Road Kill Rattler, tips for a novice please?

Submitted by Billy on 8/19/04 at 6:11 PM. ( )

Hey Guys,

On my way home tonight I spotted a dead rattler in the road, head it smashed but the rest of the body isn't too bad and it's about 3 feet long.

Do you know of any websites that list skinning and tanning instructions on the web? I'm a deer hunter and I've never skinned a snake. I figure cut around the head and pull it off like a glove to the rattle. Then flesh it out. Its what happens after that,that has me puzzled. I usually salt my skins and send them off to be tanned.

Thanks for any help,


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First off

This response submitted by wetnwild on 8/19/04 at 6:36 PM. ( )

If you jys try and strip it down from the ehad to the rattle end, you will tear off the whole tail section. You have to cut all the connecting muscles around the anal vent to relase the skin or they will stay attached and so will the tail as the rest of the skin tears apart. Once you do it properly and then flesh the skin, freeze it, and then order Bruce Rittels tanning kit for snakes. It simple and works terrific


This response submitted by Billy on 8/19/04 at 7:21 PM. ( )

Boy am I glad I didn't do anything! My little voice was telling me to leave well enough alone till I learned more and I'm so glad I did. I think his guts were blown out of his anal vent, there was a 1-1/2" slit about 4" up from the rattle where his guts were coming out. I really need to see some pictures and learn more about snake anatomy 101 before I take a knife to it.

Well I was about to get at it then I thought better of it. When I came home I threw him on ice so its been kept cold and I know it was a fresh kill because he was still wiggling a little when I found him. I was REAL careful anyway.

I just took him out of the cooler and measured him and he is 46" long! Thank you for the advice, I've cleaned him up, wearing rubber gloves and using heavy damp paper towels to get some of the blood off. As I did that I saw a white thing on his back about midsection, it was a fang, man lucky one there for sure. I bet I might have gotten a bit sick if that nicked me. Anyway I coiled him up in a bag and stuck him in the freezer till I can learn more and order the above mentioned kit.

THANK YOU for the advice, keep it coming. At least this beautiful reptile won't go to the crows or be flattend more than he was. Well he will when I'm done but at least his skin won't.


This response submitted by Superpig on 8/19/04 at 7:45 PM. ( )

there is a detailed article on rattlesnake skinning plus pictures.


This response submitted by wetnwild on 8/19/04 at 8:18 PM. ( )

You can oprder the mounting venemous snakes video with Tom Voyer from WASCO orNoonkester Supply. It will go start to finish on the skinning and fleshing

Get the video

This response submitted by Asher on 8/19/04 at 10:58 PM. ( )

I would recommend the video as well ... watched it and have been able to perfectly skin out a few rattlesnakes. The website is also good and covers a rattlesnake and the details good starting point.

Good Luck!

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