How to Relocate a Rattler

Almost ran over a rattlesnake yesterday on my bicycle, and it made me think of favorite rattlesnake stories.

Maybe the best came in the Spring of 2005. Clark, Chris and I were on a biking trip along the Caprock Canyon Trailway near Quitaque when we stopped at an Allsup’s. A clerk named Jackie told the story.

Seems that Jackie’s brother, a deputy sheriff, was called to Caprock Canyons State Park to help a camper being harassed by a Diamondback.

This West Texas lawman got to the campsite, found the rattler coiled and rattling, drew his Colt Government Model .45 and ended the threat. Shortly, a park ranger arrived, and, looking at the dead snake, scolded the peace officer. 

“In the Parks and Wildlife Department, we don’t kill rattlers,” said the ranger. “In fact, it’s illegal to kill a snake in the park. Instead we relocate them.” 

To which Jackie’s brother responded—Jackie imitated the thick Texas drawl—”Weeel, I relocated this one fer ya. I relocated his head over yonder (as he pointed), and the rest of him over yonder.”

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