Getting my pseudo engineering degree as well as spending the last 10 years in the construction industry, solving problems has been an everyday occurance. In the benign world of higher education there are not many life and death problems that needes to be solved. In construction however, there were a few problems that needed experience and thoughtful consideration to make sure someone wasn't injured or killed. Here on the farm most days are also full of problem solving. Being new to the whole endeaver most everything I do is a problem solving excercise. One of the most annoying problems that reared its ugly head (pun intended) is the large amount of rattlesnakes on the property. Yes this picture is taken from another website because I don't have any pictures of live snakes. I don't really spend my adrenaline riddled time looking for my camera phone when I see one of these buggers.
The hardest thing about rattlers is that they have the unnerving habit of lying still until you nearly step on them before they start shaking that tail at a million miles an hour. That sound is much louder than I ever expected and can scare you out of your boots. They also blend in really well with their environment and change colors according to their surroundings so if your not looking where your walking you're in for a treat. I've seen them a dusty brown while in the gravel on the road, I've also seen them a light shade of green when coming out of a pea field. Abby, our oldest, had a pretty scary experience the other day. I had pulled up at the end of our driveway to pick her up from the school bus. As she went around the side of the truck to her door she let out a blood curdling scream and ran back to my side of the truck crying. She said she almost stepped on a rattler and so I went around to the other side to see, I looked and at first didn't see it. After walking toward the spot she said she saw the snake it moved in the gravel and came into full view. He wasn't the largest one I'd seen on the farm but he was right beside the truck next to the back door coiled up and ready to strike. I don't know how she didn't step on it.
Here comes the solution part of the post. First one must recognize the problem. RATTLESNAKE!!!! I frantically scanned the surrounding ground to find a large rock or stick.... nothing. I looked in the bed of my truck.... broken combine belts, small bits of 2x4, 1 seeder packer wheel tire, and 2 ramps for my 4 wheelers. Hmmm, guess I'll try throwing the ramps at it. As I reached over the bed of the truck to get the ramp it started slithering away back into the grass beside the road. I couldn't let it get away so I threw the ramp at it and ended up hitting it squarely in the middle of its body.
Now another problem presented itself. I couldn't get the ramp back to throw it again because the snake was pinned under it, the front half attacking the ramp and anything that would come close to that mean little head, while the back of it had gone limp from paralysis. Not a good thing, a pissed off half rattlesnake without the rattle part working. Well I took the shaking Abby back home to get a shovel to go back and finish the job. Note to self: ATV Ramps don't make good rattlesnake killers. When I got back to the shop my father in law was there and I told him the story so he grabbed a shovel and drove off in the Rhino to go finish it off while I took Abby into the house.
I decided that from then on I needed to have a better rattlesnake killer than my ATV ramp so I went out and bought me this little beauty.
It a Heritage Manufacturing Single Action 6 Shooter. The gun along with .22 birdshot bullets is a pretty effective snake charmer.