This gave me a little jolt of excitement over the Labor Day holiday weekend. I apologize for the redundancy of my words (I was still jittery when trying to film the video) and the ineptitude of my editing skills. I haven’t figured out how to zoom in the video except on my phone. This is the fourth Timber Rattlesnake I have encountered in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park out of a total of six that I have come across in the wild. The other two were encountered while hiking on Springer Mountain, in North Georgia. In two of the cases I stepped well within strike distance of the snakes. Thankfully, every rattlesnake remained very stable during the encounter and at most, simply produced a peaceful warning that was easy to hear and identify. If you turn up the volume, the rattling can be heard for the first 10-15 secs of the video. The rattle movement is also easy to see during this time frame.
I do not support the needless killing of snakes and I would ask anyone predisposed to such a reflex to thoughtfully reconsider their approach. I understand that sometimes such action may be necessary, but most often it is just an irrational fear response.