Have you ever

Thread starter #1
Seen a copperhead this fat? A gentleman I know was bush hogging and came across this 43" fat boy and brought it to me to tan. As they always say, pictures don't do it justice. It's a solid snake.

 
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Anvil Head

Senior Member
#2
Nice one!
Back when I was working, one of my crews came across and captured a beautiful copper right in the middle of the lower creek trail at Cheatum Hill National Battlefield Park in Marietta. This is a very busy walking park year round. This one was just a hair under 5 foot - biggest I've ever seen and I've caught and handled several hundred (used to supply several zoos before the law changed). They thought they had caught a small boa, because it wrapped around the arm of the one that picked it up. Luckily he had the presents of mind to pin and pick up carefully. Very docile specimen and had apparently had just eaten another snake since the bulk was almost full length. I checked it out a bit, no scars or damage, took some pics, then released in a very remote safe area. Was a very fine specimen and would have brought a nice coin back in the day.
Did have to later school my field crews on snakes and how to deal with them.
 

Anvil Head

Senior Member
#4
Great camo .... gets them stepped on a lot. Most folks never even see them.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
#5
Nice one. Ya`ll have a lot more copperheads up yonder than we do down here. I did catch one that was around 4 feet long over close to Cuthbert several years ago.
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
#6
That's a grown one for sure! I killed one on a jobsite one day that was 48". It came after me when I went to grab a crosstie from a pile, and I decapitated it with a shovel. Tanned it and made a hatband that I wore for years. Never in the rest of my life seen another one within a foot of that size.
 
Thread starter #8
That's a grown one for sure! I killed one on a jobsite one day that was 48". It came after me when I went to grab a crosstie from a pile, and I decapitated it with a shovel. Tanned it and made a hatband that I wore for years. Never in the rest of my life seen another one within a foot of that size.
48" is HUGE, I've seen or killed a couple at 42-43", big snakes.
I ran over one back in the 90s that was an even 4 feet. I rounded a curve and there he was and I didn't really have time to react other than to run him over. He popped like a balloon and totally ruined what would have been a great skin.
 

Anvil Head

Senior Member
#9
Gotta aim for the head.....
Coppers are my most favorite snake. Have kept a few in the past. They are normally pretty passive, but like any wild animal that thinks it's threatened......it's fight or die and will get aggressive. Thing is, they only have one self-defense weapon. They are usually pretty frugal with their injections and really have to be threatened to give a full dose. Usually they just inject just enough to kill small creatures like mice/rats, etc. and on some food targets like frogs they tend to "dry bite" with no poison at all. (We did a lot of testing on this back at UGA many moons ago.)
Most full grown adult coppers are around 3' to 3.5'. The bigger ones have led a charmed life and stayed away from humans as much as possible. They are one of the prettiest snakes out there after a fresh molt.
They are a very efficient vector control so don't kill them unless you just have to. Better to just relocate to a more remote area and let be.
 
#10
48" is HUGE, I've seen or killed a couple at 42-43", big snakes.
Yep. In fifty years of stomping around in the woods, that's by far the biggest one I've seen. The second biggest was a good foot shorter. Most of them I see around here probably average around 30". Don't see nearly as many in general as I used to.
 

dtala

Senior Member
#11
a house painter buddy was telling me he killed a big copperhead at a job. I told him if he killled anymore big ones drop em off to my house. Came home next day and there sat a paint can on the front steps with a dead 38" copperhead in it. Same thing the next day. Dang nice skins too.
 

GLS

Senior Member
#12
Many moons ago, I was an hour and half from the trail head on a backpack fishing trip into Slickrock Creek when I walked across one that stretched head to tail across the trail. I don't know how I missed stepping on it. It would have been a miserable trip out of the gorge had I been bitten. Back then I could move pretty fast with a pack on my back.
 
#13
Many moons ago, I was an hour and half from the trail head on a backpack fishing trip into Slickrock Creek when I walked across one that stretched head to tail across the trail. I don't know how I missed stepping on it. It would have been a miserable trip out of the gorge had I been bitten. Back then I could move pretty fast with a pack on my back.
It's a pretty miserable climb out of Slickrock without a copperhead bite. :) I haven't fished it since I was a young man. Used to be some bruiser browns in there.
 

GLS

Senior Member
#14
I never caught the bruisers. I could see them from high spots in the trail. Caught plenty of smaller fish, though. I was with a buddy that caught an 18" one on a fly rod--baited with a live hopper. ;) On one of the trips, we ran into some locals that came in by boat from the lake. They had eyeball-popping big fish in their creels all on spring lizards. I always came in from Tellico, but friends came in from Yellow Hammer. I "discovered" it by reading about it in Sports Illustrated, November 13, 1972. A Stream of Fond Memory by Ellington White. Not a single road came near it and I have seen it rise 2' after a storm and the water be as clear as it was before it rained. At the time, log foot bridges crossed it so we weren't trapped. All brown trout and you know what that means about the ease of catching them. ;) Gil
 
#16
It's a pretty miserable climb out of Slickrock without a copperhead bite. :) I haven't fished it since I was a young man. Used to be some bruiser browns in there.
Still does but lot of foot traffic makes the big boys very skittish....and just like the upper Chatooga towards Ellicotts', the foot traffic has gotten congested (you can tell by all the trash they leave behind). Trails went from goat size to App. Trail size over the years.
 

GLS

Senior Member
#17
I would have thought the road closures leading to the trails would have cut foot traffic. On the other hand, there's been a huge population increase since I fished it last. One time we camped at a ready made site with plastic tarped lean-to's where Stiffknee Trail hit the stream. Big mistake. The raccoons had it zeroed in and we were up all night chasing them away as they boldly and noisily tried to find food. Later that trip we saw a bunch of "old" retired Forestry Service guys (probably 10-15 years younger than I am now) hike in with packs, chainsaws and tools to improve the log bridges. They volunteered to do the work. One of the remarkable features of the old trails was that they appeared to be corrugated in places because of remnants of the old narrow gauge logging railroad's cross ties that were the base of the trail that followed the stream. Gil
 
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