Originally Posted by TintoTerra
Good for you for not killing it! Cottonmouths put on a defensive display (opening their mouths to reveal the white lining thereof) in hopes of scaring you away. The word 'aggressive' is a real misnomer when you're talking about snakes because none of them (I don't care what your redneck uncle says) will make an effort to attack you unless you've stepped on them or nearly touched them (reached into a dark place etc.). Water moccasins, btw, don't have 'nests' and they don't chase people. Stepping within a few feet of a venomous snake will usually simply illicit it's warning response and not cause it to 'come at you'.
It really annoys me to see intelligent people talking about killing snakes. There are enough rednecks out there killing things for no reason without everyone else doing it.
I had to deal with about 85 venomous snakes at work today, and I can assure you, if given the chance, even the most defensive of them would rather turn and slither away than bite anyone.
I've been chased by cotton mouth before. I don't know anything about nests, but the bastard darted after my kayak until I swatted with my paddle.
I didn't have issues with snakes until my little sister, and I'm still torn. I moved a coral snake out of our driveway a few weeks ago, and we've found rattlesnakes all over the place, which is fine by me for the most part. We also have all manner of the non venomous types, which are great*. I don't like moccasins (not nearly as common where I am as rattlesnakes thankfully), and I don't like copperheads. At least rattlesnakes tend to have the courtesy to tell you to fuck off before they bite.
*My little brother was freaking out over a mouse one night that had apparently been crawling on him while he was asleep. I started looking for it, saw it, and then it ran under his bed. I look underneath and it's been snagged by a rat snake that was chilling under there.