I’d heard that rattlesnakes were sneaky, but until a few days ago I hadn’t had the opportunity to experience it first hand.
I was marking large trees to be cut near the site of my small house project when the voice in my head that warns me of impending danger sent out an alarm. As the alarm sounded I froze. The first thing I thought about was something on the ground, close. With paint can frozen in midair I looked to my right, and not more than three feet away was a rattlesnake almost entirely hidden within the fallen leaves. It was not coiled to strike, and there was no noise from its rattle. It just sat there, seemingly sunning itself. I didn’t stick around to see if its eyes were open.
I moved ever so slowly toward the Can-Am Defender, the vehicle I use for transportation to the woods. On the passenger seat of the Defender, I had a “scattergun.” Well, it’s a sawed-off pump shotgun with a pistol grip, but I like the word “scattergun” because it sounds better. Anyway, it was in the Defender because I didn’t think I would need it. I grabbed it and went back to the scene where I saw the snake. It was still there so I pumped a round of buckshot into it and watched as it leaped off the ground.
Direct hit! That snake won’t be sneaking around anymore! I hung the gun over my shoulder where it remained for the remaining time I was in the woods, just in case some snake family, friends or relatives were around.