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Grand Inquisitor
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No water snakes here on the farm, but it's good to be reminded to look twice. A few of our very big Garter snakes might look like a Copperhead to the uninitiated. Meanwhile, I've shot my fourth Copperhead, right by the house, last week. Bad year here. A fifth one, uncaught, bit one of our livestock dogs and put her right in the vet, though she made a good recovery. I figure it got her when she was resting in the dog run after dark, because she is very leery of snakes.

As for the numbers of reptiles, my theory is that the April freeze that kills so many early-emerging snakes did not come this year. We did have an overnight freeze in late March, after weather warm enough to bring out a few black snakes.

In years with lots of black snakes, the Copperheads get scarce, so I never kill a rat snake or black racer. They are doing their jobs and eating mice, too.

One note on shooting them: the CCI snake-shot cartridges are not working well in short-barrel guns, either .38 or .357. Usually after a single shot the gun will lock up. The plastic capsules jump from recoil. Easy to push back in but not good if you need a second shot, pronto.

No issues in my longer-barrel GP 100. I've developed my own handload snake shot that I'm still testing on paper at 15 feet, which seems the magic distance for seeing Copperheads, day or night.
 

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That is why I love Brutus. My late wife was a public health nurse supervisor in northrn N.J. The town animal shelter dector and her were fireinds. They got a hard to place rescue dog almost 4 years ago. A mastiff great dane and drotttwoeler mix.40 pounds at 7 weeks. He keeps me company in my back yard. 4 years old 160 lbs or so. My grandsons can pull his ears or yank his toungue. I sincerely recommend noone other than my grand sons do that.
 
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