An article about an officer that got bit reminded me of an encounter with a rattlesnake around 1983/84. I was walking down the middle of some railroad tracks early one morning around March/April in the Big Bend area of Texas. It was still cold at night but warmed up quickly in the day. At one point as I was looking to the side I stepped on something that was soft and unlike the hard railroad ties and rocks that I had been walking on. As I looked down I saw that I had stepped on a coiled up rattlesnake that had sought the heat of the tracks probably the night before. Since it was still cool in the early morning the rattler wasn't too active. Somehow it seemed like I didn't finish putting all my weight on the snake when I jumped up, turned in the air, pulled my Ruger and started blasting the snake! Scared the crap out of me! Anywho came across a lot of them over the years and gave them a wide berth but this one could have done some hurting on me. True story.