Contributors to this thread:
Do you wear your snake boots?
I primarily hunt south Florida swamps and uplands. Ever since reading Rutnut's story, I regularly wear my snake boots. I'm not afraid of snakes, but I don't want to get bitten either. I went into the swamp to set a stand, went around a palmetto bush on the trail, and came up on the Eastern three feet away. It never moved or rattled. Got to my area and put my equipment down, took some of it into the woods, and returned to retrieve the remainder. Upon my return in the opening that I used to get into the woods, I came up on the Pygmy a foot or two away. It wasn't there when I went in. It didn't move or rattle either. Other than a bad attitude it's not a particularly dangerous snake, but a bite will still ruin your day. In this area I regularly see moccasins too. Now, I don't see snakes all the time and rarely just run up on them like this. Sure glad I was wearing my boots. Be safe out there.
I started to wear them when I hunt south Texas a few years back
Yes sir..about 10 yrs ago I almost stepped on a cotton mouth in January. Here in south Bama they come out if it warms up enough
Glad to hear somebody learned from my mistakes!
I just found out something interesting after talking to a hunter that works the pipelines coming out of the shale gas areas in PA. He said the pipeline companies have a snake handler on call to remove rattlers they come across during construction. He said he also talked to a biologist f rteom Penn State University recently that works with them and is studying PA's timber rattlers and she said they very rarely rattle now. They believe they are becoming conditioned to resist rattling in the presence of humans because they(the snakes) are learning when they rattle, they are more likely to be handled, picked up or killed. Makes sense, especially with the big snake roundups that are held here every year. A lot of the guys bag them and then release them after the contests. That's why you shouldn't rely on these snakes to rattle to alert you of their presence!
Snakes are pretty easy to dodge in warmer months but my personal conflicts have been in cooler time periods when it warms up after a cool night.
I base my need on the frequency of being the woods. In a good year I may out 200 days checking cameras, scouting, and hunting. Now that I am retired that may be a little less since I I stand to trout fish a lot more.
I just figure that it’s a matter of when not if I step on or close to a rattler.
Saw guy this guy just the other evening.
I wish Lacrosse still made the 18" snake boot
Rutnut, glad I'm still learning. Most of time I regretfully learn from my own mistakes. Where I hunt here it's usually hot, 80-90 degrees. The snake boots are hot etc. So I didn't wear them as I'd never be bitten by a snake. But, sweaty hot feet is so much better than suffering through what you did. I had my own trial to deal with a while back and learned (back to my own mistakes) that bad things do not always happen to the other guy. Back to wearing snake boots. Stay safe brother.
I grew up in South Florida, and Tennessee hunting and fishing in those states plus S.Carolina,Ga.Ms,and La. I never wore snake boots as we waded in water many times up to your waist.We saw a bunch bad snakes but just paid attention. I will never fault or kid anyone who wears them.My closest call was with this guy who now guards my fly tying table boots would not of been any good as I was on my knees when he appeared and not in a good mood.Y’all be careful and good luck Lewis
Talk about timing my neighbor just had a timber rattler gliding across the yard Lewis
Yep Blake! I’d rather be a little uncomfortable from hot boots, than weeks and weeks of severe, mind numbing and (mentally and physically) exhausting pain! : (
Lewis- I get some looks and even some chuckles when I wear mine when it is above 35* or so...................but I couldn’t care less what others think! AIN’T NO WAY I’M GOING THRU THAT &$#% AGAIN! ;-)
Don’t blame you at all I followed your recovery looked brutal.That snake yesterday was a 45 plus inch timber that his cat was stalking.Yep his cat is fearless once he was stalking a bobcat go figure Lewis
I need a cat like that! ;-)
Yep, 3+ years and am still dealing with the effects. Even though the docs all said I would be “back to normal” in a year. I’m assuming at this point it won’t get much better- probably always will have some degree of swelling, numbness and intermittent shooting nerve pain..................but at least I’m HERE to feel it!
Wear them always huntin in California. Got to wear em in the city also.. poisonous libtards..
Rutnut, the docs all underestimate the recovery time. They told me the same thing-one year. After a year of self inflicted daily rehab, I wasn't even close. I continued the daily rehab and still do it today. At 4 1/2 years, I finally felt "normal" and had regained what I estimate as 98% mobility in the affected joints. But, I'm still working it hard. Whatever the 2% is doesn't affect anything that I do or need, but I still want it. The moral-don't ever even think about giving up on yourself. November 25, 2021 will be the 5 year anniversary of my fall. Simply refuse defeat.
Rut Nut: At one time I asked on here, and I think you mentioned it too, the percentage of bites that occurred below the knee. . . Have you ever gotten any info on that?
I ordered two pairs of snake boots this spring, as my uncle bought a new farm that has a cottonmouth hibernaculum on it somewhere (I base this from information from a friend who has hunted this place for 20 years, and sees many cottonmouth on the place in the early fall, and this in an area with few cottonmouth). It borders a river for about a mile, and has a nice rocky bluff where I've seen many cottonmouths while fishing from a boat. Unfortunately, neither pair of snake boots fit me, and I returned both, and haven't thought of it much since.
I keep thinking I need to get a pair, but I don't really anticipate hunting this place much until November. . . .
Almost sat on one in PA. Sat next to him. Never sit on the ground anymore there always bring my stool….
EMB- you're right- attitude and determination make a huge difference! The toxicologists told me the sooner and the more I walked, the better the outcome. I started walking on day 2 even though it was excruciatingly painful! Walking the 75 feet to the bathroom was about a 15 min process and “wiped me out” for hours- I did this twice a day for 9 days. But I'm sure if I had stayed in bed, it would have been worse. And if I had given up on my 2+ mile walk to help, I'm sure the outcome would have been much different! Of course, my scenario was sorta like the perfect storm.........................................a very large snake that gave me a large dose of venom, right in the peak of venom toxicity(mid-July) and was a very long time before I got the first dose of anti-venom!(almost 5 hours)
Rut Nut's Link
Bake- can't remember the exact numbers, but I think below knee was a high percentage overall. However, I remember reading something about bites in the Northcentral part of PA and they claim a high percentage of bites are on the hand from people pulling firewood off a pile at their cabins.(they say the snakes get into firewood piles waiting to ambush mice and chipmunks that nest there) Again, can't remember the numbers, but more than I expected.
I also thought about buying snakeboots before my incident, however I decided NOT to spend the money for the few times per year I was in Timber Rattler country. I often think about that decision which ultimately cost me almost $600,000 to my insurance company and almost $7500 out of pocket. Seems kind of foolish in hindsight! : (
Just googled it and found this article- it says 85% of bites are below the knee
Snake boots seem to play fairly well into the odds. The rest is just being careful and situational aware. Early one January morning several years ago I was weed wacking our archery range getting ready for a practice session. I came up on this guy in the middle of the range. I was actually weed wacking him. I levitated away very quickly. He never moved, and I never saw or heard him rattle. He remained there for about an hour while we shot around him. He eventually slithered off. You just never know....
Since I started spending an exorbitant amount of time turkey hunting and working on hunting blind construction in Western Diamondback country these last 4 or 5 years, I began wearing my snake boots. A fall from a tree stand in 2015 which ended my season and should have ended much more than that. Because of it I went from hunting the pine trees on the mountain ridges of SE Oklahoma and its lurking Timber rattlers, cottonmouths and Copperheads, to hunting ground blinds and shooting houses along the river breaks and canyons of SW Oklahoma and its dozens of rattlesnake dens. Although in those first 40 years I never saw a timber rattler, I did however see many of the others. Out west though I have seen those dens and they are to close for my comfort level (only a few hundred yards) from my favorite stands. It has never occurred to me to not wear those boots, sure they can get awfully hot and wet inside. However It only takes one time to change your life. One day, one time in 2015 I failed to hook up the safety lanyard I was wearing to the tree. (What good does it do to wear a safety vest if you don't attach it?) It was on that day that I needed it the most. Murphy's Law has a way of finding the stupid.