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First of the year. Plenty of black racers, thank goodness, so far to keep the copperheads away, but heavy rain brought out out a small one right by the new work on footings for a screen porch. Juveniles are more dangerous when they strike, too.

My wife, coming back from checking the stock, just knew it was there.

Snakeshot from the Kimber K6S managed it well, as usual.
Out here in California we have several varieties of Rattlers and Sidewinders. Probably our most prolific is the Western Diamondback rattler.
 

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My wife was at our chicken coop right before dark last week, when she called for me with a very distressed tone. She had a 3’ copperhead pinned down with a rake. I dispatched it with a shovel. Felt something hit the heel of my boot, and there was another copperhead about the same size three feet away from the first one.

It struck and hit my boot! If I’d been wearing sneakers or flip flops I’d be SOL. Don’t know why there are so many copperheads around lately, but I’m cutting them no slack....
 

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I will admit to being on the unusual side as I simply cannot understand all this killing of snakes! Now, I don't want copperheads hanging around my house so I catch them and relocate them down by the creek. Never seen a cottonmouth here but I suppose it's possible. They're even crankier than copperheads and if I felt I couldn't safely capture it, I might have to do like the fat broad in BC and use a stick on 'em. Saw lot's of different rattlers in AZ and never killed a single one. Spent a fair amount of time telling guys who came into my shop wanting snake shot that it wasn't A. Necessary B. Didn't work all that well in the first place!
In 99.9% of human/snake encounters it's much easier and safer if you just step out of their way. Snakes are not out to "get" people, they're just scared (they know everything bigger than they are is probably going to eat them) and want to get away. Here's some facts for all of you guys: 98% of all venomous (there are no poisonous snakes in the USA) snake bites happen when someone is trying to capture or kill the snake. Of the remaining venomous snake bites, 98% of them are what are called "dry" bites... that is, the snake is startled an gives a defensive bite with no venom injected (I will add that the vast majority of bites in the USA are rattlesnake bites and that these numbers may or may not apply to cottonmouths or copperheads). Now, you don't want to take even a dry bite from a venomous snake because there's always some amount of residual venom in their fangs. It's gonna hurt like the dickens but it's unlikely to be fatal. Now, if you're molesting the snake in any way and he gets the chance to bite you, you're going to get a full jolt of venom and even with something like copperhead (very few fatal bites to healthy adults) your going to be in a world of hurt and a hospital stay is mandatory. Coral snakes, although their venom is some of the most potent of any snake in the US, is pretty unlikely to be able to invenonmate an adult because they are rear fanged and cannot inject any venom, as their fangs are little more than an enlarged tooth with a groove so they have to bite and then chew to get any venom in the wound. This does NOT mean you can safely handle them, even though as a species, they are generally reluctant to bite. Even a little of their venom can be devastating to a person so it's best to just leave them alone. But they are the least likely snake to bite a human as long as you are not one of those clowns trying to capture or kill them! So leave them be!
Clearly you don't want venomous snakes lurking around your home, especially if you have any kids, dogs or livestock around. And to be honest, if you're afraid of them, killing them is probably the best way to keep them away from your house. But do note, if you kill every snake you find around your house (assuming you live somewhere out in the woods and not in a subdivision in the city) it won't be long before you're up to your butt in rodents of every brand! Much worse than having a few (non-venomous) snakes around. As to snake shot... I realize this can be a point of contention but I have seen so many failures of the stuff to kill a snake that it's not even funny. Pellets out of any rifled barrel spread out so quickly that the odds of a clean and rapid kill is pretty unlikely... unless you get really close, something I do not advise when it comes to dealing with venomous snakes! It will usually kill them but it's a matter of "eventually" and often does not actually kill the snake. Plus the shot used in the shot capsules is very small (#8 or 8.5 in most centerfire cartridges and #9 in the rimfire rounds) and is very unlikely to kill a snake quickly. The #9 used in rimfire rounds is mostly useless unless you get in very close, which is too close when dealing with a venomous snake that is trying to stay alive! I understand there are some situations where it's just not feasible to leave them hanging around but just don't go killing snakes for no reason (and being afraid of them is NOT a valid reason!). One should never kill a non-venomous snake, period. They are much too beneficial to humans, more so than most people will ever realize. If you need to dispatch a venomous snake the best method is a hoe... just cut off the head then bury it [keeping in mind that the severed head is still dangerous! If your dog sniffs it, the dog can be bitten - including the injection of venom! - long after the head is seperated from it's body!] Just use the hoe to dig a trench 6 or so inches deep and use the hoe to push the head in the trench, then cover it with dirt.
There is so much most people don't know about snakes and that causes fear and worry. Learn about your local snakes and how to identify the dangerous ones from the harmless ones, then leave the harmless ones alone! Even the venomous snakes have a place in the eco system and a job to do. Don't kill them without a very good reason. It's just not necessary!
Sorry this is so long but people slaughtering any kind of creature for no reason is a pet peeve of mine. If I can convince even one person not to bother the snakes then it's worth my time (you won't, however, find me holding my breath!)
Cheers,
crkckr
TLDR.
I understand not wantonly killing snakes, I don't either. But you have a responsibility to protect your family, pets and animals. One of my cousins kids nearly died form a rattlesnake bite. That was in their backyard. . It seems that many on this thread live in areas that are rural and stinking crawling with copperheads. Those things just seem to be asking to get the bird shot to the head. I live on a cul- de- sac in a subdivision. Not a real need to be packing a pistol and dispatching snakes
The only poisonous snakes around here are rattlers. If they don't give me a warning and not rattle, maybe they will be killed. Maybe not.
 

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TLDR.
I understand not wantonly killing snakes, I don't either. But you have a responsibility to protect your family, pets and animals. One of my cousins kids nearly died form a rattlesnake bite. That was in their backyard. . It seems that many on this thread live in areas that are rural and stinking crawling with copperheads. Those things just seem to be asking to get the bird shot to the head. I live on a cul- de- sac in a subdivision. Not a real need to be packing a pistol and dispatching snakes
The only poisonous snakes around here are rattlers. If they don't give me a warning and not rattle, maybe they will be killed. Maybe not.
I live in the burbs and we get plenty of rattlers around here in the spring months. If you're on the river trails or mountains around here, you gotta be careful in the summer. They take refuge from the heat in the clefts of rocks and in the shade.
 

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Here is another i killed 3 years ago in the backyard. Was a little smaller than the other.
Water Grass Gas Lawn Flooring
 
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They live among us like all of God's creatures. & I tolerate most creatures , but a snake, especially a snake, that stays out of my sight, & preferrable not in my house, buildings & property, has a lot higher survival rate.
 
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