Big Bore Is Better.
I killed another rattler yesterday morning, a fairly large one and the first seen this year. Our nearest neighbor, a single lady, called asking if I could help with a rattlesnake in her yard. In my old age I don’t get a lot of joy out of killing anything, don’t hunt big game anymore, and for several years have only gone varmint shooting at the strong behest of friends.
That said, I also don’t feel any pangs of conscience about shooting a rattlesnake found around human habitations. Recently a German reader visited. As cat and dog lovers, he and his wife were thrilled with our large array of beautiful, friendly felines and canines. However, at one point I mentioned “my snake-gun” and the German fellow attempted to correct me. He said, “Ah, but everything has its place in nature.”
To which I replied, “Right, but do you encounter any venomous reptiles around your home in Germany?” Of course the answer was no. So I continued, “I don’t go looking for rattlesnakes to shoot, because they do have their place in nature. But it would only require a moment’s encounter with one around our home and outbuildings to end the life of one of those beautiful cats or dogs you just commented about.” That’s saying nothing about what it could do to Yvonne or me or any of the numerous visitors we host during warm months. He got the point.
In the quarter century Yvonne and I have made our home on this piece of Montana, I have killed rattlers in our driveway, on our front porch, around our parked vehicles, by the door of our shop, and in our horse corrals. A few years we encountered nary a one. Last year between the two of us we killed a half-dozen. You might ask, “Why take up residence in a snaky area?” Because I wanted to have my own shooting ranges, and we could afford this place. Besides we purchased it after the snake season, so no mention was made by the seller of their presence.
One time a fellow I hired to mow our considerable lawn knocked on the door to say, “I just saw a rattlesnake crawl through a crack around the door of that white shed out there.” That white shed happens to be my gun powder, ammunition and bullet storage place. My response to the fellow was, “Well, he owns it then. I’ll be damned if I’m going in there after him.” And I didn’t until well into a frigid winter. I’m sure powder and bullet sales at the nearest gun store showed an increase during those months.
By Mike “Duke” Venturino
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