Hunter rescues deer from python's death grip in Ochopee
A Miami hunter shot a python that was attempting to constrict a deer in Ochopee in the summer of 2016. Submitted video
Miami hunter Jimmy Wilson was hiking through the swampy woods near Ochopee in rural Collier County this summer when he came upon an amazing sight.
A huge python, a non-native invasive species overrunning the Everglades, had wrapped itself around a white-tailed deer. Both were lying still at his feet as walked up, capturing the scene on cell phone video.
In the video, Wilson keeps filming as he utters an expletive and starts firing. After the first of several shots, the snake slithers off. Wilson eventually kills it. Wilson then coaxes the deer into running off. Wilson's video doesn't show the deer jumping back to life, but movement can be heard in the brush as Wilson, breathing heavily, happily reports the outcome.
David Chambers, 33, of Kendall, who said his mother is friends with Wilson, said he got the video from Wilson at a barbecue in Ochopee a couple weeks ago. Wilson shot the video a few months ago, Chambers said.
"It's one of a kind, it's unique, it's fascinating," Chambers said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allows python hunting and has hosted two Python Challenges in recent years where hundreds of registrants compete for cash prizes for capturing the largest and most pythons.
Chambers said he wanted to share the video to raise awareness about the python problem in South Florida, where the invasive snake is blamed for upsetting the natural balance of the Everglades ecosystem.
"I think this can shed light on an important issue," he said.