Thursday, December 01, 2005

Obviously not following the rules

A Seguin man accidentally shot himself while retrieving a gun to shoot a snake:
Rogelio Ybarra spotted a snake in his barn in the 3200 block of Warneck Road and went back to his house to retrieve his .38-caliber handgun, said Guadalupe County Sheriff's Department spokesman Kevin Jordan.
I know some people are just scared silly when it comes to snakes, and will take extravagant means to kill them. One of my own relatives blew a big hole in her bedroom wall with a .357 magnum when she discovered a snake curled up on top of her nightstand. If he was able to go all the way back to his house for a gun, the snake obviously did not pose an immediate threat.

And no, I'm not going to say that the snake has just as much right to be there as he does. Maybe it was a big rattlesnake, which can pose a threat to him, his children or grandchildren, and possibly livestock.

But he could probably have disposed of the snake without going to the trouble of dragging out his .38. This article gave me occasion to remember some of the various items I have used to kill poisonous snakes.

Post-hole digger
Garden hose
Baseball bat
Metal pipe
My foot (wearing a boot, of course)
Dust pan (rattlesnake caught inside my girlfriend's/future wife's apartment--yikes!)
Cinder block
Arrow (yes, it was an unbelieveable shot, and I doubt that I could ever do it again)
Lawn mower

My favorite among these were the post-hole digger, which if wielded properly, will cut a snake into three separate pieces. The lawn mower was also quite impressive.

And of course, I used plenty of CCI .22 shotshells on occasion, and once even used a 16-gauge shotgun, but that was an extreme occasion involving at least 24 copperheads.

Where I grew up, there were a lot of poisonous snakes. When I was very young, we lived in rattlesnake country. Later on we moved into copperhead country. Since there were a couple of stock tanks and small creeks nearby, we also had plenty of cottonmouths.

I still see a copperhead on occasion, but as long as they aren't close to the house, I just leave them alone. I have killed enough of them since the kids were born that they are both thoroughly trained in poisonous snake identification.