5-Foot Rattler Latches Onto Man’s Boot

Rattlesnakes can be frightening critters. But striking out and hitting a guy by surprise earned this Emanuel County rattler a hot spot on a Weber.

John Vescuso, of Swainsboro, was by himself penning some cattle on a friend’s farm the evening of Aug. 11 when a silent, but ornery, eastern diamondback apparently took offense to where the man was standing.

John was closing the gate on the pen when he felt something thump his boot. He looked down, and there was a 5-foot rattler latched onto his boot laces.

“I snatched back, and he was still on there,” said John. “I panicked there for a few seconds, and then I knew I had to get him off. The whole time he was trying to coil up around my leg.”

The truck was about 15 feet away, and John dragged the writhing snake, its head still attached to his boot, to the truck bed where he found a 3-foot piece of board with nails in it.

“I wailed on him and rammed him all kinds of ways,” said John. “I probably hit him 15 times. There are streaks 5, 6 inches long on my leg from those nails.”

When the carnage ended, the snake was still attached to John’s boot, so John cut the laces down either side of the snake’s head until he could wrestle it free with the laces still in its mouth. John’s boot and the board were wet with the snake’s blood and venom.

“I like snakes. I like to play around with them if you can see ’em and know what they’re doing. But if one just gets you without you seeing it or nothin’ that’s a different story. It scared the heck out of me there for a minute,” said John, before adding that the snake had no rattles.

John had plans to slap all 5 feet of the snake on a grill on Aug. 11. He’s tanning the hide to keep as a momento, although it’s unlikely he’ll forget this encounter.

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