Article docile reptiles among us.....


Not to be confused with Freestone
Rattlesnake in a golf bag club tube... what a great idea. This article was undoubtedly written by the regions emergency medical clinics as a way of increasing business ;). Years ago, on the way into Dry Falls, there was a very large rattler on the road and I opted to not run it over. It coiled up under the truck and I used my fly rod case to molest it (well actually trying to get it to move along). It struck the Cu Dora case a couple times before leaving. While setting up, I started wondering if touching the wet area would be harmful... left it in the camper to dry out. :eek:
Good article.
I have killed my share of rattlers, only because of them and me living closer than I would have liked.
I had a little farm stead up Chiliwist ck, Okanogan, Co.
There must have been a den near by, cause every spring/summer I would run across one or two all with in a hundred yards or so of the same area.
These were big snakes!!! 36" to 40" as big around as my wrist.
99% of the time when I'm out hunting/fishing I leave the snake be and they leave me be.
I had one buzz at the dog out at RF one summer. I told her to come and we kept on fishing.
Back in college I took a Herpetology course, and we went out to some Rattlesnake dens in the spring over here in E. WA. We saw tons of rattlers, and the professor always urged us not to kill them, as they are part of the ecosystem. I've kind of stuck with that since the class back in 2001. Dr Beck, noted in the article, wasn't my professor for the class, but he did come along on that day, and that Frenchman's Coulee Den was the one we went to see.

Over the years I have seen tons of rattlers out fishing. Lot's in the Yakima Canyon, and lot's on other desert creeks in the area. I also see them around our vineyard quite a bit. They never seem to be out to get anyone, just minding their own business until we intrude on their personal space. I usually observe them for a bit, as they are pretty cool creatures, and I try not to mess with them as long as I can get around them safely.

Last year, I dropped some clients off at the Lmuma Creek launch, but my shuttle had been run to Big Pines. I decided to just float down by myself and fish a bit, as the fishing was good. I rowed across the river and anchored, and I had to do 2 things, set up my rods and take a leak. I decided to set up my rods first, luckily. I got my rods set up, then I was about to hop out of my boat to hit the grass, and I see a snake head hovering just above the rear of my boat. I realized it was a rattler, and I was wondering what the heck he was doing that close. The only thing I can think of was that the BBQ was still warm from our lunch up at Upper Red's, and he could sense the heat and "smell" the Bratwurst? Anyways, it looked like he was trying to get in the boat. I grabbed my oar and tried to kind of shoo him away. That didn't work, he just avoided my oar and now looked like he wanted in the boat even more. So, I got a little more aggressive with the oar, and he started to rattle. Immediately, about 10 feet downstream, another one started to rattle right next to an old stump. Only thing I can think of is they may have just done some "business", and they were a little on edge. I snapped a couple pics, pulled up my anchor, moved downstream a bit, and kneeled over the boat to relieve myself. The fishing was great that was during the Mother's Day caddis hatch. Just rowed down the bank until I saw a riser, dropped the anchor, and caught the fish. Lather, rinse, repeat about 40 times.
Rattlesnake Lmuma 1.jpg

Rattlesnake Lmuma 2.jpg

Just a couple weeks ago, I was driving through my vineyard on my 4-wheeler. This was the first time I have actually seen a rattlesnake in the vineyard. The vineyard workers have killed a couple while they are out working over the 9 years I have been here, but only a couple. And, I have seen quite a few on the outskirts of our vineyard driving around checking out the landscape. Anyways, I am driving down a row to make some observations in a block that is out on the edge of our vineyard, which is nestled up against the Rattlesnake Hills (go figure). I hear a noise that sounded like they were turning on the drip lines (air going through the lines as the water is chasing down). I thought to myself...I write the irrigation schedule, and they aren't supposed to be watering in here today...and then out of the corner of my eye a rattlesnake propels itself at my 4-wheeler. After a couple of "holy *&ucking %#it's", I stopped about 10 yards down from where it struck, and realized that sound wasn't the dripline, it was a rattlesnake trying to warn me "too close bruh!". I hopped off my 4 -wheeler and looked back. I could see the snake going for some cover behind a grass clump near the base of a vine. I decided to go back and get a pic, but he was PISSED. He didn't rattle anymore, just hissed when I got within 10 feet of him. I snapped a quick pic (crappy zoomed in cell phone pic...didn't want to get to close), and then went to let our Vineyard Foreman know.

Rattlesnake Vineyard.jpg

He asked if I killed it, which I didn't. I didn't have anything to kill it with anyways, and I think after that incident he likely would be moving along. I get it though, everyone I talked to about it asked me "you don't care about your Vineyard Worker's safety?" I didn't really have a good response. Obviously I care about their safety, which is why I let the Foreman know where it was, what row, what block, etc. It's not like it's Jaws, where it's out in the Vineyard searching for a worker to come along so it can bite them. It's looking for Sage Rat's (or bird's, or mice) to eat, which happen to be abundant in our vineyard since we decided to make their original natural habitat into a vineyard, where there is ample food for them. Just my opinion, but it seems to me we are in their habitat, and need to be aware that they might be around. Killing them makes no sense to me in a situation like this. It's not like there aren't others around that can fill the void, and it's not like we are going to kill every last one of them. And if we did, then what prey of theirs' will go unchecked and become a nuisance to us? Same with seeing them fishing, we are in their habitat, just be aware they are likely present.
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Active Member
I like snakes. Wanted to be a herptologist. I worry about my young buys in snake country though...geez it wouldn't take much to kill a young kid right (or am I wrong on this?)


Active Member
Yes they can easily kill a child. But good hiking training, (making a lot of noise, keeping to trails, keeping your eyes open for danger, not taking them when they are too young to understand, etc.) goes a long way. Personally when I lived in snake country I kept a very well mowed/plain yard 100 feet about my home and farm buildings. Creatures had the run of the rest of the 160 acres. Seemed fair to me.

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