14 Comments



  1. Nice photos. Hope others follow your lead.

    When we moved here about 23 years ago, we encountered a number of Copperheads and took the same approach to gentle relocation. Over the years containers have changed. We now use the tall kitty litter buckes with lids. Unfortunately the kl companies have now replace these with soft plastic containers but a 5 gallon plastic bucket with lid works as well. It feels a little more secure than an open container.

  2. Elizabeth Enslin

    Thanks, Joan. Good to know someone else out there does this — and with copperheads. Impressive. I definitely appreciate the sturdy lid on the aluminum pail. Wouldn’t carry a poisonous snake without that. I heard of people who carry them in cardboard boxes. That seems dangerous.


  3. I concur with your observations and general approach to the N. Pacific rattlesnakes. Here’s one of my descriptions on how I relocate and mark them.
    http://dipperanch.blogspot.com/2009/05/snake-weather-part-2.html
    I’ve had some interesting comments from other experienced folks about studies on rattler relocation on some of my other posts. Each person and their relationship with the land and its inhabitants is different, but many of us keep adjusting with experience and input from others.


  4. I’m so pleased that you’re relocating your rattlers instead of killing them. Keep writing about that and spreading the word–maybe others will pick up your attitude.

  5. Elizabeth Enslin

    Thanks, Joy. I”ll do my best.


  6. Bravo! I hope others are inspired by your example. Those snakes are impressive! As I was reading your post, I thought of Cindy’s method of marking rattler tails with ink – calligraphy ink, I think.


  7. Wonderful post – thanks for showing others that you can manage rattlers on a property without whacking their heads off.

  8. Elizabeth Enslin

    Thanks, Amber. I like that idea of marking the tails and may try it next season. It would be fun to know more about their movements.

  9. Elizabeth Enslin

    Thanks, Bernard. I might feel differently if I had small children around, but so far, it’s been easy and effective to move the rattlers.


  10. Wonderful post – thanks for showing others that you can manage rattlers on a property without whacking their heads off.

  11. Elizabeth Enslin

    Thanks, Sharon. It’s so easy, and so much more pleasant, than killing.

  12. tim

    I’m also removing rattlers here in northern Calif. – 5 already this season, by far the most. A lot of mice in the woods here, and no cat! A neighbor has two cats, no snakes. Thanks for the Gentle Giant link, just what I was wishing for. So far I’ve had to pin the snake down with a long rake handle as gently as possible, then slip a noose at end of another rake handle, tighten noose, lift up snake and place in large jar with lid. Then a drive to far off woods. If you’re calm and careful and very focused, watching with a hawk eye every movement of the snake at every moment while fiddling with the equipment in your peripheral vision, then it’s safe. If you can’t do all of that, I don’t recommend this method. That’s why I want the tongs!

    I heard that if you move the rattler more than a mile or so from where you found it, it will die. Is this a myth or fact?

    Thank for the excellent post!

  13. Elizabeth Enslin

    Glad to meet another rattler relocator. We also tried sticks, poles, boxes,etc. for moving the snakes. The tongs are so much easier and safer for all involved (including the snake) — a very worthwhile investment (I suspect they’re also safer than hacking snakes to death with shovels and machetes). I have not heard about the dangers of moving them more than a mile. We never take them that far, but it would certainly be good to know more about the impacts of relocation. Good luck with the tongs!

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