Contributors to this thread:
Just a reminder!
34" prairie rattler as I found him.
34" prairie rattler as I found him.
For perspective relative to steps.
For perspective relative to steps.
The heck with yard bucks. How about yard snakes!
A while back, we had a long thread about snakes, and whether or not to wear snake boots or gaiters. My opinion was/is, at times that might be appropriate, but if you live in snake country, unless you ALWAYS wear them, even when just stepping out your door, it's better just to be cautious and aware. I just got a strong reminder to do just that. This prairie rattler sounded off about two feet from my foot as I walked down my from steps. Typically, he never tried to strike, even after I relocated him by shovel to my driveway for a better portrait. It's the second one within a week on our property, and both were about the same size - this one scored 34".
It's that time of year. Ya'll be careful out there!
Just noticed that Rut Nut's post was brought back up as I was typing.
It’s time of year to move if that happens to me.....!!!! Ha!!! I hate snakes !!!
What happened after the portrait pic, that's what I want to know?!
"What happened after the portrait pic, that's what I want to know?!"
Since he was pretty precise on how long the snake was...I'm guessing it didn't end well for the snake.
My Mother found a "yard snake" at Lake Texoma (OK/TX line) last weekend. She was weedeating around her shrubs and there it was. She usually only takes out copperheads around her house. This rattlesnake was a shocker and didn't get the safe snake pass. What type is this one?
The only good kind, Embry...a dead one
I did tee that one up nicely, huh, SnS? lol!
Snakes get a pass, except rattle snakes.
Some people are just afraid of snakes. The risk is way overblown. See stats at link.
I've come in contact with rattlesnakes dozens of times. They have the rattle for a reason. You just back away slowly.
Geezzz Christ Ike,.. my mom just doesn't want copperheads or rattlesnakes in her yard. Geezzzz :)
Wasn't really directed at you Rick, but it's ok if you're a fraidy-cat; I like you just the same.
Tell your mom they keep the mice away...
Ziek- you gotta even watch for them INDOORS now too! : (
(For those that didn’t see it, they found a copperhead at work in the office next door this morning- coiled up in the corner of the room)
Ike- I’ve seen 2 timber Rattlers in my life and one of them bit me. Neither one rattled. Now they tell me Timber Rattlers are notorious for NOT rattling! Your odds of being bitten may be VERY low, but trust me....................you DON’T wanna be “that guy!” : (
I've been around all kinds of poisonous snakes my whole life. Been so close to being bit a million times. Never been bit that is until ten minutes ago. Dang grass snake just gummed the he!! out of my ankle for stepping on him. Scared the living heck out of me. Yes I squealed like a little girl. I hate snakes period.
Man, if i had 1/100 of the wisdom of some ppl that know everything, id be doin ok.
To have it all figured out would be an absolute gift. But most of us dont, and i certainly dont so i will kill every one of em i ever see.
Yea, I was kidding Ike. But, my mom... SHE stills kills Rattlesnakes and Copperheads. They don't bother me unless I'm unaware of them and they slither across my feet. Then, that mf'er is gonna die. ;)
stick n string,
I'll take a wild guess that that was directed at me. 6 deaths in the US per year - less than 1/3 the risk of dying from an attacking dog and 1/9th the risk of being struck by lightning. Stats don't lie. Fear of snakes is common. Risk of dying from one is minuscule.
Snakes aren't pests; they eat pests. But hey, if you want to kill everyone you find, I won't lose any sleep over it. But don't make what I pointed out (facts) to be something it isn't (patronizing) just because you are afraid of snakes.
Rattlers get no passes from me they taste to dang good.
I had one that was pretty good and one that was nasty. I had a patient who would kill them and skin them and I asked for the meat because she wasn't eating them. The first one was ok, but not something that I'd specifically get hungry for. The second one - I don't know if she didn't preserve it well or what, but it wasn't good.
Ike's stats and information are spot on when it comes to the overall likelihood of being bitten and killed by a poisonous snake. However, Ike the likelihood of dying from a tiger attack is extremely low but if you found one in your backyard would you ignore it because the odds are so slim? I think not!
I give snakes a pass most of the time. However if I found one in my yard it would be dead as fast as I could make it be so! In my mind that is just common sense. The odds of getting bit by 1 are extremely low but they go up exponentially if you decide to let one live where you spend your time walking around and practically begging to get bit. Part of why the odds are so low probably has, in small part, something to do with the fact that people tend to kill poisonous snakes when they find them in their yard.
All that being said, Ike is still right and the odds are very low. It is not really different from my mom being extremely afraid that I was going to die from a bear attack while hunting. Sure it could happen, but my odds of drowning in my bathtub are much higher and she didn't seem to be concerned about that. S he certainly wasn't concerned about me dying from influenza, and the odds of that are way way way higher!
Well, in a few weeks it will be one year since I got bit. And I’m STILL dealing with the after-effects!
Still have constant pain, swelling, numbness and intermittent shooting nerve pain- nothing like it was, but not near back to normal yet either! The docs said I should be “back to normal” in a year..................well, at this rate I am thinking closer to 2 now.
I am STILL paying off the nearly $7500 in OUT OF POCKET charges that my insurance did NOT cover. Of course, I am grateful that they DID pay the $219,000 for anti-venom, $286,000 for 9 day hospital stay and 55,000 for 2 medivac flights!
Now I’m trying to build up my sick leave after having to use all 6 weeks I had accumulated over the years. Also trying to max out my vacation days now(we can carry over 6 weeks from year to year) as a “backup” to my sick leave in case it’s needed again.
Then there is the consideration of what my family went thru. Driving me around to doctor visits, lab work and basically waiting on me hand and foot for 4+ weeks( Had to keep leg elevated in recliner or bed for over a month and did not drive for over 5 weeks).
So you see Ike, there are a LOT of consequences to deal with even if you DON’T die! And take my word for it, NONE of them are pleasant! : (
I don’t typically kill any snakes unless they are of the venomous variety and in close proximity to my house . I don’t want my cat or dog bit.
What are the stats on them having a rattle and that meaning anything? Do they rattle EVERY TIME? So sometimes u may not know they are there to just back away slowly? If ur gonna go all gung ho one way, i can go gung ho the other way and be just as right/wrong as u are, right?
In my part of the world, there isnt a single reason for a poisonous snake to exist. There just isnt...
I never understood why anyone would hate any animal. To me, they are ALL fascinating. I won't kill anything without a reason. Poisonous snakes in my YARD are a good reason. And I'm not particularly concerned for me or my wife. We can and should pay attention, and we've run across many over the years, without any problems...except for our dogs. We've had one bitten, and she survived, likely because only one fang penetrated clean through her lip. Even though we have them snake aversion trained, and it seems to be effective (they seem to avoid snakes they know are there), they're often moving too fast, and can be on them before they can avoid them.
We also don't have bird feeders in the yard (except hummingbird feeders), because the spilled seed attracts rodents and they attract snakes.
"What happened after the portrait pic, that's what I want to know?!"
Snake - it's what's for dinner! Or, at least an appetizer. Actually, we have eaten them, but they're not that good, and even a big prairie snake doesn't have much meat anyway. I also have more skins over the years than I know what to do with. I still sometimes keep tails, though I don't know why. I'd rather they stay out of my yard so I don't have to kill them.
Can you spot the rattler?
Right next to a hiking trail
Embry, I'm sure that Timber rattler was killed on the Oklahoma side of the border as they are a protected species in Texas.
Rick, ya got a piece of Osage that would look awesome wrapped in timber rattler;-)
Rick, would love to have a couple of big copperheads. They are beautiful on Osage!
Tavis, that would look great on an Osage bow. Especially mine! Unfortunately, she had already taken the snake away and disposed of it before showing the pics. Makes me want to kill a snake now.
Oh, I’ve got a few of those too...It’s in freezer if anyone wants it! Lol Any other place, they might get a pass, on my property with a 5 year old that runs all over - no pass!
That’s a beauty Ike! Love that dark diamond!
Rick you better talk with your mom! Just cut off the head, drop in a trash bag and freeze till you can pick it up. Skin it, scrape out any meat and air dry. Perfect for backing a bow!
Copperheads are my favorite. Dark diamondbacks are second and timber rattlers third.
Good post Rut Nut. Medical bills for a copperhead bite are astronomical. Yes, you will likely survive but after a hospital vacation. I don't fear copperheads but I don't tolerate them in my yard. No warning rattle and the best natural camo on earth. As mentioned they also look great on osage bows.
I have nightmares about Pats mamba encounter
HONEY, time to sell the house!!!!
I got bit by a copperhead two years ago. It wasn’t anything like what RutNut has been through but it took me a month to get over it. Just glad it wasn’t one of my kids. Not a fan of snakes
Came across this guy while stalking a mule deer in Arizona. Just took a couple pics and let him be. Fortunately I've never had one in my yard in Iowa.
Sorry to hear about that Conner- but glad it wasn't as bad as what I been thru! I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy! : (
Timber Rattlers are protected in PA too. I won't go out looking for them, but rest assured if I ever cross paths with another one I will "do what I gotta do!"
Rut Nut, not everyone has the poor outcome you had from a rattlesnake bite. I've seen several rattle snake bites and I've never even heard of someone having as bad of an outcome as you had. It happens, but you had a really bad case. 20-25% of rattle snake bites are dry and no venom is excreted. Sort of playing Devil's Advocate at this point, as my point is that the fear of snakes is really overblown and largely driven by phobia. Again, I won't lose any sleep over people killing them in their yard - I just feel the fear is unfounded. I see people swerve to run snakes over that aren't even venomous and they're not even close to their house.
stick n string, I'm not really sure how your come-back makes any sense since you're not going to back away OR kill it if you never know it's there? If you don't agree with me, you can state that and the reasons for it - I'm totally fine with having my views challenged.
This though... "Man, if i had 1/100 of the wisdom of some ppl that know everything, id be doin ok. To have it all figured out would be an absolute gift. "
...is just you being a jerk and it's not the first or second time you've said something similar so perhaps in the future you can be a bigger man and disagree respectfully or just ignore my posts, eh?
Idyll, they dont rattle EVERY time, its not a guarantee they will. So the fact they have a rattle and use it MOST of the time doesnt mean anything to me. Ive never fallen from a treestand. I dont know anybody that has ever fallen from a treestand. Stats tell me that of the ppl i know, 0% of the time they climb a stand, they dont need the help of a sadety harness. Thats a real statistic. That means nothing to me, i will wear a harness every time. That is why i will kill a rattler if i come across it. Because that snake could crawl 5’, tuck in a bush and bite the next person that walks by, without giving any warning. You feel differently, thats cool. But u arent anymore right than I. And i cant help but think that if you or somebody u are close to would be bitten by a rattler and either die or be hurt bad physically or financially, you may change ur stance a bit and not be so hard lined. Im not saying u have to want to kill them, just maybe dont look down ur nose at those who do......
I dont feel ive ever disrespected u in too serious of a way. But I didnt figure u for one of those guys who can be condescending to others and then gets ur feelings hurt easily when someone returns ur serve. Im sure ur a good dude in most respects, just based off how some ppl here that i see as my kinda dudes interact with you. But i dont know u personally, i only see what u post. Maybe u come across differently via posts than you truly are, i dunno. Sometimes i bark at those whose barks rub me the wrong way. Not one of my finer qualities, but I’m me. Thats all
I have no experience with rattlers, which makes me most likely more afraid of them than I should be. So if I come across one on a hunt I'd prob kill it. I can understand that the fears may be unfounded, but they are what they are. If I came back across THAT snake later and it bit me, I'd be pissed. My mouse traps work well enough ;)
I'm not seeing anywhere on this thread where Idyll was being condescending.
As far as rattlers go, we don't have them where I live and I'm fine with that. I did step right in between 2 of them while elk hunting in NM. I'd have never known but my hunting buddy alerted me. I poked at the one with a stick a bit out of curiosity and then went on my way. I figure maybe if I don't bother them they won't give me trouble in the future. That said, if I came across a big one where it was legal to kill them, I'd probably do so for the skin and rattle, and maybe a snack.
I don't believe that snakes should be arbitrarily killed. That doesn't mean I'm looking down my nose at anyone. They're beautiful creatures and serve a purpose to control vermin. And I never said that one should just be left in your yard with a roll of the dice that it'll bite you, your kid, or your pet.
There are many options for removing them besides killing them. There are wardens and animal control that can come get them. There are sticks that are specifically made for grasping snakes safely and placed in a trash can and relocated easily. Hell, you can poke at them with a 10 foot stick and follow them right off your property. I don't leave rattlers on my property. My brother is an experienced reptile handler/breeder and he comes and gets them and relocates them. Killing them is not the only option.
There was a thread a few years ago where it was pointed out in Kansas that a local farmer had been shooting and dumping deer - deer he viewed as pests. It angered many people here on these boards for obvious reasons. Deer kill far far far more people every year through auto collisions than snakes in this country. Yet there's two things about it: Hunters appreciate deer and no one is afraid of a deer. That's the difference.
IDYLLWILDARCHER'S LINK Some people are just afraid of snakes. The risk is way overblown. See stats at link.
From: IdyllwildArcher 26-Jun-19 I've come in contact with rattlesnakes dozens of times. They have the rattle for a reason. You just back away slowly.
Sounds to me like you (think you) have all the answers, Ike. ;-)
If I find them near a house or a school or someplace where people frequent I will kill them. If I find them in the wild where there's no people I leave them be. To each there own.
I actually think both Ike and Rut are kinda right. Ikes stats are informative and paint the picture of people's fears not reflecting reality. Ruts story also points out that stats be damned, sometimes people get screwed by bad luck. Not a dang thing Rut could have done to avoid it, but that doesn't make it any more likely to have happened. Just bad luck.
Rut Nut, I quoted stats, then I quoted my personal experience. You quoted personal experience. I don’t have any more answers than you besides the fact that it’s rare for people in the US to die of snake bites. And your case is an exceptional one. You got a huge venom dose and were far from medical care. That’s not only uncommon, but killing the average urban snake would do nothing to prevent your type of injury. Kill every snake anyone ever comes in contact with and there’s still snakes in the wilderness.
Making me out to be some sort of elitist is a ridiculous straw man attack.
I have an opinion. And it’s contrary to yours. I think venomous snakes are worth conserving and I believe their wanton slaughter is based off of phobia and fear of snakes is widely documented. What is not widely documented, is people in the US dying from snake bites.
Sorry for your experience. 23 years in the medical field including education years and growing up in rattle snake country, I’ve never seen anyone have such a bad experience as you did. Doesn’t give me all the answers, but it gives me legitimate perspective.
IKe- I realize my case was not the norm. But it also could have been much worse. THe EMT that responded to my call told me about the case in PA back in 2015 where a guy got bit in an artery and the venom went right to his heart- went into cardiac arrest in the chopper AFTER getting his first round of anti-venom- was DOA. Talked to another EMT that just recently completed a course on snakebites in Las Vegas. SHe said the most vials of anti-venom she is aware of is a guy that needed over 100(think it was 102, but don't quote me- just remember is was a little over a hundred). I had 30!
ANd statistics are great, but when you are looking into the eyes of a pit viper that just sank it's fangs into your flesh, they don't mean much! ;-)
You say 20-25% of bites are dry. You wanna put 4 rounds in a 5 shot revolver, spin the chamber and then pull the trigger?! Basically that's what you are saying.
You act like getting bit is no big deal unless you die. I'm guessing you've never experienced the effects of snake venom. Feeling the excruciating pain of venom destroying your living tissue(even for a short time) might change your mind.
This thread and others like it are meant to be a warning. They are not meant to be alarmist or "overblown" as you say. You can post all the statistics you want, but I think folks that post here on Bowsite are much more likely to have a more serious outcome as opposed to the average person(someone that seldom ventures into the wilderness.) And we are probably more likely to be in an isolated area where help is further away, making rescue/treatment more prolonged.
I don;t think I have an un-natural fear of snakes- even after my ordeal. If I did, I would have never gone back into the woods 2 months after I got bit. I just take more precautions now. I won;t even think about going into the woods without my snake boots or gaiters now. And I have my Taurus Judge with 2 round of .410 shotshells. I'm not gonna go around "wontonly" shooting rattlesnakes, but if I come across one on a well used hiking trail or around my house, it's going to be eliminated. And I'm not gonna apoligize for that!
Guess I just take exception now to anyone that tries to minimize the danger/consequences of snakebites.
Obviously you can do as you please. I hope you never find out what snake venom can do to you. It just might change your perspective! ;-)
I try to keep people safe from deer by killing them?
I just don't do near a good enough job.
This disagreement reminds me of an ongoing argument I used to have with my mom. She was terrified by the idea that I would get attacked and eaten by a bear while bowhunting. I pointed out some statistics regarding bear attacks and also compared them to the likelihood of me drowning in my bathtub, dying of influenza, or dying in a car crash on the way to/from the hunt-- all far, far more likely to happen than a bear attacking me, but she wasn't worried about any of those things happening. Her fear was not proportional to the likelihood of each event happening. I frankly wasn't afraid of a bear attacking me either. That being said, if a bear attacked me I'd be screaming like a girl and horrified for my life. No doubt that if I ended up on the wrong side of the odds it would immediately become a serious problem and I wouldn't care one bit about the slim odds of it happening in the first place.
Rut, the odds of what happened to you were really slim and you beat the odds hugely (in an unfortunate way). The fact that it happened to you doesn't change the likelihood of it happening in general obviously. That being said, if it does happen to a person, the sequela of it is serious stuff (like what happened to you, Rut and kinda like if I beat the odds and had a bear rip me to shreds). No doubt if a person had that happen they'd most likely take a "once bitten, twice shy" kind of approach in the future. I certainly would!
Scoot- I've had a black bear bluff charge me twice, stopping just out of arm's reach, popping it's jaws and raking a sapling with it's claws..................................what's that saying about luck?! ;-)
ziek Woo where about you lived in the praires or sagebrush country. I remember one hunt on deer I made a stalk on them and came around some rocks and landed in middle of about 20 rattlers . Talked about scared. Luckily i got out okay. Now i stay away from rocks . I hate snakes
Rut- I'd have pooped my pants and gone home to tell my mom she was right all along! Haha!
LMBO! : )
I'm just glad I was able to back away and not have to shoot it! One more step and I would have had to................................
We live in the Colorado northern front range foothills (north of Lyons). It's fairly remote with larger acreages (35 minimum), and privately maintained dirt roads. We have lots of snakes. Several dogs have been bitten over the years plus 3 people (2 were dry bites), that I know of.
About 25 years ago I also wandered into close proximity to a hybernaculum while bowhunting coyotes in late November on a neighbors property. It was a sunny morning and they were enjoying a late warming after denning up. As I came around a rock outcrop, rattling erupted all around me. When I related this to my neighbor, he wanted to know the location of the den to try to destroy it. Since it wasn't a threat to anyone, except maybe an occasional hunter, I wouldn't tell him. Back then his was the only house, with mine just starting to be built on what was previously an 1800 acre cattle ranch, surrounded by much more undeveloped land. We now have about a dozen full time residents , some with small children, several part time and a handful more under construction. Just like the wolf issue and many others, it's easy to be magnanimous and decide they should be left alone, if there's little chance they will be in YOUR back yard. Ike, especially is entertaining. According to his bio he's lives in Alaska. One of the reasons we so enjoy going up there for the summer is because there are no poisonous snakes to constantly watch out for. Our dogs can run without us worrying constantly about something we have very little control over.
I hate killing them, but calling CPW, or trying to relocate them ourselves, as often as we encounter them is ridiculous. They are safe as long as they stay out of the yard and frequently used trails.
On the relocation issue in some places that would be illegal for you to do yourself unless you moved them from your property to another place on your own property anyway. To move them from your own property to someone else’s or to public property would be illegal no matter how remote and how little danger it would pose to anyone else.
410 Pistol if I had them around my house.................. when I live in Calif, we bought king snakes for our yard they were suppose to kill rattle snakes, have no idea if they did,
Ground hunter, no idea if it’s true or not but Iv been told the same of bullsnakes. In my area it’s common for guys to catch bullsnakes in their pastures and bring em up to their house yard and outbuildings, both for rodent and rattlesnake control.
Rut Nut's Link
When I was overseas, we killed a big snake, had all our photos taken with it, thought it was a python,,,,,,,,,,,, found out it was a Philipino rat snake, the villagers were pissed at us,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Me I did not give a "rats ass", ha ha
I found out recently that possums are immune to snake venom and will kill poisonous snakes.
I’m looking into getting one as a “service” animal! ;-)
Here's another interesting stat.
While bull snakes will eat rattlesnakes, they are not normally part of their diet. The only advantage is that bull snakes may help keep the rodent population under control, which may discourage rattlesnakes from hunting in proximity. Bull snakes and rattlesnakes often even hibernate together. While much of their prey is the same, bull snakes are active hunters, while rattlers typically ambush their prey.
King snakes do eat rattlers, although around here, the occasional king snakes I've encountered, are not very big.
I had to look up the different snakes we have in Colorado Ziek, didn’t even know we had king snakes. I found out we have way more kinds of snakes than I ever knew about here. Though honestly looking at the pictures Iv likely handled some of them and just called them a bullsnake. When I was a kid we would often catch bullsnakes, hog nose, garters and racers to play with.
Rut Nut, I read your thread about your snake bite last year with my jaw hanging open. I am glad you made it out the other side and was blown away by the cost of the treatment! I was bit by a brown recluse spider when I was a kid and received anti venom but have no idea the cost in 1984. I'm a PA guy and a big trout fisherman. I've encountered a ton of copperheads and a few rattlers near Ligonier near streams. Your story really makes me rethink my usual summer fly fishing attire of shorts and water shoes. Thanks for sharing your experience and again, I'm glad you're ok!
The only thing I'm sure of after reading through this thread is that I am NOT going hunting with Rut Nut! :-)
SSS.......no pun intended......get it?
Supernaut- Don’t worry about it! I’ve learned from this thread that the fears are unfounded and the risk way “overblown!”- (see Ike’s stats) Do what he says and just listen for the rattle! ;-)
NO,NO,NO! Just joking! : ) Thanks for the well wishes, and glad to hear some folks are re-thinking their SOP in snake country!
Brotsky- LMBO! I been wondering why it’s been so hard to find a hunting partner lately! ;-)
The one thing I've learned after reading this thread is snakes are not our enemies. If you take a ranch of 1800 acres and turn it into a subdivision, everything that has lived there for millennia gets displaced and either moves or gets killed. Including the big game animals.
The Kid's Link
Got this one from a friend of a friend. He found it in his Dad’s garage in Eastern PA near Allentown. It had a full bodied red squirrel in it.
I caught a couple Prairie Rattlesnakes in Eastern Colorado when I was out Pronghorn hunting. They are pretty cool animals and don't have a terrible temperament.
There I was, early 80's Hunter Ligett California with my battle buddy from the Bronx.
Both leanining on the edge of our foxhole right after sunset.
We were chatting in a low voice and heard a rattlin' sound.
Me wanting to mess with the city boy I say "man that sounds like a rattlesnake."
When it rattled again I realized it actually was. I told my buddy to come toward me and we crawled out, grabbed the NVG's and the damn thing was within a foot of where my buddy was.
Pulled the blank adapter off and looking through NVG's I moved closer, once he struck the flash supressor I jumped and it was lights out.
My buddy heard every sound the rest of that night.
Next morning my squad leader, a "snake eater" made breakfast.
Had the rattles for many years....
I don't like snakes. Don't go out of my way to dispatch them but will if near my camp or my house. This guy and I had an encounter last week and he had an unusually mean disposition. Saw several others that did all they could to get away but this guy did not like me around him at all. There are a lot of snakes where I hunt and also around my house. My blood dogs have all been through snake avoidance training but they can still get bit. A JRT of mine was bit in my back yard. Don't want to see any of my grandchildren get bit either. I read Rut Nut's post about his terrible bite and would never want to go through that. My hearing is not very good from years around loud noise and guns. I cannot hear a rattlesnake rattle and this guy was clearly rattling big time at me.
Although those stats say otherwise, I know a handful of people bitten by rattlesnakes and no one struck by lightning. I suppose most don’t live through lightning to tell. I still have never heard of a friend, friend of a friend or anyone remotely close to me being stuck by lightning. I give non venomous snakes a pass but killed 6 rattlers in one day in May. Only way I don’t kill them is if they make it into tall grass where I don’t want to find them. I’ve hurdled them at the last second running down my dirt road at dusk more than once. If I can find a big rock or post they are done. I don’t like cats either but prefer them for mouse hunters. Lol
Some venomous snake strikes fall short. Some bites are dry. Some bites do not manage to get to your flesh due to boot or wearing guards. All in all, with hundreds of miles of hiking around the West on hunts and scouting trips during temperatures might encounter a venomous snake there have been only 3 occasions where I have seen/heard a rattle. The only time I was unnerved was in tall sage with a lot of wind so could not tell exactly where the rattle buzzing was and never saw that snake. May have been a few inches long or the largest ever to exist. I was only about 10' into the sage so I did my best Olympic-qualifying Hop/Skip/Jump to safety then lobbed a couple of rocks to trigger more rattles so could confirm I was not imagining things. I grew up in Missouri so encountered Copperheads a few times but always saw them before was on top of them. Copperheads are similar to the Puff Adder in Africa as they wait for you to be close or even until you step on them then they unleash a hellstorm of aggressiveness. Never encountered a coral snake or a cottonmouth. All in all, I appreciate snakes but they are no more special to me than mink or songbirds.
Glad he didn't get you 76aggie! That's a good point too........................some of us don't hear as well as others. So even if it DOES rattle, doesn't mean you're gonna hear it!
Another way to look at the statistics... We outdoorsman are so much more likely to encounter snakes and get bit than anyother portion of society that the statistics are pretty skewed. I work outside nearly everyday and I'm sure the odds of me getting bit is far greater than someone that works inside.
No doubt, the statistics are slanted. Everyone in the US is counted even if they never leave the man-made canyons and pavement of a major city. Even though I hunted and fished my whole life, and always looked for snakes of any kind, I never saw a poisonous snake growing up in CT. Moved to Vail at 18 - no snakes up there. Spent a couple years in MO/IL - never saw any there. Moved back to the CO front range, in a fairly developed area - never saw any around where I lived, but did see a few in some areas I hunted. Then I moved farther into the foothills in an undeveloped area. Early on, rattlesnake encounters were almost a daily occurance from spring through fall. I'd say MY chance of being bitten was nearly zero the first half of my life, and a LOT higher than that the second half. But I was also thrilled, when I finally started seeing them. They are fascinating critters.
If you slowly wave the muzzle around a bit...... they are self aiming.......