Ron Morton’s Rattlesnake Roundup

By Reed Boettcher –

Great Plains Kubota

Article from our Summer 2013 Issue of Great Plains living
      If you’ve ever encountered a rattlesnake in the wild, then you have felt the uneasy excitement their loud warning gives off.  That is if you were lucky enough to get their rattled warning!  Most of us try our best to avoid these deadly snakes even while others actively search them out.  Call it fun or call it crazy, but for Great Plains customer, Ron Morton, it’s too exciting to pass up.  Great Plains living had the opportunity to ask Morton a few questions about why he partakes in this dangerous activity.
GPL:  How long have you hunted rattlesnakes?
Morton:  I started hunting them when I was 22 years old.
GPL:  Who taught you how to hunt them?
Morton:  A friend of mine from eastern Okla.
GPL:  Why do you hunt them, and what do you like best about capturing these snakes?
Morton:  Hunting rattlesnakes is just something I love to do.  Some people collect things or work on cars.  I catch rattlesnakes.  Hunting them is exciting.  It really gets your adrenaline pumping!
GPL:  Have you ever been bitten?
Morton:  No, and I don’t plan on it either!
GPL:  Where do you hunt?
Morton:  You have to go where the snakes are.  I do a lot of my snake hunting in the Arbuckle             mountains, but I also go to eastern and western Okla. to hunt them.

GPL:  When is the best time of the year to find them?

Morton:  The best time is in the spring, typically from February to April.  It really depends on the weather.
GPL:  How do you go about capturing them?
Morton:  Basically you just sneak up and grab them.  I use a catch pole to catch and handle the snakes.  You have to know and go where the dens are.  During the cooler months you can easily catch them sun bathing around their dens on a warm day.
GPL:  Do you have any honey holes that always produce lots of snakes?
Morton: Not really.  Once you find a den you can usually count on catching snakes there consistently.  Usually I hunt a particular den for two or three years making sure not to take the small snakes, and then I will back off of it.   You don’t want to over harvest a den.
GPL:  What do you do with them after you catch them?
Morton:  Sometimes I sell them and occasionally I’ll go to tournaments.  I made a belt once, but it didn’t turn out that great.
GPL:  How has your Kubota RTV900 aided your hunts?
Morton:  We love it!  We don’t have to take multiple ATVs because it can hold all of us.  It goes anywhere and makes hauling our catch real easy.
     Rattlesnake hunting may not be for everyone, but for Ron Morton, it’s
just another reason living in a plains state is so great! 

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