Snakes

Ashton Woods

Snakes

This will be my first season on the Mountain, I am interested in anyone’s experience with snakes. How often has anyone here ever come across them, what kind are more typical?

6 Responses

  1. Ed Gorecki says:

    We had two sighting of Timber Rattlesnakes on our property last year. One came out from under our log rack on our patio one evening and slithered right by us, without incident. We also came across a Copperhead while rummaging through rocks. Several sightings of Black Rat Snakes. None of the snakes encountered were aggressive in any way. It’s also very common to see snakes on the road at dusk. Snakes are cold-blooded and many are nocturnal hunters, so they will sit on the roads (or other warm surfaces) at dusk to soak up the remaining heat, which is essential to their digestion process. Please consider keeping an eye out for them when driving at dusk, to avoid running them over.

    A note on the Timber Rattlesnake – as the official state reptile of WV, their population has been in decline for a number of years and it is considered a “vulnerable” species, subject to possible extinction, by state wildlife officials. WV DNR actually has an ongoing survey to try and get a better understanding of their population size and distribution. If you do see a rattlesnake, PLEASE don’t attack or kill it. If so inclined, please also consider snapping a photo and reporting it to WV DNR – https://www.wvdnr.gov/rattlesnakereport/

    Cheers,
    Ed Gorecki

  2. Linda Wangerin says:

    We’ve heard of several AW dogs getting bitten by rattlesnakes but the dogs were okay. Early on, I called the 911-non-emergency number to ask what we should do in AW if someone got bitten by a Timber Rattler or a Copperhead. The lady said there are actually very few humans bitten by poisonous snakes in our area. Ironically, however, her uncle had been bitten just a few weeks prior. He resided in Lost River and was moving firewood. A rattler was sheltering inside the wood pile. The 911 worker said the anti-venom is very expensive and, because so few people get bitten, only the larger medical centers can afford to keep it on hand. Her uncle was airlifted to UVA in Charlottesville. He had no after-effects. She also said to be cautious during snake months when stepping over fallen logs. Apparently snakes like to lie beside the underside of the log and may strike when a human steps so close. After hearing this, I ordered Paul a pair of very sturdy Cabela knee-high snake boots for Christmas, 2004. I thought he’d be thrilled. Once he stopped laughing, I found the return slip. 😉

    On the light side, some early owners kept an RV on their property during the mild months. They liked to walk their land, enjoying the birds and admiring the blueberries that grew in their woods. One afternoon, a big black snake dropped out of a tree and fell right on the man’s head. No one got hurt but both humans and snake were quite startled.

    • Andi Parkinson says:

      Return slip . I did get my husband and I some inexpensive knee-high gaiters from Amazon. He initially laughed…. but once he saw how well they kept snow and now prickers off of him, he wears them all the time. They are pretty stiff nylon and over pants would offer some protection for a snake bite. They do sell snake gaiters, used to wear them all the time in the woods in florida but they are very stiff.

  3. kornels@yahoo.com says:

    Hi. I live down in the valley lot# 73 near Trough View entrance. I have a stream and bridge on my property which is home to a family of copperheads. They are non-confrontational and generally hide when I’m walking around there. That said I am very careful not to walk in deep grass where I might step on them and keep a good distance when I see one. Have not seen rattlers. My build site is at the top of hill several hundred yards above the stream and have not seen any snakes there. Hope this helps, Kornel.

  4. CoalBarons@aol.com says:

    Spend a lot of time walking both on and off roads. Black snakes are very common, and good to have around. Copper heads and timber rattlers, not so much. If you have dogs beware. Saved one of ours from a rattler one day, Wayne’s dog was bitten by a rattler and survived. Seems as though although they can be found everywhere, rattlers prefer higher elevations. Had one neighbor high up ask me to come to his place and help control them. Moorefield has a big rattle snake feed every year and people enjoy it. If you kill any put them in the freezer and let me know will make sure they don’t go to waste. Mark Skiles lot 88.

    • Sean McDermottt says:

      There are lots of types of snakes in the area – most are non-venemous (black, king, rat, etc). We are up on Hampshire Ridge and have mostly seen copperheads, typically 2-3 a season. We had a rattlesnake last summer as well and have heard of others coming across them occasionally. Rattlesnakes usually will try to get away, copperheads will stay completely still so are easier to “bump into.” Neither will act aggressively, they will try to avoid humans if they can. We have small kids and work hard to teach them awareness and how to watch out for them. I picked up a snake stick on Amazon after we saw our first one and recommend having one of you think you may need to move one.

      Key thing with all snakes is that they are good for rodent control, but if you are seeing them frequently it means they have a diet nearby. So if you want to keep encounters near the house down, make it an environment that isn’t attractive. Keep grass cut and avoid stick/log piles, keep pest control active, etc.

      Sean

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