Be Careful !!!!!

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by Jack Terpack, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Jack Terpack

    Jack Terpack Active Member

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    Location:
    Hodges, South Carolina
    I like to think that most of the people on this site are a little more careful while pursuing our chosen pastime. I try to follow sensible rules in any action or activity I take part in especially when out in the wild by myself. BUT!!!!!

    Yesterday I was cleaning up an area around a huge old pecan tree in the corner of one of my small plots. At some point in the past someone must have had livestock of some sort in this area as there has always been an old rotting feed bunk under this tree. I have used it as a makeshift workbench on many occasions. IN fact, i had a pile of about 12 or 15 5 foot tree tubes laying under it. I decided to remove the old bunk and take the tubes a a couple of T-posts back to the barn. The first couple tubes had been used before and squirrels had gotten used to storing pecans inside them. I couldn't believe how many pecans they could pile in there. It was kinda funny. As I got further down in the pile, something moved a lot of soil into several of the tubes. Whatever did it was quite adept at filling almost the entire tube. I would shake them and tap the end to get all the dirt out. The last two had some grass and weeds growing over them and were much more difficult to pull out. As I grab one, it was heavy and found that, like the others, was loaded with soil. The last one was just as heavy. As I stood it up and pounded one end on the ground, I could feel the dirt sliding through the tube.

    It was more than a little surprise when a 5 foot copperhead snake fell out and landed on my feet. I have no idea what he thought , but my 70 year old reactions were amazing. I didn't know I could jump four feet straight up in the air and 5 feet to the rear and land in the seat of my tractor in one move. I don't remember ever doing that before. I hadn't practiced it. The snake slithered a couple feet into some leafy matter and almost vanished. When my heart settled down, I walked over and it took me a couple minutes to find him. HE was right there, but almost invisible. He didn't move at all for ten minutes. It was like he had no idea what had just happened either. I kept an eye on him and loaded my gear on the tractor and fired it up. That was a little more than he could stand and he took off like a rocket. I don't fear snakes at all, but I give them their due. I am also thankful, because it could have been a much more serious encounter.
     
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  2. willy

    willy Active Member

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    Wow, you got skills and luck! Thanks for sharing.
     
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  3. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    If I had them on my place I would wear gaitors all the time.We have prairie rattlers 10 miles east of me and copperheads closer,untill just a few years ago I never heard of anyone getting bit by a copperhead in our county and now know several.Glad you're ok
     
  4. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Great story! (not that it happened, but you made it enjoyable to read).
    We had a similar story this summer... but without the acrobatics that you achieved. The FIL, my oldest boy, and I had just finished up our second day of working cattle and was standing in the driveway BS's before we went our separate ways. The FIL looks down and said "that little #### about bit me". I look down and right in the middle of our little 3 person circle was a snake. I thought it was a rat snake so I'm reaching down to catch it when something catches my eye as not right. Turns out to be a small massasauga rattler that only had a couple of rattles on it. Every single one of us had been in his strike range for a good 10 minutes! Got kind of lucky.
     
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  5. dtabor

    dtabor Member

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    Location:
    Lake Elmore, VT
    Hardiness Zone:
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    So glad I dont have those things around me here in VT. Probably wouldnt be doing as much outdoor stuff as I do now. Im sure living around them you learn to deal but dang! Worst thing Ive had to deal with is ground bees. This year only one nailed me. Only snakes are garter and orange racers. Nothing poisonous.
     
  6. 1yellowdog

    1yellowdog Member

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    Hardiness Zone:
    Central MN - Zone 3b
    After the interaction with the Cooperhead, I don't have anything to complain about. I hit a ground wasp hive last weekend with the mower, and I thought it would have been a pretty funny observation watching me attempt to out run the wasps, but your 4 foot vertical leap would have been a sight to see.
     
  7. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Thankfully copperheads are not very aggressive. I stepped over one three times going between my truck and trail camera before I realized he was there. That's when I realized I needed glasses. Picked up a glass bottle by the roadside and had a little one inside it. Stepped over another on my way to a tree stand. Didn't know it was there till it moved. Never did hunt that stand that year. Messed me up!
    Only snake that ever struck at me (and hit me) was a moccasin. Aggressive little buggers! Hit my boot thankfully. I would have never made it out of the woods had he connected. Hunting the Hatchie River Refuge in Tn. dealing with moccasins was just part of it. I rode a mountain bike in to my hunting spot. If I came out for lunch I had to cross a levee that crossed a swamp. In October the moccasins would lay on the chat rock to sun themselves. One time there were four of them laid out on the road in such a way that I could not go around them. I peddled as fast as I could, lifted my legs and rolled over a four footer. Hit him dead center which was probably a mistake. He rose up on both sides with his head about where my thigh was. Never did that again!
     
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  8. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I've had my run-ins with a few big timber rattlers, I don't mind snakes but those big timbers are ugly. I know it's no longer politically correct to kill snakes, but the rattlers in Northern PA are really multiplying. I wonder if the day will come when some will need to be removed?
     
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  9. Jack Terpack

    Jack Terpack Active Member

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    Copperhead are pretty docile unless they feel cornered or threatened. Moccasins are a whole nother story. They are extremely aggressive. I used to fish bass tournaments around this area and ha e had them try to climb in the boat on several occasions.
     
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  10. Jack Terpack

    Jack Terpack Active Member

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    We used to go to the rattlesnake round-up in Emporium every year. I guess they don't have them any more. Norm Erickson used to be the conservation officer in that area. He took several of us up Rich Valley one day and showed us a rattlesnake den. There had to be a thousand snakes in that one large den under a rock that was the size of a 3 story building. That was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in the wild.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  11. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

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    I had the same happen. Pre fishing for a tournament. My wife was in back of the boat when one crawled up onto the steering cables. She about knocked me off the front of the boat. Never said a word...just pointed. Fortunately it was cold and he was a bit sluggish. I got him back in the water with the longest fishing rod in the boat and that danged thing swam right back at me. I don't have them at my place and I'm thankful for it!
     
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  12. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

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    I remember thinking that if he slipped into the hull where the steering cables enter the hull then we're leaving the boat!
     
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  13. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    They still have them;
    Morris Annual Rattlesnake Roundup


    RATTLESNAKE ROUND-UP

    June 9 & 10, 2018

    26 rattlesnakes turned in.

    [​IMG]
    Yellow Snake

    1st place 52" Kyle Dencenburg

    2nd place 49" Jade Ulmer







    [​IMG]
    Black Snake

    1st place 51.75" Don Kohler

    2nd place 51" Clint Rogers
     
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  14. nchunter1989

    nchunter1989 Member

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    Location:
    erwin,nc
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    Yep once you ever encounter a decent sized timber rattler,moccasin or copperhead, a lil Black snake or king snake is nothing at all.. we have timbers on the farm & always keep a lookout in the summer. I hate to think of the moccasins down in the bottom 20 swampland.

    :[​IMG]


    That was the one & only timber we have seen in 5yrs there. Was in the access road we use for several stands, decided it was a health risk.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
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  15. Bfree

    Bfree New Member

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    Location:
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    I Was at my property this weekend, and drove around cruising the trails making sure no one has put any unwanted deer stands up on my land. I have to cross my creek several times. As I came up to a wide section of the creek that I have to cross, I noticed an orange ribbon water snake. I sat in my SXS and watched it in the creek. As I got ready to take off I noticed a 3 foot water moccasin slithering out from under me, then I saw a second one coming out nearly as big. I reached for my pistol but I had forgotten it at camp. So this morning I took another ride down to that same water hole. They were both still there. I shot at the first one (I dont think I hit it) but it was in the water and moving side to side, then it went up into the banks. I looked around and the 2nd one was slithering on the rocks about 2 feet behind my SXS. I got it, a 9mm rat shot to the head. Needless to say it was a sobering experience. I walk those trails alot, and sometimes with just hiking boots. I had my snake boots on today
     
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  16. rusty1034

    rusty1034 Member

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    Location:
    St. Lawrence County NY
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    Are they poisonous?
     
  17. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    All the above snakes are and it sure seems like the copperheads are spreading from catscratch area to mine east of him.Any poisonous snake I see I will kill,sorry but I don't have on my land but I figure it decreases my chances of getting bit or one of my kids
     
  18. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Hey now! Don't blame this on me. Watch CNN, they'll tell ya... the poisonous ones are Trump's fault.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
     
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  19. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I remember catching a large copperhead once as a kid. We had grabbed it by the tail and pulled it out of it's hiding spot and put it in a 5 gallon bucket. Had no idea we was in danger. Took it to the house where we tormented it with a stick....we was like 12 years old or so. My buddies dad comes out and asked what we was doing. We told him we had a snake in the bucket and we dumped it out at his feet. He about had a heart attack right there. He run in the house grabbed a shot gun and reduced it to pieces. We then got an education about what snakes we CAN play with and those we should stay the heck away from.

    We tend to have a black snake out in a barn of ours every year. He keeps the mice under control.....the wife refuses to go out there. She thinks I should kill EVERY snake.....I just shake my head. Fastest I have ever seen her run was when I picked up a corn snake in the yard and I just turned around.....whoosh! She was gone! Ran into the house and slammed and locked every door on the way...., "You keep that @#$% thing out there if you know what's good for you!". I just stood there laughing!!!
     
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