Snake Season again, be careful!
Last Post 09 Jun 2018 03:13 PM by LEO LORENZ. 7 Replies.
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Benjamin CrainUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
Posts:337



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12 May 2018 07:38 PM

     

    As a Texan I am super cautious about snakes and thought I would be the last person to ever get bit, WRONG. Heading to my truck off the claim I heard a hiss but no rattle and felt a sting on my leg. I thought maybe a wasp or hornet had gotten in my jeans and stung me right above the boot level so I checked my jeans and there was nothing there so I continued to my truck and drove home. While driving I noticed my vision was as if I was looking through a fog, that and I felt terrible. So when I get home I pull out a chair to sit down and briefly brush my leg on the leg of the table and it felt like somebody shot me. At this point I can barely get my jeans off because my calf had swollen and I had a lime sized knot surrounded by bruising under the skin. My Doctor wrote me a script for a antibiotic but at this point the damage was done. 

     

    My wife went to get the script and I passed out in bed, the two puncture holes were clear as day so I had my wife take a marker and circle the knot and the bruising to see how the wound progressed. I stayed in bed for two days feeling terrible, but my entire leg continued to keep bruising. Finally I started feeling better and went back to the claim, BIG MISTAKE. I wake up and lower leg is virtually black so I went straight to the ER. They were shocked to say the least and the poison control Doctor was even geeking out over the bite and the pictures I allowed the ER Doctor to take. 

     

    I got bit by a baby, no rattle, and just big enough to hit me right above the boot. Anti-venom treatment was going to cost over $40K so I refused and since a week after the bite I was still alive I just went for Physical Therapy and continued antibiotics.

     

    So, if you are in snake country wear your gaiters, it's the little snakes you are most likely to get bitten by because you wont see or hear them.

    Paul E TabolinskyUser is Offline
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
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    04 Jun 2018 11:38 AM
    Anti-venom treatment was going to cost over $40K so I refused
    Wow ! thats lots of cash. Glad you survived. Let us know how your doing now (June 2018).
    LEO LORENZUser is Offline
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    04 Jun 2018 12:11 PM
    gee Ben good to hear you are doing better! Can you advise the height of the boots you were wearing?? Were they just like high tops going just above the ankles? I usually have a pair of boots on that come just below my knee, but I still wonder if a brushed against some sage bush that might have a snake in it up a foot off the ground...but maybe they dont do that.  Would they typically strike just above the ankles, if they are on the ground?



    Leo
    ARTHUR WAUGHUser is Offline
    Buzzard
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    05 Jun 2018 07:27 AM

    Don't kid yourselves.....when I was about 15-16 we were collecting sunstones out of Plush, OR.  Had a 3 footer come out of a 2 foot high sage bush after I ticked it with the rock hammer when reaching under it for a stone.  They will get in bushes to find shade on a hot day.

     

    Almost stepped on a 10 incher one evening at dusk back then too.

     

    Both went to the happy biting grounds in a big hurry.

    OHV/Recreation Representative, John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council, BLM--- President, Wolfpack 4x4's, Region 5, Pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association--- Member- Mid Valley Prospectors, Brownsville, OR chapter GPAA, Willamette Valley Miners, Bohemia Mine Owners Association
    Benjamin CrainUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
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    08 Jun 2018 08:57 AM
    My leg still has some swelling issues but the bruising is gone now, you cant believe how much this knocked me down.
    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
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    08 Jun 2018 03:35 PM
    MOTHER HUBBARD....
    WOW

    That does not look like ANY fun
    Just glad you survived to show n tell the story
    What is the time line for a serum to make a difference ?

    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    Benjamin CrainUser is Offline
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    09 Jun 2018 09:06 AM
    The anti-venom is not available everywhere, so if you get bit you may have to be life flighted to a hospital that has it. When I talked with the poison control doctor a week after my bite they told me they could fly me to Grand Junction where they could administer it because even after a week I still had a lot of venom in my system. Turns out the half life of the venom is between 36-72hrs depending on bite site and metabolism. The one that got me was a Western Midget Faded Rattlesnake, you cant see them because the perfectly match the reddish brown rock and sand, and you cant hear them even when full grown because their rattle is so small. All I ever heard was a hiss. My body was able to process out the venom but it took time and I should have gone to the hospital once I realized I was bit. I will eventually develop a hole in my leg from the necrotic tissue. There have been several fatalities from bites this year and one guy cut the head off of one and then picked it up and it bit him after the head was cut off, they can still bite 6 hours after you cut the head off. That guy survived with 26 doses of anti-venom at $4000.00 per dose. I remember last year a guy got bit here in Colorado and was dead within a hour and a half even after getting life flighted out. Sometimes they will open your leg up with a scalpel to allow the swelling to not cut off the blood supply and put you on dialysis to get the damaged red blood cells out without the kidneys shutting down.

    To answer Leo's question about the boot height, I was wearing regular issue Army boots 8" in height. Down in West Texas we wear a boot that is almost knee high.

    Depending on where you are prospecting you should know the type of snakes in the area before you start, this year we have come across four Midget Faded and one Massasauga Rattlesnakes. The one that bit me was the deadliest and also the type that bit one of friends dogs on the nose, luckily they got him to the vet in time and he survived.

    Also be aware that they do make a vaccine for rattlesnakes for dogs, which we have done for ours now that we see how many snakes are in the area. We had a chapter member lose a Rottweiler to a bit a few years back.
    LEO LORENZUser is Offline
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    09 Jun 2018 03:13 PM
    Bill you are lucky and I hope you heal as quickly as possible. What you just described should make people pay attention at all times to what they are doing. these snakes can be anywhere in the most unexpected way. Last year we were out north of Rye Patch camping in May. It was about 3 in the afternoon and we were sitting around under our canopy drinking a few beers, bs'ing and just relaxing since it was too hot to be out detecting. There was a large sage bush right off the corner post of the canopy tent. We were sitting right next to our camp table when all of a sudden we heard this noise, and I thought one of the propane tank lines ruptured. Then my buddies son jumped over and grabbed his dad from the chair he was sitting in.


    Then we saw what was making the noise and just a foot away from where my friend was sitting a moment ago, was a diamond back rattler about 3 1/2 foot long. He had jumped out from the sage bush that was near us. Gee...the way that happened so quickly, now made me much more careful as it was the first one we ever encountered in the area. And ....we were the last humans that thing would ever see as well. I have snake boots that come up to below my knee, but heck, when your in camp, you tend to take that stuff off. One of our other friends comes out sometimes with us and he runs around camp in his flip flops. Stupid is as stupid does
    Leo
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