And last week I told guys working on the new rural fiber-optic lines that rattlesnakes were probably less of a worry than ticks in the flatter farmed and grazed areas, but perhaps they should be very careful around Tripp County buttes and White River draws and ungrazed areas. Then this afternoon, I got an image compliments of Dave Burger who sells Pioneer seeds here in Tripp County..
According to my second-hand or third-hand information, The guy holding the snake is Mike Brockhoft of Wood, South Dakota, on June 7, 2013, and the prairie rattlesnake is 56 inches long. Apparently only one inch short of the record length for a SD rattlesnake excluding of course tall bankers and politicians. No record lenths for lawyers or bankers, but check here for information on SD Game Dept. on critters-- SD Prairie Rattlesnakes. The site says record length is 57 inches.
Years ago, I saw rattlesnakes at our ranch about 20 miles north of Winner, and a neighbor about 15 miles northeast of here shot one in his yard next to a rocky outcrop of a butte four or five years ago.
So much for the wildlife lore and actual information..
Beware the rattlesnakes and the deer ticks. Doxicyline may be around 20 years old, but it is in short supply now and pharmacists will gouge you on it since it is now supposed to be in short supply which seems to me to be more of a problem warranting congressional attention that voting for the 40th time to revoke affordable health care--- speaking again of two-legged rattlesnakes.
Added note on anti-venom: This morning I did a lettle checking on anti-venom for prairie rattlers. The Winner Regional Hospital has the anti-venom on hand. It must be refrigerated, so it is not stored in ambulances or other emergency vehicles. Local pharmacies do not have anti-venom. At some times, it may be hard for hospitals and vets to get the anti-venom however. I checked with one of local veterinarian groups, Winner Animal Clinic, they have a couple doses of anti-venom for snake-bit dogs, etc. They also said dogs can be vaccinated. Two injections provide some protection, but not guaranteed protection. I would guess a rattlesnake nearly five feet long could dump an awful dose of venom. I wonder how much longer that snake would have to live to add more than an inch to its length to break the state record.
My wife works partly n hospital admissions and says that as far as she can remember, almost every year at least one and often several people are admitted after being bitten by rattlesnakes. Some of them are out-of-state hunters. Anyway, be careful out there and make a lot of noise when stomping around in the middle of nowhere.
*** Stay tuned for more prosaic and less nightmare-ish posts---- Doug Wiken