Cottonmouths?

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by Fowler267, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Fowler267

    Fowler267 Elite Refuge Member

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    I was out walking the dogs around a lake today.. Saw a few birds fly into a bay and noticed them go back past the shore. I followed and found a beaver pond I was un aware of.. I walked around it and walked out to a small point... I turned around and about stumbled and about that time I noticed a medium sized cottonmouth coiled up right about in the direction I was headed/falling. I managed to catch myself but that does get your attention!

    I had nothing but a long handled trappers trowel. I caught myself and looked around to make sure the dogs were not close... I decided to side step to the left to get around it and damned if there wasn't a grey one that was bigger then the first about five feet away. Then I spotted the third one, a smaller black one..... and was wondering about the ones I had missed?

    I stepped between them and watched like heck as I eased out of there before getting the dogs headed away as well.

    I have seen several cottonmouths over the years but never that close underfoot nor that many in one spot. I assume it must be breeding season?

    But after watching a video or two maybe water moccasins are over rated as aggressive?

    What's your experience?
     
  2. California Flyway

    California Flyway Elite Refuge Member

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    My guess is anyone who has been bitten by a Cotton Mouth does not overrate them.
    That said I have encountered water snakes that were more evil tempered.
     
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  3. 10GAGENUT

    10GAGENUT Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Never turn your back on one, IMO they aren't over rated as aggressive. I've had to shoot several over the years that just kept on coming towards me or who I was with
     
    Rubberhead likes this.
  4. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

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    They're about as common as can be in my part of the country, and I'm in the marsh and/or field with them darn near daily. A very few will get frightened or agitated enough to more than hold their ground, many will only do that and bow up, and most slip off to avoid confrontation. I'd just as soon not know about the ones I've not known about.
     
  5. Vahunter

    Vahunter Elite Refuge Member

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    My father told a story about this guy he once knew.
    The guy had hunted in several parts of the world and had been pretty successful. He decided it was appropriate for nature to get back at him. So, every August he'd pole a jon boat into the Dismal Swamp in SE Virginia during what I guess is cottonmouth mating season. He carried a 22 pistol loaded with rat shot. The snakes were so aggressive, they'd try to get into the boat. He'd shoot the snakes with rat shot I suppose so he wouldn't shoot a hole in the boat. :scratch
    Apparently the guy had taken guests with him. The story goes that no one ever went back with him a second time.....
     
    Fowler267 likes this.
  6. tcc

    tcc Elite Refuge Member

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    This. Pretty common around here, but never seen any that were overly aggressive.
     
  7. hartfish

    hartfish Elite Refuge Member

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    Defensive Behavior of Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) toward Humans
    J. WHITFIELD GIBBONS AND MICHAEL E. DORCAS

    Our observations strongly support the contention of Pope (1958) that ‘‘snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors.’’
    Upon being seen, nine (20%) of the individuals fled into nearby water, apparently sensing that immediate escape was possible and a safe route
    was accessible. Such flight behavior by cottonmouths was noted by Ditmars (1907), who stated that ‘‘snakes that observed us when some little
    distance away, made for the water and escaped.. . .’’ Ernst (1992) likewise reported that cottonmouths try to escape when first disturbed.
    Mouth gaping, the bluffing behavior from which the name ‘‘cottonmouth’’ originates, was observed by us in 64% of the individuals that
    did not flee. In addition, 33% vibrated the tail, and 24% emitted a detectable musk.

    Of the 11 snakes in our study picked up without previously being stepped on, only one bit the glove, suggesting that the preceding
    harassment (stepped beside or on) provoked the highest incidence of biting.

    https://srelherp.uga.edu/projects/docs/Gibbons&Dorcas2002.pdf
     
  8. dux/24 7

    dux/24 7 Elite Refuge Member

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    Killem all.
     
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  9. widgeon

    widgeon Elite Refuge Member

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    I've seen a lot of snakes and only three have moved TOWARDS me. a bullsnake, a cottonmouth, and a coachwhip.

    The coachwhip actually chased me into the car and then bit the hubcap.
     
    Fowler267 likes this.
  10. Porter Bayou

    Porter Bayou Senior Refuge Member

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    They're no different than any other snake. People are overly paranoid because of bs stories they've been told about grandpa's war buddy.
     

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