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Invasive Animals You Can Actually Get Paid To Hunt

Updated August 10, 2020 364 votes 80 voters 2.7k views12 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.

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  • 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.

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    Feral Hogs

    Feral Hogs
    Photo: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    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.

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  • 3

    Nutria

    Bounty: $5 per corpse

    Where: Louisiana

    Why: Nutria are a species of rodent that can grow up to 20 lbs when they reach full size. They look a little like giant rats, and they have been targeted for bounty due to their desire to eat plants down to the roots.

    This has caused widespread erosion along the Louisiana coastline, and because the animals are introduced (non-native), they have devastated the ecosystem. The state launched a bounty of $5 for each animal killed, and the state has paid out nearly $2 million since 2014, it's apparent that Nutria are prolific in the area.

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    Northern Pikeminnows

    Bounty: 1 – 25 fish $5 each, 26 – 200 fish $6 each, 200+ fish $8 each

    Where: Pacific Northwest

    Why: Pikeminnow are an introduced species in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, where they have destroyed a great natural resource in the area: salmon. The salmon fishing industry is huge in the Pacific Northwest, and pikeminnows love to eat their babies.

    Because of this, the pikeminnow has been targeted for bounties numerous times, and the states have paid out thousands to anglers who catch them. Don't let the picture fool you; they can grow up to 25 lbs., making it possible to reel them in on a fishing line.

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    Worth the hunt?