Author Topic: Garter snakes?  (Read 9665 times)

Offline ogreboy

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Garter snakes?
« on: July 25, 2009, 11:25:38 PM »
I live in Portland Oregon and these are the only type of snake I have ever seen in the wild.  I actually see them quite often while out hiking and camping and I was assuming that they would be edible like a rattle snake.  I would like any advise on weather or not to attempt to eat these snakes.  These are not poisonous, so that makes it a little safer I think but I was wondering if there was anything in particular to worry about when cleaning and cooking.  I have never cleaned or cooked snake before but I have seen it done on video and I get the gist of it.  Thanks for the input.


Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2009, 03:59:47 PM »
Most N. American snakes are edible, & these are as well.

Clean them as you would any other snake, skin & take off the head & I usually cut them off about an inch or so before the vent on the tail. Remove any guts & cut them into snake "steaks".  I usually soak anything wild overnight in salt water, but it isn't necessarily a have to.

Offline ogreboy

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 10:09:50 PM »
Good to hear, thanks.  What is the reason for the salt water soaking?

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2009, 10:29:26 PM »
Good to hear, thanks.  What is the reason for the salt water soaking?
I do it simply to remove any blood left in the meat & I should have mentioned "iced salt water".

It's one of those things I learned as a kid hunting with my Granddad & Dad...it's just kind of carried over.  Some people do it & some people don't, most animals are allowed to bleed out as much as possible after slaughtering & I guess soaking in salt water is the small game version of that.

I've never read anything "formal" that said it had to be done, that's just what I learned to do.

Offline ogreboy

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2009, 10:16:55 PM »
I don't think I'll have iced salt water while I'm backpacking, so I guess I'll try it without.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 12:13:56 AM »
I don't think I'll have iced salt water while I'm backpacking, so I guess I'll try it without.
LOL...what?  You don't carry a cooler full of ice when you're backpacking, you're just not hardcore then. ;D

Offline ogreboy

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 08:11:37 PM »
If there is snow then I could give it a try.  We used to make snow cones with cool aid and snow when I was young.  Snow is a wonderful natural resource where you can get it.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 08:20:08 PM »
It doesn't have to be ice water.  I do that because I usually start squirrel hunting when it's still hot & when I get home & clean the critters I throw the ice in with the salt to cool the meat quickly.  Then I let them soak overnight in the fridge.

If you're going to use the meat right away you can get away with skipping the cooling part.

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2009, 01:30:38 AM »
How would you go about getting the snake? Trap it? I caught them as a kid but, the how seems a little silly. We would wait until midday and then turn over every large rock, fallen log, etc. It really doesn't seem that efficient but, as a kid who cares about efficiency?

Offline ogreboy

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2009, 07:44:59 PM »
I usually see a couple just on the trail.  Its easy enough to just grab them.  I wasn't planing on going hunting just being an opportunist, but that is a good question, what kind of traps can you use for a snake?

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2009, 07:51:09 PM »
How would you go about getting the snake? Trap it? I caught them as a kid but, the how seems a little silly. We would wait until midday and then turn over every large rock, fallen log, etc. It really doesn't seem that efficient but, as a kid who cares about efficiency?
There aren't many ways to "hunt" efficienty...sorry.

What you did as a kid seemed to work so use that.  I don't have any short cuts to snake catching, sorry.  I'm an opportunist when it comes to snakes, I grab 'em when I see 'em.

You might try laying out a piece of plywood & leaving it be for a while.  Check it periodically, I've found snakes under old wood quite frequently from time to time.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2009, 08:03:19 PM »
Had a baby green snake out sunnying at my shop door today.

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2009, 08:26:24 PM »
Not trying to be a smart ass here but you mean venomous.  No snake is poisonous (that I know of).  Which means you can eat them.  Some mushrooms and nightshade are poisonous.  Some snakes and spiders are venomous. 

Just remember poisons are passive, venom is not.

I've eaten rattlesnake.  If it were any worse it would be poisonous.

J

Offline ogreboy

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2009, 08:51:09 AM »
Not trying to be a smart ass here but you mean venomous.  No snake is poisonous (that I know of). 
Thanks smart ass, I meant venomous. ;)
And for the record I knew you could eat rattle snake, I just meant you have to be more careful with them.

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2009, 09:02:09 AM »
Thanks smart ass, I meant venomous. ;)
And for the record I knew you could eat rattle snake, I just meant you have to be more careful with them.

Sorry  :-[  I guess my wife the grammar teacher is starting to rub off on me.

Yeah I knew what you meant about the rattlesnake.  They taste horrible though!!

J

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2009, 03:57:08 PM »
Snakes often come of their holes early in the morning and pick a warm place to sun themselves.

The faster they warm up, the better thay can hunt.

Asphalt is a fave because it's black, which is partly why you see so many snakes squashed on roads.

But rocks and logs serve well as sundecks, too.

Oh, BTW--rattlesnakes have musk glands in the tail. The musk is pretty noxious. If the meat is poorly cleaned and gets contaminated by the musk, it's about as yummy as boiled skunk with the hair on.

If rattlesnake is properly cleaned and cooked, though, the meat is tender and flavorful.

If anything, I'd say it tastes just like elbows.

Offline ogreboy

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2009, 11:18:38 PM »
Snakes often come out of their holes early in the morning and pick a warm place to sun themselves.

The faster they warm up, the better they can hunt.

Asphalt is a fave because it's black, which is partly why you see so many snakes squashed on roads.

But rocks and logs serve well as sundecks, too.
Sounds like hunting in the morning.

Offline hd45hunt

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2009, 07:38:17 PM »
Snakes are cold blooded and rely on the sun to help regulate their body temperature (hence all the sunning themselves).  You may not always need cold water, but the salt would help with any taste and should not be any trouble to bring along while out scavenging.  Even as small as a 20 min soak in salt water will, IMHO, improve the finished product (taste wise). And I'm sorry, but rattlesnake does taste somewhat like chicken! ;)

Offline Who...me?

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Re: Garter snakes?
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2009, 08:15:31 PM »
When I was a kid my granpap had a hunting camp way back in the mountains.  He would take me out all the time rattlesnake hunting.  The only tool he used was a snake hook.  I still have it hanging in the garage.

http://tongs.com/p_snakehooks.aspx