Monday, October 20, 2014

Rattlesnake Season














Went out to feed the roosters yesterday morning and found a rattlesnake...the first of the year at TFL.  He appeared to have gotten stuck trying to slither out of the pen through the chicken wire.  Unfortunately for him the relocation program for varmints has ended - and rattlers don't get a pass anyway.  I have found that my .22 rifle is the euthanizer of choice.  Very easy to give one safe distance shot to the head, then a shovel to remove the biting part.  I ended up having to cut some of the chicken wire to get the body out.  I bagged it and stuck it in the fridge for a couple of hours to wait for it to stop moving.  Skinned it later on that afternoon and found that the reason he got stuck was because he was trying to digest a big mouse.  The "lump" kept him from going forward and his scales kept him from backing up.  The rodent in his gut kinda put me off from chopping him up to cook for a meal.  I just happened to have the skin curing ingredients on hand for just such an occasion.  Soaking it in 3 equal parts of distilled water, isopropyl alcohol, and glycerin for 3 days then will tack it down to dry in the shade for a week.  A final rub down with a bit of leather conditioner and it will be finished.  67,79,59,0,W

14 comments:

Janet said...

We recently moved up to Love County Oklahoma about a half mile from the Red River. In the past month we've killed several "Velvet Tail Rattlers" and a Pgymy Rattler. A local came and cleaned the last Velvet Tail we killed to put in his freezer and was wanting more information about tanning the hide. I am going to tell him how you did your snake skin. Thanks.

John Wells said...

Some rattlesnake wranglers from east Texas gave me the recipe. I have used it 3 times and it has worked like a charm.

Bob from Athens said...

You can do the same thing with coons. Good skins for all sorts of crafts and delicious stews.

Rita B. said...

It would have generous of you to have given him to the ladies.

Margery Bills said...

Glad you got the snake.

THORNWALKER said...

The head would make a nice hat or helmet ornament.

Sandy Swiencki Lorant said...

There goes your exterminator.

pamit said...

John, the more rattlers you kill the more of a rodent problem you will have. Rodents carry a lot of diseases - how about a Hanta virus counter on your webpage to go along with the Ebola one? Please snake-proof your henhouse just as you would rodent-proof it. You don't have kids or dogs so there is no reason to take the lives of these animals. They're a part of creation just like you. Soapbox off.

Rev.jimmyleebob said...

I learn something new ever day. Pit vipers don't bite mature adults. Good thing too as antivenom is 50 K a pop around these parts http://www.10news.com/news/-143k-hospital-bill-shocks-snake-bite-victim

John Wells said...

Rodent proofing TFL is virtually impossible as long as I have feed available to my steers and chickens. Although the feed is stored in mouse-proof containers, there are always leftovers available from my pets. I would need a lot of rattlesnakes out here to even make a dent in the mouse population. It takes up to week for a rattlesnake to digest a mouse. In the wild, feeding intervals for rattlesnakes range from a few weeks to a few months. Between meals, a rattler has nothing else to do but bite me if he gets the chance. Until I decide it is worth the risk to catch them live...I will continue to take the less risky option of killing the one or two that I find each year.

pamit said...

It's true that the number of rodents consumed by a rattler is notlarge; but often, these animals strike and kill but do not consume the prey. That's because they release the prey after striking, then track to where it has died. Often the rodent or rabbit is too large to consume. --Anyway, I understand the urge to remove a danger, but - bad things can, and do happen when we remove a predator from the food chain. Just sayin'. Thanks for the explanation.

Janet said...

Up here at the Red River we are crawling with poisonous snakes this time of year. We have 18 acres of timber directly behind the house and . . . snakes. If they stay in the woods, we leave them alone. If they come up by the house, they are exterminated and a local eats them so they don't go to waste. I've been bitten by a copperhead and a rattlesnake down in Texas and hope to avoid it here.

Margery Bills said...

I had a rattler living under my house for a winter thumping around under the floor boards in the insulation. Then he shed his skin and went away.

rpm said...

the only good rattler,
is a dead rattler.