Tag Archives: rattlesnake

How I Lost My Voice…..

Life is never dull on a ranch.

One moment you are making deviled ranch eggs and raiding your Parent’s freezer for a BBQ and the next moment you are screaming bloody murder because one of the biggest rattlesnakes you have seen lately is right where you park your truck.

I noticed the black birds making a fuss, I didn't think too much about it until I spied this guy (see the snake?)

I noticed the black birds making a fuss, I didn’t think too much about it until I spied this guy (see the snake?) by the bird.

I just had a very upsetting nightmare where I stepped on a rattlesnake but I didn’t kill it, I was screaming for help, but no one could hear me. I was stuck on a mad, live snake! I knew I was going to die!!!!

When I saw this snake, I put everything I had into screaming for help, just in case my dream actually came true!

Snake in the circle of trust (near the houses and pets).

Snake in the circle of trust (near the houses and pets).

Thankfully, my Mom did hear me and helped kill this bad boy snake. But not before I managed to hurt my vocal chords by screaming like a Banshee. After we killed it, I went back to get the rattles and it moved and peed on me, so I screamed again. That probably didn’t help my voice either.

When rattlesnakes are this close to our homes and pets, we don't think twice about killing them. They do not need to be in the circle of trust.

When rattlesnakes are this close to our homes and pets, we don’t think twice about killing them. They do not need to be in the circle of trust.

We always are careful to remove the snake’s head to prevent any accidents. We’ve heard enough horror stories about people getting bitten after the snake was killed or meat bees eating the poison and stinging people or animals. The head is placed into a bag and thrown away, safe from meat bees and animals.

See this cow's upper back leg? This is what a snake bite looks like.

See this cow’s upper back leg? This is what a snake bite looks like.

Rattlesnakes are a fact of life here on the ranch. Inevitably, we always have at least one cow or calf get bitten every year. Worst case scenario is the animal dies. The best case is we have a hurt cow or a calf that will never fully recover.

A full year later, we are still treating the bite. We had to lance her wound.

A full year later, we are still treating the bite. We had to lance her wound.

It is always upsetting when we kill a snake around the houses. Although we know the snakes are here, we don’t often see them, so we can pretend they don’t exist. But then you have a scare, and it is ALWAYS when you aren’t paying attention, wearing your office flats (not snake boots) and you have a puppy frolicking at your feet. For the next few weeks, we will be on high alert, every stick will be a snake, the wind moving the leaves in the trees will be upset snakes! Eventually we will relax again, but the cycle will continue.

Many of my musician friends ask for the rattles to place in their guitars, they say it improves the sound.

Many of my musician friends ask for the rattles to place in their guitars, they say it improves the sound.

Everyone is safe and healthy, so this was a good reminder that we need to pay attention. Well, maybe not totally healthy….

I really did hurt my vocal chords when I screamed. Ever since we killed the snake, I’ve been a raspy, squeaky mess. I am a whisper nervous about this because on Thursday I am going to be a panelist at the 2014 CropLife America Policy Conference . I’ve been trying not to talk and eating lots of ice cream and drinking lots of honey tea, so I know I’ll be fine!

If you have a few minutes Thursday morning, please consider streaming this event on your computer! I am so excited to be apart of this and want to share it with my readers!

 

 

 

 

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Snake Attack! And Stuff.

Normally I don’t blog about my day-to-day activities but yesterday was such an odd day, I feel the need to share.

First I had bum fights outside my office, all day. Usually bum fights kinda amuse me because I learn new cuss words (always handy on the Ranch – sometimes I have to out foul the truck drivers to get make sure I have their full attention and respect). But the bum fights yesterday were more like bums yelling at me, which I don’t like.

The bums have turned me into a jaded and bad human (for the day).

About the time the cops and fire department showed up and broke up the bum fights, my Mom sent me this.

My Mom stumbled upon pickling recipes on pinterest and she’s been obsessed with pickling things. While pickling peppers and onions yesterday, she sliced her finger with her infamous Wusthof knife (it’s been responsible for several accidents). She drove herself into town, got extra tough stitches (she will be working cattle this weekend, so they needed to be extra sturdy) and drove home. Once she got home, the pain caught up with her. She took her pain pills and I did my best to keep her from pickling more vegetables.

This was my Mom’s second trip to the hospital this summer. It’s becoming the family joke.

While I was covering Mom’s chores for her, my cat, Jack, found a baby rattlesnake on my Mom’s back porch. Of course, I wasn’t really expecting a snake to appear at that moment – I had flip-flops and PJ’s on (hey I work in a fancy office from 8-5, when I get home I make it my job to look as socially unacceptable and to be as comfortable as I can).

My rattlesnake hunting super cat, Jack.

Since it was a baby snake (they are the most dangerous) and I had cats and dogs trying to help me get this snake I had to abort my first kill attempt and get some back up. I felt super bad getting my Mom involved, in her, um pain pill condition, but safety first!

I ran (in my flip flops!) to my Mom’s house, sounded the rattlesnake alarm, put the dogs away, shooed Jack away from the snake and found my trusty snake gig and sharp shovel. My Mom staggered behind with her shotgun (her preferred killing tool).

Some people try and give me a bad time for killing theses snakes. I understand that. My policy is I only kill house rattlesnakes. We have far too many animals around our houses and it’s just not safe for them if we ignore the snakes. It’s ranchlife.

This snake was absolutely terrifying. I could hear him, but I couldn’t see him. I didn’t have enough time to find my snake killing boots, so I was still in my flip flops. My Mom was behind me, on painkillers, with a loaded gun and to make matters worse, Simon heard all the screaming and decided he was going to come say hi.

Simon, he’s not a pet, he’s not really tame, he just shows up sometimes and says hi. And eats my garden.

I used my shovel to move the weeds and hay the snake was in, finally I saw him. Our snake gig is really a frog gig, it’s about the best thing we have found to immobilize the snakes. Once you have the snake pinned down, you remove his head with the shovel. Once you’ve done it a couple a times you get really good at it. The most important part is the snake disposal.

A few old timers always told us that you must keep the head (with the venom sacks), away from the meat bees because the bees will eat it and then, if they sting you the venom can transfer. Or even worse, an animal could eat the head and get sick. That is why we always remove the head, wrap it up and throw it in our dumpster.

Who gets photobombed by a deer while holding a dead rattlesnake? Really?

Everything ended up ok. One less rattlesnake on the ranch, no one got snake bit, and Simon made an appearance. Actually kind of an average day on the ranch.

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Filed under Ag, Humor, photos, Ranch life, Rants, Uncategorized

Rattlesnake Bite

A cold, hard fact about raising animals is bad things will happen. Animals will get hurt. They will get sick. They will die. You cannot avoid it. Losing an animal never gets easier. Seeing an animal in pain never gets easier. As Ranchers it is our job to mitigate these illnesses and deaths to the best of our ability.

We have developed a stellar vaccination, supplement and genetic program, which fortunately keeps them very healthy. We rarely use antibiotics, our Ranch focuses on preventing disease and illness, so we don’t have to use them.

However sometimes things happen to our cattle that we can’t prevent or do too much to fix. We’ve had cattle get hit by lighting, break legs frolicking, people have driven by and shot them. Bad things happen, its a fact.

As you saw before, we have rattlesnakes here on the Ranch. A lot of rattlesnakes actually. Inevitably, every year we have a couple of calves that get bitten. The majority of the time they will live without any intervention from us. The calves are usually never the same though. This is what a fairly fresh snake bite looks like on a calf. We will continue to watch him to make sure it gets better, not worse.


Look at his back thigh.

See the swelling?

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Wordless Wednesday: Yep it’s Spring

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Wordless Wednesday: Second Skin

This is the largest complete rattlesnake skin we’ve ever seen.

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