By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News

VAN ALSTYNE (CBSDFW.COM) – Snakes are making an early appearance around North Texas. But one woman remains fearless when it comes to these slithery creatures.

Snakes around Van Alstyne know her as Bonnie Barnette.  “I try not to kill things just to kill things,” Barnette said.

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Barnette has a degree in Wildlife Preservation and Ornamental Horticulture. She likes the outdoors. But when she moved to Van Alstyne 14 years ago, she knew she’d have critters to contend with.

“Tarantulas, scoprions, snakes, coyotes, bobcats. And as more people move in, if you’ve got a little space, they’re going to take your space too,” Barnette said.

Barnette would usually see one, maybe two snakes a year. But in the last two years, Barnette has seen a dramatic increase in the number of snakes on her property, most caught right in her front yard.

She’s kept their skins as reminders.

“I’ve got 24 copper head skins from here. This hat band makes 25,” Barnette said, showing off her handiwork. She’s counted 18 copperheads in two years.

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Barnette thinks a neighbor clearing some nearby land may have put them on the move. She captured her latest copperhead just two weeks ago.

“This one was right at the end of my driveway. I tried to run over him first. He didn’t leave. I went and got my pistol. My trusty .22. Every girl should have one,” Barnette said.

Which is how the two foot long snake ended up in an ice cream container in the freezer.

“I would just kind of stock pile them in an  ice cream bucket. I tell people don’t eat my ice cream,” Barnette said.

You’ll find the ice cream container for snakes next to the bread and the container of frozen snake heads.

And, if you look in the fridge, you’re bound to spot the turkey tail feathers. Barnette likes to hunt and has caught a number of rattlesnakes on her ranch in San Saba.

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And, even though she wishes there weren’t so many snakes near her home in Van Alstyne, they sure have given her a lot of tales to tell.