Venomous snakes

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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:53 pm

Here is some off the top of my head knowledge on those critters aka no Google so could be wrong.

Nice looking Eastern Diamond Back. I think rattlesnake venom has regional/population differences in toxicity but drop per drop I don’t believe the Eastern is particularly super toxic however size of fangs/snake and volume of venom matter and they got a bunch of both. That puts the Eastern high on the do not mess with list.

The Canebrake is as you stated a Timber rattler but has a few differences. The venom has more neurotoxin components than other populations of Timbers mixed in with blood destroying stuff. Something you don’t want to get hit with. Our Northern population also packs a punch. I think there is a 3rd type of timber venom, which isn’t as toxic but still bad news.

I have ran into both Easterns and Timbers in the wild. The Easterns in FL, Timbers local. They wanted nothing to do with me. A few years ago accidentally stepped over a Timber night hiking and it didn’t even rattle until the people hiking behind me started to make a fuss. :lol: I think Timbers are calmer than an Eastern but both want nothing to do with people.

That water snake will bite like an SOB and musk to high hell. There is something about the bite that bleeds more than the minor injury should. Water snakes are often confused with cottonmouths or you name it.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by omega_man » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:22 pm

Interesting points WW. I was talking with a state DNR biologist a couple of weeks ago after working up that E. Diamondback in the picture. Apparently (according to him) Timbers can have a mix of myo, hemo, and neurotoxins--and there's no way of knowing. Whereas Diamondbacks are, I believe, hemotoxic (i.e. not neurotoxic, that's the bad one).

As far as aggression, the professionals down here are more concerned about Timbers. I've heard and read from a few sources that E. Diamondbacks are fairly passive. All snakes do their best to get away from people (except Black Mambas), but Timbers seem to have a little more aggressive reputation here (not saying they are aggressive, just more so than the coastal Diamondbacks).

The "Canebrake" debate is always an interesting one too. Current research suggests that they are so genetically similar to "common" Timbers that they are not even considered sub-species. The best way to describe the differences in the Timber variations is as "races", similar to the pigmentation differences in humans. Either way, there is a lot of research currently being conducted on Timbers, with some ground-breaking radio telemetry studies being done close to where I live at Table Rock State Park. BOL anyone?

And, while we are on the topic of rattlesnakes...

More research is showing that rattlesnakes are beginning to avoid rattling because it gives away their position. This is most likely due to the high level of ridiculous persecutions of humans killing them just for fun or out of ignorance. Don't get me started on those idiot hicks in Florida and Texas and their petty dick-waving rattlesnake round-ups. It is digusting and ought be illegal.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Gingerbread Man » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:29 pm

omega_man wrote: More research is showing that rattlesnakes are beginning to avoid rattling because it gives away their position. This is most likely due to the high level of ridiculous persecutions of humans killing them just for fun or out of ignorance. Don't get me started on those idiot hicks in Florida and Texas and their petty dick-waving rattlesnake round-ups. It is digusting and ought be illegal.
While generally I'm very laissez faire I do not think those 'round up' are at all cool. Round up the rattlers and then an explosion of rodents. DERP. I'm more afraid of disease than a snake. I've only had two encounters working in the high desert with rattlers. Both times they rattled, I pooped my pants, looked around, saw them about 5-6' off and walked away. Just like any other animal, they want their space and don't want to feel 'threatened'.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:45 pm

omega_man wrote:Interesting points WW. I was talking with a state DNR biologist a couple of weeks ago after working up that E. Diamondback in the picture. Apparently (according to him) Timbers can have a mix of myo, hemo, and neurotoxins--and there's no way of knowing. Whereas Diamondbacks are, I believe, hemotoxic (i.e. not neurotoxic, that's the bad one).

As far as aggression, the professionals down here are more concerned about Timbers. I've heard and read from a few sources that E. Diamondbacks are fairly passive. All snakes do their best to get away from people (except Black Mambas), but Timbers seem to have a little more aggressive reputation here (not saying they are aggressive, just more so than the coastal Diamondbacks).

The "Canebrake" debate is always an interesting one too. Current research suggests that they are so genetically similar to "common" Timbers that they are not even considered sub-species. The best way to describe the differences in the Timber variations is as "races", similar to the pigmentation differences in humans. Either way, there is a lot of research currently being conducted on Timbers, with some ground-breaking radio telemetry studies being done close to where I live at Table Rock State Park. BOL anyone?

And, while we are on the topic of rattlesnakes...

More research is showing that rattlesnakes are beginning to avoid rattling because it gives away their position. This is most likely due to the high level of ridiculous persecutions of humans killing them just for fun or out of ignorance. Don't get me started on those idiot hicks in Florida and Texas and their petty dick-waving rattlesnake round-ups. It is digusting and ought be illegal.
Here is how the Timbers around my neck of the woods act. The Timber has a complex reaction to a threat.

1. Stay still and don’t rattle at first. Sometimes they never rattle. This is what almost got me into trouble. I think there is a night photo of that snake someplace in this thread. No rattling means a greater chance of accidental trampling or opps I dropped something in the bushes and going to reach down without any care. Their camo breaks up the pattern so despite being easy to see once seen they tend to be very hard to see before your mind recognizes the image. Not sure if that’s clear.
2. Rattle and slowly retreat rattling on the fly. This happens once the snake knows I know of its location.
3. Strike and bite or maybe bluff. I think this is the last ditch reaction. Even then they might (by this I mean sometimes) give dry bites but that’s based on research not personal experience.
4. They like to bring the rattle towards their head in an attempt to distract me from the head.

They never seem in a big hurry to go anyplace even when looking to get away. My feeling is they’re always wishing to avoid conflict with people as there is nothing to gain. We are too big to eat and too dangerous to fight. Lots of bluffing going on but this is part of the problem with them. Once I touched a Timber with my hiking pole and it turned around very fast. I was surprised and we parted company. I could see how the nature of these snakes might make someone complacent and then attempt something foolish. My guess on what snake is more aggressive or passive was based on only a few Easterns some years ago so would go with those pros for sure. I think the Timber depending on population has a more toxic venom aka the most toxic population of Timbers vs. most toxic population of Easterns but as stated size of snake and quantity of venom plays a big roll. Timbers can get large as well so size combined with a nasty venom makes them something to be respected.

I fear Lyme disease from rodent ticks far far more than any snake and for good reason. Anything that kills rodents dropping Lyme ticks is helping me within the environment and doing it harm is basically kicking my own ass. Circle of life and mumbo jumbo like that. :)
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Blitzen2k5 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:25 am

I grew up around snakes. I would spend weekends hunting for Bull Snakes. So it stands to reason I have come in contact with various poisonous snakes in my area. Copperheads, Water Mocassins, and the occasional rattler. So here is my take on snakes and how to treat them...... Dont! Just leave them be. From the age to 7 to 12 I was around them all the time and never once did I get bit. Nor did I approach them. I left them alone and they left me alone. Its real simple.

Also watch where you step. Dont just go traipsing through the woods like your headed to your local corner store. That is all really. Never got bit yet by a poisonous snake. Non poisonous is another kettle of beans entirely though. Worst bite I ever got was a bull snake. Sucker was all calm and relaxed. Then turned into Hannibal Lecter, Jason Vorhees, and Micheal Myers all together. Ended up with a nasty scar on my arm for that one.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by omega_man » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:59 am

Saw this beauty on the trail yesterday! I can never get over how well copperheads just blend in.

It was alongside the trail in a heavily traveled area full of daytrippers, families, and picnicers. I pushed it further off with a stick so some idiot hick wouldn't kill it.

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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:14 pm

Wow. It took a second look at the photo to see it.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:18 pm

omega_man wrote:Saw this beauty on the trail yesterday! I can never get over how well copperheads just blend in.

It was alongside the trail in a heavily traveled area full of daytrippers, families, and picnicers. I pushed it further off with a stick so some idiot hick wouldn't kill it.

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I could see the twist in the body almost instantly, but it took me almost a half an hour to find the head. Not good.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by scurvy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:53 pm

omega_man wrote: Don't get me started on those idiot hicks in Florida and Texas and their petty dick-waving rattlesnake round-ups. It is digusting and ought be illegal.
I'm cool with roundups, if the idiots are denied chaps and sticks... if they want to get into a pile of snakes and wave their dicks so be it.

I think allowing said idiots to pump gasoline into the breeding dens should of been outlawed years ago, or at least give the snakes some matches to even the odds...

I do see a lot of mistaken identity here in oregon, the gopher snake is often mistaken for the western diamond back;

western diamond back:
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western gopher snake:
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leave em both alone, don't step on em, you'll be fine.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by NGshooter17 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:51 am

I'm just happy we don't have black mambas in the USA. They are big, deadly and very aggressive ie they will chase you.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Gun_Nut_2k1 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:10 am

I am not sure the type, but I got to see a Rattle Snake up close while hunting Rabbits a few weekends ago.The few things I can tell you from the memory that is forever etched into my brain are as follows. I knew the snake was there, I knew it was pissed, and that they can hover. I thank God I was in a vehicle as I was about 2 foot away from it when the driver stopped and backed up. He told me to look in front of the truck to the right about 12 feet ahead, but not to get out of the truck. For the first few seconds that I saw it, my brain stopped active cognitive processing. It encompassed my whole brain. I could distinctly hear the rattle, but I never looked at it. The head and about 3 feet of body just floated in the air from all I could tell. My first reaction was kill it. My second was to remind myself of my rule. With the exception of hunting (then eating the animal), I will normally only kill and animal it if it is in my house or an area where my families kids or pets frequent. It was very hard to fight the instinct to shoot the damn thing. I know we were in its area and in no danger, so I took the opportunity to watch it from the truck. At no time did it back down or attempt to go the other way. It in fact moved diagonally towards my side of the truck and moved into the brush near my door. I do not know if it was mating, had eggs, or was on speed, but it did not fear me or the truck. I have handled snakes and even been very close to other rattlers in my youth. I have to say that the snake had my respectful and full attention. It was very beautiful in a "I can kill you" sorta way. I have cell phone pics if I can get them to come out well I will post them for you to ID the brand of death dealer it was. Nice thread BTW.


By the way calling people Dumb Hicks is insulting.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:59 am

Looking forward to your pictures. You did the right thing, if your not comfortable around snakes, they are best viewed from your vehicle. If you are too comfortable around snakes, try the zoo.

Oh by the way, rattlesnakes bear live young, but I still love the rattlesnake eggs joke, and watching rattlesnakes mate is a real hoot. Imagine horny teenagers, but without arms.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Gun_Nut_2k1 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:58 pm

Man it looks sooo much smaller in a pic. :mrgreen:

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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Privateer73 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:19 am

Having grown up in the country I have had my fair share of run ins with venomous and non venomous snakes. mostly for us venomous varieties being copperheads and the occasional mocassin. At one point we had a plague of copperheads around the house I truly believe in letting them have their space but if that space encroaches into the area my kids are occupying its time for lethal force. We were killing up to a dozen a week for a while some even warming them selves on the concrete doorstep. Again I love the efficient beauty of snakes as a whole just not enuff to share personal space with them.

On a more humorous note one of my longest kept pets cost me a new roof on my chicken coop. If anyone is not familiar with what we call chicken snakes or sometimes known as rat snakes they can get huge as in upwards of 7 feet long big as your wrist. They have a addicts love of fresh eggs and chicks I had a small chicken coop set up with raised laying boxes and daily we would go and collect the fresh eggs. If we wanted to raise a few chicks you would mark them with a pencil and leave them to be incubated by the hen. It is nearly impossible to snake proof a laying house so occasionally you would hear the chickens raising hell and I would have to go clear the coop with my shotgun in hand. Let.me set the scene low roof low door no light tin roof and around midnight. I got up to check out what was stirring the chickens up one night. after checking the perimeter for stray dogs coyotes and coon I unlatched the coop door and bent over to enter. As soon as I stood up inside I brought up the flashlight gripped in my hand supporting the fore end of the gun and realized I was face to face within 6 inches of a VERY large snake wrapped around one of the roof supports. I know everything I did was wrong and completely unsafe but that situation seems to bring out some primal instinct shoot first ask questions later. I swung the barrel up and fired almost simultaneously missing the snake completely but removing a large section of the tin roof giving myself night blindness from the mussel flash and ringing in the ears that lasted through the next day of roof repair. In the entire sequence. I managed to back out the door and reassess upon further investigation I confirmed it was a chicken snake and a surprisingly docile one at that letting me remove it form the rafters and secure it in a unused rabbit hutch we had. I planned on using it to educate the kids and wife the next day but as soon as my son who was 6 at the time saw it it became the new family pet. Eventually to be released in one of our hay barns with a overabundance of mice and rats.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:34 pm

Gun_Nut_2k1 wrote:Man it looks sooo much smaller in a pic. :mrgreen:

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Looks big enough to me.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:43 pm

Gun_Nut_2k1 wrote:Man it looks sooo much smaller in a pic. :mrgreen:

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Nothing small about that snake!
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by maverick12 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:03 am

Great information on snakes and how to avoid getting bit in this thread.

Thanks for this and hopefully this new information will help me not fear them as much

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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by omega_man » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:02 pm

So, I should have been adding to this months ago; but, I'm only able to use the interweb sporadically at my new gig and when I do it is dreadfully slow. Anyways, I encounter venomous snakes just about everyday now do to the nature of my work. Additionally, my roommate is getting her PhD on Eastern Diamondbacks, so there is usually a few in my house at any one time + copperheads, cottonmouths, and "canebrake" timbers. Thankfully, they stay in her room :shock: I need to start taking more pics, but here's some for right now:

Eastern Coachwhip, 6.5' feet long and full of piss and vinegar. Neat snake. Non-venomous.
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Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. The king of the coastal pine forests! This guy just had his radio transmitter removed and was being released back into his AO.
Image

"Yellow" Rat Snake. This one is hiding out in a wood duck box. Thankfully the eggs had long been abandoned. I also still getting use to the yellow variation of rat snakes here. Non-venomous.
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Copperhead. These little buggers are just about everywhere.
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Jsimmonsgr » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:05 pm

scurvy wrote:
omega_man wrote: Don't get me started on those idiot hicks in Florida and Texas and their petty dick-waving rattlesnake round-ups. It is digusting and ought be illegal.
I'm cool with roundups, if the idiots are denied chaps and sticks... if they want to get into a pile of snakes and wave their dicks so be it.

I think allowing said idiots to pump gasoline into the breeding dens should of been outlawed years ago, or at least give the snakes some matches to even the odds...

I do see a lot of mistaken identity here in oregon, the gopher snake is often mistaken for the western diamond back;

western diamond back:
Image

western gopher snake:
Image

leave em both alone, don't step on em, you'll be fine.

Found one of those Gopher snakes a couple of weeks ago, went out hunting with my son and it was just laying in the middle of the road. The area we were in is known for being popular with out of town ATV folks, so we took him home. I had figured on feeding him a good meal and relocating him to a much harder to acess area, but he is now a pet. To clairify I am fairly positive he was a pet prior to us finding him, as he was very docile from the get go and was pretty obviously used to being handled. At this point he even allows 'hand' feeding (using tongs). His name, appropriately enough, is Roadkill ( my 9 year old not only loves G.I. Joe, but also has my sense of humor).

Also I have to agree with the comment about hicks, not all of us country folk are idiots, and using that term in a negative manner is rather offensive. :? Besides, some of us EAT rattlers and only kill one if we intend to eat it and it is a large enough snake to be worth eating. I myself tend to just use a snake stick to move them out of the way ( we normally see them on the roads out here).
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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by SRO1911 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:10 pm

I am in west Texas, where we have more than our fair share of rattle bugs. Mostly diamondbacks, who have the good manners to tend their business. They do however breed at an extraordinary rate in my neighborhood which leads to the worlds largest rattlesnake round up being held in the next county over. With over a ton of snake meat collected this year, and the population still on the rise - its not about dick waving, its about controlling a species whose 'natural' predators are on a major decline (how many red-tailed hawks have you seen lately?). I no longer hunt them, just because it is easier to lease out my land for someone else to hit or miss.
All that aside, we also have the diamondbacks un-pleasant cousin, the desert massasauga. Also a rattle bug, similar venom, similar habitat, very different manners. A messy WILL chase anything that annoys it and it has a very low tolerance.

I have been chased and struck. I got lucky - I got to keep one of his fangs, stuck in the heel of my durashock boot. I strongly believe that had it hit any higher it would have kept hitting until I stopped, as it was - he lost a tooth - I lost a very comfortable boot. Rattlesnake bites are no joke - after I got to my truck I kicked off my boot, realizing that one fang had gone through the leather and into the heel while the other hit just the heel. The back of my foot burned and was starting to swell - thats just from skin contact with venom, no penetration. I tossed the contaminated boot in the bed of the truck. The next morning I pulled it out to show a friend, and the leather that had been juiced was crumbling.

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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by jim2037 » Thu May 09, 2013 9:07 pm

WhoShotJR wrote:
CitizenZ wrote:Most people are bitten by snakes when they step on them.
.
That's what happened to a cousin of mine who lives in the next town from me about 8-10 years ago. Walked right outside her house at night, wearing shorts and sandals, stepped on a copperhead. She spent almost a week in the hospital, her leg was so swollen and discolored it looked like it would just fall off. She said the pain meds they gave her didn't make a dent in reducing the agony she was in. I've stepped very carefully ever since then, especially at night.

While I know very little about medicine, I can't see what the harm would be in using one of those suction kits to try and remove some of the venom. If you can get even a portion of the venom out, seems it would help. Just so long as one was using it while also getting to medical attention as fast as possible.
The suctions kits are pretty ineffective in removing poison simply because most snake bites dont envenomate in the circulatory system anyhow. Most envenomations occur in a muscle and venom travels through the lymphatic system. So as others have said before me. Immobilize the extremity and tie a constricting band just tight enough to dimple the skin, NOT clamped down enough to constrict blood flow. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible

Jim

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Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Serevince » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:29 pm

Australian wrap: A compression bandage wrapping the entire affected area.

Technique was used to save a friend who took a bite in the hand from a Mojave Green. No Bueno! He was a couple hours out from anti venom and almost bought the farm.

I am far from a medical expert, but in my research the Australian wrap seems like go to treatment.

Plus says Australian, and they have 1 venomous snake per square meter right? Or was that a different thread?

On a lighter note. When I was in training doing our rock climbing / rappel training the whole class came down with the runs. We couldn't do our business on the rocks so when we came off the rocks it was a race to our camp latrine. I was about 5th in line and squatting over the hole when I noticed an unusual pattern on the ground in the bush next to me. I squinted, leaned in and still couldn't make it out so I moved the bush slightly. Luckily I had already voided my bowels, because there in the bush was a very large rattlesnake! I am squatting less than two feet from a large rattlesnake with my pants around my ankles armed with nothing more than a roll of quilted Charmin. At that point I started talking to the snake (I talk to animals, but they don't talk back). "please Mr. Rattlesnake PULEEAASSE do not bite me in my nether regions!" I slowly finished my business and backed out of there with my hand acting as a sacrificial shield for my important parts. Of course no believed me or understood why I was running through camp with my pants held up in one hand and a roll of TP in the other yelling about a snake in the crapper. I had to bring everyone back and lift the bush up before anyone believed me. Of course I endured the mandatory "sucking out the venom" jokes the rest of the the trip.

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Evan the Diplomat
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Posts: 1994
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:48 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Savageland
Location: Fairfax, VA

Re: Venomous snakes

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:47 pm

Oddly enough I found an early training film that provides strong motivation for treating snake bite.

Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
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Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
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taipan821
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Posts: 515
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:58 am

Re: Venomous snakes

Post by taipan821 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:37 pm

Big B wrote:Great post Woods Walker! :D I have alway carried a snake bite kit (little plunger gizmo) in my pack when in CA, AZ, NM, etc. Until I recently read they were pretty much useless.....
If you are an international tourist and go into a country that has snakes (say Australia) be aware of the different methods of treating. for example down under a snake bite extractor is useless as the venom works differently (don't ask me why, i talked to a snake expert), when in doubt carry enough heavy crepe bandages to cover your leg entirely.
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