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Grand Inquisitor
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Check with your state’s game & fisheries department. Here is the document for Virginia. Shot my first copperhead of the season last night after my livestock dogs cornered it.


Had to use a handheld light, so that prompted me to finally bolt the flashlight mount to the loading tube on “Old Painless,” my Mossberg 600. Watch your step out there! I shot four of them last year. Older dog was bitten by a fifth I never found, and she got sick but recovered nicely. Keeps a safe distance and is not gun shy. Young dog is learning. Hope it won’t be the hard way.
 

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Being that we only have a small number of venomous snakes in a small area of the state (MN) I am pretty naive about snakes, does anyone eat them? or is that just in the movies?
Our most common snake is probably Garter snakes, and by the way while out riding yesterday just happened to see a hawk carrying one around!!
 

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NH supposedly has a few Timber Rattlers in the White Mountains but few have seen them or even know their location. The snakes I see around here are nonpoisonous Garter and Black snakes. If they get too close to the house I harass them into leaving. Anything that eats mice is my friend so I will not harm them.
 

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In PA there are about 25 species of snakes and 3 are venomous. The copperheads are most common but fortunately have a less toxic venom than the two types of rattlers. The Timber rattlers can kill you and the Mississauga rattlers can too and are more toxic than the Timers. The Missasaugas are an endangered species in PA so you cannot hunt them. The other two can be hunted with a snake hunting license. However only one snake can be taken per season. I do not hunt snakes. I just carefully watch for them when I am in their environment. The venomous snakes serve a purpose so I would not ever kill one for sport.

i have eaten snake in Nam where eating them is common. The villagers cooked them with spices in a soup. It wasn’t bad, but I did not ask for the recipe.
 

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I'm a land surveyor working in coastal SC and have met the four venomous fellas on occasion! The most common is the copperhead followed by the cotton mouth moccasin. Diamondback and timber rattlers are more common in the midlands, but do exist in the coastal plain. I've very seldom run across a coral snake, but because of their size an temperament, they are easily not seen. The moccasins, though not aggressive, will stand their ground when encountered. They do serve an important role in nature and are best left unharmed.
 

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I eat rattle snake. I fry it in butter. Very tasty. Were only allowed one per year. Never tried other snakes. I catch black snakes often. I admire them and the release. My wife raises snakes. She has different morphs of ball pythons. And a few red tail boas. And sand boas.
 

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Only kill snakes if they will hurt me or mine.
Snakes keep the rodent population down.
In the woods I have run up on some Copperheads that were very aggressive and would chase you.
Most others would leave you alone if you left them alone.
 

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Thanks for the reminder, Old School. I'm a land surveyor as well, here in Virginia, and am not looking forward to snake season. Copperheads and cottonmouths are the norm with an occasional rattler in the mountains. Gotta be careful where you step and put your hands. I killed my first copperhead yesterday as well, with the mower. Didn't even see it til it shot out of the deck, mangled.
 

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NH supposedly has a few Timber Rattlers in the White Mountains but few have seen them or even know their location. The snakes I see around here are nonpoisonous Garter and Black snakes. If they get too close to the house I harass them into leaving. Anything that eats mice is my friend so I will not harm them.

Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, NH reportedly has some Timber Rattlers but it has been a few years since I have heard about one being spotted there. I expect that those who might know where they are found do not advertise the locations as it would be bad for the snakes and less that laudable publicity for the State Park.

Bruce
 

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Used to live a couple miles out of town here in east central Oklahoma. We had ten acres, about a third of which was cleared and the rest was heavily forested with about 41 post oak in the fenced back yard. We had a copperhead problem every year and I sometimes killed a dozen or so. I got tired of killing the young ones every year so I would kill the parents and put the young ones on a red ant bed or two and let the ants take care of them. Dangerous, nasty mean snakes. About the only snake we eat here in Oklahoma is the rattle snake. We have a huge rattle snake roundup annually in the southwestern part of the state and we eat a lot of them at that event.
 

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does anyone eat them?
I've only eaten rattle snake. It was good, heavily battered and fried in butter. I will eat it if offered to me but it's not the main reason I would dispatch of a rattlesnake.

I always find peoples opinions of snakes interesting. I agree that snakes are useful. I do not share a herpetologists enthusiasm though. Near my work/living area I have other means of rodent control. Depending on the species, I have different rules of engagement that work for me.

A side note: I've watched our state herpetologist (snake Dr.) exercising rattlesnakes outside in the grass. They try to keep at least a pair of all native reptiles and amphibians in captivity. For exercise they take them outside occasionally. I don't blame you if you don't believe it. Trust me, I often ask myself if I really saw it too.
 

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My Great Pyrenees is smart about spotting and corning them. He sees them as a threat to the goat herd. I have shot various venomous snakes in Central Texas.
 

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My Great Pyrenees is smart about spotting and corning them. He sees them as a threat to the goat herd. I have shot various venomous snakes in Central Texas.
Yes. The pure Anatolian Mountain Dog, a 200 lb brute, wants only to kill. The half Pyr, half Anatolian corners a Copperhead, barks, tracks, and barks until I arrive with Old Painless. She is not shotgun shy.

Second time in a year she has done this, and the fifth Copperhead killed in 2 years. I am not counting a sixth I killed on the back steps. Got that one with a garden hoe. It bit at and missed me, because I jumped a mile after stepping on it :)
 

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Haha Old School! I'm imagining that right now. I've done that dance myself.
I hope never to dance that dance again. We rarely have to check on animals after dark, though I've shot Copperheads in broad daylight in the chicken run or garden.

Picked up some Speer capsules today, so my handloads work properly. I had to use the shotgun because 3 of 5 of my revolver hand-load shot shells (sealed with a gas check) fizzled when fired. I finished the serpent with my pump gun. I don't want any animal to suffer.

I've not liked the CCI factory loads, though we shot 12 of 20 in two boxes last year....that many Copperheads. They work okay in a 4" barrel gun, but even there the capsules jump forward, enough to lock up a snubbie. Happened in both .38 and .357 2" barrel guns, all steel ones at that.

You can push the capsules back in with a finger (unlike a bullet) but that makes a second shot a slow affair. I like giving a Copperhead 2 rounds for insurance. With the shotgun, one is more than enough...
 

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I've lived in Maine for ten years, and fairly far north in Maine at that (though I'll be moving down to the eastern coast soon). About the only snakes I see here are garters. But I lived in NM for 14 years and saw two species of rattlers -- prairie (smaller, up to 4' or so, not very aggressive) and diamondbacks (MUCH larger, more aggressive, lived mostly in rocky desert hills). I did dissertation research for seven summers on a desert grassland wildlife refuge (pronghorn antelope) in central NM. I had a one acre study plot (in 225,000 acres) to study yuccas, and had three prairie rattlers with territories on it every summer. There was one very light color phase that I called "Dusty". We got along fine, and my dog was smart enough to stay away from it. Got this shot of it below on a cool June morning when it was sunning itself in a coiled position. Took me 20 min to set up the tripod and use a 90mm macro lens from about 4' away. It never flinched. Finally it had enough of me and crawled into a yucca.

But I grew up in western TN with moccasins and copperheads. The latter were the worst of any species I've ever dealt with. Had few encounters fortunately. The scariest was while I was trapping rats during grad school (I was a biologist working for a mammalogist). I had set about 100 live traps -- little aluminum boxes with trap doors on both ends. Sprinkle some raw oats on the trigger plate on the floor and let them set overnight. Rodents would go in for the food, step on the trigger and wind up in a museum.

Next morning, early, I was checking the traps. One that I had set up under a low hanging bush I noticed was further back under the bush than where I set it and there was a large stick coming out the rear door -- both doors were mostly closed, but that stick was preventing the rear door from closing fully. I reached in and grabbed the trap to pull it out, but it wouldn't budge. I thought, "What the hell?!".

Suddenly, I realized that the stick was a very large copperhead, its tail caught by the trap door, and it had coiled the front part of its body around the main stem of the bush. :oops: Maybe it smelled rat; I doubt it was after the oatmeal.

I thought about just leaving the trap, but the professor would have screamed about that. After a bit of thinking, I finally managed to use a long stick to push into the front door and lever the rear door open enough that the snake could go free. It bolted further into the bush. Lesson learned; I always looked carefully at traps from then on.

Here's Dusty.
144077
 

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Being that we only have a small number of venomous snakes in a small area of the state (MN) I am pretty naive about snakes, does anyone eat them? or is that just in the movies?
Our most common snake is probably Garter snakes, and by the way while out riding yesterday just happened to see a hawk carrying one around!!
Yes, people eat snakes. I have seen snakes on menus in restaurant; mostly rattlesnakes. They say that it tastes like chicken.

As a child, I saw a "tribesman" from some foreign country eat snakes in a pit. Since then, I realize the snake eater was probably an American based on his size. The snakes were smaller greenish snakes. He ate them whole. It was quite a sight that I forget about until this post. I remember my wonderment at the sight that I was seeing. The adults with me also said that the "tribesman" probably was an American. This was over six decades ago, I would guess. Thanks for asking!
 
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