My Drunken Rattlesnake Hatband

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by deMolay, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. deMolay

    deMolay Monkey+

    Last year my son killed a rattlesnake an brought it over to show me. He don't like them and I understand because he was snakebit a few years ago, he was skidding logs and forgot and reached under the end of the log to hitch the chain and bang he got hit.
    I asked him for the snake and he gave it to me. I went and got my little skinning knife and took the snake out to the picnic table to skin him. The snake was complete head still on and in good condition. This Hillbilly that was with the son tagged along and sat down across from me. I stuck the point of the knife in the snakes vent and he started wiggling a bit so I asked the Hillbilly to hang onto his front end. Well I slide the knife in and started to open up the snake. The dang rattlesnake jerked and popped right out of my hands and landed on the Hillbillys lap. Well I have never seen anybody launch straight up like a space shuttle from sitting on a picnic table like that gentleman. But I guess if somebody through a rattle snake with fangs and venom drippin off them into my lap I would vamoose pretty fast myself.
    It took me half an hour to stop laughin, along with everybody else. I was most apologetic to the man, but I do not think he believed me. Anyway I skinned him out and picked him down head tail and all.
    When I took him out of the jar after a couple or 3 weeks he sure looked good. He had this twisted crooked smile on his face like he was drunk. So anyway I have a drunken rattlesnake hatband for my little Drovers hat.

    GOG, Witch Doctor 01, Hanzo and 7 others like this.
  2. That's pretty neat, I've done a little brain tan, and chemical tanning of hides but never did snake skin. what did you use to tan the hide? What you wrote was a bit vague. I would really like to know.
  3. deMolay

    deMolay Monkey+

    Good Morning, I tried tanning a couple before with salt and stake them out on a board. But found they lost their scales and the skin was brittle. An old man gave me this recipe.
    Be sure of course and remove all meat and fat. Mix up 50% pure liquid glycerine and 50% rubbing alcohol in a suitable sized glass jar that has a good lid.
    Most people remove the rattles and the head. But I wanted them on there. Just make sure you remove as much flesh and fat as you can. Leave it 2-3 weeks and check on it shaking it now on then. As it absorbs the liquid it more or less sinks.
    Then get a large round piece of wood and wrap and flatten the skin as you wrap it around and around on itself. Tie it with some twine or string so it stays in place and put it somewhere shady and cool to cure.
    Then attach it to your hat after it dries sufficiently that the glycerine will not make a stain.
    So far no scales have fell off and it is still pliable. Be careful sewing it, it is very thin.
    GOG, Gator 45/70, oldman11 and 2 others like this.
  4. Thanks for the info. Always wondered how to do it. Not likely to find rattlers up here in MI. but I know we have cotton mouths. I'll have to try it if I get the chance.
    Gator 45/70, deMolay and oldman11 like this.
  5. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    That was a funny story! LOL! Thanks for the laugh! And, that is a very cool hat band too!
    Gator 45/70, deMolay and oldman11 like this.
  6. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Don't know how true it is, but I heard this many years ago.
    There's something in the rattles, a powder or such, that over time can cause blindness if they're worn as a hat band and the residue gets in your eyes.
    It may be an old wives tale, but you may want to research to see if there's any truth to it.
    deMolay likes this.
  7. deMolay

    deMolay Monkey+

    Well thanks for that I never discount an old wives tale, and will check it out.
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