Originally Posted By Kent W
Timber rattle snakes are probally the most docile of rattlers eastern and western diamond backs are much more agressive in general. I wouldnt grag any bye the tail. avoid moving if possible. However behind the head pin is safest.

I agree. I live in Northern California, near the coast, and they're around here above 1,000 feet or so. My family owns a ranch that is between 2200 and 4500 feet in elevation and they're all over the place out there. I've stepped on them (by on I mean within two feet or actually on their bodies) 6 or so times. It wakes you up, but only once I've had one try to bite me... it got a hold of my boot sole pretty good.

I was taught to kill them on sight, and certainly to only pick them up to kill them. These days, however, I tend to leave them alone unless they are somewhere where they can cause a problem (campsite, or in the case of the ranch near the cabins where kids are). My uncle caught a rattler sauntering into the cabin in the middle of the day once, with 8 kids playing 15 feet away. Wouldn't be fun to find that between the bedsheets or in a cupboard.

One thing I didn't see posted is, at least for rattlers, the babies can be much more dangerous. They're smaller and harder to see, they don't have rattles or aren't very loud, and they don't understand how to control their venom yet, so they could give you a full dose (while adults often don't inject venom when striking in defense, or limit how much they inject because they understand they need it to survive).

I've hated snakes most of my childhood, but they don't bother me as much now. I guess everyone needs something to be unreasonably scared of (I stare in amazement when people flip out over everyday house spiders).

Edited by Whiskeyguy (07/26/10 04:52 AM)