I hate snakes!!!

Bald Eagle

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Usually the weather is cool enough during our spring turkey season that snakes are still sleeping or are very inactive.  NOT THIS YEAR!

Yesterday I went to my favorite hunting spot up on the hill behind my barn.  I had roosted a tom on Monday evening so I knew exactly where I should set up.  At 5:30 AM it was very dark and I plopped down at a nice large tree.  About 30 min. later I gave one very soft tree yelp and sat tight.  This has been my most successful tactic over the years - soft calling and lots of patients.

At daybreak I heard ole Mr. Timothy drive by (approx. 600 yds. away) in his old Plymouth and the exhaust seemed to be making a shhhhhhhh sound.  I remember saying to myself "I'll be fixing his muffler later today".  About 5 min. later I heard the leaking muffler angain and Mr. Timothy was long gone.  I turned my head to get a better listening angle.  I know, no movement when turkey hunting.  I have a bad case of tinitus.  Ringing in my ears constantly.  As I was straining to figure out my hearing problem the sunlight was just starting to illuminate the floor of the forest.

I'm sure you get the picture.

He was about 3 ft. long and certainly did not want my company.  I just about crapped my drawers.  I took the muzzle of my gun and started to push him away while I was jumping to my feet.  He struck twice at my gun and in a state of panic I blew his head off.  Completely off!  Good old turkey choke - I must have had a 2 inch diameter pattern at 12 inches.  As soon as my ears recovered from the blast I heard two turkeys fly off to the south out of the tree I had my eye on earlier.  I was so nervous that I went back to my little hunting cabin/loft in my barn and had two more cups of coffee.

It was only the second timber rattler I've ever seen on my farm.  The first was dead in the logging road about five years ago.  I found out today that a 3 ft. timber rattler is a very large snake for that species.  I still tremble just a little to think of it.
 

SAW

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Bald Eagle,I certainly don't blame you for killing a poisonous snake on your property,I'd  do the same in a heartbeat.Just wanted to make sure you knew they were protected in Ohio.I would not be talking about it too much.There was a guy last year that killed one accidentally while cutting down a tree and word got back to the DNR.They fined him pretty badly to set an example.Hopefully you can hunt that turkey in peace now.Happy hunting!
 

Welby

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Well, ha ha, I guess you answered that age old question:  what would you do if a turkey were approaching and you discovered there was a snake coiled between you legs?  Shoot the snake and spook the turkey, or risk getting bit to wait on the turkey?

I am very glad he didn't bite you.  Another man here in our office told me of his experiences last year with cottonmouths during turkey season.  One morning he went in the woods to set up among the roots of a great old oak tree and await a turkey's arrival.  Just before plopping down, he said he glanced down one more time.  As he peered through the dark, he saw the white from the inside of the snake's mouth appear right where he was about to sit.  He flashed his light down there and discovered a good sized cottonmouth water moccasin coiled up waiting for his derriere.  He decided to find another tree.

While looking for another place to set up, he nearly stepped on at least two more moccasins.  He ended up not turkey hunting at all.  The snakes just made him too nervous to stay in the woods that morning.

I hear that certain snakes are protected in my state as well.  As far as I'm concerned, unless they have an armed bodyguard with them, they are on my personal endangered species list.  The poisonous ones, that is.

Be careful out there!

(Edited by Welby at 7:32 am on May 2, 2002)
 

TNDEERHUNTER

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Bald Eagle, Glad to hear your OK. I had the same thing happen to me last week but it was just a black snake and I just sat still and he wandered off. Good luck and be careful.
 

PowDuck

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Yeah. They're protected here in Arkansas, too. At least, by law. Their only protection from me is to be unseen and unheard. I will try to determine if they are poisonous or not before unloading. If I can't, I ere on the safe side and unload anyway.

Hey Eagle, I wonder if it's true that snakes always come in twos? :gunfighter:
 

sven

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So far, there aren't any timber rattlers in our area, but you don't have to go very far south to find them.  The day I see or here one is the day I start hunting turkeys from a treestand!  I jump out of my skin when I see a dang garter snake. :hair-raisin:
 

FTTPOW

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Bald Eagle, I thought ALL snakes were poisonous! It's a very unlucky day for the snake when I see them. I know there are lots of "good" snakes out there that kill mice and such, but I'll gladly buy mouse poison. To me, the only good snake is one that's in 3 or 4 pieces. I've encountered some Pythons, Anacondas and maybe some Cobras at our cabin in Athens and they all owned the same fate. I was even willing to patch a hole in the wall til I found a machete before I reached the shotgun. Since timber rattlers are protected in Ohio, I'm sure you were mistaken in you identification of the snake you blasted.
 

Bald Eagle

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Don't cha just hate it when all those Pythons, Anacondas, and Cobras get into your cabin.  Saturday I had an Elephant flying around my head in my loft.  You know, the elephant breed that has a black body with yellow abdomin.  They can even use their trunk to bore holes in wood!!!

I was back out there at the same spot where I sat in snake haven and didn"t see anything that looked or heard like a snake.  The remains were gone so I guess some critter had a good time with it.
 

MBullism

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I'd have gone back to the cabin and had two cups of something a little stronger than coffee, LOL.  I'm sure that FTTPOW is correct in that you are mistaken in your identification (since it's dead, and the evidence is gone, hehe).  From now on please limit your snake terminations to "timber garter snakes"...

(Glad your o.k.)

M
 

Don

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Hey Bald Eagle glad you're ok.  That is one of my greatest fears during turkey season.  Having grown up in rural South Carolina I am used to seeing snakes and pretty good at identifying them.  I just don't want one to crawl up to me while I am sitting down.  On our club we have an old gentleman that is retired and spends a lot time on the land.  He normally kills 6 or 7 rattlers every year.  Does not hurt my feelings.
 

metalkingdom

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Last year, I had a BIG rattler sneak up to within 5 feet of me as I slept under a tree.  The sound of him creeping through leaves woke me up, and I knew that that noise wasn't made by a lizard.  I gathered my calls and slowly stood up and backed away.  I had my phone with me, and I decided to use the voice recorder feature to record his rattle for my daughter to hear.  I grabbed a 5 foot long fallen branch and poked him a couple of times.  He coiled his upper body about halfway down, lifted his head and stuck out his tongue to figure out what was happening.  I poked him again, and he quickly slithered away, alongside a fallen tree, where I saw his whole body.  He had a huge rattle on him.  I was bummed that he didn't sound off.  The only thing that my phone recorded was my frantic voice sayin' "That wuz a big a$$ rattlesnake!!!".
 

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