header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
69°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 17
1993 - Dale Poe, 61, developer of Stevenson Ranch, killed in car crash [story]
Stevenson Ranch fountain


Commentary by Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel
| Sunday, Jul 9, 2017

When I was younger, I learned to hunt in Africa. Native Masai taught me how to throw a spear and how to fight off an attacking lion and win.

Many years later, I joined a hunting and gathering group in the Amazon basin, and my African hunting experiences came in handy. I made fishhooks so we could fish, I gathered palm grubs and chocolate flowers, made baskets to carry my delicate fruit back to camp, and boiled piles of stinging nettle to make it edible. I collected chocolate beans and traded them for rice and vegetables from people in boats passing my little village.

I also learned from the African tribesmen how to catch a snake.

The worst snake we have to deal with in California is the rattlesnake. It’s best to avoid a venomous snake if you can, but even the rattlesnake is edible.

You might not think of snake as something you really want to eat, but if there are no grocery stores open due to a natural or man-made disaster, you might think about eating a snake. I’d eat a snake before eating a bug any day. And lots of bugs are definitely edible.

Snake meat has many health benefits. It has no artificial hormones or other additives that our packaged meat has. Snake meat is consumed regularly throughout the world. In China they even make a snake wine. Snake meat is lean. It has a low fat content, fewer calories than red meat and higher protein content. The texture is similar to fish, and it has a bit of a fishy-chicken taste to it.

In Africa, they hunt and eat African rock pythons. These snakes can attain more than 20 feet in length. They can feed an entire village for days.

The men who can bring back a 20-foot python are revered. Python hunters work in pairs. One is the puller and one is the “hole guy.” The hole guy crawls into the hole to face the python head-on. When he’s bitten and the snake is holding on tight, the puller pulls out the hole guy, and the snake comes out with him. Then, all of the tribesmen carry the monster snake back to the village.

But let’s back up for a moment. No one wants to get bitten by a snake. So, the hole guy wraps up his leg or his arm – whichever body part he plans to offer to the snake.

The hole guy can use layers of cloth or leather or animal hides to protect his appendages. The thick layers are tied on with leather straps. Only then does the hole guy slowly lower a leg or an arm (or his entire body, if necessary) into the snake hole. Python snake holes are huge – more like a little cave than the golf ball-sized snake holes we see on our trails.

The hole guy uses sticks on fire to light his way to the snake. Once he’s within reach of the snake, he’ll offer his protected appendage, and the snake will strike. It is then that the hole guy will call out to the puller, or motion to him with his foot or by other means. If the snake is huge, it will be difficult to pull the hole guy out of the hole. It could take six to 10 men pulling on the hole guy’s legs, and up to an hour to yank him completely out of the hole. Or if he has only a leg that he has offered to the python, they will have to grab his arms, head and legs to try to get him out.

Following our example of “noodling” for fish, the Africans have begun calling this activity “snake noodling.” Can you imagine noodling for a snake this way? You wanna noodle for your dinner?

If you really want to taste snake, you can always order it online and have it delivered right to your door. It will already be skinned and cleaned with the head removed, as well as the venom glands if it was a venomous snake.

Some people say it tastes like chicken. It tastes more like alligator to me.

 

 

Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel is executive director of the Community Hiking Club and president of the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy. Contact Dianne through communityhikingclub.org or at zuliebear@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. john weigelt says:

    Wonder if they are taking applications?

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Monday, May 3, 2021
After months upon months of restrictions and shutdowns, we are now seeing more and more opportunities available. Here in Santa Clarita, several of the programs, activities and sports leagues that were put on pause to slow the spread of COVID-19 are once again being offered.
Monday, May 3, 2021
Our City has long been hailed as one of the safest in the nation. In fact, the City of Santa Clarita was recently named the 4th Safest City in America by SmartAsset.com when analyzing violent crime, property crime, vehicular mortality and more.
Friday, Apr 2, 2021
When the City put the Santa Clarita 2020 strategic plan in motion more than five years ago, we knew it was an ambitious undertaking.
Thursday, Apr 1, 2021
Last spring, the City Council heard the community’s call to step in and preserve the landmark Valencia Ice Station. After months of renovations and updates, the 93,000 square foot building is almost ready to welcome the community back - to the newly renamed The Cube.
Tuesday, Mar 16, 2021
We have now reached the one-year anniversary of the shutdown of society as we responded to the threat of COVID-19.
Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021
Picture this…the sun has just set on another brisk spring day.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
On Monday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed that the State and L.A. County will be keeping the current masking guidance until June 15 to remain in alignment with the L.A. County Health Officer Order of May 3.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: Masking Requirements to Remain in LA County; 27,858 Total Cases in SCV
Los Angeles police have arrested a man suspected of igniting a wildfire that has so far burned over 1,300 acres and spurred mandatory evacuations as fire crews battled the blaze in steep, brush-filled terrain in a canyon community west of the city.
Arson Suspect in Custody as Crews Battle LA Wildfire
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has reported 9 productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley aka "Hollywood North" the week of Monday, May 17-23, 2021
Filming This Week in SCV: ‘Star Trek Picard,’ ‘Good Trouble,’ 7 More Productions
A new report published by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture and Claremont Graduate University’s Center for Business and Management of the Arts revealed disparities between earnings of L.A. County arts administrators that identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and their White counterparts.
New Report Highlights Income Disparities in Entry-Level Arts Organization Staff in LA County
Santa Clarita Valley’s six school districts could receive a little over $7.5 million from Los Angeles County to provide comprehensive COVID-19 screening programs at SCV schools.
CDC Funding to Support COVID-19 Testing at Schools
1993 - Dale Poe, 61, developer of Stevenson Ranch, killed in car crash [story]
Stevenson Ranch fountain
1938 - Brand-new Lockheed transport plane crashes in Agua Dulce; all 9 perish including 2 infants [story]
plane crash
1969 - Board of Trustees selects "College of the Canyons" name [story]
COC
The city of Santa Clarita Planning Commission is scheduled to conduct a public hearing Tuesday to further deliberate on the Sand Canyon Resort development.
Sand Canyon Resort Development Returns to Planning Commission
The CIF Southern Section and KAP7 International, Inc. announced a five-year partnership extension for KAP7 to be the official boys and girls water polo ball for all championship events.
KAP7, CIF-SS Announce Extension of Five-Year Ball Partnership
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan that would spend about $1.5 billion of the state’s $75.7 billion surplus in grants of up to $25,000 to support small businesses, according to state officials this week.
Chamber Urges SCV to Support Newsom’s Aid to Small Businesses
On Friday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed 17 new deaths and 583 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 27,842 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Studies Show Vaccine Appears to Be Effective Against Variants; 27,842 Total SCV Cases
Fourteen-year-old Andrew Jenofsky was the first in line to get his shot at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Thursday morning, as adolescents ages 12-15 were given the go-ahead to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
14-Year-Old First to Receive Pfizer Vaccine at Henry Mayo
Support for Israel was written across the signs and faces of approximately 100 demonstrators during a rally held on City Hall’s steps Thursday evening.
Approximately 100 SCV Residents Gather to Support Israel
The city of Santa Clarita received approximately 850 applications for its rental assistance program ahead of the program’s April 30 application deadline.
City Receives More Than 800 Rental Assistance Applications
Saddleback Butte State Park announced it is urgently searching for volunteers to become camp hosts beginning June 1.
Camp Hosts Needed at Saddleback Butte State Park, New Updates Announced for Mojave Area State Parks
Los Angeles County Public Health officials said it will review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's newly released guidance for fully vaccinated residents in order to make adjustments to the current County and state guidelines.
LA County to Review CDC’s Masking Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People
The city of Santa Clarita released an updated schedule for the Concerts in the Park series set to take place in July and August.
City Releases Updated Schedule for Concerts in the Park
1874 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez captured in Hollywood Hills [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance Thursday indicating that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume activities that were done prior to the pandemic.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: CDC Loosens Mask Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated People; SCV Cases Total 27,825
A total of 277 single-family homes changed owners during April in the Santa Clarita Valley as the as the tight inventory rose to its highest level in five months, though remained well below year-ago totals, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
SCV Median Home Price $795,000 Hits Record
After making numerous requests for correction for failure by the County Board of Supervisors to abide by various sections of the Brown Act, the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment was left with no option than to file a formal legal complaint.
SCOPE Files Legal Complaint Over L.A. County’s Failure to Abide by Brown Act
The case against a prominent Santa Clarita Valley Realtor who had been accused of a sexual assault stemming from a Las Vegas real estate conference last summer was dismissed, a court clerk confirmed Thursday.
Las Vegas Sexual Assault Case Against SCV Realtor Dismissed, L.A. County Case “Still Active”
Tommy's Boats - a national boat dealership brand with locations in Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Michigan - announced a new location opening soon in Castaic.
May 19, May 20: Tommy’s Boats Grill & Chill Hiring Event
%d bloggers like this: