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Old 01-14-2012, 05:27 PM   #15
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In my explorations I have run across a fair number of rattlers. I consider them to be "polite" snakes because they, if not too cold, will let you know that they are getting annoyed with your presence and are asking nicely for you to leave. Which I do.

I have a hard time following the "experts' " advice as quoted from above.

"The experts will tell you that if you encounter a rattlesnake, stop and survey the area to avoid threatening the snake. Then back away slowly."

When I accidentally encounter a snake up close I generally go vertical a couple of feet and at the same time 15 or so feet horizontally in one rapid motion. Then I look closer to see what kind of snake it is. I am not afraid of snakes, but the wrong kind of bite could just ruin a good trip.

I discovered some good fun while hiking in the mountains west of Tucson. I ran into a group of people from Minnesota and I mentioned that they should be aware of rattle snakes in the area. They had been walking single file on a narrow trail so I told them that the first person in line would wake the snake up, the second one would make the snake mad, and the third in line would be the one to get bit. Have you ever seen 5 people try to hike a narrow trail, dodge cactus, and play musical chairs at the same time? No one wanted to be that unlucky third person.

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Old 01-14-2012, 05:37 PM   #16
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Out east there is a clever pudgy serpant called a Hognose. It looks very much like a rattlesnake but shorter and fatter. It has 2 defenses. First it will coil and threaten like a rattlesnake and if that doesn't work rolls over belly up and plays dead.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #17
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NOT a fan of snakes...any snakes... this is a good item to have around...

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Old 01-14-2012, 06:33 PM   #18
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I have never seen a rattler despite years of living in the west and hiking and backpacking. Less than a dozen people per year are killed by their bite in the US though many more are bitten. It sounds like the venom is not all that potent, therefore. I have seen a few bull snakes in Colorado's San Luis Valley—they look a bit like rattlers.

I posted some time ago I had never seen a black widow spider and then there was one on my propane tanks last fall in Idaho. I, therefore, expect to see a rattler soon.

I have read that: Sucking on the wound apparently does no good. If bitten the best thing to do is stay calm (just like you do when the dentist says "relax") and don't move around much to keep the venom from traveling too far. I don't know if this is true and if I see a rattler I expect to jump 10 feet in the air where the snake can't reach me. Staying up there will be a challenge.

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Old 01-14-2012, 10:30 PM   #19
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The University of Michigan's Radrick Farms and it's Botannical Garden are home to a small population of Mississauga (? sp) rattlers. I recently heard the Garden's director speak, and he quoted data that more than half of the people who were bitten in the past few years were struck while trying to photograph the snake with their cell phone cameras.

Seems to me that this is just evolution in action ... except that none of these nitwits died.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:11 AM   #20
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If I'm not mistaken, I seem to remember that the only state that has no native poisonous snakes is Maine. Is that correct?
Although not one of the contiguous states, Hawaii has only one snake, the Blind Snake, which is a burrowing snake, which is very small and could be mistaken for a worm. I've run across a couple of them when I've been over there.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:21 AM   #21
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Did You Know

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Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
Out east there is a clever pudgy serpant called a Hognose. It looks very much like a rattlesnake but shorter and fatter. It has 2 defenses. First it will coil and threaten like a rattlesnake and if that doesn't work rolls over belly up and plays dead.
The Hog Nose snake is kind of like the Koala Bear (eats eucalyptus leaves) or Panda Bear (eats bamboo shoots) in that it subsist primarily on toads, so those of you that pull one behind your motor home beware as it could get expensive!
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:41 AM   #22
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I have never seen a rattler despite years of living in the west and hiking and backpacking. Less than a dozen people per year are killed by their bite in the US though many more are bitten. It sounds like the venom is not all that potent, therefore. I have seen a few bull snakes in Colorado's San Luis Valley—they look a bit like rattlers.

I posted some time ago I had never seen a black widow spider and then there was one on my propane tanks last fall in Idaho. I, therefore, expect to see a rattler soon.

I have read that: Sucking on the wound apparently does no good. If bitten the best thing to do is stay calm (just like you do when the dentist says "relax") and don't move around much to keep the venom from traveling too far. I don't know if this is true and if I see a rattler I expect to jump 10 feet in the air where the snake can't reach me. Staying up there will be a challenge.

Gene
Don't get bitten!! Google Rattle Snake and/or Black Widow photos; even if you don't die, you life will be painfully miserable for a long time and permanent physical damage usually remains.

As to the treatment of the bite, you basically stated it correctly. It is absolutely necessary to get to the nearest hospital ASAP for antivenin specific to the snake that bit you so try to identify the snake before going for treatment.

Rattle snake, Copper Head and Water Moccasin venom is primarily a hemotoxin (breaks down your circulatory system) while the Coral Snake’s venom is primarily a neurotoxin (paralyzes your breathing).
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:44 AM   #23
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In my last lifetime I worked at a tourist trap attraction Animaland near Lake George. As part of the show a "deadly" rubber snake was thrown out into the audience because the guy on stage "can't hold on to it anymore". As far as I know, nobody died from rubber snake trauma. When I worked there is the late 70s the place had seen better days.

Anyone remember Animaland or have a rubber snake thrown at them? I imagine it is long gone. Anyone know?
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:09 AM   #24
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So True...

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I have twice been hiking in NM with a group to have several people walk right over rattlesnakes sunning in the path only to have a someone further back notice the snakes. They do not always warn, but they do not always strike. I am sure you pass many more and never know than you you actually see.
Being from NM, I have encountered many rattlesnakes.
Several in the exact circumstances quoted where the other folks never notice them.
I rescue snakes from nervous home owners who want to kill every snake they find in their yard.
I agree with Samb about approaching and by-passing a rattler rather than backing away. A rattler won't chase you.
Biggest rattlesnake I every saw was in North Carolina. It seemed to fill up the roadside bar ditch.
Meanest viper I ever encountered was a Water Moccasin in Florida.
Nastiest vipers were the Copperheads in North Carolina.
Most poisonous rattler is one called the Mojave I believe. It is found down here in Arizona where I am spending the winter in my Airstream. It's venom is both hemo and neuro toxic. (I haven't seen one yet)
Most prolific rattlers were the Sidewinders of Southwest AZ when I was stationed in Yuma, AZ.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:37 AM   #25
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This puppy was on my front steps a few years ago. We see several every year.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:37 AM   #26
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And the one bit of advice I haven't seen yet: hiking in snake country, wear boots, not sandals or sneakers.]n
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:28 PM   #27
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In the west or anywhere there's cactus, boots are a necessity.

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Old 01-15-2012, 01:04 PM   #28
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It seems as If I've encountered these critters all my life...

'Visits' to our home/yard near some scrub brush hills - perhaps once a year or so...sorry guys, they were dispatched with a shovel - mom just couldn't let em' go so close to home! They even climbed up into the baby chick pen, through the wire to 'feed' on some wee ones, then couldn't fit through the wire to escape - that was a sight indeed - large snake trapped in the cage amongst the baby chicks!

In high school (1957), our Biology class had two Pacific Rattlers, collected on school grounds (near those same hills), in a small terrarium...the Bio teacher usually force fed them after classes, but decided one day as we studied reptiles, to show us how he performed this task...

He would use a small glass funnel with a long neck, carefully slide it down into the snakes stomach and 'funnel' a whole egg 'down the hatch'...don't know why he didn't use live mice, perhaps these snakes couldn't catch em'...

Anyway - this particular day, he separated the snakes in the terrarium with a pane of glass, then placed a ruler on the head of one, to reach down and grasp it behind the head to lift it out - as he'd done many times - only today, he grasped the head too far down the neck, and as he lifted the snake out of the terrarium, the snake bent around enough to get one fang in his finger - OUCH -

You guessed it, first thing he did was let go of the snake! YIKES - live rattler loose in the classroom! The ensuing pandemonium was predictable...a bit a panic from some...a buddy of mine and me, having been around these critters before grabbed a couple of yard sticks and 'wrangled' the offending critter back into his cage!

Of course, from bad to worse, the ambulance called to cart the prof to the hospital went to the wrong high school first, causing him some painful delay...

It was really a 'hoot' to read the 'spin' released to the local weekly shopping newspaper by the high school - "Bio teacher bitten on finger by rattler during feeding - luckily no students were present at the time..." Yeah, Right!

For some strange reason, the rattlers soon disappeared, post haste, from the Bio lab room!

I've got more 'Rattler' tales, but that's enough for now...I don't care what some say, 'snakes' are just plain CREEPY...
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