It was over in a matter of minutes. A dozen diamondbacks, ranging in size from 2 to 4� feet, had been captured. Despite continued gassing of the den, no more snakes appeared. Clearly, the hunters were disappointed. "It's getting a little late in the year," Longley said. "A lot of snakes have gone their separate ways for the summer. In the cold months the rattlesnake is a social creature, hibernating with others, but in the warm months he hunts and lives alone."
On the ride home Longley said not one of his Cowboy teammates had accepted his invitation to go on a rattlesnake hunt. He can't understand that, nor the discomfort of those who visit his Dallas townhouse and find a live rattlesnake in a living room terrarium.
"Everyone worries about getting bit," he said. "Shoot, I've never been bitten. It would be embarrassing to get bit." Turning the radio dial to a country music station, he steered the pickup off the dirt road and back onto the highway to Abilene. In the back, the crushed ice had all but melted away.