Large Copperhead

10:36 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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This morning we came within inches of a very large copperhead. I got a very close look at it, I think we need to find another trail to walk on. Or we need to buy snake boots.

10:58 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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I understand the creep out factor of finding a big copper head, though I would offer a couple thoughts if I may be so forward. There are copperheads anywhere in the east, so changing trails wouldn't be likely to decrease you chances of finding one. Snake boots only protect what they are covering, so they only provide a small degree of protection. A snake is not going to easily bite through a good regular leather boot. Good knee-high gaiters along with leather boots would be a good combo if you are concerned. Keeping aware of the path and watching out for them will by far provide the best protection. Thee really are not very agressive, and only strike out of last resort for protection. So unless you step on one, which can be effectively avoided by looking before you step, they aren't going to strike. Something that may help is that you are far, far less likely to be bitten by a venomous snake than getting hit by a truck, which is also avoided primarily by being observant.  

I would just hate for you to not get out as much or at all in order to avoid the chance of encountering one.

 

11:41 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks Gonzan, I understand what you are saying. I was just thinking about finding a trail that is wider. This trail is very narrow with lots of large rocks and fall downs. You have just enough room to place your feet ahead of you. On one side is the mountain, the other is a steep drop off down into revines. There just seems to be a concentration of them on this trail.

6:16 p.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Some trails seem more "snakey" than others, so then there's the added stress of concentrating on everything underfoot, one more expenditure of energy that has to be done.  On open trails I just keep my eyeballs open and go slow.  Around blowdowns and around rocks I especially take slow steps and look before I leap---I never put my foot down before seeing where it's going except rarely in thick brush, briars or doghobble.  There's nothing much worse than hiking thru crap and suddenly hearing the fast loud rattle of the pit viper nearby.  13 year circada?  Nope, it's grandaddy rattlesnake.

1:08 p.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Snakes will often find sunny places to warm themselves up early in the day.  In some areas with heavy tree canopy & foliage a hiking trail can provide a place for the sun to shine on the forest floor increasing the odds (among other factors) you will see snakes along a particular trail.

I have run up on Copperheads on the trail that just remained motionless as I walked around them.

1:59 p.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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My friend almost stepped on a rattlesnake once. He didn't see it at all. I took one look at it 6" away and lost it. If the snake had been looking at me it would have attacked. I must have looked like the sun in snake vision. Anyway it had just eaten a rat or something and just wanted to get out of the grass. Lucky for us. Biggest rattler I have ever seen.

5:51 p.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I was mowing summer before last and flushed a 6' long copperhead out of my grape vine. He took off in one direction, I took off in the other.

8:59 a.m. on June 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Explorer Robby said:

I was mowing summer before last and flushed a 6' long copperhead out of my grape vine. He took off in one direction, I took off in the other.

 You should have captured it, and reported it to your local / regional Dept of Nat'l Resources, or Field Service.

The largest copperhead on record measured 53-inches; a little more than 4 feet.

I'm sure it LOOKED to be 6 feet long.

________________________

 ~r2~

3:33 p.m. on June 5, 2011 (EDT)
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This is a moccasin I almost stepped on  while hiking the Buffalo River trail. It was lying perpendicular right across the trail, perfect position to swing around and strike. I tossed him aside with my trekking pole and went on.


DSCN1747.jpg



6:32 p.m. on June 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Not that we all carry around a measuring tape ....

But, a handy factoid to remember, is that a snake can  only strike to about 1/3 its total length.

Now, if you encounter a 20-foot long Anaconda, all bets are off.

~r2~

7:40 a.m. on June 6, 2011 (EDT)
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I may be over estimating it a bit. :)

I was more concerned with heading away from him than getting his measurements. The only thing on my mind at that time was getting to the shot gun.

 

9:36 a.m. on June 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Explorer Robby said:

I was mowing summer before last and flushed a 6' long copperhead out of my grape vine. He took off in one direction, I took off in the other.

 

Yeah, you should definitely have called to get that oneo n the record books, as any copperhead over 3 feet long is huge, and extremely rare.  Gotta' get your name in the books any way you can, ya' know?

;)

December 20, 2014
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