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Old 01-14-2012, 11:21 PM   #21
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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.
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 01-14-2012, 11:41 PM   #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, 08:44 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, 09:09 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, 09:37 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, 09:37 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, 11:28 AM   #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, 12:04 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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Old 01-15-2012, 12:20 PM   #29
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Mexray's Classroom

That one made me laugh, Mexray.
We had a similar experience during our local dog trainer's "snake training night."
The owner of Albuquerque Rattlesnake Museum brought numerous rattlesnakes and rattle-snake, look-alike bullsnakes.

Part of the dog-training was to slide a bullsnake, across the floor at the dog using a kitchen broom to fling it. We call it snake hockey. One of the designated snake flingers, flung too hard, and the snake slid out into the audience. Pandemonium ensued, and the peanut gallery vacated the premises.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:45 PM   #30
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There is a lot of fear involved with snakes. In fact, there are some psychological theories about it. I think they started with Freud, so you can imagine what they involve.

Since most people know little about snakes, fear takes over and fear makes you stupid. The fight or flight response may happen and most people flee. It is easier to tell people to remain rationale than expect they actually do so. I'm still waiting to see my first rattler and will try to stay rationale while my wife runs over me.

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Old 01-15-2012, 01:37 PM   #31
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I'm not a snake guy either, but April 2, 2010 in Organ Pipe Nat. Monument in AZ the snakes began to come out of hibernation. The Ranger at the entrance upon our return told us of a large rattler that just crossed the road by the kiosk. The first he had seen this season.

At the campsite the neighbors pup began barking at the underside of their trailer. Sure enough, there was a "rattler" moving in slow motion over toward our A/S. My wife and pooch went inside and I got the camera and followed its' roaming for a while. If it was anywhere near vegetation it was hard to see.

Later a veterinarian told us rattlers just out of hibernation have the most toxic venom because of their hunger. Also, young snakes are more toxic as they have not yet learned to control the volume of venom they inject.

For a great tale about cowboys and snake bites look up Wally McCrae, "COWBOY CURMUDGEON" and his poem about "Snuffy and Sodie and the Cowboy Code." It's a hoot!
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:05 PM   #32
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She Doesn't Have to Outrun the Snake

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There is a lot of fear involved with snakes. In fact, there are some psychological theories about it. I think they started with Freud, so you can imagine what they involve.

Since most people know little about snakes, fear takes over and fear makes you stupid. The fight or flight response may happen and most people flee. It is easier to tell people to remain rationale than expect they actually do so. I'm still waiting to see my first rattler and will try to stay rationale while my wife runs over me.
Gene
As with escaping a bear attack, your wife doesn't have to outrun the snake. She just has to outrun you.
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Old 01-15-2012, 02:16 PM   #33
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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
Hey Gene, one problem with the jump 10 foot idea, most snakes that coil to launch can launch themselves 4 foot for every 1 foot of body length is the rule of thumb. So if you encounter a 4-5 foot snake it can travel 15-20 feet when it launches to strike. Watched a vidio on NatGeo where they measured snakes strike distance and the one constant that they found was that if you are close enough to see it, it can hit you.

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Old 01-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #34
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Urban Myth

Fortunately, rattlesnakes cannot launch themselves through the air in this manner, though I too learned this in grade school.
A coiled rattlesnake can strike an object of prey within it's own fully extended length.
Believe me, it seems like more, but it is not.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:57 PM   #35
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While rattlers and cotton mouths excite easily, you can calm them down readily by petting them and talking quietly to them.
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:39 PM   #36
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I was changing oil in my car in my garage one time in WV when my dog goes bananas....a copperhead crawled into the garage via the open door (it was summer) and was coming right for me. Totally unprovoked. My dad was there and grabbed a shovel and pinned the snake right before he came under the car. Dad pinned it near it's tail. The snake actually reared up about 18" off the ground and spit a greenish substance out of its fangs. I'm assuming it's venom. Dad quickly dispatched the thing with the shovel.

I told this story to a snake studier and he thought I was nuts. Whatever. I was minding my own business changing the oil in my '72 Dodge and this guy came after me unprovoked. Copperheads are aggressive; period.

I have never seen a rattle snake in the wild. But I've seen scads of copperheads.

Blacksnakes I like. I typically just move them out of the way. But if I see a Copperhead near the house, he gets the 12 gauge. Sorry 'bout his luck. You guys that want to play with them...more power to you. I'm not messing with them. Yes, I'm from WV, but I'm not a snake handler
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:08 PM   #37
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Cheyenne Frontier Days "snake training"

Cheyenne Frontier Days was always a "festive" time for cowboys and tourists at the Cowboy Bar on 17th Street and Central Streets in central Cheyenne. I had an apartment on the second floor, just on the busy pedestrian area, across from this landmark. Of course there were people out howling until the wee hours of the morning. Thus the "snake training" period of my and friends visiting lives...

An unfortunate black snake had met its demise by getting run over that day and the snake training idea came to heart. I took my spinning rod, cast across the street over the light post and the weight on the end of the line rested next to the United States Post Office mail drop snake training center... The clear line was then tied to the head of the dead snake, another conspirator would coil the snake up just under the official snake training mail drop. When a small group of "cowboys, cowgirls and party goers came around the corner, and could see some shape in the street lighted area, we would give the line a jerk, the snake would leap out from under its hiding place. The startled crowd did not stick around to check it out no more than a sober, straggler would be tempted to determine friend or foe snake.

With the fist fights in the street after closing hours, we were lucky not to have had our lives threatened by this wild bunch. But with the darkened apartment and clear line, nobody was the wiser, for now.

When the "snake training" had us all entertained for the evening, the well used dead example of a potential poisonous snake was taken to my brother's basement apartment entrance about five blocks north, towards the State Capitol building. The next morning he was telling me about this viscous snake guarding the entrance, terrifying his girlfriend, which he then shot the snake with his 22 caliber pistol, and of course killing it and awakening the old gal that rented to him upstairs.

Maybe next time I should have used a trout, caught west of Cheyenne, put it into one of the water troughs, that were on display in the middle of the street, outside the bar. Less of a menace, but probably not something to get someone to jump sideways three feet, in cowboy boots without spilling his beer.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:47 PM   #38
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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.......
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...
Please don't be aspire to be the "learned herpetologist" with your great collection of the most poisonous snakes in the world you milk for science in the basement of your home. We had of those guys in my home town in Steuben County, NY....note "Had"... we were told that all of his snakes were accounted for afterward; some cage door managed to be open to his demise, but I saw a very different looking snake under a rock on the farm one day.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:02 PM   #39
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Snakebite Avoidance

I'm a retired RN, spent 25 years as a toxicology specialist with the Oregon Poison Center, which afforded opportunities for teaching many classes. My favorite was the snakebite lecture, which i always began with a review of the statistical snapshot of the most likely victim of a snakebite.

According to several studies, the most likely victims fall into 4 catagories:

1. Sex: male.
2. Age: 20 - 29.
3. Condition: Intoxicated.
4. Activity: Playing with the snake!

So, it is certainly possible for anyone to have an unfortunate encounter, but most of the time, common-sense caution and awareness will prevent accidents.

And the moral of the story (especially directed to young men): DON'T GET DRUNK AND PLAY WITH YOUR SNAKE!

As for first aid: avoid cutting & sucking at the bite, avoid ice or tourniquests, immobilize the victim and seek immedicate medical attention by calling 911, if poosible, or transporting ASAP. Very few snakebites are fatal, and most can be treated successfuly with anitvenom.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:26 PM   #40
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According to several studies, the most likely victims fall into 4 catagories:

1. Sex: male.
2. Age: 20 - 29.
3. Condition: Intoxicated.
4. Activity: Playing with the snake!

So, it is certainly possible for anyone to have an unfortunate encounter, but most of the time, common-sense caution and awareness will prevent accidents.

And the moral of the story (especially directed to young men): DON'T GET DRUNK AND PLAY WITH YOUR SNAKE!
LOL

Having been bitten by a copperhead many years ago, I am proud to have skewed those numbers just a bit.

I am not male, was not in the age bracket listed, was sober, and there was no "snake playing" involved.

Honest

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