Dealing With Snakes

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Everyone’s favorite topic of survival is snakes. Most people tend to hate these little belly crawlers. They are extremely dangerous, and are in every environment except the Tundra and some Pacific Islands. For the rest of the world, there is a snake there, and it is probably poisonous. Learning how to deal with snakes is very easy. The same method is used for all snakes regardless of species or whether it is venomous or not. The simple rule is control the head, control the snake.

There are two types of snakes, venomous and constrictors. The difference in the two is not what you think. A non-venomous snake is still very dangerous. The mouth of a non-venomous snake is filled with bacteria and should be avoided at all cost. If you get bit by a non-venomous snake then you should clean the wound as much as you can, and see a doctor as soon as possible.

Though there are only two types of snakes, there are numerous species of snakes in these two types. They all have similarities and very vast differences. Some are instantly recognizable and some are not so easy to recognize. A general rule to help identify a snake is the shape of its head. A oval shaped head means that it is probably not poisonous, and a diamond shaped head is an almost definite sign that the snake is poisonous. The venom glands on the side of its head causes it to be diamond shaped.

The Rattle Snake The Rattle Snake is probably the most recognized viper on the planet. Its most distinguished feature of course is its’ rattle. The collection of nestled globules on its tail gives it the rattle that you recognize so easily. Typically it grows to about 6 foot in length (however few make that large because of predators) and they grow wide as well. The most common species in the US is the Eastern and Western Diamond Back, and the Timber Rattle Snake.

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The Water Moccasin / Cotton Mouth The Cotton Mouth snake also known as the Water Moccasin, is probably the most aggressive snake in the United States. It does not grow very long but it does get wide. The largest Cotton Mouth I have seen is about 4 foot long. This snake is known for its aggressive behavior and hissing noise. Best idea with this snake is to kill it on sight. These snakes also like to bed in groups.

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The Coral Snake and the King Snake These two snakes are not related but in fact are tied together quite often. These two snakes are colored very similarly with the same tri-color pattern of red, yellow, and black. These two snakes are where the old saying “Red and Yellow deadly fellow, Red and Black friendly Jack” comes from. The Coral Snake is very poisonous and is colored red and yellow together. The King Snake is not poisonous at all and it typically non-aggressive. It is colored red and black touching.

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Python Another common snake in the United States is the Python. A long growing constrictor that can be very deadly to handle. Never deal with a large python. The larger the snake the more difficult it will be to handle. Pythons can grow up to 20 feet. If a 20 ft Python gets around you, without help you will die quickly. Pythons can be more dangerous than venomous snakes.

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Other Snakes
There are hundreds of types of snakes through out the world. Some are poisonous some are not. The truth is that all snakes are dangerous and should be handled very carefully. The safest method of dealing with a snake is to scout out the animal from a distance of at least 15 feet. Once you have established what kind of snake it is then you can establish the best method of handling it.

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Most snakes are going to stay away from human contact, however a snake is a wonderful meal. It is a strong protein rich meat and can sustain a person for a week from a small snake, and I have seen some that could probably sustain a single person for a month. Dealing with a snake is simple because all snakes have the same weaknesses.

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The Spine The spinal vertebrae of a snake is its method of movement. If you can disable these bones, you disable the snake. I typically use a distance method for this. A large rock with a jagged edge works well in this effort, however if you choose to use this method to disable the snake then it must be done in the first strike. Once you initiate this form of attack the snake will go into defensive mode. If the snake is a venomous one then it will become very dangerous because it can still do harm to you, if it is a constrictor then you have defeated the snake because you destroyed its main weapon. However it will still bite yous so be careful.

The Head The head of every snake is dangerous however if you can pin the head down, then you have completely subdued the snake. Once the snake is completely pinned down, sever the spinal column behind the head to kill the snake. Once you have killed it and the head is completely cutoff bury it at least 2 feet in the ground. A snakes head is extremely dangerous even after it is dead. The twitches of the nervous system after death will cause the head to continue to bite. By burying the head you will protect yourself from being bitten.

Snake Handling Equiptment Try to deal with a snake can be difficult. If you have a knife, then you have half of what you need to deal with a snake. By the way you should always have a knife. Find a stick roughly thick enough so that your fingers can touch while gripping it. The stick should have a V shape on one end to pin the head of the snake down. Once the V is behind the head, push the stick as deep into ground as possible to prevent the snake from escaping.

Snakes are dangerous and should always be treated as such.

As Always Folks; Prepare and Survive Todd Out

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2 responses to “Dealing With Snakes

  1. My husband just found…and killed a Cooper head. The snake was under some tall grass and a lawnmower.We have them terrible bad here, S.E , N.C He also just killed, yesterday…a water moccosin at our Humming bird feeder. Seems like we should have put out some burnt sulffer, that does seem to work at helping keeping the population down anyways. If you would know any really good answers to applying to our snake problem, please advise quickly!

    • Well I definitely feel your fear in this. Don’t worry dealing with snakes is very easy. There are several options open to you. First think of its predators. Maybe think of getting a cat. Unlike dogs, cats actually hunt snakes. It doesn’t really sound like it would work but time and time again growing up in the south I have seen cats keep the snakes at bay.
      If this is not an answer for you then you could of course go on the offensive and clear out their areas. This is easier said than done though. Understand that snakes just don’t happen into an area. They are hunting. Get rid of whatever little animals the snakes are hunting and remove the hiding places from the snakes then the ones you don’t kill should leave on their own. If you choose to clear out their living spaces then I suggest controlled fire. I’ve used controlled fires to clear out areas that I know snakes are in. In you choose this method do be careful.
      My final piece of advice is this, Don’t worry about the copper head. Chances are it was a single snake. Copper Heads are single animals. I have never seen more than one in nature so that is good news. However I have to caution you about Water Moccasins. If you have children or cattle then Water Moccasins are a concern. They are aggressive and should be dealt with aggressively. If you have a large problem then contact an exterminator. An exterminator that specializes in snake venom might even do it cheaply or free if he can sell the venom.
      Now remember even though these snakes are venomous, the chances of their bite being life threatening is relatively low. Your local hospital probably carries the anti-venom and if not can get it very easily.
      Remember to be careful and simply clear cut tall grass away from your home with a bush-hog or riding lawn mower. This will protect you from their bite and kill them plus clear out their hiding spots.
      Please be careful dealing with snakes, and by all means feel free to send me pictures if you want to identify any snakes.
      I hope this helps.
      -Todd

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