Snakes are a common part of life out here.  I encourage bullsnakes to hang out around the house, and I tolerate rattlers in the pasture but when rattler come up to the house, it's bye-bye.  We have a "close call" nearly every year, with 2003 being the exception.  2003 was the first year we had older chickens and I wonder if that didn't contribute to a snake-free summer.  We did have a bullsnake hanging out around the house, though, and one evening I came in and he was wrapped around the doorknob, trying to get up to a barn-swallow nest above the door.  That kind of thing gets the ol' heart beating.....

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Here's a rattler that we killed at the metal shed where we feed the chickens.   Brianna went down to feed them and came running up to the house seconds later "RATTLESNAKE!!!"  I grabbed the .22 pistol that I keep loaded with snakeshot and went running.  The snake was cornered right here, surrounded by chickens.  "Pow!" went the pistol, "flop" went the snake!   Gotta watch every step.....

More snake stories:

1) the first year we were here, Georgia went out the clothesline in back and almost stepped on a small rattler coiled up at the base of a clump of grass.  That taught her not to wear sandals in the yard.

2) the same year, I was building the deck and lifted up a piece of lumber and found a small 2' rattler underneath.

3) the next year, I opened the garage door and walked in to get an ATV.  As I was backing out, I spotted a rattler coiled up, in the garage, at the base of the door supports. Scary!  A guy tends to let his guard down in his own garage....this one was about 3', a fairly good sized prairie rattler.

4) not a month after that, I walked up to this fence gate to open it and there was a rattler coiled up at the base of the post, right where you put your foot to open the gate.

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5) a year or so later, I was going down to the metal shed in the picture above and a fairly good sized rattler was cutting across the grass in front of it.  This one was real agressive and raised his head off the ground and struck as he was crusing along without even coiling.  I grabbed a 6' steel T-post and pinned him down until Georgia could get a shovel for me.

6) one day we were gassing up the truck to go somewhere and I noticed that my pigeon-catching net was on the ground.  It looked funny, so I looked closer and there was a snake in it!  I went over to see and there were actually THREE snakes in it!   Fortunately, they were bullsnakes, and they were all tangled up and stuck in the net.  Georgia got a pair of gloves for me and we untangled them all.  It was interesting releasing them.  One snake took off like greased lightning when I tossed him away, the other coiled up and hissed and puffed and wanted to fight, and the third was just totally docile.