Thursday, November 03, 2005
A Tale Of Three DiamondBacks
In 20 years on these 10 acres, we have encountered 3 diamondback rattlesnakes. Certainly there are more. Most of the land is even more wooded now than when we moved on to it and it is prime rattler habitat.
Those 3 rattlesnakes were killed by me. I did not enjoy it.
I really like these beautiful big powerhouse snakes, but my options are few. If I catch and relocate, I do so at pretty serious physical risk and no small legal risk if caught in the act.
If I shoo them back into the woods and then my dog or kid gets bit...well, I'm not willing to go there.
Diamondback number one was cornered near the house by my best dog Ranger. Ranger was barking and bouncing and I couldn't kill that snake fast enough...I was so afraid he was going to poison Ranger. That's the snake in the picture ...at least 12 years ago, that cutlass has been gone a long time.
Diamondback number two was lying along a fence near the house and had to go also. Clever girl, she was lying in a fence corner that would naturally funnel bunnies towards her from 2 directions.
Diamondback number three was under the house. I arrived home late, but before sundown and was walking towards the house when I heard a strange sound. Actually two sounds, one was Lady dog barking her head off, but strangely muffled. The second sound was a continuous buzz that made me think , "What is broken now?". It sounded like some piece of machinery running full tilt and about to explode.
It was Diamondback number three. This one was coiled up under the house, cornered by Lady dog who was just out of the strike zone and barking her fool head off.
I yelled at her, but she is deaf and ignored me. There's lattice around the house so I couldn't get under there easily to drag her out, plus there might be a small problem if this huge pissed off rattlesnake decided to move while I was under there.
So I dashed inside to the gun safe and got my Glock hoping that Lady didn't get a load of hemotoxin while I got the weapon.
Back outside, I picked an angle (this was a bit of a challenge) that would allow me to shoot the snake through the lattice, but not have a 9mm round go through
a) Lady dog
b) the concrete foundation blocks with resulting ricochet danger
c) the multitude of pipes that underly a house
Oh, and the sun was setting....so flashlight in one hand, pistol in the other, and aiming through a space in the plastic lattice, I got my sight picture and squeezed.
Lady dropped deader'n a doornail.
Nah, just kidding.
What actually happened is that the coiled up snake flopped over dead with barely a twitch.
I used a rake to pull the dead snake out and buried it in the backyard. No celebration, just sorry that it had to be.
Two days later the Directv guy came to wire the living room for satellite tv. I showed him where the access hatch was in the lattice so he could crawl under the house and do his work.
Posted by R.Powers at 10:41 AM