Published On: Sat, Jan 12th, 2013

Burmese python hunting season opens in Florida as snake wranglers compete in Everglades

A new kind of hunting season is officially underway in Florida, a hunting season for burmese pythons which are taking over the Everglades, called the 2013 Python Challenge.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is holding a python challenge to help reduce their population and more than 400 people have signed up, payed $25 and taken a safety course online.

“If you use common sense and basically know what you are doing, or at the very least, understand the parameters that we want you to work under, I think we shouldn’t have any problems,” FWC spokesman Jorge Pino said.

On its website, the FWC lists preferred ways to kill the snakes.

“The FWC is encouraging the public to get involved in helping us remove Burmese pythons from public lands in south Florida,” said Kristen Sommers, head of the FWC’s Exotic Species Coordination Section. “By enlisting both the public and Florida’s python permit holders in a month-long competitive harvesting of Burmese pythons, we hope to motivate more people to find and harvest these large, invasive snakes. The Python Challenge gives people a chance to sign up for a competition to see who can catch the longest or the most pythons.

“Part of the goal of the Python Challenge is to educate the public to understand why nonnative species like Burmese pythons should never be released into the wild and encourage people to report sightings of exotic species,” Sommers said. “We also expect the competitive harvesting of Burmese pythons to result in additional information on the python population in south Florida and enhance our research and management efforts.”

Grand prizes of $1,500 for harvesting the most Burmese pythons will be awarded to winners of both the General Competition and the Python Permit Holders Competition, with additional $1,000 prizes for the longest Burmese python harvested in both competitions. Funding for the prizes is provided by Python Challenge™ sponsors. The largest Burmese python documented in Florida was more than 17 feet in length.

These constrictor snakes are native to India, China and the Malay Peninsula and can grow to be 26 feet long.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    […] There have been python hunts in Florida regularly, more HERE […]

  2. Florida Python Challenge only nets 68 snakes, one was over 14 feet long - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a Feb. 18 report, CNN said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation said the contest, which ran from Jan. 12-Feb. 10, attracted 1,600 registrants and paid out prizes up to […]

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