A Treasure of Free Homemade Gold Prospecting Equipment Plans and Commentary: The Rattlesnakes of Arizona

Blue Bowl Concentrator

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Rattlesnakes of Arizona

Since I live in Arizona and prospect there, an issue comes up of snakes, especially in spring and summer. Since you are digging, you probably have a full length shovel - they can work - but rattlesnakes are intimidating if caught coiled and rattling. I wouldn't think of using a short shovel.

I think the best thing to do is invest in a .22 caliber revolver or .38 and use snake shot loads. The.22 works very well. Some people who like to carry have a .22 with snake shot in the first 2 or 3 chambers and regular loads in the rest. It makes sense - chances of meeting more than 3 angry snakes in one day are slim. Most I have encountered is one per adventure. Of course the other loads are for threats from other animals or the occasional crazed person.

I like to carry a .22 revolver with snake shot in all my chambers. I also carry a S&W 9mm Sigma. I don't like to feel nervous when out in the field.

Do as you see fit, but an investment in .22 revolver for rattlesnakes is a good way to go - the shot spreads pretty well and usually takes care of them with one shot. I wouldn't want to bet on your ability to shoot the head off a rattlesnake with a single bullet, although I know there are plenty of guys and gals out there who are experts and can do it fairly easily. I've had two plastic lenses put in my eyes and though they work great I don't want to fool around betting on one bullet. The S&W automatic holds 16 rounds, and if I can't shoot a rattlesnake with 6 snake shots from a .22, I probably deserve to get bitten! 

To the left is the Mohave Rattlesnake. To the right is the Western Diamondback  All the diamond backs I have seen have been shades of brown with white lines for the border of the diamonds on its back. They also have pretty close to a white rattle.

The color can change from shades of brown to a pale green depending on its surroundings.

The color varies from shades of brown to pale green depending on the surroundings. Those Mojaves that I have seen have a dirty reddish or brown rattle. That has for me been the way of telling quickly. I have heard that venom from the Mojave is more toxic than from a diamondback. I don't know for sure, and I guess it doesn't matter. I also have heard a "honking" noise in the desert at times and friends have said that that is the mating call of the Mojave. Again, I don't know, but I have heard it from several folks - if interested, do some research. It might be a form of a prospector tale!:)

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