The biggest mistake people who are afraid of snakes make is trying to kill a snake when they see one. The great thing about snakes, even rattlesnakes, is they don’t care about people at all. It is very uncommon for snakes to become aggressive specifically toward humans. We offer nothing to the venomous snakes in North America. We aren’t part of their food chain, and they don’t need us around for scraps.
If you see a snake, you can just leave it alone and it will leave you alone. It isn’t going to come over to where you are and suddenly bite you. It is understandable, however, that snakes spark some fear in people. A venomous snake can kill you. What most people don’t know is that the majority of venomous snake bites in the US happen because people won’t leave a snake alone. Instead of walking away, someone gets a long stick and thinks they can “shoo” the snake away. The snake, minding its own business becomes afraid at the aggressive poking and decides to lash out. The human thought he or she was a safe enough distance away, but they didn’t realize snake had such strong vertical and horizontal propulsion.
So, now that you know all of this, and if you still want to kill a rattlesnake, you know you need to go about it in the safest way possible. Lethal tactics from a considerable distance away are ideal. If you’re a good shot with a gun or a bow, this will put you safely out of range of the snake. Beyond this, you need to be an expert snake handler because it would involve getting close enough to the snake to control its head. If you have not done this a thousand times before, do not attempt it, especially with a venomous snake. One bite is all it takes to cause tissue damage. While people rarely die from rattlesnake bites if they seek medical attention in time, the trauma to the bite area can cause lasting disfiguration.
If this rattlesnake you want to kill is in your yard, there is an easier way. Rattlesnakes can be caught using glue traps. The trap lures the snake inside using pheromone signatures, and once inside the reptile becomes stuck in the adhesive on the bottom. If using a glue trap, your intent should be to let the snake go. Leaving it stuck there, motionless, to die of dehydration, is a cruel fate when the snake was doing nothing other than controlling the rodents in your yard. In the worst case scenario, there are professional snake handlers out there who can come out and remove a venomous snake for a fair price.
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