While the Western cottonmouth usually preys on small warm-blooded animals, this spring, during mating season, these venomous snakes may be going after a different type of quarry: small-minded, cold-blooded Missouri duck hunters.
Rumor has it that water blinds (duck hunters’ huts that are camouflaged to look like the water) in Oregon, Howell, Carter, Pulaski, Phelps, Wayne, Pemiscot, Mississippi, Scott, and Stoddard counties have been sprayed with the pheromones of female cottonmouths. The pheromones, taken from excrement evacuated from the cottonmouth’s cloacal chamber, are guaranteed to attract aggressive males looking for some tail. I’m not a herpetologist, but I’m guessing that these randy reptiles are going to be pretty ticked-off when their booty call turns out to be a couple of dudes dressed like bushes.
So how can duck hunters avoid being bitten or, God forbid, part of a coital coil? We suggest that they hang up hunting and consider taking up golf or baseball instead. If they don’t, then I agree with my friend and PETA’s waterfowl specialist Hans Offdemall when he says, “PETA opposes gun violence, so when a 250-pound man hides on the water so that he can blow to pieces one of a bonded pair of 1-pound birds, we think that he should get a taste of his own medicine.”
Written by Amy Elizabeth