Florida 2020 Python Bowl is underway

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:
Florida Python Challenge 2020 Python Bowl kicks off (FWC)

Florida’s 2020 Python Bowl kicks off on Friday in an attempt to catch as many pythons as possible to help protect Florida’s ecosystem from the invasive species.

The Florida Python Challenge 2020 Python Bowl is a conservation effort that includes public outreach on invasive pythons and a 10-day competition to remove Burmese pythons from public lands in south Florida.

Michael Tank has been a hunter his entire life. He says, “We leave Minnesota before hunting season starts, so this gives me an opportunity to go out and hunt something.”

The aim of the 2020 Python Bowl is to engage the public in participating in Everglades restoration through invasive species removal.

Participants will gather before the event starting the competition, which runs from Jan. 10-19.

This exciting conservation effort will help protect Florida’s Everglades habitats, as well as the animals that live there, from invasive Burmese pythons.

Marc Goldstein now hunts pythons but said when he asked friends about doing it, he said they “all looked at me like I was nuts.”

Different hunters have different techniques.

Bonnie Kearns uses a golf putter, sayting “the reason is because it’s nice and short. I can move the grass all around, but I think I’m going to refine it.”

While catching a python may be easier said than done, for these hunters, its about camaraderie, and caring for the environment.

The event will include:

  • Sponsor Bass Pro Shops will be on site with one of two grand prize 570 Tracker Off Road ATVs.
  • State experts on nonnative fish and wildlife.
  • Live Burmese pythons also will be available.
  • Starting at 11 a.m., pre-registered members of the public can take part in a training to gain first-hand experience capturing a wild Burmese.
  • Public may observe the training.
  • A limited number of field bags will be available to participants registered for the Python Bowl who are present at the event.

For more information, you can visit the Python Challenge web page here.

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