The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 19, 2011, 03:28 PM   #1
Shell
Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2005
Location: sometimes southeast ohio when not trying to relocate
Posts: 53
Rattlesnakes

We are now in the laredo area and need info on catching, cleaning rattlesnakes and caring for its hide.
Shell is offline  
Old September 19, 2011, 06:09 PM   #2
Major Dave (retired)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2008
Location: Between Dallas and Shreveport, LA
Posts: 552
Step one - wear protection!

I'm not sure about the terrain and/or the vegetation in that part of TX, but if it involves clusters of prickly pear cactus, you will find rattlers nestled in them.

When I used to catch snakes, I used a snake stick which was made of an old broom or mop handle with a metal hook on the end. Hook the snake about 1/3 of the length of his body. This is a natural balance point, in that the head and first 1/3 of the body weigh about the same as the 2/3 that includes the tail.

When you hoist him up off the ground, you should have a helper nearby holding a "tote sack" (burlap bag), open. Dump the snack into the bag (one snake per bag), then twist the opening of the bag (quickly) closed. Then tie an overhand knot in the neck of the bag.

To kill a snake without cutting, shooting, or otherwise damaging the skin, simply place the bagged up snake on the dashboard of a vehicle, then close the windows and doors. The heat will build up in the vehicle, thusly killing the snake by overheating. (hyperthermia?)

Never skinned one out, cooked one, or ate one - so, can't help you there.
__________________
Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be but a vulgar brawl.
Major Dave (retired) is offline  
Old September 19, 2011, 07:36 PM   #3
Shell
Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2005
Location: sometimes southeast ohio when not trying to relocate
Posts: 53
Reply

Thankyou. what did you do with them if not cook, clean or eat them?
Shell is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 02:56 AM   #4
warbirdlover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
Quote:
simply place the bagged up snake on the dashboard of a vehicle, then close the windows and doors. The heat will build up in the vehicle, thusly killing the snake by overheating. (hyperthermia?)
Doesn't this make your vehicle smell bad inside?
warbirdlover is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 08:03 AM   #5
Outlaw81
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 9, 2011
Location: Southeast OK
Posts: 114
I can say that rattlesnake is disgusting! ! Pin em with whatever makes u comfortable. Humane society snare for dogs works great. Have a partner grab a tater sack and drop him in. Tie the knot and zip tie that thing. Go put him in the freezer overnight. That'll keep him from getting nasty. You'll need to take him to a boot guy to get advice on keeping the skin. Eewwww. Im getting creeped out just thinking bout it. We gathered em for a round up 7 years ago and I still can't stand the things. We put em in five gallon buckets to keep em alive.
__________________
Don't Run...You'll only die tired.
“It was the ultimate hunting trip: a man hunting another man who was hunting me. Don’t talk to me about hunting lions or elephants; they don’t fight back with rifles and scopes!"--Chuck Mawhinney
Marines never die...We just go to hell and regroup!!
Outlaw81 is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 08:21 AM   #6
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,540
They're easy to skin. Use scissors to open the bottom of the snake, and then use pliers to pull the carcass from the skin.

Ask a taxidermist about any short-term preservative besides freezing. I've heard that using salt makes the tanning process more difficult.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 08:58 AM   #7
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,456
Note to self:

Don't go hiking with Major Dave.

Playing with snakes is not on my Bucket List.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 01:11 PM   #8
Capt Charlie
Staff
 
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,306
Perhaps a wee bit off topic, but when you go to skin that snake, keep in mind that a dead rattler, even a beheaded one, can still be dangerous.

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/975693/

No, it's not a zombie snake ; it's quite dead, but reflex action can cause this up to several hours after death.
__________________
TFL Members are ambassadors to the world for firearm owners. What kind of ambassador does your post make you?

I train in earnest, to do the things that I pray in earnest, I'll never have to do.

--Capt. Charlie
Capt Charlie is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 01:40 PM   #9
myshoulderissore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2010
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 447
Holy crap, that video creeps me out... And I don't get creeped out.
myshoulderissore is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 02:54 PM   #10
Major Dave (retired)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2008
Location: Between Dallas and Shreveport, LA
Posts: 552
Reply to Shell

I collected them for a class in herpetology, while a student at Texas A & M. We (Wildlife Management majors) had to gather specimens of 90 species of "herptiles" (snakes, lizards, salamanders, frogs, and toads), as a requirement for the course. We preserved them in gallon jars filled with formaldehyde, with the species identification on a tag around the neck.

Since you can't find that many different species in one locale, we all learned to go home on Thanksgiving break, catch numerous specimens of the 10 to 15 species near home, then bring them all back to campus and exchange different species with each other.

As in, "I'll give you two copperheads and one water mocasson for one sidewinder rattler".

Or, "I'll trade you one coral snake for one eastern canebrake rattler".

As for stinking up your vehicle by overheating snakes in them, I never seemed to notice much odor.

One further note of caution: when you are carrying a live venomous snake in a burlap bag, hold it out to your side so that the bag doesn't touch your leg. Most venomous snakes in the U.S. belong to the pit viper family, which means they sense the heat from their quarry, and they will strike at the heat source (your leg, if you don't heed this warning). Their fangs can penetrate the burlap bag AND your pants leg. Again, wear protection, and be careful.
__________________
Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be but a vulgar brawl.

Last edited by Major Dave (retired); September 20, 2011 at 03:00 PM.
Major Dave (retired) is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 03:46 PM   #11
markj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 27, 2005
Location: Crescent Iowa
Posts: 2,967
Quote:
a class in herpetology
Me too. I also seen turtles snap after the head was removed so be carefull. We used to pin the head wit ha jack handle then cut it off and nail it up on the tree.
markj is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 07:43 PM   #12
Shell
Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2005
Location: sometimes southeast ohio when not trying to relocate
Posts: 53
Reply

Cool about the herpetology class. i'm going to reread this with the kids. they got to taste some meat one of the neighbors had & liked it. do you mean cut off the rattle or like a deer? i did get bit in the thumb by a snapping turtle head several hours removed, so i'll be careful. so far we've seen 3 possums but no snakes.
Shell is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 08:25 PM   #13
TXGunNut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: If you have to ask...
Posts: 2,851
Video reminds me why I like using a nice sharp hoe to kill venomous snakes, makes it easy to bury the head. Snake didn't know it was "dead", it's little brain just doesn't need much blood or oxygen to function.
+1 on the freezer, just make sure everyone who uses the freezer knows what's in the bag.
__________________
Life Member NRA, TSRA
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call Lonesome Dove
My favorite recipes start out with a handful of used wheelweights.
TXGunNut is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 11:32 PM   #14
warbirdlover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
Had a friend who's hobby was catching snakes when I lived in NC. He hunted them right near where I lived. Here's some pics. I had the cheapo camera 4" from those fangs and it looks like a mile away. That's a Eastern Diamondback btw.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg snake1.jpg (78.7 KB, 84 views)
File Type: jpg snake2.jpg (84.9 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg snake3.jpg (80.2 KB, 75 views)
warbirdlover is offline  
Old September 20, 2011, 11:33 PM   #15
warbirdlover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
Here's the rest of the pics... He had just recovered from a bite on his thumb by a copperhead. It turned all black and swollen and the hospital wanted him to stay overnight for observation after giving him antivenom but he refused saying he had to go on a big snake hunt the next day.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg snake4.jpg (228.0 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg snake5.jpg (190.9 KB, 64 views)
warbirdlover is offline  
Old September 21, 2011, 09:41 AM   #16
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,540
While itty-bitties aren't worth messing with, snake meat is okay. Cut it into sorta-small "chicken fingers", use corn-meal batter, and fry. And, yeah, "It tastes like chicken." Mostly.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old September 21, 2011, 11:55 AM   #17
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,801
Quote:
And, yeah, "It tastes like chicken." Mostly.
Yes but the rib bones make it eat more like a small fish.
Doyle is offline  
Old September 21, 2011, 04:14 PM   #18
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,540
Doyle, you butcher it out differently than whoever did the work when I had some. So far, all I've had were from the backstrap, and were boneless.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old September 21, 2011, 10:27 PM   #19
Yung.gunr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2010
Location: Phoenix area
Posts: 1,377
I hate poisonous snakes but we have a lot of em out here. I mainly try to steer clear of em but I do have some stories. As far as the skinning and treating the skin goes I'm not sure. I do know that when I ate some rattlesnake when I was a teenager it was pretty good. Kind tough but some pretty good flavor.
Yung.gunr is offline  
Old September 21, 2011, 10:57 PM   #20
TXAZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 5, 2010
Location: TEXAS!
Posts: 1,397
The life you save will probably be your own

Shell,
you've been given a lot of advice, so I'll pile on:

I've been hiking in the AZ and TX deserts for some time, and come across more rattlers than I care. This is not a game. Get within a few feet and you're no longer the master or in control. And whose to say you see them first. There are a few species that don't rattle actively as others.

If you don't know what your doing, the chance you you getting seriously hurt / maimed is very high. (get bit on the hand and use of it will literally never be the same)

You really need to go out with someone who knows what they're doing. Realize these are well developed stealth hunters. Unless they're sunning out in the open, the chance your first spotting them is much less than vice versa.
Please proceed with caution and be careful.
__________________
!أنا لست إرهابي
TXAZ is offline  
Old September 22, 2011, 07:47 AM   #21
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,540
Back when I was a little-bitty, my grandparents bought some acreage out of town. My grandfather's anti-rattler advice: "Don't step where you can't see the ground." IOW, avoid tall grass.

Shady spots are resting places for snakes on a hot, sunny day. Be careful around rocky ledges or clumps of thicker brush. Or the shady side of a prickly pear cactus.

I guess I've spent so much time out in the boonies that my feet automatically take me along ways where snakes aren't. In some forty years of rattin' around the Terlingua desert, I've only seen four rattlesnakes. I've killed a fair number around the house, though, since rattlers come to where there are mice and rabbits.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old September 22, 2011, 10:35 AM   #22
hartlock
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 10, 2010
Location: lockhart, texas
Posts: 161
Back in the 70's, I lived on an old ranch outside Buda, Texas
and had 2 small children. The place must have been built on
top of a rattlesnake den, because in the 4 years I lived there,
I must have killed over 30 rattlesnakes. The meat is real tasty,
just open up the belly, as described by another poster, and the
intestines and such are in a sack that if you are careful, will
come out as a unit. The meat, raw, is pink in color, but after
frying in oil, coated with salt, pepper, and corn meal, turns
white, just like fish. It is delicious!
hartlock is offline  
Old September 22, 2011, 09:17 PM   #23
warbirdlover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
My buddy in NC showed me where the rattlers were and even when you could smell them (if there were alot of them around). He would find a flat rock, many times on a walking trail, and lift it up with his snake stick and 50% of the time there would be a rattler under it. This was right by the house (cabin?) I rented in the mountains by Hendersonville.
warbirdlover is offline  
Old September 23, 2011, 07:29 AM   #24
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,801
Art, the way I had it wasn't really carved up. It was simply skinned, gutted, and cut into sections about 4" long. Those were dusted with cornmeal and fried like catfish. Tasty, but you do have those pesky rib bones to deal with. I'd love to try some that were just boneless backstraps.
Doyle is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12562 seconds with 8 queries