Hunter Bitten On Head By Copperhead In Tree

GON Staff | January 18, 2020

Seeing a black rat snake crossing the road the second week of January was a surprise. Sure, it had been crazy warm the past week, but watching out for snakes on the way to and from the duck swamp hadn’t been a thought… until seeing that snake on the road.

Now a story from Mississippi of a deer hunter who was bitten on the head by a copperhead that was in a tree. We’re used to focusing on the ground to watch our step in snake country—but a venomous snake in a tree biting you from a above? In January? That’s not something that’s been on the radar!

The Mississippi Clarion Ledger reports that a hunter from Philadelphia, Mississippi, who had been taking part in a deer-dogging hunt, was working on getting the last of his dog pack to the truck on Wednesday evening, Jan. 15. When he leaned forward to jump across a ditch, the snake slammed the left side of his head and sunk one its two fangs.

“As soon as it hit me I thought it was some sort of massive impact he struck me so hard,” said Tyler Hardy. “I thought somebody had shot me or hit me with an axe. It knocked the fire out of me. I just could not believe the force the snake had when it hit me,” Hardy told reporter Brian Broom.

Hardy shined his light and saw the snake coiled on a limb. It struck at him again, missed, and fell to the ground.

Click here to see photos and read the entire story from the Jackson, Mississippi newspaper. 

Hardy was treated at a nearby hospital with an antivenom, and then he was airlifted to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, where he got five more vivals.

A Georgia deer hunter was bitten by a copperhead this bow season on Dixon Memorial WMA, which is in extreme southeast Georgia and outside of the recognized normal range of copperheads in Georgia. That hunter’s hospital bills exceeded $200,000, mostly for the antivenom.

Copperheads have very distinct brown or rust-colored hour-glass-shaped markings on a lighter brown color. The hour-glass markings are wide on each side and are considerably narrower at the center of the back.


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