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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This afternoon Henry and I were out for one of our hikes on the property behind our house. It's about 55 acres of what used to be farmland that's vacant and slightly wooded. Our house is at the top of a hill, and our backyard slopes right down to the property. It's a very pretty valley that leads to a nice walking road. There's a nice little stream that runs through it that Henry loves to play in. After a great walkie we were headed down to the water when I noticed Henry strolling along the water's edge a little to close to something strange looking. I jerked him back before I realized it was a snake. As I pulled him back the snake started to coil up to strike.

I tied Henry to a tree, got a stick, and went in for a closer look. It was a cottonmouth, one of the most poisonous snakes in the US! If Henry had been bitten, he probably would have died unless he got antivenom immediately...cottonmouths are pit vipers and in the same family as rattlesnakes. And the thing was huge. I'd say about 4 feet long and as big around as a pool stick. I'm terrified of snakes but I've also been outdoorsy all my life. I had thoughts of killing the snake, presenting it to Henry, and punishing him for it. (My neighbor has a shock collar for his lab that he uses for training). I know that sounds harsh, but I was so scared to think that he could have been bitten. My aunt and uncle live out in the desert in Arizona; they lost two beloved dogs to rattlesnake bites before they heard of shock training their dogs. There are actually trainers out there who keep rattlesnakes in cages and will let your dogs sniff then shock them, to teach them to avoid the scent. I know it sounds crazy but I was so scared!

Lucky for that booger he got away. But snakes are notorious for occupying certain areas, and that's the only natural water source out there. I really wish I'd been able to kill it because you don't usually get too many clear shots at wild critters. Oh well. Hope nobody thinks I'm a barbarian.
 

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I'm like Melissa. I probably would have done the same thing because I am too curious for my own good. I'm glad no one was hurt.
 

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I'm glad you're both ok! Honestly, though there is a snake in my household, I would not be ok with meeting up with a poisonous one in the wild, and if one threatened me or my dogs, I would be willing to kill it rather than let one of us be hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks y'all. I am pretty afraid of snakes. My bf's mom has a corn snake, and I'm cool with that, because I know it can't hurt me. But a cottonmouth? Scary!
 

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I'm glad you noticed the snake before it struck Henry. We have to be on guard, too. King snakes and black snakes are left alone, but copperheads are pretty common on our property.
 

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Quote:I tied Henry to a tree, got a stick, and went in for a closer look.
Quote: You have GOT to be kidding me! LOL
Florida girl.


Cottonmouth/water moccasins are scary. The only snakes I know of that will actually come after you instead of trying to get out of your way!
We get allot of pygmy rattlers, but haven't seen one in the yard for a few years. I think (hope)
the dogs discourage them from coming in.
There's a big black racer (non poisonous) living right outside the front door. Good for keeping the tree frog population in check.
I've lived in south Florida for thirty five years, and have never seen a diamond back, live in the wild. (Just road-killed and at the nature center.) They're magnificent snakes... Seen from the other side of the glass! I wouldn't hesitate to kill one in the yard.
 

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That must have been frightening experience for you. Especially when you realized you could have lost Henry. We don't have poison snakes to worry about here but I do worry that Maggie will surprise a mama raccoon and babies traveling through our yard. I know Maggie would go after them and mama could kill her.
 

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OMG! I am glad you two are okay. I would pick up my dog (all 35lbs of him) and ran for my dear life!!!
 

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copperheads ain't no joke, and they can be very aggressive.
the truth is though, the bigger they are, the less dangerous the bite. the mature snake knows it is not going to eat you or the dog, and when he bites, he is just being defensive. you won't get a whole lot of venom from that bite.

the young snake is the dangerous one. they get scared and have no control. when they bite, they will shoot the whole load
the brandywine river valley where i grew up is heavily infested with copperheads, and i grew up playing around them every day.
best if you see one, to kill it.
 

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I would have been scared to death!!!

When I first got Shiloh we walked on a trail at a local park here in Greensboro. I almost stepped on a copperhead!!
Luckily, Shiloh had been trotting and stopped suddenly and Arooed and held perfectly still. I looked down and 6 inches away from my right foot was a coiled up copperhead. Needless to say, we backed out of that trail quickly!!

I hate snakes!!

Thank goodness no one was hurt. That's the only thing I hate about warm weather - snakes!

Shilohs Mom
 

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Most of our rattlesnakes are not aggressive and just coil in defense. Since they don’t run like prey, the Bagel alerts me for a ruling, I admire the nice snake and we move on. The only aggressive snakes we have in our neck of the woods are Mojave Green Rattlesnakes and I avoid exploring their habitat with the Bagel except during the winter months when the greens are in hibernation.

The Nevada Wildlife Federation offers a Snake Avoidance Class each year for dogs and we do you live snakes and shock collars and it really works! BTW: the shock isn’t that bad, we gladly demonstrate it on the owners before their dogs.
 

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If its one thing I am scared of its snakes. Though here the only dangerous ones are adders.
 

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Oh how scary, glad your both ok. ((()))
 

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We've had a close call with a cotton mouth before. They are the worst snakes around. We have two ponds surrounding our building so we've got lots of snakes. They stay away from the building but we see them sometimes on walks. I'm glad no one got hurt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bruce, if you want to see a big rattlesnake, check out the one they have mounted on the wall in the Hayloft western store, above the boots. It's a 9.5 foot female, I think one of the largest eastern diamondbacks on record. And yes, you know you're a cracker when you poke snakes with sticks.
 

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EEK!


SO glad Henry was not hurt...and I'm totally with you on the killing snakes thing. The non-poisonous ones are OK, but the others...YU-HU-HU-HUUUUUK!
I'm actually glad when we went out ot the poppy reserve a couple weeks ago dogs aren't allowed on the trails...they're known for rattlers. We get some nasty ones out here, mostly diamondbacks and Mojave Greens. They're why I have NEVER taken the dog out in the desert during snake season.
 
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