Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jan. 4th Catch

There was already a truck parked where I planned to start my hunt, which usually meant another hunter there. Turned out to be a hiker. He was a short, old man with a scraggly beard who had the shakes real bad, no teeth, and a huge fear of snakes. He wished me luck and I began my hunt at about 12:30pm. I only walked about 15 yards before the familiar pattern and sheen of python skin caught my eye in the grass just off the trail. Burmese Pythons in the Florida Everglades are healthy and well fed. This one was nice & fat. I could also make out scars he had acquired from eating things that fight back, like gators, bobcats and coons. It was an awesome sight! I imagine the feeling you get from spotting a wild Burmese Python must be a bit like finding a unicorn. I took some pictures before snatching it from the weeds. The snake immediately shot musk and got me on the arm and chest. Musk smells like a dead, wet dog but it means success! Meanwhile, the old hiker happened to see it all and came as fast as he could, while keeping his distance. His shakes were twice as bad as when I first met him! I had the python by the tail with its body facing left while I handed my camera to the old hiker on my right. Just then, the snake decided to change directions. The old man backed up as fast as he could but without his cane it didn't work so well and he fell flat on his back! Cigarettes flew from his chest pocket but he shot back up like lightning! I wore the snake out and grabbed him behind the head. He wrapped around my arm and sqeezed it hard enough to put a pretty good hickey between where two of the coils had been! The old hiker was scared to death but digging this! My boy helped me get measurements (it was an 8'7" male), and bag the snake. He later told me it was the most exciting thing to ever happen to him.

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