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River Wood

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I'm curious for those familes that live in the country, in an area that has rattlesnakes, how do you do it?

Is it even possible to go for a fun walk through the woods? How can you go out to your barn without being afraid that one will be hiding behind a hay bale.....what if one was hiding in your garden.....how do you let your kids go out and explore and play.

I just couldn't imagine.
 

minie812

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We are just used to watching where you walk. They will avoid you and I try to make noise walking in high grass. When we first moved to our property it had been vacant for awhile and hubby was cleaning out a tack room. There was a PVC pipe hanging from chains to throw horse blankets over and when he took it down out came a prairie rattlesnake
so anytime I go to move stuff I bang around it with a stick first. I have more concern for copperheads then rattlesnakes
and water moccasins as they are real aggressive
 

Feather

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It is a rare day in the USA when someone actually dies from a snake bite. It is way more likely to cause a heart attack, etc. Yes, they can really make you sick. If you are really have a phobia over them; there are several ways to rid a place of them. Hogs, ducks, etc will clean them out. As said above, copper heads are more agressive & mocks stink(a warning). Can tell you several snake stories!!!

Grandma had a friend in the mtns that had a Berlin Wall retired German Sheperd. It would go out in the pond and fetch a Mock to its owner which politely grabbed the tail & popped it like a bull whip; which popped off the head. (They have no bones = why this can happen) Didn't believe it till I saw it happen.

Ever have a friend come back from jungle training and show you how to cook a good rattler?

Its all like every thing else, the locals usually find a way to live within the boundaires of there area normally.

Louisana has its swamps, Minn the flying bugs, Fla the huricannes, Calif the fires & earth quakes, Iowa the floods & tonadoes, etc.. etc.. etc...

The more you know about a fear usually the less it is feared!
 

Leeana

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OMG did you say snake


Biiiig phobia! My brother bought some propperty recently just down the road a few miles, it is an old time patato factory with a few old brick barns and a lake that he is going to clean up, anyway, a few weeks back he said he seen a rattlesnake down there. I was like..there are no rattlesnakes in ohio, came home and asked google and apparently there ARE rattlesnakes in ohio ...needless to say i will not be going back down to that propperty for quite sometime.

Ive watched way to many venom specials on animal planet and discovery chanel, its bad enough we have a creek right behind our house and our back bank is full of snake wholes and when it gets muddy you can actually see where they slithered (...ewwww) around ...


My father is from KY so i have heard storys about how aggressive the copperheads are. I was watching animal planet a few weeks ago and they were showing the black mumba (or momba ...not sure) ...now THAT is a snake that scares me, it can stand straight up face to face with you ....what a nightmare.
 
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Margo_C-T

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I've lived in NM most of my life--along with rattlers!

Where I grew up, down south, they were around most if not all of the year; up here, where there is a REAL winter, we see them only about 7-8 months of the year.

As said--learn to pay attention to where you are walking; notice what's going on on the ground! There is seldom any such thing as 'tall grass' here(!), but when there is, MOW it! Be especially careful in the cooler mornings and evenings; it gets hot enough that they aren't 'usually' out and about during the heat of the day.

I have had several VERY close calls; have literally 'ridden up on'-and once, right OVER, a rattlesnake, horseback...! (The 'over' was in the Davis Mountains of west Texas, actually...). Since living here, while riding one of my Paint geldings, I had to 'screech' to a halt; while at a brisk trot, I heard that sucker rattle; stopped and BACKED just in time, as he struck at my horse's front leg...got a few more grey hairs THAT day!

Luckily, there don't seem to be a LOT of rattlesnakes up here; however, I had TWO of the little horses get bitten in the first 4 years here-both on the west side, next to the neighbor's acreage--I suspect they had a snake den over there...the first time, the pony mare was actually turned out in their 'pasture'-on their invitation--had to stick a piece of hose up her nostril so she could breath, but she recovered just fine. The other was my first little stallion, in a run on our west side, NEXT to the aforementioned acreage. I saw the two blood spots immediately, called the vet, he got antivenin, and recovered VERY quickly, w/ minimum swelling(this was years back, and antivenin was not NEARLY as costly as today!!) BOTH incidents happened in late Sept., when the snakes are just about to go inactive; they are said to be the most 'irritable' then, so it is a time to be especially vigilant and cautious!

I was driving in my arena one day; happened to glance down to see a small prairie rattler curled up in the shade of the pipe 'framework' of the arena fence...DANG, like to made my heart stop, as I'd trotted by within about three feet away, SEVERAL times already! Drove right back to the barn, stashed horse, got shovel, dispatched snake...a good longhandled shovel is a good snake killing tool, BTW. I've killed my share with one...I don't bother other snakes; have had some BIG bullsnakes here off and on over the years, but I do kill a rattlesnake, for the future safety of my animals and myself.

Thank goodness, the rattlesnake is about the only venomous snake that is found in this part of the country!

Margo
 

MinisOutWest

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well, after I constantly watch the dog, 8 cats and the 2 minis, plus my husband. we get by. but last week my husband and I went to take the trash down to the dumpster, had the truck running with the radio on- and my husband yells, oh sh-t!!!! and jumps back 8 ft. it was a rattler under the dumpster. so I have to get out of the truck get the 'rattlesnake' shovel out of the back, hand it to him and then I have to tip the dumpster on its side so he can kill the thing. Don't forget, babies and grown ups always come back to the same place every year, so keep your eyes out for them same time, same place, yearly. Pictures didnt come out well, because they are so flipping long. one is almost 5 1/2 ft and the other is just over 5. but these are not the big boys, we have to usually shoot them so we never get to keep the skins. My friends horse got bit on the nose last year, big horse, not a mini. And its nose, eyes and ears completely swelled shut. It was wild and quick thinking too. I had to get the BIG syringes and cut the tips off, lube them up and shove them up the horses nose, or he would not have been able to breathe. get him to the vet and they laughed, well the horse did look funny, like a balloon head,, but after a few shots and about 5 gallons of IV fluids, the horse was ok, but I thought we were gonna lose it. Guess I have never seen a rattler bitten horse before.

these were our spring chickens, they came out early in the year

the bottom one got his rattles crushed
 
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mininik

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I've never been bothered by them, either down in AZ or up here in central WA.

Just thought I'd add - Aging rattlesnakes by the number of rattles is unreliable. Some snakes will shed multiple times in a year, adding a new link each time.
 

minimama

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Where we are it is kind of the edge of the territory for them so we do not get there here, but just a couple miles up the hill there they are. If there is one here it is one that got lost. LOL

But, my friend lives those few miles up the hill. Thye used to see five or six a day where they are, until they went to the pound and rescued about a dozen cats. Now the cats eat the snake prey so no food. No snakes. Of course they are also up to over thirty cats just to be sure, but hey, better cats than snakes.
 

Alex

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Eww Eww gross disgusting yuk! I cant stand snakes at ALL.

How you people "get around" blows my mind. Good thing we only get garden snakes, Id leave if I saw rattels.
 

Marty

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Very abundant where we lived in Florida and you do not go walking in the woods.

You watch where you walk on mowed grass. Look for places they breed such as wood piles or under logs. They like to breed underneath things like that where its dark. Some species of rattle snakes will travel in pairs so if you see one, another should be close by. Yes they get in the hay so you really have to watch out for that. That's why I always fed my cats in the hay room, to keep the snakes out and you never kill a black snake because they will kill the rattlers for you. Here we have a few rattlers but mostly deadly copperheads. I don't go sticking my hands down too far in the hay where I can't see............the more cats you keep around, the less snakes you will have. I love my barn cats a lot.

My brother was killed by a brown recluse spider while picking fruit off his tree in the yard. His best friend was killed a week later by a rattler in his yard so yes, they will kill you.
 

Minimor

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Williston North Dakota is my home town; we didn't have rattlers there--for some reason they were not on the north side of the Little Missouri, or only very rarely. My grandparents had a ranch in the badlands near Watford City, and there were rattlers there. I can remember that even as a young child I knew to watch out for snakes when we were there. We'd often swim in the Little Missouri River and I grew up knowing about quicksand too, since it could be a problem in places.

I'm glad we do not have rattlers here--I could cope with them but I'd worry about the cats and the ponies. I've seen what my cats do to a garter snake and wouldn't want them tackling a rattler the same way!

Rattlesnake story--I shudder every time I think of this, just because the idea of that many snakes gives me the crreps! On that ranch in the badlands my grandmother had a root cellar where she stored all her home canned food. One year the rattlers moved into the root cellar--there were snakes everywhere in there!
Grandpa closed off the door & they just wrote off all the canned stuff that was in there. I've wondered since if all that stuff is still in there, and if the snakes still inhabit the place of if they moved out long ago.
 

Leeana

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I do not know how you guys do it


I cannot even stand the through of a rattler being down the road 3 miles ...let alone one being everywhere i went!
 

Bunnylady

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We have Copperheads, Cottonmouths, and three different kinds of Rattlesnakes in our area. We supposedly have Coral Snakes too, but I've never seen one. Of course, we also have a couple dozen kinds of non-venomous snakes around here as well, several of which never get longer than a pencil!

From the time the kids were tiny, I've drilled it into them: don't put your feet or hands any place you can't see! And unless you can identify that snake (as a non-venomous one) don't mess with it!

Let's see, while we're on the subject of hazards, we have had confirmed cases of West Nile, Triple E, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Rabies in our area. I've lost count of the number of wildfires that have burned in the woods behind our house, although none of them have been as spectacular as the one that burned near Hampstead about 15 years ago. I can rattle off the names of at least a dozen hurricanes that I have weathered while living here. Floyd pretty much turned us into an island for about a week. My yard has been decorated with chunks of insulation from structures damaged by tornadoes on more than one occasion. While it hasn't been active within record, the Cape Fear River is actually a fault line, earthquakes are a possibility. Okay, Feather, did I miss any? Oh, yes, Wilminton has the worst traffic record in the state!

There are hazards of some kind everywhere. It's called life. You be aware, take reasonable precautions, say a prayer, and get on with the job!
 

Marsha Cassada

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People with a snake phobia probably shouldn't even open a topic titled "rattlesnakes".

We dont' go out on a moonless night without a flashlight, and try to keep the area around the buildings mowed.

Latest rattlesnake adventure was a couple of weeks ago. I had a nest of baby rabbits in the yard. I watched the mother come and sit over the little nest so the babies could suckle. Then one day a 5' gopher snake showed up. Never had seen one before, so we had to look him up in the snake book. A Sonoran Gopher snake, which is a type of constrictor. He got into the baby rabbits. We happened to be on the spot and lifted him away from the nest and saved 3 babies. (We don't kill non-poisonous snakes)

The next day, coming back from a horse drive I saw a rattlesnake coiled under the tree. My husband went to kill it. It was sound asleep, sleeping off--you guessed it--the baby rabbits. You could see the three bumps in his 4' body.

It is a jungle out there. I am thankful to be ON TOP of the food chain.

Here he is, sound asleep. He wasnt' even aware that my husband came up close to take his picture. And yes, I would have killed him myself if I had been home alone. Anyone who has seen snake bitten horses or dogs will feel the same.

 

JourneysEnd

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I had to show off my snake. She's a Texas Rat Snake and people do confuse them with rattlesnakes.

The head is different and, of course, no rattles.

This is also a reminder to look up as well as down for snakes.






In the roof of the hen house. That's the only problem with Rat Snakes, they steal my eggs.
 

HGFarm

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You just learn to 'listen' - your ears are always tuned in, just in case, but dont rely on the rattles first to warn you either. It just becomes habit to watch and listen- you dont even think about it. You NEVER stick your hand, feet, etc.. in some place you cannot see or where they could be hiding. (Could be scorpions and other 'icky things' there too, LOL)

You all might remember about four years ago here I had a mare bit on the face, and was lucky enough to catch it within minutes. She survived with no problems but a summer previously my neighbor was not so lucky with some of their animals.

It's not like they are around every corner here or under every bush, but you learn to be careful at ALL times, because you dont know when or where they will appear. They are pretty much in hibernation during winter, but by March are out and about in our area.

What is totally embarrassing is when you are 'tuned in' subconsiously for The Noise, and you are at a horse show in town and someone picks up an aerosol can and you jump 10 feet the other way FIRST and then look to see what it was. Or walk through some place that a bush or something even remotely sounds like one and again you make a hasty escape, only to find out it was not one....

One year on the ranch we counted about 68 rattlers, but that was doing a lot of riding, and yes about three of those were by the house. The dog had his 'snake bark' and I would be heading there on the run.

One way to keep them down, is to make sure you have no piles of lumber, 'stuff' or places where they would want to hide or get into. If there is no 'cover' for them, they are not that keen on staying around. Pigs will eat snakes, but I don't 'do' pigs at all, and would rather put up with the snakes. Snakes don't bother me...
 

Marsha Cassada

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Speaking of snakes that steal eggs--my sister had a bull snake in her chicken house. It ate an egg in one nest, slithered through a knothole and ate an egg in the adjoining nest. Then couldn't go backward or forward!

His greed was his undoing...
 

HGFarm

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Oh no, bull snakes help keep the rattlers away... we dont remove those from here - but then, I dont have any chickens either!
 

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