Society

Copperheads striking out for water

By MATTHEW CASS
Reporter contributor


Kyle and Jerry Cass pose with the 13 of the copperheads killed in the month of July alone at their home near Rockdale. Kyle and Jerry Cass pose with the 13 of the copperheads killed in the month of July alone at their home near Rockdale. It is a common myth that southern copperhead snakes travel in pairs.

Local resident Jerry Cass isn’t so sure about that particular fiction anymore.

At the end of a busy day in early July, Jerry and Kyle were looking for the rancher’s lost cell phone. While Kyle called the phone, Jerry listened and scanned the ground in his pasture for any signs of light.

When searching along a sandy fence line, something caught Jerry’s eye. Movement.

Then there was more activity to his left, and to his right. All of it with the distinctive hue of copper in the moonlight.

Jerry and Kyle quickly walked to the house to get a gun. When they returned, there were more snakes than they could count.

“I’m not sure how many there were,” Jerry said. “There had to be at least 10 along that fence.”

Jerry found his cell phone later that night. He also shot and killed six copperheads.

During the following weeks, Jerry returned every few nights to the same spot. He has since killed 13 snakes ranging from 17 to an impressive 29 inches in length.

As a general rule, copperheads live solitary lives. Their food supply is scarce and they must compete for sleeping space.

Though they may be found in dens in winter, these snakes are rarely seen together in the hotter months of the year.

Jerry has not seen many snakes in recent weeks, but is still puzzled by what he witnessed. Though it’s not uncommon for snakes to come out in the summer evening to keep cool, it is bizarre to see so many traveling together.

“Maybe it’s the heat or the drought,” Jerry said. “But it sure was a strange thing to see.”


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2011-08-18 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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