When the conversation flags at the pub this evening…

Not really on-point with a fishing blog, save for the fact that the man who said it was a keen angler, but this fascinating interview with the late American writer, outdoorsman and one-time hell-raiser,  Jim Harrison, throws up one of those trivia gems whose repetition  would make any of us sound like a real man of the (outdoor) world…

“Here the Harrisons started telling me about the rattlesnakes. At the dawn of creation, Mon­tana received a generous helping of them. Until recently, an ungodly amount of the serpents considered the Harrisons’ prop­erty home turf… In 2003, one rattler, startled by Harrison’s beloved English setter Rose, reared up and nailed the dog. Rose lived but was so neurologically damaged that Harrison had no choice but to put her down. This was war. On one sanguine afternoon, Harrison shot twenty rattlers. The creatures kept turning up until he hired a local snake guy to find their den, which was gassed. The snake guy filled two barrels with dead rattlers. The thing with rattlers, Harrison said, is this: you have to kill the alpha male. If the alpha male leaves the den and does not return, he will not be followed. Harrison smiled as though this had all sorts of other implications.”

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