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Poisonous Snakes in New York

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    Poisonous Snakes in New York

    Many hikers from Long Island do not realize that there are poisonous snakes north of Long Island.

    There are three species of poisonous snakes in New York - the Timber Rattlesnake, the Eastern Massasauga, and the Copperhead.

    All three are uncommon. The Timber Rattlesnake is considered "threatened", and the Eastern Massasauga is considered "endangered".

    Timber Rattlesnakes are found mainly in the southeastern part of the state. It has scattered populations as north as Lake George and along the Southern Tier in western New York.

    The Eastern Massasauga habitats only two wetland locations. One is located northeast of Syracuse and the other is west of Rochester.

    The Copperhead is mainly found along the lower Hudson Valley south of Kingston and scattered through the Catskills.

    Articles on Resources, Habitat, Wildlife and the Natural World

    Hikers concerned about poisonous snakes should wear thick leather hiking boots which go above the ankle. Most strikes are at ankle height, and fangs rarely penetrate thick leather hiking boots.

    Also, never place your limbs on a ledge, or under logs/rock formations, because a snake may be basking in the sun or hiding underneath.

    If you encounter a poisonous snake you should stay at least 5-6 feet away. Snakes can strike about 1/3 to 1/2 of their body length.

    Move slowly away from the snake. Snakes strike at movement and heat. If the snake’s head is raised, and its tail is rattling, it is preparing to strike.

    If someone is bitten by a poisonous snake, ignore what you learned from movies.

    Do NOT cut the skin, try to suck out the venom with your mouth, or apply a tourniquet.

    If you cut the skin, you will open capillaries which will create a direct route into the bloodstream, where the poison will travel.

    If you suck the poison with your mouth, you risk being poisoned, especially if you have cuts or open sores in your mouth.

    Applying a tourniquet will cut off blood flow completely and may result in a loss of the affected limb. In addition, a tourniquet will concentrate the venom in one place, increasing the likelihood of localized tissue damage

    Instead, you should try to remove the venom using a manual suction device (ex. Sawyer’s “The Extractor”).

    Also, apply a lightly constricting wrap (a bandanna, torn clothing, etc.) approximately 2" above and below the bite. The purpose of the wrap is to restrict lymphatic flow, not blood. Therefore, it should be no tighter than the “rubber band” used when donating blood).

    Try to keep the person still and keep the bitten limb lower than the rest of the body. This will slow down the movement of the venom to the torso where cardiovascular and kidney failure can occur.

    Have someone contact the hospital so they can prepare and obtain the necessary anti-venom (ex.“CroFab”).

    Some snake bite are “dry” (no venom was released). Dry bites happen approximately 25% of the time.

    If a person is envenomated, he/she will feel the effects within 15 minutes. The bite area will swell rapidly. There may be a drop in blood pressure, breathing problems, sweating, numbness, and vomiting

    Note that some “expert” sources state that suction devices waste time, and should only be used if medical help is more than an hour away. However, if I was bitten, I would want as much of the poison removed as soon as possible, rather than hope I get to the hospital on time.

    Information about snakes in the Catskill Mountains. Special section on the Northern Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake.

    MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- A Rockvale man discovered that Western films aren't a good source of emergency medical advice for a snakebite. Mike Edwards, 46, was bitten by a timber rattlesnake Saturday while working on his Rockvale farm. The bite was so severe that Edwards was kept at Vanderbilt...

    This summer has been warm and wet. There are high populations of rodents. All these things snakes enjoy. Notice the saddle-like brown markings against a lighter tan background on this copperhead. The snake also has a wide triangular shaped head. These can be mistaken for common water snakes. Luckily we only have two species of snakes that ...

    timberrattle.jpg emassasauga.jpg ncopperhead.jpg de0c070f-1983-40a2-980a-ce370ee15278_1_d0301ae8a179c7dfec59a684dc00cfd5.jpg


    “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are." - Benjamin Franklin


      Fuckn' A!!! ^^^


        Snakes scare me


          There is a 4 foot long copper head hanging out around my hose in the back yard. My wife says it's just a garter snake, but she's a girl and doesn't know about snakes. This thing is menacing me daily.
          Africa Part 2: May 2018


            My dog killed a garter snake last week what a battle. He threw it in the pool when he was done and I got stuck fishing out his half dead body


              My family had a 8 ft. Florida Indigo for 21 years when I was growing up. The nicest snake you'd ever want to meet. Only ate chicken necks and snappers (blue fish).
              I've never seen a rattler in the wild.


                When I went to India my son had a lot of fun playing with a cobra. It only cost me $2.50 U.S. currency. I hear Disney World will soon have a similar attraction.


                  Wtf was that?


                    When I was in South Africa, I kept asking about snakes... I was told they only have cobras there (as if I should feel safer).
                    This of course came from the same PH that said I should "shoo" any rhino's I encountered away with a wave.
                    Africa Part 2: May 2018


                      Originally posted by Rubbermittens View Post
                      Wtf was that?
                      Perfectly safe. The cobra's mouth was sewn shut


                        I caught and kept two Pygmy rattlesnakes when I lived in Florida. I was always on the lookout for a diamondback but no luck. The pygmys were cool. I would toss a mouse in the tank it would get bitten once and be dead in less then 20 seconds. I heard that their venom is more poisonous( ounce for ounce) then a Diamondbacks. I let them go when I moved back up here full time.
                        "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction" R.R.


                          Can you suck out the poison of someone gets shot in the ass check with a poison tipped arrow?


                            I hear there's a big snake in Ronkonkoma. The Blair Viper.


                              Timber rattlers are annoying little bastards that love leaf piles. My neighbor's property in Sullivan is almost infested with them. He lost 1 dog to a bite and had another bitten in the past 5 years.

                              I've seen both while hiking before, but they're not common enough to make me wear snake boots while hunting.