2021 Snake Spotting

TreyG-20

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Nope. That is a Western Rat Snake. 100% guaranteed. That guy eats mice and you guessed it…rats. Keeping them around is a good thing.
I stand corrected. Pattern looked copperhead like, but the head shape threw me off. Looked more fat than triangular. Doesn't matter now though.
 

TreyG-20

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It does matter, for the next one. (I don’t want to kill good snakes)
Last night I swear his head looked more angular than oval.
Honest mistake. Fooled me too.
 

Sasquatch

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It does matter, for the next one. (I don’t want to kill good snakes)
Last night I swear his head looked more angular than oval.

Head shape alone is a poor indicator of venemous vs non - many nonvenomous snakes can flatten their head and puff their jaws out to give the arrow shape.

Copperheads *typically* have hershey's kiss shaped brown markings on their flanks. Their bodies can be that grayish tone, or pinkish, or tan.

The rat snake you killed will also often be mistaken for one of the varieties of rattlesnake because some rattlers also have similar markings.

Sometimes people go by body shape as well - the three pit vipers native to the US typically have triangular shaped bodies - fatter on the belly and tapering to the spine while many of the harmless snakes are rounder / skinnier - buuuut there are harmless snakes that have fat bodies like pit vipers, and younger pit vipers that haven't gotten old & fat can be skinny and rounder.

The varieites of water snake often get mistaken for cottonmouths because of their body shape, dark markings, and proximity to water for example.

It can be damn hard in some cases, especially in low light, to properly ID a snake.

Personally I've taken to leaving them alone unless I get positive ID and they're within a certain proximity of the house. I don't want the dangerous snakes getting under the house, or being within the general area where my kid and the dogs walk. I've only had to kill a couple snakes this year. I will usually encourage the others to move along or just give them a wide birth and go our separate ways.

I used to be a "kill 'em all and let the devil have them" sort - I hated snakes. I've mellowed and realized they play an important part in keeping other pests at bay. I'll gladly have snakes on the property keeping mice & rats in check, I'd prefer if they were all rat snakes like the one pictured and not the copperheads, but this is Texas and the copperheads are part of the local fauna. I just watch my step carefully when walking the property - especially since its autumn and my oaks are shedding their old leaves with greater zeal, and those dang copperheads blend in better than Waldo.
 

TEXAS "All or nothing"

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Does anyone have indigo snakes near them? I'm too far north, but are a venomous snake killers for sure! They are blue in color and get fairly long. As much as I hate snakes it's difficult for me not too kill them all.
 

ZX9RCAM

Over the Rainbow bridge...
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We had them around Kingsville when I was growing up.
 

billtool

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King snakes will eat a copperhead too. Hog nose snakes will flatten out and hiss like hell. Very beneficial in the world but easily mistaken for a rattler. Galveston dunes are notorious for housing Diamondback rattlesnakes. Be careful down there and stay out of the dunes for sure.
 

Sasquatch

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King snakes will eat a copperhead too. Hog nose snakes will flatten out and hiss like hell. Very beneficial in the world but easily mistaken for a rattler. Galveston dunes are notorious for housing Diamondback rattlesnakes. Be careful down there and stay out of the dunes for sure.

Yes indeedy!

koCIWlY.jpg
 

skfullgun

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In the woods...
I've killed about 18-20 copperheads since April, or so. All within 20 yards of the house, and most within the fenced yard. I posted a thread with some pics a while back.
I have seen several rat snakes around the barn and given them a pass. I accidentally killed one on my road one evening - he was coiled up and assertive.
I killed two rattlers at our place in Matagorda a few weeks back. I posted a thread and pics about that, as well. The second rattler was only about 18".
I don't like snakes, but seem to encounter my share of them.
 

bigtex10mm

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My wife was out at the ranch checking on the work being done on the Barndominium and the workers started hollering at her when she started walking up near the place they were working she saw this Copperhead and shot it with her .357mag with snakeshot. I went out later and one told me "your wife is a bad ass with that gun" I told him you should see her CHL target. Here's the Snake:
Copperhead Snake.jpg
 

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