|Extremely venomous Timber Rattler 60 miles from Dorchester in 2013.|
A hundred years ago this month, in 1916, Crete area farmer Ed Aksamit encountered a large rattlesnake while cutting alfalfa in Saline County.
Then he killed it.
The incident was reported in the "Days Gone By" section of last week's issue of The Crete News.
A century ago, rattlesnake sightings in Saline County -- while rare -- did occur.
Why do we mention this? Our June 1 post regarding the recent increase in garter snake sightings has produced just under 3,500 page views.
Since reader interest is obvious, we wanted to examine Nebraska's snakes more carefully.
The fact is, Nebraska has nearly 30 different types of snakes. This video by the University of Nebraska examines the state's eight most common snakes, including the garter and bull snakes, which are prevalent throughout Cornhusker Country.
Nebraska has four kinds of poisonous snakes -- the prairie rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, western massasauga (a small rattlesnake), and copperhead. The prairie rattlesnake is found in the western two-thirds of Nebraska and the other three in the southeastern corner.
While a few decades have passed since Mr. Aksamit killed the rattler in his alfalfa field south of Crete, don't let your guard down quite yet. In 2013, the Lincoln Journal Star reported that a deadly Timber Rattlesnake was spotted near at Burchard Lake -- about 60 miles southeast of Dorchester.
The Timber Rattlesnake, a dangerous breed that hadn't been spotted in the area of Burchard Lake since the 1980s, "will kill you," one snake expert told the Lincoln paper. "It has enough venom to actually kill a person.”
The Timber Rattlesnake -- described a “sit and wait” predator that often coils up and waits quietly for its prey to come within striking distance -- is native to next-door Gage County, though are found far south in the area and in Northeastern Kansas. The last population count indicates there are roughly 300 adult Timber Rattlesnakes in the general area occupying 12 den sites.