Viral Facebook post raises question: What to do if you find a copperhead on your property

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LEQUIRE, Okla. - The Facebook post grabbed attention all over the nation – '72-year-old Oklahoma woman kills 17 copperheads with shotgun, shovel.'

The story explained the woman’s neighbor visited her and found out she’d killed all the poisonous snakes.

The post went viral.

“They do den, and they hibernate in dens like that, but it’s typically later in the year like late September or early October that we see that concentration,” said Jena Donnell with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Donnell said copperheads are one of the more common venomous snakes we have in Oklahoma.

She said they are not aggressive.

They take a sit and wait approach.

And, she said most accidents happen from someone stepping on one or trying to kill one.

“Really, just using as much caution as you can. Make sure you have plenty of reach between you and the snake,” Donnell said.

Brad McKey with Wildlife X Team helps homeowners get rid of pests.

He said he has not had any calls for copperheads so far this year but, Tuesday morning, he was sealing up a metro home.

“This was side open. We had to build a new crawl space door for them,” McKey said. “That’ll keep mice and keep snakes out, as well.”

Both McKee and Donnell said a little bit of prevention can go a long way towards keeping snakes off your property.

“Keep your property somewhat clean so, you know, maybe moving a lot of your leaf piles that are around the foundation of your house. Snakes, especially copperheads, are going to want to be where the food is,” Donnell said.

One safe place to see a copperhead is behind the glass at the display at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

Many taking a look at her Tuesday afternoon had stories of close encounters of their own.

“I was about to pull up a stick, and then my sister says copperhead! And, I’m like woah!” said 9-year-old Michael Cantrell.

And, many parents said the copperhead-killing granny has the right idea.

“If I saw a copperhead on my property, I’d probably kill it with whatever I had, whether it’s a car or a shovel,” said Ashley Adams.

Donnell said copperheads are one of only three different poisonous snakes in our state.

She points out not all snakes are bad but people should use caution when dealing with any of them.

It is legal to kill a snake that is on your property.