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When Would You Kill a Venomous Snake?

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August 24, 2011

When Would You Kill a Venomous Snake?

By Chad Love

Early one chilly fall morning some 16 years ago, on the scout day for a weekend bonus deer archery hunt I had been drawn out on, I was stumbling my way along a game trail in far eastern Oklahoma when I stepped over--literally stepped over, with my family jewels open to immediate and easily-accessible fanged attack--a cold, curled-up timber rattler trying to warm itself up right in the middle of the trail. This brings up an interesting twist on an age-old philosophical question: If a grown man screams like a wee girl in the middle of the forest, and there's no one around to hear him, does he make a sound?

I'll let you be the judge of that, but when I saw this cool video of a large timber rattler swimming across a Kentucky lake, those nightsweats I thought I'd finally gotten over suddenly started up again...

Unlike many others, I am, and have always been fascinated with snakes. I grew up catching and keeping all manner of serpents, even once wanted to be a herpetologist some day, and I'm proud to say I've never needlessly killed a snake. Several years ago I did a blog post about the wanton killing of snakes and the resulting debate in the comments section was lively, entertaining and educational. My thoughts on the subject still haven't changed. I'll kill a venomous snake if I think it poses a threat to my family or dogs, but other than that I leave them alone. But after watching the video, I thought it'd be interesting to revisit the topic.

What would you do if you had seen that timber rattler swimming across the lake? Kill it or leave it be? And as for the timber rattler I encountered that day, after my heart stopped racing and the shrieks stopped reverberating across the valley. I admired his beauty (from a distance) and then walked on, but with my eyes firmly glued to the ground in front of me. I never did shoot a deer on that hunt...

Comments (39)

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

If I seen it swimming in the lake I would just leave it. Snakes can send shivers down my spine. I know they are good to keep rodents away, so I leave them alone. If a venomous snake was around the house, I would kill it, but out in the wild I leave them alone.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

While playing baseball in the backyard many years ago a snake chased our rightfielder (who was screaming like a freshly castrated pig) out of the park. A quick trip to the tool shed and a shovel made quick work of the serpent. That is the last snake I can recall killing. It was 1970 something.

I might poke a snake with a stick out of childish curiousity but not kill it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I would only kill a snake if it was going to be a problem. I am not a fan though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Since killing rattlesnakes is illegal in my state, I'll stick with "no comment".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from lifestudent wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Some venomous snakes such as the timber rattler are protected here in Illinois.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Call it wrong but I kill every cottonmouth I come across, and about 50/50 on copperheads (depends on their location)
After losing several bittys and pullets to chicken snakes last year I kill every chicken snake I see....(sorry but its a personal vendetta!)
Other than that I generally tend to leave them alone, I'll pick a few up here and there, but generally let them go about there business.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Snakes don't bother me, & I don't bother them.
Now if he bites me, then yea- he's going down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigTex wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I might have screamed like a little girl when I ran over a copperhead on my mtn bike last Saturday. Fortunately I was alone in the woods, so no one would have been around to hear me. If I had screamed, that is, which I obviously didn't, due to the lack of witnesses.

Venomous snakes in the yard or in camp need to go. Otherwise live and let live.

Invasive species are a different matter.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from RS08 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

there was a woman fishing in tiber resevoir(n.central mt) recentally and had a big rattler crawl into her boat and bit one of her dogs and almost killed it. i won't go out of my way to kill a snake, but it'd be go time if its swimming towards the boat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Indiscriminate snake killers are snake fearers. Plain and simple.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I only kill them if they are endangering people or livestock/pets. Otherwise I let them to do their thing, they are beautiful and keep you on your toes.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gfrichie wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

If anyone has read Cormac McCarthy's "The Road", there's some pretty eerie passages in there about burning snakes in gasoline that come to mind and weird me out.

But to answer the question, I think killing a venomous snake should only be in danger situations, for yourself or your pets/animals; otherwise I don't see any ethical reason to do so.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Ambulance claims for snake bites are up this year in NW Arkansas.

GO FIGURE!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1Browning2 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I have a hard time killing a snake, even insects I do not like to kill. Living here in Iowa, we dont have a large population of venomous species of snakes or spiders. We do have them just not around my home. I have no problem harvesting a deer for food but killing a snake or spider because it is "gross" is wrong, unless it poses a threat. I've been with many people who go out of their way to step on a spider or try and kill a snake. And each time I try and stop them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JDubYa wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I hate snakes with an every loving passion.
Ever since I was a kid I can remember old timers and friends of my father giving me rattlesnake buttons.
Last summer I had the privilege to kill a 4 1/2 foot rattlesnake that had 13 buttons. He was in my yard and we have plenty of dogs/cats and I have a big family, including a son. Not to mention all of our company we have visiting. Like I do with all good Lookin snakes I kill, I skinned him and tanned it and he's now hanging on my wall alongside my first set of antlers just above the rest of my rattlesnake buttons.
I have a video on YouTube of me skinning it. Will post as soon as I can get the URL, if anyone is interested that is?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JDubYa wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

For the record, although I do hate snakes, I'm not trying to hold it as a trophy or being proud of killing this snake. What I do keep it for and what I am proud of is this: I keep it as a sign of remembrance of this remarkable creature and to keep it's beauty in tact. I am proud that there was a potential life threatening snake at my house that could've easily taken out a family member and I was able to prevent this and protect my family.

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from GERG wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Unless Im lookin for a skin I will leave them be or remove them to a safe place. this includes venomous snakes. I have handled snakes for many years and know what I am doing. I would however not encourage anyone to handle venomous snakes at all.Yeah I know I aint right in the head! LOL

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Riverrat57 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

It seems (in my lifetime anyway) that when it comes to snakes,(venomous or not), the general consensus among most people has been to simply kill it. I suppose it has something to do with the serpent of the Bible in the Garden of Eden. I guess if it had been a kitty cat that convinced Eve to eat that apple, there would be a lot fewer feral cats out there to deal with. The other factor would be, the fear we all have of being killed, via teeth, claws, or poison, has driven us to basically kill off everything that could be a threat to us. Enter the endangered species list. I know that my views have changed as I have gotten older. I will admire a poisonous snake from a distance, but walk around it and leave it be. He's here for a reason, same as Bears, Mountain Lions, Wolves and Great White Sharks.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from M_Rothwell wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

When I lived in a suburb of Tampa a while back I saw my cat playing with something in our landscaping. Upon closer examination I saw it was a true Coral Snake! Our cat was batting at it and I knew this wouldn't be good for our cat so I got a rake from the garage and after scaring my cat out of the way, gently got under it and it wrapped around the tines and I pulled it closer to get a good look at it. It was really a beautiful (but deadly!) thing. I walked across our lawn to a neighboring overgrown vacant lot and released it. Killing it was never a thought. It was a cool encounter though.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane256 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I like snakes. The only time I kill any snake is if it's somewhere close to where people live, particularly kids, or if I can't shoo them away from where I need to be (usually, you can get them out of there with a handy stick, though). Otherwise, they have as much right to be where ever they are as I do and I'll go around.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Glad to see that most of us “sportsmen” give the snakes, poisonous or not, the benefit of the doubt and let them be. I’ve got a healthy respect for them but I have only killed a handful of snakes in my life and even then it was out of safety concerns. I find it much cooler to know that something so wild, prehistoric, an unchanged hunter for the last what… million and some years inhabits the wilds of the areas I hunt in or frequent.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

We have alot of rattlesnakes at our hunting camp. We have a den in a ledge of rocks and they seem to be plentiful around our camp. Many times we have stepped out of the camp on our way to the outhouse and almost stepped on a rattler. Needless to say they don't fare very well around our camp. That is okay with me because they are good to eat. If you have never eaten one you should try it. We have copperheads also and if they are close to the house where the grandkids are playing sad to say they don't fare much better. Other than that I let them be. In the spring I have to spend as much time looking for rattlers at the camp as I do looking for gobblers. Finding a place to sit down can be a challenging chore. I have almost sat down in the wrong place a couple of times.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from johntalbott wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Generally speaking, I leave them alone. If a poisonous snake comes close to my house or too close to my dog, I'll kill it. Last year in teal season, a cottonmouth started swimming towards my dog after Belle finished retrieving a duck. Belle turned to jump on the snake, but luckily I was able to shoot the snake and grab her in time. Other than that, I haven't killed a snake since high school when an Eastern Diamondback was on the front porch and my mom almost had a heart attack. Other than that, I've had snake slither between my legs or over my foot when bowhunting early in the fall or turkey hunting. I like snakes, but I maintain a healthy respect for them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from slothman wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

several venomous snakes get the chop each year when the decide to venture in to my barn, porch,home or immediate yard. Out side of my immediate residence they get left alone!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paul Wilke wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Hungry or not?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

if it's close enough to bite me and i can't avoid it, i kill it. around the house, i kill it. swimming in a pond, i leave it alone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bemorgan11 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Two years ago on a warm October day here in GA I was tracking a deer I shot while bow hunting. I lost the blood trail and was looking from side to side trying the find it. I looked down and my left heel was about 1 inch from a huge rattle snake. He was curled up and just looked at me. I too jumped and squeeled like a little girl until I regained my senses. I stood about 15 feet away and took a picture of the snake with my camera phone. During all the yelling and screaming by me, the snake never moved. When I got back to camp everyone wanted to know why I didn't kill the snake. I explained it was simple, he let me walk and I returned the favor. I don't kill snakes of any species unless I think they pose a threat to me, my family or my animals.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I have almost always seen snakes like that one while i was fishing, but never one that big mostly gradner snakes once I even had a sanke on my hook.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crotalus wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Though the venom is potent, Timber Rattlesnakes are, frankly, the puppydogs of the rattlesnake world. That's not to say they won't defend themselves if you try to catch them (or of course attack them-- small difference to the snake); females also will defend new-borns. Which puts them on a par with about every other land vertebrate.

I've worked with them in KS for years, and relocated many that were too close to homes for their own good. If they're a problem near a house, several local landowners use a shovel to slide them into a trash barrel, then haul them off a few miles to similar wooded habitats. You create far more danger blasting away next to a house than the snake does eating mice or chipmunks attracted to your bird feeder seed.

They're pretty cool animals really. If you want more info, email me: gpisani@ku.edu

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I will generally let snakes and other critters go unless they are a real threat to me or my property. My wife is deathly afraid of snakes, but I won't kill them just because she is afraid of them.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

ive killed 3 prairie rattlers in colorado shooting prairie dogs...one my dad damn near stepped on, if i wouldnt have seen it i feel as though he would have been done for. including that one we killed 3 on that trip. ranchers gave us explicit orders to kill every one we saw, they didnt want them biting their dogs or kids.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Storm Hall wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I would kill them if I had a reason

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from originalmikewynne wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I shoot them on sight.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

In Pa you can purchase a rattlesnake tag and I have been considering buying one. I remember eating rattle snake when i was younger and it being very good. I cant remember if they are awarded through via drawing or can be purchased over the counter.
I remember eating rattle snake when i was younger and it being very good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Also I have personally seen many more recently than in the past. And if the PGC is providing tags, I figure the timber rattlesnake population is not in danger.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I hate snakes.. Well let me refraze that I am teriffied of snakes. They scare the hell out of me. If I stepped over one my hunting buddys would have thought I was back in Iraq with the amount of gun fire going off. I wouldn't go out to intentionally kill one, and if it was far enough away from me he would be fine because I would be heading the other way, as fast as my little feet could move. So I would have to say I wouldn't kill one just because it was venomous, mainly because I would be running the other way.
But what about a non native snake like a python in Florida? Would you kill it then?

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from mdsulli2 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I too have heard the sound of a wee girl who screamed in the woods only to realize it was me that made the noise. Sunday school taught us to fear snakes but common sense says to kill the venomus let the non-venomus take care of the mice and crickets.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from drskintbackkennels wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

I kill every venemous snake I come across and go out of my way to do it. I hate them. I leave King sakes, Black snakes, and Water snakes alone but I still wont get near them.

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from djamesdavidson wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I wont be the last to say that snakes give me the creeps. But they do kill many rodents that could potentially carry diseases. If a snake poses a threat to me, I see it as a justified kill. Unless a nest is beneath my home I dont see why they have the right to the woods as I do. Now wolves, that's another topic entirely.. They are more predatory than snakes.

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Post a Comment

from BigTex wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I might have screamed like a little girl when I ran over a copperhead on my mtn bike last Saturday. Fortunately I was alone in the woods, so no one would have been around to hear me. If I had screamed, that is, which I obviously didn't, due to the lack of witnesses.

Venomous snakes in the yard or in camp need to go. Otherwise live and let live.

Invasive species are a different matter.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Since killing rattlesnakes is illegal in my state, I'll stick with "no comment".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RS08 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

there was a woman fishing in tiber resevoir(n.central mt) recentally and had a big rattler crawl into her boat and bit one of her dogs and almost killed it. i won't go out of my way to kill a snake, but it'd be go time if its swimming towards the boat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1Browning2 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I have a hard time killing a snake, even insects I do not like to kill. Living here in Iowa, we dont have a large population of venomous species of snakes or spiders. We do have them just not around my home. I have no problem harvesting a deer for food but killing a snake or spider because it is "gross" is wrong, unless it poses a threat. I've been with many people who go out of their way to step on a spider or try and kill a snake. And each time I try and stop them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Riverrat57 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

It seems (in my lifetime anyway) that when it comes to snakes,(venomous or not), the general consensus among most people has been to simply kill it. I suppose it has something to do with the serpent of the Bible in the Garden of Eden. I guess if it had been a kitty cat that convinced Eve to eat that apple, there would be a lot fewer feral cats out there to deal with. The other factor would be, the fear we all have of being killed, via teeth, claws, or poison, has driven us to basically kill off everything that could be a threat to us. Enter the endangered species list. I know that my views have changed as I have gotten older. I will admire a poisonous snake from a distance, but walk around it and leave it be. He's here for a reason, same as Bears, Mountain Lions, Wolves and Great White Sharks.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from M_Rothwell wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

When I lived in a suburb of Tampa a while back I saw my cat playing with something in our landscaping. Upon closer examination I saw it was a true Coral Snake! Our cat was batting at it and I knew this wouldn't be good for our cat so I got a rake from the garage and after scaring my cat out of the way, gently got under it and it wrapped around the tines and I pulled it closer to get a good look at it. It was really a beautiful (but deadly!) thing. I walked across our lawn to a neighboring overgrown vacant lot and released it. Killing it was never a thought. It was a cool encounter though.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Glad to see that most of us “sportsmen” give the snakes, poisonous or not, the benefit of the doubt and let them be. I’ve got a healthy respect for them but I have only killed a handful of snakes in my life and even then it was out of safety concerns. I find it much cooler to know that something so wild, prehistoric, an unchanged hunter for the last what… million and some years inhabits the wilds of the areas I hunt in or frequent.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bemorgan11 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Two years ago on a warm October day here in GA I was tracking a deer I shot while bow hunting. I lost the blood trail and was looking from side to side trying the find it. I looked down and my left heel was about 1 inch from a huge rattle snake. He was curled up and just looked at me. I too jumped and squeeled like a little girl until I regained my senses. I stood about 15 feet away and took a picture of the snake with my camera phone. During all the yelling and screaming by me, the snake never moved. When I got back to camp everyone wanted to know why I didn't kill the snake. I explained it was simple, he let me walk and I returned the favor. I don't kill snakes of any species unless I think they pose a threat to me, my family or my animals.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pbshooter1217 wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

If I seen it swimming in the lake I would just leave it. Snakes can send shivers down my spine. I know they are good to keep rodents away, so I leave them alone. If a venomous snake was around the house, I would kill it, but out in the wild I leave them alone.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I would only kill a snake if it was going to be a problem. I am not a fan though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lifestudent wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Some venomous snakes such as the timber rattler are protected here in Illinois.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WesMcCormick wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Call it wrong but I kill every cottonmouth I come across, and about 50/50 on copperheads (depends on their location)
After losing several bittys and pullets to chicken snakes last year I kill every chicken snake I see....(sorry but its a personal vendetta!)
Other than that I generally tend to leave them alone, I'll pick a few up here and there, but generally let them go about there business.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Snakes don't bother me, & I don't bother them.
Now if he bites me, then yea- he's going down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I only kill them if they are endangering people or livestock/pets. Otherwise I let them to do their thing, they are beautiful and keep you on your toes.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gfrichie wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

If anyone has read Cormac McCarthy's "The Road", there's some pretty eerie passages in there about burning snakes in gasoline that come to mind and weird me out.

But to answer the question, I think killing a venomous snake should only be in danger situations, for yourself or your pets/animals; otherwise I don't see any ethical reason to do so.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Ambulance claims for snake bites are up this year in NW Arkansas.

GO FIGURE!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JDubYa wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

I hate snakes with an every loving passion.
Ever since I was a kid I can remember old timers and friends of my father giving me rattlesnake buttons.
Last summer I had the privilege to kill a 4 1/2 foot rattlesnake that had 13 buttons. He was in my yard and we have plenty of dogs/cats and I have a big family, including a son. Not to mention all of our company we have visiting. Like I do with all good Lookin snakes I kill, I skinned him and tanned it and he's now hanging on my wall alongside my first set of antlers just above the rest of my rattlesnake buttons.
I have a video on YouTube of me skinning it. Will post as soon as I can get the URL, if anyone is interested that is?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GERG wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Unless Im lookin for a skin I will leave them be or remove them to a safe place. this includes venomous snakes. I have handled snakes for many years and know what I am doing. I would however not encourage anyone to handle venomous snakes at all.Yeah I know I aint right in the head! LOL

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane256 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I like snakes. The only time I kill any snake is if it's somewhere close to where people live, particularly kids, or if I can't shoo them away from where I need to be (usually, you can get them out of there with a handy stick, though). Otherwise, they have as much right to be where ever they are as I do and I'll go around.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

We have alot of rattlesnakes at our hunting camp. We have a den in a ledge of rocks and they seem to be plentiful around our camp. Many times we have stepped out of the camp on our way to the outhouse and almost stepped on a rattler. Needless to say they don't fare very well around our camp. That is okay with me because they are good to eat. If you have never eaten one you should try it. We have copperheads also and if they are close to the house where the grandkids are playing sad to say they don't fare much better. Other than that I let them be. In the spring I have to spend as much time looking for rattlers at the camp as I do looking for gobblers. Finding a place to sit down can be a challenging chore. I have almost sat down in the wrong place a couple of times.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from crotalus wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Though the venom is potent, Timber Rattlesnakes are, frankly, the puppydogs of the rattlesnake world. That's not to say they won't defend themselves if you try to catch them (or of course attack them-- small difference to the snake); females also will defend new-borns. Which puts them on a par with about every other land vertebrate.

I've worked with them in KS for years, and relocated many that were too close to homes for their own good. If they're a problem near a house, several local landowners use a shovel to slide them into a trash barrel, then haul them off a few miles to similar wooded habitats. You create far more danger blasting away next to a house than the snake does eating mice or chipmunks attracted to your bird feeder seed.

They're pretty cool animals really. If you want more info, email me: gpisani@ku.edu

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

ive killed 3 prairie rattlers in colorado shooting prairie dogs...one my dad damn near stepped on, if i wouldnt have seen it i feel as though he would have been done for. including that one we killed 3 on that trip. ranchers gave us explicit orders to kill every one we saw, they didnt want them biting their dogs or kids.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from originalmikewynne wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I shoot them on sight.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mdsulli2 wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I too have heard the sound of a wee girl who screamed in the woods only to realize it was me that made the noise. Sunday school taught us to fear snakes but common sense says to kill the venomus let the non-venomus take care of the mice and crickets.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

While playing baseball in the backyard many years ago a snake chased our rightfielder (who was screaming like a freshly castrated pig) out of the park. A quick trip to the tool shed and a shovel made quick work of the serpent. That is the last snake I can recall killing. It was 1970 something.

I might poke a snake with a stick out of childish curiousity but not kill it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

Indiscriminate snake killers are snake fearers. Plain and simple.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JDubYa wrote 2 years 34 weeks ago

For the record, although I do hate snakes, I'm not trying to hold it as a trophy or being proud of killing this snake. What I do keep it for and what I am proud of is this: I keep it as a sign of remembrance of this remarkable creature and to keep it's beauty in tact. I am proud that there was a potential life threatening snake at my house that could've easily taken out a family member and I was able to prevent this and protect my family.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johntalbott wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Generally speaking, I leave them alone. If a poisonous snake comes close to my house or too close to my dog, I'll kill it. Last year in teal season, a cottonmouth started swimming towards my dog after Belle finished retrieving a duck. Belle turned to jump on the snake, but luckily I was able to shoot the snake and grab her in time. Other than that, I haven't killed a snake since high school when an Eastern Diamondback was on the front porch and my mom almost had a heart attack. Other than that, I've had snake slither between my legs or over my foot when bowhunting early in the fall or turkey hunting. I like snakes, but I maintain a healthy respect for them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from slothman wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

several venomous snakes get the chop each year when the decide to venture in to my barn, porch,home or immediate yard. Out side of my immediate residence they get left alone!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Paul Wilke wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Hungry or not?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

if it's close enough to bite me and i can't avoid it, i kill it. around the house, i kill it. swimming in a pond, i leave it alone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from billyjo bondurant wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I have almost always seen snakes like that one while i was fishing, but never one that big mostly gradner snakes once I even had a sanke on my hook.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wgiles wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I will generally let snakes and other critters go unless they are a real threat to me or my property. My wife is deathly afraid of snakes, but I won't kill them just because she is afraid of them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Storm Hall wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I would kill them if I had a reason

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

In Pa you can purchase a rattlesnake tag and I have been considering buying one. I remember eating rattle snake when i was younger and it being very good. I cant remember if they are awarded through via drawing or can be purchased over the counter.
I remember eating rattle snake when i was younger and it being very good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

Also I have personally seen many more recently than in the past. And if the PGC is providing tags, I figure the timber rattlesnake population is not in danger.

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from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I hate snakes.. Well let me refraze that I am teriffied of snakes. They scare the hell out of me. If I stepped over one my hunting buddys would have thought I was back in Iraq with the amount of gun fire going off. I wouldn't go out to intentionally kill one, and if it was far enough away from me he would be fine because I would be heading the other way, as fast as my little feet could move. So I would have to say I wouldn't kill one just because it was venomous, mainly because I would be running the other way.
But what about a non native snake like a python in Florida? Would you kill it then?

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from drskintbackkennels wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

I kill every venemous snake I come across and go out of my way to do it. I hate them. I leave King sakes, Black snakes, and Water snakes alone but I still wont get near them.

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from djamesdavidson wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

I wont be the last to say that snakes give me the creeps. But they do kill many rodents that could potentially carry diseases. If a snake poses a threat to me, I see it as a justified kill. Unless a nest is beneath my home I dont see why they have the right to the woods as I do. Now wolves, that's another topic entirely.. They are more predatory than snakes.

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