The Artemis Podcast

Join Marcia Brownlee and co-hosts Maggie Heumann and Becca Aceto as they talk to the adventurous, accomplished women who are redefining conservation through their lives in the field and on the water.

Python Hunting with Amy Siewe and Anne Gordon-Vega

Yasss, pythons. Not a typo. This week on the podcast, we hear about how Amy Siewe went from snake lover to snake hunter — and how her hunting pal Anne Gordon-Vega also became a python contractor. Pythons aren’t native to Florida, and they wreak havoc on native ecosystems. So… when you find a 17-foot python big enough to swallow a deer, in the middle of the night, and you’re alone… how DO you handle that? 

  • 3:30 Badass python-hunters are grandmas, too! 
  • 5:00 Life transition: Going from being a real estate broker in Indiana to a Florida python hunter
  • 7:00 A brief history of pythons in Florida… a non-native, apex predator
  • 9:30 “In the southern part of the state we’ve lost over 90% of all mammals.” It’s shocking. No opossums, no raccoons, no marsh rabbits. 
  • 12:00 Miami, drugs & exotic pets
  • 14:00 Pythons are VERY difficult to find in the wild
  • 15:00 What eats baby pythons? Plus, python breeding
  • 17:00 Two python facts: They’re the only snake that sits a nest, and the “babies” are 18-24 inches when they’re born. (AH!)
  • 18:00 When a python regurgitates the last four things it ate…
  • 23:00 The contractor program in Florida – Florida Wildlife Commission; South Florida Water Management District
  • 26:00 The python-hunting version of a Florida family vacay
  • 30:00 Meeting your first deer-eater sized python at 2 a.m., laying over its body so it doesn’t wrap you, and wrestling it into a bag
  • 34:00 Snake-bagging 101
  • 37:00 Catching a python on your ebike
  • 40:00 Team-tagging pythons at night in dark, dark swamp water 
  • 43:00 Wrangling a 17-footer, with a timely assist from passing hunters
  • 48:00 Python hunting is actually not much like how it’s portrayed on reality TV
  • 51:00 BSwanky handbag line from Florida pythons
  • 52:00 Amy is a full-time python-hunter… and she also saves the skins for her own line of product. Find her online, Python Huntress
  • 53:00 What does it PAY to be a python contractor? It’s not about the money… “I do it out of love (for the Everglades), and — I’ll admit it — adrenaline.”
  • 54:00 Python hunting is a night-time thing… outsiders can totally try it on vacation, but start by paying attention to the rules: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • 55:00 The Florida Python Challenge – cash prizes! ATVs! Reptile stuff! 
  • 56:00 Are we putting a meaningful dent in the python problem? 
  • 58:00 Snake-tracking hound dogs
  • 59:00 Find @PythonHunter_Amy on Insta, or for those snake skin goods we mentioned; Find Anne on the FWC Python Contractor FB page
  • 1:04 Turkey hunting! It’s ON. (Dinner Island Ranch, where working cattle land meets public lands)
  • 1:06 When mom makes you a snake bag for the record-breaker on the horizon… <3