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Posted by T. Dean McInturff on January 12, 1998 at 00:42:28:
In early 1996, Mike Price and I decided we couldn't wait for the weather to warm up to go hunting, so we struck out on a half-hearted effort to Irion County, Texas. It was a short a trip, but turned out to be pretty funny, for us anyway.
We had been cruising an isolated stretch of road for a couple hours. It was around 10:00pm and we hadn't seen another car (or snake) for hours. We were about to pack it in when right at the bottom of a pretty tall cut, Mike spotted a rather large atrox (Western Diamond Backed Rattler). She was every bit of five feet long (gets longer every time I tell it) and very dark. We jumped out of the car to take a closer look. We decided to get the hook out and pull her out. After admiring her for a couple of minutes, we put her back at the bottom of the cut where we found her, got back in the car and proceeded to mark our field logs with the first sighting of the year.
Just as we started to mark our logs, I noticed headlights coming from behind. They began to slow...and then the blue and red lights came on. I commented to Mike what an incredible circumstance it was to have to show our hunting license on our first foray. When I looked over at Mike, I saw this "deer-in-the-headlight" look. I asked, "You do have your license don't you?" He nodded slowly back and forth. I said, "You are busted, dude".
It then dawned on me that this cop was going to get out of his vehicle right where we had deposited the rather large atrox. (I've always been taught to stay in the vehicle when approached by law enforcement.) I broke the rule and stepped out of my car. I pointed over to the cut and said "Be careful, there's a very big rattler right over there (pointing)". Turned out this guy was an Irion County sheriff who had only been there a couple of months. It also turned out that he was a black guy from Philadelphia!
He immediately started a mantra of "Oh shit, oh shit". He turned his back on us, whipped out his flashlight and between "oh shits" exclaimed "I ain't never seen no rattlesnake!" He started looking where we were pointing, still continuing his mantra. When he finally spotted the big girl, his mantra got a little more intense. Still with his eyes on the snake, he worked his way back to his car, jumped in and exclaimed "I'm gettin' the hell outa here!" That's when I said "Wait, what's your name?" He told us and told us then that he was from Philadelphia. He said "You guys be careful", and drove off.
He never asked us who we were or what we were doing. Mike dodged a bullet (no license) and we both got back in the car and laughed our butts off.