I am printing this letter exactly as it arrived, because in my opinon Joel is a remarkable person.
I was sleeping quite peacefully at 8am today when the phone rang and I discovered you had posted the letter I sent to you. I was making comment on your article written about the friendly 'gator (Croc) and did not think you would post it but that's fine. I would like to clarify one or two things I said and used the wrong terms.
Number one was the use of the word 'tame' I should have said 'docile'; my fault. Also I simply do not stroll into the woods and pick up the first snake I find; quite the opposite. The four pictures took about six hours to get. I find a snake; I then become acquainted with it. I always carry a frozen thawed mouse in a cooler. Snakes found around a rodent or rabbit trail are hunting for food. I give them the food and after it is consumed I become familiar with them. I have spent over seven hours on one sunny day attempting to become friends (so to speak) with an Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Finally I was able to handle it and get the information that I was looking for. There are no tricks and I do not have any special gifts. I am not nervous; I
don't expect to be bitten so I am calm.
In 40 years I have taken 57 tags and that is enough as far as I am concerned. Had I started
earlier with the method I now use I would be willing to bet I would have had less then five tags.
A few people are going to be upset with you for showing the pictures. It is their beliefs that the pictures will encourage young kids to copy my methods and I hope this does not happen. I just wanted to tell you that I am sorry for any flack you might take because of my letter to you.
Joel La Rocque