Mark Tyson
December 30, 2002, 03:44 PM
What weapon, other than a firearm, would you use to kill a venomous snake?

As an aside, what firearm would you use to kill a venomous snake?

(Can't believe I misspelled venomous with two e's in my original post! I blame my publik skoowl edgukayshun . . .)

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December 30, 2002, 04:16 PM
A big truck. I was driving with my grandpa when I was a youngin' and he saw a Mojave Green rattlesnake sunning itself in front of his porch. As we were still in the truck (Toyota 4Runner) he merely ran it over, then backed up and proceeded to do it until it was dead.
Had rattlesnake stew that very night.

Mr. Hankey
December 30, 2002, 04:46 PM
a revolver with shot loads, would handle that chore nicely.

El Tejon
December 30, 2002, 05:49 PM
A "weedwacker"!

Used one to kill a thick Copperhead on my club's 300 yard range last year. Fortunately I had just sharpened it.:cool:

December 30, 2002, 05:57 PM
But for non-firearm weapons, my first choice would be my trusty machete.

Among firearm choices, shotgun would be the one I'd reach for.


December 30, 2002, 06:22 PM
yeah i wouldn't kill it unless i really had to. Thing is, most of the times humans are the ones that are trespassing and scaring them, so just try backing away. BUT, if I had to, maybe a nice blade will do the trick!

December 30, 2002, 06:31 PM
I used a hayhook on a rattle snake once. :)

When I was a teenager I lived on a farm, I was up on top of a haystack throwing down bales. I had a pair of 12 inch hay hooks. I flipped a bale down, turned back around and was looking right in the face of a rattle snake! :eek:

I didn't even think about it, but I back handed that sucker with the hook. It disappeared. Literally. I looked around trying to figure out where it had went. I spotted it about 50 yards away (no joke) falling out of the sky.

Gotta love adrenaline.

December 30, 2002, 06:32 PM
1. Shot gun
2. shotshell revolver
3. lawn mower

December 30, 2002, 07:05 PM
Let's remember that they live on rodents, which makes them a Good Thing. Having said that, shovels and hoes were what we used as kids. A machete is getting way too close IMHO.

December 30, 2002, 07:06 PM
I was one of the first residents into a 400 acre valley that had seen only grazing cattle for 100+ years.

The valley was full of rattlers. They would bite your horse, your dog and anything else that got in the way. They were on the road, your driveway and places you would not suspect. Mostly they were a menace to our kids.

I came to marvel at the sheer violence of their strike. It was like they were using their body to fling their head at you. And their fangs were sticking straight out! I let one hit a baseball bat and his fang got stuck in the bat hard enough that he had to pull a few times to get it out!

Rattlers are also one of the toughest creatures I have ever encountered. I have run them over once only to stop and see them slither off into the weeds.

A well placed chop with a slightly sharpened garden hoe gives a good safe distance and a reliable result.

I switched to an old Norinco .45 with a weak return spring and turned em to stone with CCI shotshells. The return spring was so weak it would allow the shot shells to cycle the slide. The effect was amazing at about three feet. No visible clue except they would become still and be utterly paralyzed from the multiple hits to their nervous system.

December 30, 2002, 07:27 PM
Coltdriver right, rattlers can be aggresive.
Have used 45ACP (stupid me had rested foot on log--after snake finally left, 230 gr FMJ
Garden hoe

Water moccasains:clearing a pond, shotgun, garden hoe,

Don Gwinn
December 30, 2002, 08:08 PM
Tactical Shovel.

December 30, 2002, 08:10 PM
Longbow with a judo point or broadhead attached to a 700 grain ash arrow shaft. Trust me it works!


December 30, 2002, 08:16 PM
lawn mower, weed wacker or shovel.

Gila Jorge
December 30, 2002, 08:48 PM
Love my Browning 2000 12ga auto...because when I run into one it means several are nearby...last encounter was in malapi quail hunting and ws looking around and heard the buzzing....once 6 footer was about 4 feet away...blew his head off...then heard more buzzzing and the second was 3 feet from the first and stretched out about 6 feet also...nicely took his head off too...then got the heck off the malapi and had bad case of the heeby-jeebies.

December 30, 2002, 10:06 PM
I like most snakes better than I like most people.

That said, a few months ago when the rattlesnake won't listen to my offer of freedom if only he would leave the target shed and go live in the woods, my boot and a Spyderco worked well.

Poor little guy, too bad he had no ears.


December 30, 2002, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by tw1112
yeah i wouldn't kill it unless i really had to. Thing is, most of the times humans are the ones that are trespassing and scaring them, so just try backing away.

So snakes have property rights now?

December 30, 2002, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by bigjim
So snakes have property rights now? I like in prk...anything's possible :(

Neal Bloom
December 30, 2002, 10:37 PM
Yup, a shovel is pretty handy when it comes to snakes. Got lots of practice when I used to irrigate the alfalfa and pastures back on the farm.

December 31, 2002, 08:24 AM
I'd have to go with the lawn mower. Just make sure the bag is on good.

December 31, 2002, 09:41 AM
Now we need a post showing everyone doing this!

December 31, 2002, 09:53 AM
I grew up on a ranch in central Texas, rattlesnakes and other poisonous varieties were plentiful. I used to kill every snake I saw, poisonous or not until I witnessed a Bull snake eating a rattle snake.

But on to the point, I use and have used:

A gun. (whatever was available)
A shovel
A cedar post
A hoe.
A weedeater with a saw blade attached (don't try this one)
A catch rope
Anything heavy enough to throw froma safe distance.
A lawnmower
A shredder
A pickup
A tractor
A Bucket.

But by far the most common (that I learned from my dad) was my belt. It was always with you. You could pull it off and grab the end with out the buckle so that you could bash the snake with the buckle. I only broke one buckle when I used an old WInchester cast brass buckle and hit a snake that was on the highway. Other than that one time it never failed me.

I hate poisonous snakes. I'll leave the others alone if they reciprocate.

December 31, 2002, 10:36 AM
My policy on venomous snakes:
If it's out in the woods, I leave it alone. If it's in the barn, near my home,etc., it probably lives there and I'm going to kill it before it bites someone.

I'd use any tool handy - a shovel sounds good to me. Spear it right behind the head. :impaled: I would use a shotgun as my choice firearm.

I catch snakes for fun - I haven't caught a copperhead or rattler yet, but they're next on my list. :p I just don't catch chicken snakes anymore - they stink and excrete all over the place.

December 31, 2002, 10:36 AM
This thread reminds me of that Simpsons episode called Whacking day.

December 31, 2002, 12:21 PM
My grandmother swore by a hoe. My good friends mother swore by a 22 pistol with rat shot. My grandfather was fond of a shotgun when he got older. My first experience with a rattlesnake and a 22 turned my off of 22 fmj as a snake killer. ( Large rocks do a good job, but I rarely carry large rocks around with me. Thus and therefore, I tend to use whatever implement I have on hand. I’ll leave them alone unless they are where I need to be. Their fondness for hay stacks often puts them where I need to be though...

December 31, 2002, 01:03 PM
I would use whatever was around, it could be:

-Big rocks
-Machete/sword...that is a little too close...
-Case of "BEAST Ice"
-Automobile...okay so I've never killed a snake with my new car...yet :evil:

December 31, 2002, 05:51 PM
I used a spear a few months ago. My Mom found a snake she couldn't identify nosing around her goldfish pond. So I grabbed the Cold Steel Javelin I bought in high school and pinned it's head to the ground with the flat of the blade while my Mom called animal control.

The snake turned out to be harmless and it was taken away without further incident.

I was told my Grandfather once used a 12 ga. to dispatch a snake going after a squirrels nest in a tree. The Shotgun which was dedicated to snake duty was supposed to be kept loaded with light shot. However, my uncle had snuck out to go hunting with it that day and replaced the shells he had used with what he found lying around.

My Mom still laughs describing the look on granddad's face when the 00 buck took the top half of the tree down. (FL pine trees aren't very sturdy at the higher levels.) They never did find the snake or the squirrels.

January 1, 2003, 04:53 PM
I don't kill them, if their around the house I catch them and relocate them to the other side of the creek. The Wife however, not having the skill to catch them, relocates them about 3 feet with a .410 if I'm not around. All except for this one, he's mine and must stay on the mantle.

Robby from Long Island
January 1, 2003, 06:22 PM
Several years ago on the day of my daughters christening, we came home and found a 4 foot black snake stretched across the front stoop. Since we were having a big party that afternoon figured I'd better get rid of it. After pulling it out of a large shrub next to the stoop, killed it with a shovel by almost severing the head. Figured it was one of the neighbors pets. Seems lots of people like to keep snakes as pets, but once they get too big for the tank, open the back door and throw them over the neighbors fence.

Since Long Island doesn't have any poisonous snakes, we seldom see any except for an occasional garter snake. Years ago I started my own snake farm without even knowing it. Had a vegetable garden about 15' X 30" that before planting would cover with black plastic to keep weeds from growing. Then I would punch small holes in the plastic and put in the various plants. As the vegetables grew, you didn't see any more plastic as it was hidden from view. My wife went out one evening after a heavy rain to pick some tomatoes and peppers and came running into the house screaming about snakes in the garden. Seems about a dozen snakes found a nice cool place to live and have a constant source of fresh water that would just lay on top of the plastic. Changed my gardening habits real quick.

Kahr carrier
January 2, 2003, 10:57 PM

Chris Rhines
January 3, 2003, 01:34 PM
I like snakes. Usually I capture and relocate them.* If I had to kill one for whatever reason, I'd use whatever I had on me at the time. Pistol, e-tool, etc.

Runt - You too, eh? I keep a homemade snake stick and a couple of bags in the car, just on the off chance of meeting up with the native wildlife.

- Chris

* - DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! If you try to catch a snake and you get bitten, don't blame me. If you can't identify it, leave it the hell alone. If you get bitten, calmly seek medical attention. Don't waste time attacking the dumb snake, and don't carve yourself up trying to suck out the venom; it doesn't work.

mons meg
January 3, 2003, 02:35 PM
I live on a lake, and every summer I pull 3 or 4 snakes out of the pool in the backyard. My policy is, stuck in the pool, shame on you, and I use the pool net to put them back over the back fence so they can go on their way.

Now, if you happen to be a ratsnake that just dined on half a dozen duck eggs from a nest that was under my "protection"...then I am offspring of woman and have enmity with the offspring of the serpent.

January 4, 2003, 12:14 AM
My wife laughed until she cried at my last venomoous snake kill. We had walked down a gravel road and stumbled onto a pretty good sized copperhead. I looked around for a stick, fencepost, large rock or anything before it made it to the safety of the grassy ditch. There was nothing that I could get to before it would have dissapeared, so I scooped up a handful of 00 buckshot sized pea gravel and got right over it and blasted it as hard as I could throw. Two passes and it was neutralized.

ed dixon
January 4, 2003, 02:53 AM
Foot. Spinning back kick. (Seriously, almost no reason ever to kill a venomous snake. Best defense is go away.)

Matt G
January 4, 2003, 06:48 AM
Few tools are more perfected for dealing with venomous vipers than a garden hoe. You have reach, a hook to drag the body with, and a digging implement to bury the head with.

If it's not venomous and near your house or common workspace, why bother killing it?

Lone Star
January 4, 2003, 08:06 AM

What is that snake? A spotted or prairie rattler; some form of Crotalus viridus? Is it a rattler at all? I can't see it well enough in the photo to make out some key features...

Lone Star

January 4, 2003, 08:58 AM
I know, the picture's pretty bad, or actually, my scanner's pretty bad. Julio is actually a Sistrurus miliarius, or a pigmy rattlesnake for those of you who didn't waste 4 years and thousands of dollars studying such things.
When The Wife and I got married I had 22 snakes, including 14 rattlers which are by far my favorite. My brother raises snakes, mostly large constrictors, but also cobras and gaboon vipers. The WIfe said I could keep the snakes, but we would have to live in seperate houses. So the snakes had to go. She has relented in the past few years and I now have Julio and a ball python named Roscoe who sits and watches me type. But she is very firmly against ANY form of Crotalus in the house. Kinda funny since this pigmy is the most foul tempered snake I've ever owned with the exception of my old yellow andy, at 11 1/2 feet you don't need venom to be a bad ass.

January 4, 2003, 01:04 PM
Skeeter Skelton replied in his column in Shooting Times years ago as follows.

"Nothing. If I see it, I go around. If I don't, it's too late anyway."

Unless the snake is around my house and barns, where it's a danger to animals and children, I follow that advice.

Hoes work best in my world.

January 4, 2003, 01:28 PM
Since Snakes are only good for Boots, Belts, and Hatbands, IMHO My philosophy is that the only good snake is a dead snake.

Kill em all and let the tree huggers sort em out!

Lone Star
January 4, 2003, 06:22 PM

I thought that might be a pigmy rattler! But be careful. I read recently that the genus Sistrurus rattlers are often more potent than was traditionally thought. Some populations, especially of the massasauga, have venom high in neurotoxic properties, and can be fatal.

On another note, have you seen the Animal Planet TV feature called, "Seven Deadly Strikes", starring some South African equivalent to Steve Irwin, and about as much of a risk taker? Picks up Gaboon vipers, plays too close to a sand viper, and taunts a black mamba? Actually got bitten by an Egyptian cobra (Naja haje), which he calls a "snouted cobra". Some of these TV guys have more adrenalin or testosterone than sense, if you ask me...

On another forum, a lady referred to Steve Irwin as, "that cherub-cheeked molestor of wildlife", which I thought was cute.

Lone Star

January 4, 2003, 08:20 PM
Haven't seen the animal planet one, but Irwin just cracks me up. He's about the only one I respect because he's in it much more for the conservation that the spotlight. And that American Sheila of his ain't too hard to look at either.
I've played with Gaboons like kittens, handled cobras and bushmasters, but I've only been bitten twice. Once by an eyelash viper while cleaning one of my brother's "empty" cages.:what:

The other time was Julio. Came over the divider to nail my hand while cleaning his cage. The only snake I've ever seen go out of it's way to bite. No permanant damage, but a really nasty weekend. I've had timbers and diamondbacks butt me with their heads, but no bites. These pigmys just have a really bad attitude.

Lone Star
January 5, 2003, 07:15 AM

Well, snakes have their own personalities. I never try to guess what a shark, a woman, or a snake will do next...let alone a politician!

But I really feel that many reptile handlers take more chances than I'd deem prudent. But then, I've read about the incident when the late Marlin Perkins was struck on one finger, with just one fang, for just a brief instant... by a Gaboon viper, whose cage he was cleaning at the st. Louis zoo. Ghastly medical detail, and he was lucky to survive. Then, there was Dr. Karl P. Schmidt and the boomslang...and he didn't live through that experience.

Yeah, Terri Irwin is kinda cute. I like the Gerber/Fiskars Sport Axe she uses to chop up reptile food at Australia Zoo, too. I have one just like it.

Everyone has his own list of the deadliest snakes. I don't, really, because so many can do you in if they get hold of you, and once they reach a certain level of toxicity, it doesn't matter too much whether you're hit by a Bushmaster or a sea snake or a mamba or a taipan, or whatever. If they get enough juice in, you'll soon realize what one poet meant when he referred to a snake as, "a running brook of horror". The bright side is, you probably won't have to sweat next year's IRS audit or forgetting your wife's birthday...

Lone Star

Byron Quick
January 5, 2003, 09:00 AM
I leave them alone. Relocate the poisonous ones. There's a big rattler somewhere around my hunting cabin but I haven't seen him yet. Think I might bring him a king snake.

January 5, 2003, 11:19 AM
Most reptile owners who get bit get bit because they forget their dealing with a very primative animal, just instinct and very low level behavior learning. Except for the cobras and mambas, those things have some weird evil intellegence mojo working for them. I almost made that mistake with my Gaboon. I used to put him in my shirt and sit and watch tv. I treated him like a dog or cat, he loved me, he wouldn't hurt me. Four years after I gave him to a guy with alot more experience than myself, he decides out of the blue to bite. Now the guy I gave him to can only count to 7 on his fingers.
About the only thing I'm getting good at working at a rural ED is snake bites. 90% of them we don't even treat, just watch the patient carefully. Most of the bites are dry bites and you're in much greater danger from a reaction to the antivenom than the snake venom. The only person we ever admitted into the hospital was an excitable woman bitten by a copperhead who kept hyperventillating. The two times I've been bitten I just stayed home and turned out fine (can still count to 10), But I wouldn't suggest that to anyone who's been bitten by a big rattler, lots of tissue damage can result from those.

January 5, 2003, 08:50 PM
Came upon a couple of Cobras while out on a nature walk with a few of my buddies about 35 yrs ago in a foregn land and we fell back about 200 yrds and used a radio to get rid of them! Just happened to have a flight of fast movers close by that wanted to get rid of their ordanince. Seemed to work well, we never found the damn snakes again.! :uhoh: Like Indiana Jones says "I hate snakes". Really hated to go into a bunker and find the shed skin of about a 12 footer on the deck.

January 5, 2003, 09:01 PM
I'm with Kevlarman.

A big truck stops them dead - especially if you hit the skids just as you run them over. Skins 'em too! Only good snake is a dead one.

Failing a truck, a 12 ga. works good.

Mike Irwin
January 6, 2003, 02:50 AM
Quite frankly, unless its in my house or my car, I'm NOT going to kill it.

Snakes, even venemeus :D ones are beneficial as all get out.

Oh, and if anyone is actually interested, or even more amazingly cares, yes, my family apparently is related to the Aussie maniac...

Distantly, thank God.

January 6, 2003, 08:03 AM
Snakes aren't really all that tough, if one needs killing you could do it with your bare hands. :what:

Mike Irwin
January 6, 2003, 01:48 PM
When I was 16 or 17 I caught a copperhead with my barehands, Sisco.

I let him sink a fang into the ring finger on my right hand.

Had him right where I wanted him.

January 7, 2003, 12:45 AM
Mike, did he surrender?
They do taste like chicken you know.

Lone Star
January 7, 2003, 08:13 AM

I'm intrigued by your comment on the apparent intelligence of elapids. The Dallas zoo used to have a black and white Forest Cobra (Naja melanoleuca) that they got rid of because it was so good at cleverly feinting to get a handler to counter with his snake stick, then it would change its angle of attack to hit from a different direction. The curator of reptiles at the time told me that they figured it was only a matter of time before they suffered a serious envenomation.

The last snake that I wanted BADLY to shoot was a water moccasin attacking my string of fish. But just as I drew my S&W .38, two small boys showed up just across from the river pool where I was fishing, and I was afraid of a richchet off the water hitting the brats, so didn't shoot. That was an aggressive snake, too!

Lone Star

January 7, 2003, 11:49 AM

I used to buck hay by the trailor for spending money when I was growing up in NM. Can't tell you how many times I came across rattlers that were bailed/loose and alive/half-dead. Can be quite a wake up call can't it?

January 7, 2003, 07:09 PM
I'm very familiar with the black forest cobras, the only cobra I've ever owned was a Black that had been devenomed. Nasty, evil, sneaky, and those were his good points. Finally got rid of him when I got tired of bandaging bites.
Most snakes when confronted will watch whatever body part or object is moving. Najas never break eye contact, very erie.

January 7, 2003, 08:12 PM
KMKeller - been there, done that. Got a few surprises picking irrigation pipe up off the pile too. Watched a bullsnake swollow a cottontail one afternoon. It don't take much to amuse a small town boy!

January 8, 2003, 03:58 AM
I visit the South every year, and when in the woods, we used carry a single-shot .410 Contender-style handgun, in case of snakes. That gun saved the life of my buddy's cousin when I wasn't up there. They were wandering in the swamp with a camcorder, making a nature video to send me and my family, and they saw what appeared to be a small water moccasin. My buddy shot it with a 12ga, but then discovered it was actually a huge snake, which had been 3/4 submerged, and was now angry to have the tip of its tail blown off. It struck at his cousin, who managed to hold its head down with a stick, but he needed both hands to keep the damned thing away. My buddy couldn't get a clear shot at the snake, and his lucky SOB of a cousin let go of the stick with one hand, and somehow quick drew that massive gun on his belt, and blew the snakes head to pieces. Funny thing is, his idiot cousin ended up cutting the thing open with his knife to show the camera the venom sack, and ended up accidentally cutting my friend later on with the venom-covered knife. They went to the hospital to get him a shot (his hand had swollen BIG) and when the doctor was done fixing him up, he proceeded to cuss out his cousin for twenty minutes for playing with snake venom.
I only ran into one venomous snake on a trip to the mountains of North Georgia, and we ended up having to dispatch it with a 9mm and a .22 (pistols). It was a small rattler, but it was about a foot away from my foot, and coiled to strike. I almost peed my pants.
Sorry 'bout the long post.

January 11, 2003, 06:40 PM
I have used a shovel before.

I would prefer a 12gauge with number 8 shot.


January 15, 2003, 02:46 PM
A hoe is the premier hand instrument for snake dispatching.
The right shape and length (you can hit them but they can't bite you) for the work.
I've also used walking stick, bow-and-arrow, machete, axe, dead limbs, rocks, lawn mower, tractor/bush-hog, boat paddle, and shovel. (I build my own boat paddles expressly for paddling, poling, and dealing with snakes)
Firearms : shotgun with bird shot is best.
Pistol with shot cartridge also works good and is handy to carry.

January 27, 2003, 01:54 AM
Hmmm...I saw this thread in the "non-firearm" weapons forum, and thought:

"Good God, does someone have a snake launcher? That would be a hell of a weapon"


January 27, 2003, 03:13 AM
The day The Wife was bitten by my Ball Python, she launched it about 30 yrds.:what:

Lone Star
January 27, 2003, 08:45 AM

I saw someone else use the name "cruffler" somewhere. What does it mean?

Did you notice that some member here is using the name HABU? Wonder if he has reference to the habu snake, several subspecies of which live in the Orient? (Genus Trimeresurus)

Lone Star

January 27, 2003, 09:08 AM
If it's a king snake leave them along. They eat poisonous snakes and it's hard to get them to bite you. You can usually pick them up and they'll just look at you.

Lone Star
January 27, 2003, 10:07 AM
No, a habu isn't a kind of king snake; it's a pit viper. Several subspecies in China, Japan; some Oriental islands. Before invading Okinawa, the US forces slipped mongooses ashore in hopes that they'd kill off the habu population. Didn't work, but my Dad later had fun shooting at some of the mongooses...


January 27, 2003, 09:46 PM
Cruffler is an affectionate term for those of us idiots with a C&R, no money and closets full of obsolete firearms. The Habu I've never seen up close and personal, but I've heard they are tempermental little devils.

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