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How much should I pay for frozen rattler?

Discussion in 'Reptile Taxidermy' started by Valdo, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Valdo

    Valdo Member

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    I am planning on mounting a rattler and I contacted a guy that has a few frozen ones in the freezer. He said he just coils them up and puts them in a plastic bag in the freezer. My question is, are they freezer burned? They have been there for some time(according to him). How much should I pay. I'm concerned because a couple of years ago I purchased Tom's video on snake mounting, which is awesome, and I felt confident I could mount a rattler. Well, I ordered a snake from a guy in New Mexico, but when I received the snake the snake was floating in its own juices(inside the plastic bag). I took it out and started to skin the head when all of a sudden the outer layer of skin started coming off. That was pretty much the end of it, eventhough I had ordered a mannikin, eyes, etc. I did manage to mount a coral snake with a repro head though. Getting back to the subject, I don't want to spend a lot of money again only to have the skins mess up again. How much should I offer? This time I'm going to pick them up myself.
     
  2. Jim B

    Jim B Active Member

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    Vy will be aldo,snakes take a long time to freezer burn.reptile skins are narurally sealed.I have snakes,well wrapped in the freezer from several years ago and whenever i get around to them,they will be mountable.The species and size would determine price but I would guess,snakes 2'-6',app.$20-$100.Something like that.Good luck with it.
     

  3. pyeager1

    pyeager1 Active Member

    Depends on the species and size of the rattlesnake your wanting. An average Western diamondback or Canebrake(timber) lets say a 4 footer is worth anywhere from $25 to 40 in my opinion because they are more abundant than lets say an Eastern diamondback. With Eastern diamondbacks being somewhat a more expensive going for $35-50. This is strictly my opinion what a snake is worth with minimal damage and what I normally give for them. A snake should be Ok in the freezer for a couple years in plastic bags. I wrap mine in a kitchen grabage bag and then a zip lock freezer bag, sometimes two if I think it may be a while before I mount them. Freezer burn is not a "death sentence" to a specimen. There are many easy ways to remedy freezer burn. As for shipping you should insist the seller using sheet foam to line his box and include ice packs for extra coolness. Avoid warm weather shipping if you can.
     
  4. The problem with shipping snakes frozen in plastic bags is they will get a frost layer as they start to defrost, and when the frost melts, you get water in the bag. For shipping, it is always best to wrap the snake in numerous layers of newspaper, papertowels etc before you bag him again for shipping. This will wick away any mosture you will get during the defrosting stage
     
  5. Valdo

    Valdo Member

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    That's definitely what happened Tom. Should I wrap them in newspaper when I pick them up? It is about a six hour drive. Thanks a lot for your replies guys. I guess I'll start offering around 20 bucks per snake and take it from there.
     
  6. Valdo, as with any other hide or animal you purchase it all comes down to quality. With reptiles, it is important to know how long ago the skin was shed. If the animal was close to shedding prior to its death, the skin will most likely loose its epidermis. When you inquire about a specimen, ask the seller if they know how long ago the snake shed, how it was killed (frozen alive with no damage, shot, bludgeoned, etc). Any damage to the skin will lessen the value. A nice fat five foot snake with fresh skin, no damage and good rattles can easily bring $65 to $100 plus the shipping.

    On the shipping, Tom is right, a reptile should never be shipped in a plastic bag but wrapped in newspaper. Then it needs to go into an insulated box, frozen solid and shipped overnight or at least 2nd day air. :)
     
  7. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Oh really??? I hope some idiot never sends you one USPS priority mail in a ziplock with insulation in the box & no news paper.....that guy would have to be a damn fool!!!!:)
     
  8. I nhear ya Mike, he would indeed incur the wrath of the packaging gods LOl
     
  9. Valdo

    Valdo Member

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    The guy sent it 2nd day I believe. I had a feeling something would go wrong so I didn't even wait for UPS to get to my house. That following morning I went to the station and asked for my package, too late, it was on delivery. So there I go stopping every UPS driver and asking them for a snake, which of course they looked at me with a strange face. Finally I got hold of a UPS truck that was waiting on another truck to switch some packages and found my snake on that other truck. I asked when he had planned to deliver my snake and he said he didn't even know the box had a snake in there and that he was planning on delivering that box later on that evening. My question is, don't these guys know that there is a frozen animal in there that needs to be delivered before all the other packages? Of course, if the styrofoam box would've had some ice packs in there I'm sure it would've helped. Anyways, next time I'll ask for it to be delivered overnight or something.
     
  10. pyeager1

    pyeager1 Active Member

    Are you kidding! They could care less what they are delivering. Ask any of them and they will tell you. "I just work here."
     
  11. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)


    I also told my delivery guy years ago that I was the most important guy on his route & that MY packages should take priority bofore EVERYBODY elses!!! ::) W T F! ???