A beneficiary of the Rutherford scholarship.
Again, I am sorry about your friend's passing. I am happy that I was able to help. All the best to all of you.
Don't be a stranger either.
This site contains a wealth of information about one of the most unique ecosystems in the world. That is what attracted Mr. Rutherford to these woods.
The Cottonmouth I caught did the same thing.He actually flipped out from under the hook.I"ve never had a snake do that before.They are wickedly strong snakes.Now I know why the guy at the Serpentarium south of Orlando had his wife pin the back of a fat cottonmouth before he reached down and grab the pinned head to milk the snake.It was so it didn't flip out from the pin as He reached down to grab it.
I wonder if He made the mistake of casually letting the body of the snake lay across his arm which is a bad move.They will immediately grip your arm like any snake and use the gained leverage to yank and twist their head out of your grip just enough to twist around an hook a fang in you.If you use the behind the head grip with one hand and hold the tail out with the other hand it stops that wiggling.It would have been easier to tail the snake off the ground and then lift the upper body with the stick and support it to the side of the road,safer as well.I"ve caught four rattlers and never even came close to being bit but the trick that Cottonmouth pulled scared me.Never seen anything like that.You can't tail them because they never try to flee but assume a coil and show their cotton.They can strike straight up and in a 360 from that position so the only way to catch them is pinning.It also was almost too dark to see which wasn't a good thing either.Rattlers are strong too, as this guy found out the hard way: