How to Skin and Prepare a Rattlesnake for the Table

Rattlesnake meat is white, tender, and tastes like a cross between frog legs and turtle. While there are a lot of rib bones, a big rattlesnake will have a backstrap like muscle that runs the entire length of the backbone. Once cooked, that muscle will peel out easily, giving the diner a boneless bite of goodness.

By Michael Pendley

It’s best to leave them alone, but if you do get a fresh rattlesnake, you might as well eat it.

Let me start this blog post with a caveat. I hate to kill a snake. Any snake. I like snakes. Even the venomous speciels. I can’t count the times I’ve shared a western Kentucky fishing hole with a cottonmouth. Or squirrel hunted in a copperhead’s backyard. As long as I see them first, it’s all good.

That said, I’m a realist. I know that venomous snakes and small kids, or pets, or livestock just don’t mix. I know there are people who consider a dead snake to be the only good snake on the planet. From time to time, a buddy will call and report a recently deceased rattlesnake in case I want it. I usually do. While I might not kill a rattlesnake unless I have no other option, I’ll dang sure eat one if I get the opportunity.

Rattlesnake meat is white, tender, and tastes like a cross between frog legs and turtle. While there are a lot of rib bones, a big rattlesnake will have a backstrap like muscle that runs the entire length of the backbone. Once cooked, that muscle will peel out easily, giving the diner a boneless bite of goodness.

Think you might want to try one in the future? Here’s how wildlife biologist Joe Lacefield and I skin and process a rattlesnake for the table, T2T style. Save the skin for a hat band, a nifty wall display, or do like Joe and use it as a decorative backing for a self-bow.

1 | Always remove the head before handling a rattlesnake

Step 1. Remove the head. Dead rattlesnakes can still bite. It’s a nervous system deal, similar to a turkey gobbler that flops around for a few minutes after a fatal shot. I can’t stress this enough, don’t mess with the head. Don’t take any chances. If the head wasn’t removed by a shotgun blast, use a long-handled hoe or a machete to remove it from a distance. Use a long-handled shovel to pick it up and dispose of it safely, away from curious pets or kids. If you can’t remove the head from a safe distance, just don’t mess with it at all. While rattlesnake meat is great to eat, it isn’t worth receiving a bite.

Just like wild mushrooms, you might only get one chance to mess this up. If you aren’t confident in your ability to do it safely, find someone that is. Timber2Table is not responsible for any injuries incurred in this step.

Besides safety concerns, it’s important to always check your state and local regulations when it comes to killing or possessing a rattlesnake. They are a protected species in many areas. If you plan on gifting a rattlesnake to a friend in another state or area, check the regs in both places. Transporting a rattlesnake across state lines where they might be protected can result in federal wildlife violations.

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Mexico: Pemex Awards Cal Dive $188 Mln Worth of Offshore Contracts

Mb50's "Liquid Mud" Rant

Cal Dive International, Inc.  has been awarded two additional contracts from Pemex Exploración y Producción that are expected to generate combined total revenues of approximately $188 million.

The first contract is for the procurement, installation and commissioning of 47 kilometers of 20 inch subsea pipeline and associated tie-ins to an existing platform. This contract is expected to generate revenues of approximately $129 million and will utilize two of the Company’s vessels as well as a third party vessel. The offshore construction is expected to commence in the third quarter 2013 with a portion of the work expected to be performed during the first quarter 2014.

The second contract is for the procurement, installation and commissioning of nine kilometers of two medium diameter subsea pipelines and associated tie-ins to existing platforms. This contract is expected to generate revenues of approximately $59 million and will utilize a third party vessel and a…

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USA: Pangea LNG Seeking Approvals for Corpus Christi Project

Mb50's "Liquid Mud" Rant

Pangea LNG Holdings announced that it has begun the process of seeking approvals necessary to build a liquefied natural gas export facility on Corpus Christi Bay in South Texas.

Pangea has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Energy seeking authority to export up to eight million metric tons per year of liquefied natural gas to all current and future countries with which the U.S. has a Free Trade Agreement and intends to quickly file a similar application for LNG exports to any country with which the U.S. does not have a Free Trade Agreement in effect.

The project is located in the city of Ingleside on the La Quinta Ship Channel which is part of the Port of Corpus Christi. The project will be known as South Texas LNG Export.

South Texas LNG Export will be located on a portion of a 550-acre site which includes half…

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South Texas: Brooks County Battling Border Crime

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Mb50's "Liquid Mud" Rant

Brooks County, Texas is a less than five-hour drive from Houston, but the rural community of just over 7,200 people is facing an overwhelming amount of crime.

High-speed chases, smugglers and a rising body count has become a fact of life in a county made up largely of ranchers and farmers.

“We have a lot to contend with,” said Brooks County Chief Deputy Urbino Martinez. “It takes a toll.”

Houston’s connection to this rise in crime can be clearly seen in the 250 cars kept in the sheriff’s office’s impound lot.

“There’s criminal acts involving every vehicle that’s here,” said Martinez.

Martinez said 95 percent of the cars the county has seized this year as part of human, drug and weapons smuggling were originally stolen out of the Houston area.

“The connection between us and Houston, it’s almost like you would have to say ‘neighboring,’” said Martinez.

In addition to…

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