Can You Eat Water Moccasin? – A Real Concern

Ever found a water moccasin in your nearby lake and killed it? Well, you did the right thing. 

But are you wondering if you can tan its skin and eat the meat? I must say, the thought of it is pretty interesting.

So can you eat a water moccasin?

Well, yes you can eat a water moccasin. But you’ll need to be cautious because the snake is quite venomous. To avoid getting its venom inside you, you must kill the snake without hurting its venom sac right behind its head. However, the taste and smell of the meat may not be for you. There are many other factors that might affect your appetite for eating a moccasin.

This was just the surface level talk. To get a deeper idea about moccasin snakes and eating them, read our article. 

Water Moccasin

Water moccasins, otherwise known as cottonmouth, are extremely venomous water snakes. Their venom contains hemotoxin that breaks down blood cells. This prevents the blood from clotting or coagulation. 

A water moccasin bite could seriously harm an individual. The spread of the venom could even result in hemorrhaging throughout the circulatory system of the body. You need to take certain measures for a venomous snake bite like water mocassin.

So, if you ever tour in an area at risk from snake-bite, we would recommend having a snake-bite kit for instant treatment. Don’t worry we’ve listed some kits that you can rely on. Have a look at the following table-

How to Identify A Water Moccasin?

Often people confuse water moccasins with typical water snakes. Now the normal water snakes aren’t harmful like this one. 

So whether you want to eat these snakes or kill them out of defense, make sure to target the right snake. It is important to be able to differentiate between water moccasins and water snakes and identify them properly. So here’s how to identify a water moccasin

Identifying An Adult Moccasin

So, how does a water moccasin look like?

Adult Water moccasins have quite thick and heavy bodies compared to water snakes. These snakes have short and thick tails. Water moccasins also have large, blocky heads with narrow necks. And they are dark brown in color. That’s how they are different from a water snake.

It’s important you know how to recognize a water moccasin and tell a water snake apart. You don’t want to encounter a moccasin and risk your life by thinking it’s a water snake.

Identifying A Baby Moccasin

During your survival, you might encounter baby water moccasins. They look a little different from that of an adult water moccasin. They are brighter in color. They are brown in color and have red and brown bands across their entire length.

Moreover, water moccasins are pretty aggressive. They usually don’t bite people. But when they feel threatened, they coil their body and open their mouth wide, revealing their fangs to bite the victim. That’s when you know it’s about to get to you. So hurry and shoot it down.


Can You Eat Water Moccasin: Worth A Try?

Now you might be wondering if you can eat a water moccasin. Well, yes you can definitely eat a water moccasin. Even though the snake can cause a deadly reaction if its venom spreads. Eating venomous snake meat as such can be tricky. 

Most people prefer not to eat these snakes, in case the venom remains in the body and is ingested via the meat. But knowing the right way to eat it can make it worthwhile.

Is A Water Moccasin Poisonous?

Yes, a water moccasin is poisonous. Their venom contains a substance called hemotoxin. This substance breaks down the blood cell of a person. As a result, the blood will stop clotting and result in hemorrhage. The water moccasin has a venom sac behind its head. Removing this is the real challenge.

So make sure to not cut or eat it before removing the sac. This is the place from where the poison is released. If the venom spreads while cutting the sac, the whole meat will become toxic. And instead of enjoying a good meal, you’ll end up lying on the hospital bed.

Now, you must be wondering- can a water moccasin snake kill you?

Yes. A water moccasin snake can kill you with its venomous bite. Their venom can stop the blood from clotting or coagulate. If you don’t take immediate action, you can suffer from serious hemorrhage in your blood circulatory system. So, without immediate action, a water moccasin bite can cause deadly consequences.

The deadliest thing about a cottonmouth is that sometimes you can’t see the bite mark. That’s why you must be extra careful when dealing with a water moccasin snake. If you’re a survivalist, it’s understandable if you have to kill the snake for self-defense. However, before you do so, you need to make sure if killing the snake is restricted or not.

So, is it legal to kill a water moccasin?

No, it’s not legal to kill a water moccasin in some states. Species like cottonmouths and rattlesnakes are considered endangered animals. That’s why it’s illegal to kill a snake. States like Florida and Texas have banned killing any kind of snakes. So, you must make sure you kill a snake when it’s absolutely necessary.

Now that you know all about water moccasins, here are some things to consider before making it your meal-

Things To Consider

You’ll have to consider a lot of things when eating water moccasin. Here are some factors you should keep in mind before you go munching down on its meat:


First of all, these aren’t as flavorful as rattlesnakes. So hold that thought if you want to move forward with it.

Water moccasin meat is tasteless and you can only make them flavourful by adding cooking bass. There’s also some confusion as to whether bass is safe to eat or not. However,  in case you’re stranded in a jungle and can’t find any other source of food. You can definitely opt for this one. 


These snakes stink and smell musky. Now, most snakes do smell when they’re killed but eventually, the smell goes away. But it’s not the same for water moccasins. These snakes smell way too pungent and it’s quite intolerable. 

The cleaning process becomes very difficult because of the odor that comes from the snake. So if you’re okay with it, go ahead and eat these snakes. 


Now skinning the snake is a bit harder than usual because even after you’ve killed them, the body seems to move a lot. Yeah, that’s right. Even after cutting the head of the venomous snake, its body curls up which makes the skinning process time-consuming.

3 Ways To Eat A Water Moccasin

You can try various methods of cooking water moccasin and eating it. But before you eat the meat, make sure to cut the head off 2-3 inches from its skull. Remove the skin of the snake and take out the spine or spinal nerve. 

Now you can’t debone the snake because there’s too little meat. Deboning the snake would result in loss of meat. Small snakes like water moccasins have to be cooked on the bone. Moreover smaller snakes have barely any meat so de-boning would waste more meat. You can’t expect to enjoy chunks of meat from this snake.

How to Cook Water Moccasin?

Now that you know how to eat the water moccasin you killed with your homemade pistol shotshells, you need to follow a few recipes to add some flavor to the meat. Before we jump into the recipe, we need to know first the process of skinning the snake skin.

So, let’s see how to skin a water moccasin

First, prepare the snake by cutting off its head. Make sure you avid the venom sac. After that, find the anal vent of the snake underneath and begin cutting using a knife. After you slice along the entire length of the snake, you need to trim the connective tissues between the skin and muscle. Finally, peel away the skin and your snake is ready.

Now that skinning is done, you can start your preparation for cooking.

Water Moccasin Recipes For Survivalists

Recipe 1: Snake Meat Soup

Now this recipe is convenient for people out in the jungle and hiking. Because it requires little to no effort. To make this quick recipe you need the following ingredients-

Calorie Count: 469.1 per 1 bowl serving

Step 1 of 3: Boil The Snake Meat In Water

To make your snake soup, all you need to do is just boil up a pot of water and throw in the chunks of snake meat into it. Let the meat boil in the water.

Step 2 of 3: Add The Spices

Now that the meat is boiling, add in additional flavorings such as salt, pepper, rosemary. You can also add in mushrooms if you find those in the jungle. 

Step 3 of 3: Ready To Serve

When the water starts to become cloudy like a stew, your soup should be ready. So you can gobble the snake meat right after killing the snake. 

Recipe 2: Water Moccasin Snake Fry

Making fried snakes is the easiest way to cook snake meat. To make the fried snake, you’ll need the following ingredients-

Calorie count: 93 per 3.5 ounces serving

Step 1 of 4: Cut the snake into chunks

Once the snake has been skinned and cleaned properly, cut the snake into chunks. Wash the meat again with cold water. Make sure it is clean and fresh.

Step 2 of 4: Dip in beaten egg white

Beat the egg white well in a separate bowl. Now, put the chunks of meat into the bowl and coat it with the egg white. This mixture acts as a binding agent. 

Step 3 of 4: Coat with cornbread 

First of all, add salt and pepper to the cornbread mix in another bowl. Now, take out the meat and coat them with the cornbread mix very well. Coat all sides properly. So that you get an even layer of the mix.

Step 4 of 4: Fry in Oil 

Heat vegetable oil in a pan. The oil must cover half an inch of the pan. Fry the coated meat in oil until they are golden brown. Make sure to fry one at a time to avoid undercooked meat. Putting too many chunks at a time reduces the temperature of the oil making the meat soggy. Also, make sure to drop the meat slowly to avoid skin burn. 

Your meat should be ready to eat when they are golden brown. Take them out and place them on a plate with a paper towel to dry out excess oil. 


Water Moccasin Recipes You Can Try At Home

Recipe 1: Snake meat Curry

Making snake curry is a long process but this will most definitely add flavor to the tasteless water moccasin. Now usually snake curries call for deboning the meat. But in the case of water mocassin, you can’t debone the meat so you just have to continue without doing so. 

Now, before you begin the cooking process, simmer the snake meat in a pot of hot water. Add some Simply Lemonade, it’s a homemade lime juice and all in one seasoning blend for 1 hour. Doing this helps to avoid the snake meat from smelling bad.

After the simmering is done, it’s time to cook the snake. To make the snake curry, you’ll need the following ingredients-

However, if you need some kind of tools to chop your spices and veggies we’ve got your back. Here are some recommended appliances for your hassle-free cooking.

Calorie count: 469.1 per servings

To make the curry, you just need to add all the mentioned ingredients including the chunks of snake meat into a pot. Now slow-cook the meat for 6-8 hours, or bring the meat to boil and simmer for 2 hours. For extra spice and flavor,  you can add green chili and dried herbs if you wish. Voila! Your delicious snake curry is now ready.

Here’s a quick guide for your easy understanding-

FactorSnake Meat SoupSnake Meat FrySnake Meat Curry
Convenient forBoth home and survival cookingBoth home and survival cookingHome cooking
Level of difficultyEasyMediumHard
Cooking Time20-30 mins30 mins8-10 hours

Preserving the Snake Meat

Now what to do if you don’t want to cook your meat right away? Well, you can preserve the meat for future use. You can do this using two completely different methods. 

Method 1 of 2: Soak in Brine 

Brine is actually just a highly concentrated saltwater solution. You can soak the meat chunks in brine or even put the entire snake into the brine. But before you do that, you’ll need to skin the snake. You can also tan the snakeskin and soak it in brine for preserving it as well. 

Here’s also a video below that you can watch to understand the process better.

However, there’s a catch! The brine solution is a temporary method of preserving the snake meat. You can only preserve the meat in brine for 2-3 days. Moreover, water moccasins have thin meat so you can’t store them for too long otherwise the meat gets spoiled.

Method 2 of 2: Dehydrate the Snake Meat

To store the water moccasin meat long-term, you can dehydrate the meat chunks and fry them. Just like you’d do to make bacon bits. This process is pretty convenient for water moccasin meat as it’s thin and not chunky. 

This way you can preserve the snake meat and consume water moccasin at the same time.


Can a water moccasin bite/kill a human? 

Water moccasin bites are much more dangerous and harmful to humans than the bite of a copperhead. Sometimes the bite mark is not even visible. Which makes it more dangerous. Although, it doesn’t lead to death but is quite painful. You should take immediate action after the snake bite. Otherwise, there would be a life and death question.

What does a water moccasin smell like?

Water moccasin smells very bad and funky. It smells much like a skunk and is quite intolerable. The bad smell is mostly what repels a person from eating the water moccasin. However, if you aren’t sensitive to this smell then you are good to go.

How fast can a water moccasin move?

The exact strike speed is 2.98 m/s. Usually, they are a little heavy and they slither a little slower than average snakes. Which gives you an advantage if you want to escape. However, if the snake is striking you better know its moves.

Are cottonmouth and water moccasin the same?

Yes! Water moccasins are commonly known as cottonmouth snakes. People often confuse this species with the names. But they are actually the same species. Water moccasins are called cottonmouth because of their big and white mouth.

Is a water moccasin snake venomous?

Yes! A water moccasin snake is extremely venomous. Their venom can make you suffer and end up in a hospital bed. That’s because the blood cells start to break down because of the poison. As a result, there are chances of major hemorrhage in your circulatory system. So you better watch out for a water moccasin around you.


That was all from us. Eating water moccasins can be harmful to your health if you don’t follow the right method of eating them. So make sure to follow all the instructions and keep all the considerations in mind.

We hope our detailed discussion will help in deciding how to consume water moccasin.