Hey Everette,

A great article on the snakes this week.
Well written and rather tactfully so as well.*G* I can not take scientific exception with anything you have said. Over
the course of the last 50 years of fishing
in the southeast, I have repeatedly come in
contact with many watersnakes including the
cottonmouth. It has been my experience that
they will most often leave an area and avoid
you like the plague. There have been a few
exceptions but with modest persuasion, (non-
harmful to the snakes), they often reconsider and depart the area anyway. In
all of this time, there have been three of
the moccasins that seemed bound and determined to share my fishing craft with
me. In each case, I took my paddle and
pushed them away from the boat. For
whatever reason, they quickly returned and
seemed hell bent to enter same. In each
case, I dispatched said snake with malace.
Perhaps an easily explained misunderstanding between the two of us, but
never the less, the best course of action in my adreneline charged mind was to do away with the perceived threat. On three
other occasions in my lifetime, people I
was with were actually bitten by the snakes. On two occasions it was cotton
mouths and on the third it was a copperhead. The most recent just a few
years ago, a cottonmouth struck my godson
as his mother and I were walking with him
here on our property. He was a toddler.
He had on long britches and the snake
struck him on the seam and his fangs stuck
in the material. I had to pull him off of
my godsons pants and I caused said snake
grevious bodily harm. Adreneline again.*G*
As it turned out, the snakes fangs had not
broken the skin, apparantly due to having
struck the thicker area of seam. In all
liklihood I have contributed to the
missunderstood moccasins reputation since
these experiences. I do however maintain
a certain amount of respect for these
creatures and if at all possible will leave
them completely alone. It is quite obvious
that more than 99.9 percent of the time that they will return the favor. It's that
odd fraction of a percent that gets us in
trouble. Great article. Warm regards, Jim