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Invasive Animals You Can Actually Get Paid To Hunt  

Jonathan H. Kantor
47 votes 14 voters 12 items

For most prey, there's a fee that hunters need to pay either to the owner of the land they're hunting on or for a license to hunt in whichever area you're hunting. There aren't many cases where a hunter is paid to hunt an animal, but every now and again, the call goes out for a bounty on some animal or another that's either become an invasive species or otherwise damaging to the local ecosystem. If this is something you are interested in, check your area for live wildlife bounties on animals such as coyotes and badgers. Even common creatures like skunks and opossums can fetch a price per tail as well. They are not just land-based animals either as the pikeminnow has made the list as well.

Animal bounties spring up in the United States and around the world, especially in places like Florida where you can get paid an hourly rate while hunting snakes. You might find some of these critters, which includes everything from hogs to pythons, rather surprising.

Feral Hogs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Invasive Animals You Can Actually Get Paid To Hunt
Photo:  NASA/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
1
Feral Hogs

Bounty: $5 per hog & $0.40 per pound of meat

Where: Texas

Why: Feral hogs are one of the most hunted animals in Texas due to their meat, and the sport involved in hunting them, but that's not the only reason hunters go after hogs. Several counties in Texas will pay a bounty of $5 per pig, and that can add up pretty quick.

Hogs breed remarkably fast, so there are tons of wild pigs out there to hunt. They are the subject of a bounty due to the damage they cause to crops, often completely destroying plants when they feed. The nuisance to farmers is enough to regularly land feral hogs on bounty boards.

Worth the hunt?
Python is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Invasive Animals You Can Actually Get Paid To Hunt
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License

Bounty: $50+ per snake plus minimum wage ($8.25/hour)

Where: Southern Florida

Why: Pythons are often purchased as pets and cared for by their owners, but after a while, they don't want them anymore. Instead of finding the snake a new home, most people just let it free in the wild, and it's become a serious problem in southern Florida.

Pythons have bred uncontrollably in the Everglades, and because they have no natural predators there, they have become destructive to the native wildlife. Florida has placed a bounty on the snakes, which can be paid in a number of ways. Hunters are paid minimum wage while they hunt pythons, and they receive $50 for 0-4' with an additional $25 per foot after that.

Worth the hunt?
see more on Python
Raccoon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Invasive Animals You Can Actually Get Paid To Hunt
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License
3
Raccoons

Bounty: $10 per tail

Where: Primarily in South Dakota, but elsewhere at different times.

Why: Raccoons aren't nature's little thieves because they look like they have a mask over their eyes; they are well-known nest thieves. In fact, raccoons eat the eggs of pheasant and ducks so much, they have threatened the species in the areas where they breed.

Bounties for raccoons are done to manage their population and to enhance the success of duck and pheasant nests. Hunters are limited in South Dakota to a cap of $590 worth of tails per household, and the bounty program will run its course when it hits a cap of $500,000 each year until it is suspended or ends.

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Gray Wolf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Invasive Animals You Can Actually Get Paid To Hunt
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain
4

Bounty: $25 per tail

Where: Idaho

Why: Wolf numbers in Idaho have exploded in recent years, and as a result, it has become necessary to offer a bounty on the animals. They were originally endangered, but their recovery has helped establish them successfully through the whole state, which means they need to be managed.

The state has offered up as much as $1,000 for a kill, and since 2011, there have been more than $250,000 in payouts for 470 dead wolves. Hunters are quick to go after these bounties since they pay more than any other animal in the country.

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