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Old 06-25-2009, 12:46 AM
MikeRob MikeRob is offline
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Default Abundance of snakes!!

Anyone else noticed an abundance of rattling snakes this year? Before this year I might have saw 2 or 3 rattlers in the park my whole life. So far this year i've probably saw a dozen or so close to the water most of the time also. Anyone know if there is a reason for this, or am I just lucky? If they get much thicker i'm considering adding cro-fab to my fly vest.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:38 AM
MBB MBB is offline
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I wonder if the wet weather has had an impact?
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:24 AM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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I would think the excess rains may have the snakes more active due to instability in their habitat. Their nests may be wet or flooding they are probably having to move more often. Not that there are more snakes in population; just that you are seeing them more often due to movement. However; this is just my opinion. I am not educated in this stuff...
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:44 AM
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Default Copperheads

I have not seen a Rattlesnake this year...thank goodness. But I have seen a few Copperheads, one was way to close for my comfort. He/she was laying about ten feet from Cataloochee Creek. He was coiled up in a sunny spot just having a good ole time. Needless to say I gave it a wide berth.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:47 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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MikeRob--I've seen three snakes, only one of which was poisonous, this year. Although they may seem plentiful to you, there's an absolute dearth of snakes in the Park today as compared to the situation 40-50 years ago. When I was a boy in the 1950s and a young man in the 1960s, water snakes consistently dropped off overhanging limbs into the creek as one progressed upstream while fishing. Similarly, encounters with rattlers and copperheads were fairly common. The difference is very simple--wild hog numbers have increased dramatically, despite ongoing Park efforts to get rid of them. The hogs dine on snakes, poisonous or otherwise, with great delight. Interestingly, the reduciton in the number of snakes is actually a return to pre-Park days, when most famlies (including my father's) allowed their hogs to range freely until late fall. Once they had fattened up on chestnut mast, they were rounded up, often with the help of a catch dog, and slaughtered. Just like the Russian boars which are now such a nuisance in the Park (more on the N. C. side but plenty on both sides), these semi-domestic hogs worked on snakes. Then the creation of the Park gave snakes a breathing period, only to see the expansion of the boars, which originally escaped from a preserve in Graham County, and a reduction in snake numbers. That's probably a lot more history than you wanted, but try to take comfort in the fact that snakes are far fewer now than was once the case. Jim Casada
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:50 AM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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Interesting post! Thanks for taking the time to share~
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:05 AM
lauxier lauxier is offline
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Default snakes

I think I attract snakes-I see em' everytime I come to the park -Have never had any close calls-I have seen lots of copperheads,especially around Tremont-Not many Rattlers-I hate snakes.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:20 AM
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To quote Smokie Robinson..."I second that emotion"....the last rattle snake I saw was swimming between my fishing buddy and me in Greenbrier on the river below the Cascades parking area....it was huge....saw snakes everywhere for the rest of the week...we came across a big rattler that apparently had drown in a log jam up above Elkmont several years ago....thing was still creepy.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:50 PM
knucklehead knucklehead is offline
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Default shnaked alive

Well, in my brief three years living around the mountains, I have had one of my snakiest years yet, of course, I look for them. Copperheads really seem abundant this year, maybe just more mobile and visible due to the cooler weather. As someone mentioned previously, Tremont is a great place to go see a copper. As far as rattlers, I have had few encounters, but during the last month I have been able to locate one almost daily. I still have yet to find a rattler den but I'm looking. Copperhead dens I have found, well at least one. As far as other snakes, northern water snakes are as usual, extremely abundant and visible. One unusual serpent I've encountered this year was a red belly snake, a fairly small snake, about 10 inches or so. Fairly dark, lightly patterned dorsal side, top side, and a brilliantly bright red ventral side, the belly. Harmless and beautiful. what a creature. In case there is any doubt, I love snakes and I love finding them. Even my mother, when she visits, has found a snake out here she likes, the northern ringneck, a very common and medium sized friendly snake. she's strongly disliked snakes most of her life. If anyone is interested in finding some, or one, just let me know. also, i had no idea that the pigs feasted on snakes. interesting
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:33 PM
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you can never have too many snakes.....they eat lotsa nasty lil creatures...voles, mice, rats
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