Rattler fun

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by grayman, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. grayman

    grayman Tracker

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    I posted a brief story about this under highlight of the day. Yesterday I was at a friends house for his son's birthday party, with about 15 kids from ages 2 to 10. They are all playing outside when my daughter runs up to me and says "We were chasing the cat and it's by a big snake". We all walk out of the kitchen and expect to see a garter snake or something, but no, we all hear lot's and lot's of rattling. We send the kids up to the house, and I tell my buddy I'm gonna shoot the snake. So I shoot it twice, once in the head, and again just in case. Nine Millimeter hollow points did a very nice job on this guy. I'll go with Timber rattler as the general consensus. I stand 5'8", and you can see it was nearly as long as me. It was about 5 inches in diameter. My buddy said there had been lot's of rabbits in the area, which explains it's size. Luckily all of the kids stayed far away from it and came to get an adult. I cut the head off and buried it, and opted not to keep the skin, because of the bullet holes.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  2. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    Man that's a big one! One question. It had rattles? Kinda looks like a timber rattler from the pic.
     
  3. Nature Girl

    Nature Girl Scout Bushclass I

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    Glad no one was hurt.
     
  4. Gryphonblade

    Gryphonblade Guide

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    Nasty critters, rattlers. Glad no-one got hurt (except the snake of course).
     
  5. longrifle54

    longrifle54 Scout

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    Yep, Looks like a timber rattler! Was stationed at Bragg for years, and only saw a couple of rattlesnakes when in the field. Ran into Copperheads quite frequently and they dont have rattles and dont give a warning. I hate snakes with a freakin passion, but some of the nasty ones have nice looking patterns.
     
  6. gwynn1975

    gwynn1975 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I was at Bragg for 12 years and never saw a rattler.. (thank goodness) Good job to the kids on getting an adult..

    You guys should have skinned it and ate it.. Every kid wonders what snake tastes like
     
  7. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

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    That most definitely is NOT a Copperhead!!


    Larry
     
  8. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm sure Mac would be happy to eat that for you :D Glad no one got hurt.
    Wolf
     
  9. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Scout

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    Not to be rude, but I was raised to know what kind of critter it was that I was killin', before I did it. Just sayin'.
     
  10. Easy_rider75

    Easy_rider75 Bushwhacker

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    The same thought had crossed my mind Wolf :D LMAO


    Damn big snake
     
  11. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Rattle snake for sure. Copperheads seldom get over 18 inches, maybe 20".

    The problem with a big snake like that is that it _can_ inject enough venom to be dangerous to an adult, and almost certainly will be dangerous to children or pets.

    Best to kill it if it is in the area where kids or pets roam.
     
  12. grayman

    grayman Tracker

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    I may have the species of snake wrong, but I know for sure it was a rattler, and because of where it was, it had to die. I wanted to eat it, but they wouldn't let me, lol. It sure was a big one though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2011
  13. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    Ha ha. Yeah, there's no mistaking a big ones noisemakers. We have little pygmy rattlers down here that can sound like a loud insect. They nail alot of people.
     
  14. OddTheViking

    OddTheViking Guide

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    Maybe they have more food where I lived in high school in Texas, just northwest west of Fort Worth, but we had several pushing 3'. They all seemed pretty laid back. Hell, I actually almost stepped on one, and all it did was slowly slither away.
     
  15. JerseyJohn

    JerseyJohn Scout

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    I'd eat it.
     
  16. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Copperheads and water moccasins are the main poisonous species outside the rattlesnakes. If it has rattles, it is by definition a "Rattlesnake". :)

    We have a lot more copperhead bites around here than we do rattler bites, but the copperheads are usually less than a full venom load, and while causing painful injuries, are seldom fatal.

    Our family land is between Fort Worth and Wichita Falls, and copperheads and rattlers are both very common there. Never have seen a copperhead over 26" there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  17. Sides

    Sides Guide

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    That's a good one. nice shot.
     
  18. alex30808

    alex30808 Guide

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    FYI....that IS a timber rattler...I've heard of many redneck stories of copperheaded water rattlers...but never seen one myself...but from my experience of making belts, hat bands and other useless items from timber rattlers...I'd say that's definitely a Timber Rattler and not a copperhead!
     
  19. Dr. Redneck

    Dr. Redneck Guide

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    nice snake
     
  20. mac in mo

    mac in mo Scout

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    Not to be condescending, but how could you possibly mistake that for a Copperhead? Seriously. I don't see a headshot either.

    Kevin
     
  21. grayman

    grayman Tracker

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    I mistook it because I'm not an expert with snakes, and that's what someone else there told me it was. You don't see the head, because I cut off what was left of it and buried it immediately.
     
  22. grayman

    grayman Tracker

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    Thank you. I'm not really an expert and just went with what one of the other guys there told me.
     
  23. chukar8

    chukar8 Scout

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    Good move on the buried head.
     
  24. longrifle54

    longrifle54 Scout

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    Excellent plan on cutting off and burying the head. And with kids around, dead is good!!
    Copperheads are very nice copper/bronze color, with really cool markings(either while dead or behind glass)
    I have seen 1 about 4ft long, and that was at Hanging rock state park? by Mt Airy(I think, its been 20plus years) and he couldnt have cared less about us. 4 of us walked over him(across a trail) and my wife was just about to step ON him, when the last guy in our party grabbed her and pulled her back. close call, as Im sure he would have been "upset". aside from that most I have seen 18"-2ft ish.
     
  25. 63C30

    63C30 Scout

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    Mr. Noshoulders grows big on rabbits! Remember the Drill Sgt. telling us to kick the edge of the firing pits on the range at Ft. Jax to see if noshoulders was down inside, warming up on 'one frosty morn'. This had to be late October, and us Yankees didn't know any better about cold and rattlers! One guy failed to follow instructions and jumped right in so, our DI, Sgt. Rodger D. Sanker reminded him right off, in finest DI style, and he popped right out like a jackinthebox. Even the butterbar range officer got a good laugh!
     
  26. OddTheViking

    OddTheViking Guide

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    GO, most of the ones we saw were 18-24", but we most definitely saw bigger. They seemed to be pretty laid back, more interested in retreat than biting.

    Anecdotal "evidence" from people I met who had lived in the area a while was that copperheads were not very likely to bite, while cottonmouths were very aggressive, and grew to gargantuan proportions.

    I can only add my own anecdotes. I have literally almost stepped on a copperhead at dusk, and just barely managed to step over it. It just slithered off like it was annoyed. I have been in a kayak on the Trinity above Eagle Mt Lake, and again in Lake Worth, and had puny little cottonmouths actually swim straight towards the boat! I never really decided if they were angry, confused, stupid, or just did it for the laughs :D

    After that I started carrying a small pistol with shot shells in the boat.
     
  27. chukar8

    chukar8 Scout

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    I see Rattlers each year several times, most of the time they just try to get away and I usually let them unless it is near a populated area. I just killed another one yesterday that was 36 inches with 13 buttons a pretty common size around here.
     
  28. SDS

    SDS Guide

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    Hoss, I don't have a dog in this fight but he identified it as a rattlesnake....around his kids. Target identified and neutralized. Don't see a problem myself. I know lots of folks prefer to not have snakes killed and I'm fine with that but around my house/kids, pretty easy decision for me.

    Sounds like the kids made smart choices too. Glad no one got hurt.

    SDS
     
  29. mac in mo

    mac in mo Scout

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    Grayman,
    I went back and see that the head is gone. I still forget sometimes that I now need reading glasses. Did the snake have buttons, the rattles? That I guess is why I don't understand the mis-identification. Regardless, I am glad that the kids and everyone else were unharmed. I sure don't have a problem with taking these guys out around homes, habitation. I am not trying to "rattle" your cage here.

    Kevin
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  30. gila_dog

    gila_dog Guide

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    Good thing it didn't bite a kid. And good thing the kids were smart enough to come and get you before messing with it. We have a few rattlers here, but not as many as you would expect. Here's one that showed up in my camp one morning. I was leaving anyway so he and I left each other alone. Had he been near my house or in my neighborhood I would have blasted him with a load of CCI .38 Special snake shot. He's a blacktail rattler.

    [​IMG]
     
  31. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    Here's a juvenile pygmy with it's undeveloped rattles in FL. Baby or not, it'll hurt ya.

    [​IMG]
     
  32. fire steel 703

    fire steel 703 Scout

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    Never saw a rattler in person while out but have heard them while mountain biking... that makes for a quick water break when that happens. i have seen plenty of copperheads sunning themselves across the trail. Almost ran over one once, thought it was a stick. Baby copperheads have like a greenish to yellowish tip on their tails, so watch for that too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  33. Sgt. Mac

    Sgt. Mac Elder Staff Member Administrator Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II Bushclass Instructor

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    Thats some good eatin right there
     
  34. santaman2000

    santaman2000 Guide

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    It's a snake and it ain't a kingsnake. That's enough
     
  35. santaman2000

    santaman2000 Guide

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    Do you mean he had 12 rattles and a button. Usually only the end rattle is referred to as a "button."
     
  36. mac in mo

    mac in mo Scout

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    Grayman,
    I think I might owe you an apology. I went back and read a post here that I missed the first time around. I see that you must have been told it was a "Copperhead" Rattler. I had never heard of that particular misnomer for a snake before. If that is what was going on, then I completely misunderstood your position. I hope you understand that I was not trying to call you out or anything like that.

    Kevin
     
  37. chukar8

    chukar8 Scout

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    Yes then, 12 and a button, Thanks. I have been around rattlers my whole life (Westerns) and didn't realize that,lol, thanks for the correction.
     
  38. grayman

    grayman Tracker

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    I'm not sure about buttons, but the rattle was about 4 to 5 inches before it broke in half.
     
  39. grayman

    grayman Tracker

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    No worries man. I know just know rattler plus kids equals dead rattler. If I was just hiking through the woods, I would have let it be.
     
  40. JAY

    JAY Scout

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    I have heard from many old timers that if you have black snakes around, then you probably don't have rattlers, copperhead, as the blacksnakes keep them away or kill them. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this, or is it an ol wives tale?
     
  41. beanbag

    beanbag Guest

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    Not only is that a Eastern Timber Rattler, I would venture to guess that it is a "yellow phase E.T.R." like this one which I photographed last summer. This snake was also between 5-6' long.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  42. santaman2000

    santaman2000 Guide

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    I don't know about all black snakes but there is one species of black colored Kingsnake that eats rattlers.
     
  43. Cohutta

    Cohutta Guide

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    When a snake is rattling, you have all of the identifying information you need. At that point it doesn't matter if it is Crotalus horridus or Crotalus adamanteus.
     
  44. SkyPainter

    SkyPainter Supporter Supporter

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    ===> Agree! Was stationed at Ft Hood back in the day and they hired civilian fire depts. We were billeted across the street, away from other barracks (as we were considered rather crazy and dangerous at the time - maybe we were!) but near the firehouse.

    The firemen used to head out into the desert in the North Fort and capture rattlers, then bring 'em back and dry the skins and heads from 'em and make wallets, hatbands, belts, purses, etc to supplement their incomes.

    Whenever we saw the snake skins laid out on the front lawn, we KNEW there was some rattlesnake stew being cooked-up, and we always dropped over for some!

    DELICIOUS! :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  45. alabeekeeper

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    If it rattles or looks poisonous and kids are nearby then act first then think about it later, too big of a chance too take by not taking quick action.
     
  46. chukar8

    chukar8 Scout

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    Awesome pics Beanbag.
     
  47. Cohutta

    Cohutta Guide

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    Crotalus horridus. This was my first (and only) venomous snake handling. This gal was hit by a car in front of me and the back third of her was paralyzed, but the rest was very much alive. My heart rate was up a bit.
     

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  48. Nature Girl

    Nature Girl Scout Bushclass I

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    You couldn't pay me enough to pick it up. Only 2 things in this world that I'm afraid of.... The good Lord and snakes.
     
  49. Cohutta

    Cohutta Guide

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    I was jacked up after killing a nice 10-pointer.
     
  50. benajah

    benajah Scout

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    I don't get it either. I must have missed the spot where someone mistook it. I think the OP just meant timber rattler versus eastern diamondback. Diamondbacks are the ones you usually see that big.
    That thing resembles a copperhead about as much as a horse resembles a cow.
     

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