it was a copperhead night

dirtlooter

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I was at my son's house a couple of days ago, they have two very small boys and several small dogs. They live out in the country and have the normal critters around their place like everyone else around there. The boys play in the fenced in back yard where they have a swingset and slide to play on. There is a large wooden deck with the normal chairs and tables for outside to enjoy the outside, especially when BBQing. at the edge of the deck is a narrow flower garden with of course, flowers. The boys play hard out there and being boys, are big time into worms and bugs or whatever else that they can find. We were there for several hours as my son cooked chicken on the grill and we watched the boys as they acted like little boys. We left about thirty minutes before dark and the tired boys finally gave up the playing and came inside.

About 10 minutes later, the father-n-law found and killed a rather large copperhead at the edge of the deck steps. Then last night, armed with a flashlight and 410 shotgun, they killed eight copperheads around the house. Not a normal thing for their place and the mother was pretty shaken up. We also had a friend get bitten a couple of days ago by a ground rattler and he is still having issues with that. Years ago, at my grandfather's place, a young cousin was bitten by a copperhead near dark. That week they killed nearly thirty of them around the place. They were everywhere, even up in the peach trees and a grapevine. I cut a couple open to see what they were eating since several had bulges in them. they were after the cicadas or 17 year locusts but after the cousin getting bit as well as one dog and a cat, they paid the price. I figure that there was a reason for so many being around my son's place but his three year old and 5 year old didn't need to become victims nor the small pets.

Last month, my oldest grandson had a rattlesnake strike twice but his rubber workboots and his pants legs saved him. Another friend of ours was bitten as he put up his lawn mower right before dark. Here in Arkansas where we live, I don't ever go off the porch or anywhere after dark without a light, it is just stupid. Heck, we have even had copperheads and small rattlers come into our homes. My mother-n-law almost picked up a small coiled copperhead with some paper towel thinking their dog had failed to get out in time, it moved slightly and she about died on the spot.
 

smokeythecat

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Yikes! Moving to Ontario will take care of the problem. They only have pygmy rattlers up there and they are rare. But seriously, I'm glad the kids didn't get bitten. I also would have sent the beasties to snake heaven. My neighbor said he killed a 4' long copperhead recently. I't's my hope it was a northern water snake. Next time I get to Arkansas, I'll make sure its mid winter. Its been a few years since I was down there.
 
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Sure glad everyone is OK, Be Safe! :icon_thumleft:

May God Bless!
 

smokeythecat

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Oh, please define "rather large size" copperhead please. Just curious how big it was.
 
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dirtlooter

dirtlooter

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it was about 3 ft long. 3 feet is just about as big as a copperhead gets around here. I have heard and seen one that was 42 inches long but most are shorter than that. We have some water snakes that get killed for looking like a copperhead, we call them Rusty Moccasins. Most of the rattlesnakes and copperheads killed around here are non poisonous snakes. we have a lot of people that don't have a clue about nature.
 

smokeythecat

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M neighbor is a city slicker. I think it was a northern water snake due to the size, it was only 20' away from a spring head. I had a baby copperhead strike the heel of my tennis shoe once walking up the walk to the house I lived at 40 years ago. I didn't get bitten. It died.
 

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Wow, that's a whole lot of copperheads. I found one in my garden a couple weeks ago, it had pulled back to strike me but I got the heck out of there.

I picked up a pair of snake leggings last week off Azon for $38. I'll be wearing them in the garden from here on.

But hearing that your father-in-law killed 8 in one night around his house, makes me paranoid as heck! I need to get my shotgun out and do the same thing around my place!
 

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Sorry to hear of the copperhead and rattler problems! They may be staying under the house or a nearby outbuilding to keep cool during the heat of the day. If you throw mothballs under the house and under any outbuilding (inside if they can't be put under), that should run them off and within a few days with no sightings around the house, then spread some mothballs along the fence of the fenced in yard. Although the ones exposed to the rain won't last long, they might last long enough to deter them from returning this year.
 

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Read a news clip the other day of a man right across the state line in Alabama that was bitten by a copperhead and he is having to learn to walk again. I bought snake boot 2 days later.
 

smokeythecat

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I'm going to buy snake boots soon. I have the wrap around gaiters, but they like to get loosened up. What about a minnow trap with something nice inside for them? I was trying to get minnows here one year, I got a few, but the water snakes got in the traps. They drowned. On land, you'd have to check them fairly often. Or just go night hunting! I think the big sticky rat traps would nail some, but you might get some birds, but not if you set them at dark and retrieve at sunrise.
 

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A mongoose would be fun but can’t get one.
 

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We have copperheads everywhere around here. In fact the locals years ago called this ridge I live on "Copperhead Ridge". Every dog has been bite once (1-twice). Cut the grass short during a hot summer day and then grab a flashlight and the copperheads are everywhere. Most are 2-3 ft. long but a few approach the 4ft. mark.

My neighbor killed a HUGE rattler a few weeks ago in the shrubs by the house. He skinned it and is making a rattlesnake hatband and belt. Then they ate some of it and froze the rest for later. There was a lot of meat on the ol'boy.
 

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That's just frigging scary. I don't mind snakes and I have a couple of corns but poisonous snakes, no thanks. Here in Ontario I've only ever seen two massasauga rattlesnakes and that was years ago. I couldn't imagine living with these copperheads since I have two kids myself.
 

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Last week one of my neighbors was golfing here at the lake.He saw something on the golf-cart path that he thought was a long stick.As he approached it,it curled up and started to rattle.
Last year here at the lake a kid was bitten by a Rattle snake.They rushed the kid away to local hosp.
A few years ago,out fishing in my boat here, a water moccasin repeatedly attacked my boat. I Chopped that sucker up good with the prop.
Twenty years ago stream fishing for trout.A timber rattler tried to get me.But a 357 Colt Python took care of him.
 
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Gare

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Dirtlooter PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE NEVER INVITE me over. I MAY FORGET THIS POST and want to stay SAFE !! LOL BTW you and your family stay safe !!!
 

Rawhide

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Old ways are best in these situations. A balance must be maintained or you will be held hostage in your own home. Snakes only bite to say get away from me. But Copperheads like Timber Rattlers get mean during hot weather and will chase and bite you just because they can.

I was taught by a great uncle who showed me to give them a wide path and keep a eye on them when found in the woods. But killing them to kill tem is a waste as they serve a purpose.

The reverse of this rule was when they got near or in the house. Yes they will come in the house after rodents you may not know are there. Keep a clean house folks and this will lesson this problem. I have stepped on a snake(black) in the middle of the night in a dark kitchen and it wa no fun.

The simple and very effective way to rid your yard of copper head is simple. You kill one and cut it up into pieces. Places those pieces away from the house all around your property to create a barrier. The fact you have them that close to the house me you have a large population of them. When you only see one a year it means you have a very large one eating all the others lol.

You smell cucumbers or things are just a little too quiet, start looking around. In the service you learn quickly to watch where you sit or place your hands. Snakes do climb, but dont want to tell you they can climb trees too lol.
 
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dirtlooter

dirtlooter

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the last that I heard, my son had killed two ground rattlers and nine copperheads but I haven't talked to him is several days now. My dad keeps minnow traps (wire types with inverted funnels) along the edge of his house and shop where they crawl into them. He usually gets about a handful of ground rattlers and copperheads every year that way. He used to check them everyday but with his house building, I don't think he even thinks about them at all right now. I saw a shriveled up mouse, a lizard and a copperhead in his the other day, they looked like they had been in there for a while. I like the minnow traps as they allow you to transplant critters elsewhere if you want to. Years ago when my oldest grandson was about four, his other grandfather caught an armadillo in a live trap. Mark asked him, "Gunner, should we shoot him or turn him loose?" Gunner grinned and said, "Yeah, shoot him and turn him loose."
 

uglymailman

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Sorry to hear of your snake problems. Don't ever depend on hearing a Rattlesnake's rattle to warn you. If there is any wind you won't hear them until you are within striking distance. Every Copperhead I ever came across was aggressive. I've had them come over 50' TOWARD me in the timber.
Wife and I lived in Brownwood,TX. for a year and went 2 days to their "Rattlesnake Roundup". They say they were the first to do that. Must have had 6-8 oil drums full of the things. They gave many demonstrations to educate you about Rattlers. One that was impressive was a guy tying off the legs of his pants so a snake couldn't crawl up them, get in a sleeping bag and LET others put a dozen snakes in there with him and zip up the bag. This was to show if you were camping and woke up with a Rattler in the sleeping bag with you, if you took your time ans SLOWLY crawled out of the bag you wouldn't get bit. The problem with this is if I woke up and there was a snake in the bag with me, he might die from the 40 foot fall, I'm sure I'd jump at least that high.
We did see a guy who was in the snake bagging part. They have a platform w/4' mesh sides. It's maybe 12'X20'. They give you a gunny sack w/10 snakes. There is a bagger and a catcher. The Bagger keeps the sack on the ground so the Catcher only has one snake to worry about. The Catcher has a 2' Golf club w/a wire or bolt at a 90 deg. angle to make an "L" shape. He pins the snake with this then has to grab the snake w/both hands and place the snake into the gunny sack. They have Amateurs and Professionals. The Amateurs take about a minute to catch and bag their snakes and the Pros do it in less than a min. If they don't touch the snake with both hands they get a ten second deduction. I saw a guy get bit on the second joint of his index finger. The MC said "Don't worry folks. He was only barely bitten by a small snake, he'll be fine." I saw the guy the next day and his arm was as big as my thigh from the elbow to his finger tips. Hate to see what getting bitten badly by a big snake would be like. Good luck.
 

Rawhide

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Yes being bitten is bad for most. We have a green Mojave and they are very pretty. They move first then rattle. I have dug my holes within 4 feet of one watching me with no bite or even attempt to strike. Back east I have see copperheads within two feet of a walking trail and a group of people walk by and not get bitten. But yes copperheads and timber rattlers are aggressive. I was once chased by a large diamondback rattler as a boy in California. If you spend time in the wilderness you are going to come across snakes and much more.
 

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