I dislike killing rattlesnakes, especially timber rattlers... they're getting scarcer and scarcer. But no matter how scarce they are, they can't hang out around the house, as our goats haven't got a single ounce of caution around one. This afternoon, Birdiegirl (my HT SO) was walking up to the barn, to see if I wanted to take a swim break. I heard her half shout "snake".... then "big snake", "really big snake"... I dropped my work, and moseyed out to see what kind it was. Stopped and grabbed a haystring, picked up a stick, and while walking the 100' down to her and her entourage of 4 barking dogs, and 8 curious goats, made myself a snake stick. Turned out to be an old hawg of a timber rattler. This one was as large as the first one she got to help relocate. For that snake story, see http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=121770&highlight=rattlesnake
I'm thinking it (Birdiegirl wanted to know if it was a she.......I offered to let her 'sex' it, if she wanted... she declined for some reason ) was well fed, as it's midsection wasn't bulging, but solid thick, as my calf. Doubt I could have wrapped both hands around it's midsection.
I've seen rattlers over 9 feet long and that was at the Cleburne state park in Texas. It basically crossed the road casually knowing that it wasn't in danger of being killed. Saw it eating a cottontail a day later. That snake was a monster!
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