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Florida Will Pay You to Kill Its Giant Pythons

Bringing them in alive is against the rules, but using a gun definitely isn't.
March 10, 2017, 7:59pm
Photo via Flickr user Florida Fish and Wildlife

Florida still doesn't know how to deal with its Burmese python problem. In 2013, the state launched a contest to see who could kill the most giant snakes, and last year, officials flew in two singing Irula tribesmen from India to slay the giant invasive predators. But now, it seems, the state is willing to try a third approach: The South Florida Water Management District just announced that it's accepting applications for full-time snake hunters in the region, no experience required.


The 25 people who make the cut will be paid a base rate of $8.10 an hour, although bonuses are given for productivity. For instance, hunters get an additional $25 for any snake corpse that's at least four feet long, as well as another $25 per foot after that. The biggest score of all is killing a snake guarding a nest of eggs, which will net the worker a hundo. If you've ever wished there was a video game version of the second Indiana Jones movie, this job—which runs from April to June—might be something to consider.

Keep in mind, though, that Burmese pythons aren't garden snakes that can be beheaded with a shovel. They can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh as much as 200 pounds. An FAQ on the website adds that no money will be awarded for snakes brought in alive but says that it's fair game to shoot the snake with a gun.

Although a gun isn't required per se, one might do well to get a permit before applying for the job. After all, it's the preferred tool of Bobby Hill—the legendary 61-year-old who's used a 12-gauge shotgun to massacre more pythons than any human on earth. He also has another thing going for him, though, that you can't obtain through any licensing agency: a native's grasp of the animal's behavior down to its patterns of movement and musky odor.

"Once you smell it, you don't forget it," he told the Tampa Bay Times in 2013.

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