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#185693 - 06/12/14 01:52 PM Have You Been Snake Bitten?
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I'm curious, has anyone on this forum ever been bitten by a snake. If so, how did you treat it? Did you walk yourself out, have help, or call in help? I know the majority of bites are because the person was doing something careless or foolish. I've walked by many a snake with no issue, but I know bites do sometimes happen in spite of being cautious. Tell us about your experience.

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#185696 - 06/12/14 05:33 PM Re: Have You Been Snake Bitten? [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Not me, but my neighbor was bit by a copperhead in our house when she lived in it (her husband built it). She said she just stayed in bed for a few days.

I know a few other people here who've been bitten by copperheads too. Some went to the hospital, others did the same as my neighbor, no one I know died but the hospital bills choked a few up pretty bad.

I don't know anyone here who's be bit by a cottonmouth or rattler. They're here, I've relocated two pygmy rattlers from our yard but never seen any others and water moccasins are in all the lakes and streams nearby.

If I got bit by a copperhead while out solo hiking I'd stay put if I were a long hard hike from contacting anyone, if not I'd probably try to get somewhere I could make contact, but I'd take it plenty easy along the way.
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#185698 - 06/12/14 06:07 PM Re: Have You Been Snake Bitten? [Re: 4evrplan]
JPete Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
Never bitten myself, in spite of having some surprises (baby rattler hit my pole once. Another time I put my foot (accidentally) about an inch in front of a copperhead's mouth.

But years ago I worked on a weekly newspaper in Red Lodge, Montana. Had a story about a ditch runner on the Cody Canal who jumped a ditch and landed on one of those huge critters they have out there. The snake bit him twice, hard. The ditch runners were armed then (maybe still are; water is pretty dear these days). He shot the rattler, then started down into ranch country. It took him two days, passed out twice, but a rancher running fence found him draped over the fence like a fox pelt. Rancher threw him into the pickup bed and drove him to Billings hospital. He fully recovered. best, jcp

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#185702 - 06/13/14 10:49 AM Re: Have You Been Snake Bitten? [Re: JPete]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I'm scared of snakes, but I don't let that stop me from going out. It's reassuring that in spite of constant interactions between hikers and snakes, very few people seem to actually get bit. And, the chances of dying from a bite in North America, even if you do get bit, is very slim.

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#185709 - 06/13/14 02:33 PM Re: Have You Been Snake Bitten? [Re: JPete]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Everyone I know or have heard of here that's been bit stepped on the snake by accident, or they picked it up.

We have cats (my wife is a cat lady), and they do seem to keep the snakes away. I think they avoid cat whiz. I know I do.

But, while I forgot to mention it in another thread, snakes are one of the main reasons I use a headlamp when night hiking. There's an old account of a rattler that was killed near here years ago that was "10 feet long and had a head as big as a dog". It was laid out on the porch rail at the "Mincy General Store" and people came from miles around to see it. It'd really suck to get bit by one of those eek

I've seen photos of rattlers that big that were recently killed by hunters in Texas and Alabama, so they are still out there.

I have a healthy respect for snakes and it's absolutely grounded in fear. My own experience is that snakes have a "live and let live" agreement with humans and I'm holding up my end of the bargain as best I can. So far they have too.
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#185710 - 06/13/14 03:04 PM Re: Have You Been Snake Bitten? [Re: 4evrplan]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I am surprised that I have never been bitten. If I see a snake, I generally try to catch it. I don't recommend that to anyone...I am just stupid. When I was 16 I caught a copperhead. I was going to take it home as a pet, but the adult that was with me said no way. So I cut off it's head and threw it in the woods.
I am surprised anyone gets bit, well, if they aren't trying to.
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#185713 - 06/13/14 05:39 PM Re: Have You Been Snake Bitten? [Re: 4evrplan]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
BTW, I've seen a six footer laying across the trail almost exactly where I took my profile picture. I'm not sure what it was, maybe a rat snake but possibly a water moccasin. I wasn't getting close enough to examine it, and I wouldn't have been sure anyway. Copperheads and rattlesnakes are more obvious.

About a month ago, I had to grab my boys before they stepped on one (different trail). Then we watched it slowly leave the trail and lazily slither up a tree like it didn't even care.

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#185717 - 06/13/14 09:34 PM Re: Have You Been Snake Bitten? [Re: 4evrplan]
ndsol Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 673
Loc: Houston, Texas
That is the reason I have taken my dogs to de-snaking. I remember the current one walking right up to the rattler the first time and the snake popped him right on the nose (and of course he got the shock at the same time).

Next time and thereafter he has given a wide berth to snakes, which helps gives me a warning signal.


Edited by ndsol (06/14/14 09:36 AM)
Edit Reason: Spelling

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#185718 - 06/13/14 10:32 PM Re: Have You Been Snake Bitten? [Re: ndsol]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
One of our dogs, Annie, came home in what we figured was pretty severe shock one night about two weeks ago after being out running for a few hours.

She was shaking and panting something awful and could hardly even stand up after she got home. My wife and I expected she might die, we're at least an hour and a half away from any emergency vet and since she wasn't busted up at all and we couldn't find a mark on her I figured she'd either die before we got there or recover on her own and the drive wouldn't help none with that.

We covered her with a blanket and gave her water and a bit of roasted chicken and she mostly recovered after a couple hours or so, and was fine the next morning. We never found a mark or any swelling. We ended up figuring she probably was a little snake bit, but it's hard to say. She might have got knocked in the head by a deer or smacked by a bear. Whatever it was didn't stop her from running off to chase stuff in the forest though. crazy
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