Some say that the best kind of snake is a dead snake. However, there are ten types of snakes in Indiana that you might want to think twice about killing because it's illegal.

Okay, I'm not going to lie. I may be one of those people who have used that saying above. Honestly, I'm not afraid of anything...ANYTHING...except for snakes. I don't care how big, small, poisonous, or harmless they might be, I am terrified of them all. Granted, I know that a lot of snakes are "good to have around" because they are natural pest control and are "good for the ecosystem", but I would rather have a mouse in my house than a snake any day.  I haven't even finished writing this article and I already know that I am going to have snake nightmares tonight!

Osage Copperhead


Snakes In Indiana

Luckily we live here in Indiana where you don't run into too many big snakes in the wild like pythons and anaconda. However, Indiana is home to 32 native snake species of which only four are venomous, according to Indiana DNR.

  1. Copperhead - Only found in the southern half of the state.
  2. Cottonmouth - State Endangered - Only found in one small area in southwestern Indiana.
  3. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake - Federally Threatened - Northern third of Indiana.
  4. Timber Rattlesnake - State Endangered - South central Indiana.



Snakes mate in the spring after they emerge from hibernation or in late-summer before returning to hibernation. Which means, it's snake season in Indiana, folks!

Let's be honest here, most people who spot a snake in their yard or house will typically kill it because who really wants a snake in their house??? I found it rather interesting to learn that in the state of Indiana, you cannot kill, harm, or take any snake from the wild without a permit. However, even with a permit, there are still snakes that you cannot kill in Indiana

Snakes That Are Illegal To Kill In Indiana

According to Article 9, Rule 5 of the Title 312 Natural Resources Commission of Indiana, these species of snakes in Indiana are endangered or threatened  and are subject to the protections provided under IC 14-22-34-12:

  • Copper-bellied watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster neglecta).
  • Butler's gartersnake (Thamnophis butleri).
  • Kirtland's snake (Clonophis kirtlandii).
  • Scarletsnake (Cemophora coccinea).
  • Smooth greensnake (Opheodrys vernalis).
  • Southeastern crowned snake (Tantilla coronata).
  • Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus).
  • Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus).
  • Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus).
  • Eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum)

Punishment For Killing These Snakes In Indiana

According to, there are two kinds of punishments that you could face if you were to kill these snakes. The first is for breaking the Endangered Species Act, and the second is for violating state law.

The fine for breaking the Endangered Species Act is pretty steep. The maximum penalty is $50,000 or one year in prison. In the worst cases, you’ll face a fine and a sentence. As far as the fine fines you will face for breaking state law, it varies. The maximum penalty will most likely be paying a few hundred dollars for killing these snakes.

So if you stumble across these snakes in your home, and your natural reaction is to get the shovel and kill the creepy creature, you should probably find another alternative to get rid of it....or do what I would do and sell the house because where there is one snake, there's more!

Snakes in Kentucky

When you check out the guide, you'll learn--if you didn't already know--that there are only four venomous snakes indigenous to Kentucky and an ENORMOUS number of non-poisonous ones.

15 Animals that Could Attack You in Evansville

Evil squirrels, killer bunnies, terrifying geese, and more are featured in this gallery of real-life animal stories.

SEE: 15 Animals You Cannot Own in Evansville

I got the idea for this after seeing an article by Michelle Heart with our Townsquare Media sister-station, 107.9 Lite-FM in Boise, Idaho. She had discovered several animals residents in that city can't own based on city codes she found online which got me thinking about whether Evansville had any regulations that were similar. Obviously, they did or this article wouldn't exist. Chapter 14, Article 3, section 42 and 43 spell out a lengthy list of exotic animals you can get in trouble owning if local officials find out. You can see the entire list on the city's website. These are the 15 I found to be the most interesting.

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