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Local hunter assists with annual Python Challenge

By Staff | Jul 26, 2021
PHOTO PROVIDED Geoff Roepstorff manning the check-in with SFWMD Project Manager Mike Kirkland.
PHOTO PROVIDED Geoff Roepstorff with a python he caught on July 17 in southern Glades.

Licensed python hunter Geoff Roepstorff recently assisted South Florida Water Management District Project Manager Mike Kirkland during the 2021 Python Challenge event at the check-in station.

Held July 9-18, the goal of the challenge is to remove invasive Burmese pythons from Florida’s ecosystem. During the challenge, the pythons must be removed and killed from participating areas to be considered as valid entries. Participants registered in two categories — novice or professional. Competitors can earn prizes ranging up to the $10,000 grand prize.

“It’s great to see my fellow hunters participating in this competition, but there’s a serious purpose that brings me to the Python Challenge,” Roepstorff said. “As a lifelong Floridian, I want to help my state government to exercise stewardship over the Everglades and the native species in that habitat. This python elimination program is essential for protecting the native wildlife we cherish.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is expected to announce the winners of the challenge in August. For more information, visit www.flpythonchallenge.org.