Rattle Snakes

Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:06 pm

I know folks call me nuts and crazy too.
But i have a very unusual hobbie believe it or not
i catch rattle snakes as a past time. The tools i use are a Snake Hook a forked stick
and my hands. Living here in Rural WV does have its benefits and rattle snakews are one of them.
Thus far i have caught 16 this year. I live in Mineral County with all the straight up and down hills and
rock cliffs it is Rattler Haven. Of the sixteen i will break them down as follows I have caught 10 Timber Rattlers and 6 Diamondback rattlers. The shortest was 18" long and the longest on was a whopping 31"
and close to 6" around the middle she had 14 rattles and a button. I do not keep these snakes although down in Southern West Virginia a Church at Jolo said they will take all of them and come after them.
Now i will explain in WV and MD my neighbor State here has strict restrictions on capturing and killing
rattlesnakes. You can catch them but oh no don't kill one it is a automatic fine of 500.00 to kill one if you get caught doing it.

Have i been bitten No i am a very religous person and pray for my safety and the snakes safety before i attempt to capture it. So nothing serious has happened thus far.

Re: Rattle Snakes

Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:39 pm

I think your story is a crying shame! Rattler tastes mighty fine.

Re: Rattle Snakes

Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:02 am

How do you know were to look for the rattle snakes? I live in N.Y. and have seen only 2 rattlers in the past 30 years are they getting scarce? True or false a rattlers bite will kill ya every time for every body or just some? I heard of a guy back in the 60's that was bit by a rattler and he was so far out in the woods that rather than walk out and seek help he just laid down and rested for 3 days until the vhenom passed thru his system, always wonder if that was a true story or a hoax...

Re: Rattle Snakes

Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:43 pm

Too cool! I love snakes. I use to spend my summers as a child catching snakes by hand, mostly Gardner, Corn and Black snakes. Ocassionaly I would run into a Copperhead and I would use a stick to pin down it's head before picking it up... yeah, I am surprised I never got bit and if my mother ever knew she would have rung my neck!

The most I ever caught in one day was around 50; always catch and release. When out in Arkansas with my uncle we ran across a 3-1/2' Diamond Back. My uncle usually shoots them on site but when he saw me pick it up he thought I was insane, especially after I released it.

I have owned several snakes over the years. Two Ball Pythons, one Bull Snake (nasty little bugger) that's defense is that it mimics a rattler, and Red Tail Boa named Jacqueline. She was the most tame snake that I have ever owned and loved to be handled but after 7-8 years I gave her up to a guy who had some large males and he was able to get her to breed several times a year.

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Re: Rattle Snakes

Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:53 pm

she would make a nice pair of boots and a belt to match

Re: Rattle Snakes

Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:42 pm

smigelski wrote:she would make a nice pair of boots and a belt to match


For some reason you concern me Matt. You don't happen to have a well in your basement, a poodle named "Precious", and like to dance around singing "Goodbye Horses" do you?

Re: Rattle Snakes

Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:44 pm

no just a good pair of snake skin boots for going out and chaseing the ladies around the dance floor.

Re: Rattle Snakes

Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:11 pm

I am a bit of a Herpetologist myself. I had a few snakes of my own when I was much younger but they were in a small box in Laos back in the late 60's. I had a private who would milk them everyday to make some sort of anti-venom we needed in case of an accident. Quite an unnerving experience as I was never into reptiles as a kid but after spending some time in the jungle it grew on me enough that I collected them once returning stateside. Cobras, Rattlers, Mulga's owned them all. I had a partner who owned a Tiapan, he received it as a retirement gift from his agency.

Re: Rattle Snakes

Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:18 am

Joe Andover wrote:I am a bit of a Herpetologist myself. I had a few snakes of my own when I was much younger but they were in a small box in Laos back in the late 60's. I had a private who would milk them everyday to make some sort of anti-venom we needed in case of an accident. Quite an unnerving experience as I was never into reptiles as a kid but after spending some time in the jungle it grew on me enough that I collected them once returning stateside. Cobras, Rattlers, Mulga's owned them all. I had a partner who owned a Tiapan, he received it as a retirement gift from his agency.


Those are some serious snakes there, especially the Taipan. I would not have one in my house for fear of it escaping... which mine did sometimes. You need a dedicated and secure herp room for those types of snakes.

Re: Rattle Snakes

Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:16 am

the brother of a friend of mine worked in the log woods many years ago, when snakes were plentiful, and liked to collect rattles. He claimed the rattlers almost always traveled in pairs, and he would kill the first one, look around till he found it's mate, kill it, then collect both sets of rattles that he kept in a jar. One day he looked all around, but could not find the mate, so he returned to the first snake, put his foot on it's head and snapped the rattles off. When he lifted his foot it crawled off. He had pulled the rattles off the living mate. It shook him so bad he never collected another rattle. :o

Re: Rattle Snakes

Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:00 pm

Can you spot the Copperhead?

Check the next post to see it outlined...
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Re: Rattle Snakes

Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:01 pm

Here he/she is... I'm good at spotting them if I'm looking for them, but I'm sure I've walked right past many of them while tramping through the Missouri/Arkansas woods.
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Re: Rattle Snakes

Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:03 pm

Dennis (47 Cub) wrote:Here he/she is... I'm good at spotting them if I'm looking for them, but I'm sure I've walked right past many of them while tramping through the Missouri/Arkansas woods.


Great picture Dennis! My father use to caution me about walking around the woods in Arkansas during the late fall and early spring. He said that copperheads are a little on the slow side because of the cooler temperatures. Normally a copperhead will crawl off and avoid you, but during these cooler months you will almost step on it before it moves and you have a higher chance of getting bit.

Re: Rattle Snakes

Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:47 pm

hey, I actually spotted it. Around here copper heads seem pretty territorial. Most snakes will move away from you, but not copperheads. Of course that makes their lives shorter when I am using the flail. By the time I spot them it is too late.

Kind of like the little boy at Scout camp who came running up to the Scoutmaster all out of breath and said "I saw a snake on the trail, but it turned out to be a stick." The Scoutmaster asked why he was so out of breath then. The boy replied "Because the stick I picked up to hit it with turned out to be a snake."

Re: Rattle Snakes

Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:28 am

Copperheads are one of the nastiest and dirtiest snakes I have encountered. We had a fellow get bit by one while on an outing some time ago. The bite looks hideous in very little time. The effects of the toxins were a bit unrealistic as well ie. swelling, burning pain, discoloration. Luckily he made it to help fast enough. This was as close by as the Susquehanna River Basin in Harford County.