Discussion in 'General Hunting' started by mastinson, Jun 19, 2003.

  1. mastinson

    mastinson Fawn

    Jun 19, 2003
    KY, USA.
    Help me please I am a avid hunter and fisherman, I hunt everything and started turking hunting just this year.My problem is for some reason im scared to death of snakes, I have problems enjoying the outdoors in the summer due to this, but the weird thing is ive never had any bad experiences with snakes. Any help would be great.[V]
  2. schuyler olt

    schuyler olt 12 pointer

    Dec 10, 2002
    Welcome to the board! I think you'll enjoy all the folks here--we have some great folks who have some pretty incredible knowledge. Please come and visit often.
    I'm an avid turkey hunter myself, and I have a place near you on Faubush Creek. We'll see a few copperheads over the course of a summer. Believe me, the "danger" is way overblown. We only have three species of venomous snakes in Kentucky. One, the water moccasin, is found only in the far western counties of the state. The copperhead is probably the most common (and I use that term really loosely) in the area where you are from. We also have rattlesnakes, but most people will go their entire lives and never see one.
    Get a book on snakes to help you identify them. The head is the first place to start. All our venemous snakes are pit vipers, and they have a head that is shaped like an ace of spades, and the head is broader than the neck where the head joins the body. All of our nonvenomous snakes are straight shouldered, meaning you can't really tell where the head ends and the body begins.
    Our poisonous snakes rarely reach three feet in length, whereas black snakes, corn snakes, racers and king snakes are usually much longer.
    Very few people are bitten, and almost every bite came from handling the snake. Aside from the cottonmouth (aka water moccasin), poisonous snakes are very nonaggressive unless you pester them. Copperheads are very calm snakes, and very well camoflaged. Most people have walked by them and never known they were there.
    All snakes are cold-blooded, meaning that when the temperature is cold, they are very slow. In the spring, they like to find exposed rocks in the sun, and will seek that warmth. Being very efficient predators of mice and small critters like that, old buildings, trash piles, wood piles and similar places will tend to harbor a higher number of snakes.
    When the weather gets hot, snakes tend to go nocturnal. During the day they get under rocks, logs or other cool shady places to wait out the heat. Aside from the the water moccasin and the water snake, which are two entirely different species, snakes generally do not like water and will tend to be in drier areas. Copperheads look a little like a water snake at first glance, but they don't care for water and tend to stay higher on the ridges. Believe me, I've never seen a copperhead swimming.
    The bottom line is that snakes are really pretty harmless, unless you bug them. Most of us, including me, wear snakeboots just so we can forget about it (I also hunt Texas--that's a different story). If you see a snake, leave it alone. A king snake, for example, is immune to venom, and one of it's favorite foods is a copperhead. They're no different from a bunny rabbit from the standpoint that if you pick it up and fool with it, it's going to defend itself.
    Watch where you sit before you sit down, and watch where you put your hands and feet. You'll be fine.
  3. Hammer

    Hammer 12 pointer

    Sep 2, 2002
    Bowling Green, Ky.
    all the years I have hunted and tramped through the woods, I have never seen poisonous snake. I've seen plenty fishing, but never in the woods. I'd say as long as your aren't rummaging through rock piles or exploring caves and crevices you will not encounter any.

    COUNTRYBOY 6 pointer

    Feb 2, 2003
    Butler Co, KY
    Get'cha a pair of snake proof boots from BASS PRO. They're almost knee high,non-insulated,waterproof and run about $100.

  5. Multidigits

    Multidigits BBBC Members

    Dec 10, 2001
    Vine Grove, Ky, USA.
    Find somebody in your area that coon hunts, and ask if you can go with him a few times. You'll learn to watch for sticks, drop offs, holes, and several other things that can get ya, and you'll never even think about all them snakes out there.

    Just remember, they ain't made snake yet that can hold up to a 12ga. turkey load.
  6. Finn209

    Finn209 Cyber-Hunter

    Mar 13, 2003
    Lewisburg, KY. USA
    Here's a pretty good web page with some info. Just click on the search links at the bottom of the page that opens. Then you can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them.

  7. Salty

    Salty 8 pointer

    Mar 21, 2002
    Winchester, KY
    They's only one kind of snake in Kentucky - it's a "Rattleheadedcoppermoccison".
  8. wwarrior

    wwarrior 6 pointer

    Jan 5, 2003
    I got into some rattler's several years ago while deer scouting the first of sept. I walked within 3 ft of one already coiled up before it started rattling.[:0] After taking it out I saw a smaller one under it. I started looking around and saw 5 more scattered around it. I was in the middle of all of them. The largest one was 54' long. I gave it to a guy to make him a belt. Later that night he called me and said it had one inside of it about the same size of the others. I was lucky I didn't get bit. I probably wouldn't have made it out of the area I was in. I wear knee high boots now and watch everwhere I step. I'm scared of them to but they won't keep me out of the woods!!! Just be Careful.
  9. RutNBuck

    RutNBuck 12 pointer

    Dec 10, 2001
    Northern Ky
    i have a very nice pair of snake chaps that i'll make you or anyone else a good deal on they are the rattler brand i used them 2 days when i turkey hunted in bama i was told was rattlers everywhere down there didnt see a one BUT did see plenty of snakes at least i felt safe...
    these will ease your mind
    i paid $100 will take $75 and pay shipping

    "A wise indian once said,the more you move the less you will see,the less you move the more you will see"

    " I live to hunt, but my wife says i may hunting a place to live"
  10. GSP

    GSP 14 Pointer Staff Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Mastison, most everyone has some type of fear for snakes. I've yet to see someone who is no startled when they run across a snake of any type. Multi had some good advice, watch where you put your feet and hands. Step up on a log or rock, not over it.
    wwarrior saw something that really is getting rare a big rattler. Good or bad there is not many of those left. There were 30 of use that hunted hard for 14 days in the Red River Gorge area and I was the only one to find a rattler. An 18" Timber up Indian Creek. My family has live in that general area since the 20's they have only seen 1 other rattler.
    Copperheads are more abundant that rattlers. I reality, a copperhead will not kill a healthy man, you will get sick, but you are not going to die. A copperhead has a tough time biting through blue jeans, that I do know. I backed into a 16" one while taking pictures that I had forgot about. It struck the back of my leg but did not go through jeans and socks. Left venom spot about the size of a dime.
    Cottonmouths, these are ill tempered sorry SOBs. They will stand their ground, stay away from them.
    All the rest of the snakes in KY are harmless. The common water snake is aggressive. They will swim toward you as a bluff.
    I really don't know how to tell you to calm your fears; I know plenty with the same. The best bet is education. Check out the site that Finn posted. Get to know the snakes out there.
    Try not thinking about them and remember bees are worse than snakes.
    Many more folks die each year from them than snakes. Their nest is just as hard to spot as a snake.
    To help calm you, the site that is listed contains 33 known varieties of snakes in KY. The number is actually 52. You will see different sub-species that are of different color.
    Sky told you correct in what to look for on venomous snakes. Spade shaped head, curved shaped eye, and pit between eye.
    I don't know where you are located, if you are up toward the Red River Gorge on the Mt Parkway, get off on the Natural Bridge exit, stop by Jim Harrison Miami Valley serpitorium. Talk with him and listen to what he has to say. He is in the top 3 people in the world on snakes. It may help.
    I wish you luck, the best thing to do is try noy worrying and just keep a casual eye out for where you are stepping and sitting.

    "Life's too short to hunt with an ugly dog".
  11. mastinson

    mastinson Fawn

    Jun 19, 2003
    KY, USA.
    Hey guys thanks for all the info. And also thanks for the offer on the chaps but I recently placed a order for some snake boots from cabelas. Also in my area they are no cottonmouths present, so i guess il just watch for copperheads and rattlers, and also any other snake because I have no use for them either, thanks.
  12. Multidigits

    Multidigits BBBC Members

    Dec 10, 2001
    Vine Grove, Ky, USA.
    Don't worry about the copperheads, they have to be messed with before they will bite you. Watch the rattlers, very mean and even dead ones can injure you!
  13. shogan

    shogan Cyber-Hunter

    Aug 15, 2002
    Central, ky
    Well I'm no PHD however it seems I recall the way to desensitise phobias is through exposure.

    1st get yourself a fake snake handle it etc. Until you feel comfortable.

    2nd start visiting snakes and pet stores.

    3rd by yourself a snake (or capture one).

    4th begin handling the snakes (just a litte at first)

    5th Increase your time handling the snake (having a night job dancing with the snake would be good).

    6th Take the snake into the woods with you.

    7th Start looking for wild snakes in the woods

    8th Join the religious group that handles snakes and speaks in tongues. ((ok that one was a joke))
  14. P. Beyer

    P. Beyer 12 pointer

    Dec 12, 2001
    Ballard Co
    Shogan, Thanks for the advice; Sorry, I still want to be at least a country mile away from the nearest snake...........

    "It makes no difference whether I got anything; it has to do with how the day was spent"

    Fred Bear
  15. Feedman

    Feedman Cyber-Hunter

    May 28, 2003
    In the basement
    Boy's, I agree snakes scare the crap out of me too. We have killed 3 copperheads over 40" and some rattlers in the 4 1/2 foot range. I live in south eastern ky. You have to be careful when you are out in the woods and stay out of the weeds.

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