How often do you see a poisonous snake? - Page 6 - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #51 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 10:34 PM
The Man
 
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I was in my elk zone scouting for my hunter this week and saw a mess of baby rattlers beneath a big rock. I went over to check them out and once I got close, they didn't stick around long and crawled back under the rock. Pretty cool to see. They were all maybe ten inches to a foot long or so???
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post #52 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 10:41 PM
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Quote --So, once in a while if a person is walking around in sandals or shorts with exposed skin a snake will make a mistake and strike the skin thinking it is an escaping prey species. That is why I tend to wear long pants and shoes or boots when walking around in the logs and rocks of snake country.

I'm a fool walking in croc's and shorts around bear and spring creek.
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post #53 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 08:55 AM
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Statistically, since beginning to spend any significant amount of time in the PA woods, I’ve averaged about one sighting per year. My high is 3 in one year, though I’ve had years where I don’t see any. All Timbers, I’ve never seen a Copperhead in PA, though I’m generally in places where Timbers are more abundant.

So far this year, I have one sighting…late May in Mifflin County crossing a gravel road on my walk back to my vehicle after fishing. Most of my time in the woods is spent fishing, so most of my sightings are in Summer along stream banks or gravel bars. I’m not often hiking higher up on ridgelines where dens more frequently are. I’ve seen one yellow phase in PA, the rest have all been black phase. Coincidentally, the only one that did any significant amount of rattling was the one yellow phase. Most of them never rattled, or even moved.

Given the choice of being 3 feet from a Timber Rattlesnake, or 3 feet from a Black Bear, I’d choose the Rattlesnake. As long as you knew it was there, and didn’t mess with it or try to handle it, there’s a 0% chance you’d get bit. Just walk around it. It is true that Timbers are more mild mannered than other Rattlesnake species. This is why you generally see Timbers used in snake handling shows and the like. Though a Black Bear attack is also very unlikely even at just 3 feet away, it’s probably more than a 0% chance. I’d take both before a tick encounter though.

The issue with Rattlers (or Copperheads) IMO is simply stepping on one you don’t see. For that I wear knee high gaiters over my waders in the Summer. There’s often times where you can’t see where you’re putting your feet in the undergrowth,and gaiters are cheap extra insurance. They’re good for protecting your waders against sticks and thorns too. I’ve probably stepped within 3 feet of Rattlers half a dozen times before I saw them. None of them rattled, or even moved. I’m convinced to get bit you’d actually have to step on it, or provoke it somehow by messing with it or attempting to handle it.

Last edited by Swattie87; 09-25-2018 at 09:02 AM.
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post #54 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 02:02 PM
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I've seen a few rattlers in my 52 yrs......a half dozen live in the woods maybe?? Half of those in one small area on the Clinton/Lycoming line-ish near a camp I frequent. Only one actual copperhead that I can be sure of - VERY small one killed on a road in southern Northumberland Co. when I was a young teenager. That's it.
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post #55 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 04:56 PM
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Not unusual to see rattlesnakes at my cabin anytime during the warm weather. Maybe 6-10 times a summer.
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post #56 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 08:13 PM
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I seen 3 rattlesnakes today while turkey hunting the hicks run area in elk county and that makes 5 for this turkey season so far.They were all big snakes and on the move crossing the big foodplots.Gotta be careful were you put your hands and feet.
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