Off the Grid: Python Hunting in the Everglades

Yup, you read that right …. hunting invasive pythons in the Everglades.

A Navy buddy of mine hunts pythons way out in the Everglades both for sport and money. Prior to going on a hunt, I had to pass a field test. Catch and bag a python — in this case a 10-footer.

We met up in January 2020 at Everglades Holiday Park for about an hour of snake wrangling and safety training prior to the night’s hunt which took us deep into the Everglades along the levees and into the bush.

The so-called “practice python” was caught the night before and used for the next day’s training before being destroyed, per FWC rules and regulations on invasive species.

After being instructed on how to handle, catch and hold a 10-foot python the retired Army Sgt. released the beast for me to catch. As you can see in the video and the photos, success was mine.

Night Time Hunt

Typically South Florida does not get that cold even in January. That night the temps dipped into the low 50s which is cold for a tropical snake, not to mention Floridians. We searched along the levees and along the various canal systems till past midnight and unfortunately without success.

However we did find and destroy a python snake den (see photos). Another party out that night did have success in a different area.

Since the pandemic, I have not gone out again snake hunting, but I do fancy a nice wallet and belt next time I go out.

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