodle. So I'm kind of just laying on her catching my breath. Now I got to get her back to my boat where I can put a bullet in her head because I don't just walk out around out there with a gun. All these snakes I catch alive, put them in a bag and it's just easier to not have a gun on me. Jesus. And why is it would be so hard to have a gun right there? Well, I'm literally crawling through cane and sawgrass and it gets snagged. You can lose a gun very easily and it's just it's in the way and 99.9% of the time. I'm not going to need one and especially me. I'm the kind of guy where if I come across a 30 foot snake, you know, which pythons don't get that big. Let's say I come across a 30 foot snake, something crazy. I ain't shooting it. I'm I want to catch it. You know, that's dude. That's what I'm all about. Oh my God. This is this is you after this thing bit you. Yeah, this is right where I'm getting ready to try to turn a kit my arm. Holy shit, man. And you're filming this. Yeah, I got my shoulder cam on and then I put a GoPro on the ground. This is wild. And, you know, normally I don't always get great. I mean, I get pretty good footage with myself on my shoulder cam, but like I was set up this day and I knew I had my GoPro running when this thing bit me. Are you cinching up at the top of your arm above the wound? Above the wound, above the wound. Yeah, above the wound. And, you know, to be honest with you, the first thought that went through my mind when that thing bit me and I have all these cameras going and I see all this blood is this video is definitely going viral. Just don't die. It would really go viral if you died. Yeah, I'm sure it would have found GoPro footage. So now you have to carry this thing out while you're holding onto its head. While she really is like a limp noodle. While it's still alive. She really is like a wimp noodle. Yeah, she's gassed out. She is done. That's insane. She is done. Wow, man. That's a man shit right there, son. Not a lot of human beings are capable of doing that. And just keeping it together. It's creeping me out just watching you hold onto that thing as you're walking through the woods with it. What I think it is more than anything and, you know, I hate to kind of take away from myself, but it's what we're taught as kids, you know, we're taught to be fearful of snakes, that they're this evil, dangerous thing. And I can't tell you, I think that's why I've been so successful on social media, is these people, they just freak out watching these snakes. You know, they can't believe it. And it's, they're not really that crazy. Really not. I think you're just used to them. I think they're really fucking crazy. This is the reason why they're only in one state like this. Look at the size of that thing, man. That thing's enormous. And they eat alligators. Oh, yeah. I think, bro, I think they would eat you. I've rescued three alligators from pythons. Wow. That's actually how I started my social media, is I made the news, went kind of viral for rescuing an alligator from a python. I had a guy out on a guided hunt with me. He recorded it, videotaped it, and it, you know, made the news. And a local clothing brand, Flowgrown in Florida, made my Instagram, made my social media, and was like, dude, you got to start using it. You know, we'll send you clothes. And that's really how it all got started. That's crazy. That's how it got started. That's amazing. Look at these things. And I actually, this was the smallest of the three I've rescued. It was the third one that we finally got on video, because I never used to really record anything. Imagine how fucking confused alligators must be. Like, I thought we were at the top. We were at the top forever. Yeah. Oh, yeah. What happened? What the fuck is going on? 2023, times are changing. So the source of all this, I thought initially that it was people releasing pets, which it was. But it was also, there was some sort of like a Python research center, and it got damaged. So there's a lot of speculation with that. To me, that Python research center is kind of more of like an urban myth. Oh, really? Yeah. There's never been a facility named. There's this place that they keep speaking of. People keep mentioning, we don't know what it is. No one's ever been, oh, it was this facility. It's just not a thing. Interesting. And people, yep, people were releasing pets that got too big. They were escaping as well. But to me, that's not enough to be where we're at today. Really? It's just not enough. Why don't we have anacondas all over? Why don't we have, I mean, we do have Nile monitors, but why don't we have Nile monitors everywhere? Why don't we have Cayman everywhere? We have some Cayman, but nothing like the Python. To me, it was, and I do have some things that are leading me to believe this. I'm not just pulling this out of my butt. But this is definitely an opinion, I would say. I believe that they were intentionally released by somebody or multiple people. Probably reptile breeders, in a hope that they could stop importing pythons from overseas as pets and start farming them in state and collecting them out of the Everglades, reproducing them, getting big breeders out of the Everglades, using them, and then cutting out that essential middleman. Whoa. Really? There's definitely been a lot of things that kind of confirmed this to me. I'm not the only one that believes this either. I definitely don't want to get into necessarily mentioning names or anything like that. Yeah, we don't have to mention names. But what gave you this? What evidence is there of this? Just from what we've seen with other species, for something to take hold like this and become so prevalent, it needs to be intentional. There needs to be thousands to be released at a time. During the height of the Burmese, it was the most popular pet being imported into Florida. During the height of it, you would have a thousand come in in a week in a crate, and they would sell them all over the country. I think it was the kind of thing where it's like, well, we can dump one of these crates out there and see what happens and see if we can start farming them out there. These people, I've even just hear how they talk about the Python problem in Florida. It's, I don't know, there's definitely something to it. And just- How do they talk about it? Kind of defending it almost, you know, like, oh, leave the Pythons alone. What? Who does that? Different old school breeders that I would, the old reptile importers, some of the founding fathers of it, the exotic pet trade in Florida. Dude, I think you just uncovered a giant conspiracy. Yeah, well, it is. It is for sure. Somebody needs to look into that. If people are actually responsible for this. Yeah. Well, there have been people caught. There have been people caught, and I may be wrong on this, but I believe the guy was given life in prison or something crazy. But I think it was on the West Coast he was caught. It was a sting operation when they have surveillance, him dumping hundreds and hundreds of reptiles into. I don't know if it was the Everglades. I think it was maybe the western, probably the western side of the Everglades Conservancy area and everything from chameleons, tagoos, monitors, pythons, all kind of different species. Why was he doing that? Aren't they valuable? Yeah. But what we're seeing in the state is people doing that to farm them, especially with chameleons. People will go out and they'll dump maybe 50 chameleons into an area in a specific tree more often, and then they'll come back a year or two later, and there's a huge population of them. Then they go out and they pick them, and then they sell them for $50 to $100 each. You could go out and make three grand in a night just from a couple hundred dollars of chameleons you put out there a year ago or so. It's become a business. There's right and wrong ways to go about things. By no way am I knocking the reptile trade or anything like that. As a kid, I grew up with 20 different reptiles as pets and breeding them and selling them as pets. There's nothing wrong with that. There's a right and wrong way with anything like owning a gun or anything else. We shouldn't necessarily make these animals illegal because what we've seen when just recently they've made iguanas and tagoos illegal in Florida to own as pets, and we're seeing people dump their pets because FWC has been going around, and they said they wouldn't, but they have been. They've been going around and actually euthanizing people's pets. To someone that this iguana or this python even or anything, to a lot of people it's like a dog. It's like someone killing your dog. It really is. They would much rather turn it loose and give it the chance to survive than to have it euthanized. Then what you're left with is irresponsible pet owners. You're left with people that are breaking the law to own these animals, probably don't have proper enclosures, probably don't take good care of them, and probably will just release them when they're done with them. So you take all of the good away and you're left with the bad when instead we should put pop your pop regulations in place, proper regulations, where people then are forced to house these animals correctly. The problem is no longer pet iguanas or pet pythons. It's wild breeding animals. When they made these iguanas illegal just this past year, they've now stopped all of that free management we had of people coming from all over the country, coming to Florida, catching these iguanas, catching these tegus, taking them out of the state and selling them where they can't survive anyway because it's too cold. It was helping us. It was helping control these populations. Now all of that is gone. You're not allowed to do that anymore. This year in particular, I'm seeing more baby iguanas than I ever have in my entire life. So that was the primary way that they were regulating or that they were controlling the population size? Was people coming in and grabbing them? No, that's not the primary way, but that was a huge way. That was on top of what myself and other people in the state are doing. That was for especially for the juveniles and baby iguanas. That's 90 percent. That's what they're after. They go out there, they trap them. It may even be bigger than I'm thinking. A lot of people were making livings off coming down here, catching them, taking them out of state. And out of state, they can't survive? No, it's too cold. You see it just with you don't have these animals surviving in North Florida. It gets too cold. Interesting. That's crazy then. So it's almost like a perfect scenario because they can't be invasive. They can't survive. And that's the thing. We all fought against this when they were trying to get these new laws passed because at face value, it seems like, oh yeah, make them illegal. It'll help. But when you talk to the experts and the people that really know, it's counterproductive. And at this point, there's so many iguanas in Florida that the idea of eradicating them. No, we're never getting rid of the pythons. We're never getting rid of the iguanas. They're here to stay. But management is absolutely essential. Is it possible to manage the pythons and the Everglades? Yes, it is. How effectively it is remain to be seen. I feel right now we're losing that battle. But that's because the state really ties our hands. For the general public, it's almost impossible for them to go out and hunt these pythons. They just don't have the access. They're not getting compensated for it, nothing like that. A lot of these areas where the pythons are, you're not legally allowed to go off the trail in a vehicle. And that's the only way you can get around. So you have to stay on trail? You have to stay on levees, roadways. Is there an extensive trail system or is it mostly just wild? No, it's mostly just wild. And here's another thing which you're going to get a kick out of. In the national park itself, you are not allowed to remove invasive species. If you come across a 20-foot python eating a deer, you are not allowed to do anything. Because it's inside the national park and everything inside the national park is protected, even the invasive wildlife. Now they do allow state contractors to go in the national park and remove these pythons. But that's not nearly enough. We need the general public involved. We have a lot of people wanting to help. And inside the national park, even a state contractor is not allowed to get off the road in any sort of vehicle, airboat, anything. And that's the only way you can get around. The Everglades is 1.5 million acres of impenetrable swamp. You know, half of it's underwater, sawgrass that'll slice you open, twice as tall as you, and too thick to even get through. So you would need an airboat, you would need a swamp buggy, and none of this is allowed. And we really saw kind of the tides of battle kind of change, I guess you would say, when it became a national park. So we had python sightings in the Everglades in the 60s. They were seeing these snakes. And nothing was done. What was actually done was the Florida Gladesmen, who historically lived and survived off the Everglades and was a keeper of the Everglades, was kicked out of the Everglades when it was made in national park. Another thing, it's a rabbit hole I don't necessarily want to go down to. How many of those guys were kicked out? Hundreds, maybe thousands. It's hard to say. So it was all the folks that were living in there? Yeah, so they actually had camps out there. They built camps and they'd live out there. Some would go out there, recreation, a lot of them would live out there, make their living out there, gator hunters, commercial fishers, moonshiners, drug smugglers, all kind of stuff. And you know, a lot of these camps was actually, especially when you're getting more into the pythons starting to take over when they were really trying to get everyone out, which that's not the reason they were trying to get everyone out was because of the pythons. It was because they were trying to turn into national park and they felt like these people shouldn't be in there. They were burning down camps. And there's actually stories of burning down camps with gladesmen inside and all kind of shady stuff going on. You know, that's maybe a topic for another time. But how long did it take to move these people out of the forest? So the national park, I believe, was started in like 47. It was actually finalized in sometime in the 60s, maybe the late 60s. And then from there, I want to say the whole exodus kicking everybody out probably 20 years or so, 15, 20 years. And it's still kind of a raw spot for a lot of us. A lot of us don't like the park service because of everything that happened. And you know, we feel that the Everglades should be open to the people to enjoy it and enjoy it in the right way, of course. But we really seen that when the gladesmen, the eyes of the ears and the keepers of the Everglades was removed from the Everglades and our access was limited, the pythons took over. The water quality went down. We're seeing fracking in our Everglades. We're seeing oil drilling, all kind of stuff that, you know, we feel the Everglades should be represented and preserved in a better way. Do you think that that was one of the reasons why they wanted to get everybody out so they could extract the resources? I think there was definitely some, you know, ulterior motives, for sure. I work closely with a lot of these state departments, you know, so I'm not trying to ruffle too many feathers. But yeah, there's definitely some shady stuff going on in the Everglades. Why are we not allowed to enjoy our Everglades? But, you know, we're allowed to take from her natural resources and diminish her, that the government is. And not manage the invasive species at all. And not manage the invasive species properly and not manage the water properly. Our Everglades is dying, is dying because of our water quality issues. And our state... What is the source of the water quality issues? It's a very complicated issue. And it's not one that I'm extremely versed on, I would say. I mean, I definitely know about it, but, you know, I don't want to say the wrong things. Overpopulation, too many people moving to Florida. So pollution-based? Pollution-based, agricultural-based. And the core of it is not allowing the water to flow south how it needs to naturally. So the Everglades is the greatest filter in the entire world. It's a natural wonder of the world. It really is. And right now, we are not using it the way we should. We're... There are steps being taken to send water south and to start to restore some of this natural natural flow. But the problem is, if we restore the natural flow to where it was, Palm Beach all the way down to Miami returns as a swamp land. All of the sugar cane, which is huge money at the south of Lake Okeechobee, is swamp and is no longer being able to use for sugar cane. And we see a lot of that, you know, make the decisions in what happens with our Everglades in conservation. It's a lot of corruption, a lot of money driven, rather than we need to set aside this piece of land, have it gather water, treat water, send it south to be filtered through our Everglades, and provide water to where it's dry, clean, healthy water, and then it can be filtered out through the Bay of Florida. We're seeing more where that land's being kept for agriculture or something else, or where a project gets started and then it's lobbied and nothing gets done. We're seeing a lot of just promises not being made as well. So have they dammed the flow of this water? Yep. So there's a series of levees and locks that control the water in South Florida. It's controlled by South Florida water management. And, you know, they started managing the water 100 years ago or more, I believe, maybe even much further than that. And that's really where we went wrong, is we should have learned to kind of work with the water flow more and not totally shut it off the way we have and totally made it manmade. Which, you know, like I said, they're trying to reverse some of that. They just built a new lock that's going to help send some of the water south through Tamiami Trail in 41, but it's just not enough. We need more water to be filtered and cleaned and less of it to be dumped out into the estuaries on the east and west coast. This water will remain stagnant and it'll build blue-green algae, which is actually a bacteria. And this bacteria produces toxins. I believe it sucks up all the oxygen in the water. And I don't know if you've seen these fish kills we've had on the east and west coast, but that's exactly what it's from, is our water management. So it's not just the Everglades, but it's the east and west coast. And that's because they're taking the water that needs to be sent south, cleaned and filtered, and they're sending it out into these estuaries where it kills everything. And it's, you know, they're protecting, which, you know, I'm not blaming US sugar by any means. US sugar does a lot to actually help Florida conservation, but it's just kind of a situation we've got ourselves in where there's not a great solution besides, you know, really taking away a lot of this money. And our estuaries are just suffering for it. Our Everglades is suffering for it. Have they done anything to try to figure out how to mitigate whatever pollutants are getting into the water? Have they tried to figure out some sort of a solution? I'm sure. I'm sure. I don't know if it's gained any traction because right now we're having algae blooms as we speak on Lake Okeechobee in different areas. And no, I don't know of any solution to really combat that algae bloom. And especially once they have it, you know, the water levels get so high, they have to flow it out. Is there a way to do this without flooding Miami? I'm sure there is. I'm sure there is. But to get it in a way where everyone's happy and on board with it and there's the money to do it is another thing. But so how did Miami get built? Was Miami originally swamp and they just filled it in? Yep. The canal systems were able to redirect the water. And you know, I'm sure they, which, you know, I don't know exactly how Miami was built, but I'm sure yeah, they built up on the limestone on the swamp. It's essentially limestone bottom down there. And then they divert the water with these canal systems and they're able to, you know, send it in areas. That's not Miami or send it through the canals through Miami out into the intercoastal and, and things along those lines. And they have a series of locks and gates that help control all this. It's very complicated. And, you know, I wish I knew. But if the natural flow of water would happen, if they just removed all the levees and just let everything flow all the way down, it would flood Miami. Yeah. Yeah. It would flood all through, which, you know, who knows they've maybe, if you could take away everything they did, all the ground being built up and everything. Yes. It would, it would be a swamp. Wow. Yeah. It's kind of crazy when someone sets out to do something to make it habitable for people and doesn't take into consideration that this is just this immense ecosystem. You'll get a kick out of this. So in, in an effort to dry up the Everglades while they were doing this, they wanted to dry the Everglades up. They actually from airplane released Melaleuca seeds over the Everglades because Melaleuca sucks up water. So now they pay contractors to go out and remove the Melaleuca from the Everglades because it's sucking up all the water. Oh boy. It's, it's crazy. There's so many instances in human history of people putting in a species to try to mitigate another species and having that species run amok, like the Australia situation with the wild cats. Yeah. It's insane. It is. Well, they have feral cats everywhere in Australia. They've decimated the ground nesting birds and they kill everything. Everything. Everything. We see it in Florida. We see it in Florida. We feral cats like crazy and they're killing everything. We saw the numbers. We read the numbers on one day on the podcast about how many animals get killed every year just in the US by feral cats. And it's in the billions. Mind blowing. It's so crazy. They're such little murderers. I think they've said like 15 to 20 different species are attributed to them being extinct. Yeah. Because of the cats. It's crazy. Yeah. It is. So the Florida situation as it stands, what, what are the official efforts to mitigate the Python population? So what do you think they could do? Could they just open it up to people? So in a perfect world, if you were the, the, the king of Florida and they said, Hey man, Python cowboy, tell us what to do. And you're like, this is what we're going to do. You're going to open this up to vehicles and put a bounty on these things. Yep. Not necessarily. No, no, not necessarily. So that can be a little bit risky. Um, you know, we've seen not so much in these past Python challenges, these past Python challenges, the tournaments we have in Florida where the general public goes out there and competes for money catching pythons. They've been great. They've been super successful. We're not seeing much bad come from them. But in maybe, you know, six or seven years ago, maybe six years ago, I think it was when they first came out with these competitions and there wasn't any education behind it. It was, it was a free for all. You had a bunch of rednecks riding around in trucks with shotguns and AR 15s shooting every snake that moved, leaving trash out there. And it was just a terrible thing. Barely any pythons were caught or removed. And it just was not beneficial. Now with all the education we've put out between the news, social media, TV shows, you know, the state programs, we see a different kind of snake hunter out there. We see people that are trying to help trying to do things the right way. They care about the ecosystem. They don't want to leave behind trash. And, you know, that is very encouraging for me to say something more like, yeah, let's, let's have a public bounty system where the general public can get out there and do what they need to do. But in order for that to be successful, we do need more access. You know, if they want to protect the national park and all that, that's fine. Okay, let's still allow people to remove invasive species when they come across them, whether they're state contractor or just some average Joe. But we will have penalties in place for anybody harming a native snake in the national park, where then people will be careful not to get in trouble and do something illegal. Outside the national park, which, you know, we have all kind of Francis S. Taylor, Rocky Glades, Frog Pond, all these different areas, area three, two, one, that have pythons in them. And that we should allow more access, more airboat access, more buggy access year round and show people how valuable these snakes are. The skin is extremely valuable. It makes beautiful leather. There's people lining up to buy this leather. I fund my entire Python operation off this leather. I've actually quit. I've resigned from the state. I hunted, I was one of the first state Python hunter hunted for them for maybe about five years. This past two years, I decided to resign from the state because I'm not allowed to use a dog if I'm hunting for the state, which is, you know, a little funny. That sounds crazy. Yep. So, you know, my thing is showing people that I'm funding my entire operation off these snake skins. You can possibly make a living off these snake skins, definitely make some side money. And you're going to begin out there helping the Everglades. If they were to add a bounty on top of that, I think in the very beginning, you might see a little bit of what we used to see, where you just have people out there for the wrong reasons, you know, trying to just get a pitcher with a snake or whatever. But I think they're going to quickly see how hard it is. They're not just catching snakes like they thought they were. And all those weekend warriors, all those people, they're going to die off. And you're going to be left with the general public that really does want to help. They're going to be good at it. And that's the only way we're going to get that under control. You know, it's going to have to be a delicate process to get there, I feel like. You know, maybe everyone has to sign up for a license. And then for that license, they go through some kind of training course like we do already for the Python challenges. And to me, that is the way to go. We need more than just these state contractors, who, to me, they're all hunting the same spots. They all hunt the public highways, or these couple of levees that produce pythons. And they're just driving the road all night, up and down. And we need to get out in the swamp to get where they're nesting, where they're breeding, and where they're eating our native wildlife. And we're just not doing that like we should be. And that's why I've been putting so much into this Python team, I've been putting together specifically to use dogs to help us find these snakes. And just this nesting season alone, I've completely proven that that's the only way to do it. Yeah, yep. This season alone, I found maybe, I think eight nests now, which to give you an idea, before this Python season, there was like a handful of nest nest ever found in the state. It's a very rare thing. Very, very rare. Before I used a dog, I found a one nest. That's it. I don't know of any other person in the state of Florida that has found more than one nest. So for this last two months alone, I'm finding that many nests, I'm finding underground pythons, we never really understood how much they nest underground, that we have this season with my dog finding these snakes actually underground. And, you know, that's where a lot of them are going to nest almost every snake I found in a hole. Finding underground. Yeah, I took out um, seek one productions, they're like a hunting media company. Oh, this is crazy. You're actually digging into the ground. And my Oh, shit. My dog auto alerted me to this hole. And he let me know that there was a Python in this hole. And to be sure I took my little camera, stuck it down in there. And sure enough, I could see a Python in the very back of the hole. How do you train your dog to find pythons? You know, there's definitely training that goes in into it. But it is natural ability. These dogs are extremely talented, not every dog will be a snake dog, especially, you know, I've I have 20 or more hunting dogs right now. I use them all to help me with invasive species and different things like that. Only a few of them will find me a snake. Dogs in their instincts generally don't like snakes, they want to stay away from snakes. A lot of the dogs I found the snakes like invisible, it'll it'll be stepping on it like it ain't even there. But a few of my dogs, I don't know what it is, they they're really, really good at it, really good at it. And so just completely natural that they grab snakes, we train all of our dogs, don't don't get me wrong. But we mainly the training was for other stuff ahead of time. And I'm just transferring it over into snakes. These dogs, I work with them every especially my dog auto who's really getting the snakes for me now. This dog's with me every day. Like we we're so dog is auto. He's a German wire hair pointer. He's adorable. Um, you look so happy. No, he loves it. He loves it. I always say when I die, I want to come back as auto because he is the happiest frickin thing in the world. And so auto is the best one that you've ever had for snakes. He is my best Python dog. He's got a snake. He's my he's my phenomenal Python dog, my phenomenal iguana dog. And I mean, he'll do everything else as well. There's there's nothing that dog cannot do. So when you find those eggs, do you destroy them? Yeah, so what I actually do is all oh, they normally don't make it that easy that iguana was sleeping. I don't know what it was doing. But yeah, so I'll freeze the eggs, which kills them. And then I preserve them and donate them sell some as educational displays for schools, research, stuff like that. Because it is they're, they're a dinosaur egg. They're huge, twice as big as an alligator egg. And how many eggs will a female Python produce normally? So on average, what I've been finding this, this last season, which is really kind of, you know, given us a lot more data, your average size snake is going to lay 20 to about 60 eggs. And what is their primary food source out there now that they've kind of decimated most of the wildlife? But I would like to add that they're capable of 100 eggs or more. Oh, wow. Really big one. Oh, yeah, a 16 footer, a 1718 footer, they get that big, excuse me, so they can lay large clutch of nest or large clutch of eggs. I'm sorry. We just found a nest this season, underground as well. It was an underground 16 footer. And she was on a nest of 70 active eggs. And especially on Yeah, it's it's great. Well, it shows what we're up against to, you know, it's, it can get discouraging. It can be snake gives birth to 70 snakes. Yeah, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And I'll kind of get to that. So, you know, especially an underground nest like that, almost all of those are going to survive. When they're when they're hatched, they're already two foot long, which is Yeah, which is about the size of most of our adult native snakes. So they're getting preyed on maybe for that first month. And then after that, they're not much as messing with them. And they grow very, very quick. Mostly birds prey on them. Yep, birds, owls, stuff like that. Sometimes alligators a little bit, but pythons are eating alligators more than alligators are eating pythons. So what is their primary food source now? Right now, rats everglades rats, there's a lot of rats out there and alligators, I would say, they've wiped out most of all the other mammals. And you know, they're working on our wading birds for sure. But I've been seeing them eat a lot of alligators. So that's probably the primary food source. Yeah. Which honestly, you know, this may say about I'd rather them be eating alligators than anything else. We got plenty of them. They're not going to wipe out the alligators by any mean, but they will wipe out everything else. We're 99 or 90 to 99% of our small fur bearing game in in the everglades has been wiped out by pythons and that that is real. That is real. But so deer, I'll give you one deer hunting. This is this is small for bearing. So this is like raccoons, marsh rabbits, raccoons, otters, things along those lines. Our deer are wiped out as well. Our deer populations are in a fraction of what they used to be. And that's because of large pythons, a fraction of what they used to be. And that's because of large pythons for sure. So, you know, everything's really kind of struggling. But black bears. Oh, yeah, we got black bear down there. The black bear, I don't know, you know, I don't think they're getting affected by too much other than the water. You know, water is a primary concern of yours. Yeah, absolutely. That's the big one. Absolutely. And a lot of its agriculture, a lot of his fertilizer, pesticides. Yeah, we have very high mercury levels in our water. That's why actually a python over 10 foot in length really shouldn't be eating its mercury contents will be dangerous high. And that's the same. People are eating pythons. You can. I wouldn't say people are, you know, down there having it for dinner every night. I've eaten it a number of times. Yeah. Very chewy. Very, very chewy. I'm no chef by any means. I think if you knew what you were doing and you were able to get a really tender and nice, it wouldn't be too bad. Like sous vide or something? Yeah. The flavors, the flavor is not bad at all. It's nice white meat. It's you're kind of eating it off the ribs like fish kind of almost, but it's not bad at all. The iguanas delicious. Yeah, I've heard iguana is very good. I've seen a lot of people kill them and cook them on YouTube. They cook like some stir fry or what do you how do you cook iguanas? Again, it's not something like, Hey, darling, I got some iguanas fried up for dinner. You know, it's I'm feeding most of it to my livestock and then making leather products from the skin. But I've barbecued it. I've kind of pan fried it in some general sows and pineapple. And that was actually really good. The I got a big male that had like these huge cheeks. And in the cheeks, there's a nice medallion of meat. And that's how I fried that up. It was good. Was it that tastes similar to anything? It's almost like a dark meat frog leg. Hmm. Okay, which sounds maybe a little gross, but it's not bad. Frogs are pretty good. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Frogs are delicious. Yeah, it's just people have to get past the fact that it's a frog. Yeah, same thing with Python and the going on. Yeah. So is that a common thing where people hunt and eat iguanas now in Florida? Not so much to hunt them to eat them. I think that's more just like a YouTube thing. You know, people love that stuff. It's more so you have people hunting them because it's fun. It is. It's a really fun thing to do. I do guided hunts for it. And I do guided hunts for just about everything in Florida. And I always say, I've never seen people have so much fun as I do on these iguana hunts. I mean, you're just, you may shoot at 100 iguanas in the day, you know, and watch my dog go in and catch it, bring it back. And are you using air guns? Yeah, we're using really high end semi-automatic air rifles, 25 and 30 caliber. This is actually out on a golf course. The size of these suckers. And yeah, that's a big breeder. That's, that's what I'm looking for when I'm out there. You know, I'm removing any iguanas I see, but those are the big problem. Those big breeders, they, they usually have a harem of like five or six females and little fun fact, they have two peckers. So they're out there slang in it. You know what I mean? And they're everywhere. Yeah, they're, they're everywhere. They are everywhere. And is there a limit? Like if you're a, after invasive species, are you allowed to just shoot as many as you find? Yeah, yeah, it is. I don't want to make it seem like, you know, the iguana thing's just a free for all in Florida. The iguanas, they're in these real residential areas. You know, urban settings where you just can't really walk around and shoot stuff in people's backyards. You're trespassing. People are calling the cops on you. I'm permitted and licensed to do this in, in the various areas I do. Someone will hire me, bring me in. And you know, definitely for people to go out and do this on their own, they need to be careful. They need to make sure they're in a public area where they're allowed to do that. Your dog just jumped in the water and caught a swimmer. Yep. That's amazing. Yeah, he'll dive down, pick them up off the bottom and wow, jump them, grab them out of trees. It's crazy. This one dog is just so good at reptiles and snakes. We have a number of them backing them up now. They're not quite as good as him, but, but they are, they learn from him. Yeah, yeah. I usually have him mentor them a little bit, take them out, see how they do it or see how he does it. And you know, they'll, they'll pick it up. Him though, he's just had so much experience. I've had him since six months old out on golf courses helping me and he's just, he's got it down. So you can see here, he knows to regrip because the tails break off. Yeah. And here he watches as he drops it trying to show off for the clients. And he is very upset, but now old dad's got his back there. Wow. Was it hurt in his mouth? Like his parts? No, he was just shaking it around and excited and, and yeah, it wiggled out of his mouth. A lot of times when he catches them, especially after he gives them a kind of little bit of a thrashing, they just, they just give up. And I think he was kind of thinking this one was a little gay, gave up and was being silly with it. So he ain't supposed to do that. That's not, not good. He's supposed to keep hold of it until it gets back to me. Yeah. When, when you're out there, like on a typical day, how many iguanas are you seeing? Depends on where I am. Depends on if this is my first time removing iguanas on this golf course. I have communities and golf courses and city parks that I've been managing for the past couple of years. And I may go me or send one of my guys and you know, we may only get 15 to 20 that day, or I may go to a brand new one. That's like Jurassic Park. And I get over a hundred. Really? Oh yeah. Like Jurassic Park? Like Jurassic Park. Six footers. Really? What's the biggest one you've ever seen? Biggest one I've ever seen shot them. Six and a half foot, maybe a little more. I don't think the problem is I don't measure or weigh them all. Pythons I do. How big do you want it? What's like the biggest iguana ever? Six and a half foot, basically. So I've never heard of one bigger. 20 pounds essentially. As long as it's table almost. Uh, tip to tip, almost short. Almost. That's insane. For an iguana. Like what does that weigh? It looks like it weighs about 50 pounds, but they're 20 pounds that big. About 20 pounds. 15 to 20 pounds. 20 pounds is monsters for an iguana. Is there any video that we could see of like a Jurassic Park type situation? Do you have any video of them like all over a golf course? There's definitely some on YouTube. I think in one in particular where it's like a hundred of them running from this guy just walking playing golf. Um, generally when I see that I'm, I'm blasting, so I'm not really taking too much video. So yours is semi-automatic. You can fire off multiple shots. Yeah. Semi-automatic. I got eight shots and I keep spare magazines on me and swap them out real quick. Yeah. And a lot of times too, when I get into a place where I know it's covered with them and um, a lot of times they'll close down the area for the day for me. I'll bring in my guys and we're all, you know, geared up. We all got guns. We got a couple dogs. Um, and we're just annihilating them, you know, all day. We'll just come in and wipe them out. What's the most you've ever shot a day? Uh, close to 200. Close to 200. So crazy. Yeah. Just iguanas. And then on top of that, you know, we'll, we'll have different invasives. We'll get, uh, cane toads while we're there. Muscovy ducks, Egyptian geese. Um, sometimes pigeons will become a big problem. They're also invasive. They'll have us remove them and uh, you know, it kind of becomes a little bit of a cleanup. This is a big boy. Boy. Yeah. So is there any video Jamie of a bunch of invasive pythons on a golf course? It's just Google Python. It's giving me a news story. Festation golf course. Yeah. There's one video in particular where I was blown away. I was like, Oh, I gotta get out there. Now do they pay you per Python? Do you, how do they, how's that work? Uh, for the iguanas or I mean for iguanas. Um, yeah, it kind of depends on, on how I, there is no state bounty for iguanas. Uh, I want to make that clear. A lot of people think there is, there's not. Should there be? Um, yeah, that'd be great, but I don't see how that would be possible. I really don't. Um, it, because of how, where iguanas are and, and how many iguanas people would be getting the budget would have to be huge. And you would have a bunch of people just running around the city shooting stuff. You would have guys getting shot. You would have windows getting shot out. You just, you need, yeah, you really do for iguanas more than anything. Pythons they're out in the middle of the Everglades away from people and you're generally going to be grabbing them or just shooting them point blank. Um, so it's kind of a little bit different, but, um, it all depends on how I work the job. Most jobs, I'll, I'll set it up to where it's per iguana. That way they kind of know what they're getting into. And I like to kind of stay motivated in like each one. It's like, you know, um, so that's generally how I'll do it. And every place is different. Um, I may have a place that's, you know, only 10, $15 for an iguana. And I got places that's a hundred dollars or more per iguana. So, you know, it's all, it's all different. That could be a very profitable day. Go ham. It can. It can. Do you find any videos of, uh, it's nothing that's super impre- I mean, I'm seeing here's one, tons of red iguanas. Hold on. Is there more than one type of iguana that's invasive down there? So we have the green iguana, which, you know, they, they do get orange. Those are the big orange ones you see. Those are just big dominant alpha males that turn that orange, like kind of like a peacock, you know, sort of thing. Um, but we're also dealing with Mexican spiny-tailed iguanas and they're not, uh, quite a bit as big of a problem. Uh, we are seeing them in certain pockets in certain areas, uh, you know, kind of populations booming. The main thing about them is, yeah, look at all that, that poop. This is crazy. And you know, when we first start in areas, especially areas where I first start doing guided hunts, it'll look like this. And we, we clean it up pretty quickly. Uh, we were seeing huge results for the iguanas and even the pythons in a lot of the areas that we're focusing. Wow. And these are all just invasive species that are brought over as pets. Yep. Well, you know, they're, they, these specific ones weren't necessarily pets. These were probably wild born, but you know, their lineage does come from escaped and released pets. Yeah. It's just crazy how much of an impact that can have. It is those, uh, you know, and it's kind of cool to see, not necessarily cool, but interesting to see, um, the, the differences in impacts, the pythons they're wiping out our native wildlife and the iguanas, while they do have impacts on our native wildlife, specifically our burrowing animals, like our gopher tortoise, our burrowing owls, and they're both protected and threatened species already. They more so have an impact on our infrastructure. Uh, they cost our state millions and millions of dollars every single year with the burrows they dig, the vegetation they eat. They dig under houses too, right? And they fuck with the structure of the... Yep. So they'll dig these burrows to, to lay nest and they'll undermine housing foundations, sidewalk, sea walls. And the main concern has been roadways and our levy embankments. As I was explaining earlier, those levy systems manage our water, which is absolutely crucial for the state of Florida. And the iguanas will degrade the embankments so much where they have to come in and totally rebuild them back up. To give you an idea, the town of Davy, which is just a small town here in South Florida, last year, the year before, they spent $1.7 million repairing iguana burrows along their levy embankments. That's not roadways, that's not houses, that's not sidewalks, sea walls, just the levy embankments. And you spread that across the whole state. I mean, you could be talking $50 million, maybe more. Dade County, Miami Dade has been talking about upping their budget for iguana removal, which I'm planning on putting a bid in for it. Their budget before was just not adequate for what needs to be done. They're now comparing it to the mosquito problem. And the mosquito problem, I believe they spend like $40 million a year on. So I think their budget in the prior years was like $250,000 for iguanas. And they're quickly seeing that we need to spend millions on these reptiles to get them out. Have you seen this insane research they're doing about injecting mosquitoes with vaccines? Scary shit. Yeah. What the fuck are they doing? Scary shit. Well, they want you to get that damn shot anyway. This is crazy. This one's crazy. Yeah, that is. The idea that you're going to contain those mosquitoes once you release them out in the wild. Yeah, what's going to happen? We've seen how things have gone wrong before. Yeah. How do you not learn from all the stuff we've been talking about earlier today? Invasive species, cats, toads. The fact that you've got some genetically engineered mosquito and you're releasing it on the human race. Holy shit, man. Well, here's something on that too. So they're doing that. They've already released them in Florida from my understanding. They're already out there. Which mosquitoes? The modified ones. I don't know about the- Not the vaccine ones. Not the vaccine, but the modified ones. And what are these modified ones supposed to be doing? I guess helping with the mosquito population? I don't know. But I do know, supposedly, and I'm pretty sure this is accurate, we had our first case of malaria in Florida ever, or for a very, very long time. Texas as well. Texas as well. So it's a little- Same places where they're working on these fucking mosquitoes. Same places they're working on these fucking mosquitoes. Yeah. I don't know if that's why. I'm not saying that's why, but I am saying that I am very concerned when human beings are making a decision that can affect the entire population that lives down there, or in the entire country, or anywhere where there's mosquitoes. How can you not say these things are going to go everywhere? Yeah. Like you said, what if it goes bad? Then what? What do you do? Well, this idea that we're supposed to trust these guys, they know exactly how everything's going to work out. Like fuck off. Yeah. Yeah. What are you doing? No. Yeah. Just like they knew about COVID. It's like they know about everything. Yeah. There's never been one thing they've ever gotten perfectly right. And this is a giant overstep. It just seems like that involves everyone. That should be something that the public should be educated on before these decisions are made, that people should discuss it. It should be something on the tip of politicians' tongues. Like, okay, what the fuck are we doing? Dude, it's a plot of a horror movie. Yeah, it really is. It is. There's so many of those going on simultaneously. It's hard to pay attention. We're getting invaded by aliens. We're about to go to war. AI. Jesus Christ. AI, chat GPT, and sentient AI. It's a crazy time, man. It's a crazy time. I feel like we are literally on the launching pad. I feel like it has just begun. Absolutely. I think it's going to get way crazier over the next few years. Yeah, for sure. But when you see, Florida, to me, is always such an interesting test case because it's such a wild place. It's always a place that people have kind of gone to get away from everywhere. It's the South, but it's very different than the rest of the South. And then the fact that it's got such a crazy history of cocaine in Miami and the violence and the organized crime. That's all linked to the exotic pet trade as well. It all goes hand in hand. Yes, sir. How so? So the big thing with all these big drug dealers at the time was having these crazy exotic pets, tigers, fucking anacondas, big snakes, all kind of stuff. And you know they ain't the best pet owners. You know what I mean? And not to say that the animals released or escaped from them became a problem, but it was the whole culture of it. Everyone wanted to be like these drug dealers, so they all wanted these crazy animals too for the wrong reasons. And I think that's why it, at least one of the reasons it became so popular down here to have these crazy animals. It's a good climate and everything for it too, obviously. But it was just such a big thing. Still is. Florida is unlike any other place. It really is. It's unlike any other place in the country. And the fact that you guys are dealing with all these different invasive species there, it's almost appropriate. Because the state is so crazy. It's just like, of course, of course that's where it's happening. Because there's not really another state in the country that has such an issue with other than hogs, wild hogs. It's so perfect for it too. You got the Port of Miami where stuff from all over the world's coming in through. The climate's perfect. You got the Everglades. It's just everything. Everything lines up. It's the perfect storm. When did you first start camping out in the Everglades? That was when I was at least hunting for pythons or just- Just anytime. I've been going in the Everglades for a while. Growing up as a Florida boy, we're all kind of out there running around catching snakes. How many people go missing out there every year? I don't know. I don't know. It's not zero, right? No, I'm sure. It ain't zero. I mean, I've almost been in that person before. I'm sure there's some for sure. Do you think people are getting eaten out there? Maybe if they're doing something they shouldn't be. Being out there? No, no. Maybe swimming across a damn canal at night when they ain't supposed to, stuff like that. That's mainly when I see people getting attacked by an alligator. They're generally going to stay away from you. They don't want nothing to do with you. If you come across an alligator that's been getting fed by people, that fucker's dangerous for sure. The main thing is, we have these people that are not- Since 1965, there's only been 175 unsolved cases involving deaths and murders. That's just the bodies. But that's like deaths and murders. I would imagine that would be a good place to drop off a car. That's kind of what I was going to say is it's a very good place to go hide stuff. I've found vehicles that were used in crimes dumped out there. I've found dogs from dog fights that were dumped out there. I've found animals that have just been dumped. I've found very intricate and mind-blowing satanic rituals and sacrifices out there. Which I found different stuff before. I'll find maybe where someone was doing some voodoo, some San Maria, sacrificed a chicken, whatever. All that's kind of normal out there. That's not that crazy. But what I found this night was very crazy. The police came and investigated it. It made the news. That's the facility I was hunting. It's Aerojet. It's actually an abandoned space rocket facility from the Cold War where they were developing and testing space rockets. And what were you hunting there? Pythons. I was out there hunting these snakes. And this facility is... You need special access. I was given special access by the state of Florida to remove pythons from out there. And nobody can just go back out there. But people do go out there, as you can see from the graffiti and different stuff like that. Usually to do stuff that they're not supposed to do. There's a lot of crimes committed out there. There have been murders out there, gang initiations, all kind of stuff. So they have a pentagram? So yeah, it's a whole thing. So we go out there. The first thing I came across was a big rock pile with a upside down wooden cross on top and a bunch of red spray painted upside down crosses all over. And you could tell the cross I think was burnt a little bit. And it wasn't crazy, super crazy. It was. It was like, oh, this is new. This wasn't out here a few days ago. And then I found this little doll. And as I kind of investigated that doll more, a little red scarlet snake actually came up and wrapped around her neck. And I picked up this... There it is. I picked up the scarlet snake. And which, you know, it's kind of weird that there's a live snake, a red snake on this doll. And I've caught a lot of snakes in my life. And that is the only one that was bleeding out of its anus. There was blood coming out of its be-hole, which, you know, I don't know why, who knows what. It was a little weird to me. And then the night just kind of gets weirder from there. You see that the red lettering in the other clip, it was a big Latin saying, like 100 foot long, pretty much on the road. I drove over it. We later translated it to turn around, run, hide. He is watching you. Go further into the complex. And there's these big abandoned buildings. I go into the building, you know, still just Python hunting. Like, you know, who knows what these kids are doing out here? I thought it was strange, the Latin, your average kid just messing around. Don't know Latin sayings like that. And then I come to this big room where there's the big pentagram. In the middle of the pentagram, there is a three legged plastic chair with a bloodstain in the bottom of it where you could tell something was killed, sacrificed, whatever. On each wall, there's three walls on each wall. There's upside down crosses, Latin sayings and all kinds of stuff. As I'm kind of walking into the room, which, you know, I don't want to sound like a psycho or anything, but that doll from earlier, grab my leg. I don't know if I kicked it. I didn't see it or what. But that doll from the rock pile somewhere else, I don't know if it was another dollar one. I never seen that other doll. I kick it. It seemed like it grabbed me. It's that same doll from earlier. Same thing with the cross on its forehead. The one I cocked over, the other I messed up. And so, you know, it's very, very weird to me. Kind of like scared me right next. Wasn't there and then it was there. I didn't notice it. I didn't notice it. You didn't carry it over there. No, I didn't touch it. So did anybody else was anybody else with you? I had two guys with me that didn't even want to get out of the truck when they seen the first thing they stayed in the truck. So the same name that you saw on the rock pile somehow made its way to where you were. Yep. I don't know if it's a duplicate doll or what, but it's more than one of those dolls. Only doll I seen. Only doll I seen. I'm not big on the whole supernatural thing. So me, I'm real doubtful of it in the first place. But to me, it was the same doll from earlier. I did not see it until it hit my foot. Right next to that doll, there is a saying on the ground that says the omen will follow, which to me was like the creepiest thing of the whole thing was like, you know, that if you interact with any of this, this spirit's going to follow you, which I'm Christian. I believe in God and I wasn't worried. You know, I know the good Lord has my back, but very strange, right? Very strange. As we go through, there's all kind of different stuff. In one of the rooms, there's a sleeping bag with something inside of it. I don't think it was a body, anything like that. Police went out there, investigated it. I didn't investigate further past that something was inside the sleeping bag. And on the walls, there was looked like red spray paint. And it said she was only nine. We gave her to the devil, like basically talking about sacrificing a child. And then you have this little girl's gown that's nailed to the wall with like a dark red stain on it. Oh, Jesus. Yeah. And what was the investigation? Did you follow up and find out what they found out? I never heard anything from it. I'm assuming they never found much from it because I never heard anything from it. Do they know it was human blood that was in the chair? I don't know. I don't know. I would like to think it's red spray paint. But I don't know. I don't know. For the sake of the story, who knows what it was? So, you know, we continue on with our hunt. We end up starting to get out of there. The guys are like, dude, we want to go. We don't like this shit. I'm like, all right, you know, let's pack it up. Let's go. So we start making our way out. And I see flashlights. I mean, there's one road in, one road out. There's a gate at the end of it. You can't drive a vehicle in. And I mean, we're miles, miles out here. You have to drive miles to then walk miles, right? So I see these, this flashlight bouncing on the side of the road as I'm driving out. And I'm like, who the fuck is this? No, I've never seen anyone out here in my life ever getting closer to them. I have my pistol in my truck. I put my pistol on my lap, you know, just in case. As I'm getting closer, about to kind of pass the guy. The guy's like, Mike, it's my name. I'm like, what the fuck? I'm definitely shooting this guy. Like, what the fuck? You know? And he's like, I love your Instagram. I was like, oh, shit. And he's, I'm like, dude, what are you doing out here? He's like, oh, I've seen on your story a couple of days you were out here Python hunting. So I figured I'd come out here and take a look. He was with a buddy. And I'm like, you know, that's awesome. You know, that's better than devil. Yeah. Yeah. I'm like, good luck to you. But I found some crazy shit back there. And it is fresh. Like someone was just back there doing some satanic shit. You know, be careful. Look out for yourself. I go on my way. I talked to him the next day. He said five minutes after he left me, he heard a bunch of gunshots back there. And he fucking roll out left. Wow. So people are still there. Sure. Shit seems like it. Holy shit. Sure. It seems like it. So I do I do a little more investigating in myself. It turns out Aerojet, that facility itself has this, which I've done a whole YouTube video on it. Definitely check it out. It's interesting. Has a whole satanic history. The founder of Aerojet, the guy who was working with NASA and the federal government on these space rockets was a public Satanist. Jack Parson was a public Satanist who supposedly died in some kind of experiment, some say a satanic ritual, an explosion and what the fuck, man? Look at this guy. Oh, yeah. Very public Satanist. He practiced what was called sex magic. And, you know, you can imagine what that's all about. And so his his wife, who he claimed, I think it was a second wife. I'm not sure what he claimed. He conjured her from hell that she was a demon, an elemental, an elemental from hell. Her name was Marjorie Kimmel, the same name as my grandmother. So this guy's a legit rocket scientist for NASA. Full blown Satanist. Public Satanist. Yeah. What year was this? 60 70s Cold War. And then Aerojet still a still a thing, too. You know, it's I think it's out in Texas or I don't know what but brother is a flat out horror movie. Yeah. Yeah. And there dude, that rabbit hole goes way deeper, way deeper. The occult history behind NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. So, you know, that spot is is Jamie, will you send me that, please? Significant for satanic rituals. And that happened during the Easter moon, which is also I found out I didn't know this before high activity for satanic rituals for whatever reason. They think that they're it's a better time to link or I don't know what. But it wasn't just some, you know, oh, we're laughing about it. It was like a real deal. They're trying to do something out there. You know, it's really fucking terrifying. People dismiss the idea of demons. They dismiss it completely. But yet believe in God. Like if you tell people that you saw the devil though, like Mike's all the devil. What are we doing, Mike? Even a small too long. Yeah. Yeah. What the fuck you up to? But but if you tell them that, you know, God spoke to you, people listen. If if Satan is real or demons are real, if they really are a real thing and these occultists really can summon them. Do you know how fucking terrifying that would be? Dude, just to find out that's real. Isn't that like the old saying the greatest? Oh, yeah. Thing that Satan's ever done. Yeah, that's it. That's it. And I look at the world we're in right now, Joe, and everything going on. And to me, it's hard to believe that there ain't something meddling or something. You know what I mean? It's just something pulling on there's some dark energy right now of human behavior, right? Like what would cause someone to want to embrace Satanism? What would cause cause someone would cause someone to even let's just pretend that that was just fake and they had a doll and they spray painted everything like what the fuck are you doing? And you're way too go way out there, dude, that's such a commitment. That's like and the fact there's a deep history of saying to bring all that stuff out there. It's crazy. The scary thing is, you know, that there are people that sacrifice people. That's happened. That's a real thing. Oh, yeah. Whether that's happening right now, it's just cognitive dissonance. It keeps you from believing it's possible. A buddy of mine came across a little bit of that when he was hunting the Amazon. Oh, no. Oh, yeah. It was a big religious sacrifice. And right in the same area of the Amazon he was in, I want to say like the day after he left. I want to say it was the day after he left or I want to say it was while he was there. Something crazy. I don't want to ruin the story. But he was in the Amazon hunting and he got word that in one of the villages close by there was like 60 people slaughtered a huge religious sacrifice or it was something to do with religion. And, you know, it just shows like, Holy shit, you're in another world there. Wild. Yeah. Yeah, that's some terrifying shit, man. I had Paul Rosalie on the podcast who spends a lot of time in the Amazon protecting the natural ecosystem. And he said he had encountered some natives at one point in time and he like looked around a tree and he saw a guy with a bow with a face paint on his like, Oh my God, I just got in contact. Just got out. Exactly. Just got out of there in time. Yeah, that's sketchy. Yeah, that's sketchy. Yeah. Yeah. It's a lot sketchier. He knew quite a few people that had been killed out there too. Oh, yeah, I believe it. I believe it. Even one guy, he was explaining this one guy who had developed a relationship with them. Like he would push like a raft towards them with supplies, kept giving them things, and eventually was able to get close to them. And one day they found him with six arrows in them. They decided no more. They said, Yeah, you know, fuck you, man. I mean, how many negative encounters that they had with loggers and yeah, well, that's it. They have a reason to, they're probably fearful. They don't want to, they don't want to change their way of life. And to us were, well, they probably don't even know what that means. Yeah. You know, they just probably, I mean, these are completely in contact to people. They just see enemy and they know that they've killed people before. Yeah. I mean, there's been so many slaughters and murders of indigenous people when they were trying to take over areas for mining and for stories get passed around between them. Yeah. They see people on a raft with supplies dressed weird. Kill them. Kill them. Kill them all. Yeah. It's crazy. It is crazy. Yeah. You know, that's kind of their version of the Everglades, right? Like, but even more crazy. Yeah. And you're in there, you're in their territory. Yeah. There's nobody's coming to help you. No. Nobody's coming to save you out there. Hell no. Yeah. I mean, it's infinitely bigger than the Everglades. Oh yeah. For sure. Well, the Everglades has always been, what was that movie? There was a movie called Southern Comfort. Did you ever see that movie? I don't think so. It's a great movie about these army reservists who are doing some sort of a thing down the Everglades. And I think one guy gets in an altercation with one of the swamp people. A Gladesman? Yes. Okay. One of the people that live, I don't think it's the Glades. I think it's some other swamp. I forget where it's supposed to be taking place, but it's a fucking great movie. I want to say it's like 79 or 80 or something like that. What year was this? Does it say, Jamie? 81. Yeah. Louisiana Bayou. That's it. I got you. It's a great movie though, man. These guys are fucked. Yeah. You get, you get going against someone that knows their home range is better than you. You're in trouble. Yeah. They start getting hunted and it's pretty crazy. Fun movie. And, but it also like delves into the culture of the people that lived there and you go to see their, where they live, their homes. And it's like, wow, this is like, yes, sir. It's a completely different world. Absolutely. Completely different world. Yeah. And those people have been living like that for a long time. Yeah. And there's a lot of culture behind it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, Malcolm Gladwell wrote about people that live in the Appalachia and some of the insane violence that took place there. And he said, there's a direct connection between the type of people that moved there because they were herders and herders, unlike farmers had to protect their animals. And so when someone would come, they could just steal all your animals in the middle of the night. So they were always on guard and fiercely read because that was like literally all of your food. Oh yeah. All livelihood. Yes, everything that keeps you alive. So they were always protecting against thieves. And there was like a culture, an honor culture behind that. And so when they, the same folks moved to the Everglades, they carried that over there with them. That's why it's like seeped in violence. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, it's, there is, there's a whole deep history to the Everglades and the Gladesmen. And that's another big thing that I, that's important to me. I'm on the board of directors for the history of the Florida Gladesmen nonprofit. And we go around the state to airboat shows, buggy shows, parades, all kinds of different stuff. And we have a mobile museum, which we bring with all kind of old Everglades artifacts and pictures and showing how, you know, the Gladesmen has gone and gone from a bit of an outlaw, you know, Gator Hunter Fisher to now it's a stewards of the land to a protector of the Everglades. And, you know, really kind of trying to convey that message that, you know, we need those eyes in the ears out there to keep protecting and preserve that culture. Is there a good documentary on that culture? Yes. Yeah. There's, there's a few of them. I think you got Gladesmen, Sawgrass Cowboys or something like that. There's a few of them. Yes. But like you recommend those too? Yes. Yes. Absolutely. Is that available everywhere? Yeah. Yeah. I think, yeah, you can buy it. You can stream it. There it is, Gladesmen. Yeah. That's a good one. Give me some volume, Jamie. Let me hear this. Hear this trailer. A lot of people ask me, you know, what's it like being on an airboat, driving an airboat? I told them, have you ever ridden a motorcycle? They go, yeah. Have you ever got out on one of those real isolated roads where there's nothing but you and the two green lines on either side of the road? They said, yeah. So I had a couple of more cylinders to take the green lines away. That's the closest thing to flying you can get and not leave earth. We actually run these airboats to stick these frogs. You see a pair of eyes, you go towards him, try to stick him in pure wet around him, go on to the next one. The slower you go, the more you see. I put it in the bucket and hopefully we'll get to eat them. I feel like I'm a keeper of the Everglades. It's my heart and soul. I've just been coming here all my life and being able to venture out and see everything. So when they take all this away, when all of us are gone, then nobody's going to be able to take the next generation out to see what we see. My Everglades. So as officials say, airboats harm the fragile ecosystem that they're spending billions of dollars to protect. The Gladesmen have airboated here for generations. The band constitutes a war on their way of life. And that's very frustrating for us because we see every year with the way they manage the water, how they flood and dry up. It kills all the vegetation anyway. So the reasoning behind it doesn't make much sense. And especially the airboats, we're laying grass down. We're not tearing it up, rooting it up. It lays down, it returns. So it's unfortunate, but it is. It's a war on our way of life. And what's behind it? Who is behind doing this? Federal government. And have they had debates on this or any sort of a conversation? Where could we explain to them the benefit of allowing people to continue to do that? Yeah, you know, I know there has been. But you have this such outcry from, you know, the Gladesmen, the average Gladesman is a blue collar guy. He works every day. They're the kind of guys that don't go to a lot of these meetings. And it's unfortunate. And that's a problem with us. You know what I mean? Not making excuses by any means. And we also see that with hunters. They don't show up to these meetings like the, forgive my length, tree huggers do. For the people that are against it. You get all these Karens in there that don't know a thing. I've been in the meetings myself and we had one lady get up on there and her argument against allowing access was, what are the caterpillars going to do? And like, I thought she's joking, but she's dead serious. She was worried that the caterpillars were going to suffer and the butterflies would suffer. And it's based on nothing. It doesn't make any sense. Caterpillars are fine. The airboats don't hurt the caterpillars. I mean, they might knock it off a tree or something, but you know, we're not, we're not out there killing caterpillars with airboats. So you get a lot of that. You get this, this one side of the room that's against it because they don't really know why. And then you get us on the other side of the room where it's a few guys that know what we're talking about, but we're just the minority in a lot of these situations. And also too, it's, it only does so good, you know, at the end of the day, decisions are made and we're not the ones making the decisions. That seems like such a bummer because those people are so interesting. And we fight, we do fight for it. You know, that's why we have, we do our best to work with the state. We work with FWC where we have these, these youth hunts where we can take youth hunters out, show them how to hunt alligators, show them how to harvest, make use of the alligators and, and, and do all that kind of stuff. All of it outside the national park. None of it is allowed in the national park, which is essentially the jewel of the Everglades, the best part of it. And, you know, so, so we do what we can. This is fairly recent that this... No, the national park was turned to national park in the 60s. Like we were saying earlier, but the... It's been a battle since then. Yeah. And they're constantly taking away access. Every year, it seems they're trying to take more access away. And especially now with 1200 people moving, a thousand people moving to Florida a day, everything's getting developed and bought up. And you have more corruption where areas that weren't supposed to develop are now starting to get developed. And it's a sad thing, you know, we've seen the Everglades go from 3 million acres to now we're down to 1.5 million acres. And how long? I don't know. I don't, I don't know that exact number. Historically, the Everglades is 3 million acres. I don't know what year they're basing that change off of, probably within the last 100 years. Wow. It's such a sad story. It's such a sad story of, you know, the consequences of human civilization and that you're getting to see it. You're getting to see it all. When you were a kid, do you remember a difference in the population of wildlife? Do you remember before the pythons decimated everything? Absolutely. Absolutely. When did the big change, when did it start to happen? I think we've really started to notice it this past 10 to 20 years, maybe. And you think that's just when all these populations that they dumped in there or however got in there? I think it's happened under our nose. I think it's happened under our nose where the population's just so out of control now where we're seeing all the roadkill, we're seeing all the wildlife has been decimated. And that takes a while to notice. It's not like we're out there. There's any really good way to count these animals. This is based solely off of sightings. So it's like, you know, after a couple years or a year or two, people are starting to realize, I haven't seen a raccoon in months. Or I haven't seen a raccoon in a year. And that ain't right. There's something wrong there. And I think that's when everyone started to realize like, hey, all of our native wildlife's gone. We're running over all these snakes roadkill on the road. You know, there's a big problem here. And when you start to look more into it, then you start finding the snakes everywhere. I talk to guys all the time out there while I'm in the Everglades snake hunting. And, you know, when I first started python hunting, I would always get the same thing from the fishermen out there. Oh, it's a hoax. There ain't no pythons out here. I kind of thought the same thing too. If you're not looking for these snakes, you're not finding them. You're not finding them. You're just an average person. You'll go right past it. You'll go right past it. Most of the time they're moving at night, they're nocturnal. And people just ain't out there at night. And if they are, they're not looking and they don't have lights. And do they all burrow underground? No, no, no, no. Most don't burrow underground. They don't burrow. They don't dig. They take over existing burrows to lay nest during nesting season. Is that another animal you spawn? Either another animal or erosion. Those islands are all limestone rocks stacked on each other. So they'll road away little caverns and holes, and then they'll get into them and use them. But, you know, they're very good at hiding. You know, if you think about a snake, it can kind of make any shape it wants. It's just a long tube. I've seen 16 footers hide in eight inches of grass right in front of me where if I didn't step on it or know it was there, I would have never seen it. When the Conservancy of Southwest Florida GPS radio tags these pythons with a tracker, I'm sure you've seen it, and they release them back into the wild to gain data and to go during breeding season and hope to find breeding balls. Even though they're tracking this snake and know exactly where it is, a lot of times they don't find it till they step on it because it's just so hidden. Between their camouflage and just their shape of their body and where they are, they're very good at their cryptic predators. So there's really no way to do anything other than control the population at this point and sort of control it. Sort of control. We're never going to get rid of them. We do need to manage them, and we need to use new and old technologies to do that. And what I mean by that is I've been a part of taking out researchers and developing new types of cameras that can actually spot pythons. And how they do that is not with thermal because pythons are cold blood. They do that with, and forgive me, some dude from the swamp, I think they read reflective properties off of snakes, or the way light reflects off of different things. A python and its skin is basically the most reflective and shiny thing out there besides water. So if we use that camera with a drone and with software that we're already using in Africa to combat poaching and different things like that, we could fly that drone up at the start of a levee or out in the Everglades, fly it out, fly it around, and it would be able to show where it sees a piece of a python, mark it and tell me the hunter where there's snakes and if this area is worth me spending time here tonight. Because you know, there's pythons all over the Everglades, but essentially, especially without a dog, you're looking for, you're looking for, yeah exactly. Oh they kind of glow. Yeah and it almost looks like thermal but it's not reading heat. And the camera I helped test was actually a thermal camera that mid production, they slip a different lens in it. And I guess that is what allows it to read that. Oh that's fascinating. But I think that would be a big game changer, especially for people not using dogs. But from what I've seen, the dogs is what we need to be putting all of our money into, what we need to be putting our time into. I got a few dogs now that are finding snakes almost every time we go out. And for python hunting, finding a python almost every time you go out is like unheard of. It's like the holy grail. You could go out there for a week and maybe find one. You might find a dozen in a night, but it's just so hit or miss. It's so hard to predict and they're just very hard to find. You're essentially looking for them when they expose themselves out in the open. But with the dog, you don't have to wait for that. You can find them where they're at. And so was the pushback of about the dogs is that animal rights people that think it's cruel to use dogs? They're scared about animal rights people. Also to every single state contractor they have hired now, nobody has hunting dogs or would I don't think would know what to do with a python dog. What they would need to do is fund a dog detection team itself aside from the python programs where they have a team of trained dog handlers, trained dogs, and they go out and in the Everglades state funded and they find these pythons full time. That's all they do, which a big thing for me has been trying to get the state to support what I've got going on. I already have that operation. I've already built it this past two years. We're successfully going out there removing those snakes, but I've seen how working with the state has gone before. I would love to get their kind of nod where they allow me different access and permissions, but a private funding right now looks even more attractive to me. We have a couple people that have reached out wanting to help and the dogs in the Everglades is going to be the game changer. It really is. What kind of a ramp up in people like yourself, how many more would you need to get a handle on this? A lot. A lot. We need, like I said, we need the general... So you're basically not doing anything to stop the population right now? No, yeah, we are. In the areas we're focusing, yeah, we're definitely seeing results. We're seeing native wildlife increase. We're seeing less pythons and especially with us getting these nests now, we're going to see huge results next year. I know we are, but we're just focusing on a small area. We need to spread out big time and we need the general public to get involved more. We need a team of dog handlers and dogs, and that needs to just continuously grow. That needs to just constantly train a new people, train a new dogs, and it's going to take the right person. It's not just getting anybody. It's taken me a while to find the guys I have now. We definitely are seeing results, but on a whole, we're losing the battle. We're winning in the areas where you're focusing. We're winning in the areas we're focusing. That's such a small percentage of the actual Everglades. That's the problem, yeah. To me, I say that because we're seeing a ton of baby pythons. We just caught the largest python ever in the world recently, that 19-footer that was caught right off the side of the road. They're just crossing the road, these big ass things. It goes to show to me that there's still a lot of big snakes out there. They're reproducing, laying eggs, creating an army, and it's right under our nose. It can be discouraging when you look at it, but that's the main thing. We can't get discouraged. We got to keep hammering. We got to keep hitting these snakes, doing what we can, finding new ways, and save our Everglades. We got to. Is there any way that anybody listening to this can help? Yes, yes. Especially, so I just started a nonprofit specifically to help with this. Veterans for Conservation. We are specifically trying to get some of that funding back into expanding my dog team, expanding more handlers, iguana removers, and everything like that, which again, I've already been self-funding and doing myself. Then in the process of that, we want to take veterans out, specifically combat vets, take them out and get them involved, give them a new purpose, and get them in on the battle. We've just seen it with working with the different military charity groups we work with, Wishes for Warriors is the one we really like to work with a lot. We just see how beneficial it is getting them out there. I think if we tie those two together, we can help save our state and help save some veterans. That's a great purpose, a great idea. If someone wants to get involved, is there a website they can go to? Best thing to do would be to email pythoncowboyhunts at gmail.com. Oh boy, get ready. You got someone to filter that out? Yeah, I do. I got an assistant. That's where I book all my guided hunts and sell a lot of my leather products through there. I also have my website that I sell my leather products on, pythoncowboy.com. All of that, every dollar we make from leather products, from my merchandise, all of that goes right back into trying to get out there, remove more pythons, rescue native wildlife. I got a five acre wildlife rescue where I have all kind of different rescues. That's what I have to help fund that. It's been going good. Do you sell python skins direct to the public? Yeah, yeah. So if somebody wants to get one and have it made into something? Yes sir, we can make it for you. I actually have my, which I may have to get some more, my lady answering my emails is my leather leather crafter as well. So she makes my leather products, takes my orders, ships them out. Oh wow, one person? One person. Wow. That's a valuable part. Her and her mother, her and her mother. Wow.