As a professional snake handler at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo, James Harrison is no stranger to poisonous snake bites.
"This is a skin graft from a copperhead," said Harrison as he pointed to his finger.
"A copperhead bite, feels like someone taking a hot cigarette, putting it out on your arm, and shoving a hot poker up your arm and leaving it there for about three days and slamming a door shut on your arm, described Harrison.
And that's the snake connected to nearly two dozen poisonous snake bites this year.
"This year alone, we've already passed what we see for a whole year. And the season starts about the end of July until the first of September, is what we consider the snakebite season," Harrison noted.
About a quarter of those have happened in the past several weeks, and those involved kids.
"Pikeville called us the other day, and they've had at least five in two weeks. That's a lot," said Harrison.
So why the rising numbers?
"They're coming down the hills looking for water, looking for food. The drought's affecting us all," said Harrison.
He also says increased human-snake interaction is due to storm damage clean-up.
Harrison says if you are bitten by a poisonous snake, there are three things you should never do.
1. Do not put ice on the bite
2. Do not form a tourniquet around the bite
3. Do not try to suck the poison out
"Most of the bite we're seeing right now, involve people trying to catch or kill the snake," said Harrison.
Along with the copperhead, the timber rattlesnake is the other venomous snake in the Commonwealth.
If you encounter what might be a poisonous snake, Harrison says the best thing to do, is avoid it.