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Re: [RC] "I can't get the snakes out of my pasture." - Annie George

If they are out in the hinterlands I go around them, its their turff, but in the yard they are dead! I killed 3 so far this summer, and 4 last summer, and I have lost cats & dogs to them. So snakes, No Mass akee. AG
Anne George Saddlery   www.vtc.net/~ageorge
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 12:28 PM
Subject: [RC] "I can't get the snakes out of my pasture."

Ray O'Donohue rno2m@xxxxxxxxxxxx said:

>>  Yes you can.Shoot them.What is your point in taking that chance with
horses,dogs,friends,etc?You don't have "hundreds" of them,and rattlesnakes
are not really "travelers".Those ones you are seeing are probably pretty
much the same ones,over and over,and they have a den site very nearby.I am
not a snake-hater.I like having non-venemous ones near the house,but if I
have a venemous one near the house or barn,it dies. Out away from "my"
turf,all snakes are safe from me.<<

As they do at my place; although I don't shoot them.  Mostly I use a 2x4.  I
have, in fact, killed five rattlesnakes in the last month, counting the one
in the arena that I didn't intend to kill until it bit itself, I don't
consider my arena to be "near the house or barn" (because it isn't).  It is
out and away from "my" turf, and would have been safe from me if it had just
slithered away into the grass when I threw rocks at it.  But after it had
immobilzed itself by biting itself, I wasn't going to leave it there in the
middle of the arena where I wanted to ride; and I sure as hell wasn't going
to move it with it still alive.  So die it did--I bashed it on the head with
a rock and then flung it out in the middle of road so the ravens would be
able to see it in order to perform the body removal.  It was gone by the
next day.

However, out in my pasture is also "out and away from my turf."  My pasture
is 100 acres of unirrigated (so now dead) grass (6" to 2 1/2' tall) on an
800 acre parcel that backs up to the Cleveland National Forest.  There is no
way in hell I could patrol that kind of space for rattlesnakes. Although if
I happened to have a 2x4 with me (or could find a big stick handy) when I
saw one out there, then it would die too.  However, I am not naive enough to
think that this would have much effect on the total rattlesnake population.

Additionally, I must confess to rarely ever even going out in the pasture.
I don't have to go out there to find the horses, because they meet me at the
gate when they hear my truck coming up the road.  The only thing I go out
there for is to occasionally check the status of the forage and even less
occassionally, the status of the fencing.  Why would I want to risk stepping
on a rattlesnake? :)

Even with the death toll so high this month, this is a small fraction of the
rattlesnakes I have seen in the last month. And even one or two that I (or
my horse) have come pretty damn close to stepping on.

And yes, I know of a number of horses (and people) who have even gotten
bitten by rattlesnakes.  I these particular cases the attending medical
professionals were actually more concerned about tetnus and other infection
than the effects of the venom itself.

It does not mean that rattlesnakes cannot cause serious problems in the rare
instances where they are provoked to bite.  It just means that they rarely
ever do mostly because they are quite difficult to provoke to bite, even in
a place like mine, where rattlesnakes are RAMPANT.  My place is like
rattlesnake heaven, and I make it even more so by inviting large numbers of
small rodents with my horse feed.

I TRY to control the rodent population as much as I can (and even have
stooped to poisoning the no less) because a barn cat would be coyote bait in
no time. :)

I DO like the King snakes because they help control both the rodent
population and the rattlesnake population; but I see them significantly less
often than Ido the rattlesnakes.  Too bad I don't have a den of them around

Orange County, Calif.



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[RC] "I can't get the snakes out of my pasture.", k s swigart