Field notes and photography by Bryan D. Hughes

Diamondbacks and Dumbasses

Heading to my target location a week ago, early in the morning, I came across a horse trailer parked crooked in the middle of the dirt road. From experience, this means one thing: there’s a rattlesnake in front of the truck. I met a cowboy there who was shooting a handgun into a pile of rocks only feet away. Not a physics major or decent shot, both the snake and redneck were unharmed when I jumped out of the truck to get the snake. I lied a bit and declared my self a ‘researcher’ and I need to take the snake with me. I had my relocation bucket handy so I threw it in there, and then heard some of the typical redneck lies that fly out of these fools’ mouths any time there’s an excuse to shoot at something. What a silly idea that is, what an optional encounter, to run up to a rattlesnake and create a dangerous situation where there previously was none. Did he believe the snake would jump through the air, crash through the windshield, and kill him from the side of the road? He must have, or he’s an idiot, like all the others who go from zero to sixshooter as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

I waited until their trucks disappeared around the corner and released the snake to the same place. I guess I’ll have to find another diamondback for my ‘research’.

The snake was massive, I’d estimate between 50-55″ based on its length compared to my 46″ hook. He did not deserve to be a belt; not today.


Also, tomorrow at this time I’ll be on a plane on my way back to PA for more timber rattlesnakes!

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8 Responses to “Diamondbacks and Dumbasses”

  1. Crotalus says:

    WOW! Glad you were there to stop the insanity.

  2. Crotalus says:

    This is unrelated to the Dback, but I have a question. Have you tried to keep the little shovel-nosed snakes at all? I read that they will eat mealworms in captivity, but I don’t know how difficult they are to keep overall.

  3. Ben Hess says:

    Hilarious! You should put some of the lies in the narrative as well.

  4. JK says:

    Great story and good for you for stepping in and taking action. A white lie that was totally worth it. Too bad the bullet did not ricochet back into his shin though.

  5. Bryan says:

    Shovelnose are very easy to keep. I actually have one. Just some sandy soil kept very dry, and water that they can get to. They can eat mealworms, but do better on crickets and soft bodied insects. Cool little guys.

  6. Crotalus says:

    Thanks, Bryan! Now I’m going to try one, as it remains quite small. Is it all right to contact you for advice if I run into difficulties?

  7. Bryan says:

    Ya no problem at all. They’re great little things, just feed them more than you normally would a snake, and smaller prey than you’d expect.

  8. Alberto Vaona says:

    Hi Brian

    You do the right thing, to save and respect snakes
    I hope also that species at rick of lefe will be save and protect also outside USA

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