I had an interesting encounter with my favorite snake last weekend. I was walking the dogs and Bane, my boxer, almost stepped on a 2′ cottonmouth that was laying in the middle of the trail. Luckily for Bane the snake didn’t strike and luckily for me the snake flipped its head back (a typical reaction from this species) because the movement caught my eye making me aware of the snake’s presence. Phoebe, already leashed, was curious but showed no real interest in approaching the snake. I leashed Bane and the three of us carried on down the trail. The cottonmouth did not chase us and showed no sign of aggression. This has ALWAYS been my experience when encountering this species (I have probably seen well over 100 cottonmouths over the years). They’re big bluffers! Respect them, keep your distance and they’ll usually respect you and keep theirs.