Gun Blog

Guns, Ammunition and Rattle Snakes!

I have talked a lot about ammunition and about guns and even a little about using some guns with some ammunition but what I have never talked about was  making sure that you have the right gun and ammunition for the situation that arises.

The question is how do you know what situation will arise.  You can prepare for some situations depending on where you are going.  When I go deer hunting I carry my 30-30 or my Mosin-Nagant but I also carry my CZ 82 9mm.  There are some things that a rifle is not the best option for such as close encounter.  Oh sure in a pinch you can make it work but why force something to work in a way it was not intended..

I am usually a pretty prepared person.  I always have my emergency kit with me,  heck I even have one for each car.  So when we decided to go to the new homestead for the weekend I thought I was pretty prepared. 

As I was getting ready to walk out the door to start the drive to our homestead I turned to Ronnie and said "Ya know I think I will take my 20 guage shotgun with me."  I had my Kel-tec 32 on me and my Ruger GP100 in my backpack.  I had 6 rounds in my Ruger revolver, 2 were shot pellets and 4 were self-defense rounds.  I thought that should cover most encounters.  At the last minute I walked back in a got another box of shot shells figuring I could also use them for skeet shooting if I had any spare time to get bored.

I tell you that day that we left was going so wrong from the get-go that we should  have just stayed home but Oh-No I would not be deterred.  After fixing the flat tire we got only 30 miles down things seemed to be looking up.  We finally arrived at the homestead several hours later than we intended and got set up.  I also switched my gun from my Kel-Tec IWB to my Ruger GP100 in my Blackhawk holster hung cowboy style.

I am not sure what it is but I always feel a littler safer with my Ruger.  Anyway, the rest of that day and evening was uneventful.  The next morning we went hiking up to the homesite.  Our new homestead is very overgrown and covered in brambles and brush so we are very careful when walking around becuase we know that "nature" lives in there.  We usually have a walking stick and make lots of noise when we are moving through the dense areas.  We try to make sure that snakes and whatever else have plenty of notice that we are coming.  Usually they don't want to encounter us any more than we want to encounter them. 

All that trapsing around in the woods and brush and we did not encounter anything.  We headed back down to what we call the cow pen, which is an old fenced in area that once contained (you guessed it) cows.  We stay there because it is the least wild area on the property and our goats had eaten down quite a bit of the brush inside.  The cow pen also provided a little extra security via the surrounding fence and gate. 

It was not long after we returned that the peacefullness of the day abruptly ended.  We got a call saying there was a fire not far from us but even closer to where our friend's mother lives.  The small town she lives in was being evacuated and he needed to get her out of there.  The problem was she is in her 80's and we didn't even have a structure on the property yet, we were staying in tents.  Our friend was going to have Ronnie drive him to his mother's house and then Ronnie would come back while he took his mother about 50 miles away to a hotel in her car.  My friend, her grandson, her cat, my goats and I would all wait for him to return or wait for them to call us to let us now we needed to leave also.

To make a long story not quite as long, Ronnie and our friend left and my other friend and I were glad to have them gone and have some "girl time".  Yeah right!  They weren't got half an hour when the cat went nuts.  Yep, you read that right, the cat went nuts.  We got up to see what the cat was making such a fuss about but it wouldn't let my friend go near the area it was staring at. 

Then we heard it.  That's right we didn't see it but we heard it because at this point it was almost dark and you couldn't see what was in some areas of the cow pen.  I heard movement.  I heard the awful sound that no one wants to hear that close to them.  I heard the sound of a rattle snake. 

Oh wait!  I hear it over there. No, maybe it was over there.  Then there was a real sense of fear that over came me.  There was more than one rattle snake.  My friend grabbed her flashlight while I drew my gun.  The problem was I couldn't get a good shot off because the cat was in the way and I couldn't really tell where those darn things were.  I fired the first two rounds in my revolver, which were the two 357 CCI shot shells.  The first shot hit one of the rattlers and the second shot nicked the other one but it seemed to be just enough to tick the second one off!  The first one was still moving in our direction while the second one was heading off in the opposite direction.  Now I only had 357 home defense rounds to try to hit a moving target in the now darkness.

At this point I was pretty much deaf too because of course I did not  have any ear protection on.  My friend would say "Do you hear it it's over there".  All I heard was ringing in my ears.  She held the flashlight on the one we could see and pointed her little Smith and Wesson 38 special snubbie at it while I ran to get my ear protection out of my backpack.  I ran back to releive my friend from gun duty just as she was firing at a rattler.  She popped it and it flew up and it the fence.  At this point I  thought we were down to one rattler.  To my surprise when she put my Surefire L2 tactical flash light on high it lit up the ground and I saw there were still two heads up and hissing.  I thought this just can't be.  How is it that this is happening and the guys aren't here.  They won't believe this!

I have to be honest, at this point I let a scream like a "girl" as my friend said.  I guess what happened is between the last time we visited the homestead and this time a family of rattle snakes moved in and they had made themselves a den in some that light brush that was still left.

I fired again and I saw one of them curl up and his then I fired again and it squirmed but still kept moving.  I finally ran to get my glasses and at that point my friend said didn't you bring your shotgun?  Oh Yes!  How could I forget the shotgun.  I grabbed it from the tent and took one final aim at that rattler and his head moved no more.  Well that was probably because his head was in another location.  One more time the the other bit the dust. 

Finally we took a deep breath and let out nervous laughs at the thought of what we had just gone through.  We looked over at my friends grandson and the little guy was sound asleep with  his hands over his ears.  The next morning he wanted to see the snake. 

When Ronnie returned my friend and I were rushing to tell him everything that had happened while he was gone.  He first looked at us like he first looked at us like we were telling him a tall Texas tale.  Then we shine the flashlight on the closest rattler and showed it to him.  He went and got the measuring tape and measured the rattler at 3 foot 8 inches.  That was plenty big for me.  I told Ronnie by the time I told the story a few time there would be 10 rattlers and they would be 10 feet long each.

I was so glad I had that shotgun with me and so glad I at least had two rounds of 357 shot shells in my revolver.  In the future I will be sure to have at least a box of 10 CCI shot shells with me and my shot gun with a box of 20 guage shells too.  Self defense rounds are great for two and four legged preditors but when it comes to those close to the ground, no legged preditors shot shells are the best.

Did I tell you there were 10 rattlers that night?


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