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paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17407
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)

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Lee Einer

Joined: May 08, 2011
Posts: 169
Rattlesnakes = yummy protein.

The optimal solution to a situation like this involves a cast iron skillet, butter, flour, salt, pepper, lemon juice.

And remember to stay away from the sharp end until you have dispatched them.
Joe Baker

Joined: May 18, 2011
Posts: 25
Location: Portland OR
So if your like me and a novice at cooking how would you go about turning a live toxic snake into your next meal?
Lee Einer

Joined: May 08, 2011
Posts: 169
bakerjoe wrote:
So if your like me and a novice at cooking how would you go about turning a live toxic snake into your next meal?

First, take care of the "live" part, and cut off the head. Be careful, the mouth will likely keep working by reflex; these suckers can bite you even after they're dead.

Cut off the head and bury it or otherwise insure it is no longer a risk.

Cut off the rattle. Take a pair of scissors and cut the snakeskin along the belly from one end to the other. Peel off the skin like a glove. Gut it. Cut the snake into chunks about two inches long. Dip them in seasoned flour, saute in a mixture of butter and oil until they are tender, squeeze lemon juice over them, scatter some chopped fresh herbs over them if you like, and serve.

The flavor is not all that exotic. It's a lot like eating the world's longest chicken back. The meat is sweet, white, and very lean.
Brice Moss

Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
only toxic bits are in the head

my pa had some friends who were airborn rangers when I was a kid.
Imagine my ma's distress when they showed me how to catch a rattlesnake and bite its head off.
turns out your reflexes are a lot better than theirs and they can only strike one they are lined up so if you circle around you can grab one by the "neck" and if you keep it mouth shut it can't hurt you.

seriously though if you're not in a pinch or trying to prove you're special forces material use a machette to remove the head when they rear up. then the recipie above sounds very nice.

and Lee is dead to rights about them stll being able to bite hours after death desert wisdom is you can cut a rattle in half and both hafls will live till the next sunrise
Lee Einer

Joined: May 08, 2011
Posts: 169
Brice Moss wrote:

and Lee is dead to rights about them stll being able to bite hours after death desert wisdom is you can cut a rattle in half and both hafls will live till the next sunrise

I've seen it.

First rattler I dispatched to the great beyond, I crushed its skull with a rock after it nearly dispatched me. I was on a dirt bike and couldn't bungee cord it down because it kept snapping and writhing. So I grabbed it behind the neck and rode home one handed, dry clutching.

The rattler (not a small one) curled around my arm up to the shoulder. The rattler was going and the mouth snapping all the way home. The heart was still beating 45 minutes after I gutted it.
Jeanine Gurley

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1393
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
This video is exactly why I would not dig a root cellar in my region - even if I had the means.  I love my rat snakes but the rattlers, cottonmouths and copperheads are a little too risky for me.

I found a 7ft rattler at work and I did feel bad for killing it - but I have to walk around out there in the dark and I don't want us surprising each other.

1. my projects
Dale Hodgins

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 5490
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
      In areas where rattlesnakes are regularly hunted for food they are being naturally selected for silence. The snake hunters who wear protective gear trudge around snake territory and listen for the telltale sound. Since noisy rattlesnakes are the first ones caught, the ones who simply lie still are more likely to live on and reproduce. This will eventually create a public hazard since the snakes rattle generally stops people in their tracks thus preventing dangerous encounters.

    While climbing a steep face I once encountered three rattlesnakes as I poked my head above a flat sunny rock. They did me the courtesy of rattling loudly and I immediately stopped and descended.

Dale's picks - These are some of my favorite threads. Greed - http://www.permies.com/t/10736/md/unbridled-greed-ambition-compatible-permaculture My garden - http://www.permies.com/t/27910/projects/Dale-Day-Garden ethics - http://www.permies.com/t/11534/permaculture/frustration-ethics Good wood bad wood http://www.permies.com/t/12206/hugelkultur/Hugelkultur-Good-wood-Bad-wood Alder - http://www.permies.com/t/10609/plants/Alder-nitrogen-fixation-native-tree Bees - http://www.permies.com/t/10917/bees/time-replace-European-honey-bee Pulling nails - http://www.permies.com/t/10249/natural-building/Removing-nails-recycled-wood-techniques
wayne stephen

Joined: Mar 11, 2012
Posts: 1793
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
When I was in high school I hunted rattlesnakes just east of Scottsdale , Az . Some friends and I did this for meat and the skins . I stopped after I had the revelation that these pretties were timid , feminine {as in Yin } creatures whose lands were being usurped by us big apes . But we developed a system that dispatched the snake quickly and we were never bit . Before I outline that system I will issue this warning : Although a rattler generally strikes only one third of its body length this strike is reflexive and automatic . After one evening of hunting - and catfishing - we had placed the snake meat on ice and slept until the days heat woke us . Then drove back to town and cleaned catfish all afternoon . When the frying pans were ready and the oil was hot I grabbed a skinned , cleaned , gutted snake out of the ice cooler - 20+ hours dead - and it coiled around my arm . No lie . You cannot reason with a critter like that !
Here is the method : You need two people . One holds a forked stick about six feet long . One holds a sharp long handled shovel . The human with the shovel approaches the snake from the front until it coils up and rattles . The second human approaches the snake from behind and using the forked end of the stick forces the snakes head down . The human with the shovel uses that to lop off the head . Now you dig a hole and bury the head . The head can still deliver venom if anyone compresses a fang . You pull the skin back like a sock and the innards will simply fall out . Nip off the end maintaining the rattle still attached to the skin . Salt the skin for a day inside out . Then scrape the remaining flesh off the skin . Slit the skin up the belly . Use sewing pins to pin the skin to a board and leave some airspace between the board and skin . Dry it for a week or so. Then rub as much glycerin into the skin as it will hold . This makes a nifty hat band and will last for decades . Prepare the meat the same as fried fish or chicken .
Let's leave these beauties alone . Stay out of their homeland . If they become a nuisance and they must go - try the above technique . Use the meat and skin . Feed the guts to the chickens . Don't get bit .

For unlimited return on all your investments - Make your deposits at 'The Entangled Bank' !

subject: rattlesnakes