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Field Safety Tips

By Bayou Bob

It is never possible to avoid all snakes! Almost every part of the U.S. is represented by some species of snakes, including at least one poisonous type. At any given time in any location, a person can encounter a snake!

The very extreme cold climates tend to be less suitable for any enduring population. In the vast majority of locales, people and snakes simply will come together now and again. Usually it is the snake that regrets the encounter! Yet is relatively simple to minimize the likelihood of having a severe or negative adventure with snakes! There are plenty of wild stories out there to captivate the minds of those whose time is still yet to come with such an encounter. These stories get embellished over time and soon the range of terror and fear are boundless! Most stories are based in pure exaggeration and often are founded in the fear of the beholder themselves in that moment of lost control when confronted by a live snake.

With a little care and self training, coupled with a dose of good common sense, there is small reason to ever fear the out-of-doors at all! Think about all the defenses that may be pressed into service during any outing to assist at either allowing the snake to escape away early, or promoting the person's ability to stay in control of any menacing factors or dangerous variables. This is all quite easy to accomplish! Check the thirteen essentials below!


1. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Don't just blindly wander through woods, weeds, trails, bushes, and the like.

2. Avoid specific snake habitats like brush piles, debris mounds, logjams, root systems, abandoned buildings, watery areas, "cover" in general. Remember, they may be anywhere else also!

3. Wear leather shoes or boots at least ankle high or better when walking in suspected snake country.

4. Never sit or climb (feet and hands), or step over obstacles anywhere without first looking carefully prior to taking the move.

5. Observation is critical to avoidance - learn to check around with a sweeping glance for anything that seems out of place, for this may be your subconscious notice of a camouflaged critter lurking close by.

6. Near water of any kind, be aware that many species "hang out" there and will likely be quite hidden from view while they are sleeping or hunting - just be more alert.

7. Remember that snakes have needs for shelter, water, and food basically in that order just to survive, so be aware of these "needs" and be alert when these are especially present in any combination. Learn to recognize food favorites of the species in your area so that when you know the food animal's habits, you also know those of the snakes!

8. Try not to stalk along quietly as snakes have many sensing devices to warn them of your presence - let these work freely with noise, movements, etc. and thus not make the snake think it may be the target of a predator when it would need to become more aggressive!

9. Take a pet along on outings since these animals have a much more effective set of senses when it comes to snakes - a point guard is often a good confidence builder and may serve as a beneficial warning.

10. When a snake is spotted, leave it alone! So many bite victims have chosen to hit the snake or try to catch it. Remember, where there is one, there are likely others! Be alert!

11. Learn more about snakes in the area where you live or play so that you better understand their capabilities and behaviors.

12. Learn basic snakebite first aid. Prepare yourself and always expect the unexpected. Here is basic snake bite first aid information.

13. Be in tune with your environment - know that most critters, including snakes, try to avoid human contact. Practice skills that make you more aware of what is happening and what critical conditions are present as you move through the fields and streams.

Happy Trails!


Authored by CONCISE COMMUNICATIONS. This page last updated on 06/14/97.
Copyright 1997 CONCISE COMMUNICATIONS & TNE, Inc. All rights reserved.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
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