Saturday, May 30, 2009

Adrenaline filled morning

I set out this morning to take care of Rancher Bob's cattle, feed the stock fish, then start in on trimming back trees from fence rows. Well I had gotten a fair amount done when I decided to head back to my place for gloves, a drink of water, and a few minutes rest. While there, I hear cries of "Get your gun! Snake!" from Rancher Bob's excitable wife.

I expected to find a curved branch, or maybe an oversized night crawler, but this time she wasn't just crying wolf! There as a 4 foot timber rattler, about two and a half inches in diameter sitting underneath some Crepe Myrtles curled up in almost the typical coil.

Now I really do not like killing anything, but some creatures in some places just have to go. This was one of those. With four dogs, and three humans who regularly walk around the yard there at Rancher Bob's, I just could not leave this venomous snake be.

I shot it several times, but never in the head, and this snake just keeps on moving, going from shrub to shrub, but never getting in the open where I can get a good shot at it. Rancher Bob's wife gets one of his handguns, and she proceeds to miss the snake by a mile from four feet away.. :) I reload, and shoot it again. Now it is really pissed. It finally moves into the yard proper, unfortunately right at me. I take a quick shot at it's open mouth, grazing its head before it lunges at me. It stops there in the yard, playing possum, so I grab a large rock to test its resolve as well as the law of gravity.. This rattler attacks the rock leaving venom trails across the face of the rock.

One more shot then it is clear from the shrubs enough to take the shovel to it. A couple of good whacks with the edge of the shovel, and the head is removed from the still writhing body.

This is one of those times where I wish I had a bit more knowledge of wild game, because this snake would have been good eating.. nice fat body.. maybe some rattlesnake cakes like those at Hudson's on the Bend in Austin... But I haven't had time to learn or previous experience at field dressing and preparing snake, so it is off to the national forest for the carcass, but not before I see how much abuse this snake took before giving up the ghost. I had hit it 5 times that I could see, though the snake never really slowed from the shots. I've got to respect the toughness of this particular predator..

So the deed is done, the snake disposed of, and slowly the adrenaline is working its way out of my system. The yard has once again been made safe for man, animal, and excitable wives...

Hopefully the rest of the day will be less eventful.

1 comment:

Professor Pope said...

Ummm. . . I accidentally ran over a 7 inch green snake with the lawnmower yesterday.

Felt kinda bad about it.