Has Anyone Ever Seen a Cottonmouth in Tennessee

Discussion in 'LOCAL TENNESSEE TALK' started by festus, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    I haven't, but I'm in the higher elevations most of the time. Some folks think any snake swimming in the water is a cottonmouth. One time I heard a gunshot down in the bottomland in my back yard. I went on down to see what was going on, and an old retired football coach had shot a blacksnake on his side of the creek. He swore up and down it was a cottonmouth. Aren't cottommouths more of a swamp snake that can't tolerate very cold winters? You'd be suprised how many folks won't swim in some of the clean streams around here for fear of water moccasins. I'm talking about water that stays cool enough there's a few trout in there.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, maybe there are cottomouths in the mountains, but I don't think so. But, I wouldn't doubt they are around in Southwest TN around the Mississippi River or maybe in some deepest southern parts of the state. If I saw one, no doubt I could identify it. I've seen my share of timber rattlers and copperheads, but I won't kill one unless it's near the house. I hate to even do that.
     
  2. flatheadslayer

    flatheadslayer New Member

    Messages:
    5,834
    State:
    Thomaston, Geor
    festus,i was born in lee county va. the cumberland area,iwas so far back in the mountains that there was one way in and one way out.there were cotton mouths up there.my uncle was bitten by one.its right in the tri state area,tenn.,ken., and va. meet,so i would say yes yall have them,but i'm no expert.
     

  3. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    I believe you, Preston. Just because I haven't seen one, doesn't mean they're not here. Thanks, I'll keep my eye out.
     
  4. TnRivershark

    TnRivershark New Member

    Messages:
    1,254
    State:
    M,boro Tn.
    I grew up in southwest tn. yeah buddy they are down there, if you see a black snake with a diamond shaped head on water he is usually your man. I've never seen one in middle tn.
     
  5. Catfishboy1995

    Catfishboy1995 New Member

    Messages:
    3,104
    State:
    Council Bluffs
    well they have them in missouri and the only place i have seen them in missouri is directally north of the ozarks, right on the shores of table rock...and i have seen them in iowa right down the street from my house and in mizzo i have also seen copper heads and rattlers!!!so any where you go watch out!!!
     
  6. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    Yeah, Kevin, I was pretty sure they were in the southern parts of the state. But that one Old Coach killed in the creek was a blacksnake. A cottonmouth is also much thicker than a blacksnake. I did a little Googling and found a good map of their range in Tennessee. But, cottonmouth's are probably found in some places outside these boundaries. There are microclimates that will grow plants and other animals outside their range, so who knows for sure where you may find one.

    And I sure didn't realize they were so common in the northwestern parts of TN.

     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  7. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    State:
    Tennessee
    I've never seen one since I've been up here..Though being from Louisiana where they strive I have a lot of experience with them..There range is not supposed to reach Tennenssee much except for in western TN but like Festus said I'm sure they sneak past those borders no problem..They are really aggressive and will even charge at you..They are not easy to ID either..I mean really who would want to get close enough to a potentially deadly snake to say "oh thats a cottonmouth"???They look exactly like the harmless rat snake...To bad for the ratsnake cause in my book theres only one good kinda snake and that is a dead one..
     
  8. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,623
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    Les ,i,m with you on that one ,i know a lot of people like snakes ,i am not one of them .
     
  9. punkin570

    punkin570 New Member

    Messages:
    2,015
    State:
    MS

    :embarassed::embarassed: AMEN!!! :embarassed::embarassed:
     
  10. flatheadslayer

    flatheadslayer New Member

    Messages:
    5,834
    State:
    Thomaston, Geor
    i respectfully disagree,i think the water mocassin is a real doscile snake,as far as snakes go.a water snake is a different story,there're just plain mean,they'll bite you simply for the fun of it.A water moc. you pretty much have to step on,i've seen people pick up w.m. and they never attempt to bite them,until they put them down and put their foot on them and put pressure.i want do it,i don't like snakes that much.i'm not affraid of snakes,i'm affraid of spiders.:embarassed:
     
  11. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Interesting thread. I don't know the answer on your area, but would say there is some there. I live in the southern part of Illinois, and see them all the time. The cottonmouth is an aggressive snake and will also lay in a path and wait for you to walk upon him and then bite you. You have to pay attention to your sourandings.
     
  12. lforet2002

    lforet2002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,534
    State:
    Tennessee
    I've had experienced a strike from a moccasin several times..If you live in the swamps of south Louisiana you have no choice but to come in contact with em..I've had em in my crab traps,crawfish traps, caught em in my trawl,all the time hunting and trapping you come across them and never once have any of them been near docile..I had one one time while I was fishing go after a bream I had caught...I swatted him with my rod and he went under,then came at me after he came back up..I was unhooking the bream as I thought the snake went away from the swat I gave him,but he came up on the bank and started coming at me striking as I backed away..The adrenalin took over then and I had my rod in my hand so I swatted him hard several times till he was dead..Broke the rod in the process..Scared the bejesems out of me..:crazy:
     
  13. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    Yeah, I've crossed paths with all kinds of snakes, some poisonous, and some harmless, but never a cottonmouth. I'm not really a fan of snakes, but I don't hate them and I don't love them....We had this old retired professor who loved snakes. The old codger has since passed away, but he spoke at local public schools after he retired. He had a bumper sticker that read, "I brake for snakes, but not for dogs."

    My biggest fear is not snakes or spiders, but poison oak and poison ivy. Man that stuff tears me up. Just seeing the stuff used to give me the Willies. I've seemed to develop a resistance to it in the past few years, however. It's unpredictable. Sometimes you know, you can't avoid coming into contact with it, and I might catch it, and I might not. Usually I shower soon after contact and it won't take hold. I've tried that gel that you rub on before you go into the woods, but the dern stuff draws more bugs and bees than a bottle of Old Spice. :confused2:
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  14. Tool958

    Tool958 New Member

    Messages:
    508
    State:
    Illinois
    We've fished Reelfoot Lake and it is loaded with them. The last one I saw was as big around as my forearm. He wasn't very long, about 3 foot or so, but he or she was fat. May have just got done eating. I was in a two man 10 ft. bass boat from Sam's Club. It swam up along the side of the boat and dove down right at the edge. Scared the crap out of me. Don't like being that up close and personal to that kind of snake. We hunt southern Illinois a lot and have seen several different kinds of poisonous snakes there, such as copperheads and cottonmouths. I know there are rattlers there too, but fortunately we've not came across any yet. Just have to be careful where you step. None of them have gone out of their way to bother us.
     
  15. crappietime

    crappietime New Member

    Messages:
    126
    State:
    Murfreesboro Tennessee
    Over near Camden a few years ago there was some men riding thier fourwheeler into work on a duckblind.They hit a bump on the trail and looked back and it moved.They first thought it was a tree limb but not it was a cotton mouth they killed and then got into trouble for killing it.If I can find a picture or web address on it I will post.It was too big for me for sure and too alive..Good snakes is dead snakes.
     
  16. dthrasher

    dthrasher New Member

    Messages:
    76
    State:
    Tennessee
    I have posted a thread that shows the Counties in Tennessee that have Cottonmouths. Alot of people mistake the Northern Brown Snake for cottonmouths in middle Tennessee. They are aggesive and will chase you boat, I have experienced it. I'm sure it wouldnt be too hard for cottonmouths to travel beyond these boarders, but TWRA swears we dont have them in my area of middle tennessee or east tennessee.





    http://www.tennsnakes.org/Cottonmouth Brochure.pdf
     
  17. crappietime

    crappietime New Member

    Messages:
    126
    State:
    Murfreesboro Tennessee
  18. Greasy Ham

    Greasy Ham New Member

    Messages:
    96
    State:
    Tennessee
  19. ibmeubu

    ibmeubu New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    Tennessee
    I was raised on the Tenn river in the Johnsonville area , mostly on the river here they are rare and people claim they see water moc. and say they are Cotton mouth. if you get down on the reserve and the slues between the Duck river and Jville bridge there are the real cotton mouths. they are bad mamijammers . But most of what people around here call a cotton mouth is really just an old ugly water snake and they do favor the CM. Bottom line there are a few here . I think over around the Big Sandy river you will find many more and of course the farther south and west .If you want to see something scary ,run across an old Bull snake on the water about 6 ft long and just a blowing at you
     
  20. bdporch

    bdporch New Member

    Messages:
    76
    State:
    tennessee
    Saw a big one last year at cross creeks only saw 3-4 in 8 yrs of fishin cumberland river. And im from georgia orginally so yea i know the difference and the cotton mouths we have in Ga chase u i have seen it on several occasions.