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SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2009/4/6 22:31
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I'm just curious: How many (if any) of you have been bitten by a poisonous snake in PA while fly fishing?

Posted on: 2009/7/8 9:14
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Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?
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Swatter,
I'd be willing to bet that the number of fishermen who would vote yes to this is extremely small, if any at all. In over 30 years of fishing I have never seen this happen nor met any fishermen who claimed to have seen this (someone actually bit by a venomous snake while fishing). Now, non-venomous snakes are another matter. In addition to being much more common, many folks can't differentiate between the two. I know a friend who claims with absolute sincerity to have been bitten by a moccasin while fishing in PA (there are NO moccasins in PA!). I did have a close call with a moccasin while fishing in Texas many years ago and some close calls with cobras when living overseas - but the truth is that venomous snakebites are rare in the US and the threat posed by them is, in my opinion, greatly exagerrated. We did have a forum member whose dog was recently bitten by a venomous snake but I would be surprised if anyone on this forum can demonstrate a genuine venomous snakebite while fishing.

Posted on: 2009/7/8 9:47


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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I have seen rattlers on trout streams in three of the states I lived in.PA.Va.Mt..
I suspect being acutely aware of them contributed to not being struck.
I do think the fascination with the subject is more helpful than some would have it.
Two times I have stepped ON rocks with rattlers under them.Both times I more than likely would have been hit if I had stepped next to them.

Posted on: 2009/7/8 10:14
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Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2007/1/2 11:55
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I have only ever seen one venomous snake in the wild, and I was not fishing.

It is a non-issue.

If I die from a venomous snake bite, put it on my headstone, because that's a pretty legendary way to go.

Posted on: 2009/7/8 10:24


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Avg. # of venomous bites = 7,000 annually
# of those bites deliberately provoked = 3,000
Percentage of annual snakebite victims who are white males between 19 & 30 = 50%
Percentage of annual snakebite victims who had a blood alcohol level greater than 0.1 = 40%
Percentage of bites in which the snake fails to inject venom = up to 50%

# of fatalities annually in US attributed to snakebites = 9 to 15

Avg. # of people who die from choking on an ink pen, annually, in the US = 100

Average # of deaths from lightning in the US annually = 67

Percentage of lightning deaths involving children or men ages 11-35 engaged in outdoor recreation or work = 85%. (Must mean that they do not have enough respect for nature to take precautions.)
Your odds of being killed if hit by lightning = 1 in 10.
The occurrences of lightning striking to humans is increasing as the population increases.

More sportsmen die getting to and from the field than by any other causes.
A hunter or a fisherman is the victim in one of every 3 boating fatalities. Annual total > 200.
Add the number that die wading and the total more than doubles.
Hypothermia during balmy autumn days happens many times. Caused by a combination of cool but not cold temps, wind-chill, wetness from rain/snow/immersion/perspiration and an unprepared victim.




Sheesh! Stay home, it's way too dangerous out there!

Link to source: http://www.westdenvertu.org/Fishing%2 ... SnakesBearsLightening.htm

Posted on: 2009/7/8 10:42


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Quote:
Percentage of annual snakebite victims who are white males between 19 & 30 = 50%
Percentage of annual snakebite victims who had a blood alcohol level greater than 0.1 = 40%


All probably prefaced by the statement, "Watch this...ahuh huh"

Posted on: 2009/7/8 11:04


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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my point was there would be a lot more bitten if we didn't have posts like this from time to time-tend to make you more careful in likely snake country-Pa. I think the nasty copperhead is more of a problem as they will line along fence lines and other brushy places not just rock outcroppings.

Posted on: 2009/7/8 11:25
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Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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And my point was that we'd have less to fear if those who make up a big part of the "how many have been bitten" statistic had used common sense when encountering one of these snakes thus reducing the number. BTW...for those of you who are deathly afraid of snakes... Turning tail and heading the other way could be considered a common sense response to a dangerous situation like encountering a poisonous snake.

Posted on: 2009/7/8 11:44


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Fly Swatter. Not me, and I doubt anyone else. I think 4 rattler sightings in my lifetime, 3 were while fishing. None were really a dangerous situation, I saw them before I was in striking range.

I was truly scared with a bunch of copperheads once, but I was working, not fishing. Saw close to 10 in a day, was cutting weeds back from an access road along a rocky slope near a river in SW PA. Hands close to rocks and such, it was hairy, or at least it felt that way. That day was still the only time I've ever seen a copperhead.

I've only had one "surprise" snakebite that happened when I wasn't playing with or handling the snake, a black racer that you know all about. :) Still got the picture, thanks for making it pose, my heart was still racing...

Someone on this board recently posted about their dog being bit while the owner was fishing, and thankfully the pooch made it. Thats probably as close as you'll get to a venomous bite story.

Posted on: 2009/7/8 12:55


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2006/9/10 11:16
From Harrisburg PA
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Never in PA, have only seen 1 copperhead in all my fishing, in Stoney Valley, Dauphin County. A friend and I saw a large, dead rattlesnake in Clarks Valley.

I was struck on my hiking boot by a water mcassin in south Georgia when I stepped on him while bass fishing. Too close for comfort!

Posted on: 2009/7/8 13:08


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13614
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we had 2 rattlers 13 and 15 rattles...big suckers...and a small copperhead all in the same weekend at camp a few years ago. It was fall and night s were cool. They kept coming out onto the road to warm up. The copperhead was under the oil tank.

Posted on: 2009/7/8 13:10


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 2626
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I was in the Pine Creek valley fishing while my wife sat down to read a book. She yelled when she sat down. She reached behind and pulled out what we would discover was a rattlesnake tooth from her butt.
Does that count as being bitten?

Posted on: 2009/7/8 13:21


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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we aren't deathly afraid of them Tom because the occasional discussion makes one more alert.lol

Posted on: 2009/7/8 13:42
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Obstrification> The fine art of confusing liberals.


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13614
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Quote:

pete41 wrote:
we aren't deathly afraid of them Tom because the occasional discussion makes one more alert.lol


several people in this thread have said they are deathly afraid of snakes. Pay attention.

Posted on: 2009/7/8 13:46


Re: SURVEY: Snake Atacks?

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2009/4/6 22:31
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Here's my $0.02:

Sure there are poisonous snakes in PA, but they are rare. In fact, the rattlesnake roundups I've been too have very few snakes.

I've been hunting, fishing and hiking northeastern and north central PA for over 40 years and I have seen 1 poisonous snake. That was on Penns Creek last year. I was so happy to see it I picked up a long stick and poked it for a few minutes. I got lots of photos and a short video of it.

I honestly think the snake phobia (unreasonable fear) folks exhibit is due in part to lack of knowledge and in part to primal fear.

Trust me when I say no snake wants to bite a human. They bite only in self defense. Why would they waste precious venom on a non-prey animal? Most rattlers will flee, given half a chance. Copperheads are known to be more aggressive.

A little knowledge of snake behavior goes a long way. Most pit vipers (rattlers & copperheads included) hunt at night. They will be more active in the early morning and late evening. In the morning, assuming the hunt was successful, they will sun themselves to increase their metabolism. Hard surfaces are efficient sunning platforms. Keep your hands off of rock ledges, especially those exposed to sunlight (good sunning areas).

When not hunting or sunning, they will hide. They like to hide under logs and rocks. Don't step over logs without poking around with a stick. You can even use a stick to sweep leaf litter and tall weeds if you are concerned about the presence of venomous snakes.

With a little common sense, knowledge and a walking stick the vast majority of snake bites can be avoided. Keep your eyes and ears open.

It may be wise to use the web to learn more about venomous snake behavior before hitting the stream. You may find the knowege more valuable than snake chaps.

The snakes are out there, but they should be objects of respect, not abject fear.

Posted on: 2009/7/8 16:30
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