Rattlesnakes 101

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by Trez, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

    4,497
    154
    63
    I wasnt sure where to put this, but thought i could be helpful....
    its from the AZ Daily Star...
    The "buzzworms" are back - and the biting has begun.

    Rattlesnakes, sometimes called buzzworms because of their buzz-like rattle, are coming out of hibernation this month - providing a reptilian spectacle, but also posing a threat.

    Already five people in the Tucson area hads been treated for rattlesnake bites, says Keith boesen of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center.

    He says more than 200 people are bitten by rattlers in Arizona during a typical year.

    Presumably, you don't want to be one of them.

    Today, we offer a quick-look guide to rattlesnake behavior - with tips on avoiding a bite and what to do if you get one.

    Our sources include Randy Babb, a biologist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department; and Renée Lizotte, a keeper at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

    On StarNet: Search our online database of Southern Arizona wildlife at go.azstarnet.com/critters

    Rattlesnake basics

    • Southern Arizona is home to 11 species of rattlesnakes - or 18 if you count subspecies.

    • Rattlers typically hibernate from November to March, although it's possible to encounter one in the desert on a warm day at any time of the year.

    • Being cold-blooded critters, they come out of their dens in a sort of mass "wake-up" when the weather warms up. "They'll sometimes travel many miles to their summering grounds," Babb says.

    • Peak daytime activity is in the spring and in September and October. Snakes are often out at night during the hot summer season.

    A bit about bites

    • Most bites in Southern Arizona are delivered by Western diamondback rattlesnakes - large, dangerous snakes that can pack a high dose of venom.

    • Don't count on that rattle for a warning. "The rattle and striking aren't necessarily connected," says Lizotte. "They might not rattle at all and simply strike, or they might rattle for a long time and not strike."

    • While 200 or more people get bitten by rattlers most years in Arizona, only a small percentage of victims die as a result of the bites. In one recent 10-year period, Babb says, poison centers reported 1,912 bites resulting in only four fatalities.

    • One reason for the high survival rate is that about 10 percent of rattlesnake strikes are "dry bites" - delivering no venom. Another factor is that quick treatment with antivenin can prevent life-threatening damage.

    Safety strategies

    • Don't mess with rattlesnakes. Don't try to pick them up, poke them with sticks or play with them - none of that. "If you see a snake," Murphy advises, "go the other direction."

    • Watch where you walk, reach and sit. "Stay on the trail if you're out for a hike," says Lizotte. "If you get into tall brush, it's very difficult to tell if there's a snake down there. And always watch where you put your hands and feet. Don't sit on something unless you've checked it first."

    • Here's what to do if you don't notice a snake until you're within striking range: "Striking range is about one-half to two-thirds of the body length of the snake," Lizotte says.

    "If you think you're within striking range, the best thing is to stay still and let the snake move away from you. If you absolutely have to move, you want to move slowly away from it. Avoid sudden movements because sudden movements might elicit a strike."

    Survive a snakebite

    • Get to a health-care facility as quickly and safely as possible. "Most bites require antivenin," Murphy says. "The problems to be treated are tissue damage and bleeding disorders."

    • Don't apply ice, use a tourniquet or make incisions around the bite. "Those things can do more harm than good," Murphy says. "A tourniquet can actually make it worse. A snakebite causes a lot of swelling, and if you have a tight, constricted band, it can cut off the circulation."

    • Don't increase your risk by trying to kill or capture the snake. "It's a myth that you need to know the type of rattlesnake and bring it to the emergency room," Babb says. "All rattlesnake bites are treated with the same antivenin."

    Snakebite information

    Call 1-800-222-1222 anytime for information on snakebites. The line is operated by the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

    Snake removal

    Some Tucson-area fire departments will remove rattlers from a house or yard.

    • Capt. Trish Tracy of the Tucson Fire Department says the department will respond to 911 calls about snakes posing a danger in houses or confined areas of a yard. "But if it's in an open yard and not trapped in your house, call a snake-removal service," Tracy says.

    • The Rural/Metro Fire Department will remove rattlesnakes at no charge to subscribers. Call 297-3600.

    • In outlying areas, call your local fire department for information.
     
  2. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

    5,417
    0
    0
    The other white meat !!!!!1

    If more people ate rattle snake you would not have a problem, same as the coonass and the Grobeck an the White Ibis......:eek::D
     

  3. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    1,105
    0
    0
    Something about having the teeth of a reptile puncture my skin and inject me with something just makes me feel dirty and kinda sick to my stomach. You can keep your damn warm weather and venomous snakes...
     
  4. orangello

    orangello New Member

    19,156
    0
    0
    At least there is something out there in nature trying to keep the illegal immigrants out.
    :D
     
  5. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    1,105
    0
    0
    My love for snakes is on par with your love for bears. An army of bears and snakes on the southern border will sure as heck keep at least two people IN...
     
  6. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    21,833
    3
    0
    They make great gun stocks!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Crotalus horridus; Timber (Canebrake) Rattler.
     
  7. orangello

    orangello New Member

    19,156
    0
    0
    Between the two, i'd rather face some snakes, since i've had some constrictors as pets. If it is warm, do not doubt that the snake is faster on the draw/bite, but snakes are seriously dumb, IMO.
     
  8. fireguy

    fireguy New Member

    1,853
    0
    0
    We were in the Superstition Mts. last week and kept an eye out for the cute little buggers while hiking, but didn't see any. The ranch where my wife and son went on a horse ride said they were seeing 4-5 on the trail each day.

    Two years ago my son hiked right past a diamondback on the Peralta trail in Gold Canyon.
     
  9. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

    4,895
    0
    0
    The actual percentage of dry bites ranges more towards 20-25% as opposed to the 10% stated. What the article didn't mention is that even a dry bite can cause a really nasty infection. There are some nasty bacteria in a rattlers mouth. That said, unless you are really stupid or actually step on a rattlesnake, you will not be bitten by one. Most people that live here in Arizona have never seen on while out and about in the desert.
     
  10. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    1,105
    0
    0
    Again, the idea of being bitten by a creepy crawly nasty thing freaks me out. I have been in several precarious situations by stupidity, choice and occupation, that I barely made it out of. I wouldn't trade all of them for getting bitten by one snake, even a non-venomous one. Snakes make me shriek like a 7 year old girl.

    Everything about them makes me uneasy. I like the looks of Cane's grips, but even touching the carcass of a long dead and preserved slithery thing gives me the willies. Retarded primal development I guess.
     
  11. AusLach

    AusLach Active Member

    1,553
    0
    36
    Treatment for snakebite

    Snake venom does not travel through the body via the circulatory system, their fangs are usually too short. Venom (snake and spider) is transported throughout the body via the lymphatic system, which in the limbs, is situated a couple of millimetres below the surface of the skin. Where the lymphatic system converges at the lymph nodes (in the groin, armpits and neck), it is situated deeper within the tissue; you do not want venom getting here! Once venom reaches the lymph nodes it is transferred into the veins and WILL reach the brain and heart.

    • 1
    Keep the bite victim calm, this is probably the most important thing to remember. A high heart rate accelerates the function of the lymphatic system, and will lead to the venom acting on the body quicker.
    • 2
    Do not wash the area, as this will wash away venom on the skin that will assist the hospital in identifying the snake species (if you can't) so they can deliver the correct antivenine. Keep the victim calm.
    • 3
    Bandage firmly (but not tightly) the bitten limb starting from the top and working down towards the bite, then back up again. Example: If the bite is on the ankle, bandage from the groin, down over the knee, over the affected area, then back up towards the knee and finishing at the groin again. This will not cut off the circulation but will inhibit the action of the lymphatic system and hopefully prevent venom from reaching the lymph nodes. Keep the victim calm.
    • 4
    Splint the affected limb to stop the muscles from 'pumping' the venom towards the heart and brain, and restrict all movement from the victim. Keep the victim calm.
    • 5
    Get the victim to the hospital post haste and if possible ring ahead and advise them they have a snakebite victim inbound and to have (snake species) antivenine available. If you don't know the species tell them this, they should have a universal antivenine on hand. Did I mention to keep the victim calm? :rolleyes::D



    Most snakes will never bite something without provocation. Contrary to belief, few will ever actively persue a victim either. When you're out in the bush 99.99% of the time you'll be fine. If you do get bitten though, make sure follow these steps!
     
  12. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

    4,497
    154
    63
    I see 1 or 2 a year, but ive found they would rather leave you alone. ive about stepped on one a couple of times (they blend in quite well) but never had one strike at me. with that said if i find one in the yard i vaporize its noggin with a 12ga filled with birdshot. im with you jeep, the snakes freak me out too!!
     
  13. freefall

    freefall New Member

    2,325
    3
    0
    When I lived Outside I used to say I hate snakes. Now that I live in God's country where there are none I can admit they scare the bejabbers out of me.:eek: If one were ever to bite me I would just croak as a matter of GP.
     
  14. pmanton

    pmanton Member

    138
    14
    18
    I'm in Salome, AZ on an airpark. My wife called me and let me know there was a rattler under the hose reel. I checked--bang-bank--no more rattler. It was a Western Diamondback. The scorpions outnumber the snakes about 20-1
    Cheers:

    Paul
    Salome, AZ
     
  15. 12fretter

    12fretter New Member

    422
    0
    0
    Jeepcreep, you crack me up! I guess you'll never be a boot dealer!

    Since I started watching Steve Irwin, I figured I could catch a snake, just like he can. I'm certain, however, if I ever encountered a coiled up snake I'd run through the 12fretter shaped hole in the next available wall. Of course, in Knoxville, the only thing I occasionally have to deal with are Kentucky fans. Ba da tishhhhh.
     
  16. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

    1,799
    0
    0
    When treating American rattle snake bites. There is no need to concern your self with the kind of rattler that caused the wound. All rattle snake bits are treated with the same anti-venoms. These treatments depending on your state can run over $7000.00 dollars. You can get your dog a shot that protects them in most cases for around $50 bucks. This shot is given before the bite and a booster shot is needed each year.:D
     
  17. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

    5,132
    1
    0
    What they dont tell you is that 90 percent of those bites are preventable. A large portion are from dumb drunks trying to catch them, followed closely by sober individuals trying to catch or piss them off. I grew up in the Arizona desert and had only 2 run ins with rattle snakes that I didnt want to happen. I always heard the rattle and payed attention to where they might be. I might add they were tasty.
     
  18. gutterratt

    gutterratt New Member

    29
    0
    0
    I ate rattle snake one time at the Big Texan restaurant in Amarillo TX as a appetizer, It sucks believe me it don't taste like chicken, Bony, tuff and tastes like SH#TT
     
  19. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

    5,132
    1
    0
    It has to be cooked right. Cowboys need to cook it for you, my dad was a cowboy and he cooks the hell out of it.
     
  20. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

    1,799
    0
    0
    Not everyone who is bitten by a snake is drunk or stupid. I was in a search and rescue unit for many years. I have seen many people who were injured by snakes who were just working at a job or making a living. It is just like a fall not everyone injured in a fall is drunk or stupid. The very idea that a rattler warns before it strickes only happens in old cowboy movies.:eek: