Slaughter of Non-Venomous Snakes

Slaughter of Non-Venomous Snakes

There is an old saying, “The only good snake is a dead snake.”  That saying is wrong on many levels.  In the United States there are only a handful of venomous snake species, yet, all snakes are branded as bad.

As hunting season approaches, millions of sportsmen will head into the wilderness to hunt their favorite game animal.  Inevitably, the path of people and snakes will cross.  Whether is it walking along a creek, or moving a log from across an ATV trail, sooner or later, hunters will see a snake.

The first reaction for a lot of people is to kill the snake.  However, that leads to the slaughter of non-venomous snakes, such as the King Snake.

From Herps of Texas- Common King Snake.

Lampropeltis getula is a non-venomous constrictor, feeding primarily on other snakes, lizards, and rodents. Common kingsnakes have also been known to feed on reptile eggs, relying on their sense of smell to find most of its prey, including prey buried underground.

These kingsnakes are famous for their ability to be immune to rattlesnake venom and they commonly feed on rattlesnakes as part of their diet.

While driving down a rural back road I came across a dead King Snake. Someone stopped their vehicle, and chopped the head of the snake.  It was sad to see a non-venomous snake, that kills other snakes, dead.  Why was it dead?  Probably because the person thought the only good snake is a dead snake.

Then there are other snakes, such as:

  • Rat snake (chicken snake).
  • Hognose (spreading adder).
  • Coachwhip.
  • Glossy Snake.
  • Water snake, not to be confused with the Cotton Mouth.

Chances are, thousands of those snakes will be killed for no other other reasons besides, they were at the wrong place, and at the wrong time.

The rat snake serves an important role in controlling the rodent population. Want to keep rats and mice out of the deer camp? Then leave rat snakes alone.

Then there is the snake location; the hunter is in the snakes home.  It is not like the snake was found in a playground full of kids.

So, when you are in the woods and see a snake, please take time to think before you act.

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October 3, 2017 at 02:04PM


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