To a Mr. Brian Sather. I was invited to talk trout with a group of students at Winona Senior High last year as a part of Brian’s Fish and Wildlife class. I brought a slide show and some stuff to tie a few flies. I know I had a blast talking about trout and the resources we have in our area. [singlepic id=1128 w=300 h=220 float=right]Brian stopped me just before the winter break and handed me a small wrapped gift. I opened it later when I got home only to think it was perhaps a perfect gift. Good thinking Brain, I will carry it with me and I’ll let you know if I ever have to use it.

Note: We do have Rattlesnakes in Southeast Minnesota be they few and far between but I tend to travel to areas where they may have higher concentrations. At the size of my palm and very light there is no reason this shouldn’t fit in my day bag squished between a baggie of toilet paper and my lunch for the day, underneath the water supply needed for the outing, right where it belongs. Thanks Brian

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  1. I had never run into a Driftless rattler until this season–I saw three. Two at once while photographing wild flowers on a bluff prairie and one that casually crossed the parking lot and came within five feet of me while I was pulling on my wading boots. He stopped to sniff the air and moved on unafraid.

    Who knows?–the bounties have been gone for a while. There are plenty of rodents and with all of the habitat restorations for trout and turkeys and other critters maybe they are making a gradual comeback.

    I’ve heard stories from some of the old-timers on the Sconnie side of the river that the bounty killed many of the rattlers that would rattle then strike leaving behind the rattlers that are predisposed to simply strike. If you spot one it’s still probably best not to test that theory.

    Mind where you step.

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