Letter to the Editor: Support Our Snakes

I really enjoyed your recent reprint of the article on fox snakes [by Roy and Charlotte Lukes] in Door County. There are many reasons why I enjoy our frequent stays in Door County, but seeing wildlife while hiking, running, kayaking, and biking is at the top of my list. I especially love to see reptiles, and the fox snake never ceases to amaze me.

I am writing in support of the author’s advice to avoid running over these beautiful creatures with cars or bikes, and more importantly not harming them or allowing others to do so. An example of this occurred last summer near our cottage that is across a pond from the third hole of Horseshoe Bay Golf Course. I don’t golf, but I enjoy walking the periphery of the course with our dog. One sunny day last summer I was delighted to see a good-sized fox snake gliding through our small garden in the back of our cottage. The next day I was dismayed and even a bit angered when I saw (likely) the same snake dead due to trauma near the tee area of the third hole. I strongly suspect that the person who killed the snake was a golfer who has an unwarranted fear of snakes.

Like our homes, gardens, farms etc., golf courses also benefit from the pest control provided by these marvelous animals. As the author pointed out, they will not harm you unless you try to pick them up or try and harm them, and even then the wound would be very minor as I can attest to. Plus, there are no copperhead snakes in Door County, so there is no concern about this being a venomous snake.

As my younger brother who was a naturalist in North Carolina wrote:  “Revere the earth, and live in harmony with it. Respect the fish of the oceans, the birds of the air, and every other living thing on earth.” This includes the fox snake. Thanks.

Patrick Meyer

Middleton and Egg Harbor, Wis.

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