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Old 07-23-2009, 05:51 PM
Point Blanks Point Blanks is offline
 
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Default Can Snakes Bite Through Leather Boots?

Leather seems pretty tough,can a poisonous snake bite through?

How bout heavy duty leather or canvess tennis shoes?

Thx...
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:19 PM
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I think a big rattler could penetrate a soft/thin spot in an old pair of boots,and for sure a tennis shoe.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:23 PM
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A large crotalid, such as a rattlesnake or cottonmouth, absolutely can easily bite through canvas tennis shoes. There's a better than even chance they could bite through leather boots too, just depending on how thick the leather is where they bite. I know of at least one case that occurred in about 1979 in North Carolina of a fatal bite through a "snake-proof" boot. Granted, it was a freak set of circumstances...one fang happened to go through a hole where the boot was stitched together and the victim was allergic to the venom and died (within just a few minutes) from anaphylactic shock....but it illustrates the fact that it is possible, however remote the chances. He was doing snake programs at schools and various events and was doing a part of his program where he would swing his leg back and forth in front of a big Timber Rattlesnake and let it strike at his boot...he had been hit literally thousands of times and this one time a single fang got through a stitch hole in the leather....
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:31 PM
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If you can push a needle through it easily,don't depend on the boot to be snake proof..
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:20 PM
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not to hijack but what makes snake proof boots snake proof (i have a pair just dont know why they work)
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:27 AM
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Hey germag, crotalus can possibly bite through the boots, such as ratllers, especially the diamond backs, and some timber, but the copper heads and cotton mouths are not in the crotalus genus, they are agkistrodon genus and have smaler fangs. Tennis dhoes definately but good leather boots prolly not.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:49 AM
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Hey germag, crotalus can possibly bite through the boots, such as ratllers, especially the diamond backs, and some timber, but the copper heads and cotton mouths are not in the crotalus genus, they are agkistrodon genus and have smaler fangs. Tennis dhoes definately but good leather boots prolly not.
I did not say that copperheads and cottonmouths belong to the genus Crotalus. I said they are crotalid snakes. That is a term used by herpetologists to describe pit vipers in general. BTW...for future reference, when you are referencing latin names, here are the rules:

1. The entire trinomial or binomial should be either italicized or underlined if an italics font is not available.

2. Only the genus name should be capitalized

3. After the genus name has been mentioned once in the text, it can be abbreviated. The same applies to the species name if the name is a trinomial. So, if we are talking about Crotalus viridis nuntius for instance, the first time it's mentioned in the text it would be fully spelled out as above. The second time you could just say C. v. nuntius. Then, if you were talking about another subspecies, such as the type, you could just say C. v. viridis.

4. If you are speaking of all of the subspecies or species included in a genus, but not any one in particular, you can just say Crotalus ssp. or Crotalus sp.

If you are talking about pit vipers in general, you can just say "crotalid snakes" (no italics), which is really sort of a throwback from an earlier taxonomy and classification of the group in which they were in the family Crotalidae, subfamily Crotalinae. Now they are classified under the family Viperidae, subfamily Crotalinae. You will also sometimes seen them referred to as "Crotaline snakes". Both are accepted nomenclature.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:31 PM
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But they are all of the subfamily Crotaline, Correct?
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:39 PM
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But they are all of the subfamily Crotaline, Correct?
Yes. Subfamily Crotalinae.

For instance, the classification of the Eastern Diamondback is as follows:

Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Suborder: Serpentes

Family: Viperidae

Subfamily: Crotalinae

Genus: Crotalus

Species: adamanteus
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:51 PM
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I though most bites would be above the ankle, so tennis shoe would definitely be out. I definitely would not want to depend on just a leather boot, but the boot is definitely better than nothing.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:18 AM
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Default Snake Proof Boots

These boots are made of codura nylon. The weave of this is supposed to be too tight for the fangs to penetrate. At least this is the explanation I have been given.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:27 AM
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These boots are made of codura nylon. The weave of this is supposed to be too tight for the fangs to penetrate. At least this is the explanation I have been given.
I've heard the same.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:32 AM
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In the event of a "hot" bite, I personally would be leery of a tournaquit (sp) or cuttin` an X on the bite. We were told by a paramedic, that the best snakebit kit is your truck keys. I tend to agree.

Germag, I appreciate your expertise. Your thoughts on this?
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:18 AM
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In the event of a "hot" bite, I personally would be leery of a tournaquit (sp) or cuttin` an X on the bite. We were told by a paramedic, that the best snakebit kit is your truck keys. I tend to agree.

Germag, I appreciate your expertise. Your thoughts on this?
That is absolutely correct, Nic. What you have to keep in mind is that snake venom from the venomous snakes in the U.S. (with the exception of coral snake and Mojave rattlesnake) is highly destructive to muscle tissue, blood and blood vessels. When you use a tourniquet or cryotherapy (ice) to try to keep it contained, what you really end up doing is causing massive destruction in that area. You are much, much better off allowing it to dissipate over a larger area so it is less destructive (more tissue mass to absorb it). The amputation rate for envenomations where a tourniquet or cryo was used is very high because the local tissue destruction is so severe. Plus there is the possibility of a "shotgun effect" when the tourniquet is released where the venom is sort of staged up in the circulatory system of the affected extremety and when the tourniquet is removed, the venom is all released into the body at once.

As far as cutting and sucking, forget it. If you can get your kit out and cut and suck within the first 10 seconds or so, you might get 10% of the venom out that way. After about 10 seconds the venom is completely absorbed into the tissue anyway. Those Cutter Snake Bite kits are essentially worthless and actually can do more damage than good. The chances of cutting nerves or large veins is too great, plus you are opening yourself up to the risk of a serious infection. The risks far outweigh any possible benefit.

Trying any of these "time honored first-aid" measures is counter-productive and wastes valuable time. The only truly effective treatment for snake envenomation is antivenin therapy.

If you can get to a hospital within about 2 hours, your best bet is to do nothing at all except get in your vehicle and go to the hospital....IF someone else can drive you. It is very dangerous to try to drive yourself to the hospital after a serious snake bite....you can lose consciousness without warning. That has to be an absolute last resort. If you have to drive yourself, go to the first place where you can find help and have someone call an ambulance for you. If you can't get to a hospital within 2 hours, you'd best call rescue and have paramedics transport you so they can try to control any effects of the venom enroute.

Your best bet is to leave the doggone snakes alone in the first place.
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Last edited by germag; 07-25-2009 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:45 AM
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I`ve bought Browning,Lacrosse,and Rockies.All were said to be snakeproof and waterproof.None of`em were waterproof.Why should I think that they would be snakeproof?I still wear`em,though.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:10 AM
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my red heads are waterproof hopefully illnever find out if they re snake proof
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:41 PM
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Germag,
I do understand time is important, but, do most (all) hospitals have the anti-venon ? what if I got bit, got to a hospital quick, and they have nothing on hand to treat me with???
Sorry to hijack the thread/original question.

Jr. B
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:06 PM
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Germag,
I do understand time is important, but, do most (all) hospitals have the anti-venon ? what if I got bit, got to a hospital quick, and they have nothing on hand to treat me with???
Sorry to hijack the thread/original question.

Jr. B
Most of the hospitals that have an ER do stock some antivenin for native species, as well as AV for Black Widow bites. There are basically two different types of AV that cover all native U.S. species, except one. One is called CroFab (Protherics). It is a polyvalent Ovine serum AV that covers all of the crotalid snakes (pit vipers), such as rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, etc. The other is called Micrurus fulvius Antivenin (Wyeth) and it is an Equine serum AV that covers the Eastern Coral Snake and the Texas Coral Snake. There is a third variety of Coral Snake, the Western Coral Snake found in the S.W. United States for which no AV exists. That species has not been associated with any human deaths, although the toxicity of this species venom is very high and it is fully capable of killing a human. People in Georgia that keep exotic species of venomous snakes in captivity would do well to keep their own AV in stock....hospitals are not going to stock for exotics. For native species, they may not have enough AV on hand to treat a very severe envenomation, but they will usually have at least a half dozen ampules on hand. Even for a severe envenomation that's enough to start therapy while they transfer more from another facility. The average envenomation requires 6 ampules, but I've seen some that required as many as 16 ampules before the effects of the venom came under control. Dr. Sean Bush in Loma Linda, California treated a bite a couple of years ago that required 24 ampules IIRC....that's the worst I've ever heard of.

Florida has a service based in Miami called Venom One. They stock AV for just about every species of venomous snake in the world and do transfers everywhere.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:40 PM
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germag, not to hijack but your a man about retiles and animals! You know your stuff! Proceed.....
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:00 AM
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Germag, you said that tourniquets shouldn't be used for crotalid bites because of the hemotoxic nature of their venom, which is no doubt true, but what have you read about using tourniquets for a coral snake bite? It seems that you'd want to prevent the spread of the venom to lessen its effects on your neurological and respiratory systems. Granted, there is a (somewhat) lesser chance of being envenomated by a coral bite than a crotalid, but you don't know to what degree you've been envenomated in the time frame that applying a tourniquet might be beneficial.

Also, you mentioned Wyeth above, but from what I've read, Wyeth is no longer being produced and there is currently (or very soon will be) no AV available for Micrurus bites in the US. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:03 AM
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Germag, you said that tourniquets shouldn't be used for crotalid bites because of the hemotoxic nature of their venom, which is no doubt true, but what have you read about using tourniquets for a coral snake bite? It seems that you'd want to prevent the spread of the venom to lessen its effects on your neurological and respiratory systems. Granted, there is a (somewhat) lesser chance of being envenomated by a coral bite than a crotalid, but you don't know to what degree you've been envenomated in the time frame that applying a tourniquet might be beneficial.

Also, you mentioned Wyeth above, but from what I've read, Wyeth is no longer being produced and there is currently (or very soon will be) no AV available for Micrurus bites in the US. Any thoughts?
Yeah, I should have mentioned that. For Coral Snake bites (as with many Elapids), a tourniquet could be of some benefit for the reasons you mentioned. However, a safer alternative might be a compression bandage covering the entire arm or leg. Tourniquets can cause a lot of unnecessary damage if not applied and used correctly. The idea here is to slow and limit the spread of the neurotoxic venom. If a compression bandage or something that could be used as one is not available, then I guess you're in the position of weighing the loss of limb against the loss of life.

Wyeth has indeed stopped production of the Coral Snake AV. In October 2008 they distributed a letter stating that they (in conjunction with the FDA) were extending the expiration date of the last-run batch (lot 4030026) from Oct. 2008 to Oct. 2009. Any remaining stock will expire in Oct. 2009. There is no alternative that is approved for treatment of Micrurus fulvius fulvius or M. f. tenere bites.

I'm not sure how this is going to shake out.....there have been only 2 deaths attributed to coral snake bites in the U.S. since the 1950s (when the AV became available). However, the standard protocol has been to immediately begin AV therapy since death can occur quickly and local symptoms may not necessarily be evident...plus one of the most insidious aspects of the venom is that once the venom sets and neurological symptoms do appear, it may not be readily reversed by the AV. The AV is very effective BEFORE neurological symptoms present. So, there have been several bites that may well have been fatalities if left untreated, but since AV was started immediately the patient recovered. After this coming October, we may see an upturn in fatalities from Coral Snake bites.

You have to work at it to get bitten by a coral snake, but it does happen.....people are not always the brightest bulbs on the tree.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:02 PM
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So , Like , If a Rattler latches on to me, Let my buddy drive, Have a shot of Jack to slow down my heart , AND, Get to some medical fast??
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:08 PM
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So , Like , If a Rattler latches on to me, Let my buddy drive, Have a shot of Jack to slow down my heart , AND, Get to some medical fast??

Well...almost....


Let your buddy drive, SKIP the shot of Jack, AND, get to medical fast.

The shot of Jack can work against you in more than one way......
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by yellowhammer View Post
I`ve bought Browning,Lacrosse,and Rockies.All were said to be snakeproof and waterproof.None of`em were waterproof.Why should I think that they would be snakeproof?I still wear`em,though.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:41 AM
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I work with germag and he is definitely the animal and especially the reptile man! seems like i should be getting more lessons on snakes from you but I take the best advice if i see one i go the other way!
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:11 PM
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Yes they can bit through leather boots.
I was told that antivenin is given if you have sever symptoms. Otherwise they monitor your symptoms. Antivenin is the last option on Rattlers and Copperhead. That is what the snake expert told us. That and do not panic. The compression like you would put on a sprain is best to slow the release of venom. Hope for a dry bite. If you do have a dry bite they do not want to give antivenin. I just hoped the medic would know best. I consider myself a manly man. I have step beside both Rattlers and Copperheads and ran like a sissy or fired and made my ears ring for hours.
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:38 PM
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I was told that antivenin is given if you have sever symptoms. Otherwise they monitor your symptoms. Antivenin is the last option on Rattlers and Copperhead. .
AV is actually seldom indicated for a copperhead bite at all. Since it doesn't really have the capability of killing a human (except in cases of anaphylaxis due to severe reaction to the venom itself), it is only given in really extreme cases where tissue destruction must be brought under control.

In the case of a rattlesnake bite, it depends entirely on the symptoms the patient presents with and the species of the rattlesnake. In cases of envenomation (or even suspected envenomation) by a Mojave Rattlesnake ([i]Crotalus scutellatus[i]) immediate AV therapy is always indicated. In the case of something like an Eastern Diamondback, (C. adamanteus) the symptoms are monitored to see if there actually was an envenomation. Frequently they will "dry bite" as you mentioned. The way symptoms are monitored is by measuring the rate of progression of swelling. You mark the point where the swelling stops, wait 15 minutes and check it again...if it progresses beyond a prescribed rate or if other symptoms (petechiae or purpurae, ptosis, myokemia/muscular fasciculations, respiratory distress, etc.), then AV therapy is immediately indicated.

In the old days, before the introduction of CroFab, the only AV available was Wyeth Polyvalent Crotalid Antivenin. It was made with equine (horse) serum. Everyone is allergic to horse serum to one degree or another, so treating snakebites with it was a potentially dangerous and complicated undertaking. You had to desensitize the patient and still 99 times out of 100 there was some serum sickness to one degree or another....it may be 3 weeks after the treatment, but it would appear at some point. Sometimes the treatment was actually worse than the bite, and in some extreme cases the treatment proved fatal where the bite may not have.

Now we have CroFab. It is an ovine serum (sheep serum) and has a much, much lower incidence of reaction. Now ER doctors don't hesitate to use AV if it's indicated...it's now a front line defense as opposed to a last resort. However, you still don't want to use it if there's a chance that there's no envenomation or in cases of very mild envenomation because it is expensive and sometimes in short supply.

By the way, unless you are trained in the treatment of snakebite, you do not ever want to try to use anything to slow the spread of the venom in the case of a rattlesnake or cottonmouth or copperhead bite....no matter what anyone told you. You can do much more harm than good by trying to do so. Just get the victim to a hospital as quickly as you safely can.
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Last edited by germag; 08-01-2009 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:10 PM
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allso if you are not far from your truck dont run it makes your heart pump faster spreading the venom faster
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:23 PM
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If a rattler can penetrate a radial car tire I would bet a leather boot wouldnt stop it.
I have been told by old timers that a rattler strikes 1/2 length of its body high on a tall victim. 6' snake strikes 3' up. Higher than my snake boots for sure.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:45 PM
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A close friend of mine who raises snakes told me that generally snakes do not strike high because they are wired to strike at smaller ground based critters. Their ability to strike is not as a jump in the vertical but more horizontally hence the nickname ankle biters. I wear snake boots (18" Lacross Razors) and hope not to find out if my friend is right or not but sounds possible. They are not striking at you to eat but as a last effort for their defense. He watched a demonstration for Rockies once and said the snakes used (Eastern Diamondbacks) always hit at the ankles and the top of the foot. I am sure there are no guarantees or absolutes here just be aware and be careful.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:29 PM
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allso if you are not far from your truck dont run it makes your heart pump faster spreading the venom faster
That's very true, Seth. As hard as it may be, you need to remain calm and WALK...don't run.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:57 PM
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That's very true, Seth. As hard as it may be, you need to remain calm and WALK...don't run.
"remain calm" - I could only wish. I hate snakes but I am very glad I stumbled onto this thread. Thanks Germag!!! Very informative - hopefully not useful.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:39 PM
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Old thread I know, but somewhat relevant... I'm sitting home right now nursing a snakebite I got last night. Copperhead for sure, but i didn't get much venom so the hospital released me with a tetanus shot. Kept trying to give me pain pills, but I'd rather feel what's going on than not.

he got me about 3 inches up from my ankle, I was wearing regular low top hiking boots while we were fishing, got dark started walking out, and whammo...

bummer is I left him 2 16+ inch trout. When I got hit I moved from the area, told my girlfriend who was behind me a few paces to hold perfectly still while I went and got my spotlight. came back, got her safe, left the trout, and went to the hospital.

Hurts like all get out right now (about 16 hours in). But luckily he didn't give me much venom. He was a big fella (or gal) and I feel that it would have went through a pair of carhart pants, but probably not my big "redneck boots". You bet your butt I'll be wearing them from now on though. It is probably a good thing that I wasn't wearing them though, if I had not felt the strike it would have got my girlfriend, she is about 110lbs so it would have been alot worse on her than me.

all in all, you do not want to get a snake bite. Even with a small amount of venom my leg is swollen and hurts like heck any time it goes below the level of my heart.

my word of advice... always have a flashlight!!! If I had not run the batteries out of mine the night before this wouldn't have happened to me...

copperhead bite
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  #34  
Old 05-05-2010, 11:13 PM
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I've heard most bites don't even penetrate a normal pair of blue jeans. If that is true, then I think in MOST cases leather boots will stop a snake bite. If nothing else they would lessen the penetration.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:37 PM
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I f you don't jack with the snake he should not exert enough force to go through a leather boot on a pass by strike. Most people that get a serious snake bite are the ones that have made it mad. I walked within two feet of a four foot timber rattler's head in a brier thicket this past Sunday and he turned around heading the other way.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:16 PM
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Ha, I Got bit by a baby snake last year and didn't even know it... It happened when I was walking through some real thick brush and brairs and had twigs and such falling at the collar and down my shirt.....The docs said it was deffinitley a snake bite(I thought maybe a spyder bite, he laughed at me and said hopes to God we dont have any spiders with that big of fang spread{roughly 1.5mm} cause they would be huge spiders!). And that when the snakes are tiny their fangs can be so small you would barley feel it. It looks kinda like a burn mark, it is slightly deppresed around where it bit me at on my upper left arm.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:13 PM
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So a snake with neurotoxin like a coral snake, the bite should be tied off?
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:33 PM
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I do know they won't go thru the bottom of a boot. Have been struck twice in the bottom of a boot and have had 3 brush by my pant legs in basically 25 years of land surveying.

In all my 40 or so years of hunting and fishing I have never been struck at.

When working by myself I generally will wear snake boots, do they help. Don't know but I feel just a tad safer with them on especially in areas with no cell coverage and miles from a paved road.

IMO folks spend more time worrying about getting bit than they should. I have had more close encounters with bears and gators than venomous reptiles.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:10 PM
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This thread is a good read. I need to go shopping for some snake boots. I hate snakes. No telling how many that I've walked past unknowingly.

Which boots run wide? I got short wide feet (I know - too much info for you guys). The whole family has wide feet. I don't even need fins when I go swimming. LOL.
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