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Florida's great Python hunt

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HOMESTEAD, Fla. – For as long as anyone can remember, hunters here have wielded machetes, knives, rifles and crossbows as they swept past thickets of mosquitoes and saw grass in pursuit of alligators, feral hogs, bobcats and vermin of all sizes.

But on the outskirts of the Everglades this month, a different kind of hunt is taking place, and among those on the trail are three men with little macho swagger and zero hunting finery. They drive up gravel roads alongside the brush in a red “man-van” (a well-lived in Toyota Sienna) and a blue Prius (“You can’t beat the mileage,” says one).

And when they get lucky, they clamber down from their vehicles and snare enormous Burmese pythons with their bare hands, shrugging off the inevitable bites.

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