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Scree - February 03, 2011


A Friend's Leg Swollen from a Snakebite (ouch!!!) - (RJ & April's Pic)


A Chattanooga man recently died from a copperhead bite to his arm. From the Chattanooga Free Press, the man who died was a "wildlife enthusiast" and was checking a friend's snake to determine the snake's sex. The snake bit him.

Since Boy Scout days, I have heard that a copperhead's bite was venomous, but was not lethal. Even with this knowledge I have always tried to avoid confronting copperheads or any other snakes.

However, a friend of mine and I were riding down a road at night years ago, when he said, "did you see that copperhead?"

I said, "no."

He stopped the truck, backed up, and walked back to find the copperhead. Reluctantly, I followed him. Face to face with the snake he offered the snake the sole of his shoe, it struck the sole recoiled and struck again. By, then I was headed back to the truck, ready to call 911.

The snake tired of the taste of rubber, headed off into the woods. My friend rejoined me in the truck.

"Are you insane?" I inquired.

He proceeded to tell me all he knew about copperheads and how their bites were little more than a bee sting to a normal, healthy person.

I have known two people who have recently been bitten by a copperhead. Neither acted as if it was a pleasant experience. Now with this man's tragic death, the seriousness of copperhead bite has to be elevated to a potentially dangerous level (especially for someone who had been previously bitten).

My dog, Jake and I have developed a different strategy than for snake encounters than those used by snake handlers. Jake and I see and identify the snake. Then, without acknowledging the snake's presence, we move quickly as far away as possible! If we don't acknowledge their presence and don't do anything dumb like shoving a boot in their face, then we feel as if the snake will leave us alone. It might not be the best plan; but so far it has worked for us!

Our sympathy to the family and friends of Wade Westbrook (the deceased.)