Iguana hunting. Yup, you heard right. Watch as Terry Gibson and crew go head to head with the explosive iguana population in Florida and then fry 'em up!
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About ten years ago, I accepted two long-term assignments in Central America for Surfer Magazine. First stop: Nicaragua, via the airport in Liberia, Costa Rica. Now, I’d been to Costa Rica plenty of times, and was used to seeing giant iguanas scurrying around just about everywhere you look. Once over the border and into Nicaragua, I noticed that the habitat hadn’t changed but the only visible iguanas were about the size of large lizards. I didn’t give it much more thought until a couple nights later, when I was served a rice and vegetable soup, with firm white meat, in what I thought was a chicken broth stock.
Wrong. Sopa de Iguana.
It was damn good, and in the course the eight months or so that I spent in Central America, I learned to enjoy iguana grilled, sautéed and “en pinol.” The tail tastes about like tender gator tail, and the legs and back strap are as tender as frog legs.
About the time I returned home from my travels, the first articles about the “iguana invasion” began appearing in Florida newspapers. Iguanas are native to Central America, and in most areas in need of protection from over-harvest. But they are now a dangerous invasive species out of control here in Florida. Folks have released their pets iguanas into the South Florida environment, and they are thriving, much to the detriment of threatened birds, anoles and butterflies, not to mention the damage they’re doing to our infrastructure--undermining canal banks, seawalls and even roads. So when I saw an article in the local paper about how “animal rights” activists were insisting that folks take any captured iguanas to animal shelters, I started to get an attitude. When I learned that they’d attacked folks in the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s invasive species program, just for advising folks to euthanize iguanas by placing them in freezers, I declared war. The damn things are starting to show up on our family farm in rural, western, Palm Beach County. George Thompson, marketing director at Stoeger Industries, told me that help was on the way. The Stoeger X-10 arrived just in time to put Memorial Day dinner on the table.
The single-shot Stoeger X-10 and X-20 fire a .177 caliber pellet at more than 1,200 feet per second. The X-50 achieves a velocity of 1,500 fps. Visit benelliusa.com.