• Appeared in 2018 reality series “Swamp Mysteries with Troy Landry” and later “Swamp People”
• Became a fan-favourite for his expertise in hunting and catching snakes
• Known for his superstitious approach to snake hunting and familiarity with the Everglades
• Recently made headlines when involved in a serious car accident
• Still appearing in popular reality shows such as “Swamp People” and “Guardian of the Glades”
Dustin “Dusty” Crum, often called “The Wildman”, is an American reality television star and renowned snake hunter, best known for his appearance in the reality series “Swamp People” and “Guardian of the Glades”.
Dusty made his television debut in 2018, appearing in “Swamp Mysteries With Troy Landry”, and from there gained the interest of the producers behind a couple of reality shows, and as he continued to appear in popular series, Dusty eventually became a fan-favourite, a viewers’ beloved feature in the shows.
Although Dusty has only recently embarked on a career in reality television, with years of experience and specialisation in his preferred field of hunting, catching and tanning snakes, Crum already earned popular reception among viewers, earning him widespread renown.
Viewers and fans of “Swamp People” would especially be familiar with Dusty, as well as his superstitious approach to preparing for snake hunts, and his sharp familiarity with the Florida Everglades.
Although not particularly known for mischief or scandalous behaviour, Dusty nonetheless recently made headlines in gossip media, leaving fans and followers both in shock, and fearing the worst for his future. Although Dusty may not have been at fault for his recent appearance in the tabloids, the unfortunate accident he lived through gave many of his loyal supporters a fright.
As such, many might be wondering how he is doing, and whether or not he would still be making an appearance on some of the popular reality shows.
Who Is Dusty Crum?
Born on 31 May 1980 in Sarasota County, Florida, Dusty spent much of his youth pursuing the one thing he knows how to do best, and that is snake catching.
While attending Sarasota High School in his hometown, Dusty would spend his free time exploring the Everglades, often catching snakes including pythons, a passion that would lead him to pursue it later on as a professional career.
Initially, snake catching was not as profitable a business, which led Dusty to search for employment in numerous other fields. The most prominent position Dusty filled as a young, hard-working man was that of a construction worker. Unfortunately, as a general labourer, Dusty duties only involved mixing cement and doing most of the heavy lifting. As a result, the mundane life and work schedule of construction work eventually became far too boring, and he set out in pursuit of a more adventurous lifestyle.
Thus, Crum’s life as “The Wildman” began, and he quickly became a renowned python catcher and conservationist in the Everglades. In addition to catching and often relocating the snakes, Dusty also developed his skills as a craftsman, and would sell numerous products made from the materials harvested from the pythons, who would be unfortunate enough not to be relocated.
While some might think that snake hunting is a cruel profession, Dusty and many other snake hunters’ efforts are technically creating a positive impact on the Everglades ecosystem, as it preserves the populations of indigenous creatures and wildlife.
The famous Burmese Python, featured commonly as the prey of Dusty and the other snake hunters, is an invasive species brought to Florida by exotic pet owners and breeders. The first appearance of the species dates back to the 1970s, and as a direct result of the 1992 category five hurricane, Hurricane Andrew, that devastated Florida on 23 August, many of the pet pythons were released or escaped into the wild.
This caused a major spike in the python population in the Everglades, which while it might sound harmless, had a negative effect on the local area’s ecosystem. When grown to full adult size, Burmese Pythons can consume native species such as deer, small mammals and other rodents, and while still growing, these pythons have a tendency to prey on the local bird populations.
As a result of this natural disaster, the local area grew in need of snake hunters to remove Burmese Pythons through either hunting or relocation. Most often, these pythons are hunted and their products are used for a variety of leather products.
Embarking on an adventurous and undoubtedly dangerous life, Dusty quit his day job and began pursuing the life of a snake hunter, focusing most of his efforts on the Everglades. Through the course of his career, Crum eventually became a conservationist, endeavouring to save the endangered ecosystem of the Everglades.
In doing so, Dusty continuously raises awareness of the ongoing struggle to recapture the natural balance in the Everglades, and aside from actively hunting pythons, he gains the support of the public through the sale of naturally sourced products.
Then, in 2018, the nature documentary “Swamp Mysteries With Troy Landry”, a series that often explores remote swamps, glades and numerous other habitats in the US, searching for mysterious and dangerous creatures, called on Dusty to appear as one of the show’s regular experts.
Of course, with many years of experience as a snake hunter and catcher, Dusty left a lasting impression on the production company “Truly Original”, also responsible for creating “Swamp People”.
While Dusty only appeared on two episodes of “Swamp Mysteries With Troy Landry”, he nonetheless began embarking on a career in reality television, as the following year, Dusty earned a place among the cast of “Swamp People”, first appeared in the ninth season, and later that same year of 2019, Dusty made his debut in the ongoing series “Guardian of the Glades”, which premiered on 28 May of that year.
The series specifically focuses on Dusty, and the calling he undertook to attempt to save the Everglades, documenting his journey as he wrestles with the invasive Burmese Pythons.
In addition to his usual appearances on “Swamp People” and his dedicated series, Dusty was also included in the spinoff series “Swamp People: Serpent Invasion”, which is currently airing its third season.
Aside from this, Dusty also made the cast of the 2020 special “Python Bowl”, which became an active method to get the public involved in Dusty’s efforts to save the Everglades. The special followed 750 contestants as they competed in catching the largest, heaviest and most pythons.
Throughout his career as a snake catcher and hunter, Dusty worked closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, with whom Crum specifically works in his efforts to rid the Everglades of the invasive pythons.
He also works for the South Florida Water Management District as a bounty hunter, continuously hunting snakes in the local water supplies, and gets paid according to the weight and size of each catch.
— South Florida Water Management District (@SFWMD) May 11, 2017
Dusty’s Unfortunate Accident
On 4 November 2021, Dusty became involved in a serious car accident that nearly left the reality star and snake hunter without the use of one of his legs. The accident happened while Dusty was a passenger in a car, being driven home on the I-77 highway in Florida.
Dusty and the driver, a good friend of his, were busy hauling goods from one workshop to another when one of the truck’s tires exploded, causing the truck and its trailer to initially fishtail before flipping over and rolling three times before coming to a crashing halt.
During the accident, Dusty’s passenger side window broke, and while rolling, Crum’s leg somehow flung out of the window, though he managed to get it back inside the cabin before the truck finally came to a stop.
As a result of the crash, Dusty suffered severe injuries to his leg and knee, but remained conscious enough to tie a tourniquet around the injured limb, ultimately saving his own life.
As Dusty would later account, he believed that he might die during the accident, but he and his many loyal followers were indeed grateful that his life was spared during the traumatic event. Following the accident, Dusty was airlifted to a hospital in Fort Meyers, where he was hospitalised for several days as doctors and surgeons worked to save his leg.
Dusty underwent five operations, and then underwent to undergo physiotherapy rehabilitation to recover the use of his injured leg.
Only days after the accident, graphic photographs ended up in online gossip publications, and Dusty’s family opened a GoFundMe account to raise funds for his treatment and payment of his hospital bills. In total, Dusty’s expenses cost $20,000, which the reality star was fortunately able to raise.
Dusty survived the accident and his leg wasn’t amputated, and as such, he could continue doing what he loves most, catching snakes.
Following the accident, many feared that Dusty might not make it back into “Swamp People” and “Guardian of the Glades”, but to everyone’s joy and surprise, Dusty was quickly back to normal and his usual self. Fans of “The Wildman” can catch him in the latest seasons of History channel’s popular shows – as per usual, the Florida native will be jumping into action, catching snakes barefoot and wearing shorts.