Taking the Leap

…I followed
my passion
and I am living
my absolute
best life…

In 2019, Amy was a real estate broker with a very successful business that she had built over 13 years. When she learned that there was a Burmese Python problem in Florida, she had to check it out because she has always had a fascination and passion for snakes and reptiles. So Amy scheduled a Florida vacation to see what it was all about. She connected with professional python hunter, Donna Kalil, and went on a hunt where we caught a beautiful 9-foot python.

For Amy, it was absolutely the best day ever and she was totally hooked!

A few days after returning home, Amy knew she had to move to Florida and figure out how to be a Burmese Python hunter. Suddenly she knew how to use her passion as more than just a hobby. She could help Florida with this colossal problem and make a difference in the world. Within six weeks Amy sold her real estate client database, rented a room in Miami, packed a few things, and drove to Florida to start a new life.

Looking at this decision logically, it was ridiculous and insane. The python hunting program was a trial and no one could tell Amy if it was going to continue or if they would ever hire additional hunters. She didn’t have a job lined up. She didn’t know the area or where to hunt pythons. She didn’t know anyone, including the people she was going to live with.

In my heart, I knew it was what I needed to do.

I was more sure of that than anything in my life. It was the best decision I have ever made and I am so grateful every day that I trusted my intuition and took that crazy leap.

Becoming the Python Huntress

When Amy moved to Florida, she was one of the first one hundred hunters hired by the state. She has caught over 500 Burmese Pythons, the biggest one being 17’ 3”, 110 lbs (by herself). She has raised close to $600,000 by donating hunts to charity auctions. She has been featured on TV programs, documentaries, magazine articles and podcasts, including The New York Times, National Geographic, Time Magazine, The Today Show, Fox and Friends, CNBC and Reader’s Digest. Amy has started her own guiding service to take people out on python hunts. Out of her love of snakes and a desire to make something good from their demise, she figured out how to use their skin to make leather products.

I followed my passion and I am living my absolute best life as the Python Huntress, all because I took that leap.

Honoring These Spectacular Creatures

Amy loves these amazing snakes and hates that they have to be euthanized, but there is no other way. It is her mission to use as much of the python as possible so they don’t go to waste. While the python meat is high in mercury and not recommended for consumption, Amy uses the skin to make beautiful products. She skins them herself, has them professionally tanned, and makes a growing number of unique products. If the pythons can’t be part of our natural world, at least their existence can be honored.

But… Why Snakes?

One thing people ALWAYS ask Amy is, ‘Why Snakes’? And she says, “I have no idea.” Her fascination began when she was a little girl. Her dad took her to a creek and showed her how to catch all kinds of critters. It was the snakes that captured her imagination and fascination, and turned into a passion.

Amy thinks of it like a musician who can naturally hear and play notes, or an interior decorator who can easily put together a room. “It’s just how I was born.” Sometimes she wonders why it couldn’t have been kittens or puppies or something a little more normal, but it’s snakes!

Snakes have always been a part of Amy’s world. She was a volunteer at the Toledo Zoo in college, a breeder, an educator, part of the exotic pet and veterinary industries, and she has traveled to many places to find, observe and enjoy them. Becoming a python hunter just seemed like a logical next step.

The Burmese Pythons are beautiful and fascinating and it’s not their fault they are here. Unfortunately, they have to be removed and there is no other option.

Her Biggest Catch

Amy caught a giant Burmese Python by herself on a hot summer night. The python was 17′ 3”, weighed 110 pounds, and measured 24” around her belly. Even though she was huge, she wasn’t a record—but she is Amy’s personal best so far! The record for the longest Burmese Python caught in Florida is 19’.

Giving Back

For Amy, supporting her community and organizations that are close to her heart are incredibly important to her.

She frequently donates python hunts with all proceeds going to groups, charities and organizations that are significant and meaningful to her. She feels so lucky that she has the ability to offer a unique and exciting opportunity that helps raise much needed funds.

To date, Amy has raised $562,200 for spectacular organizations including: