Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick: Grabbing rattlesnake was 'pretty dumb'

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Jeremy Roenick spoke about his viral video of him getting rid of a rattlesnake at his Scottsdale home. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Jeremy Roenick spoke about his viral video of him getting rid of a rattlesnake at his Scottsdale home. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Roenick acknowledged Tuesday it was “pretty dumb” to pick up a rattlesnake. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Roenick acknowledged Tuesday it was “pretty dumb” to pick up a rattlesnake. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The 47-year-old former Arizona Coyote posted a video on Twitter Sunday that shows him using golf clubs to trap an angry rattler. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The 47-year-old former Arizona Coyote posted a video on Twitter Sunday that shows him using golf clubs to trap an angry rattler. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
NEAR SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Retired NHL star Jeremy Roenick acknowledged Tuesday it was “pretty dumb” to pick up a rattlesnake at his Scottsdale-area home.

Still, the self-acknowledged adrenaline junkie and practical joker said he’d probably do it again.

The 47-year-old former Arizona Coyote posted a video on Twitter Sunday that shows him using golf clubs to trap an angry rattler. The video then shows Roenick briefly tease his terrified wife and son with the snake before tossing the reptile over the wall bounding his property.

“You get really good stories out of being stupid sometimes, and I find myself being stupid lots,” Roenick said.

Roenick has several rattlesnake stories; he said he has picked up rattlers “10 to 15 times.”

Once, Roenick said he freaked out his hockey friends in Las Vegas by placing a rattlesnake in a cooler. Another time, he said he chased a fellow golfer with a rattlesnake on a course. (“He freaked out. Scared to death. Couldn’t hit a ball the rest of the day.”)

He has other animal-related stories. In 2015, he tried to tackle an alligator on a golf course.

On Sunday, Roenick said he was practicing his golf swing when his wife made the discovery. She found the snake while moving boxes in the garage of their guest house.

“My wife screamed from the guest house, ‘There's a rattlesnake up here!’ I'm like, ‘There's no rattlesnake. It's not rattlesnake season.’”

Roenick’s son recorded the snake-wrangling incident.

[READ MORE: Former Coyotes star Jeremy Roenick takes on angry rattlesnake]

“You have got to be cautious of them, there's no question about it,” Roenick said. “[But] they don't have arms or legs. They can only be so dangerous. Just stay away from their mouths - which kind of sounds pretty dumb. But I guess it's pretty dumb trying to catch a rattlesnake in the first place.”

Snake experts agree with Roenick on one of those points: picking up a rattlesnake without training is dumb.

"I understand he was entertaining the guy taking the picture with the camera, but it would have been horrific, worse than any injury he ever received in hockey," said Russ Johnson of the Phoenix Herpetological Society.

"Doing that, and then throwing the snake like a helicopter blade, that is wrong on so many fronts. It's an animal and doesn't deserve that," Johnson added.

Johnson said he considers the incident animal cruelty and said it sets a bad example for the safe handling of snakes.

Roenick brushed off the criticism.

“You're always going to get the naysayers and you're always going to get the whiners and the crybabies. They're going to find something wrong or at fault with everything that you do,” Roenick said. “You know, 90 percent of the people out here would have cut that snake's head off and thrown him in the garbage. I kept him alive, even though I gave him a good little toss -- they're very durable animals by the way.”

Roenick said the snake landed in an open desert area.

"There's like 45 acres over there. There's not much over there," he said. "It'll have a better life over there than it will over here." 

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