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Thread: Gotta remember not to attract attention near a water snake

  1. #11
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    Had a buddy hook a 4 foot cottonmouth years ago. Playing around and hooked the thing in the middle with a rattle trap. The edge of a paddle swung like an axe will do one in.
    :I would like to thank the builders of docks for giving me a place to fish and lose tackle

  2. #12
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    We used to keep a spiked wooden rod on the boat when fishing the reeds and buggy whips as more often than not they would come off the brush and into the boat and at that point it isn't a good idea to shoot them. At least according to 1 of my late uncles.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app




  3. #13
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    nerve racking for sure!!

  4. #14
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    Cottonmouth Name:  IMG_0704.jpg
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Size:  151.8 KB


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  5. #15
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    I was deer hunting the swamps of SE North Carolina many years ago. I was up the tree in my porta climber. I was ready to come down and lo and behold there was a 5 foot Cottonmouth coiled up at the base of my tree. Needless to say I remained in the tree for a bit longer hunting and then whacked home with a 270. Same swamp while clearing a dam/spillway before season almost got bit by a Cottonmouth. Hidden in some brush while using a machete. He bit the dust with a 9mm. Sheesh. Live in Ohio now and killed 2 baby Copperheads in my front yard last year. UGH
    John

    ď Go make an impact for Godís Kingdom today and everyday. ď

  6. #16
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    "D" is offline Super Moderator * Crappie.com Supporter * Member Sponsor
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    Best snake gun I ever carried in my boat was a single shot junior size .410. But my grandson turned 10 last year and I gave it to him.
    #Teamoveralls Travel Squad
    Remember, one mans "poor" catch could be another man's "great" catch.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by "D" View Post
    Best snake gun I ever carried in my boat was a single shot junior size .410. But my grandson turned 10 last year and I gave it to him.
    I did the same thing back when I was frog gigging in breaks in the Delta. I carried it to a gunsmith and had the choke sawed off it and put the bead back on it. It wasn't unusual to shoot a box of shells in a night.We have snakes. I refinished the stock and gave it to my grandson when he was 7.
    Likes "D" LIKED above post

  8. #18
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    The judge loaded with 410 does wonders. I was bit on the right butt cheek by a copperhead when I was 2 years old.Im 57 now,but I remember running back to the house screaming with the snake still snagged to me.......I don’t let them get that close anymore.
    Likes trypman1, "D" LIKED above post

  9. #19
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    We had a break that was loaded with frogs but no one would go in the for the snakes. We had to try it. We had to shoot 5 snakes off the beaver dam before we could drag the boat over it to get in the break. My buddy said he wasn't carrying no snake gun. He carried a Browning 12 gauge and 2 boxes of shells and used them all. I shot 2 boxes in my 410 as well. We did get a chest full of frogs though. Those were the days.

  10. #20
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    I'm sure plenty of you won't agree with me, but...

    I'm retired now, but I spent my career as a wildlife biologist, and over those several decades I worked with a lot of different animals in a lot of different places - including snakes from America's north woods and marshes to its southeastern swamps and sandhills to its central plains to its southwestern deserts and mountains to the rainforests of Central America. And when I wasn't working with them, I was searching for them - especially for snakes - for recreation. I've snake hunted extensively while living in MN, WI, FL, TX, AZ and Guatemala (where I lived in a tent in Tikal National Park for 3 straight years), and nearly as extensively in various other places where I visited for extended periods. I've photographed a huge diversity of snakes in natural settings, even took the first photos anyone had ever taken of live snakes of a couple of tropical species, I've kept snakes as pets and I've bred them.

    I feel VERY confident saying that I know snakes.

    And despite all of those snake encounters in all of those places over all of those years, I've never seen for myself nor heard of a single verifiable report of anyone else actually being pursued by a snake. The closest I've ever come to having such an experience was living in FL and having a few big, old eastern diamondback rattlers who apparently felt they had so little to fear from me or anything else they might encounter (one such lived within 100 yards of my front door) that they didn't alter course to avoid me; if they were crawling in such-and-such a direction and I stepped in their path, they just continued to come, (rightly) trusting me to get out of their way. Unnerving, to be sure, but with no hostile intent.

    When we talk about a snake being aggressive, what we really mean is that it's being DEFENSIVE. That might indeed include rattling (which not just rattlers do, by the way), hissing, lunging, musking and yes, even biting, depending on the species and the circumstance. They feel threatened and unable to safely flee, so they're standing up to the threat until they get a chance to escape. The classic tale about someone slapping at a snake in the water (which is usually a harmless watersnake but is nearly always assumed to be a venomous cottonmouth) with a paddle to try to scare it away and having it instead climb up the paddle or into the boat ISN'T a case of the snake coming after the person, but rather the snake being driven into a panic by what it perceives as an attack, and trying to find dry footing (if you'll pardon the expression) from which to defend itself.

    Truly, if you leave the snake alone, it'll leave you alone! If it adopts a defensive posture or other behavior, give it a little more room so it can recognize that it has an out, and it will (eventually, when it feels it can do so safely) take it. I promise you! If you're in a boat, see a snake swimming nearby and feel you just have to do something, then I suggest you use your paddle to gently push it away until it heads off in another direction. (It's really not necessary, though.) I have imposed myself on snakes MANY times, and even still I've never been bitten by anything venomous. On one memorably foolish occasion when I was a young man I even crawled into a western diamondback rattler den in AZ to get some better photos of the breeding activity going on inside, and accidentally passed - on my belly, mind you - very near a few that were coiled up out of sight just inside the entrance. On numerous occasions I would find a nice pit viper coiled on a log in the rainforest and I would take the opportunity to have my lunch sitting on the log a short (but safe) distance away. These creatures don't WANT to bite, I assure you, and do it only as what they see to be a last resort.

    But you know what the #2 way is for people to get bitten by venomous snakes in North America? By messing with them to try to move or kill them. (#1 is by messing with them to try to catch them or to handle them once caught.) Truly accidental bites is a distant #3. Dogs by their nature mess with small animals such as snakes when they encounter them, so they get bitten more often than people (but STILL nowhere near as often as they could be bitten if the snakes were of a mind to bite them), but they can be trained to leave snakes alone. I've spent many hours afield in venomous snake country with my German shorthaired pointers, so I always run them through one of the many clinics held throughout the south for "snake breaking," i.e. aversion conditioning, dogs. And I always look out for a dog until I know it's well conditioned, just as one would a small child. If you practice the following few simple rules, you will never get bitten by a venomous snake even in the snakiest places:

    - When in venomous snake country, don't put a body part - not a foot, or a hand, or a butt - anywhere that you haven't looked at first. Seriously. In all of my field work and play, I have NEVER worn big, heavy boots, snake gaiters or anything of the sort. I'm just careful where I put my body. It works great.

    - If you happen to encounter a venomous snake (or a snake that you think might be venomous), don't forget what I just said above. Where there's one snake there's often another, and another, and another, most of which you will never see unless you accidentally step on them or some such. (Pointing out the futility of killing those you see thinking that you're somehow making things safer thereby.)

    - And leave that snake alone. That's it, plain and simple. Don't use it for target practice, don't whack at it with a stick (or paddle), and sure as heck don't try to count coup with it (showing how tough you are by getting close to it) or catch it. Just leave it alone.

    ALL snakes are important parts of our ecology, you know. And once you understand a bit about them, they're all pretty interesting wildlife, too. Some of them are even beautiful!

    My very worst snake encounter, purely for the sake of entertainment:

    I was a teenager, I was off work for the weekend and the spring weather was fine, so I borrowed my mother's car to go snake hunting along the river bluffs in southeastern MN, the only part of MN that harbors venomous snakes: the imposing timber rattler and the eastern massasauga, a little swamp rattler. I wasn't fortunate to find either of those - snakes are really motivated to stay hidden and are really good at it; you pass by many more than you ever see, even if you know how to find them - but I did find a few fun things, including the largest garter snake I'd ever seen (indeed, the largest I've STILL ever seen). Perfectly harmless, but usually about as nasty a temperament (i.e. very DEFENSIVE) as you'll ever see. Because I was young and stupid I collected it to keep it as a pet.

    Zipping at full speed down the highway on the way home, I happened to look in the rear view mirror of my mother's car and see that the snake had gotten out of the pillowcase I had secured it in by tying a knot in the top (turned out the pillowcase had a hole in it). It was in fact lying stretched out on my field gear on the back seat - and it was LOOKING STRAIGHT AT ME. I was plenty worried, but not about anything that snake might do to me. What I feared was that if I even took my foot off the accelerator, that snake was going to flee into the car's upholstery, I was going to catch holy hell from my mother for it and I was going to spend the rest of my weekend tearing her car completely apart to find it.

    I decided I had to seize the opportunity of the snake's position by seizing the snake without slowing down. I looked forward and back to make sure there were no other cars nearby in case I swerved a bit, I got as good a feel for where I needed to grab as I could, and then using the rear view mirror to guide me I made my grab.

    And caught it! Squarely in the middle, in fact. A good deal of thrashing, even whipping, ensued, as the bitey end of the biggest garter snake I'd ever seen bit me again and again on the hand with which I was holding it. It doesn't really hurt much, just like some quick pin pricks, but they bled profusely and in no time I had blood trickling down my arm into my lap. Much, MUCH worse, the OTHER end of the snake vigorously voided its contents as it whipped around, liberally dousing me and my mother's car with a mixture of smelly excrement and smellier musk. By the time I managed to pull over and stuff the snake into another bag, I was practically gagging, the smell was so bad. (Some snakes smell a lot and some hardly at all; I've always thought garter snakes to be about the worst of the bunch.)

    Drove the rest of the way home with all the windows wide open. And. It. Didn't. Help. One. Bit.

    Yeah, I still caught holy hell. And yeah, I spent the rest of that weekend and then some scrubbing that car out again and again and again. To tell the truth, I don't think my mother could smell it anymore because she smoked like a chimney, but I think I could still smell it when I left for college in the fall.

    Lesson learned!

    Good fishing, folks!

    Gerry

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