Hello all. Can you believe it is almost Halloween! Where has the time gone this year?
Snake season has been very slow this year, and it has a lot to do with our strange weather patterns and the economy. Usually, September and October are extremely busy but not this year.
I have received numerous emails seeking answers to questions about being a snake trapper, and I thought I would answer some of those questions in this week's column.
Why do you call yourself the snake trapper?
At one time I called myself the snake remover, but as my skills grew I thought that while I do remove snakes only, my sole profession is to trap snakes. That is why I prefer "The Snake Trapper."
You have a "no kill" policy for all types of snakes. Why?
I believe all living creatures have a purpose on this earth, no matter how misunderstood they may be. Snakes serve a vital purpose and help balance our ecosystems. For example, they eat rodents that can carry diseases. They are also beautiful to look at and study, and they deserve the same amount of respect as any other living creature.
You were bitten by a copperhead a couple of months back. As a professional did this scare you or change the way you go about your work?
No, it did not scare me. I have always worked with copperheads. I have removed numerous nests of copperheads safely. However, it did change the way I approach a situation involving a poisonous snake. Trappers always need to be alert, have all their snake gear with them at all times, and never let their guards down. But most importantly, they can never be in a hurry when handling this type of situation. It was my fault not the snake's.
What did you do with Copperhead that bit you?
She is still with me. She suffered wounds from being in the garden netting so long, so I have had her treated and she is recovering well. I do have a state permit to have one copperhead in my possession. The copperhead is to be used for training and educational purposes only. Maryland is very strict about this, and we should always respect the laws and not remove these snakes from the wild. They can be dangerous especially if you are not skilled to handle them.
Will you go back to snake trapping next year?
Yes, but I will be changing the ways I work. I will go out on snake calls but will be limiting other services that I offer pertaining to snakes. I want to be able to train more Animal Control officers in proper snake removal when they are on the job along with providing snake education and promoting conservation.
I have one final note to all pet owners during this time of year. When Halloween arrives, keep your pets inside for their own safety. If you are a snake or tarantula owner please do not take your companions out in public. Keep them inside where they are safe. People have fears of snakes and spiders and can get very upset or even go into a panic attack.
Fall is here, so get out enjoy all that nature provides.
Tammy McCormack is a Maryland licensed Snake Trapper. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She writes a regular online column for fredericknewspost.com.