How Deadly is the Copperhead?!

How Deadly is the Copperhead?!

– [Coyote] How far off are
we from the coordinates? – [Mario] Couple hours, at least. Tim, did you get one? – [Coyote] All right, we are
in the rattlesnake spot now, but what’s a little more eerie is that I think we are also in the den of a bear or maybe fox. (suspenseful music) Look at that defensive pose. That is strike mode at its finest. (big cat growls)
(dramatic music) (lion roars) (soft guitar music) The hills of West Virginia hide within their peaks and valleys
a plethora of animal species. In fact, this wild and wonderful state is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the Eastern US. On this adventure, I will be teaming up with my long-time friend
and field herpetologist, Tim Brust. Tim is a backwoods
bloodhound when it comes to tracking down reptiles and amphibians. The last time we worked together, he helped us find the elusive hellbender, one of the nation’s most
cherished salamander species. We got him! (people cheer) There it is, it is an absolute giant! – [Tim] That was the hardest
hellbender catch I’ve ever had. – [Coyote] Wow! Today we are hot on the trail
of the timber rattlesnake. Hailing as one of the
largest venomous snakes in North America, these pit vipers are masters of camouflage, so finding one hidden amongst the rocky
crevices and outcrops will be an arduous challenge. There’s a tree down in
the middle of the road that I’m gonna help Tim move. The task required us to travel deep into West Virginia’s
wilderness, as we’ve pushed our vehicle to its safest limits. (laughing) Oh no. All right, we may not be
going any further than this. Literally just got done talking about how we got past the toughest
area of rocky terrain, and we have now turned the corner. Are you kidding me? (groans) I think we’re gonna be
able to get past this, but it’s the next bend that
looks even more difficult. Look at that. Total rock slide that
came down off the mountain and to this. So the Jeep should be able
to get over this no problem. It’s just a matter of what
is up and around the corner. How far off are we from the coordinates? – [Mario] Couple hours, at least. – Okay, so we have made
a decision at this point. We were thinking about
going over the mountain and up that rock slide right there. Way too treacherous with cameras, so what we’re gonna do now is go on foot down the roadway, and
it is roughly two miles as the crew flies to get to these spots that Tim has GPS coordinated
where snakes have been seen. For us, it’s gonna be more than two miles. It’s gonna be probably close
to four or five hour hike to get to this spot, so it
is going on 11 o’clock now. With any luck, what’s gonna happen is we are gonna reach the snake spot when they’re doing their
second basking for the day, which will be somewhere between
four and six o’clock P.M. It’s gonna be a commitment,
but this is what it takes to find the timber rattlesnake. – [Mario] All right, well,
we’ve found potentially the location based on Tim’s phone, and he thinks maybe 300
yards down this little kind of valley is the spot. We’re gonna scout it. With any luck, we’re gonna
actually see the location. – We just need to really
know an entry point. The foliage is all so
dense, whether it’s trees or these scrublands and grasses. Unless you can see exactly
where to go down it, you could just be
descending into a ravine, so scouting with the drone
is definitely giving us a bird’s eye perspective of the terrain before we even embark
upon heading down into it. – [Mario] Think this is it. This is all on that slope. – [Coyote] What are you seeing? Oh! – [Mario] See that? – [Coyote] That is all rock right there. – [Mario] Open, rocky. – [Coyote] Yes! – Outcrop. – Can you get lower to see
the size of those rocks? – [Mario] Yeah. I’m just gonna try to… – Oh, yeah, man. That’s gotta be it, look at that. That’s all rocky terrain. I think we’ve found it. – We found a spot, and I
think Tim found a spot. – Okay. – He’s been yelling at us, so
I don’t know what that means. I can’t really hear him.
– Maybe he has a snake. – Maybe he’s got a snake. – Okay, well let’s pack up the drone. This is great. We have spent hours
searching out rocky outcrops, and now we possibly have two potentials. One we saw on the drone, and one that Tim is calling us to come towards. – [Mario] Tim! Did you get one? – [Coyote] Wow, this is it, right here. Perfect timber rattlesnake habitat. Now it’s just a matter
of searching and finding. What do you think, Mario? – [Mario] Do you see how
unique this habitat is? It’s overgrown with
vegetation, but also still allows for some exposed rocks so they could come out and bask. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. – [Coyote] Okay, so
basically, we need to spend some time searching
these rocks for snakes. It’s nice down here. Any one of these big rocks that has almost a miniaturized cave underneath it is exactly the kind of spot
that we wanna be looking. Now the best spots are gonna
be rocks exposed to the sun. Part sun, part shade, so
that when the sun comes out, the snake can come and warm itself up, and then when it gets too hot, he can go hunker back down in the shade. Oh, nice! What you got? – Got a little fence lizard. What’s really cool about
these guys is the nails. Oh! (laughs) – [Coyote] Don’t fall off the cliff. – Don’t lose the lizard,
don’t fall off the cliff. What’s cool about these fence lizards is they look kinda drab in their dorsal, but on their ventrals, look at that. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s a nice blue. Awesome. These guys are really fast-moving. I’m surprised I actually caught him. Beautiful little specimen. I’m gonna put him down,
watch him take off. There he goes. All right, let’s try
to catch a rattlesnake. – All right, we are in
the rattlesnake spot now, but what’s a little more eerie is that I think we are also in the
den of a bear or maybe fox. There are bones, chunks of
meat, and also some vomit, like vomited flesh, and back within here are a bunch of small pathways, and it’s an area like this over here where you’re usually the most nervous. You don’t wanna just
stumble upon something that is hiding in the underbrush. Okay. I’m gonna head back over
where Tim and Mario were, and we’re going to keep
looking for rattlesnakes, but I don’t think it gets
much more dangerous than this. Rattlesnakes, and a potential bear den. (eerie music) Nothing. Okay, we are on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere,
West Virginia right now. We have descended, I’d say close to 800, maybe a thousand feet, and it’s impossible to tell on the GoPro, but if
you look out through there, you can see the open
expanse of wilderness. It is beautiful, but the
terrain is extremely difficult. When you look up back behind me, you can see all this rocky terrain that we have come down through. We’ve gotten to the point now where we’ve been out here for so many hours. We’re thinking we need to turn back, because if we don’t, we
may not get to the vehicle, which then has to drive all
the way down the mountain back to civilization before the sun sets. There’s always the
chance of finding a snake on the way back up, but at this point, we may have reached the
juncture of failure. No rattlesnakes on our
rattlesnake expedition, which is discouraging,
but it still has been a really fun time out here exploring the back country of West Virginia. It’s not often that a target
species manages to elude us, yet after many hours of searching, we still hadn’t seen a single rattlesnake. Then on our way back to the Jeep, we came upon a slithering
surprise that we didn’t expect. Tim just called out ’cause
he found a copperhead. No rattlesnakes yet, but
this is a great opportunity. – [Mario] Did he go under? – [Tim] I think I can lift this up. – [Mario] Okay. Watch your fingers. There he is. Grab him, quick! All right, bag, bag, bag. – All right! We got a copperhead. Definitely cannot work
with or present the snake on the side of this hill, though, so let’s take it up here
and get a closer look. Okay. This is better. Now we can actually stand. Okay, let’s find a good open flat spot. Here, right behind you with this rock, I’m gonna just gently fold the edges down and let it slither out a bit on its own. – [Mario] There we go. – [Coyote] Ready, just be on high alert. The snake is coming out. (suspenseful music) There he is. Okay.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Copperheads do have a
tendency to be rather spastic, very quick snake. Just gotta balance it on
the snake hook like this. (bang of drums) Ooh, he’s trying to
get your camera, there. Look at that defensive pose. That is strike mode at
its finest, right there. These are very fast striking snakes. It’s definitely a species you always wanna be cognicent of when
you’re in the environment. They’re so perfectly camouflaged. Now to really get a
better look at this snake, there’s a method that we can use to actually handle it called tubing, where the front of the
snake will go inside of a plastic tube, and that will allow me to handle the snake without
the risk of being bitten. Copperhead’s being rather calm right now, which is great. It’s exactly what we want. Look at that. Now it’s really important
that I keep one hand on the snake and the tube
at the exact same time. What we don’t want to
happen is for the copperhead to wiggle out backwards
and inflict a bite. That is so cool, what a beautiful reptile. Now while the copperhead is a pit viper, it is not a rattlesnake. However like rattlesnakes,
they will sometimes wiggle just the tip of their
tail against leaf litter, alerting any potential
predator, or even a human, that hey, if I’ve been spotted,
I’m here in the environment and you don’t wanna get any closer, but people oftentimes confuse
non-venomous snake species with copperheads or water moccasins, and you can see that very distinct banding that runs down the length of the body. It looks just like the
banding on a younger northern watersnake,
and even the underside, the underbelly, that
slight checkered patterning and the design on the dorsal scale pattern almost looks like a fox snake, another completely harmless species. So this snake does have a
rather negative reputation, but as long you don’t try to interact with the snake in the environment, all it wants to do is stay
completely hidden from humans. Now when it comes to venom toxicity, this is a dangerous snake. It is not a reptile you would ever want to be bitten by, but when it comes to the venomous snakes
in the United States, this is on the lower
end of potency, right? So a water moccasin, which
is a much larger snake, is gonna have a higher venom
yield when it bites you, especially when it comes to rattlesnakes. An eastern diamondback,
a timber rattlesnake, a western diamondback, bigger snake means a larger venom yield. You can see the size of the snake’s head is rather small, which means they have smaller venom glands, but keep in mind, it’s all about how your
body reacts to venom. Just recently somebody in Alabama was bitten by a copperhead, and they died from anaphylactic shock. A bite from a snake like a copperhead could mean the end of your life. Well, we didn’t manage to find our target, the timber rattlesnake, but that’s okay. We still came across
one of West Virginia’s most iconic pit vipers, the copperhead, and getting it up close, testing
out this method of tubing, totally made the adventure worthwhile. Now before we release it
right back where we found it, what I actually wanna do is
place it in the leaf litter to show you just how
camouflaged this snake truly is. Most people do their best to
avoid interactions with snakes. A smart state of mind,
especially if the species is venomous. Suffice it to say, snakes
think the exactly the same and do their absolute
best to avoid humans. If you find yourself exploring in an area that is known to inhabit venomous snakes, your safest plan of action is
to wear sturdy hiking books, stick to well-worn trails,
and most importantly, pay attention to where you’re walking, and you should be completely safe. Okay, we’re gonna let
the copperhead slither right back out of the snake bag. Perfect. Look at that. I’m Coyote Peterson. Be brave, stay wild. We’ll see you on the next adventure. Hey Coyote Pack, do
you know the difference between a venomous and
a non-venomous snake? If not, make sure to check out the episode where I show you the distinction between a water moccasin and a
watersnake, and don’t forget, subscribe and click the notification bell so you can join me and the crew on our next big adventure. Check it out! That is a broad-banded watersnake. Woo! (animals roar) (bird caws)


  1. I moved to TN 2 years ago from Maine. Never saw a copperhead before in my life. I was in my garden a few days ago, lifted a large rock, found a baby snake. So me being the snake lover I am, I just picked the little thing up by its tail to show my husband. My neighbor came over to say hi & she just starts yelling “OH MY LAND PUT THAT THING DOWN ITS A COPPERHEAD!!!”
    Needless to say I will not be picking up random snakes I find in my yard with my bare hands anymore.

  2. The Copperhead didn't even turn around aggressively upon release. Thought maybe it would turn around & try to get a bite. But, it just wanted to get back to it's den.🙂

  3. Hey Coyote if you see my comment I want to say thank you. Thank you for making these AMAZING video’s that I Can watch when im in a bad mood, sad, bored, or mad. I love the channel and im not sure but I Think ive been here for about 4 years though I did stop watching for about 9 months. Ive always loved the content and the things you do.. I Think its really entertaining watching the Nature while getting information about the animal. Love what you do keep doing what you love and want. You’ll hopefully always have my support 😁❤️

    Anyone else remember ”Dragon Tails” ?

  4. Looking back at the videos of you getting stung by insects, it seems it would be hard to compare them and say which is worse, from memory. It would nice to see a side by side comparison. How about you go back through them and get stung by 2 at the same time, one in each arm, for a direct comparison. Are you man enough?

  5. Tim, should recently be filmed in every single one of Coyote's episodes about the venomous and non venomous snakes in the Brave Wilderness channel.
    The Copperhead that Tim found it underneath the rock that has to be coaxed inside a clear plastic tube, is also what he needs to place other venomous and non venomous snakes inside the plastic tube too. As from that part where Mario held out a fenced lizard that he thought it might be running out of his hand quickly, he almost fell down from a steep slope of a rock. And I can still see that the fenced lizard has the bluish underside pattern familiar to that copperhead with the camouflaged pattern of the northern water snake and the fox snake. It can easily camouflaged itself amongst the dead leaf litters.

  6. I’ve been to Southwest of Louisiana and those are one of the deadliest reptiles! The juveniles will kill in less than 3-5 minutes- I fear for Coyote sometimes

  7. hey Coyote with a Copperhead, if you’re walking in the woods and there’s a copperhead nearby and it sees you will it strike you or do you have to mess with it?

  8. When we were just kids my best friend was bitten by a copperhead while walking outside her house. She was rushed to the hospital and stayed there for a few days. But luckily made it out just fine with a slight hatred for snakes.

  9. My dog got bit in the face by a copperhead right above his eye. We took him to the vet immediately but they said there’s no need to use anti venom with copperheads. He is only 30 pounds but was perfectly fine other than quite a bit of swelling that went away after a day. Maybe dogs bodies react differently than humans

  10. Can you show us the effects of poison ivy ? I’m sure you come across it quite often and it would be a great opportunity to teach everyone what this ivy looks like and know to avoid it.

  11. Coyote react where a tribe puts their hands into a glove full of bullet ants and you shall not scream. Thats one of the rules

  12. Title was a little "clickbaity". I guess "Didn't find much or even try a sting today" didn't test as well.
    It's alright, your videos are definitely YouTube Hall of Fame stuff.

  13. My cousin got tagged by one 2 years ago and he just got antibiotics for treatment. But his thumb was black, green, and purple for a while.

  14. Super deadly hero catcher of copperhead. I proud you’re remarkable snakes catcher. I love to watch you catch the snakes.

  15. whatever happened to the other brave wilderness guy? is he still mainly working the camera? I always remember Mario and it seems like he has taken a more forward role. But there was one other guy as well

  16. He said the larger the more venomous, but baby’s let more venom out then an adult because they can’t yet control how much venom they let go.

  17. Well it didn't kill me back in 2013 but the after effects and pain put me off my feet for over a week. The snake bit me twice on the toes. It was dark I was wearing flip-flops and I thought it was a kitten that had come up on the porch and scratched my toe. I tried to nudge it off the porch. I thought it scratched me again and then I felt it had no hair…uh-oh! NEVER assume a snake is not where one has never been before, especially when it is raining.

  18. I like snakes a lot. They are cool and my mother has teached me to like them, actually most snakes are cute in my opinion.
    I'm finnish and in Finland we have only one poisonous viper spiecies, it's not that poisonous and it rarely kills people. The other snakes are harmless.

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