View Full Version : snakes

02-16-2007, 12:15 AM
I think it is important to know what poisonous snakes are native to your area. This can be helpful if you get bit by one, because it may not be as much of a cause for alarm. I say this, but I know that I would run to the hospital, regardless. I am not taking any chances.

02-16-2007, 07:32 AM
Yeah, its a good idea to have a guidebook on venomous animals, and plants. There are lots of snakes and plants that are poisonous, with snakes being the more dangerous of the two (assuming you don't eat the plants or burn them). There are also lizards, bugs, and shrews that are dangerous in North America.

02-16-2007, 12:09 PM
I think learning about snakes ...along with any other hazard in the wilds ...is a prerequisite to hiking, camping or any other reason you're out there. I grew up in the country so was taught at an early age how to identify things, but I see people hiking the Appalachian Trail, near me, who don't have a clue! It's crazy!

02-16-2007, 12:27 PM
Venomous snakes would definitely be something to worry about. Of course, if you use a little bit of common sense, even if you see one, it will likely move away. There aren't that many snakes that seek out people to bite. It's when we invade their territory and they feel they must defend themselves that people get bit.

02-16-2007, 04:05 PM
You are so right about the snakes. Don't forget the spiders either? You are right that the majority of the time they will leave you alone. But it can be easy to just be walking in an area and get bitten.

02-16-2007, 06:14 PM
here in FL the pet trade has brought in a lot of snakes and animals that aren't native to the area so even with study you might come up short. Snakes sometimes poisonous snakes will dry bite just to try an get rid of you. The younger snakes are often more dangerous, one because they are smaller, 2 because they are more likely to inject venom.

02-16-2007, 06:43 PM
the biggest thing to remember if you get bit is try to stay calm. if you freak out it's going to cause the venom to travel quicker and do more damage. elevation can help also and if I remember right splinting can also help prevent the poison from spreading quickly. Also try to remember what the snake looked like. Learn how to tell the difference between what snake bites look like. i imagine if you google it you could prolly find some pictures. bites generally look different if it's a poisonous snake... thats generally though. Here in the USA with most snakes you have at least an hour before you might die from a single snake bite. Spiders, the 2 you have to be most careful about is the brown recluse (has a fiddle shape on it's back) and also the Black widow which has an hourglass shape someplace on it. (I forget where cause it's been a bit sense i've seen one.) Black widow eggs are white.

02-16-2007, 10:00 PM
I'm not a medical professional like thinkfree3, but if I'm not mistaken there are three types of antivenin in use for critters in North America. One for the black widow, one for the coral snakes, and one for just about all the other poisonous snakes. There are probably a few exceptions (especially when dealing with non-native species), but it seems most important to know the difference between coral snakes and everything else. Of course if you can say its a Timber rattlesnake or a Eastern Cottonmouth, that's better.

02-17-2007, 09:36 PM
I went on a search out of curiosity, but it's difficult information to find ...anyone have a link about this as I'm rather fascinated by the different types of serums. I know local hospitals will stock what is necessary for their areas, but .........

02-18-2007, 12:23 PM
When confronted with a snake it is very important to keep the cool. You should avoid moving or trying to run. Patience is the key.

02-19-2007, 11:02 PM
Around here, we have a lot of rattlesnakes. Most bite happen when people step on them, we always wear boots in the brush, especially summer evenings.

the edge
02-19-2007, 11:15 PM
If i went camping i would buy a book explaining posinous spiders snake insects etc and snakes dont look to attack they do only when threatened i believe

02-19-2007, 11:38 PM
I have lived with Rattle Snakes all my life and so far no bites, Thank heavens. Make lots of noise, they don`t like it. And heres one. Keep Cats, yes they will kill most snakes and love Rattlers. My three Cats eat their share every season.

02-20-2007, 11:21 AM
I grew up in rattlesnake country too, and heard of very few bites. Now that I live in an area where poisionous snakes are more rare, I know my instincts are lax ...and shouldn't be! Everyonce in a while I will see a timber rattler and it really shakes me.

02-20-2007, 04:58 PM
I was not aware that snakes can be a good meal to Cats. Now that is a good option then.

02-24-2007, 09:08 PM
I hear there is a EMS unit down in Miami thats got all the info on that type stuff, one of my medic friends was telling me about it. I'll ask him an let ya know what we can find out. I don't know much about serums an whatnots because we don't administer that stuff here in the city because there is plenty of time to get them to the hospital generally speaking. We do use Epi in cases with alergic reactions. If you are alergic to bee's or other stuff you may want to ask your doc if you can get an epi auto injecter. If your really alergic he might give you one.

I went on a search out of curiosity, but it's difficult information to find ...anyone have a link about this as I'm rather fascinated by the different types of serums. I know local hospitals will stock what is necessary for their areas, but .........

02-24-2007, 09:10 PM
I have heard of hospitals using peoples blood to combat the poison. if someone handles rattlesnakes all the time for instance and gets bit a lot they may develope some sort of imunity. It might be something to look in to but i don't have the facts on that so don't quote me.

02-24-2007, 11:58 PM
Actually depending on your area I would say poisonous plants is more of a concern. Getting sick in the wilderness can be pretty serious and you have a way higher chance of running into the plants than any snake. Accidently burning the wrong plant or using it to roast hot dogs can be pretty serious. There's some basic snake bite procedures that if you follow you'll be ok in most situations, they can be found in most field books and such.

02-25-2007, 09:30 AM
YOu're right about the plants, but getting snake bit in a remote location is dicey. Even with a snake bit kit, there's x amount of time you can keep the poison from reaching the heart.

Oh, I did find an article which says that most anti-venom is obtained from horses. Horses don't respond to snake bite poison like humans do so their blood is used to make the serum.

02-25-2007, 07:15 PM
If you can freeze the part of your body that was bite. The more you can slow the pumbing of your heart and localize the area, the better. Keep it cold, till you get to help.

02-25-2007, 07:28 PM
YOu're right about the plants, but getting snake bit in a remote location is dicey. Even with a snake bit kit, there's x amount of time you can keep the poison from reaching the heart.

Oh, I did find an article which says that most anti-venom is obtained from horses. Horses don't respond to snake bite poison like humans do so their blood is used to make the serum.

Yeah, I wasn't trying to deminish the danger of a snake bite, I was simply implying if you could learn safety for one of the two, personally I would pick the plants.

Anyways the thing about the horses in new to me, that's pretty interesting.

02-25-2007, 07:45 PM
(quoting from my friend: "Yeah, It's called Miami-Dade Venom One, they set the wold standard in venom response. http://www.firefighting.co
?namID=3661 This article tells about it. My knowledge about anti-venoms is limited, I have done some research but would be far from an expert, may be able to answer a few questions."

02-25-2007, 07:46 PM

sorry that link got split up,

02-26-2007, 01:41 PM
We saw a program on Discovery Channel that explained the process of getting antivenin. And, yes, they use horses. In fact, from what they were saying, they have specific horses that are used for each type of snake, so as not to mix the antivenins. And, generally those horses are better cared for than most horses.

02-26-2007, 05:23 PM
REading this thread reminds me how happy I am that it's still winter and I can tromp through the woods with my dogs without worrying about snakes! In the summer, I have to be so mindful of snakes, bears, rabid racoons and the like that this time of year is pure pleasure in the snow! Only varmit I've seen lately is a mountain lion on the highway and a flying squirrel that got into the house last week!

donny h
02-26-2007, 07:43 PM
I don't worry much about snakes, I've seen many rattlers over the years, they can only strike half their body length, so unless I've basically stepped on the critter I am safe, I just walk around them.

I am careful of how I cross logs and rocks, and where I stick my face or hands.

Dogs are a problem, they often get bit, and while a rattler bite is rarely fatal to a human, the same can't be said of dogs.

There is a fella in Ca who does snake aversion training for dogs, it involves zapping the hound with a shock collar when a 'safed' rattler (mouth taped shut) strikes at the dog.

The dog quickly learns that snakes mean pain, and they learn to avoid all snakes, reportedly, he has great success with his training, he is based in the Mojave Desert, home of the Mojave Green, Americas most potent rattler.

02-26-2007, 11:16 PM
Yeah, I've encountered dogs that have gotten bit and even died from snakes. They are just too curious for their own good. They will sniff damn near anything which usually gets them bit, sprayed by a skunk or attacked. I always try to keep a short leash on my dog in the woods when there are a lot of rattlers out.

02-27-2007, 10:25 AM
I can see where it would be a problem with dogs in areas like the Mojave. Here, I worry but not quite as much since we tend to stay out of the woods during the summer months ...more because of the tick/lyme disease problem than anything else.

02-28-2007, 09:31 AM
Amen, vicki2. I stay out of the summer woods here in Mississippi for the same reasons. That and the meth cookers are out in the woods in the warm weather cooking up dope near to where I walk the woods in Mississippi. With the latest drug bust, I hope the woods will be quieter this year. You will rarely find me in the deepest part of the woods near gullies, streams, or dead falls after July all the way up to a heavy frost. I mean those water moccasins, rattlers, and copperheads are freaking everywhere. I've got snake boots and such, but I've had enough close calls that I now stay on the Pearl River in my boat during hot weather for fishing and recreation and hit the woods in cold weather. I love cold weather anyway. Mississippi is Africa hot in summer.

Wolf Creek
02-28-2007, 01:28 PM
Snakes are defencesive and are pretty easy going unless nested up or cornered. You proably don't need to know if they're poisonious or not if you keep your distance. Bees and spiders can be a bigger concern they tend to venture into the campsite. Multiple stings or a bad reaction can be life threatning and happens alot more often than snake bites.

03-02-2007, 05:47 AM
The good news is that snakes are just as scared of you!

While the risk of getting bit just walking around anywhere "wild" is always a possibility, a walking stick or hiking poles will help you avoid that.

I was saved from a Mojave strike one hot summer in Yuma...when he was cooling off 100 feet down in a mine, and I walked by looking for minerals...simply because he struck my walking stick!

(And OBTW: Don't believe Hollywood when they make every rattler sound like a loud, hard-plastic baby rattle...this one sounded like soft rustling leaves or a few dollar bills waved together in the air...probably because he was a little colder.)

Use the stick/poles to clear any brush ahead of you or near the trail...like you are blind if using a walking stick, or pole-planting continuously in front of you like downhill skiing...let the stick hit the ground ahead of you when going over a log, or rockpile, or stump, etc.

If the snake is startled, it will stike at the vibration of the pole hitting the ground close to it...or you will hear the buzz warning...or the snake will head the other way.

Plus, snakes are good eating when baked, bar-b-qued or fried...though the wild meat might seem a little greasy or give you some gas...but they are a good source of protein in a survival situation, and pretty easy to catch with a stick or pole.

Just pin them down, rolling your stick up its body...or using both poles, towards their head to keep it down and away from you...then smash their head with a rock or stick. That way you don't get bit.

And yeah...if you have a dog, do it a favor...and bury or dispose of the venomous head immediately.

03-02-2007, 11:21 AM
I've tried rattlesnake meat, but I think I just hate snakes so much that I found it completely unappetizing lol.

People have different reasons for fearing snakes and mine stems back to childhood when there was a freak incident. My mother and I were driving somewhere (we lived very rurally in Oklahoma) and she ran over a snake that was crossing the road. Well, she hit its tail and the snake flipped up and through one of the back seat windows which were open. We were both in the front, but she screeched to a stop and we jumped out. She killed the rattler with a tire tool. Yes, it was a very isolated incident, but it didn't do anything for my feeling for snakes!

the edge
03-24-2007, 10:18 PM
before i go camping i would buy a guide of all the animals etc in the wild becasue when im starving i gonna grab the nearest plant and stuff it in my face or im walking at midnite not paying attetion and i see a snake etc

04-03-2007, 01:52 AM
In China, they sell live snakes in the markets to be bought, brought home, and cooked. In fact, my father once visited China on business, and his guide told him how his mother used to get a large black snake every week, until she got bit, and nearly died from the resulting infection. She hasn't eaten snake since. Not really pertinent, I know, but interesting I thought.