What You Can Expect in The Python Hunt

 What could be more thrilling than hunting one of the most dangerous snakes in the world? Well, The Python Hunt embodies the enthralling challenge of hunting the mighty python for yourself. Just recently, there has been a great clamor to hunt non-native pythons that cause a great pain by preying on local wildlife. If you’re thinking of getting in on The Python Hunt challenge, then here’s a rundown article of what you can expect.

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What is a python?

What You Can Expect in The Python Hunt

A Burmese python - Photo credit: http://www.ecanadanow.com

First thing’s first, you need to know what you’re up against. So let’s highlight some of the most distinct characteristics of the python. The word ‘python’ encompasses many species and subspecies of snake. Generally, pythons are non-venomous, but they are some of the largest snakes known in nature which makes them all the more dangerous.

The python’s usual habitats are usually those places with warm, wet climates. Thus, you can find them in rainforests, swamps, woodlands, and grasslands.

What is the Python Hunt?

What You Can Expect in The Python Hunt

People are hunting snakes for reward - Photo credit: media2.s-nbcnews.com

In the state of Florida where the weather is generally warm, there is an overpopulation of pythons. These pythons cause an imbalance of the species distribution in the wild, such that the predators outnumber the prey. By the rule of ecology, an imbalance between predator and prey will end up causing an anomaly in vegetation and other factors in nature.

Some agencies and government bodies, including the South Florida Water Management District, have come up with a solution to the growing python problem: let hunters do the extermination. Thus, there has been many competitions and programs done in order to lessen the python population in the densest areas.

Since some of the python species found in Florida are not native to the state, agencies have been giving incentives to snake hunters to euthanize these animals. There have been continuing programs and contests that are used to motivate hunters to catch these snakes, and bring them in in exchange for monetary reward.

So, you can expect that many hunters will get in on it. However, some of them are not doing it for financial gain. The Python Hunt is a challenge that enlivens the beauty of hunting, and opens up a whole new world of hunting for those who are used to hunting deer or elk. Hunting snakes is completely different from hunting another type of animal. And obviously, most hunters are up to take the challenge.

What do you need in order to hunt a python?

What You Can Expect in The Python Hunt

A snake tong - Photo credit: http://www.animal-care.com

If you’re interested in joining The Python Hunt for yourself, then you’re going to need additional gear aside from the usual staples you’ve got in the best hunting backpack you own.

Of course, you’re going to have to kill the snake once you’ve caught it. That’s one of the rules that proprietors of The Python Hunt enlisted. So you can go about this in several ways: either you shoot the python with your usual gun, wrangle it into a bag, or decapitate it with your hunting knife. Depending on the type of killing method you’re going to use, you’re going to need equipment for it.

If you’re going to go out hunting pythons, I suggest you get these additional gear from a hunting store before you do:

Snake tongs

These are simple hooks and tangs that will help you capture a snake from a meter away. This will help reduce incidences of biting and any other type of injury the distressed snake might cause. You can also use snake tongs to wrangle the snake into an awaiting bag.

Bag

A python is big. Thus, you need to have a bag that’s big enough for it. Note that you cannot use just a regular bag. You need to purchase a bag that can allow air in if you want to kill the snake for later. Moreover, it’s also better if this bag is thick enough and can be tied at the top.

Hunting knife

Sometimes, you’re going to have to take a snake’s head off. This method will allow you to transport the snake easily and safely. A good hunting knife will allow you to do this job swiftly and smoothly. Moreover, it can also allow you to skin the snake for yourself.

Snake-proof boots

Even the best rubber boots cannot protect you from a snake bite if they don’t have an adequate bite. Select a pair that’s high enough so it’ll prevent an unexpected bite.

Of course, you’re going to need your usual hunting gear for a python hunt. However, I must recommend that you carry only the essentials and leave the rest in your car. While hunting a python, you need to be swift and careful with your actions, and this might be difficult to do if you have a heavy pack on.

How to hunt a python

What You Can Expect in The Python Hunt

A man wrestling with a caught python - Photo credit: http://www.outdoorlife.com

Now that you have your gear set, you need to head on down to approved python hunting sites to get your hands on one of the biggest snake species in the world. Once you have your python hunting license acquired, you can start your part in The Python Hunt.

Step 1: Locate your python

This can be a bit tricky for first-time hunters of snakes, since they require a different tracking method. Nevertheless, you can learn this bit in no time. You just need to know where to look. Generally, pythons hide in canals and banks and any areas with tall grass. You must make your movements slow and steady, as quick movements may alert the snake of your presence. Most snakes can also be found in the hollows of trees, so make sure you look there.

Step 2: Identify the snake

Once you’ve spotted your snake, don’t engage it right away. The python is pretty easy to identify, but you need to make sure you’re not going to catch a venomous snake. I recommend taking a phone or tablet with pictures of the python species saved on it. This can better help you identify the snake you’ve found.

Step 3: Catch or kill the snake

Depending on your preference, you can either catch the snake for later analysis or kill the snake on the spot. Either way, you’re going to get paid for the snake if you take it back to the authorities.

If you’re going with the first option, then you need to exercise extreme precaution. Pythons are very large and can be very dangerous if not handled right. At this point, you can use your snake wrangling tools such as snake tongs or tomahawk in order to wrestle the snake into a bag.

On the other hand, you can shoot the snake or take of its head/pierce the spinal cord. This is pretty simple and I honestly recommend this option if you do not have experience handling snakes.

Either way, you will get your reward. Moreover, you can take the dead snake and have the skin taken off for you. You can even eat the snake, but that’s not recommended.

Conclusion

This article is just a rundown on what The Python Hunt really is and what you can expect from the challenge. If you’re still up to it, hundreds of dollars in reward are waiting for you. More importantly, you can expand your hunting skills with a new prey to hunt on.

I hope this article cleared things up and inspired you to try The Python Hunt challenge. If not, then you probably need to read it again. Anyway, we hope that you can share this with your friends—maybe they can join you in The Python Hunt, too. Queries will also be entertained in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Sheldon Martin
 

Sheldon Martin is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

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