Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Billy Joe Fudge: 7 tips to safely live around poisonous snakes

Comments re photo 45394 Copperhead snake killed on Rice Addition patio

By Billy Joe Fudge
Retired State Forester, Kentucky Division of Forestry

Definitely a Rat snake, as many have commented already.

I've never been "scared" of snakes even the poisonous types; however, whenever I am in known poison snake territory I find myself on high alert when in tall grass or such that impedes my view.

Here are some "Watch-out" situations one must observe when in Poison snake territory.
  1. Wear leather boots that stand at least a third way up the calf or wear snake chaps. Chaps are not expensive and will for sure take a load off your mind when vegetation or other ground cover makes it difficult to see.
  2. Pay particular attention when on steep ground or maneuvering in and around tall rocks, logs, etc. Snakes can only strike a third of their body length so anything lying around that will raise them up to a level to reach above your boots or chaps could complicate matters.
  3. Only kneel or sit in open areas that have been closely examined and never on logs or big rocks unless you can be sure your seat is not harboring a poisonous snake.
  4. Never enter or allow a child to enter a tent or other shelter without first inspecting for creepy, crawly visitors.
  5. Always examine tractor and heavy equipment seats and cabs particularly after being left overnight as the cold-blooded snakes tend to find the warm metal a great place to cozy up to on cool nights.
  6. Never leave car or truck windows rolled down or doors ajar in poison snake territory especially overnight for the obvious reasons stated above.
  7. Be on high alert at all times so as not to be run over by those, particularly adults, blinded by fear after seeing, hearing or imagining they have seen or heard a snake.
And remember snakes of North America cannot eat you; they are only seeking to protect themselves if they strike. So give them a wide berth and plenty of time to withdraw from your presence. - Billy Joe Fudge

This story was posted on 2012-05-29 16:36:08
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.