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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tango, Aug 1, 2003.
Marcia- YES!YES! YES!
They are good to eat. Batter and fry them just like you would frog legs. Also the skin makes a nice hatband or belt cover. I don't kill one unless I am going to use one. I drive around them in the road all the time. I can't stand killing just for the sake of killing.
Funny you should mention that, Tango.
Last night I was thinking about copperheads, since I'd already caught two in my yard within a week, as I was reaching to pick up some paper on the ground next to an outdoor shower platform where I caught the last one.
My mind was on the shower platform -- pallets with plywood on top -- and I didn't see this little darling blended into the leaves and the rocks on the porch wall about six inches from my hand as I picked up the paper.
I don't know who moved fastest to get away -- me or the snake.
I got my snake tongs from the truck and retrieved it from the corner of the building to where it had retreated.
It's now day-napping happily under a dog bowl of water in a 55-gallon steel drum under a shade tree, awaiting transportation to a wilder area of the woods.
Until then, I go by occasionally and thank it for not sinking both fangs in me when it had a perfect opportunity -- and reason -- to do so. Such an event would definitely have suspended work for a good while on a lot of things I need to do around here.
Copperheads are not aggressive snakes and will strike only when they feel threatened with no escape or when touched or stepped on. But each snake has its own temperament and some copperheads are slightly more aggressive than others.
Venomous snakes can hurt you seriously and I guess I really don't have a problem with inexperienced people killing them on their property. Most of the four venomous snakes indigenous to the U. S. just want to get away from you when encountered, but they can't be left where people move about to surprise you on some future occasion when you might unintentionally cause one to bite you. My latest copperhead adventure could just as easily had a painfully different ending.
And I suppose I could never convince such folks that there's virtually no risk, once a little copperhead or other small dangerous snake is seen, to taking a broom and sweeping it into a large garbage can for removal to more snake-friendly environs -- with the lid on, of course. Snakes are amazing escape artists.
But I'd be reluctant to recommend that for rattlers and cottonmouths four feet or longer.
Yes, LWB, rattlesnake especially is excellent fare -- good, solid white meat and very tasty.
ya bunch of stinkin hippies!
It has to do with how you're brought up. My granddad killed every venomous snake he ever came across. My Dad did the same. My mother did the same. She rode horseback to school back in those days and if they came across a rattlesnake it was expected that they would kill it. If I am not close to the house, I let a venomous snake crawl away. But my conscience still bothers me. I may have just let the snake get away that might bite me next time.
I remember GrandDad, born in the 1880s, saying they were too dangerous to let live. He had a shepherd dog that would kill them by grabbing the snake behind the neck and shaking him to death. I've never seen that actually happen (before my time), but I've heard the story many times.
Many of the rattlesnakes I see on my place are 5' or 6' long. I would not be qualified to safely capture them.
To be sure Case, I would never recommend anyone remove a venomous. I would only recommend walking away from it. I have removed rattlers from my patio and was blessed by a dry bite once. My biggest concern, and I appreciate every response, is the outright disrespect for the life of a snake shown by the man my son and I saw this afternoon. We've heard it on many ocassions from others around here- it seems to them the only good snake is a dead snake. The guy wasn't even on private property- he was in the road and he had to stop his truck and get out to kill the snake. This week I found a yellow rat snake in my quail pen with three quail in his belly, two dead on the wire, and one in his coils. He is also in a safe space until I can relocate him into the preserve down the road. There are moments when one feels threatened in a close situation but what I hear more often than not are people who can't tell a garter snake from a rattlesnake and chop it up thinking they are doing their family a good service. They are doing our world a disservice. Learn to live with nature, that is really what I'm saying- the moments when one actually must kill an animal are far fewer than what we see in practice.
Click on the following link for the entire article..
I went to school with a girl, when she was about 5 years old she stepped over a small rock fence, which was only about 6 inches tall. When she did a diamond back got her on her heel string. She almost lost her leg. It left her crippled, did away with the muscles in the calf of her leg. The yard was clean except for the small rock fence which was only for looks. But it was enough for the snake to hide. This was in West Texas.
People move to the country and then destroy everything nature has to offer because, for some strange reason, they want it to be just like the environment they left behind. Weird, huh?
Every tiny bit of Nature that exists in this hemisphere did so in cooperation with each other for millennia. Europeans then came and wanted to create a new England, France, Germany, Spain, or whatever and at the expense of what was already here. Those people told Nature to adapt to their life styles. The next time any of you see a venomous snake, ask yourself which of you are entitled to the ground which you share. I killed my last timber rattlesnake in 1968. Every subsequent rattler that I've met up with has resulted in a mutual understanding. The snake knows that I hold the trump card but also that we can both turn around and go about our lives without bothering the other.
Rattlesnakes are tasty, but it does bug me when people kill them for no good reason.
They're good at controlling the rodent population. People are always coming up with goofy ways to kill snakes and rodents. If they'd leave the former alone, they'd have less to do with the latter and we'd all be happy.
Sort of on-topic...my elderly, declawed cat killed a young rattlesnake a few years ago (she's 21, so she was pretty darned elderly even then). I have always wondered why a small (therefore, quick) venomous snake couldn't outrun(slither?) an old, fat cat with no claws or at least bite her.
She could have biiten her but there are a variety of reasons why it is possible the snake lost- if the snake was digesting she is the most vulnerable because more of her energy is going to digestion. If she just used her venom on a meal she had insufficient stored to defend herself. If it was cool outside she was probably sluggish and unaware of the cat until it was too late. She was already sick or injured (eating a poisoned rat), etc. My cat and I have both been bitten by pygmy rattlesnakes. Even a hot bite from a pygmy can have a pronounced necrotic effect but neither one of us suffered in the least. We were both given dry bites, meaning in essence, the snake knew we could not be a meal due to our size and she did not waste venom on us.
Well I seem to be middle of the road here... I will avoid a snake on the road, leave a snake, even a copperhead, alone in the woods... but if they are in the *yard* area... or the animals pens, I kill them. I never hurt a black snake, garter snake, etc. but I kill the copperheads that have been too close to the house and animals. I have 2 kids, and could never forgive myself if I let a copperhead live that was in the yard, and ended up biting my kid.
Killing for the sake of killing makes me sick.
Ruby, I am sorry for the girl- that was a horible and unfortunate accident. The ocurrences of venomous striking at people in the U.S. is very rare but it ocurrs. An dI believe ther are about a dozen or two deaths every year resulting. I didn't mean to say that keeping the area clean would be a guarantee but it is a precautionary measure. Time of day, prey and burrows in the area also play important roles. I've seen Eastern Diamndbacks choose their meal among dozens of distractions. They go for prey they can swallow and once zoned in, they single-mindedly pursue that prey, almost hypnotically. Your friend startled the snake with a tragic result. I don't think the snake would have pursued your friend to tag her.
We were watching an animal planet show on rattlers and the roundups. It got me thinking about natural cycles. In nature, animals thrive until they overpopulate an area then succumb to disease and starvation; natures own version of animal control. Man may be interfering with nature's own version of animal control(though one can include us as part of nature's solution), however, if poisonous snakes were allowed to overpopulate, not only human kind would be in emminant danger, there'd be dieseased and starving snakes everywhere. So, in our own way, unless it becomes an issue of exstinction (some believe it already is, I know), we are in our own way serving the snake population by keeping it under control, no?
My view is that killing for no reason is wrong, but sometimes to protect ourselves, our children and animals themselves killing is a choice we have to make. I have a hard time doing it and don't even kill spiders, I relocate them to the outside. I have chosen to put animals in pain to sleep, though.
Let me add my view. I have a phobia of snakes. Came from when I was 5 and got bite by a harmless snake after I stuck my hand in a hole to retrive a toy.....and it was curled up in there unknown to me. As a 5 year old, it doesnt matter it is venomous or not. Its a snake and it bit you. And snake bites are painful when they are not venomous. Not life threating, but painful. I since have suffered one as an adult. Accidently cornered on the driveway under a truck tire I was about to change. It got me on the leg. I passed right out. Not a venomous snake, but extremely painful.
Now that I moved my family out to the country I have began to see more snakes. At first I would beg Dh to kill it. Kill it, Kill it and Kill it .... you couldn't get it dead enough for me lol After making him kill 3 in my yard in a few months I came here to post about my rat problem. And now we know why I had a rat problem , dont we? Ive since told Dh just to scoop them up out of the yard and deposit them on the backside of the fence. I come from a long line of snake killers, most were ingorant to the snakes role on this earth. Education is the key. We are educating our children now. We did not put down any more rat posion. I invested in a plastic owl to deter critters around my chicken coop. As well as a flood light. Since then I havent had any rats. When I see a snake I still run screaming in the other direction, I dont think I can change that.
A Reformed Phobic Snake Hater
I am getting the feeling that many of the posters about the snake issue don't have a lot of livestock? While I am entirely happy to have kingsnakes & gopher snakes around, rattlesnakes are another matter. I have had several sheep bitten, & if they are pregnant, they will abort (I know this from experience - plus, snakes facinate sheep, & they all crowd around to see - can result in several bitten by the same snake). A friend's Angora goat that was nursing her 2 week old kids was bitten in the chest/neck area by a rattler, & died, leaving behind her triplets as bottle babies. I have also spent a lot on money on vet bills for dog bitten by snakes. If I find a rattlesnake, I grab for a shovel.
If there is indeed a place for a farmer who stops in the middle of the road to kill a venomous snake, I hope that place is the farm next door to me!! Can't think of a single reason why I would want that thing near my property.
Also, if any of y'all think you're doing any critter a favor by "relocating" it onto my farm, think again!!
If it's tame, animal control is on the way.
If it's a snake, it'll only be here til I can do something with it.
Unlike some of y'all, I have no sympathy for a snake killing any of the animals in my care.