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#10913623 - 06/12/15 04:26 PM Close Calls
Mike Ryan Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 2356
Loc: Fort Worth,Texas
I was reading the reports of the escalation in venomous snake bites due to all of the flooding. As fisherman, we are sure to come into contact with snakes including venomous snakes as we enjoy the outdoors. Those news reports of people being bitten reminded me of the times in my life when I have had some very close calls myself with those serpent's.I have had many encounters over the years with Copperheads and Cottonmouths. And yes,I know the difference from a harmless water snake and one that is not so harmless. But it was my first encounter with a venomous snake that stands out above all of the others. I happened when I was approximately a year old
My parents both worked at General Dynamics. At the time, we lived in a rented farm house off of Silver Creek Rd. I am now 51, so this goes back at least 50 years. My mother had placed me on a blanket on the back porch. I think she went in to use the bathroom and in that short amount of time, a rattlesnake had crawled up on the porch with me.
My father heard our collie barking and went to the screen door and spotted the snake not far from me. He yelled for my mother to bring him his rifle. He told me the snake was too close to risk reaching for me, his only option that he had was to open the screen door just enough to slide the gun through it and pull off a shot. He told me he killed that snake in one shot. He cut the rattles off of the snake and kept it in a plastic case at his work desk.
From time to time as I was growing up I asked my father to retell that story. When my father retired after 45 years of employment at G.D., he brought those rattles home. When I went to his house for his retirement celebration, I saw those rattles for the first time. I was approximately 23 years old at the time.
I have them now since his passing. My parents moved from that farm largely at my mothers insistence as a direct result of that snake encounter.
Approximately 3 years ago I was listening to Howard Garrett's radio program and he was talking about the benefits of adding dry molasses to your soil. I got online and checked local places that sold that product. One of them was a place off of Silver Creek Rd. In almost 50 years I was going to return to where I once lived. I had no idea where that farm was located so I picked mom up and we drove out to Silver Creek Rd.
We drove around awhile but my mother could not recall exactly were the old farm was located. Giving up, we abandoned that search and drove to the place to get the dry molasses. The place that sold it was behind what appeared to be some kind of rock quarry. We drove up to a trucker and asked him and he told us to keep driving up the road a little further.
We found the place and went inside. While I was checking out, I told the folks behind the counter we once lived around here long ago. I told them we moved because I had a close call with a rattlesnake on the back porch of the house. This women working the counter told me she had heard that story, and that the farm house were it had occurred was now being used as an office.
She said walk outside and look right over there in that direction, you will see it not far from where I was standing. And there it was, once my mother saw the house she said that is in fact our old home. We were told we could drive up to it and check it out, they would call the office and tell them we were coming.
My mother and I walked into the house we had last been in 50 years earlier. And as I walked through the small home, I saw the back door with the small porch where my snake encounter took place. That porch was small, it sent chills down my spine to think just how close that snake must of been to me.
So that is what is known in our family as the "Rattlesnake Story"
Feel free to share any close calls with snakes or critters that you have had in your life.

Edited by Mike Ryan (06/12/15 04:36 PM)

#10913674 - 06/12/15 04:51 PM Re: Close Calls [Re: Mike Ryan]
J2H1 Offline

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Red Oak, TX
I grew up in the Kiest Park area of Oak Cliff in the mid to late 1950's early 60s. Bishop Dunne High School and Carpenter Elementary and all the neighborhoods around them were all woods. Times were safer then and we were about 10 years old and woods during the summer and Five Mile Creek was there to fish or swim in. One morning after sleeping on top of my bed roll because it was too hot to crawl into it, I dropped the bed roll on the patio and waited for my breakfast. Suddenly, my mother screamed as she watched a copperhead crawl out of my bed roll. Good thing I slept outside the bag!

#10913684 - 06/12/15 04:55 PM Re: Close Calls [Re: Mike Ryan]
Mike Ryan Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 2356
Loc: Fort Worth,Texas
That is a great story. You were so lucky. That is better than a camp fire ghost story. Tell that by the evening fire next time you are out

The scariest encounter for me that I remember, well there are two. When I was maybe 12 I was mowing my grandparents front yard. They lived on a farm off of Zion Hill Rd. in Weatherford. Copperheads were frequent visitors. Their front yard had some big trees that were often dropping small twigs. The yard was thick, I was hot and tired.
I had mowed over numerous twigs and had come to a point where I was just pushing threw them. But I mowed over something that did not have the same sound, I had clearly contacted something different. And rather than just push through, I raised the mower and pulled it back towards me.
And there it was, a mangled but still very much alive very ticked off copperhead striking violently at the mower. I quickly retrieved a hoe and finished it off.
But the one while fishing that still makes me think how lucky I was occurred while I was fishing in my 10ft Jon boat on the small soil conversation tank at my grandmothers. The lake was shaped like a banana. Kind of long with only one narrow inlet that was heavily wooded.
I had paddled back into that inlet hundreds of times. This time the water was up and a tree that was leaning over the narrow part was restricting me from being able to fish the back part. I paddled up to it and grabbed the underside of the tree, I pulled myself past it and began pitching a plastic worm to the back end.
When I was ready to turn back as I approached that low lying tree I saw it, a very thick fully grown cottonmouth sunning just above where I had grabbed the tree. How close I came with my hand, neck and head still shakes me up when I think about it, I am still amazed that snake held its position. Had it decided to drop, man I don't think my heart could have handled the shock.

Edited by Mike Ryan (06/12/15 05:20 PM)

#10913714 - 06/12/15 05:10 PM Re: Close Calls [Re: Mike Ryan]
Kisndismis Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/14/09
Posts: 706
Loc: Kingwood, TX
Stepdad and I years ago doing some creek fishing, moving along the bank, he jumps down in the creekbed, I say stop right there. Took the 22 and took out a coiled copperhead about a foot away from his front foot, he never saw it until the round popped the snake in the air. They blend in REAL good. He still brings it up, scared the crud outta him.

I was picking a jig out of some vines in my kayak, rattled the bush to get it out and moccasin slipped out and bumped the side of the yak right near my thigh falling into the water, that was about a month ago and that was the end of that trip.

Reached down to get a golf ball once right off the fairway in the ruff and copperhead was right next to it, same day planting a ball on a tee, one in the tall grass right by tee marker. Both holes right off a large ditch, almost forgot about this one as I dont golf much anymore.

We also had one that crawled into the wheel well of a golf cart. I went to clubhouse, think they guy thought I was drunk ( was only the 9th hole) he came out probed it 2-3 times with a club before jerking back real fast..................then reaches in an pulls it out by the tail and smacks the head against a tree, not sure if it was poisonous or not but thought I was in the presence of crocodile dundee, we all just stood there thinking did we just really see that!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by Kisndismis (06/12/15 05:17 PM)
Watch it happen, make it happen, or say what the hell happened. Capt. Phil Harris F/V Cornelia Marie RIP


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