Yep, the country is warming up and those danged legless lizards are starting to come out. There are a lot of things you can do when you see a rattlesnake up close… my favorite is to scream and run!
Actually, jokes aside, snakes don’t bother me too much. And I don’t approve of killing them just because they are a snake, even a poisonous snake. However, when those poisonous rascals are too close to my home, my camp, or my critters, I send them off to Rattlesnake Heaven.
I used to really make fun of people who thought they had to have snake loads for their pistols. Hell, if you couldn’t hit a snake with a solid bullet, maybe you shouldn’t be carrying a pistol in the first place!
And then there was the night we pulled in to our travel trailer, parked on the high desert in northern Arizona. My dog told me that I really ought to be looking out and, sure enough, there was a big mojave rattler coiled right under the trailer. Not a problem. I pulled my pistol and prepared to send him along on his celestial journey.
But, wait! I can’t shoot in that direction because a ricochet might hit our friend’s house. Oh no! I can’t shoot this other way because I might hit the horse barn. With the aid of a stick and the water hose, we finally got the rascal out from under the trailer and situated where I could safely shoot him.
I went down and bought some shot loads for my pistol the next day.
And, while we’re on the subject of poisonous snakes, I would urge dog owners to get some snake-avoidance training for your pets. The trainers use a live rattlesnake and rig your dog up with an mild shock collar. In no time at all, the dog learns the sight, sound, and smell, of a critter that he really wants to leave alone.
My Australian stock dog has alerted to three rattlers since we’ve started the avoidance training. In each of the three cases, she wouldn’t go anywhere near the snakes and was singing out, loud and clear, to let me know. Due to a lifetime of shooting, I no longer can hear them rattle, so Katy’s alert protects me, too.
Snake Avoidance Training… get it for your dogs. Your veterinarian can get you hooked up with a trainer in your area.