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Snakes! Why is it always snakes?

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Jul 6, 2020 - 4:42:19 PM
373 posts since 10/9/2017

Took the trash out last thing last night and the dog came along to do his business. Then he gets all excited and bouncing back and forth and barking his head off: he'd got into a pissing match with a 2-foot long copperhead. He's done something similar twice before which resulted in trips to the emergency vet and large holes in my wallet. Fortunately, I managed to warn him off the snake, but the guy was not in a position where I could get at him safely with a shovel. Our dog is an idiot, but our daughters would be very unhappy if he succumbed to snake bite. So, as much as I hate killing the snake and any family members it brought along, I'll have to do it.

If the snake shows again, I'd like to shoot it with snake load, but I've had to double check with the local constabulary to see if that is even allowed. We have pretty strict laws on discharge of a firearm within the town limits. Any other thoughts on how to safely dispose of venomous vermin? I used the shovel on a very large specimen who showed up on our front porch a few years back, but this guy's a bit smaller and might be trickier to hit.

Jul 6, 2020 - 5:19:28 PM

9476 posts since 8/22/2006

There is snake repellent you could try. Being in the country marking ones territory has worked for me so far.

Edited by - 5B-Ranch on 07/06/2020 17:20:34

Jul 6, 2020 - 5:43:30 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

16714 posts since 6/5/2008

Hose them with Capsacain Bear Spray.

Jul 6, 2020 - 5:55:28 PM

3138 posts since 9/12/2016

I like to be nice but ,with no ability I would go for a practiced slice with an ax or sharpened shovel . He would be too dangerous to have around . I feel almost sure these guys around here have better ideas

I might even put my tall boots on.

Edited by - Tractor1 on 07/06/2020 17:56:14

Jul 6, 2020 - 6:46:57 PM

DRH

USA

495 posts since 5/29/2018

Copperheads are less aggressive than rattlers or cotton mouth. But according to some snake guy in NC the copperhead acounts for more than half of all poisonous snake bites in NC. Apparently, as ambush predators they just wait quietly for you to get within striking distance.

My yard helper got nailed by a copperhead last year. His sock caught the fangs which prevented skin puncture. The two microscopic drops of venom blistered his leg and made him sick.

Pepper spray is supposed to be effective. I carry one of those big cans of wasp spray, which I'm told works just as well. It won't kill them as quick as bird shot but it will give you time to finish the job with a shovel.  A firearm could get you in trouble in town.  Also, snakes are protected species in many states.

Edited by - DRH on 07/06/2020 18:54:54

Jul 6, 2020 - 9:15:29 PM
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10340 posts since 1/15/2005
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I think there are more copperhead bites because the darn things are so hard to see, especially in leaves. Their bites will make you sick, but for adults, or anyone over about 75 lbs. they are not nearly as bad as a rattler or cottonmouth. Although in the upstate of South Carolinas people are always claiming to see cottonmouths, there has never been as documented case of one being found above the "fall line" (middle of the state just below Columbia.

Jul 7, 2020 - 4:44:24 AM

figmo59

USA

31533 posts since 3/5/2008
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Nobody wants to see a dogs death dew to copperhead bite... :0/

Horrible......

Jul 7, 2020 - 4:46:42 AM
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figmo59

USA

31533 posts since 3/5/2008
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All I can say...
Is if one is in me yard...then it truly is an..indanger species.... ;0)

Jul 7, 2020 - 5:31:41 AM

Tobus

USA

2367 posts since 11/17/2015

Use wasp spray. Hose the snake down with it from a safe distance. It will be absorbed through their skin, and take a while to kill them (45 minutes to an hour), but it will do the job if you can't find another way to safely dispatch the snake.

Jul 7, 2020 - 5:38:40 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

12115 posts since 6/30/2015

Around here all snakes are protected so I would have no recommendation. I'm a big fan of snakes,even poisonous ones in the U.S. Snakes eat things that I'm not a big fan of. Before dispatching critters I always think would I rather have the critter, or the food of the critter. In this battle, snakes and spiders always win. I understand the concern with the dog, I would have the same concern, but I would look toward a repellent, or figure out how to train the dog to not go after snakes.

Jul 7, 2020 - 6:28:08 AM
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rinemb

USA

12404 posts since 5/24/2005

I don't like copperheads got struck at too many times in SE Kansas working at a wilderness camp. Saw many kids sent to infirmary on wait for ambulance. I worked the waterfront for a summer, and they like the water. It was when they went under that you tried to swim to shore with one hand, protecting your stuff with the other.
Brad

Jul 7, 2020 - 6:28:30 AM

373 posts since 10/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by DC5

Around here all snakes are protected so I would have no recommendation. I'm a big fan of snakes,even poisonous ones in the U.S. Snakes eat things that I'm not a big fan of. Before dispatching critters I always think would I rather have the critter, or the food of the critter. In this battle, snakes and spiders always win. I understand the concern with the dog, I would have the same concern, but I would look toward a repellent, or figure out how to train the dog to not go after snakes.


Copperheads are common in NC. They are officially a "pest" species. I don't want to kill it -- I'm with you on snakes -- but if it's a question of the snake or the dog, the dog wins. Unfortunately, our dog, as I said in the OP, is an idiot, not to mention neurotic and OCD. He ignores squirrels but is hell for leather with snakes. Go figure. I'd never heard the wasp spray technique. I have wasp bomb so that will be my next choice if he shows again. 

As to spiders, we get black widows with some frequency, and they have to be dispatched pronto, but other than that (or a brown recluse*, which I've never seen) I'm all for 'em. My wife has other ideas, unfortunately.

 

*Many years ago, a friend of mine was bitten by a brown recluse that had made its home in a trunk full of old theatrical costumes. She got him on the inner thigh. The result was pretty horrific, massive tissue necrosis and weeks of rehab. He was just lucky she didn't decide to go a little higher.

Jul 7, 2020 - 7:07:04 AM

10340 posts since 1/15/2005
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Remsleep
quote:
Originally posted by DC5

Around here all snakes are protected so I would have no recommendation. I'm a big fan of snakes,even poisonous ones in the U.S. Snakes eat things that I'm not a big fan of. Before dispatching critters I always think would I rather have the critter, or the food of the critter. In this battle, snakes and spiders always win. I understand the concern with the dog, I would have the same concern, but I would look toward a repellent, or figure out how to train the dog to not go after snakes.


Copperheads are common in NC. They are officially a "pest" species. I don't want to kill it -- I'm with you on snakes -- but if it's a question of the snake or the dog, the dog wins. Unfortunately, our dog, as I said in the OP, is an idiot, not to mention neurotic and OCD. He ignores squirrels but is hell for leather with snakes. Go figure. I'd never heard the wasp spray technique. I have wasp bomb so that will be my next choice if he shows again. 

As to spiders, we get black widows with some frequency, and they have to be dispatched pronto, but other than that (or a brown recluse*, which I've never seen) I'm all for 'em. My wife has other ideas, unfortunately.

 

*Many years ago, a friend of mine was bitten by a brown recluse that had made its home in a trunk full of old theatrical costumes. She got him on the inner thigh. The result was pretty horrific, massive tissue necrosis and weeks of rehab. He was just lucky she didn't decide to go a little higher.


Same here in SC .......... copperheads pretty common.  I usually see a good many during the summer while riding my road bike that have been run over, but have only seen one so far this year.  Several years ago when the Cicadas emerged I saw a bunch of them.  I don't know if it was a coincidence, but a friend of mine said that Cicadas were copperheads favorite "snack" and moved around a lot to find them.  If true, that could explain it!

Jul 7, 2020 - 8:01:12 AM
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rinemb

USA

12404 posts since 5/24/2005

When you kill it, protect as much as you can behind the head. Skin it. Thumbtack it every couple of inches on a board (outside down). Smother it in salt. and let it bake in the sun a few days. Remove from board, rinse it clean, dry it. Now you can take some cream/oil product to make it subtle again. Kids will love it, or you. make a hat band, hang it as a warning. ;-) or whatever.
At least, this is what we did as camp instructors, and sold them to kid campers or their leaders. A moonlight biz.
I am sure there are better ways to prepare a snake skin, but that is what we had to work with. Wayyyyy back before internet, and before it was considered a bad thing to kill a snake in your tent, or in the privy, or on the lake beach, or in the commissary, etc.
Brad

Jul 7, 2020 - 8:13:31 AM

3138 posts since 9/12/2016

If it gets to hanging around ,I could step on it ,no way I want to take that chance.Too clumsy here

Jul 7, 2020 - 8:51:41 AM
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RB3

USA

733 posts since 4/12/2004

Have you considered giving him up for adoption? I'm of course referring to the snake, not the dog. There are churches in Eastern Kentucky that are always looking for a couple more vipers for their congregants to handle.

Jul 7, 2020 - 10:37:57 AM
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3962 posts since 11/29/2005

Way out West, here in AZ, there are people who will train dogs to avoid rattlers, Gila Monsters, and the like.

Or, check with your local FD to see if they remove poisonous snakes from your yard. They will take the snake to a less-human-inhabited area and release it.

Jul 7, 2020 - 2:07:25 PM

373 posts since 10/9/2017

Our dog won't even leave the property on a leash for a walk, unless he's in the car. At this point, I don't think aversion training for snakes will work. He's already been bit twice. How much more aversion does it take?

Jul 7, 2020 - 3:07:11 PM
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93 posts since 11/28/2006

Copperheads seem to not mind living around people, rattlers and water moccasins try to avoid us. I have two friends who were bitten, both while gardening, and I killed one in our laundry room a few years ago. Here’s a fun fact - antivenom treatment runs about $15k and my medical insurance doesn’t cover It. Forget the 0.22, I’d use a 12 ga.

And for the record I’m generally pro-snake, but copperheads are the exception. Especially when my granddaughters visit.

Jul 8, 2020 - 8:04:37 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12404 posts since 5/24/2005

Around these parts, many folks keep some version or style of "snake charmer" available:


 

Jul 8, 2020 - 11:46:06 AM
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DC5

USA

12115 posts since 6/30/2015

I know several people who swear by .22LR bird-shot for relocating small varmints to God. You get a scatter pattern but not enough noise to disturb the neighbors. One assumes you are trying to take the critter out at reasonably close range if a shovel is your other weapon of choice.

Jul 8, 2020 - 12:39:51 PM

1153 posts since 8/7/2017

For snake aversion training, contact a local hunting dog club. There is a guy (maybe more?) who goes around with a snake aversion training program. I've not been, just heard about it; he came to Bozeman, and a friend took his Chesapeake dog. The hunting dog club probably has more information.

I did an internet search on "snake aversion dog training" and got a lot of hits.

Jul 8, 2020 - 1:22 PM

373 posts since 10/9/2017

quote:
Originally posted by DC5

I know several people who swear by .22LR bird-shot for relocating small varmints to God. You get a scatter pattern but not enough noise to disturb the neighbors. One assumes you are trying to take the critter out at reasonably close range if a shovel is your other weapon of choice.


I'm considering that in either .22LR or .38 Special, it's just a question of whether the law will come down on me for discharging a firearm within city limits. I'm playing phone tag with the boys and girls in blue at the moment.

Jul 8, 2020 - 3:01:02 PM

1690 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Remsleep
quote:
Originally posted by DC5

I know several people who swear by .22LR bird-shot for relocating small varmints to God. You get a scatter pattern but not enough noise to disturb the neighbors. One assumes you are trying to take the critter out at reasonably close range if a shovel is your other weapon of choice.


I'm considering that in either .22LR or .38 Special, it's just a question of whether the law will come down on me for discharging a firearm within city limits. I'm playing phone tag with the boys and girls in blue at the moment.


I think a .410 pistol would be a handy thing to have

Jul 9, 2020 - 10:06:33 AM

figmo59

USA

31533 posts since 3/5/2008
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quote:
Originally posted by DC5

I know several people who swear by .22LR bird-shot for relocating small varmints to God. You get a scatter pattern but not enough noise to disturb the neighbors. One assumes you are trying to take the critter out at reasonably close range if a shovel is your other weapon of choice.


Works good on wood bees too... ;0)

 

Blast'em right out a the sky... :0)

Jul 9, 2020 - 11:17:02 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

12115 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by figmo59
quote:
Originally posted by DC5

I know several people who swear by .22LR bird-shot for relocating small varmints to God. You get a scatter pattern but not enough noise to disturb the neighbors. One assumes you are trying to take the critter out at reasonably close range if a shovel is your other weapon of choice.


Works good on wood bees too... ;0)

 

Blast'em right out a the sky... :0)


May need to try that, they're eating the hell out of my fascia board this year, and it's too high up for me to get to.  The woodpeckers come in to eat them, but they do more damage than the bees so I need to scare them off.  Course my neighbors are within earshot so I probably won't get away with it.  Need a more powerful Bug-A-Salt with a longer range.  https://www.bugasalt.com/

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