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Python hunting challenge: Father-son team catch 41 snakes to win $10K

EVERGLADES, Fla. – After catching 41 pythons in the Everglades, retired law enforcement officer Charlie Dachton of Southwest Ranches was named the Grand Champion of this year’s Florida Python Challenge.

He was awarded $10,000 on Wednesday afternoon.

“In 2016, I had a very serious hunting accident and became disabled,” Dachton said. “They’re dangling this big check out there, and maybe we have the experience that can make a difference.”

Over the course of the 10-day competition, Dachton enlisted the help of his son, Chance.

“He called me up and said, ‘Hey, you know, it’s the last night of the competition. Can you come out and help me?’ And I said, ‘sure thing I’m there,’” Chance Dalton said.

The pair said some nights weren’t easy.

They eventually caught many python babies and landed on python nests.

“As it turned out, there was a nest with 22 eggs in it, and I was able to dig that nest out and recover all 22 babies,” Dachton said. “Every one of those babies becomes a little monster, and each one of those monsters reproduces.”

“We’re cleaning up the ecosystem out here. We’re saving all the native wildlife,” Chance Dalton said. “Anything I can do to share with my dad is great.”

For more information on the Python Challenge, click here: https://flpythonchallenge.org


About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.