If You Meet a Rattlesnake**

This is One Puppy I'd Leave Alone!

If you are camping, hiking, or even out hunting, you should pay close attention to your surroundings.  While you are enjoying the scenery or excitement of hunting, keep an eye out for a fellow-traveler … the rattlesnake.

If You Hear a Rattle …

You are probably within 4 – 5 feet of a rattler.  This is no time to decide to out-run the reptile.  This is the time to freeze-in-place.

If you patiently stay in place, you can out-last the snake and he will slither off.

If you start to run and the snake is ready to strike, there is no way you can move fast enough!  Remember that rattlers can leap forward one-half the length of their body.

And if He Bites?

Rattlesnake bites are very dangerous.  Remember how we learned to ‘cut and bleed’ the bite and then apply a tourniquet? Forget it!  That is s-o-o ‘old school.’

Within 30 minutes, the bitten area will swell up and turn black & blue. The accepted policy now is to use an ace bandage or soft cloth. Put it between the bite and your heart.

Don’t tie it as tight as a tourniquet — cutting off circulation isn’t the idea. The best plan is to hurry to get medical attention immediately after applying the bandage.

Interesting Facts About Bites

Not everyone who is bitten gets venom in the bite!  In about 30% of cases, no venom is transferred during the bite. Your best protection is thick clothing and leather boots.

Another surprising statistic has to do with the location of the bites: About 98% of snake bites are to hands and feet.


Rattlesnakes, or any snake, for that matter, prefer not to bother with you.  They would prefer to slither away — in peace.  Don’t force them to attack. It will ruin your day!

Don’t let your undies get bunched up over snakes.  Remember that we share the earth with snakes, and they were here first!  Just use caution and reason.  The truth is:  Snakes like you less than you like them!


Jim sent this very interesting comment: “… rattlesnakes don’t always rattle prior to striking. I can’t sight my original source for this information but here is a quote from wikipedia (suppose to be referenced but I could figure out which reference when with what information). “Adult snakes may lose their rattles on occasion, but more appear at each molting. If the rattle absorbs enough water in wet weather, it will not make noise.” Just thought I’d pass it along….”


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Bear & Snake Dangers in the Wild

Most of us look at hiking, camping and hunting in the woods as “a walk in the park.”   However, if you run into a hungry bear or angry snake, you need to know how to handle yourself!

Tips for Staying Alive Around … Bears                           

Bears don’t require engraved invitations to cause you grief!  Bears have learned that man travels with many things that will satisfy the bears’ love of sweets & natural curiosity.

You Should…

  • Keep your campsite clean.
  • Bears have learned to follow man because a meal is “such easy pickings” at dirty campsites, near refuse cans and trash dumps, etc.
  • Be cautious near berry patches.
  • Bears are especially fond of streams and lakes.

Things That May Cause Bears to Attack

  • Being startled;
  • Wanting food;
  • Being wounded;
  • Having their cubs in tow.

How You Can Stay Safe

If you are a hunter, hiker or camper in bear country, avoid putting out the “welcome mat” by:

  • Keeping your camp clean;
  • Hanging food or “sweet-smelling items” at a distance from your tents and camp. *

Other Ways to Stay Safe

  • If you’re not hunting, make noise while moving
  • Stay away from their feeding areas, and
  • Never get close to bear cubs!

When A Bear Seems Ready to Attack

  • Stop, then move slowly away
  • Talk quietly
  • Do NOT make eye contact
  • If the bear attacks, fall to the ground, curl up and protect vital organs
  • Yelling, hitting and kicking are your (poorest choices and) last option

* Take a look at a great article – “Hanging Food & Bear Camping Tips


Staying Alive Around … Snakes with Venom

Any snake worth his venom would rather run than bite!

You Should…

  • Keep your eyes OPEN in the woods.
  • Snakes can be sunning themselves or hiding or hibernating.
  • Watch for them in woodpiles, rock piles, in areas with dead, rotting leaves, trees, etc. **
  • They lie in grassy regions, around rim-rock, in shallow water and in woody areas near water. In other words, they’re just about anywhere!

Things That May Cause Snakes to Attack

  • Startling a snake
  • Bothering a snake
  • Not allowing a snake to escape

How You Can Stay Safe

  • Make noise as you walk, if you aren’t hunting
  • Use a walking stick
  • Wear snake leggings or tall leather boots

When A Snake Seems Ready to Attack

  • Stop and allow the snake to slither away.
  • Walk around the snake

If Bitten … Get medical attention ASAP.


** Try my “snake finding” test: Be Careful – Surprise in the Leaves!


This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Snake Dangers & River Tubing

Is Every Snake Poisonous?

If you see every snake in the US as a potential killer, you’d best confine your tubing adventures to a swimming pool!

Snakes tend to hang out in warm waters; however, they tend to be mostly non-poisonous.*

Suggestions to limit your meeting these “fanged foe.”

  • Don’t bother or tease snakes,
  • Go around snakes, avoiding them where possible.
  • Stay out of shallow water as much as possible
  • Stay away from banks in thick, wooded areas

4 Poisonous Snakes in America

Cottonmouth Water Moccasin Snake — This is the only poisonous American water snake; usually found in southeast parts of the US.

According to Wikipedia, Cottonmouths are ” the world’s only semi-aquatic viper, usually found in or near water, particularly in slow-moving and shallow lakes and streams.”


Cottonmouth - olive, black, brown skin with fangs he's eager to show off!

Cottonmouth - olive, black, brown skin with fangs he's eager to show off!


Most snakes are as afraid of you as you are of them. Not so with the cottonmouth!  He usually stands his ground and even likes to show the white lining of his mouth — just so you know who should run first!

Being bitten by a cottonmouth is going to ruin your day, believe me.   You can avoid this meanie by staying in the middle of rivers and by avoiding banks with shallow water.


Diamond-backed with an Evil Eye!

Diamond-backed with an Evil Eye!

Rattlesnakes — These snakes are available from Canada to Mexico.  They provide more trips to the hospital and unplanned deaths than any other American snake!

Fortunately, they give an intruder advanced warning of their strike — with the rattling sound.

The Eastern Diamondback has more venom in a single bite than any other snake. Caution!


Copperheads have no sense of humor!

Copperheads have no sense of humor!


Copperheads – This snakes venom is potentially lethal. Need I say more?  Oddly enough, he is copper colored!


Coral Snake – Absolutely lethal! Remember the rhyme, “Red and yellow kill a fellow …..”  Watch for the banded yellow, black and red snake.  Others, with similar bands (but not in this order) are non-lethal.


'Red and Yellow Kill a Fellow ...'

'Red and Yellow Kill a Fellow ...'

The good news is that this snake is not looking to cause trouble.


  • Become familiar with the 4 poisonous snakes,
  • Take a snake-bite kit
  • Use it — if needed and
  • Get the victim to a hospital ASAP.

* I used to think that non-poisonous snakes did not bite and poisonous snakes would. That is incorrect; any snake can — and will — bite, if provoked. The venom in non-poisonous snakes just won’t kill you!


All snake photos are courtesy of Wikipedia!


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com