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Old August 25, 2020, 01:47 AM   #1
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.410 v. timber rattler

There's a thread running currently regards the .410 as a garden gun.

This happened to me, just last night. We have two dogs, a big, healthy 90-100 lb black lab, and an older, 65 lb or so female golden retriever. I have a concrete pad poured, roughly 25x25', and on it sets two 12x12' kennel runs with boxs. The lab was in his run. The second kennel was open and the golden was loose. I was in the house, and at 8:30 PM heard odd barking from out at the kennels. Grabbed flashlight and .410, handful of 2-1/2" #8 shot.

From 50' away I could see a big snake coiled in the doorway of the open run. The golden was cowered back in the corner of said run. The big lab was going animal crackers on his side. Closer, it was apparent that one of the dogs had gotten a hold of the snake. It was ripped open and in a pool of its own blood. Not just any snake.......a big timber rattler! And it was clearly VERY agitated. It took some maneuvering, but I managed an angle with the muzzle of the old Winchester 37 that would allow the shot charge to skip off the concrete, away from the golden, and miss the dog box. The results at 5-6' were as expected.

An hour of careful inspection yielded no apparent bites on either dog. No swelling at bed time, and still OK next morning, and tonight all is still well. How either dog did not get bit is a mystery and miraculous. I suspect the big male lab grabbed the snake, the golden is pretty timid. The snake taped 44", minus the head! Girth was greater than my rather ample forearm.

IN THE PEN!!!!!!!!!Glad I took the light and the gun!!!!
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Old August 25, 2020, 02:11 AM   #2
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Old August 25, 2020, 06:57 AM   #3
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That's unsettling. Glad to hear the dogs are good to go.

I'm guessing that golden was appreciative!
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Old August 25, 2020, 07:06 AM   #4
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That golden will probably want to buy YOU a steak!
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Old August 25, 2020, 07:24 AM   #5
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Those little .410s can be some mean guns when used right.
My .410 shotgun love to eat up squirrels but the pattern spreads too much to hit them in the top of tall trees.
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Old August 25, 2020, 09:39 AM   #6
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HMM. I think I'll stop stepping outside at night while barefoot.
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Old August 25, 2020, 01:49 PM   #7
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I've seen a couple of rattlers in the wild. One was probably similar in size to the one you killed. It was coiled up in the middle of a trail I was hiking on and didn't want to move. I decided to go back to the truck instead of continuing along that trail. At the time, and place, it was illegal to be armed so I wasn't. The 2nd was much smaller.

Never seen a rattler in or near my yard. Seen and killed a few copperheads. One just a few weeks ago. I was mowing the yard when I spotted him at the base of a large tree in my yard. I pinned him up between the mower and tree until I could get a shovel.

Copperheads don't scare me. I figure that even if I get bitten things won't be too bad. Rattlers, especially the big ones, get my attention.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

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Old August 25, 2020, 04:22 PM   #8
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I shot a timber rattler behind our tent on Mount Ord in AZ with a 410 single shot pistol. The snake appeared quite dead, and I wanted to feed him to my pet kingsnake, so I bagged it up and put it in the cooler. Dropped it in the kingsnake tank when we got home, and next morning the rattler was in one corner rattling away, and the kingsnake in the other, obviously very agitated. Quite a surprise..
I don't have time for busy people
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Old August 26, 2020, 07:34 AM   #9
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hagar, you owe me for that coffee I just spit out.
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Old September 15, 2020, 02:39 PM   #10
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I shot a 4' Diamondback on our Phoenix patio with a .410. Took about an hour to clean up the snake goop from the walls, pavers, and even the ceiling. I went out and bought some .22 shotshells the next day. The next few were a lot simpler clean-up.
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Old September 16, 2020, 11:29 AM   #11
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Hat band time.
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Old September 18, 2020, 12:50 AM   #12
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Bamawife, on her morning walk, saw another big rattler on the Co. Rd. about 100 yds north of the house. Hopefully, he does not surface here around the residence, shed, or dog pens. That makes about 5 in 5 weeks that we've seen within a mile of the place.

Not had much luck on single shot kills with snakes (or rats) with .22 shot shells, though I have the old crimped variety and not the plastic capsule sort. but I occassionally stuff the Ruger Bearcat with .22 shot and stick it in my pocket if rumaging about the shed.

When I do snake skins, I use the glycerin dip method, basically pickling them.
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Old September 19, 2020, 04:16 PM   #13
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That is the one single reason I would like to buy a Judge or Governor, carry cross draw with shot for snakes.
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Old September 21, 2020, 12:36 AM   #14
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I find that .38 shot shells work fine even out of a snubby. A lot of times a rattlesnake will bite and not release venom. Could be the case with the lab. We have all kinds of rattlesnakes where I live including big old Mohave greens, diamond backs and sidewinders. Mohave greens are the worst. They aren’t that hard to catch with a five gallon bucket but those little sidewinders can move really fast. Heck, all rattlesnakes can move fast when they want to.

Last edited by zoo; September 21, 2020 at 12:56 AM.
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Old September 21, 2020, 07:21 AM   #15
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Several years ago I killed a timber rattler with a short barreled 12 gauge right next to the cement pond. Kids had been playing in the pool not an hour earlier. I was about five feet away and he was coiled up ready to strike and that tail was buzzing away. The shot took his head off. He wiggled and thrashed around for a good 30 minutes. When he quit moving I picked him up by the tail and he still tried to bite me. One of the dogs found his head later and it was bigger than my fist with the shot cup embedded in it.
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Old September 22, 2020, 07:10 AM   #16
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When venomous snakes are in their appropriate setting,I consider them just another interesting species of wildlife.
They can't fly. If I get within snakebite distance of a deer,elk,moose,bison,bear,cougar,......even skunks,hornets,etc I might regret it.

Its no big deal to walk around a snake. They help keep the rats down.

But,in the yard,around the house,family,dogs,etc....IMO, its just fine to deal with hazards.

Glad your dogs are OK.
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Old September 29, 2020, 04:35 PM   #17
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My puppy tried to play with a cottonmouth last week. It gave me the excuse I needed to buy a governor. I am fairly certain my 20 gauge 870 LW special field weighs less and would be less conspicuous to carry.

Felt good to buy it though.
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Old September 29, 2020, 11:35 PM   #18
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appropriate settings

Hello HiBC.

Your comments mirror my stance exactly. I know folks who consider the only good snake a dead snake, and others who will darn near turn the truck over trying to run down any snake they see on the road. Not me.

Thanks for the consideration about my dogs.
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Old October 1, 2020, 10:08 AM   #19
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I'm with HiBC on the subject of snakes. Around the house I dispatch them with an idiot stick otherwise known as a hoe. It's as deadly to snakes as it is to weeds when used right. No noise, no fuss, and not much muss. I haven't had to use it in years on a rattlesnake but the two feral cats that have been around for years have disappeared but I doubt my snake problem will increase. Townspeople will have dumped some more cats before spring arrives and the snakes appear.

PS: A shovel works about as well as a hoe and might be better in fact as a flattened snake doesn't bleed like one that has had it's head chopped off.
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