Most of us have thought about the possibility of a snake making its way into our turkey blind or ground blind for deer hunting, but I bet most of us have not thought about a snake in our tree stand! Well, that is exactly what happened to me on Saturday, the 15th of October.
It was a day like most other hunting days except, the fog was as thick as pea soup. Even though it is October, this particular morning felt like the dog days of summer! My deer stand is perfect for me. It is somewhat open-aired while being perfectly hidden from the keen eyesight of the deer. Being a bit claustrophobic, I don’t like to be closed in. I have one phobia and that is…NO, not snakes, but wasps! Everyone who really knows me well is aware of this terrible fear I have. So, this stand works well for me because I don’t feel trapped should a wasp fly in. No worries…no wasps, but little did I know there was another intruder in my stand.
One of the best parts about hunting is arriving at your stand a good hour before daybreak. The idea is to get in your stand with the least amount of noise or light. I typically can get settled in within a minute using only a minimum amount of light from my hat light as to not alert the deer. After a quick look at my stand, I am ready to turn off the hat light. In the blackness of the morning hour, the dreary fog made my mind wander about how much it looked like Halloween. An intriguing spider web hung off the black silhouette of a branch, and it looked like it had ghostly bat wings.
As the sun tried to penetrate the heavy fog, the landscape began to take shape. The dog fennel, tired from the long hot summer, drooped under the heavy mist in the air. The fog hung around until almost 9 am, and about that time I was able to see shadows of a couple of does along the tree line, and a happy-go-lucky spike buck wandered towards me looking for a place to bed down for awhile.
I like to bring my camera when I hunt, just in case I see something that really deserves a quality photo. I took a few minutes to try to capture the beauty as the fog lifted, knowing that I still didn’t have a clear shot from my vantage point to hunt deer. As I reached down to move some of the old and nearly rotten camouflage from my camera bag, a very long but slender snake slithered by my hand.
Not too alarmed with snakes, my first instinct was to take some pictures and a video so I could share it with my hunter friends. I was pretty sure it was not a venomous snake, so I was completely calm. I proceeded to share it on Facebook, and from their remarks, it was clear that most people would have jumped out of the stand!
I have a healthy respect for venomous snakes, and this year we are seeing more dangerous snakes than ever. Be very careful when walking, whether it is day or night, as the vipers hunt and are active at night. Be especially careful reaching in places that might hide a potential danger. I doubt you will ever see a snake in your tree stand. It is rare for a venomous snake to climb more than a couple of feet and typically may be found in bushes and not trees. However, for me, I will always have to deal with wasps flying around except in the winter! I hate wasps!!!!!!!