View Full Version : worst snake experience?

milligan trout degree
07-22-2007, 10:20 PM
I hiked up lynn camp yesterday and couldn't help but think about running into a snake. hiking alone, i was very cautious about all my steps and around dead logs and such. I was just wondering what the scariest accounter some others have had with snakes in the park. such as being struck at, or even bitten?

07-24-2007, 12:09 PM
I was bitten in the face while climbing up a large boulder by a timber rattlesnake. It caused my face and head to swell to such an extent that they had to remove my brain. Haven't missed it though, so don't spend too much of your time worrying about snakes.;)

07-24-2007, 01:39 PM
I didn't lose my brain (though my wife may beg to differ), but I nearly stepped on a large Rattler nearly 10 years ago. I was hiking the loop made by Anthony's Creek and Spence Field trail, it was April and I was hiking by myself too far out(I would now say) There was a big one lying in the sun on the trail and got within 5 feet before it rattled. Scared the H out of me! It never did strike though. I watched it and tossed small pebbles at it, never would strike. I left it alone shortly thereafter. Luckily all we have are the rattlers and copperheads in these mountains. I'd rather come upon a rattler than the ch, at least they usually let you know where they are!

07-24-2007, 01:49 PM
I was fishing around Metcalf one day when into the water about 10 feet away came this guy who started casting all herky jerky and cussing every other word. I hopped out of the water and watched him for a minute or two when he yelled "What the @!$* are you looking at?" I smiled and said, "Apparently a lawyer".

07-24-2007, 06:09 PM
Smoky encounter - Was on the trail to Abrams and came across a copperhead trailside that i swear was the biggest one Ive ever seen. If he was any bigger, I would have ate him because I was pretty hungry with how long that trail is to get back there.

Non-Smoky encounter - Was just down in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Southern Missouri and came across a minimum 4.5 foot timber rattler sunning himself on a gravel road. I would have gotten an up close picture but I think he would have ate me.

07-24-2007, 06:18 PM
i worry about the appalachian anaconda which inhabits waters NOT covered by the mountain piranha. be careful out there! ya never know where the next big one lives.

milligan trout degree
07-24-2007, 10:20 PM
well my worst encounter wasnt in the park but anyway....me and my buddy were about ten and playing around in my papaw's creek. we had a net and were trying to catch minnows and frogs, when we thought we saw a frog dip into a hole on the side of the creek bank. when we kneeled down to look at it and stuck a stick in the hole a snake shot out. i didnt hang around long enough to see what kind it was or even how big it was, i just jumped the creek and sprinted atleast a hundred yards through the field.

besides that, nothing too scary though i've seen a few copperheads, and saw one strike my friends golf club when he was messing with it.

07-25-2007, 01:27 AM
this happened a few weeks ago, and kevin and plateau angler can verify. we were on the watauga when it came a sudden downpour with intense lighting striking all around us. we all three just broke out running back towards the vehicle, which was about a hundred yards away. now the bank there is large clumps of 2 foot high grass, interspersed with ankle breaking holes. the river has various rocks about the size of basketballs, which we now can't see because of the rain beating the surface of the water. It's a minor miracle that no one was hurt, as this was run-for-your-life chaos. so we're running, mostly one foot on the bank, one in the water. david's in front of me and I see him jump (just like jumping a hurdle, he never broke stride) and at the same time yell "snake!" ok, so he just jumped a snake, and I look for it so I can jump it too. well I never saw that one, but I did dodge 3 other snakes on that mad dash back to the car. all of them were within a few inches of me. I think kevin claims to have swerved past even more than that.

07-25-2007, 02:17 AM
So far, I haven't seen any snakes in the park...I know it's only a matter of time, but they really don't worry me too much. I agree that copperheads are probably more of a threat, since they don't make any noise, and they tend to blend in with the leaf litter on the forest floor. I almost stepped on one when I was about 7 or so. I'm glad the Smokies don't have any cottonmouths; now that's an aggressive snake, particularly if they smell fish on you. Down here, I like to see a good sized gator where I'm fishing - they tend to thin out the snakes and the trash fish like gars.

07-25-2007, 09:06 AM
My best snake encounter occurred at my neighbors house last month. The husband was out of town for work and I got a call at 10:30 PM from his wife saying that there was a snake in the girl's room and could I come and get it. I went over there and sure enough there was a 3 or 4 foot black snake hanging from the HVAC register in the ceiling. How it got in their duct work is beyond me but it must have got stuck trying to crawl out cause its head was hanging about a foot out of the grill. I got some heavy leather gloves and a chair and climbed up there and grabbed it by its head. It didn't like that, and it started biting the gloves. After pulling on it for about 10 minutes i finally got it out and make a good snake out of it since it was pretty injured from all of my pulling.

That's the only snake i've ever touched. The ones i see in the mountains i just ignore.

07-25-2007, 09:18 AM
I'm yet to have a bad snake experience in the moutains. Seen most of my snakes on Little river. All I have seen are the banded water snakes that are so common in the south. The seem to stay fairly shor, but some of teh ones I have seen have been pretty fat. I grew up in florida, there was always snakes around, and there were times that we had various snakes as pets. I've only experienced one poisonous snake in the wild and that was in norther CA. I know the bad ones are in the places that I fish, I don't really worry about them too much, but its always in the back of my mind when I'm wet wading. I'm sure I'll come accross one eventually if I fish long enough.


07-25-2007, 11:33 AM
Both from a country that no longer exists. Bamboo viper in a small banana tree just outside the Company Headquarters hootch, dispatched by SGT who threw the dead snake into the showers where the mamasans were doing laundry. One actually broke down a wall getting out, and would have killed him if she had a weapon. Came upon a python that had apparently just eaten, lying across a trail. Instructed the troops to simply step over it, as there were pleanty of bad guys around and no one wanted to alert them to where we were. About twelve inches or so in diameter, and could see neither end in the bush. Many others in NM, AZ, but not too many in native KY. Watson

07-25-2007, 12:53 PM
Now the gators would probably ruin the fishing for me......... for certain if I was wading! Several years ago we were vacationing on ST. George Island in Florida. One morning I fished back in a wilderness area (not really but no development there). I was fishing for redfish, wading along about waist deep in a tidal creek. I looked over at one point and saw a spot where the spartina grass was laid down in a path and it hit me (correctly or incorrectly) that it looked like a gator trail. I got out of there quick! As close as I ever want to be to a gator, while in the water!

07-25-2007, 12:56 PM
Thank you for your service.

07-25-2007, 01:08 PM
I've never had any real problems with gators in the wild, at least in Louisiana; they've always skedaddled when I've gotten too close. In Florida, it was another matter...I had one "interesting experience" with one - I found the gators there to be more aggressive. Funny thing is, this was in the Tallahassee area, way back in the sticks, so it wasn't a case of the gators being conditioned to humans. The only other thing I can think of is, there is more hunting of gators here in Louisiana, and so perhaps they're a little more wary. Anyway, I've always thought they were pretty neat animals, and far more predictable than other wild critters I could think of.

07-25-2007, 01:32 PM
My father lives in Pensacola Fl. His house backs up to a lake in a nature reserve, which backs up to a golf course, all of which is surrounded by Escambia bay. Due to the isolation of his house there are plenty of gators that live in the lake, along with a ton of trophy bass. A few years ago I let my father keep the dog while I started a new job in Nashville. Two weeks after my pup moved in with my father he disappeared from the back yard. It seemed pretty obvious that the little fellow was snatched up by a hungry gator while he was playing by the lake. It as not until two years later that we found out that the dog wonder off and was adopted by the quite old man that lives down the street. None the less I am still very cautious of the gators every time I fish the lake for its trophy bass.

07-25-2007, 03:44 PM
saw 2 copperheads,about 3 feet apart on a large rock saddled to a bank on Lynn Fork-They were not real big--18 inchers maybe--They were sacked out on the rock taking in a few rays--enjoying the summer--just a couple local poisionous snakes--enjoying the park---minding their own business----------I hate snakes-------

07-25-2007, 04:03 PM
Spring River, Arkansas - It was early spring, and I thought too cold for snakes. We were walking down a bank when my friend said, "don't move." I stopped and looked down. The tail of a cottonmouth was about one foot from my wadding boot. I did not see the open mouth which is what Steve saw to warn me. I jumped about 3 feet down the bank. I think the only thing that prevented my getting bit was the cool weather.

Deschutes River, Oregon - We knew this was rattlesnake country so we were very careful. Steve was in the water fishing, and I decided to venture down stream along the path to check out the water around the bend. I walked down but didn't really find a good place to wade into the river. So, I walked back. About half way back, I heard a slight noise. Now, I was watching the path just ahead of me very intensely. But when I heard that noise, I stopped to look further ahead. About 6 feet in front of me was a rattlesnake. He crossed the path and hid under a scrub brush. He only rattled one more time, but neither time was enough to really recognize it as a rattlesnake. To this day, that is what really bothers me. It was not a fair warning.

I hate snakes!

07-25-2007, 04:05 PM
I had just given my son grief for squealing at the sight of a water snake sunning himself on the rocks along the banks of the LR. I was headed down a steep embankment with my hands holding along the rocks when I was sure I heard a hiss or rattle. The faster I descended the louder the sound grew. When I finally jumped to safety on a rock in the river I turned to see the hiss was the sound of my tippet spool roatating as it dispensed line stuck on a branch back on shore..... Whew!!!!!!

The worst encounter was being attacked by a water moccasin in a low sitting aluminum boat in the swamps of LA. It swam directly at the boat from shore. As it got closer I stood up and attacked it with the only weapon in hand, my rod. I hit it a good whack and it immediately started spinning in the water. I lost sight of it as the boat swung on top of it, and when it reappeared it was coiled up on top of the water and tried to jump in the boat. I don't remember what happened after that, but know it was the last time I fished from the bow of an aluminum boat.


milligan trout degree
07-25-2007, 07:50 PM
here's a story i just remembered as i was reading this. about three years ago my family was visiting some friends that were camping in townsend along the little river and i knew that i would want to fish up there so i brought my rod. it was summertime and i was wet wading in water a little over my knee in depth. on a dead log partially overhanging the water i saw a small water snake. maybe 10 inches or so just sunning. i knew it wasnt much so i didnt worry about it, but then it slithered off the log and into the water and began swimming downstream towards where i was. the snake seemed to not care a bit that i was in the water and actually swam withing just inches beside me. i could have easily grabbed it. i figured he didnt want anything to do with me, and i just let him be, but it makes me glad it wasnt a dangerous snake b/c with deeper water around me, it would have been impossible to escape real quick.

07-25-2007, 11:59 PM
The strangest experance I ever had was when I was Bass fishing Kentucky Lake at Birdsong Marina and had what I found out later was a cotton mouth swim up next to my trolling motor and try to climb in the boat. A few swift hits with a boat paddle and it decided to go else where. Needless to say it left the area to come back later and another boat was sitting in the same area. A man was sitting on his casting deck skinning the snake. said it was one of the largest cotton mouths he had ever seen so he killed it for the skin. first time and hopefully the last time I see one. He may have been yanking my chain be he said he has seen them tring to swim up the overflow line to get in live wells. Maybe that why the bass boat stays in the garage now.

07-26-2007, 12:51 AM
No, he wasn't totally yanking your chain...they're aggressive, and if they detect the scent of fish, they'll go anywhere to get it. I used to see some real big ones, thicker around than my leg, right behind the house when I was growing up. Now, with all the homes being built, even in what used to be swamp, I imagine they've been displaced, at least until the next flood.

David Knapp
07-26-2007, 12:56 AM
Not in the park but.....I've stepped literally over two copperheads in TN (feet came within a foot or less of both) and neither struck. First was several years ago and was actually coiled. The second was last fall and it was just laying along the edge of the trail. My little sis stepped over the first one also and was fine/didn't get bit but it caused some excitement. I believe Someone is watching out for me...:smile:

07-27-2007, 02:55 AM
1) Was fishing KY Lake about 20 years ago and Dad and I tied up to a bank to eat lunch. The bank was clay with a lot of holes in it. First I see a snake, then he sees one, then we see about 10, half of them trying to get into the boat. He's yelling and I'm trying to get the boat untied with snakes a foot from me trying to get over the side of the boat. I didn't know how to ID snakes at the time, but I guess they looked like plain old water snakes.
2) Hiking Big South Fork about 12 years ago to a secret fishing spot when I noticed something in the leaves and stopped one pace from stepping on a copperhead. That snake was the most nonchalant snake ever. I poked at him with the rod for a bit, trying to make a leaf look alive so he'd try to eat it. He stared, but never struck. I guess being a pit viper he could tell there was nothing alive there to eat.
3) Hiking BSF again last year (Honey Creek area) when this extremely aggressive copperhead busted out from under a fern and came at me, striking into the air twice while I'm hopping backwards. I've never seen a snake that mad. He then dove under a boulder. I suspect some hikers ahead of us must have riled him up.
4) Gators... You have never lived until you have canoed or kayaked the remote areas of Okefenokee Swamp in the spring. This was 2 years ago. There were so many gators in mating moods that they weren't scared of anything. I accidentally hit one with a paddle that happened to be resting under where the canoe went. Your heart really beats when a 6 foot muscle explodes out from under the 1.5 feet of water your canoe is in. That same thing happened to my mother-in-law as well. And we got hissed at and grunted at perhaps 2 dozen times, in the tight areas where you can't avoid them. Also that trip we encountered jumping pickerels about 6 inches long that when you touched that paddle to the black water, they would jump several feet in any direction at random. We probably tossed 30 of them back into the water after they wound up in our canoes and kayaks. A few frogs did that too. Inevitably, when we got to our camp site and unpacked the crafts, there would be some dead pickerels under all the gear.

07-27-2007, 09:20 AM
I posted earlier about seeing a timber rattler sunning himself on a gravel road in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways last weekend. Have my pictures developed and wanted to post it on here. Is that even possible? Cant figure out how to do it.

07-27-2007, 10:36 AM
I posted earlier about seeing a timber rattler sunning himself on a gravel road in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways last weekend. Have my pictures developed and wanted to post it on here. Is that even possible? Cant figure out how to do it.


That thread gives some tips on how to post pics.


07-27-2007, 12:18 PM
Looked a lot bigger in person, believe me. Guess I should have gotten closer to him to take the picture.


milligan trout degree
07-27-2007, 10:39 PM
that rattler looks way bigger in the picture than i want to run into to. yikes

Rog 1
07-29-2007, 08:27 PM
Have played and fishing in the park since I was about 2.....that would be for 58 years.....I can count the number of snakes I have seen on less fingers than I was born with....two incidents come to mind and both were on Tremont...was fishing by myself one afternoon below the end of the road and was working my way along a ledge on the edge of a wall in about 2 feet of water....happened to look down and there was a snake between my feet looking up at me....only worry was if he tried to swim up one of my pants legs...other incident was high up Lynn Camp Prong....was leading the way thru some high grass when my best friend in HS said snake in such a way that I knew it wasn't any old snake....looked behing me and realized that I had just walked over a 4 ft. timber rattler stretched out across the trail....on the way out came across the largest copperhead I have yet to see in the park right in the same place.

07-30-2007, 05:41 PM
Fortunately in the park, all have been non-poisonous.

In Florida, I really don't want to think much about it any more(one occasion, nose to nose with a 6'+ rattler while trying to crawl under a thick Brazilain pepper forest to reach a saltwater embayment).

8' foot indigo snake parting 4' tall grass and coming right at you will get the thumper going pretty good.

Gator experiences while wading in the Indian River Lagoon. Walking through a large bay head, a friend and I decided to crawl on a mound to get out of the thigh deep water. When we got to the top we realized the mound was the result of gator nest digging.


"..he walks in quiet solitude the forests and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes.."

07-31-2007, 04:41 PM
I know someone that was bit by a timber rattler and said it came very close to killing him. Thats interesting for a docile snake. I tried poking the timber rattler in my previous post with a stick and he really didnt care much. Eventually just make his way off the side of the road.

My neice stepped on a very very small copperhead once and it came back and got her in the ankle. Her entire leg ended up swelling to at least twice its normal size, definitely a scary experience. We were outside a bunch of cabins sitting around a bonfire around midnight. She made her way to her cabin when she stepped on it. I make sure my kids wear long pants when camping to keep something similar from happening. Also, while I have wet waded on many occasion in the past, I find that I prefer using my waders now. =)

Seen a LARGE copperhead on the trail to Abrams Fall one time. He was coiled up in the shade of a big boulder immediately adjacent to the trail. Beautiful creature indeed but almost c----- in my pants when I seen it.

07-31-2007, 09:03 PM
I wasn't fishing at the time but I was helping on a farm in MT and I was moving irrigation pipe. As I lifted the pipe I heard a buzzing sound and thought I had gotten into a nest of bees. As I tipped the pipe up 50-60 western rattlers fell out the end. I ran faster than a chubby kid in a cupcake factory to get away. Seems that they slither into the pipes at night to keep warm. I have had an extreme fear of irrigation pipe after that experiance :biggrin:

08-01-2007, 11:02 PM
Was fishin near Metcaff in early June of this year, approached a small dam/falls area and fished the pool area below the falls, as I began to exit the water and head up the bank to my truck a copperhead seemed to charge me, I yelled like a school girl, poked my rod at him and it did not seem to slow it down, I continued yelling and poked an additional 2 times, still not slowing down and only about 4 feet from me now, I slipped on a mossy rock, fell back partially in the water, regained my standing position and could not find the snake anywhere, it then appeared below me under the edge of a rock, I again screamed, ran, got to my truck, noticed my rod was broken in 3 places.......3 hours later, I replaced my fairly cheap rod with a very nice St. Croix with a lifetime warranty:biggrin:....for days I would make a really weird sound and shake all over every time I thought about it....I HATE snakes

08-02-2007, 12:20 PM
LMAO BamaBum. Good one.

08-02-2007, 09:29 PM
I HATE snakes

Generally, snakes don't bother me, but I'm not sure I'd want to be that close to a copperhead.

Spiders on the other hand will make me scream like a little girl every time.


Paula Begley
08-08-2007, 11:33 AM
Awww...you guys! :rolleyes:

I saw a timber rattler in the Park several years ago. I tried to get it to rattle, so I would know what it sounded like. It gave me a glare over its back and slithered away. :frown:


08-08-2007, 03:21 PM
was a rattler on laurel falls paved trail last week...sorta just freaking the people out.

08-20-2007, 05:49 PM
Saw Dead Timber Rattler over 4 ft long on Road to Pump House at the Sipsey River. He had been run over by a car, but still in tact. Girth was larger than a coke can. Looking for water I'm sure, over 100 degrees here for last 15 days and NO rain....