Ssssssssnake sssssaga ssssssorcery

14 09 2019

At Ace Hardware in Norwood, Colorado, the young man who helped me find the pieces and parts for a snake-pole-lasso quickly grasped the idea of what I needed. It was his first day on the job. What a first day. 🙂

Here are the parts:


Five-foot-long, 1 1/2-inch PVC pipe

1 1/2-inch cap

15 feet of soft, 1/4-inch rope

21/64-inch drill bit

Drill – already mine (battery was on the charger)

This is how it went together:


I drilled two holes in the cap and threaded the rope (the Ace Hardware man burned the ends for me in the store; he also cut a 10-foot length of pipe to the 5 feet I needed) through one hole from the inside, made a loop and threaded it back into the other hole, knotting it inside the cap. The long end of the rope then drops through the pipe to the other end, which is where the snake wrangler wants to be.


Voila! Snake lasso!

Heading to the basin now …


Snake wrangling equipment:

Step stool – because I realized I had to stand basically over the top of the vertical in-ground pipe to bring the snake up, and I really didn’t want to get struck in the shin if it came up less than happy.

Trash can – previously used for feed in the barn. Use: transport the snake from hole to home, away from water trough that the horses use.

DIY snake-pole-lasso. About $20 total.

And of course, my cell phone, which is only slightly easier to operate one-handed than my camera. Because I had to document the process for you faithful readers who are cheering for snakey-snake.

At left: fenced-in aprons that catch rainwater and snow.

Background: Our destination is the green water tank, on the far side of which is the valve pipe in which our reptile has been captive for at least a couple of weeks.

Question: Did rattler make it out on the crossed sticks … or was snakey still stuck?


Answer: See above. The thing had a slightly unnerving way of looking up at me the whole time, like it knew things were happening. Finally.


Here’s my setup:

Step stool on the north side of the pipe; trash can on the south side. Snakey in the hole in the middle.

I won’t lie; my hand was shaking as I was taking these pix. Everything’s all fun and games until you try to lasso a rattler at the bottom of a pipe.

OK. Deep breath. Ready?


It’s not easy to hold a lasso’d snake with one hand (I was holding the pipe and rope coming out the end to keep a snug hold on the slippery slitherer) and a cell phone with another (your only other) hand AND try to two-finger zoom the image because you’re several fraidy-cat feet above it.


It wasn’t heavy, and it didn’t wriggle or writhe. And – maybe wildest of all – it didn’t rattle. I managed to catch it at “neck” level (!), so I was confident it couldn’t reach any shins.


Don’t worry, dude/ette, it’s bigger, and it’s totally temporary.


Valve-pipe cap. Replaced.

When I called my mom from the road, snake-filled can (lidded) safely in the back of the truck, I admit that I was still breathing hard, and not just from carrying my equipment back up the slope (the water flows downhill from the catchment aprons).

Snake couldn’t live in the metal trash can any more than it could live in the bottom of a PVC pipe, so release was the next part of the capture saga.


Rattler relief is close. See that the boulder is shaped so that it provides a shady shelter?


I appealed to many deities, entities and spirits before embarking on this jaunt, including my mom, my dad, snakes in general, rattlesnakes in particular, even Lord Voldemort, that sovereign of serpenty Slytherins.

While carrying the can up to the pictured perfect boulder, I realized that getting the lid off the can wouldn’t be too bad, but having been so gentle so far, I didn’t want to just kick the can over!

Check out the perfectly shaped branch I found nearby (pictured above, hooked through the can’s handle)! On the bare, rocky shoulder of Filly Peak! I mean, trees aren’t what this area is known for. But it was perfectly perfect. Some spirits definitely were with us. Using the branch, with its excellent length and hefty hook, I was able to tenderly tip the can onto its side without even a jangly, jarring thump.


But you know how it is when you leave your old home for a new one. Maybe you’re excited, and maybe you’re a little nervous, too.

Rattler was a bit reluctant, so I had to find another stick to tip the bottom of the can up a bit and encourage (!) the slithery sucker to slide to the ground.


And that’s when happiness kicked in, and snakey slithered right into the super space like s/he owned the place.

I’m pretty sure I heard him/her speak Parseltongue ere s/he slithered out of sight: thanksssssssssssssssssss.


Mischief managed!


Thank you all for following along and wishing the best for our rattly reptile!

Happy life and many rodents, rattler!

**Update (and thanks to Sue for the reminder!): I meant to credit Linda Carson at The 7MSN Ranch for the snake-pole-lasso. I admired her nerve in snake wrangling … and never thought I’d have to make a pole of my own!



12 responses

14 09 2019
Maggie Frazier

Now dont you feel good about that?? And just think – we ALL know how to get a snake out of a pipe now, right? Happy person – happy snake.

14 09 2019

Oh my gosh, yes. You have no idea the relief – especially when it happened quickly and easily, and no one (!) was harmed in the escapade!

14 09 2019
Sue Story

You ROCK, TJ! You are one clever – and ice in your veins – girl. Wherever did you get your snake wrangling tool idea? That was an amazing and efficient contraption for sure – and kept you safe too. I’m glad snakey is back where he belongs and you (and we!) don’t have to worry about him now. Good work! 🏅

14 09 2019

What an adventure! Happy to have been along , by phone and in spirit! !

14 09 2019

Thanks, Mom. 🙂 You’re the best cheerleader and BE-CAREFUL-ER ever! 🙂

14 09 2019
Karen Schmiede

W0w! What an adventure ,indeed! Hope the snake has a good life from now on,thanks to you,TJ!

14 09 2019

I can honestly say that I hope to never see it again. 🙂 And I hope that rescue built up some good snake-avoidance karma – for me and the horses! None of whom were even around! Ha!

14 09 2019
Lynda Larsen

Great rescue saga, TJ! Thanks for the vicarious adventure…

Lynda Larsen Stark Raven Ranch


14 09 2019

Thanks, Lynda. 🙂

14 09 2019

Oh, shoot, shoot, shoot! Thank you for the reminder – and I’ll add it to the post above – I totally meant to credit Linda Carson from The 7 MSN Ranch and blog for the snake-pole-lasso!

That will take you to multiple blog posts (some are videos) on her blog. I couldn’t find the post where she talked about making it (I’m sure she has one …), and I don’t remember where she got the idea, but the gist is pretty easy and doesn’t require much (once you make the hourlong drive to the nearest town with a hardware store (she has a long drive, too?!)). When I was researching snake poles, I kept going back to hers as the most logical.

I’ll tell you what, it worked like a champ, even down a pipe. 🙂 I will say, anthropomorphology or not, I think that snake WANTED to get out of that hole!

14 09 2019
Marytherese Ambacher

You are Awesome TJ! Good health and long life to all in Spring Creek Basin!!

16 09 2019

Omg! You a brave determined woman!

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