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I’m from upstate New York but my grandchildren live in a suburb of Pittsburgh..Allegany Co. I’ve been seeing some posts by an individual on the Stickbow site who’s in the woods a lot in the north central mountains area...Moshannon, etc. He mentions wearing snake boots and so apparently encounters rattlers periodically. My question is for anyone around the Allegheny Co.....should I be concerned about taking a 7 year old hiking in the woods down there from a snake perspective? He loves going in the woods. One of the areas I take him is a well drained hillside, some rocks, lots of the usual logs and sunny. He found his first shed antler in April. Personally I’ve hiked probably over a hundred hours down there for sheds in the burbs and never seen a snake. WhTs the upshot? Thanks.
Don't know about Allegheny Co. But I know they are thick in the North Central part of the state.
My advice would be if you don't want to buy snakeboots, then use a hiking staff in front of you as you walk and poke around with it anywhere you intend to step or reach if you go off trail or in vegetation where you cannot see!(The idea is if you startle or get too close to a snake, it will likely strike the first thing that gets near it- better the hiking staff than your leg ;-)
I always wear snakeboots when I am in the woods now- had a run-in last year up near Benezette and don't care to go thru THAT again!
There are rattle snakes in a few areas in Western Pa. I've never heard of any near Allegany county. I've hunted for a long time in Mercer county that has Pigmy rattle snakes but have never seen one. You should worry more about ticks than snakes. That being said a fella told me his dog got bit by a rattler and died just north of Mercer while pheasant hunting. The place he was hunting is called "Rattle Snake Swamp" by the locals.
A rattle snake no, a copperhead possibly but would be a very rare. A lot of people thing every snake they encounter is poisonness. Now on the other the hand Pittsburgh is being known for being "gatorsburgh" lately. ;) Also been quite a few rabid animals ( 16 raccoons I believe) in and around the burg so use caution if you encounter one.
Thanks for those replies....they’re quite helpful. Yes my youngest grandson (4 years old) had a tick in him a month ago. Yeah I think maybe I’ll defer our woods activities until fall and early spring before the ground really warms up. Thanks again.
Been living in Allegheny County for all of my 62 years,never saw a rattler or copperhead. LOTS of ticks though!
Yes. We have rattlers here in Latrobe and the Loyalhanna Creek Gorge from Latrobe to New Alexandria has a very high population of copperheads. There are areas around Monroeville that had rattlers in the past, but very few folks tread in that area today.
All my years hunting here I have not seen a rattler. Lots of garter and black snakes....occasional rat snake, and growing up, we did have a small copperhead make its way into our basement one fall. Ticks are definitely more worrisome but if you treat your clothes with Sawyers or similar and spray exposed skin with 20-25% deet sprays, you'll be fine while out and about. Get out there with those boys and root around....some of my best memories are hanging with my neighborhood buddies in the woods behind the house, spending hrs catching crawdads and salamanders and filling up an old aquarium....only to find only the larger crawdads still alive in the morning!!
I work at a VA Hospital and they found a copperhead in the office next door to our clinic this morning. It was coiled in the corner of the room when the clerk walked in.
Never thought I’d need my snakeboots at work! (especially Inside the building! ;-)
All them snakes want a piece of you, Perry.
I’m starting to wonder RC...............GEEZ!!!!!!!
Scared of a little copperhead... geez what a sissy pants.
If you're worried about snakes make sure you know if an area you are planning to hike is known for a snake population and if there are any areas to be more careful in. Like said above, in most areas I'd be more worried about ticks but keep your eyes open and explain to little ones not to grab a snake without looking. Even non-venomous snakes can deliver a painful bite to a child and they can carry nasty virus' also.
LOL! Yep- that’s right Spider! I ain’t going thru THIS @&$%# AGAIN! (IF I can help it! ;-)
Good point SPider- they carry viruses AND bacteria! A woman got bit by a copperhead a couple weeks ago down near Reading, PA. Spent a couple days in the hospital and was released. Couple days after being released she was back in the ER with a secondary bacterial infection from the bite.
I’m a sissy pants, and every time I hang cameras now in the summer and early fall, I think about Rut. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!!!!
Hope you’re wearing snakeboots Jay!
yeah. Like I've told my kids since they were old enough to go for hikes with me. "watch where your toes go" It's amazing how many folks walk around in the woods and never look down. They're usually the guys that will hike in a forest they know has a large population of rattlesnakes but still jump over a stream without looking, LOL! Armor is good, being aware is better.
I WAS looking, Spider! Of course I didn't know there was a yellow color phase. I was looking for a much darker one. Only other one I had ever seen before was a dark color phase that I spotted 50 ft away. Unfortunately the yellows blend in much better in vegetation.
And I didn't jump- I stepped over the trickle of water running thru the swamp/grass. I think this one would have stood out like a sore thumb there.
That snake wouldn't have been able to spot spider in tall grass:)
Prolly would of thought he was a ground mole or a mouse:)
Spider is the only guy I know who needs climbing sticks to get up on a bar stool..
He could prolly use these as hip boots! ;-)
Here's a story similar in some respect to yours.
Thanks for the link Phil. Very interesting! I'd say it's VERY similar. Snake never rattled, bit him in a very remote area, took a long time to get anti-venom, spent 8 days in the hospital and close to $500,000 in medical bills. Brings back a lot of memories and emotions reading his story.
He never states exactly, but it sounds like he was very close, if not AT that "magic window" of 6 hrs(to get the first dose of anti-venom). Probably why his symptoms sounded a little worse than mine and almost had to amputate his leg. And why it took him longer to get back on his feet.
I can relate to his desire to go back to the site to get "closure". I will probably do that myself next month. Would also be nice to meet some of the folks that helped me that day and express my deep appreciation.
As stated in the article: "Rattlesnakes don’t want to bite people. They don’t even want to be seen. Sometimes we just step on a piece of bad luck."
Rut, you still whining about a little snake bite?
LOL! Yeah, didn’t you know Brad.............I’m a big “Sissy Pants!” ;-)