I have killed a couple of copperheads that our dogs might have bumped into if I let them live.
I believe some Rattlers are protected, and I am not great at snake identification so I thought it best to leave him alone. I hope I don't regret it. We have owned the farm for over 11 years, and this being the first I figured it should be OK?
Where I hunt in Oregon there are two different clots of diamondbacks. In the lower elevation there is a lot of black shale on the ground. The snakes are grey. You travel up a few hundred feet in elevation and they are brown.
I went down to trim a few stand locations last Friday.... there was a fairly big snake crossing the gravel road.... I swerved and missed it, backed up, got out to check it out and it was the largest Hognosed snake I had seen in a long time ... at least 24" long, which is big for them around here .. he had great coloration, he flared like a cobra, I caught him, admired it then let him go in the woods off to the side so he wouldnt get hit .. I had a smaller one as a kid I raised in a Terrarium, they make good pets ..
A buddy got bit by a little tiny copperhead last year at our hunting camp. He spent the night in the local hospital under observation because he has had some heart issues in the past. The bite was on the hand and his hand and forearm swelled up pretty big. Took about a month for the pain and swelling to completely disappear.
Around the same time I had a 2 foot rattler crawl out from under my hunting cabin. He was flattened out like they do to look bigger. I was maybe 2 feet away from him when I saw him. Didn't get bit...
The guy who got bit by the copperhead found out that there was no anti-venom nearby. If anyone needed it they would be air lifted to St. Louis. Costs were around $30K just for the anti-venom. They generally don't use anti-venom for copperhead bites, but timber rattlers are another story...The rattlers are much more dangerous if you are bitten, but they are lot less aggressive than the copperheads. I have actually been chased by copperheads after uncovering them in a wood pile I was moving...8^)
I am generally a "live and let live" guy when it comes to snakes. But if one surprises me from really close by, much less nibbles on me, he is going to suffer what I like to call "reptile dysfunction..."