Picture of How to Skin and Clean a Dead Snake
So you've got a dead snake- now what?

Learn a useful skill, and leverage roadkill for fun and profit.

A companion to How to Cook a Snake.

Step 1: Acquire Snake

Picture of Acquire Snake
This is probably going to be the hard part.

Snakes do a fine job keeping the world free of unnecessary rodents; don't kill them unless absolutely necessary! That said, if you do kill a snake, or find one dead, don't let it go to waste.

The snake in this Instructable was run over by a car; Eric found it a couple minutes later, its heart still beating, in the process of expiring by the side of the road. Since we knew both time and cause1 of death, and refrigerated the carcass promptly, it was safe to eat. If you just want the skin, the time and mechanism of death isn't as relevant. Just be sensible, and make sure to clean yourself (and the snake parts) up properly.

A bit of internet research identified it as a probable Black Rat Snake, a non-poisonous Indiana resident.

1 Note that snakes can also die from eating poisoned rodents. You dont want to eat a snake dosed up with warfarin or other toxin2. Pay attention to context.

2 It's apparently fine to cook and eat poisonous snakes- cooking is sufficient to inactivate any venomous residue.
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We are BBQ-ing it!
how would you BBQ it? We'd like to BBQ our Copperhead
PrayingMantisEmilyGrace made it!1 month ago
So creepy! it still moves after being gutted!
piper12347 years ago
for God sake why r u killing snakes? they are useful to avoid all the cripple animals and plagues invade your homes :S besides all the living be deserve to live :S , if you find one dead is another story
Firstly you obviously haven't read it being as it is written multiple times that the author found the critter as roadkill. secondly where's this unwritten law of nature that everything thats alive *deserves* it in some way, sad to say some stuffs just gotta die if you wanna keep living.
You can say that again!!!!!!!!!! There on this earth for a reason.
your named after a berserker in the sea of trolls?
Ya I like Nancy Farmer books.
She didn't kill it, she found it dead, as stated in the intro.
Why does it have to be a snake!nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
zman12046 months ago
I am a 16 year old guy so this instructable is so thing awesome use of my time my friends call me when they run over snakes and other things I have gotten skilled enough to make a snake skin hat ( not completely snake skin) I only will do this to ones that have died of natural causes you can find them in the woods

The most discussing instructables ever seen, sorry

MoonR1 year ago

When I was a kid in the 1970s I lived in Taiwan and my parents and I would go to Taipei's famous "Night Market" on the weekends. In those days the mountains around Taipei were crawling with countless venomous snakes. Local legend has it that highly venomous snakes were released from a Japanese wartime experiment that had gone awry. Whatever the reason there were a lot of poisonous snakes and for a long time no one knew what to do with them.

The Night Market has different alleys, each with its own personality. "Snake Alley" is a narrow street full of food stalls selling dishes with snake (obviously) as the main ingredient. About midway down the alley there was a vendor who made a particularly excellent snake soup simmered with various Chinese medicinal herbs. The soup was said to detoxify your body and promote beautiful skin and overall good health. The reason for this claim was that poisonous snakes contain anti-venoms that can neutralize toxins and prevent the snake from poisoning itself. Those anti-venoms exist throughout the snake's body and are supposedly powerful detoxifiers that can remove all kinds of toxins from the human body. A man would bring out big venomous snakes caught in the mountains, kill them, and hang them by the head from a contraption that looked like an IV pole. With the dead snake hanging the man would slice it open from top to bottom with a quick slash, rip off the skin, then yank out the entrails (this is easier to do from an IV pole). Then he'd hand the snake to someone in the back who would quickly prepare your soup. All I remember was that the soup with the medicinal herbs was so good my 5 year-old self craved it every weekend! Although I haven't been back to Taiwan in over 30 years I still think about it once in a blue moon. Years later friends and family would visit us in the U.S. and bring snake soup in cans. I still remember that as a teenager my face always cleared up after I eat the soup (pimples and cysts both disappeared). I will be headed to Taiwan next year and plan to spend a few solid evenings indulging in Snake Alley!

m4iler1 year ago

How do you eat it? I suppose the spine and ribs are still inside the little bastard. I have a 27 years old boa constrictor (he was a bad hatchling, the keeper said it would live 10 years, tops). It's older than me and is 2.5 meters long. When he dies, I'll try to make the best of my life-long pet. Awesome tutorial!

my ball phyton died . i did all these steps not perfect lol but yea anybody wants to buy my snake skin . it was about 5ft tall i live on nyc .

knifeking1 year ago

if the snake is dead hrs than it will stink real bad..........you have to deal with it :)

Morte_Moya1 year ago

That is one very nice instructable! I love eating snake. Rattlesnake is by far my favorite! Great job.

This is great! Thanks for showing us all! This instructable has received a lot of attention.
Jakejb31 year ago
Looks like u cut yourself try to cut the snake
studleylee2 years ago
Very cool! I think this will work on Politicians too. Just have to drain the extra grease.....
O_o This just makes me cringe...I have two pythons. Why I clicked on this, I don't know. Curiosity I suppose. However, very informative instructable that I think a lot of people could find useful :)

Just not me :P
I don't have any snakes as pets, but I agree that it is very informative. 5/5
Can you keep the skin from rotting just by tacking it to a board or something and letting it air out or do you need to add something to help preserve it?
canida (author)  DuctTapeExtremeDude2 years ago
It depends on where you live, and how well you've cleaned the skin.

If humidity is super-high, you'll likely want to rub the skin down with borax or salt to keep anything from growing on the skin while it dries, and tack it down to something like a screen for better breathability. If you live in a desert, far less to worry about - you can just tack it out almost anywhere and it will dry nicely.

Just be aware that the skin will be crispy, not pliable - you've got to do a bit of treatment to make it soft.
Thanks! I've heard that if you put a skin over something and pull it back and forth so that it bends it will make it pliable. Would that work on a snake skin?
ill soon post a detailed segment on snake tanning soon you can make cool junk like me

Looks cool! I'll look forward to seeing how to do it myself. Thanks!
mattiemack2 years ago
http://www.instructables.com/id/Snake-Hide-accesories/ did somebody say snake hide? haha also heres what i do with the bones http://www.instructables.com/id/Snake-Bone-jewelry/
Shouldn't you be wearing gloves?
Profit? Gow
mcmonte2 years ago
It's the cloaca or cloacal opening.
lbrewer422 years ago
I once made a hatband from a copperhead that was stepped on by one of the bulls in the corral.
Schmidty163 years ago
you could cut off the head and take everything out and then put wash out the hide and put it inside out and use it to carry water
bpfh5 years ago
My SAS Survival Book says:
"Discard internal organs, which may carry salmonella.
Reptiles can be cooked in their skins. Large snakes can be chopped into steaks and provide useful skins. To prepare a snake, cut off head well down, behind poison sacs; open vent to neck keeping blade outwards, to avoid piercing innards, which will fall clear. Skewer to suspend and ease of skin towards tail."

The final phrase (yes, "of", not "off" - a typo probably) reminds me of skinning fish: Skewer through head or back, and peel the skin off... Otherwise, if the snake is roasted, the skin should peel off easier. Anyone for a BBQ?
HollyMann bpfh3 years ago
I love my SAS survival guide. I am hoping I don't ever need to do this - eat a snake that is - but if so, I will have some knowledge...thanks! You are brave Canida!
x3n0c1dal3 years ago
Anal vent is an incorrect term, as far as I am aware. I believe it's just anus.
memememefor3 years ago
always clean your dead snake
memememefor3 years ago
Ghattasdb3 years ago
Put it on a strip of leather and make a bracelet.
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