We have seen a lot of bull snakes around the Ranch this year. This is good news--bull snakes are part of a healthy habitat.
Unfortunately, bull snakes look a lot like rattlesnakes to most people. They hiss (or even make a rattling sound), flutter their rattleless tail, and try to make their heads look triangular when threatened. Bull snakes also do not suffer fools, and belie the myth that nonpoisonous snakes are timid. I admit that this guy was minding his own business and trucking down the road before I prodded him to pose for a picture. Once poked (gently), he became extremely angry and combative and was more than willing to take me, or any other fool who happened by, on. He stayed coiled and hissing, glaring at me, even when I was more than 50 feet away. When reconciliation failed, I drove off, somewhat ashamed.
Bull snakes have rounder heads than rattlesnakes and no rattles. Still, if you are not sure, give the snake a wide berth. Please do not pick it up and bring it to the Lodge for identification!