Let’s begin with a simple truth. Not many people like snakes.

Heck, it’s OK to admit it. There’s no shame in it.

After all, Indiana Jones is afraid of snakes too.

Our own Mark Olis knows this well. He loves to tell the story about when hog hunting in the southwest Alabama swamps I wasn’t a fan of stopping the truck to examine a roadkill rattler. Oh yeah, I refused to get out the truck. Flat refused. Mark still goes hunting with me though!

Lucky for you, I am not Bowhunting World reader, Rob Levengood, who recently survived a surprise encounter with a massive rattlesnake.

Here’s the tale Levengood sent in response to a Bob Robb column in Bowhunting World.

Courtesy Rob Levengood

Courtesy Rob Levengood

Hi Bob, just wanted to drop ya a line about my rattlesnake encounter this year.  It was my 2nd to last day of turkey hunting this year at our cabin in Potter Co, Pa.  Hunting a ridge top where I heard numerous birds throughout the season and where my brother had just shot one earlier in the week.  I was working out the ridge on a deer trail in 80 deg plus temperature.  I was following this deer trail because the forest floor was covered with ferns.  The only other time I have ever seen a rattler while hunting was about 15 years ago while hunting with my son.  He had just started hunting and I explained to him why you never step over logs in the spring.  As we walked around this log I just happened to look back and saw 2 rattlesnakes laying together.  One a black phase and the other was a lighter yellow phase snake.  That was a lesson well learned in my young sons head.  This trip however I was by myself and as I was following the trail I heard the distinctive sound of a rattler.  Never hearing this sound to many times I was pretty sure what it was.  I froze in my tracks looking for the snake.  After a while I realized lying not 10 ft in front of me semi coiled with that huge triangular head facing me was the biggest rattler I had ever seen.  I’m not afraid of much in the woods but after seeing the size of this thing I became numb and started to get the shakes.  I saw my life flash before my eyes and realized had I been bitten I couldn’t imagine surviving a snake of this size.  After getting my composure back I circled through the ferns at a snails pace and took about 90 minutes to reach my truck.  My hunting was over for the day, just glad to escape with my life.  Had I been able to get out of the woods I would have had to drive another 60 minutes to a hospital for treatment.  Lets just say I believe someone was watching out for me on this day.  I will definitely have some type of snake armor till next year.  Any thoughts on snake boots or snake gaiters you could help me with would be greatly appreciated.  I sent a picture of my son’s friend that caught a rattler last week that was about the size of the one I saw.  Never realized they got that big in Pa, but can sure cause your heart to skip a few beats.

Lucky to be alive
Rob Levengood