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Watch your step! Copperheads are more active in the Ozarks

Copperheads give birth to their young in the fall.
Copperheads are active in the fall
Copperheads are active in the fall(KYTV)
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 4:47 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Baby copperhead season is back. The new young are not the only snakes more active this time of year.

As the temperatures cool, copperheads become more active in the late afternoon and early evening, which is during the peak heat of the day. They are not hiding but rather basking in the sun in the open.

“As the temperatures are decreasing, snakes realize their window of opportunity to hunt and collect prey for their diet is shrinking,” Adam Barton, manager for the Watershed Conservation Corps, said.

Copperheads spend more time outside of their holes hunting for food. The young also hunt.

“Copperheads breed in the spring but they give birth to their young in the fall,” said Barton.

Each copperhead can birth three to ten young. Because of their coloring, you may not be able to see copperheads lying on the trails. Their coloring acts as a camouflage when lying in the leaves.

Keep your eyes on the ground. Watch out for sunny spots, and do not poke around rocks.

“Leaves provide great cover for snakes especially in the fall,” said Barton.

If you see a copperhead on the trail, keep your distance.

“Copperheads are actually not that aggressive unless provoked,” said Barton.

“Never once in my life have I been chased or harassed by a snake in an aggressive manner,” said Samuel Dietz, who is the founder of Midwest Snake Relocation.

Dietz will capture and release snakes if they are found around people’s homes. He said to respect the copperheads, they do not want a fight.

“Most bites that happen are from people trying to harm the snakes and they get bit themselves,” Dietz said.

If bitten, do not put ice on the bite site. It is also a myth that sucking out the venom will help. Stay calm and seek immediate medical attention.

“Try to remain as calm as possible, because when that venom enters your body, the more anxious you are and the more worked up you are, the faster it spreads through your bloodstream,” said Barton.

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