The vast majority of North American snakes are non-venomous and are incapable of hurting you. We have only four species of venomous snakes: Water moccassins (aka massaquas), and which are common throughout the southeast:, copperheads, which are usually confined to the midwest and northeast forests, rattlers, and coral snakes. Coral snakes are found only in the southwest and are VERY shy...I've never seen one in my life. Rattlers are throughout the warmer parts of the country and are also retiring. They will also give you a warning before you get too close.
We have many many snakes species and, as I said, only four are venomous. I have spent countless hours in all four parts of the country outdoors and only once in a while have I been lucky enough to see a venomous snake. Although I will admit that the one time I saw a truly dangerous snake was the 11 foot Egyptian cobra that passed through my tent in the Saudi Arabian desert. I will admit to fear (okay, let's be honest, I was scared s...tless) but we left him alone and he kept going on his own business. Despite the fear, I thought it was an absolutely gorgeous snake.
Just realize, like Hot Toddy said, that if you go outside, expect to meet fellow earthlings that don't look like you and would rather be left alone.
We humans have an innate fear of snakes...but that doesn't mean we should kill each and every one we meet. If everyone did that to whatever species they fear, we would have no wildlife left.
Edited by Meadowlark, 21 June 2016 - 08:19 AM.