Snake! In the Ground Blind! And I’m Standing On It!

A GON reader sent us this story of a hair-raising encounter with a big rattlesnake.

Reader Contributed | May 1, 2005

By Phillip Robider

I have a small tract of land in Bulloch County with a few ground-level hunting boxes. These boxes didn’t have doors — just some camouflage webbing covering the doorway.

My hunting partner Hal Schuman and his adult son, Lee, from Atlanta, planned a morning hunt in November a few seasons ago. Unfortunately, Hal called the night before and said he couldn’t make it, but asked if I would take his son Lee.

I said, “sure,” and the next morning Lee and I drove down to the lease. I parked in my usual spot, and we hurried down the old logging road. It was a beautiful, moonlit night — no need for a flashlight. I had walked this road many times.

When Phillip Robider of Savannah first saw this Bulloch County rattlesnake, he was standing on the back half of the huge reptile.

We got to the fork in the road where I usually point my guests down the road and tell them to get in the box on the left. Because I had not hunted with Lee since he was a young fellow, I decided to walk with him down to the box and check it out to make sure there were no critters inside. As we walked up to the box, I told Lee to stay on the road until I checked it out. Up to this time, I had never had anything in any of the boxes.

The snake was caught in the camo webbing of one of Phillip’s ground blinds.

As I walked around to the back of the box with flashlight in hand, but not on, I tried to pull the webbing away from the door, but it wouldn’t move. It was caught on something, which was not unusual.

It was always catching on a splinter or a nail head. I turned on my flashlight and pressed up against the webbing and peered inside.

It was then that my heart almost exploded. There was the front half of a rattlesnake the size of my arm. The snake was facing away from me, and its head was going back and forth. Its eyes shined bright red like diamonds, and its tongue was coming out and curving back over its head, picking up my body heat. It was then that I realized I was standing on the back half of the snake.

I yelled to Lee, “Rattlesnake, stay where you are!”

With my light and gun pointed through the webbing, I managed to shoot the snake in the head.

It was still dark, and we were understandably a little shaken up, but we still wanted to hunt and decided to deal with the snake later. So, we went to one of my other stands — a tree stand, real high… like off the ground. We hunted that morning, but did not see any deer.

We returned to the morning box to collect the rattlesnake and try to figure out what happened. Lee’s dad, Hal, showed up, and we told him about our adventure that morning. With close analyzation, we could put it all together. The big snake had just eaten a full-grown rabbit and then apparently decided to take refuge in the box. The snake tried to crawl through the camo webbing, but because of the rabbit in its stomach, the snake got stuck halfway into the box. It was stuck and couldn’t back up — no reverse.

The snake weighed 12 pounds. I decided to give it to my brother, Michael, and he ate it.

I have since put doors on all the hunting boxes… snake-proof doors — since none of my hunting buddies wanted to hunt with me until I did.

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