Sen. Bill Nelson is going python hunting

Florida’s first snake hunt will include Sen. Bill Nelson, who joins hundreds of other hunters.

01/10/2013 5:48 PM

01/10/2013 5:49 PM

Sen. Bill Nelson has taken some ribbing for his focus on Pythons in the Everglades. But the problem is real. So little surprise the 70-year-old Democrat will participate in Florida’s first snake hunt, which begins Saturday and offers cash prizes.

Nelson will go out Thursday with a rancher in Davie.

“He’s had a hand in drawing attention to the problem and it has, in fact, proven to be a very serious problem,” spokesman Dan McLaughlin said. “Bill doesn’t mind the heat, the mosquitoes, the alligators and the poisonous snakes. It puts him in touch with natural Florida.”

Nelson and another hunter will wield machetes and pistols, McLaughlin said.

Hundreds of people have signed up for the python challenge. 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 snake, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

As of Thursday morning, 670 people had signed up for the python challenge. 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 snake, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

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