Welcome to the 2016 Florida Python Challenge, a monthlong, state-sponsored hunt in which thousands of dollars in cash prizes are doled out to those who capture the most and the biggest Burmese pythons. More than 1,000 people have forked over the $25 entry fee for the privilege of stalking one of the largest and most controversial snakes in the world. The participants come from as nearby as Miami and as far away as Wisconsin. There are retirees and high school teachers, off-duty police officers and college students, all hoping to bag a monster. Some have formed teams with names like Hammock Ninjas, All About the Girth, and Blood, Sweat, and Beers.