The ranch where this big rattler was killed is outside the city of Coleman which is located in (West Texas) 55 miles SSE of Abilene . Oh, for reference, the guy stands 6'-2". Seems there's been a boom in the snake population there.
My fellow friends and family,
We have killed 57 rattlesnakes on two separate ranches this year. 24 at South bend & 33 at Murray , since mid May. Not one has buzzed! We provoked one fair sized boy with a stick and he coiled & struck at the stick a couple of times before he buzzed up and rattled. The purpose of this explanation is that I have been hearing the same from fellow ranchers and hunters in regards to the lack of warning with rattlesnakes.
I had lunch with a friend today and he offered a theory about the fact that these bugs aren't rattling anymore. He raised pigs for years and reported that when he would hear a rattlesnake buzzing in the sow pen, the sows would be lined up to it and fight over the snake. For the uninformed, pigs love to eat rattlesnakes. Therefore, the theory is they are ceasing to rattle to avoid detection, since there are plenty of wild hogs roaming the countryside. I have a neighbor ranching lady who was bitten 3 weeks ago 2 times by the same snake without any warning .... she spent 5 days in ICU, after 22 vials of anti-venom she is back at the ranch and still may lose her foot or worse yet her lower leg.
The days of perceived warning are over. Keep your boots on and use a light when out and about. As you all know, one can pop up just about anywhere!
Damn, that's a big-ass rattler! I've never seen one near that size myself.
Hey, be careful with rattlers no matter where you live. Folks that don't know any better think you get bit, you get a shot of anti-venom and then it's all good.
That just ain't so, folks. You get snakebit by a rattler and you will have tissue damage even if you get treated 5 minutes later. That shit is no joke.
As an aside, my vet offers rattlesnake vaccinations for dogs, meaning that the dog may get a little sick if bitten but probably won't suffer any long term effects. If your dog runs in snake country (most of the US), you might want to talk to your vet about vaccinations.