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San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis has animal lovers and gun haters all aflutter. According to, he announced to all the world that his property is now down one reptile thanks to some quick work with a pellet rifle. Clearly, in the view of a number of commenters at his MyFace page, Mr. Willis lacks any semblance of humanity for so heartlessly killing what looks to be a 4-5 foot snake he found coiled on his patio. As someone named Auntie Clymax screeched, “So he’s proud of killing a harmless gopher snake. Yay! That just tells me he’s probably a big, cowardly pussy who beats women as well.” Q.E.D. The Niners list Patrick at a beefy 6’1″, 240 lbs., so he can probably handle himself quite nicely when it comes to on-line hostility. As for the snake, nice shootin’ there, Pat.

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  1. Actually, just displayed his ignorance. Gopher snakes are not dangerous. Feed on small rodents, lizards, etc.

    • Who gives a s**t. I find a snake coiled up on my back patio and it’s dying, no matter what kind it is.

      I’m a huge Patrick Willis fan and the dude is a country boy from Western TN who’s come from a shit background to make it in professional football. I hope he gives the PETA dicks the finger.

      • I would agree, when I lived in Florida I knew squat about snakes. If they stayed in the yard that was fine. When I found them on my Patio, in my Garage etc Mr. Snake had to die.

        I had to cleave a really big rattlesnake in half with a Katana (yes it really happened!) that got into my house somehow once.

        Snakes make good eatin’

        • I have an unspoken understanding with snakes (as well as many other annoying critters). They stay the #%&! off my property and I don’t hack them to pieces.

      • When I hear that statement, what I think is “Oh, they don’t understand biology or know how to tell a harmless snake from a dangerous one.”

        • I’d shoot a woodchuck if I found it in my garage too, Animal in the garage is NFG. Actually I had to shoot a woodchuck that was in my garage once…stupid thing ran in there for some reason.

      • That kind of ignorance reflects terribly on gun owners. If you want to wantonly kill wildlife, that’s bad enough, but to go around championing it on the world wide web makes us all look like knuckle dragging cretins.

        • Do you always go overboard like that? Look, if the guy felt a necessity to kill the snake, I’m all right with it. Saying it “reflects terribly on all gun owners”, is just batshit crazy.

          I wish he’d spared the snake, but I prefer to let it go; so should you. The world didn’t end and God didn’t strike him dead.

          For anyone looking for an alternative, Gopher snakes can make good pets, and they’ll keep your home rodent-free as a thankee for you. Grab it behind the neck, put it in a pillowcase for three days (tie the pillowcase or he’ll escape), and when you let him out, he’s yours. He’ll be calm and cool as a cucumber (LITERALLY). Ed Abbey did this to one when he was a forest ranger in Arizona, and he’d wrap it around his waist, and the thing liked to go about like that – with his head poking out between the shirt buttons.

          This works with blacksnakes as well, but Gopher Snakes sometimes will do a mimicry thing, trying to convince you they’re venomous. I saw one give a first-class imitation of a Sidewinder. A DEAD-ON imitation.

        • I agree. Apparently some people on this site want to give the anti’s more crap to use against us.

      • I give a s••t. What kind of man is afraid of a gopher snake? What kind of fool kills an animal that controls the population of rats and mice?

    • Well JPD, I would think that all the small rodents and lizards would be grateful to Pat for eliminating one of their predators in the area. Get over yourself.

      • Hey JSIII,
        I gotta know……how much lead did the woodchuck take if the woodchuck did take lead?

    • Ooooh! Check out all the hate (with more ignorance)!!!!!

      So, go ahead, have a field day, kill every little thing. Must feel good to be a REAL man. (snark)

      Being ranch bred, we have a little sense when it comes to what to kill and what may actually help around the old homestead.

      • You are full of it… Snakes scare live stock, so they all die. Period… What kind of ranch did you grow up on city boy?

    • Agreeing here.

      A western diamondback and a gopher have a passing resemblance but behave very differently, but heck – he’s a city dweller and probably believes all wild mammals have rabies.

      Black, ring and other snakes hereabouts keep the mice down and that’s fine with me.

      While there are cottonmouths and copperheads in the area, they stay near streams and there’re none near enough to worry. They’re also easy to recognize.

      I wave, and the snakes either skedaddle or not.

      Mice bad; whoever started the idea that mice are cool and cats uncool didn’t live in the country.

  2. Kind of surprised a pellet gun took it down… Now how does one cook a snake like that?

    • Fry it up. Skin, cut in sections, wash. Egg whites, milk, corn meal, little pepper.

      Peanut oil, fry pan. Fry it up like chicken strips. Makes great finger food.

      Texture is between chicken and fish.

    • Hryan, I have a cheap off the rack Crossman pellet rifle. .177 caliber that shoots north of 1000 fps depending on the ammo. At backyard ranges it would have no problem taking game up to and including raccoons. It’s definately not a toy and I have no doubt that at back yard ranges it could inflict a serious, even lethal injury on a person. All for 99 bucks and no paper trail.

      • I’ve got a Gamo Silent Stalker that I bought for just north of $200. Does about 1300FPS. Judging by the muzzle end on the pellet gun in the pics above, I’d say he has the same one (has a fake can to channel the report, since it can actually break the sound barrier).

      • My brother-in-law used a similar pellet gun to shoot one of a troop of raccoons that were terrorizing my wife’s cat. It fell out of the tree and crawled around in random circles, brain-damaged but not dead. I had to go track it down and finish it off with a baseball bat.

        Definitely not one of my favorite memories. You use what you got, but now that I have other options (borrowing a friend’s suppressed .22 being one), that pellet gun would’ve been my last choice.

        Besides, unless it’s a verified danger, live and let live. You and Patrick Willis can do what you want, but it’s not what I’d do.

        • How insensitive! Don’t you know the raccoon species was here before your cat?!

          You can never kill a nuisance animal, ever!

          Why you probably beat your wife!

          (sarcasm BTW)

        • @Michael B.
          I beat my wife? I’ll call her up and tell her that. It’s news to both of us.

        • I bet my Gamo 22 cal suppressed “Bone Collector” would dispatch that critter cleanly… I’m live and let live until it’s digging up my lawn… then that suckers toast… Plus if trouble came my way, I’d much rather be talking about a pellet gun then a firearm…

    • .22 shot cartridges were MADE for this job. As long as you’re within ten feet or so. I took down a mouse on a radiator in my apartment once with one. No other damage at ALL. Used a Charter AR-7.

    • Pellet guns – especially CO2 pellet-firing pistols – are ideal for snake elimination. They’re quieter than even a suppressed handgun, they’re light, and they’re cheap. The CO2 pistols generally have a decent sized rotary magazine of pellets, so you can shoot it twice, three times, or more if need be.

  3. Gun grabber should not be football fans so they are irrelevant lol

    Sending google-foo to find gopher snake recipes!

  4. mmmmmmmmm tasty stuff

    Gopher snakes are about like bull snakes not venomous but has the bad attitude

    but hey 4 to 5 does make a good meal

  5. I wonder if the same people complaining make sure they safely move all spiders, roaches, ants, rats, moles, mosquitoes, flies, etc from their property and make sure not to kill any of them.

  6. It’s great to see that in their personal life NFL players are not playing to and crying with the gun-grabber zealots in comparison to the NFL management.

  7. I’ve shot my fair share of snakes out at our lakehouse with a .22 LR.

    Anyone outraged by this is a D-Bag wuss that would scream like a girl at the sight of a snake.

    • I breed snakes, and I was upset about it…
      And no I don’t scream at the sight of a gopher snake (well, maybe with joy, any Pitouphis is a pretty rare find where I am).

  8. Scenario #1
    Spoiled helpless suburbanite totally loses her sh*t when she sees a snake on the patio, and calls an exterminator to kill and remove it. Public outrage: zero.

    Scenario #2
    Different homeowner sees the same snake on the same patio, and saves $75 by doing the exterminating DIY-style. This guy is immediately branded a barbarian, sadist, and wife-beater.

    Just like anti-hunters who love their pan-seared tilapia, they’re not sadistic wife beaters because they *pay* others to do the killing for them. Spoiled elitist scum.

    • No. Most of us herpetologist/herpetoculturist were irritated by him acting like he was a big badass for killing a harmless gopher snake. The animals was not a threat, not dangerous and not even inside.

      I’m pretty used to rural living; I’ve dealt with coons, cougar, bear, deer, elk, etc. back when I lived in CO. I’m not averse to shooting an animal that’s actually a danger or a nuisance (raccoons in the dryer vent for instance) but this really wasn’t. And then acting like you’re some mighty hunter for managing to kill a damn gopher snake is just sorta sad.

      • On one hand, I understand that many people who know about these sorts of things are upset because it is obviously harmless to you. To the uninformed, do they really want to rely on their knowledge of snakes to determine if it is poisonous or not (he is an NFL player after all…)? I lack knowledge of the subject, but I assume gopher snakes are not in danger of extinction? If so, while not really necessary for him to kill it, I wont judge him for doing so.

        • Me or the internet as a whole?
          I didn’t call the guy names, or call him a wuss, or threaten him. I was just irritated, particularly at the macho posing after killing a tiny animal. It isn’t like I strung up the rat I trapped and killed and acted like the great white hunter.

          That said, I feed animals ranging from pigs and turkeys down to newborn mice to my snakes and probably directly cause the death of several thousand animals a year to feed them, plus the animals I eat and wear. so I can’t work up a lot of moral outrage over simply killing an animal.

        • A gopher snake? Probably not. The biggest animal I ever fed to a gopher was a medium sized lab rat and that was a big meal for it. They could possibly eat newborn pups of a small breed I guess, like if you’re breeding Pomeranians or something…

    • Right on, Chris. It’s like when some yuppie in LA gets eaten by a mountain lion while cluelessly wandering the hills without giving a thought to the dangers, and then every cop within 100 miles shows up with an AR-15 (with a 30-rd mag) and they blow the poor beast to smithereens for going after an easy meal.

      These people view hunting as cruel and backwater, but heaven forbid a coyote or black bear strolls through their backyard…they’ll bring in the National Guard.

    • “Spoiled elitist scum”
      Mr. Dumm,
      You really should take a class on how to express yourself.
      Holding in your thoughts and feeling is bad for your health.

    • In Scenario #1: The Spoiled helpless suburbanite who totally loses her sh*t is not a public figure who posts what just happened.

      If you are a public figure they kick ya when your up and they kick ya when your down especially if you post it in public

  9. “As someone named Auntie Clymax screeched, ”So he’s proud of killing a harmless gopher snake. Yay! That just tells me he’s probably a big, cowardly pussy who beats women as well.””

    Remember, this woman drives a car on the same roads as you do and she will be voting for Hillary. Therefore, buckle-up and vote next election.

  10. The level of discourse in this once great country has devolved to outrage over something as mundane as this.

    Some people need to do something important with their lives.

  11. I have to come down slightly on the side of the snake lovers. If Patrick is a rural Tennessee boy then he knows what venemous snakes looks like and surely knew that this one was harmless to humans.

    A friend of mine hates the black snakes that visit her yard to go after the baby birds that she loves to watch. She is well armed but she doesn’t shoot them. She asks her husband (or me if I am there) to pick them up, put in them in a box and take them to a park near her house.

    My personal policy on wildlife is that if it’s not a threat to humans, domestic animals or something I would eat it gets to live.

    • He may not know a gopher snake when he sees one. Blacksnake, copperhead, water moccasin, sure, but not a gopher snake. In the east, while they exist and are not exactly rare, they’re seldom seen.

    • I know a few country boys that would never be able to tell the difference. Just because you were raised in the sticks, doesn’t make you an expert on all things wildlife.

  12. I’m well aware of the ecological benefits of snakes and appreciate their role, but if one finds its way onto my back porch I’m gonna send the little critter back to it’s Creator. I won’t feel happy about it, but I’ll take care of business.

    This guy really did nothing abnormal or uncalled for. I don’t understand the outrage.

    • I guess I’d have to question *why* you feel the need to kill one that’s simply on your back porch (assuming it isn’t a venomous one). What is it about seeing one that makes you want to kill it? Do you shoot every squirrel or bird on your porch? It’s a mindset I don’t get (unless you’re just really fond of eating snakes, and then go for it I guess).

      • To be honest, I’m really not all that fond of snakes, or the possibility of one getting in my house. I like them…at a distance. A dislike of snakes is a deep-seated evolutionary fear, or so I’ve read. I guess it’s irrational if the snake is positively identified as non-venomous and maaaaaybe I’d find a way to get the bugger to move along without harm, but I can’t make any promises.

        If I go into a snake’s den I expect to get bit…if one comes into mine, I’ll bite it, metaphorically speaking.

        If it was an endangered or threatened species I would give a call to the Turtle Man and have him take the snake to a new home.

        • Live Action!!!

          Way to keep this in perspective.. I think Pat’s just proud of his marksmen ship… He’s “City”…give him a break…

  13. San Fran, pretty sure animals have more righs than people.
    I am suprised hes not in jail. As a rule i try not to kill predators because they keep the rodents at bay. Often, however, the females in the house demand i kill suspected threats so that they do not return. A 4.5 foot snake seems like a threat to small pets, so sorry but Mr Snake would probably have to meet Mrs. Crossman.

    • When I lived in SF, my neighbors called the City asking them for advice or help in removing from their porch area a pigeon nest with eggs in it. The City responded the policy is that it is illegal for them to touch it if their are eggs or newly born pigeons in the nest.

  14. I’d kill the snake too. Venomous or not. To me, it’s nothing more than a pest, same as a roach.

  15. Hmmm. Attempt to move snake and risk being bitten by pissed-off animal, probably numerous times, or shoot aforementioned snake humanely then remove from property?

    Different strokes for different folks. Can’t say I’d try to move it, “experience snake bite” is rarely on my daily to-do list, and I ain’t Jeff Corwin…

  16. Seriously, why would anyone really give a f**k. I can’t believe all the idiots all up in arms in the FB comments and shocked, SHOCKED he would do such a thing.

    • He makes tons of money; THAT’S why they won’t let this thing go like rational adults. HE MUST BE PUNISHED for being a MILLIONAIRE!

  17. So, the bottom line is “it’s okay to watch a violent sport where there’s a constant risk of injury to human beings, but killing a snake is wrong.”

    I just cannot hold both those thoughts in my head at once.

  18. Those of you that were born with the knowledge of Herpetology and the gift of discerning a poisonous snake vs a non poisonous snake are awesome. You can let the next one go. This is where reality sucks for you…it’s a big snake, it’s in his yard…it dies. Sorry. Get over it.

      • Got it…I am studying up. Tonight. We all should be armed with this KNOWLEDGE to save the next harmless snake that wanders into our yards. What other INFORMATION do you suggest we laymen have in order to preempt the untimely death of an unwanted creature?

  19. A feral cat got into my house, tore it up before I could nail it, bloody mess.
    Maybe we could make a story of THAT and post it here as well, I could provide a pic of a cat and a 22 rifle

  20. Snakes will strike at you and cause a good bleed whether they are poisonous or not. Yeah, I think he should have let it live… but the comments from the “animal lovers” are really scary.

    When these people say they love animals more than people, they aren’t joking. This registered with me a couple years ago after I had a few spooky conversations with a vegan co-worker. Some of “those people” really do hate human beings to the point that they wold rather watch you die than any animal. They are a subset of real sociopaths.

    • A “good bleed”? Definition, please. Maybe it would, more likely just a little blood welling to the surface. Their mouths are really clean, too, because they swallow their fool whole.

  21. Hey, it’s one snake for Pete’s sake! Chill people. After all, he did it for the children…..

  22. As someone named Auntie Clymax screeched, ”So he’s proud of killing a harmless gopher snake. Yay! That just tells me he’s probably a big, cowardly pussy who beats women as well.”

    Yeah well, everybody can tell who’s obviously the pussy here!

  23. Yawn… Manufactured outrage on the internet perpetrated by holier-than-thou idiots.

    What – a – surprise.

    I bagged a nice raccoon in the back yard a few years back. Good thing I shot it too. Turns out it had rabies.

  24. This is a great time for someone to post a review and recommendations for pellet rifles. Cheap to buy and shoot.

  25. I don’t generally kill snakes unless they were a threat. No real point.

    People have a pretty irrational fear of them (just like people irrationally fear guns). They are also fairly easy to catch/handle if non venomous.

    If there was some valid reason to kill it (livestock of some sort perhaps) then who cares.

    I don’t condone killing snakes, but I don’t have a conniption fit if someone chooses to do so. Personal freedom and all. I just find killing them to be pretty pointless.

    Now being a professional football player makes this a really bad PR move.

  26. Who cares? Why even post the pics of your epic snake kill. People are so quick to take pictures and post everything they do everyday. Nobody cares what you had for dinner, or the snake you killed with a pellet gun. Post the video of you catching it with your bare hands after you poke it with a stick a few times. I might like to see that, lol.

  27. City boy? He grew up in rural Tenn. started working in the cotton fields at age 10.

    I’d guess he knows his way around the vast wilderness all you guys hail from.

  28. He took care of what he thought was a pest on his own property.

    People need to chill out. I am sure none of these critics have even killed a defenseless animal that posed no harm to them.


    • They’ll call animal control thinking the critters are released 100 miles away. If they only knew what happens to animals not on the protected list…

  29. Let’s see some of those people talk that shit to Patrick’s face.
    I liked that commercial he did for the credit card, quite a collection of tattoos on the arms.

  30. “I’m a humanist; I’d rather kill a man than a snake.”

    – Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire.

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