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Thread: Slithery Snakes

  1. #1
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    Default Slithery Snakes

    Have you had any snake encounters, do snakes concern you, do you carry a snake bite kit etc.....

  2. #2
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Default

    I worked in a medical office for many years and folks who try to mess with snake bites usually do more damage then good. I say forget the snake bite kit at the store. Believe it or not 50% of rattlesnake bites are "dry" bites. If you are biten you should calmly, (I know thats hard to do but panic increases the blood flow) remove all jewlery as you will swell and try to get down off the mountain and locate medical attention ASAP. You usually have a few hours with a rattlesnake bite. Living and hiking in FL I have come across of poision snakes, coral-rattlers-pigmy rattler. On the AT I have come across rattlers & copperheads. While slipping into my sleeping bag on the platform out by Tom Lenard Shelter in MA, a rattler slitered by about 2 feet from where I was laying out under the stars. In the morning when I moved my backpack there was a 3 1/2 foot snake skin. Scary.. HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

    http://www.gcast.com/u/hammockhanger/main

  3. #3
    Section Hiker 350 miles DebW's Avatar
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    Default snake encounters

    I've had 2 rattlesnake encounters on the AT. The first was in Shennandoah National Park in 1977. A large rattler was sitting in the middle of the trail acting like he owned it. Was coiled and rattling as we approached. Needles to say, we let him keep the trail and we made a big semi-circle through the woods. The second was last year in Pennsylvania. Was day hiking with my family in the Wolf Rocks area. On the rocky ridge, my daughter stepped across a crack between two rocks and the rattle down below made alot of noise. I now carry the "Sawyer Extractor" bite kit. Includes a hard plastic vaccuum pump to extract venom without any cutting. Haven't used and hope I don't have to, but I feel a little more secure with it. I presume it can't do any harm if used and might do some good.
    Last edited by DebW; 01-15-2003 at 10:01.

  4. #4
    GA-ME 3/5/02 -8/14/02
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    We saw 5 rattlesnakes this year..1 in Virginia, 3 in PA and 1 in New York. Never failed to startle and scare the CRAP out of us, still can't beleive how LOUD they rattle. They left us alone, but made it very clear that they weren't the ones who would be inconvenienced....saw tons of black snakes and smaller ones, also, but usually they high-tailed it out of view as soon as they realized we were there.
    "It's a dangerous business, going out your door...if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to."-The Hobbit

  5. #5

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    Saw a bunch of different species during my hike;

    Eastern Garter Snake
    Eastern Ribbon Snake
    Northern Water Snake
    Ringed Neck Snake
    Black Rat
    Black Racer
    Smooth Green Snake
    Copperhead
    Timber Rattler

    All were beautiful and amazing creatures. You'd have to be REALLY unlucky to get bitten by any snake - especially a Rattler.

  6. #6
    Registered User Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Tree climber snake in the Smokies

    We saw a 5' long black snake while hiking down the trail from Shuckstack. He was beside the trail near a huge Poplar. We sat on a nearby log and took a short break, watching as the snake crawled off or at least out of sight. When we were ready to leave I walked around the tree to see if the snake was still on the trail and didn't see him anywhere. My wife looked up and the snake was crawling / climbing straight up the side of the Poplar! He was about 12' high when I took a picture of him. If I can ever get it to upload I'm gonna post that photo for sure. I had never seen a snake climb a tree. No limbs at all just climbing straight up the side of the side of the tree.
    Uncle Wayne

  7. #7

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    Black Rat Snakes are major predators of the eggs & nestlings of songbirds. Checkout the link below about predation on Purple Martin colonies. Of course they'll also take a shelter mouse anytime the opportunity presents itself.

    http://www.troycable.net/~w/wRatsnake.html

  8. #8
    Registered User Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Black Snake

    Thanks Mowgli16 for the interesting link. I have uploaded a couple of photos I took of the Black Snake we saw on the AT in the Smoky Mountains. He has just crawled down the tree in one of them and is crawling back up in the other.
    Uncle Wayne

  9. #9
    Yes, I know I mis-spelled "Hamster"...
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    Ive seen a bajillion garter snakes, thats all though...

  10. #10
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    In 95 I was hiking up Calf Mtn. in the Shenandoahs with my headphones on jammin to Pink Floyd when all of a sudden I hear static. I stop and look down. I'm standin on a rattler. He's fixin to strike but doesn't. That static was his rattles goin like crazy. Lucky I didn't get whacked. It really takes a lot for a rattlesnake to strike.

  11. #11
    Registered User Waterbuffalo's Avatar
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    I ran into a 4' pluss Timberrattler on the Approach trail coming down frosty Mtn in 1999, I just stood still and let the big guy go on his way

    H20Buffalo

  12. #12
    Team GAK
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    Default Holy Frustration

    We only saw a couple of snakes. What really scared us was some of the notes we found saying there's a snake ahead, but the was NO date or time on the note. It takes a while for that feeling (tension) to wear off.

  13. #13

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    Good point, team GAK. Most snakes can be safely ignored, and if you see a rattler in the trail you can just go around it, but if the snake IS in the middle of the trail how do you warn other hikers? Snakes don't always run when you scare them, so throwing rocks at it won't do any good. I suggest leaving a paper note on either side of the snake with date and time, and a "please dispose of the note when the snake is gone."

  14. #14

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    In the 153 days I spent on the trail the only time I came across a poisonous snake was in a Shenandoah parking lot and a ranger was releasing one back in the wild. But I don't count that one. I even stopped at Manassas Gap Shelter (near Linden, VA) because of all the warnings I heard about Copperheads living there. Nothing! I feel like I am entitled to a refund for my hike.

  15. #15

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    The rattlers were out in force in 2001; stepped over a big fella in the middle of Shenandoah Park, but it was Pennsylvania where it got crazy; saw a great big one just north Of Quarry Gap shelter just past Caledonia Park, and three humongous ones in less than 2 hours the second day outta Duncannon. Also, the stretch just north of Eckville shelter is fairly infested....word to the wise: If you're hiking with a dog in these parts, keep him close, and this is probably NOT a good stretch to be wearing a Walkman or radio, as they'll usually, but certainly not always let you know when you get too close.

  16. #16
    GA-VA/ME-VA '04
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    Default Jack

    Thank you for that bit of dog advice.

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    Thumbs up

    Hiked from Springer Mtn to Neels Gap from July 31 to August 3, 2003. Saw two garter snakes and one nice size copperhead sunning on the rocks. Got a nice photo of the copperhead.

    Three snakes in three and a half days. That's almost a snake-a-day average. Good for a snake lover like me.

    Rain Man

  18. #18

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    Dogs do not "usually" die from venemous snakebites. They react differently to snake vemon than humans. That's not to say a bite wouldn't hurt or make you dog ill.

  19. #19
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    Not the AT, but in False Cape State Park (Virginia Beach) last weekend I saw five eastern cottonmouths laying out on the trail in a 10 minute period right after a rain shower.

    Also saw a black snake, a baby gardner snake, and a unidentifiable baby snake that was reddish purple in color that day.

    Generally I just give cottonmouths about 6 feet of room when walking past them. Most of the time they stand their ground so no sense in waiting for them to leave.

  20. #20

    Default snakes on the trail

    I was hiking thrue Penn. in 99 and walked over rattler and it was crazy I had gotten off track! and looked right at that snake and it was nodding its head toward the right way back on the trail!I have thought about it thrue the years and just shake my head!but seriously I carry a snake kit just in case!I have also encountered many more thrue the years,usually there just out sunning.Kentucky!

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