What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard?

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dthor68
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What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard?

Post by dthor68 » July 7th, 2016, 5:38 pm

Just found a copperhead in the backyard while looking for insects to photograph. I would say she is probably 6-8 years old and possibly gravid. I live in the suburbs and have a 1 acre lot surrounded by houses and roads. I found her under a log against the fence. Personally, I want to put her back where I found her. My wife and kids think I should relocate her. I think if I relocate her she will not live to see next year. I have two teens that never go in the backyard and a dog that spends the day in the backyard but sleeps in the house at night. Copperheads are nocturnal and good at staying hidden, so not worried about the dog.

I am thinking, put her back and tell the family I relocated it, chances are it will never be seen again.

Opinions please.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by Kelly Mc » July 7th, 2016, 6:03 pm

Maybe put some extra AC piled around the perimeter and tell everybody you dont want to relocate her.

After all if you didnt see her, she would have been there anyway.

dthor68
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by dthor68 » July 7th, 2016, 6:08 pm

"After all if you didnt see her, she would have been there anyway."

Amen!

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by Bryan Hamilton » July 7th, 2016, 6:13 pm

I've always thought it odd that a snake that has been somewhere for who knows how long, is suddenly an emergency because its detected.

Sounds like you have enough space for her. Pretty awesome you're willing to co-exist with a venomous snake. I do appreciate that.

craigb
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by craigb » July 8th, 2016, 8:23 am

I agree with Kelly...
Right now can you be certain that the one you saw was the only one in your yard?
Or that if you relocate it that another will never come into your yard?

I would tell wife and family that you live in a really special place with very special wildlife and whenever they go into the backyard to watch for all sorts of things, and be careful.

Interesting fact about copperheads, they eat cicadas. So if the buzzing at night is bothering the family let them know the copperhead is out looking for dinner :D

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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by stlouisdude » July 8th, 2016, 3:39 pm

Definitely put out a good selection of boards and a piece or two of tin. Instruct the family not to bother the pile of AC and keep the dog a few feet back if possible. 90% of the time they'll be out of view anyway. You'll be able to watch them over time and a great opportunity to show the family we can safely live alongside snakes, you just have to watch a little more carefully. Relocating snakes is something we do to make ourselves feel better but is pretty much always a terrible idea for the snake itself.

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cbernz
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by cbernz » July 8th, 2016, 4:49 pm

I would say this depends a lot on your relationship with your wife. Is she likely to listen to a reasoned argument about venomous snakes in her yard? If not, I wouldn't bother trying. If she told you to relocate it, but didn't say specifically how far away to relocate it, I'd just let it go on the other side of the yard and tell her you "relocated" it. If she grills you afterwards, you can say, "oh, you meant relocate OUT of the backyard? Oops!" Otherwise, it all depends on your wife's threshold for deceit, and how much goodwill you have (or haven't) accrued in the past.

Good luck!

dthor68
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by dthor68 » July 10th, 2016, 5:03 am

Update: Shortly after posting here I got some pictures of the snake and my wife posted them on her Facebook Page. A lot of her friends told her to kill it and it really upset her. So she and my kids all agreed to put it back right where I found it and I did so once the sun went down and we brought the dog in. I would have put it back anyway and just told them I relocated it. Cool that I did not have to lie about it.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

I appreciate your thoughts on the matter,

Derek

stlouisdude
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by stlouisdude » July 11th, 2016, 3:04 pm

Glad to hear there was a happy ending and all agreed on a course of action.

Jimi
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by Jimi » July 11th, 2016, 4:34 pm

Likewise, glad to hear of a happy chapter ending for family and animal. If she drops a litter you might be finding little toe-stabbers for a while...that could get interesting, could be a whole new chapter written there. It might help you find them in safer situations if you put out some small pieces of AC and checked them frequently once baby season hits your part of the world. Or just check the log weekly or so - the litter will probably stay with her that long. And that frequency of checking might not drive her off, if you just do a quick peek without groping her.

Curious - is your whole yard mowed grass, or is some of it ornamental shrubs and beds, or is there a little "wild" back there? Some cane, some yaupon, a few little palmettos or live oaks? And is there a vacant lot or two close by, or some woodsy marsh edge, or a big ditch, or what? Or are you just in deep dead suburbia of the recent grade-it-all-out flavor? I know coppers are survivors, and I know the SC lowcountry and upcountry a little bit (or a little more than that...) - I'm just trying to get some understanding of your situation.

Incidentally, thinking about the "dishonesty" topic - this is exactly what I mean when I say 1) people make decisions based on emotion, not data or reason, and 2) most people - when they're actually holding the power to do so, not just spouting off - don't want to hurt people or other animals. I'm curious who your wife was before you entered her life - do you think her decision would have gone this way, in "an alternative reality"? Put another way - to what extent do you think exposing her to your hobby (for what, 15-20 years?) has influenced her? Are you both SC natives? The times and the people are changing, but still - SC is not the most snake-loving place on Earth...as evidenced by her FB followers' comments to "kill it!"

cheers

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Kelly Mc
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by Kelly Mc » July 12th, 2016, 11:18 am

I sometimes got calls about snakes in peoples yards and I used to tell them it was a testament to the tranquility of their property.

Snakes are so beautiful that they extend the realm of rationality. I don't mind the unscientific-ness of beauty. It only makes me want to know more.

Tamara D. McConnell
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » July 12th, 2016, 1:30 pm


I sometimes got calls about snakes in peoples yards and I used to tell them it was a testament to the tranquility of their property.
This is beautiful.

dthor68
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by dthor68 » July 12th, 2016, 5:33 pm

"I'm curious who your wife was before you entered her life - do you think her decision would have gone this way, in "an alternative reality"? Put another way - to what extent do you think exposing her to your hobby (for what, 15-20 years?) has influenced her? Are you both SC natives? The times and the people are changing, but still - SC is not the most snake-loving place on Earth...as evidenced by her FB followers' comments to "kill it!"

Hard to say Jimi? I dont think my wife would have ever killed anything regardless of meeting me. However, her father and Grandmother frequently killed snakes prior to meeting me. I must have had quite the influence on her Grandmother. She got to where she actually liked them. Whenever she found a snake in her yard she would grab her "film" camera and photograph it. She was thrilled to show me two black racers fighting at her front steps, prior to her passing Before meeting me she would have shot them with her .22 rifle. Her husband, my grandfather, never killed anything. He told me the first time they saw a snake together she told him to kill it and he said that if she wanted it dead she would have to do it herself. He killed a Japanese Soldier in WW2 and swore he would never kill another living thing.

The first snake I caught was a Northern Milk Snake in Grand Haven Michigan. It was 1976, I was 8, 40 years ago!

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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by Jimi » July 12th, 2016, 7:32 pm

Interesting family history, thanks. Reading your excerpt of my post makes me realize I could have accidentally put you off. But it seems you "read" me right, and I thank you for it, despite my not being perfectly helpful there.
He killed a Japanese Soldier in WW2 and swore he would never kill another living thing.
That's not an uncommon thing. Understandable, as much as that's possible if you haven't sen combat I guess. Have you ever read With the Old Breed? A guy from Alabama, Eugene Sledge I think was his name, wrote it. Fought on Tarawa, Pelelieu, and Okinawa. Bad, bad, bad times. Anyway he came home and became an ornithologist, and a prof at I think it was Auburn. Anyway, great book, I recommend it heartily.

We're close in age. My first live, caught snake was a rough green, John's Island SC (Charleston Co), age maybe 6. Early 70's. All my family was hell on snakes. I remember some big rattlesnakes hung over the fence, and lots of copperheads. And many, many harmless snakes of course. The fascination seems to come at birth for some of us, eh? Ha ha.

cheers

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Kelly Mc
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by Kelly Mc » July 12th, 2016, 10:50 pm

Thanks for the kind compliment Tamara :)

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nightdriver
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by nightdriver » July 13th, 2016, 8:21 pm

If I found a copperhead in my yard I'd wonder how the heck it got to California :lol: :lol:

I have actually had 3 rattlesnakes in the yard. I have relocated them all due to my young kids and the tiny(block walled in) size of my yard. If I lived in a more natural setting, I would probably would have let them be. I have had numerous reports from my neighbors of how they bravely killed a snake in their yard. Add that to the DOR's on the street and I'm amazed there are any snakes left in the neighborhood....well not really amazed, the hills are all around me...

Nightdriver

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Noah M
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Re: What would you do if you found a Copperhead in your yard

Post by Noah M » July 14th, 2016, 7:59 pm

it all depends on your wife's threshold for deceit
I didn't read this whole thread TBH, but sometimes I wonder if cbernz should have a blog or guide on how to herp and maintain a marriage. :thumb:

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