A python hunter in Florida broke his own record last Thursday when he captured a 122-pound python in the Florida Everglades.
Dusty Crum captured the nearly 17-foot long Burmese python October 26 as part of the South Florida Water Management District’s “Python Elimination Program,” WESH reported.
Crum told the Palm Beach Post that he discovered the snake in the water at 11 p.m. that day and that the catch tested his limits.
“It was an unbelievable match,” Crum said. “I’ve never been tested like that before.”
Crum said he beat his own record that he set in May when he caught a 16-foot 10-inch python.
Crum, who works as an orchid dealer by day, said he began hunting after the South Florida Water Management District launched the “Python Elimination Program” in March.
According to the South Florida Water Management District website, approved python hunters get paid minimum wage—approximately $8.10 per hour—to hunt down and kill invasive pythons in the Everglades that threaten the natural ecosystem.
Hunters can also receive monetary incentives depending on the snake’s length. They can earn a $50 bonus for taking down a 4-foot-long snake and an extra $25 for each additional foot measured above this length.
The program is quite competitive to get into— the district selected only 25 hunters out of the 1,000 who applied to work with the land managers to take out the pythons.
Since the district began the program, hunters have removed 638 pythons from the Everglades.