The event began as a way for hunters to help control the population of the invasive Burmese python in the Florida Everglades. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

With the announcement of the 2023 Python Challenge in the Everglades many amateur snake hunters are gearing up. And they should – because the cash prizes a Python Hunter can score have gone up. The pythons are finding their way to Naples in alarming numbers, so the state is willing to pay up to get you out there.

The python removal competition begins at 12:01 a.m. on August 4, 2023. It ends at 5 p.m. on August 13, 2023. Register here.

Tampa FP reports “Participants this year will have the chance to win a share of more than $30,000 in prizes while removing invasive Burmese pythons from the wild.” That’s a lot of money going out in just a short time for hunters. But –

Applications are being accepted for you to be a year-round Python Hunter.

So, The South Florida Water Management District sponsors an ongoing ‘Python Elimination Program’ and is searching for “a limited number of public-spirited individuals to humanely euthanize these destructive snakes which have become an invasive apex predator in the Everglades. The program provides access to python removal agents on designated lands in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, and Palm Beach counties.”

What’s it pay?

That pay has gone up from last year. With inflation, it takes more cash to get people interested. Here’s the payment structure from the FWC:

“Team members will be paid monthly by the FWC for nonnative constrictor removal efforts based on hourly rates ($13.00/hour for surveys conducted on select public lands and $18.00/hour for select lands on the edge of the known pythons established range or specific sensitive habitats; and $18/hour for responding to survey requests). They also will be paid $200 for removal of each active nonnative constrictor nest that has been field verified by the FWC. For all submitted nonnative constrictors, the FWC will make an additional payment per nonnative constrictor of $50.00 for nonnative constrictors measuring up to four feet, and an extra $25.00 for every foot measured above four feet (see illustration below).”

Length of Python

South Florida Water Management District

Keep in mind, if you want to get paid, you need to register first and become an official FWC contractor. But you can see how nabbing a big one can make you $350 on top of the $18 an hour they pay you to hang out in the swamp. It’s a dirty job, but it needs done. Some people would rather be out in the wilderness hunting rather than a normal day job. If this is you – here’s how to submit an application.



Joe Winner spends his days combing through memes and off beat stories to bring you the side of Florida not always seen.