Rattlesnake Tales..

One of the constant things in Northern Montana where I was raised was snakes. Rattlesnakes. They are the Pits. We had a whole jelly jar full of Rattles we cut off the snakes when we killed them. A trophy jar so to speak.

Rattlesnake photo from Flickr

Rattlesnake compliments of Jeff Love on Flickr

My mom always killed them with a sharp shovel, cutting their heads off. She said my Grandpa Light killed them with a whip snapping their heads off, he did the same with chickens. No gun ever for Grandpa.

My sister tells about shooting one near the wooden garage when babysitting me and my cousin Bobby G. The story got more telling as the years went along and people were always shown the shotgun pattern on the outer south wall of the garage. My sis always said it was only one shot, I don’t honestly remember. Bobby and I decided to look at the snake after it was dead, someone had hung it on the barbed wire fence. We either threw rocks at it or jiggled the wires on the fence, when it fell off we were sure it had come to life again and ran yelling to the house in terror.

Northern Montana garage at the farm

The old garage that caught the Shotgun Blast..

One of my earliest memories was I had baby ducks and one day they all disappeared. Later that day my Dad killed a big Rattler with the exact number of bumps in it’s body as the number of my missing ducks.

The first snake I killed I was 8. I shot a whole box of 22 shorts with my first 22, which you had to load one shell at a time and then pull back a mechanism to cock it before it would fire. I’m sure the snake was dead long before the 50th bullet, but anyone who ever killed snakes knows they wiggle after every shot. I had nightmares all night for a week that he came back after me.

Russell Benton Crites picture

Fearless RattleSnake Killer

The funniest thing I remember was when my cousin Rex S. and I were out roaming the countryside when we were about 10 or 11 and we ended up at this old place where the wooden building had fallen down and the wall was lying on the ground. The wooden wall was lying on the studs that had made the wall so there was open space under this wall. I told Rex jokingly that there was a Rattler underneath the wall. He said BS and to show me there wasn’t he jumped in the middle of the wall. Sure enough a snake rattled and that is as high as my cousin ever jumped in his life. He would have made Michael Jordan look like a piker that day..

Yep Snakes, Rattlers you always watched your step.. and as my niece Ronitta reminded me you threw rocks in the outdoor toilet before entering to do your business in case a Rattler had camped out in the shade.. Ah life on the Prairie..

468 ad

Leave a Reply