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I live in northeast Oklahoma and have had more contact with snakes this year, while on the banks and shores, than ever before. I

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  • I live in northeast Oklahoma and have had more contact with snakes this year, while on the banks and shores, than ever before. I

    I live in northeast Oklahoma and have had more contact with snakes this year, while on the banks and shores, than ever before. I'd like to be able to make positive identification of the snakes BEFORE I shoot them, rather than AFTER. I read somewhere, a few years ago, that Cottonmouths will have half of their bodies floating while swimming, and non-venomous water snakes will have only the head above water. Is this true? If so, WHY is it like that? Any other tips for snake i.d.(preferably from a distance)? Thank you for reading, and for giving ME something worth reading every month.

  • #2
    When it comes to snakes, I have more of a shoot first, identify later attitude.. I'm gonna guess Bo has some cool info on snakes.. Just a guess though..

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    • #3
      When I am in a canoe and I see a snake heading toward me, it is a cottonmouth until proven otherwise. I mean, I have never let them get close enough to get a real good positive ID. I don't like cottonmouths at all. They don't cook well and they are a nuisance as well as venomous. I don't know that much about their swimming patterns and will freely admit it. When I am in any kind of canoe, any snake in the water wanting to join me in my boat is a target for me.
      I do know for a fact that you can cut a snake in half with an oar if you bring it down hard enough and fast enough and at the right angle. Been there done that. Adrenaline helps.
      There are numerous books, like Peterson Field guides you can use. In the wild, I have had to resort to the shoot first, ask later when I was unable to retreat and the snake wasn't interested in retreating either. Fact of life, If I feel threatened, I remove the threat.

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      • #4
        I knew Bo would provide better insight than I would. Similar judgement though.

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        • #5
          A cottonmouth that is unmolested will swim with at least half of his body out of the water,It is a chore for a cottonmouth to get completely under and can't stay their long because of the bouyancy of his body ,a lot of fat.Out a night when it's warm either frogging or after a gator they will come to the light,you can chop them with the paddle and break their back,havent ever cut one in half and have chopped a lot of them as they tried to get in the boat.

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