Woodstock Snake Too Close for Comfort

Northern Copperhead safely captured from the backyard and released to a nearby woods habitat.

On October 3, Environmental Conservation Officer Jason Smith received a call from a resident of Woodstock (New York) regarding a snake close to his home.

The caller was not certain of the species, but was concerned the snake might be venomous. ECO Smith met the caller at his residence and found the snake in a small rock pile next to the back door.

The ECO identified the snake as a Northern Copperhead, one of New York State’s three venomous species.

After coaxing the snake into a bucket, ECO Smith released it in nearby state lands with more suitable habitat.

Editor Note: While venomous northern copperheads are not commonly noted in western New York, timber rattlesnakes have been more commonly observed and recorded (Facebook reports with pictures and site location) with increasing frequency in central and south central New York, including areas of Letchworth State Park and southward into Pennsylvania.  Hikers and campers be aware that many areas of New York State are home habitat for these snakes that have useful purpose in nature.  Watch where you walk and be prepared with a Johnson’s Snake Bite Kit (Walmart – about $12), a handy vacuum suction kit, that is also useful for bee stings, wasp stings, etc. – take care. Dave Barus