Want a rattlesnake skin on your wall? Here’s how to do it.
I was in Baja, Mexico one summer with my family when one morning we came down to breakfast and there was something rattling under the table. No joke, there was a coiled rattle snake under the table.
My uncle chopped its head off with a shovel and kept the rattle but my family, to this day, wished we had kept and framed the body. It was a big rattler.
If you have a story like this and want to keep the snake you killed, here’s how.
Please be careful out in the field; we are by no means persuading you to go out in search of rattlesnakes…but if you do kill one and want to keep it, here’s how.
First you remove the head. My uncle did it with a shovel, but you can cut it off with a knife like the video. Make sure you are wearing big boots. BE CAREFUL OF THE HEAD. It will still bite even though it has no body. Reflexes are crazy.
Next, use scissors to cut the skin off. The snake’s body will still be moving before rigor mortis sets in, so it’s probably better to wait a few hours. After you slice it, you can pretty much peel the skin off.
Then you gut the rattler like you would a fish, to get the meat ready to cook. Rattlesnake tacos, anyone?
Before you tan the hide, make sure you clean it very thoroughly. The solution to tan and clean the skin consists of half alcohol and half glycerin. The snake hide will sit in the solution for 2-3 days. Shake it up a few times each day.
To tan the hide, pin the snake skin down on a board. Let it dry for a week.
After you dry it you can glue leather, or cloth on the underside and either hang it or use it for decoration. Then pop the rattle back onto the end of the tail and you’ve got yourself a rattler trophy.