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Old 07-25-2020, 06:53 AM   #1
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Catching a snake


Short version, haven't seen it yet, but picked up a real sour odor in the shop last week that I sort of wrote off as a dead mouse except that wasn't really the smell, and while working down there last night I kept hearing something faint that I finally decided had to be something slithering in the loft, or maybe up in the soffit, so thinking the rat snake that I ran into a couple years ago is back. And sorry for sounding like a big baby, particularly you guys in the south who deal with them regularly, I absolutely hate snakes. And if it's the same one this thing is 5-6' long so not for the faint of heart. I'll be watching and listening, but not sure what the heck to do with it if/when I find it. I'm thinking that I may lay out a few pieces of bologna, something larger than a mouse would drag off, and see what happens. Does that make sense? Is there such a thing as a trap for them? It was dusk by the time I cam back up last night so haven't had a lot of time to think about it, but hoping I can come up with some way to snare it without having to physically grab it. My wife doesn't mid them, usually anyway, but not sure that she's going to want to pick up something this size either.
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:15 AM   #2
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Re: Catching a snake


Inference is suggesting to me you probably don't have a dog that likes to do shop work with you, so possibly try this that my late mother-in-law did annually with the rat snake . She left the garage door ajar for a few days so the snake could enter, take care of any mice available and leave at will.




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Old 07-25-2020, 08:14 AM   #3
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Re: Catching a snake


I'm not sure if they prefer mustard with that bologna or something else. Seriously, I suspect they like their meals alive, like a mouse.

As for a trap I have seen a couple of snakes stuck in window wells where they could not climb the walls, but a 6' snake would require a much deeper hole. Thinking out loud here, a 6' length of 6" or larger pvc sealed at the bottom and open on top positioned where the snake can get in, like standing next to a bench, and baited with a live mouse. Once in you could secure the top and transport far away.

Larry will probably be along as he has posted several pictures of his snake and he likes it.

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Old 07-25-2020, 08:17 AM   #4
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Re: Catching a snake


No, sadly, no dog(s). Always had one from when I was a little kid until I was about 30, and would still love to have one, but, although I don't do it often, or at least not often enough, I like the ability to just pack up and go at the drop of a hat, and dogs aren't always conducive to that. As far as the coming and going at will, maybe, but I don't know. I have a pair of 10x12 overhead doors on one side and a 9x7 on the opposite side, originally with the plan to be able to open them up in the summer to let the breeze come through. But that changed real soon because of the number of birds and chipmunks that took over. So now I rely more on the windows on the side walls. I do think that's probably how it got in though, because it's been so hot that I said to heck with the intruders and have had the doors open more lately. The problem though is that the chipmunks and mice have gotten in, not a lot, but enough that the snake might be able to get enough food to stay content where it is for now. I need to set the mouse traps back out, but that's what I was doing when it was in there a couple of years ago, and one of the first indications I had of it was that the mice were disappearing from the traps before I could get to them.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:25 AM   #5
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Re: Catching a snake


Yeah, probably won't care for mustard, Bud! And I know, sounded dumb to me too, the bologna I mean, but thought what the heck, maybe someone had experience with something like that. As far as them getting caught in a window well, yes, I was thinking I had seen that, and was just thinking a bit ago that I have a couple of 55 gallon drums with removable lids, had steel shot in them so no oil, so thinking about putting a mouse or chipmunk in one of those and leaning a board against the outside for the snake to crawl up. I've know several guys like Larry who don't mind them, knew one farmer in fact who was so happy one day because a guy gave him something like a 12' black snake to keep the rattle snakes at bay in his corn crib, but that's not me. As far as I'm concerned they're all snakes, and I don't like them.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:30 AM   #6
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Re: Catching a snake


Yep, I have one resident rat snake in my shop but have no mice or rats. We have them residing in our garden area as well. Tink likes to bark at them and "warn" us of danger. Of course there is none as the rat snakes kill and eat Copperheads.

As to how you pick up a snake, run your hand up behind their head without touching them until you get right to the head, then just pick them up. They will wrap themselves around your arm, but it's just natural.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:37 AM   #7
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Re: Catching a snake


small snakes can be caught in a minnow trap.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:45 AM   #8
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Re: Catching a snake


I've seen people pick them up, as you described Larry, so think I've got it, just not sure if I have it in me to do it. But I guess if he catches me off guard up in the loft or wherever I may need to. And maybe I'm not as bad as some people because I've been out there working this morning, come up to the house to cool off once in a while, so have been watching, but not with fear or whatever, just hoping to spot it so I can know for sure if it's there. My main concern though is it crawling in someplace and me reaching in for a piece of wood, metal, tool, whatever and there it is. Not sure if a 5-6' snake qualifies as small.
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Old 07-25-2020, 11:13 AM   #9
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Re: Catching a snake


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Originally Posted by DexterII View Post
My main concern though is it crawling in someplace and me reaching in for a piece of wood, metal, tool, whatever and there it is.
A co-worker was nearly bitten by a Prairie Rattler doing that very thing, reaching in a floor level parts shelf at a remote work site. Diamond Backs were common about 10 miles away so a Prairie Rattler was a complete surprise. Who would have thought to probe the shelving as a precaution, but reaching is how a large percent of hand bites occur.






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Old 07-25-2020, 11:25 AM   #10
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Re: Catching a snake


You want to hold it's head to the ground with a stick before grabbing hold of it behind it's head. A forked stick is best, sorta like a long stick with a little sling shot on the end. If it isn't poisonous, I would leave it alone unless it got in my house. I don't care to share our living quarters with a snake, I am not afraid of them, just don't like the idea of surprise. I can't stand surprises.
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:27 PM   #11
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Re: Catching a snake


If it IS venomous, like a copperhead, water moccasin or rattler, I don't socialize with them, nor do I like them.
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:49 PM   #12
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Re: Catching a snake


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If it IS venomous, like a copperhead, water moccasin or rattler, I don't socialize with them, nor do I like them.
Not if he is in the boat with you.
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:56 PM   #13
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Re: Catching a snake


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Not if he is in the boat with you
I try to scrutinize my passenger list real carefully to avoid this.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:38 PM   #14
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Re: Catching a snake


I don't discriminate. I cut all their heads off any time they get close to me.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:40 PM   #15
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Re: Catching a snake


We have massasauga's up here, I don't believe nearly as high numbers as rattlers in the southern states, but I've run into a few. A prevailing mindset is that they are not deadly, but I don't buy that because if a bee sting can be deadly for some then I subscribe to the theory that a massasauga could be deadly to certain persons. Likewise, I ran into either this rat snake or a relative a couple of years ago, way too close for comfort, and I'm not so sure that the vile venom he spit at me couldn't be deadly to certain persons. My goodness, that was the worst smell I have ever encountered.
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