It's hunting season here in Louisiana! Though for now, season is only open for dove hunters, but teal season is set to open September 15.

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However, deer hunters are spending pretty much every available weekend hour in the woods preparing for the upcoming deer season, which for archers will begin on October 1. Gun season here in Area 2 of Northwest Louisiana is set to begin on Saturday, October 28.

This past weekend, as a number of friends and I gathered together for opening day of dove season, we neared a pond and I immediately recognized an all too familiar pungent odor and hollered at my buddies to hold up.

What Is That Smell?

As we carefully scanned the bank of the pond, there he was. Old "nope rope" was lying there, just ahead of us, waiting to strike. That smell was the recognizable odor of a pretty large cottonmouth.

Several of those guys never realized that you could actually smell a snake, however, once they associate that odor with a cottonmouth, it's something they never forget.

I've been told by fellow outdoorsmen that you can also smell a rattlesnake and several other breeds of snakes, but I can't personally attest to the accuracy of that.

Apparently You Can Smell Several Breeds Of Vipers

So, I began to do a little research regarding the smell of snakes and was astonished to find that a number of snakes can omit an odor when frightened.

Still shot from YouTube video by Real World Survival Gear
Still shot from YouTube video by Real World Survival Gear

Bestlifeonline says that copperheads (which is one of Louisiana's most aggressive snakes) can give off the smell of cucumbers.

Photo courtesy of Steve Byland
loading... says the same of rattlesnakes and that a den of these poisonous vipers will smell just like a cucumber.

How Do Snakes Emit This Odor?

Looking at we learn just how snakes emit this odor:

Snakes have glands in their tails that contain a stinky liquid musk. They will expel this musk when they feel threatened, which will often repel the attacker due to the stinky smell., lots of snakes will omit this odor when they expel their musk due to being frightened.  The site says that normally non-venomous water snakes will even omit the odor of an overpowering fishy smell.  Once educated, a person can quickly recognize their odor.

So, YES, you can smell a snake and the best advice for those that smell one in the outdoors should carefully move away.  If the smell is in your home, it would be best to immediately contact an exterminator trained in snake removal.

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