I have one foolproof way to not get bitten by a venomous snake in Missouri, but there are also some official things you can do especially when it comes to the very commonly seen Cottonmouths.

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The Missouri Department of Conservation has an official website dedicated to the Northern Cottonmouth (aka Water Moccasin). This is the one venomous snake that you're likely to run into at some point if you spend time in the woods and/or near streams and rivers.

If you see the full body (and not just the head) of a snake like this heading toward you in the water, you're likely dealing with a Cottonmouth and not a regular ole water snake.

What can you do to not get bitten by a Cottonmouth in Missouri?

The Missouri Department of Conservation provides some tips:

1. Wear thick boots when fishing or walking in the woods. That will give you extra protection from a lower leg strike if you happen to surprise one of these snakes.

2. Don't put your hands or feet anywhere where you can't see. In other words, don't go reaching behind a bunch of rocks if you can't see what might be hiding there.

3. Don't stop or sit anywhere where you can't survey first. Getting bitten in the backside is the opposite of fun. Trust me.

4. Don't tip-toe through the forest. These snakes will generally flee if they know you're near. You don't want to surprise one.

5. Be extra careful at night because that's the time Cottonmouths are the most active.

6. If you can't identify the snake, don't mess with it.

But, what about the 7th thing you can do to not get bitten by a Cottonmouth?

That's a valid question because I did say there were 7 ways to not get bitten by a Cottonmouth in Missouri. Step 7 is easy. DON'T EVER GO OUTSIDE. Like I said, fool-proof way to not get bitten by a Cottonmouth...unless they crawl in your house. Oh, wait...

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