I’m planning to take my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids fishing. We’re going to a couple ponds up in the foothills near Lake Comanche that are loaded with Bass, Crappie and Bluegills.
It’s an ideal place to take kids fishing; except for one small thing the ponds are located in rattler country. Like everything else in life, there are tradeoffs. In this case, if you want to enjoy great pond fishing, you have to cope with the possibility of an occasional rattlesnake. One solution to the problem is to carry a revolver with the first cylinder or two loaded with snake shot. I’ll instruct the kids with my constant admonition: “Watch where you walk”, which is pretty good advice anytime. My second caution is that if they do see a snake, to freeze in place and call for Grandpa.
Whenever I’m in snake country I carry a revolver with snake shot. Although I haven’t kept an exact count, I’ve dispatched several dozen rattlers. Don’t worry, I checked on Google, and the Western Rattler, Crotalus Oreganus, is neither endangered, nor threatened, in fact according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service they are classified as a “Species of Least Concern”. As I was growing up, my father taught me that because rattlers could possibly kill a human being, it was your responsibility as a citizen to kill any rattlers that might threaten the lives of children or adults. Note, I didn’t say kill all rattlers, only those that represent a threat to human life.
The beauty of using snake shot in a revolver is that you don’t have to be an expert marksman to use it. If you come across a threatening rattler, you simply draw and fire instinctively. I have never missed a rattler with snake shot. At a distance of 10 feet or less, the snake shot is immediately lethal and the threat is instantly over. You can buy a package of ten rounds of snake shot for about $15. Take your revolver out and try a couple practice shots on a tin can at ten feet. You’ll get the hang of it really quickly.
There are other instances where your revolver can come in handy when afield. For over 40 years my Mom carried a little 5 shot Smith & Wesson Chiefs Special in 38 caliber. Her hobby was collecting Indian arrowheads and she often wandered the forests and sagebrush alone. She dispatched numerous rattlers over the years and also frightened off several curious bears and mountain lions. Mom never wanted to kill or injure the bears and cougars but simply put a warning shot into the dirt in front of them. The gravel would spray up and scare the critter off into the next county. It worked every time. Her little Chiefs Special also provided peace of mind against possible two legged snakes. Remember when that pervert killed three women in the back country near Yosemite? It never happened to my Mom.
Am I suggesting a return to the Wild West with gunfights in the streets? Not at all. I have never drawn a gun on a human being and don’t intend to. But, if you’re in snake country and have kids or grandkids to protect, a revolver with snake shot is a reasonable precaution to protect you or your loved ones.
Until Next Week,