Copperhead

In the woods, I worry a lot more about a tree falling on me or a bolt of lightning or almost anything besides a snake. They’re there, and one could possibly hurt you, but so can a thousand other things. That’s the outdoors- the woods aren’t a safe, sterile indoor environment, nor would I want them to be. All the things that live and grow in the woods are what makes them interesting. A copperhead is just as much a part of it as that turkey.

So is the tree that might fall on you or a kid (much more statistically likely than a snakebite,) but I don’t want to kill every tree in the woods.
I’m familiar, I’m in the woods 6-8 times a week for the last 40 some years. I’ve seen most of what it has to offer. I don’t walk around skeered of snakes, I’ve about got hit by a few tho. I ain’t never had a tree or a limb fall even near me, so I don’t give a lot of weight to those statistics. I did used to really enjoy watching Venom ER. About every 3rd jack wagon treated and on life support thought he was the snake whisperer too lol ! If a young un got popped by a snake I gave a pass too, I’d feel really bad for a long long time myself.
 
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Thread starter #24

blt152

Senior Member
Man I hope you wasnt thinking I was trying to lay a guilt trip on you, because I wasn't. You asked how your fellow sportsman felt and I answered. I could care less if you killed it or kissed it. That's just the way I think, I try to look out for the next fellow and I value a kid alot more than a snake. I don't kill everything in the woods I see, but I have set up real tight on a roosted bird, way before daylight when you cant see or use a light, and found a chopperhead right there REAL close when it got light. Now if you don't kill it and have to come back next morning and get bit, that's a self inflicted wound. It doesn't matter if its your fault or the snakes, your going to pay the price. To each his own...you asked and I answered honestly.
No harm no foul. I'm sure on 925 acres that is not the only copperhead. I will never condemn a man for him doing what he feels is right. My best friend who works on the lease with me is deathly afraid of snakes, all snakes poisonous and non poisonous. If he would of walked up on that snake no doubt in my mind it would be dead and I would not say a word to him about killing it. I'm too thick skinned to take offense. We all are entitled to our beliefs, likes and dislikes. I did ask for your thoughts and appreciate your comments.
 

Ihunt

Senior Member
I seriously doubt anyone in your club will ever see that particular snake again. Killing him would have just saved a few rats, mice, birds, etc. Had he been in my yard, I would have killed him. In the woods, he’s safe.
 

GregoryB.

Senior Member
I try to let them live. Been in the woods all my life (52 now) and have never even had a snake strike at me. As a kid in West Va I grew up catching fish bait in the creeks, woods and rivers. I have walked up to within 2 feet of rattlesnakes in AZ before I saw them and they still didn’t strike. What if is the ultimate justification.
 
The only times I find it "necessary" to kill a poisonous snake are when the critter is moving MY direction and I cannot quickly relocate, or when the snake has taken up residence in something on my property around where my wife might wander or my grandkids play.

Otherwise I just detour around their stationary spot (if I even see the dang thing), or back up and wait for them to go their merry way if I spot one in motion.

NOTE: I might make an exception and shoot a water moccasion - those are just mean snakes and seem to just want to bite!
I find Copperheads to be much more aggressive than water moccasins. In the swamps I come across moccasins all the time and never has one struck at me (but I don't attempt to swat at them either. Just let them go about their way.
 
In the woods, I worry a lot more about a tree falling on me or a bolt of lightning or almost anything besides a snake. They’re there, and one could possibly hurt you, but so can a thousand other things. That’s the outdoors- the woods aren’t a safe, sterile indoor environment, nor would I want them to be. All the things that live and grow in the woods are what makes them interesting. A copperhead is just as much a part of it as that turkey.

So is the tree that might fall on you or a kid (much more statistically likely than a snakebite,) but I don’t want to kill every tree in the woods.
The increasing number of dead Hemlock's along the creek banks have me looking up more so than ever before. I came within 30 ft of gettin' took out on Tellico a month ago.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
Staff member
The increasing number of dead Hemlock's along the creek banks have me looking up more so than ever before. I came within 30 ft of gettin' took out on Tellico a month ago.

Since the hurricane down here, you have to be doubly cautious. Weakened and leaning trees are everywhere, but even worse are the big limbs and treetops that are just hanging on by a thread and can fall at any given time. The woods and swamps are full of traps now.
 

Mark K

Senior Member
Since the hurricane down here, you have to be doubly cautious. Weakened and leaning trees are everywhere, but even worse are the big limbs and treetops that are just hanging on by a thread and can fall at any given time. The woods and swamps are full of traps now.
Last week of turkey season I was sitting in the “swamp” at our local and one fell about 75 yards away. Decided right then that gobbler wasn’t worth it. He shut up anyways when the tree fell. (It was a nice blue bird day with a slight breeze too)
 
Since the hurricane down here, you have to be doubly cautious. Weakened and leaning trees are everywhere, but even worse are the big limbs and treetops that are just hanging on by a thread and can fall at any given time. The woods and swamps are full of traps now.
You are right Nico. I was down there last year for the 1st quota hunt at Chickasawatchee and the place looked like it took a heavy bombing. Unbelievable, I will not go back for at least another 7 years (by that time I might be too old to hunt).
 

Mark K

Senior Member
I don’t think the swamps will ever be the same. Doubt there’s any way they could get in to clear them and the trees won’t rot away before my children pass on.
The only good news is the pines are being select cut and burned. A lot of critters are now safe in the swamps and will have plenty of natural browse when they venture out. I know of at least 4 gobblers in one very small area that made it to next season. Hopefully all the hens get bred and have a successful hatch. The storms were bad, but I really believe the numbers of animals will increase because of it. Even the fallen trees in the swamps are blooming.
 
The increasing number of dead Hemlock's along the creek banks have me looking up more so than ever before. I came within 30 ft of gettin' took out on Tellico a month ago.
Yep. Cataloochee has been horrible with them the last few years. I got caught in a bad storm with high winds way up on Lost Bottom Creek a couple years ago, and dead limbs and dead hemlocks were falling all around me. Pretty scary. I found a rock overhang to scrooch up under til the storm passed.
 
There are a lot of folks who get all bothered by snakes, venomous or non-venomous. The really is, folks using their cellphones are in much greater danger than snake bites. Florida has had one fatal snake bite in five years but on average 250 people are killed by folks using cellphones.

You Georgia residents have been way ahead of Florida in reducing death/injury by distracted divers. Florida just outlawed texting while driving. About time, eh?

When I was in Vietnam, we’d listen to AFVN Armed Forces Radio. Every 30 minutes or so they had a public service announcement that went: “Leave snakes alone. If you leave snakes alone, they will leave you alone. Leave snakes alone.” That was 49 years and six months ago and I can still hear it in my head!
 
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