Homestead Predators – Quietly and Effectively Dealing With Rattlesnakes

Sometimes rattlesnakes can not be dissued or discouraged, and sometimes it is not wise to simply relocate them when they come to visit. At times, killing them is the only reasonable thing to do, especially when they pose an immediate threat and you need to deal with that threat decisively. The macho amongst us would like to undertake this task with guns blazing and bird shot flying. I've even heard of someone approaching the task with a.4.4 caliber pistol. There is an easier, quieter and much more effective method.

It's the lowly flat blade shovel.

It's not very macho. It's not exciting. There is not much glory in it, but it gets the job done. If you're deciding between being heroic and being effective, pick effectiveness as it's usually the best choice. When it comes to dispatching rattlesnakes, the flat blade shovel is highly effective. Here's why:

  • It keeps the snake at a distance.
  • There is no ricochet.
  • I've never heard of an accidental discharge of a flat blade shovel.
  • The tool is useful for seeking out and destroying the enemy.
  • It's legal everywhere – at school, in church and even at the mall.
  • There is no need for a holster.
  • It's easy to learn how to handle it.
  • Everyone has one – or should.
  • You never run out of ammunition.
  • It can be used to push, chop, pick up and fling a snake if needs be.

With all that going for it, why in the world would anyone want to reach for the artillery when there is something as useful as a flat blade shovel? Here's how to use it to take care of pesky snakes, poisonous or otherwise.

  1. Sweep the shovel back and forth with the blade parallel to the ground – this helps find where the snake is hiding as it will move when you violate its air space with the shovel.
  2. Once you have the snake moving away from you, find the right opportunity to press down firmly on the head and neck area with the flat blade to pin it to the ground.
  3. Maneuver the blade carefully (pivot, slide and rock) to allow the snake's head to peek out from under the leading edge of the blade (the part you dig or scoop with).
  4. While keeping the snake pinned, tilt the handle of the shovel up and step down on the blade to sink it well into the ground. This severs the head and eliminates the threat.
  5. Discard of the head carefully as there are still fangs and venom to be deal with. Again, use the handy shovel for this.

When engaging a snake, do so very carefully and without timidity, as any surely about what you're doing can lead to a snake bite. Be brave and deliberate about your actions, and you'll be able to deal with the snake quickly and effectively.