Anyone step on a rattler?

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by mousegunner, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. mousegunner


    Oct 31, 2010
    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.
    Dessert, Ol’ Ed, msinc and 3 others like this.
  2. Rsadams


    Sep 5, 2015
    Stepped on a few copper heads hunting over the years but never a rattler.... Gets the blood pumping that's for sure....
    'Freak, msinc, KMart and 1 other person like this.
  3. spaniel


    Mar 15, 2017
    Once stepped over one in Montana, by buddy was behind me and right on top of it when the rattle started. Tough guy but he danced away like a little girl...
  4. milanuk

    milanuk Gold $$ Contributor

    Nov 23, 2004
    There's a reason country kids wore cowboy boots where I grew up (western Nebraska)... it's called 'life insurance'.

    We used to have some people come up from Louisiana to go hunting (dove, pheasant, deer, etc.). We would always remind them that if they were about to step over a stick there in the grass to STOP!!! It's Nebraska - there are no trees. That 'branch' is almost assuredly a snake, and even a bull-snake bite is gonna suck when you're a couple hours from the nearest medical care.

    Had one (prairie rattler) bite thru my jeans, but not thru the leather tops of the boots. That was the closest - by far - encounter, out of many dozens. Pretty much a normal part of growing up in the country in the 80's AFAIK.
  5. Texas10

    Texas10 Gold $$ Contributor

    Dec 10, 2016
    Out walking in the desert one afternoon near Reno, NV and buddy sat down under a tree to take a break, and was bit on the hand by a small rattlesnake. We took him to Reno Hospital who looked at him and said no big deal. Your arm will turn blackish and then you'll recover.

    And that is what happened. His arm turned blackish over the next week or so, and then he recovered. After several weeks had gone by, you'd never know he was bit by a rattler.
  6. gambleone

    gambleone Silver $$ Contributor

    May 25, 2007
    I was about 15 yrs old walking from my moms to my sisters next door. It was almost dark and I was in bare feet not looking down and all of a sudden I stepped and felt a good size snake curl under my foot. I think my heart stopped for awhile. I shot straight up in the air I swear it felt like I went 10 feet off the ground, and before I hit the ground I was was in high motion. Never forget that. Don't know what kind of snake it was. There are 3 kinds of vipers around here and about 3 or 4 non venomous.
  7. Outrider27

    Outrider27 Gold $$ Contributor

    Mar 24, 2010
    During that period of my life when I actively sought out rattlers (it was a different time, and there was a bounty on rattlers, very attractive to an 11-12 year old, plus there was added income selling the hides to a local leather worker), I had a couple of really near misses, but fortunately never stepped on one. As much good luck as anything else with the near misses.
    mikeinct likes this.
  8. Willie

    Willie Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 3, 2017
    I've actually stepped on two while quail hunting, but not hit due to cool weather. Over many years, outfitting in South Texas, I had many very close calls. I and several hunters were hit, but escaped a bite because of snake boots or leggings.

    SouTex rattlers are plenty heathy and grow very big. We killed 8-12, six foot or longer, nearly every year.

    Wayne Carlton, the call maker, and his camera guy had a close encounter they won't forget. We found a route some big gobblers were traveling and set up a camera & tripod wrapped in camo cloth, then went for lunch.

    That evening, Wayne and camera guy returned to their blind. When Wayne started calling, the birds came on the run and the camera guy started filming.

    He later recounted that he thought the camera was making a noise he had never heard before. He quickly noticed a big rattler, coiled and buzzing at his feet.

    Meanwhile, Wayne was watching the birds running in, when he turned to see the camera blind explode in all directions. There was no turkey video that day, but they got some fantastic tape on a mad rattler striking at lens of the 25K video camera. The camera guy got a 6'10" trophy.
  9. 300_whisper

    300_whisper Gold $$ Contributor

    Jan 18, 2016
    Had a beagle get bit on the face by a timber rattler. Tough dog just soaked it up and ran around like nothing happened. We had to lance it a week later. It looked like a giant zit. It was disgusting. You could literally see the relief in his face when we drained it though.

    Step on and over several copper heads and water moccasins in my life.
    mikeinct and msinc like this.
  10. nmkid

    nmkid Gold $$ Contributor

    Dec 31, 2014
    Deer hunting in the High Sierra's of California when I had my, "encounter". I was side hilling an area and came to a rock slide about 100 yards wide. Figured I would hide in the middle of the bigger rocks and see if anything would get spooked up to me, (deer). About 30 yards into the slide I thought I heard a rattle. Stopped, pulled my knit cap off my ears. Didn't hear anything. Dropped my cap, bent over to pick it up and about 2 steps ahead of me was a rattlesnake. I about sh## my pants. I stood there unable to move for a few seconds, (seemed like hours). I started to back up to get out of there. Heard another rattle, turned around, there was another rattler. As I said, I was only about 30 yards into the slide but, at that moment it seemed like 300 yards. Then I noticed that like the first snake, the second was barely moving. I realized they were too cold to do more than barely rattle. When I saw they could hardly move I got really brave. I crushed their heads with the muzzle of my rifle. Before I cleared the slide I had "7" rattles in my coat pocket. Got to the truck my 2 friends were waiting for me. I told them what had happened and they didn't believe me until I pulled out the rattles. I can still see the shock on their faces. This was in 1970.
    foxguy, mikeinct, msinc and 1 other person like this.
  11. CT10ring

    CT10ring Gold $$ Contributor

    Jan 10, 2008
    Bought a cabin in central Idaho. at least 6 folks have said - you know that house - was built on a rattlesnake den.
    Have a 12 ga & a 40 S+W with CCI shot -- nearby. have not seen any, but ready. I hate those critters. Neighbor whacks w/ a GI issue WWII machete. 1943 issue. sharp.
    but they have to strike 1st. pass. I'm liking 7 1/2 shot.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  12. Blackthorn


    May 16, 2014
    I was sage grouse hunting with a new found friend. We limited out and were walking back towards the truck. We were cutting through some short sage when I heard that distinct sound. Looking down my hunting partners foot was just coming off the snake. I swung my O/U quickly behind him and cut the snake in half with a load of 7-1/2’s. He jumped forward startled swearing as he looked back at me as I yelled “snake”. He said he thought he had just stepped in some cow sh@t. He said it felt soft and a bit squishy and didn’t give it a thought until I shot.

    Funny thing is I had hunted that area for years and never even come across a snake.

    Killed one this last year while prairie chicken hunting. I was walking through some high grass when I heard the buzz. Thought it might have been a cicada caught in the grass but it turned out to be a snake raised up and moving backwards from the tip of my boot. Cut him in half with a quick slap of the trigger.

    My passion is bird hunting. I believe snakes are like land mines so when I come across one I make sure it takes its trade elsewhere. I would hate to leave it for somebody else or their dog to find.
    mikeinct and msinc like this.
  13. SPJ

    SPJ Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 17, 2018
    Ging Senging in WV with Uncle Ernest I was maybe a step or two from a Rattlesnake when he told me - Don’t move Boy!
    Ernest came up with his snake stick and pinned his head down and cut it off with a knife.
    Thing had maybe seven rattles iirc we cut those off too and put um in a small box I kept for many years.
    Good ol Days
  14. Hondo64d


    May 12, 2006
    Shot this one a few weeks ago on the oilfield road coming off my place. Definitely a diamondback but didn’t really know what to make of it having no rattles.



    mikeinct, swd, msinc and 4 others like this.
  15. JackT

    JackT Silver $$ Contributor

    Nov 2, 2014
    My son bumped one when we were quail hunting, it curled up to strike and my son being a teenager with quick reflexes blew his head off. The body less head was a solid six feet long and larger in round than his bicep. We had a good laugh about the near miss and continued hunting.

    After that every time one of us stepped on a stick we would both jump/flinch in anticipation of what it could be. After about fifteen minutes of constantly flinching, we decide a cold beer while fishing off the dock was a better way to end the dual.

    We still laugh about our spookyness and deciding to go fishing vs continuing to quail hunt.
    mikeinct, Termite I, msinc and 2 others like this.
  16. Willie

    Willie Gold $$ Contributor

    Feb 3, 2017
    That's pretty rare, but happens. Killed one about 3' that had the blunt tail and no sign it ever had any rattles. We'd be in trouble, if that became a dominant trait.
    Termite I and msinc like this.
  17. fyrewall


    Oct 28, 2017
    A close call every other year,
    snakes = wet areas + rodents

    My wife's mother was a rural school teacher in eastern Montana and kept a .22 rifle in the school room closet to protect her charges and this including shooting off snake heads. The hoe handle beauty looks like some type of trophy.
    mikeinct likes this.
  18. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

    May 28, 2012
    I think there are two [trees] tucked away on a small lot in the northwest corner of Kimball County. They're harder to spot than the snakes. ;)
    milanuk likes this.
  19. Termite I

    Termite I Gold $$ Contributor

    Mar 29, 2018
    My son saved me from running into a Rattler a few years back. We were packing things up after trying out a new load for his 6mm Rem out on the Pawnee National Grasslands. On my last trip to gather our gear he saw the Rattler in the path I was heading. After warnng me he dispatched the Rattler with one shot to the head. We had already made several trips to my truck so my guard was down and I wouldn't have seen it until it was too late.
    mikeinct, loadnhot and msinc like this.
  20. Someoldguy

    Someoldguy Guest

    The only snakes that have ever given me any trouble were bipedal with language capabilities.

    Far more dangerous than the reptilian variety, in my experience.
    mac86951, tmwinds, mikeinct and 5 others like this.

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