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Eckhoffs find massive snake on quest for catfish, ’shrooms

Paul and Danny Eckhoff were fishing for catfish and searching for mushrooms in Buffalo Creek Park near Glencoe Saturday night, but found this huge snake instead. The find has drawn statewide news coverage.

Paul and Danny Eckhoff, home visiting their parents Scott and Mary Eckhoff, went to Buffalo Creek Park southeast of Glencoe Saturday night hoping to snag some catfish from the creek, and maybe hunt up a few edible mushrooms.
They didn’t catch any fish and abandoned their mushroom hunt after stumbling across something that has made statewide news — a  10-foot long redtail boa constrictor.
Paul Eckhoff said he and his twin have been fishing the creek for catfish since they were young boys, and it is somewhat of a tradition to head out when they’re visiting their parents.
“When we first pulled up and were getting out our fishing gear, we heard something fall out of a tree,” said Paul. “We thought it was a turkey or something like that.”
After an unsuccessful attempt at fishing, the two decided to use their headlamps and try to hunt up some mushrooms.
Paul didn’t get very far when he heard something rustling in the weeds.
“It sounded like a small dog or something,” said Paul.
It wasn’t.
It was a giant snake.
“I stopped in my tracks,” said Paul. “I really had that fight or flight thing going on for a while there.”
The brothers took some pictures of the snake, which seemed fairly docile, Paul said.
“Right away, we thought it must be a corn snake or a gopher snake,” he said. “But when we saw how big it was, we though it must be either a python or a boa constrictor.”
The boys headed home and showed their pictures to their dad, Scott, who verified that it was indeed not a corn or gopher snake.

For more, see the Aug. 31 print edition of The Chronicle.