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I remember hearing years ago from a few old timers if you smell cucumbers while walking through the woods there is a copper head near by, how true is this? I am only asking because last night while walking out of the woods in the dark after archery hunting I made a turn at a stone wall and all I could smell was a strong cucumber smell.
 

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I have heard this too, and I am really bored and can't sleep sooooooo...

from http://mdc.mo.gov/conmag/1999/05/40.htm


Copperhead Myths

Copperheads smell like cucumbers. You may have heard someone say you always know when a copperhead is around because it smells like cucumbers. This is both true and misleading.

Yes, copperheads and most other kinds of snakes give off an offensive odor when molested, cornered or captured. This defensive odor, produced by glands at the base of the tail, is given off at will and may also be mixed with feces. To some individuals this musk may smell somewhat like cucumbers.

However, a snake has to have a reason to expel its musk. Thus, a copperhead at rest under a rock or alongside a log will have no reason to give off its musky defense. You could walk within a few inches of the snake and never know it's there.
 

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A herpetologist I work with told me that he has noticed that both copperheads and water moccasins give off an odor more often than other snakes and has got pretty efficient at smelling them before he sees them.

He had never herd of the cucumber rumor, but did say the musk does smell a lot like cucumbers. I think it may be plausible if the snake may have been recently disturbed or easily spooked.
 

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Wait a minute wait a minute...I heard if you take a cucumber in the woods with you they, Copperheads will come and get you...
All these years....I have been telling the Subway person to hold the cucumber when I was taking one of their sandwhiches for a walk in the woods.
 

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I used to do a lot of Bass fishing in North Carolina. I've smelled and seen water Mocasins many, many times!!!You can't miss them when there in the water.They ride real high on water just like a ballon.
 

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Even the nonpoisonous water snakes bite....Had a nephew who vistied from Texas. He just could not let that nonpoisnous water snake alone...Yep it got him good right on the thumb. mean little buggers... Kids thumb swelled up like a Tennis ball....
 

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I wouldn't say it smells like a cucumber, more of a melon-like smell, to me anyhow.
I pick ginsang in August and September and come across the odor frequently. Moreso when it is extremely dry. The copperheads are pretty agressive then too. I sure keep my guard up when rootin' around grape tangles and brushpiles.
 

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My Grandmother swore by this cucumber smell = copperhead thing. I went with them to their summer place on French Creek many times as a kid. On one trip we arrived and as soon as she got out of the car she told my Grandfather that she smelled cucumbers and that copperhead was nearby. My grandfather mumbled some words of disgust through his lips and around the stem of his pipe and trudged off to unlock the cabin door. He came back to the car faster than I had ever seen him move. There was a copperhead curled up on the front door stoop. A good time was had by all (especially my grandmother and for a long, long time afterward). This incident became official family folklore.
 
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