Mike Gundy’s 8 helpful tips for rattlesnake hunting

One of the best moments of a rather bland first round of the NCAA tournament came when Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy tweeted this picture out during the Oklahoma State basketball team’s game against Michigan.

Yes, he was either actively hunting rattlesnakes during the Cowboys’ game, or at least tweeting about it.

Gundy met with the media Wednesday, and his newfound hobby was a hot topic of conversation. Some of the interview is in the video above, where he assures us that, don’t worry, he’ll be going on another rattlesnake hunt “in about a month.”

He also shared some of his collected wisdom on the art of rattlesnake hunting in that video (the longer version at the bottom of this post). Here now are some of his tips, should you ever find yourself on the prowl in an Oklahoma field. (Please note that these tips do not substitute for proper training in rattlesnake hunting.)

1. Always check your anti-venom supply

“I did check, and they have enough doses of anti-venom there at the hospital in Okeene to get a guy covered.”

2. Warmer weather equals more snakes to hunt

“The day we were there, there weren’t really that many snakes out. In the end of April, there should be quite a few.”

3. It helps to have guys named Todd and Wild Bill on your side

“The two guys I was with, Todd and Wild Bill … those guys are experienced. They gave me a crash course in about a 15-minute period.”

4. Rattlesnakes have three main defensive mechanisms

“One is camouflage and hide. That’s what they would prefer. Two is to run away. And then three, if they feel like they’re in danger, then they rattle and that means they’re in a predicament to where they’ll strike you.”

5. They have some special juju to tell how big you are

“They can sense your body weight and your size with their eyes. They have heat sensors. … They can determine how big you are. If you’re a small rodent, they’ll strike you. But if you’re big, if you’re a human, they’d prefer to not strike you.”

6. You don’t want to step on one

“I was told to look in a 3- to 4-foot circumference around your body before you step, and then look again before you step. That was the majority of the crash course.”

7. Wild Bill plays by his own rules, and that’s OK

“Wild Bill, once we got started, he didn’t look anywhere. He just walked. It didn’t bother him at all. So obviously he’s not worried about getting bit.”

8. The little ones are sneaky problematic

“When they’re little, they only have one rattle. So you can’t really hear ’em. And they’re not very smart yet, because their brain hasn’t developed. So they have more of a tendency to bite you if you’re bigger because they don’t know who you are. But the good news is, their venom isn’t very powerful.”

Got all that? You all be safe out there now.