Hunting > Small Game & Predators

30 Snakes Taken So Far in Florida Python Hunt

So far 30 snakes have been killed in the month long Python Challenge designed to help eradicate the invasive species from the Everglades.


It seems that hunting pythons may be more difficult than it appeared to be. According to the Associated Press, the contest that over 1,000 people signed up for to hunt Burmese Pythons in the Everglades has only taken 30 snakes thus far. The contest began on January 12th, and is set to end on February 10th. The number may not be too high, but wildlife officials in Florida didn't expect to annihilate the Python population through the Python Challenge; rather they hope to raise awareness of the threat the invasive species poses, and garner as much information post mortem about the snakes to decipher more about their habits. No one knows exactly how many Burmese pythons now live in the Everglades, but the drastic plummet in numbers of mammal sightings in the area gives a pretty clear idea.

The recommended method for killing these snakes is a gunshot to the head. To find the pythons hunters are trekking from airboats into knee-high water in swamps, constantly scanning for these hard-to-find invasive species. More often than not hunters are coming away unsuccessfully, many of whom are amateurs, never having hunted pythons previously.

In March of 2012, Fox News reported that Auburn University was conducting an experimental program called EcoDogs, where dogs were trained to find different plants and animals to help with ecological research, conservation or eradication. These dogs were learning to locate Burmese pythons in the Everglades. The EcoDog website advertises the fact that these dogs and a handler team can be rented. Maybe next year we'll see these two innovative Programs working in tandem to benefit the Everglades ecosystem, and finally rid it of the unhealthy presence of Burmese Pythons. Then they can start working on feral pigs…

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