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How To Catch A Snake : How To Make A Snake Catcher

Updated on March 24, 2013
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Testing The Snake Catcher

Why Remove A Snake?

In the rural areas of the U.S. there are more important reasons for removing unwanted reptiles.  The venomous snakes such as the several variety of rattlesnakes, water moccasins, copperheads and coral snakes, may be a danger to your family, pets and livestock.  A snake problem may exist with any of these species.  

Some of these species are creatures of habit and will remain in the area as long as there is food available.  Unless you wish to try to exterminate all of them the best thing to do is to catch them and release them in a more isolated area.  But how does one do this safely if one has a snake problem?

Although the classic “grab the snake behind the head” technique will work well, it is not favored by many people for the obvious reason.  You have to get close to the snake before grabbing it, something most people are unwilling to do.  So, for safe snake removal, you really need a snake catcher.  

Why Make A Snake Catcher?

For those of us who have a snake problem in our area, it is important to carry the right snake equipment for capturing and relocating certain reptiles. Catching snakes, especially venomous species, may seem dangerous, and it is if you don't have the right snake catcher. Snake removal is necessary when a species becomes invasive and too prolific in the area.

Even though you may live in the city where venomous snakes are rare, it isn’t unusual to encounter snakes anywhere there are rodents to feed upon. The presence of these creatures may not bother you, but there are usually others who may “freak out” at the first sign of a small garter snake.

In this case, it is often better to remove the little guy to a safer locale. Safer for them, not for the frightened humans.

How To Construct The Snake Catcher

Close-up of threaded rope on snake catcher
Close-up of threaded rope on snake catcher
Rope threaded back through the snake catchers handle
Rope threaded back through the snake catchers handle

Making the Snake Catcher

This simple, and easy to construct piece of snake equipment will allow you to safely and gently catch the snake and place it in a container for easy removal and transportation.  It is also very inexpensive, so several may be made for various home and garden areas.  Here in the country we try to keep one in the back of the pick-up for easy access.

To construct the snake catcher you will need a length of pipe of some sort and a length of thick cord, usually nylon braided, approximately ¼ “ thick.  The pipe can be PVC, ¾ or 1” diameter in thickness, just as long as it is stiff enough to pick up the snake with.  The length of the pipe needs to be at least 6 feet long, although you may make it shorter if you aren’t afraid to get closer to the snake.

Drill a ¼” hole 2’ from the bottom of one end of the pipe you have chosen for your snake catcher pole.  Thread the cord through the pipe from the undrilled end and thread the cord out through the drilled hole.  Tie a firm knot in the cord to keep it from pulling out of the drilled hole.  That's it, the snake catcher is finished.  Now, catch a snake!

Safely Using The Snake Catcher

Positioning the snake catcher noose
Positioning the snake catcher noose
Behind the head is the best snake catching location for a pit viper
Behind the head is the best snake catching location for a pit viper

How To Use A Snake Catcher

To use the snake catcher effectively you must leave enough slack in the cord to make a small loop at the drilled end of the pipe. By placing this loop over the snakes head and pulling the loose end of the cord through the pipe you can control the snake and place it in a container. A 5 gallon plastic bucket with air holes in the lid works well.

Be very careful placing the lid on the bucket if the snake is venomous. A rattlesnake can strike from the bucket if he is very large. By loosening the loop on the snake catcher you can release the snake gently with little chance of harm to you or the snake. Be sure the lid on the bucket or other container is secure as you don’t want these guys slithering around in your car.

Snakes are very wonderful creatures and deserve their place here on earth along with the rest of us. Snakes help control rodents which can become a problem themselves. Please put these guys back into the wilderness where they can do their thing without interfering with yours. Don’t wait until you see a snake to build a snake catcher, it only takes a few minutes to construct one.

Snake Info and Products

Humane Snake Trap
Humane Snake Trap

Safely trap unwanted snakes for relocation. Will not the reptiles.

 

First Canebrake Rattlesnake Of The Season

Check out the included video to see my friend Russ catch a 5 foot canebrake rattlesnake with our brand new snake catcher. This guy is the first catch of the season but will only be the first of many we encounter until cold weather forces them to den up until next spring.

This snake was not harmed and will be relocated away from my work area on the farm. This rattler is shedding his skin and has apparently lost most of its rattles. You can still hear the buzzing sound the rattles make when the rattlesnake is angry. This sound is not easily forgotten or ignored. Be careful and alert while attempting to capture any venomous snake.

Pay no attention to the minor swearing or the southern accent while the video is running!  it comes with the job!

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    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Oh ! Well, then I can always tell how far to stay from a rattler by measuring it first. hahahaah Thanks, Randy, that makes sense. Duh on me !

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      A rattler can strike no more than their length, Phyllis. So a six foot snake could indeed strike that far.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Yes - a very long handle. I read somewhere a rattler can jump as far as six feet.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Ha Phyllis, I was a bit tense myself when Russ let the snake slip free, as you could probably tell by an expletive I let slip out. Yes, I learned to simply live with the snakes and relocate them when possible. There's so much wildlife to see here in the country and I love it.

      Thanks for checking this hub out and learning how easy it is to make a snake catcher. With a long handle, of course!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Good grief ! That video kept me tense watching. That snake catcher is a very good thing to have and easy to make. You did a great job on this writing, Randy. To live in an area like you do sure keeps you on your toes and ready to relocate these snakes to a safer place. I admire your understanding and concern for the snake as well as keeping your home area safe. Well done !

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, LongTimeMother, I understand you've got quite a few bad reptiles in you part of the world. I can see where a few of these snake catchers--indeed long ones-could come in handy on occasion.

      Be careful though, don't take any chances of getting struck! :)

      Thanks for your time and comments!

      --Randy

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      I live off the grid in Australia where the local snakes are only deadly ones. In other parts of Australia we've had nice friendly green tree snakes, but not where I am now.

      I think this is a great idea, but I'll be using a very l-o-n-g pipe. Some varieties of snakes here are very long and fast moving and, I confess, I'm a little concerned about their strike distance.

      I have dogs that seem remarkably gifted at killing venomous snakes. If they see a snake before I do, I never call them off because I'm afraid of distracting them and them getting bitten.

      I'm making a few of your snake catchers however and will put them in appropriate places. (Stored vertically, because I'd hate to pick one up and find a snake in it! lol.)

      Voted up +

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for your experience, ii3rittles! There are no "mean" snakes (unless you are referring to me! LOL!) only those who are endeavoring to live their lives and be left alone, or be eaten themselves by other creatures.

      Any snake will not bother you unless stepped on accidentally or purposely bothered by other creatures. I do not believe this is considered mean--but i do understand your view on them.

      Yes, this simple tool is very handy for removing and relocating these wonderful creatures.

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting!:)

      SSSSS

    • ii3rittles profile image

      ii3rittles 5 years ago

      My aunt actually had a mean snake hanging out in her back yard, I had no idea what kind but it was about 2 feet long. She has 2 boys so she was scared they might get bit and she is also scared of snakes. From watching animal planet I learned how to pick one up and use a stick to keep it from my body but being careful not to hurt it. Me and her youngest, Gabriel caught it and took it to the front yard, got a pillow case and gently put him/her in it and released it way in the back yard (she has a HUGE yard. This would have come in handy if I read it 3 years ago.. lol

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      LOL! Normal for who, Kim? HA! Is it ever really normal?

      SSSSSS

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 5 years ago

      Randy it's apr 2 just wanted to say glad everything is back to normal!

      cheers!

      :o)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Just get a chicken snake instead, SBM! Sounds like your son is quite an inventive guy. I was like that too in my younger years. I probably had more snakes to play with than he did, though. :)

      Randy

    • sagebrush_mama profile image

      sagebrush_mama 6 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

      I'm sure he'll love making a snake catcher...he's very good at that sort of thing, fashioned his own chicken catcher, after seeing one used at the feed store.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Awww- a little bull snake is harmless, Sagebrush_Mama! LOL! Your son is right this time, most snakes just want to be left alone and are not dangerous.

      And they keep the rodent population down too. But I understand, some people just can't get over their phobia of snakes. This simple snake catcher may make you feel better about your son's snake catching ability. :)

      Thanks for your time and for the snake tale..er..tail!

    • sagebrush_mama profile image

      sagebrush_mama 6 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

      I'm going to have to mull over the possibility of sharing this article with my 15 year old son, who informed me this morning that he was going to allow the 4+ foot bull snake in my garden go free, because they eat rattlers. I suggested he chase it out, and he decided, instead, to catch it by the tail and lead it out backward. Yes, I'm one of the folks who freaks out at the sight of snakes. Obviously, my son doesn't.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for not harming the snakes, Adam! Yes, we have quite a few water moccasins here in south Georgia too, so I understand where you're coming from.

      I know rattlesnakes are routinely milked for their venom, but haven't looked into the same process for moccasins.

      The snake catching tool works well and doesn't harm the snake if used properly and is cheap to make!

      Thanks for your comments and good luck on your snake catching plans!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Adam 6 years ago

      Excellent and easy build, Randy! Thanks for posting. I live in central FL (Okeechobee), and, as you can guess, there's a LOT of water moccasins here. My landlord goes out of his way to shoot them, which I feel is ridiculous, so I've been trying to convince him to let me catch them, for my own purpose.

      I've heard some medical companies will buy venomous snakes from just about anyone, so long as the snake is alive and unharmed. They milk the snakes for antivenom, of course, and from what I was told, here in Florida, they pay pretty good money.

      Not sure how true, but if not, I would certainly release the snakes on the lake side of Lake Okeechobee dyke. (I live in an RV park right on the rim canal of Lake Okeechobee.)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @CV Rajan-Thanks for checking out my hub, CV! Yes, I love to write about the many species of creatures I encounter in my daily routine in the country. Can I send you one of these snakes for a pet? LOL!

      Thanks again for your time and comments!

      Randy

    • C.V.Rajan profile image

      Disillusioned 6 years ago from Kerala, India

      Ah Randy,

      Now I understand why you sign with a that sort of picture in your posts! You are running a Discovery channel here?

      C.V.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I certainly understand this, Anonimuzz! But rattlesnakes and other species abound in this area so we become somewhat complacent about them. But we still respect them enough to give them a wide berth in most cases! Thanks!

    • anonimuzz profile image

      anonimuzz 6 years ago from There

      I'm glad I don't have any snakes close enough to be dangerous. I wouldn't have the guts to catch them. That's the bad thing about growing up away from the wild, it's harder to feel comfortable dealing with these problems, ehe.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yep, gotta catch them and move them further from home, else risk getting struck. Thanks Dawn!

    • dawnM profile image

      Dawn Michael 7 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      loved it my brother used to catch rattlers and I have a boa growing up, till pick up the gardner snakes but not into the bid ones ony more, great hub and good advice on making a snale catcher

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Ten year old boys are always worth a surprise or two, SpecialK! I know, I used to be one! Want me to mail him a nice big Canebrake rattler for him to practice with? LOL!

      Thanks for the laughs and for reading my hub!

    • Specialk3749 profile image

      Karen Metz 7 years ago from Michigan

      When I read the title, I thought my son would enjoy this. He is 10yo and loves snakes! Then when I seen your snake catcher, I realized that he already has one in his room! I didn't know what it was! LOL Now I am going to have to go and see how/where he learned to make it! Thanks for a great hub!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

      Unless it is a black or garter snake that I recognize it is a goner with me. My husband just called me from work to run out and get a picture of the big orange moon so I ran out barefoot and I saw my cat watching something in the grass, and I don't know what I must have looked like if anyone saw me trying to run back inside without touching the ground!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Your Grandfather was a realist, GarnetBird! We do what we have to do to keep our surroundings a safe place. Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub!

      Randy:)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I don't think so, NoBSSEO! Most wouldn't attempt to catch a rattler even with this snake catching pole! Thanks for stopping by!

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      I was raised by a feisty Tennessee Grandfather who regularly moved rattlesnakes out of our yard, etc.--that snake catcher is amazing and brings back fond memories.Great work!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I'm glad you understand about the danger they pose, borge! There are many who do not live in the type of climate where dangerous creatures abound.

      Thanks and good luck trying to control your snake problem.

    • borge_009 profile image

      borge_009 7 years ago from Philippines

      We have so many snakes crawling in our place and we haven't caught them yet. THanks for the informations.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thank you for stopping by,Daria. Most people do not have the same problem with snakes in their part of the U.S. because we are surrounded with many thousands of acres producing grains, peanuts, and multiple types of vegetable produce.

      This means lots of mice and other rodents which in turn means snakes and other predators which feed upon them.

      Randy

    • Daria369 profile image

      Daria369 7 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Wonderful hub, enjoyed it even though the snakes around here don't seem to be a problem.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Dinkan- Thanks!

      @The Voice- I appreciate your words!

      @ Michael- Thanks for your time!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Gus! There was a diamondback rattler killed in north Georgia last year which weighed over 90 lbs and was over 9 feet long. Thanks for your time and the comments.

      Randy

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Great info Randy!

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      terrific hub write my friend thanks be careful

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Gee, you are brave Lynne! Most ladies won't get that close even with glass between them and the critter!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Oh to be young and foolish again, Charlie! Now I'm just old and foolish! I would really like to learn how to "milk these snakes for the venom used in making anti venom treatments. Thanks for your comments as usual!

      Randy :)

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 7 years ago from India

      interesting article.really enjoyed it

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 7 years ago from USA

      Hi Randy - Good gadget and both easy to make and easy to use. A while back a friend from Arizona sent me a photo of a rattlesnake that weighed 90 pounds. It had been shot and was draped around a big guy's neck. The tail end was at the ground as was its head. Biggest rattler I ever saw!

      Gus :-)))

    • profile image

      lynnechandler 7 years ago

      Hey Randy I find them useful to a degree and try to let them be. Cute story went to Bush Gardens in FL and while touring through the animal kingdom came across the reptile area. They had a canebreak and when I touched the glass he came over and followed my finger as I twirled designs on the outside of the glass. Never would I have gotten that close had it not been for the glass. Only time I really get antsy about the snakes is when they are close to the house because I know from past experience they all can find a way in if there is one.

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      Very clever device that could come in handy for other unwanted varmints too. Loved the video Randy. thanks to Holle for the heads up on this one. I always used my hand when I was young and dumb, and fast. Now I think not, I wizened up and am much too slow of hand and eye. LOL

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      No thanks Lynne! We have enough water moccasins already!

      You Georgia girls are pretty brave!

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      A true southern girl you are, Pinky! Not many ladies would get close to one of these creatures. Thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      lynnechandler 7 years ago

      Great job on this Randy. You guys can come get all the water moccasins that hang out around here if you like.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It's hard not to kill these snakes when they threaten your children or pets, Woody! Russ found one coiled up and rattling near his daughter when she was about two years old.

      Like you I do not harm any other type of snakes in the area. thanks for reading!

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Many keep snakes for pets here too, Hello Hello! But not these ornery canebrake rattlers. Thanks!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Aaron, glad you enjoyed it!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Great news Holle, tell her we look forward to the visit.

    • profile image

      pinkylee 7 years ago

      haha maybe so randy but never will i catch or go near a snake ... i did my fair share a while back and looking back on it now i was insane lol

    • profile image

      Woody 7 years ago

      Of all my years living where I am, I've only seen 1 rattler, but at the end of last summer, I had to get rid of 2 babies. My then 9 yr old almost stepped on 1, & I almost did the same with the 2nd one. I'm in a rural area, so the flat tip shovel showed them who was boss. There are good snakes that I've seen, & I let them go.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Great hub but no thank you. I too would run a mile. Mind you in London nutters are keeping snake now as a pet and some excape and you read ever so often that they turn up coming out of your loo or bathtub.

    • profile image

      AARON99 7 years ago

      Wow! a great hub!! You can write a series of hubs on this topic. It's really enjoyable. Thanks for giving this kind of hub. Well done. Enjoy.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Ron, it wouldn't work on us South GA women - we'd just gnaw through the wire!

      Randy, she's coming in the next few days. She hopes to see y'all.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes indeed you can, Ron! They still wiggle around a lot and you have to use piano wire instead of rope for the snake catcher. Women are more aggressive and slippery too!

    • Ron Montgomery profile image

      Ron Montgomery 7 years ago

      Cool. Can you also use the snake catcher as a wife restrainer?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Aw come on Pinky, I've taught girls how to do much more exciting things than catching rattlesnakes!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry Holle, I missed your comment somehow. Did I answer the right one?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      That is a special occasion for them, Holle! I still haven't seen them convert a single snake though!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      No Holle, very appreciative infact. Thanks for the exposure of my hub. Is Vanne coming to visit this week?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @ Carpetcleaningweb. I've stepped all around them but never on one. You are right, snakes are very interesting creatures and we all stay very interested about their whereabouts.

      Thanks for checking out my hub!

    • profile image

      pinkylee 7 years ago

      omg i seriously hate snakes but you did an awesome job writing this hub ... sorry to say i wont be tryin to catch any snakes though ... i'll leave that up to you :)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      You avoided my question...

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thank you Crazdwriter. Even though we were safe it is still a bit nerve wracking sometimes. Something you can't tell from pictures and videos is the smell a rattler gives off sometimes. A very putrid smell it is!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Randy, I don't think they do that EVERY Sunday - I think they reserve that for special occasions!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      RD, are you mad at me for posting this hub on the forums?? I just thought it was really cool and not something most people see every day - especially city folks!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      AEvans, You would get over your fear of them if you attended some of the local churches. You get to hold them and pet them every Sunday. LOL

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Earnest. Even the crocodile hunter was particularly careful when catching these snakes in Florida shortly before his demise. Bad mohammajammas!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Come on Lorie, live dangerously once in a while. Just send me your address and I'll send you a little rattler to liven up your home. Shipping and handling-$99.99. Kidding of course!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes you do, Edwierdo! But she moved down to Georgia and I met her many years ago! I can send you this one if you like! Thanks for the comment!

      Randy

    • profile image

      Crazdwriter 7 years ago

      Wow Randy this is a great hub and the video was amazing. Glad you guys didn't get hurt or the snake. :-) Nice job!

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I can't stand snakes so I would have to hire you! I scream and run one I see one!! I love the Video both of you are certainly quite brave. We have rattlers in our part of the Country and they can be nasty!

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      OK, I should have known the snake would be looked after. I was a bit afraid to read this in case the snake got hurt. Good stuff Randy!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, he still is! I have him in a safe place for now. We will find more tomorrow as we are selling a bunch of irrigation pipe. The canebrake rattlers love to live inside these pipes.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Gawd, Holle! My son keeps a corn snake in the house, not a rattler, thank God!

    • Edweirdo profile image

      Edweirdo 7 years ago from United States

      Yikes - Thank goodness we don't have any venomous snakes in New Jersey!

      Another great hub, Randy :D

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Wow! That's a big canebrake! You have to show me how to put our videos on youtube!! This is awesome!