A Mississippi deer hunter says he was trapped in his small deer stand when a rattlesnake showed up, the Associated Press reports. He was able to make his way out of the situation eventually.
Ginn told the Hattiesburg American he arrived to the location of his deer stand early in the morning to begin. The stand was up on cinder blocks, with a metal ground blind to camouflage the stand. Ginn said, "The blind has been there a long time. It's a small blind; maybe 4 by 4 (feet). You have just enough room to walk in, sit, and swivel around."
Ginn planned to spend most of the day there, and brought drinks and snacks.
As the Hattiesburg American reports, Mack Ginn of Lexington heard the rattle snake and then saw it. At first Ginn thought the rattling sound was a cicada, but soon realized it was December, when they are not active. He looked down at the ground and didn't see anything at first. The sound got louder.
"I jumped up in the chair," Ginn said. "He was right next to me."
The hunter told the paper, "My foot was on top of the pallet only a couple of inches from the snake. My first thought was to get away. I literally jumped into the chair because there was no way to get away. When I was in that chair I realized I had nowhere to go."
He was trapped on a wobbly chair, holding his deer rifle. He fired at the snake and missed, but hit it in the head with his second shot. Ginn says he was left with a dead snake, ringing ears and plans to upgrade the flooring of his ground blind, which is a camouflage used by hunters to hide their deer stands.
Herpetologist Terry Vandeventer told the Hattiesburg American that snakes "don't truly hibernate. Snakes do something called brumate. They're semi-active. They move around. They're not in a trance or anything."
That behavior, coupled with Mississippi's mild winters cause Mississippians to have to watch out for snakes all year long.