When my family moved out into the country in 98 we bought a “Texas snakes” book and that thing was a bible for me. My Father shot a rat snake thinking it was a cottonmouth and after that we got educated. A month after that SNAFU we figured out which snakes to avoid and which ones you could actually handle safely. Living on a creek, we had rat snakes, Mississippi water snakes, coral snakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, etc… We never killed another one again.
4 years later I was working at a dog kennel in sugar land and our feed room got taken over by rat snakes in the upper storage racks. The woman-folk employees freaked out about it and I explained that rat snakes are beneficial and free rodent control that keep the mice and rats out of the dog food. They all refused to go in there under the condition that we called animal control to have them removed. My ass climbed up there and caught each one and released them into the cow pasture behind the kennel. That stunt got me the nickname “the redneck crocodile Hunter.”
Before releasing the first one I walked into the office with it chilling wrapped around my arm. The reaction from the ladies was… PRICELESS.