‘Threatened’ rattler was not ‘endangered’

Dear editor,

I would like to respond to the letter submitted by Marty Irwin regarding the timber Rattlesnake published in The Reporter Sept. 16.

It is well written and factual but, in my view, it leaves people thinking that the timber rattlesnake is near extinction and protected by law.

The term “threatened” indicates that habitat is being destroyed and not the snake. Improving pastures contribute to this condition. Clearing land for any reason replaces animals because their concealment and food are gone.

The timber rattlesnake is found mostly on the east coast from Florida to New Hampshire. They are also in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Iowa, Utah, Colorado, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and the list of States goes on.

The snake is far from being placed on the endangered list, much less becoming extinct. The categories are “threatened, endangered and extinct.”

These snakes can grow to reach 6 feet in length and they are dangerous. Irwin’s letter stated the snake is “not very aggressive” which is true, however, they also have the reputation of striking a victim before rattling their tails.

No family with young children, pets, and stock can comfortably cohabit with poisonous snakes like you can with the nonpoisonous snakes.

I truly appreciate Irwin’s view that all snakes are not bad. Non-poisonous snakes are our friends. They destroy nothing and eat rodents and insects that do destroy things. Don’t kill them. Get over your fear of snakes. Dodge them on the roadway.

Under ideal situations it is better to have a snake handler haul the rattlers to a place that is more safe for them and mankind, but when you live seven miles on a dirt road it is better to eliminate the possibility of harm for you, a family member, neighbor, stranger, pets, and/or stock.

I don’t think we want children keeping the snake in view until help arrives. The boy (who killed the snake pictured) did the right thing.

The point that you “cannot take, transport, have in possession, or sell rattlesnakes” may be true, but the same is true with whitetail deer.

The difference is the deer has a season and is not “threatened”.

The timber rattlesnake and whitetail deer are delicious when eaten, however.

Ted Hubert PO Box 167 Milano, TX 76556-0167

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2010-09-30 digital edition

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