Unexpected Visitor

Tom and Cheryl Turner killed this 48-inch timber rattlesnake while doing yard work.

The Ada News


When Tom and Cheryl Turner set out for some yard work Friday evening, the last thing they expected was a large timber rattlesnake would pay them a visit, but that’s exactly what happened.

“We went out to mow and I had just made a pass that way and came back around,” Cheryl said. “My husband was coming across (the lawn), he was going to open the gate so I could get in the backyard and he just happened to see it. It was laying between the cellar and pecan tree.”

Cheryl said her husband shot the snake a couple of times with little effect.

“He actually broke a shovel and a hoe and he had already shot the snake two or three times and it just wasn’t stopping,” she said.

After successfully killing the snake, the Turners placed it on the cellar to measure it.

She said the snake measured 48 inches in length which is close to the maximum size of a timber rattlesnake. They typically do not grow to more than 54 inches. She said the snake had 12 rattles plus a nub.

Cheryl said she’d like to warn people that rattlesnakes are in the area.

“We’d like to make people more aware that there are definitely more snakes this year,” she said.  “If you’ve got a rattlesnake this close to houses, that’s pretty scary to me.”

Cheryl said her and her husband keep their lawn mowed well, which is what experts recommend to keep snakes at bay. It is recommended residents keep lawns mowed regularly and keep areas free of clutter.

Tall grass and brush along fence lines and piles of tree limbs or discarded lumber are very inviting for snakes. Also, during the hot summer months, rattlesnakes seek out cool damp places such as under a house. Experts recommend sealing cracks and crevasses around homes. Rodents  can attract snakes as well.

During the summer, timber rattlesnakes prefer to hunt at night, but may venture out in the evening. They can be found in woodlands all over Pontotoc County. Western diamondback rattlesnakes, western pygmy rattlesnakes, western cottonmouths and copperheads are also found in the county.

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