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Snake Guards - Survey


Guest bedrock bob

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Guest bedrock bob

Now that it is cold out and we can talk about it, how about those snake guards?

I know a lot of fellows wear them (I never have) and I was wondering if there were any of you that have actually fended off a bite using these. I know several guys that have been bit, only one while prospecting. Most cases I know of were while dove hunting or just around the house. None of these bites would have been prevented by snake guards because none of them were from the knee down.

A rattlesnake generally bites as high as he can and aims for the crotch. I have seen hundreds of bites on livestock and it is usually on the udder or the belly (bites on their legs usually dont show). I have seen deer tackle a rattler many times and the rattler always stands up as tall as he can to get a bite on the body instead of the leg. Save for one back of the leg strike from under a staircase, the people bites I know of have all been on the hand, fingers, or upper thigh (one on the cheek). I have been struck at plenty and it has always been as high as the snake could reach... Knee or above. I have never heard of a case where a guy has been bit from the knee down, on the front of the leg, even though it seems the most likely.

So, any of you fellers ever have snake venom running down your shin guards? Any of you wear a baseball cup to protect the plums?

Bedrock Bob

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I have to agree,because I have noticed the same thing.

We have had horses that got snake bit. Most are high on

the front leg,neck ,or muzzle. They get bit on the neck or

muzzle while grazing.

The snakes I run into could strike you between the eyes,

and ain't the ankle biter size. I don't trust those knee high

snake guards either. They are better than nothing,but not

fool proof.

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Someone on one of the forums posted very recently that they'd been struck on their gaiters...Don't remember who or which forum, though, CRS being as it is... :confused0092: I sometimes wear them, especially in the spring when the rattlers are most aggressive and pissy...I have encountered rattlers while wearing the gaiters, but never struck at (that I know about :confused0013: )...When it gets really hot, I hunt during the heat of the day and generally find the snakes too smart to be out in the heat..post-9-1229988257.gif.post-9-1229988472.gifI do find the gaiters help me out with the chollas and spanish daggers and such and wear them for that reason 'bout as much as the snakes....Yesterday it was pretty warm in the washes at LSD and I found a few areas that were really protected and downright hot...It was a snakey wash area that I have found lots of rattlers in over the years...Fact, it's been dubbed "Baby Snake Patch" 'cause it seems to be a hatching or birthing area for Joe NoShoulders...I have seen rattlers in every month of the year at LSD, though not every month every year...Cheers, Unc

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I've not known anyone thats been hit below the knees on guards and luckily all but one rattler we have come across

was nasty and all bent outta shape over nothing. However, we wear heavy gaiters mainly ( for my reasoning whether that be accurate or not )

for hunting around small low scrub. Over in the hills around L.A theres tons of that knee to thigh high scrub but with a foot clearance or so, from the base before it all grows. We were concerned that you may be cutting between say two bushes or just not looking while waving the wand and back up to a bush,

and get hit around the shin / calve area by a wiggly that doesn't have an open strike area higher up.

I like to think that in the open, we will spot Mr Wiggle...but my wife standing on one while walking down an open trail kinda negates that theory

to some degree....Oh..and the one she walked straight past while still yakking away ( missed its tail by about a foot ) until I told her to stop, and

see what she missed....AND...the one she thought was a stick.......

I wonder if they have full-body gaiters?

HH - Johnny

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You know I cant thank you enough about this question. As a noob, I have been pondering :hmmmmmm: the validity of snake guards and asked for a pair for Christmas. So let me get a definitive opinion from you older moss backs(joke from another posting)....................are you saying that snake guards should be worn for the whole leg? All the way up to the hips?

I used to kill my share of moccasins back in Florida, but it was at the hard end of a shovel.

Not wanting to get bit for fear of another Heart attack :Huh_anim]: , I would value your opinions to say......save my life? :bowdown:

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Guest bedrock bob

I wonder if they have full-body gaiters?

HH - Johnny

In Juarez you can get a back rub, a warm beer and full body gaiter for $20 if you know where to go.

A couple of years ago I got a new dog. His name is Wally. He is half rottweiler, half labrador, and half mountain gorilla. One afternoon we went out to get in the Land Cruiser and I realized I had forgot the keys. I went inside and he of course stayed by the truck so that I could not get away without him. I was inside the house for 5 minutes. I came back outside with the keys and Wally was standing there with his mouth open and his head was swollen up as big as a basketball. I threw him up in the truck and by the time we made it the 40 minutes or so to the vet he was having a whole lot of trouble breathing. The vet told me that he would need antiventin (usually they just catheterize their nose and treat them with Benadryl and antibiotics). He was bit on the gums and was fading fast. The vet held up a vial of snake juice and informed me that it would cost $650 for the antiventin and another $1000 for the treatment and prophylaxis.

At that point I realized that after you have been bitten by a snake it is a poor time to haggle over the price of antiventin.

Wally made it. Two days later when the swelling went down the skin on his big old head was loose and floppy and hung darn near to the ground. He used up a whole lifetime of vet bills in one afternoon though. I am afraid if he gets bit again he is a goner. About a week later (after searching for the snake every night) I was coming in the back door and I just caught a glimpse of that snake out of the corner of my eye as he struck at me. He was right next to the step. I did not get bit because I jumped on top of the washing machine six feet inside the door.

At that point I realized that snake venom makes it difficult to keep your ass hole closed even if it just gets near you.

We have several varieties here in NM and all of them look, act, rattle and strike differently. Fall is the worst, although you can see one any time it is over 50 degrees for 24 hours (That is what I am told by a guy that insisdted he knew about it. Sounds logical to me). The small ones are more active in cooler weather because they have less body mass to warm up. The larger ones need more heat so their seasons are shorter. In the north the only type I have ever seen is the prarie rattler. Down south there are lots of different kinds including the sidewinder, which has horns above their eyes and are generally a white snake. No rattles either, just some wierd scales that they rub together. All of them are more apt to be active during the day, but they like a nice cool temperature so when it gets hot they will often be out at night.

When I was a kid I used to hunt rattlesnakes and mount the skins, sell them to the tourists and ranchers to hang on the wall. We would hang the meat and bones up in the shade and catch the oil that dripped off in a vial. The dairy would use this oil to treat pinkeye in the cattle (old Mexican antibiotic). When the meat dried we would peel it off the bones like jerky and crush it up and put it in gel cap pills and sell it at the market (old Mexican beauty and health aid). We would then clean and bleach the bones and string it with turquoise to make jewelry (old Mexican tourist junk). The fangs are connected to a bone in their head and these make cool earrings (offering to a mexican maiden, but tequilla is more effective).

So there is my snake trivia.

Bedrock Bob

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Bob...Great story....er...um...so you would recommend gaiters? or just have a dog thwt gets bit before you do? :laught16:

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I wear 18" high gortex snake proof boots. They are not insulated so they don't get hot in the summer. I have never had a snake strike at them that I know of, but aside from that they give me great ankle support when I am climbing and they will keep me dry when I am in a creek. So even if a snake never does test them for me they are still worth it. They apparently help me to jump far, because one day climbing as I put my foot on a rock that was near a crevice I heard that warning sound loud and clear and must have jumped backward a good ten feet or so. Never did see the snake, he went his way and I went mine. Bob

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It sounds by reading these posts a whole lot of guys have spent a whole lot of money on snake guards that are for the most part useless.

If most bites are above the knees would leather chaps be heavy enough to protect you ?

Another question I have is anyone other than me having trouble with an external speaker without a built in amp with their 4500? I know a speaker with a built amp cannot be used with the 4500 because of the built amp in the battery of the 4500. :feedback:

Wishing you and your Family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. :xmas-smiley-031:

If you see this old Seabee on my Can Am two-up with two red milk cartons for baskets out in the LSD stop and chat a while.

John

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My understanding is that Leather chaps would NOT ne heavy enough. I recall many old cowboy stories that talk about rattlers piercing them. Chaps were mainly used for brush popping against the thorns

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Guest bedrock bob

Well, I am of the mind that they may not help. Some guys would buy a pair and they would stop a bite the first day. If I wore a pair I would get bit on the butt putting them on. Having some experience in really snake infested areas my strategy is to walk really slow, look really carefully, and visually be sure. I walk with a stick (or a ski pole with a neodymium magnet) if I dont have a detector. Especially in prarie grass that I cant see through.

By the way a rattlesnake sounds off really good on a Gold Bug II... Just thought I would throw that one in there... Just like a weak hot rock, or your hand.

But that is why I brought up the discussion. To see if there were fellows that could say they have stopped a bite.

If I were to protect myself effectively from snakebite I would cover the thighs and groin area as well as the legs. I have a pair of "snake proof pants" but they dont fit me, and I really do not believe they would stop a bite. Those fangs are SHARP and a snake can strike HARD. Maybe for little ones, I dont know.

A bite is really bad. Things swell WAY up, turn black, and what does not fall off on its own has to be removed as it rots away months later. This is if you get the venom, which they say is only injected once in an average of three bites. But then when a snake strikes he does not strike just once, he strikes many times very quickly looking for a soft spot. He does not want to waste venom on a gristly leg with no circulation. He makes several hits looking for a juicy spot. Once he hits paydirt he delivers the juice. So, the area that a shin guard would cover, would seem to me to be his least likely target, and the least likely bite to have venom. Or at least that is the way that I am seeing it. Who knows?

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Well I'll tell you this, I have been out about 30 times...yeah still a virgin tho...and I have yet to even see a snake. Now I like that and consider myself lucky.....but I hope it continues :hmmmmmm:

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It sounds by reading these posts a whole lot of guys have spent a whole lot of money on snake guards that are for the most part useless.

John

Snake Guards are not useless. Wouldn`t you rather have them and not need them, then to need them and not have them?? Alot of us detect way out in the boonies sometimes miles from our vehicles; and our vehicles are usually miles from any hospital or civilization. If you get bit by a Mojave Rattlesnake 2 miles from your vehicle you are in serious trouble. 50 bucks buys a little sense of security , but obviously you still need to be aware of your surroundings. On most occasions you will see or hear the threat before you step on, or near the rattlesnake.

To say that snakes mosty bite at or above the knees is rediculous. Snakes arent very mythodical in their actions. They will bite where they will bite. Most often it is a random strike in a basically fumbled attempt to actually hit something that is threatening the snake.I think snake bite locations are random ,and certainly uncalculated. Whatever part of the body or animal that is the closest to the striking range of the snake will get bit at first , only because it was there.

Most snakes I come across in the field are shorter that 3 foot, and generally speaking they usually only strike about half the distance of the length of thier body. My kneecap is 20" from the ground, so statistically (from what I have witnessed, and size of most snakes) most of the bites I could have recieved would have been from the knees and below if the snake was at ground level.

So basically in response to the question: Yes, snake guards should be worn, and are very warranted. Knee high ones are fine, If you chose to go bigger than thats your choice. Out here in the desert hunting in the summer with full length gaitors would be very uncomfortable.

How much is your life worth to you ??... I dont even have to think about spending the 55 bucks. I wear them ,and hope I never need them.

Later guys...

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I wear them, all the time, had a couple of really close calls last year, the snakes did not strike, but I did not see them until I had steped over two of them on a flat rock, sunning themselves, a couple of years back in Mojave, one had me pinned against a wall of sand, with no where to go, a very agressive Mojave rattler. I ended up killing it, and if I could have gotten out of the way I would have. But like I said, no choise. I will kill them if I feel theres no other choise, but have walked around many that were not . Now one year a Bagby, I killed 26 that were a danger not only to me, but our customers. Grubstake Better to have them and not need them, than need them and not have them!

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Oye Roberto,

We wear the guards mainly to protect our legs from the accacia, cactus, and catclaw. I never had any problems with Blacktails and Westerns, even in the thick jungle of Sonoran desert that grows between Wilcox and Oracle Junction where you can't see that seven footer but, you darn sure can hear him! And out in the White Tanks, where sometimes it seems like you can't walk a hundred feet without yet another extremely pissed-off three-footer. again, you can always see or hear them, well ahead of time. However..........................Along the San Pedro river, I have seen a whole bunch of nasty, evil, two-foot Mojave Greens that will agressively seek YOU out. They don't like to rattle, and they would prefer to get you after you've sat down to rest from your hike, or when you reach for your backpack after your rest. If they can't have their druthers, they'll go for your leg, and being that they don't have much length, they're not likely to reach above your knee. This is where the Gaiters shine. This is also true out at Franconia, where some mornings I have seen three sidewinders in an hour. Frequently the sidewinder is in the SAME bush as my boot and leg. This means he can't be seen till I move a side of the bush to make room for my coil. Have I been hit? Don't know - I was too busy moving the brush with my leg and boot and detecting to notice but, I FEEL much better with the gaiters on as know these little anke-biters don't strike too high either. So in answer to your query, even though the larger rattlers don't give a rats ass if I've got leg protection, I can concentrate on my hunting without worrying about the smaller rattlers that I'm not likely to see or hear. Just my two cents.

Regards, Ben

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Walking across rock piles can be bad. One day while hiking behind a friend, down the consumnes river, I saw a rattler lunge out from under a rock and strike at my friends ankle. I swear I watched the fangs miss his bare ankle by less than an inch. It was a very close call. Also another friend had his 4 year old kid get hit by one on the lower leg. The doc had to split his leg wide open to make room for the swelling. He almost lost the leg. Never heard of a snake going for the jewles, Bob. :icon_mrgreen:

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:xmas-smiley-031: Hi all,

I've hiked on Rich Hill in the past through the cactus and rocks steping where I can't see over & under overhangs and use snake guards then.

When out in the open, rarely.

The areas that would worry me the most is steping out of a trailer. As most of the sighting around Rich Hill I've heard about is a snake in the shade in the heat of the day under trailers & vehicles.

Had a snake crawl over to my ATV at Rich Hill and sniff around the frame looking for food.

Nearly ran one over on my ATV on the road (at RH) to didn't see him until I heard his pissed off rattle (enjoying the great out of doors, sorry) :innocent0009: . I will not ride in a sand rail without a lowerskirt after that incident......... :laught16:

At a coinshoot in Pueblo, CO. ran accross a baby rattler in the field of play under a cowpie....didn't call the officials over to clear the offender off of the field....just considered him a field hazard........why raise a ruckus.......... :shrug: :evil1:

:twocents: wonderer

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Hello everyone.

Living in an urban and farmland area like I do, I have to admit that I have had very little experience with venemous scorpions, spiders and snakes. We do have Timber Rattlesnakes a few hours north where I intend on venturing here in Canada but the main hazzards in my area are two legged snakes. I have been following this thread closely and would be interested in learning more about the precautions you take and equipment you southwest folks use. I have heard about such creepycrawlies as the Brown Recluse Spider, the Black Widow Spider, various species of Scorpions and many varieties of Rattlesnakes and other venemous species of snakes. Does that list pretty much cover it or are there other nasties I should look out for? What routine precautions do you take against each of these and what equipment in the way of high boots, snake gaiters, snake sticks and such do you use and where do you get such gear? Thank you in advance for your replies. Cheers, lvlagnum.

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Hey all

If you want to cya try a pair of snake chaps. I got mine at Cabela's.

Covers all the way to the jewels, fairly light... but made for snakes...

Works great in the brush, keeping the sharp item's out of your legs.

Just need a pair for my arms now.

Payed about $50. well worth it.

Just my :twocents:

Bob

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Guest bedrock bob

Hey Ben!

It does make a lot of sense to wear them in your area, regardless of the snakes. A little armor would be good on the lower extremities. Our cholla are rather tame compared to some of yours (this is a HUGE understatement). Heck, I wear shorts in our catclaw although it is not pleasant.

We don’t have the Mojave thank god… our only aggressive snakes are the rock rattlers and they are pretty rare (Although one did chase my son out of the tent and through camp one morning. It met with a tragic BB gun accident soon after). Westerns and blacktails are 99% of all snakes in our desert areas and they are really no problem unless they crawl into your garage and get into trouble. Most are 3-4 feet long. Out in the open they either rattle or they are laying there stoned in the shade bothering no one. Praries don’t always rattle and they will strike at the breeze. They are the main snake in the high plains and northern mountains. In the Gila there are easterns that we call “Timber Rattlers” and they are really big and grumpy. I have seen several and all of them were about six feet. Chubby too.

There are places that are simply “snake pits” in the malpais and along the border. You will see a dozen in an afternoon and often two or more at the same time. Six feet is not uncommon and I have killed one almost seven. These devils eat jackrabbits whole… screw the mice. The only attraction down there is the excellent dove hunting and THAT is where the snake guards would come in handy. I am focusing on the ground when I am detecting so I don’t worry too much about missing something. Running around grabbing dead birds out of the brush while looking at the sky for targets is dangerous business. This is where I have had most of my close calls.

The only place that really concerns me is underground. I have a hole that I spend a lot of time in and it is just stuffed full of mice and big westerns. There are at least a half dozen in there but I just call them Curly, Moe, and Larry. They are pretty fat and lazy and have never been aggressive but you can get too close to them when working in low light down in those tunnels. You spend most of the day on your knees crawling around, so I would say a hockey mask would be more effective than shin guards. I thought about taking a stick down there and thinning them out a little but I have decided to just get them little spiked collars and name tags instead.

I see the point in wearing them just in case. It makes sense. If a fellow wore shin guards for this reason I suppose he would also have a snakebite kit in his pocket just in case he got bit somewhere else. I have never carried a snakebite kit either but I did carry the same condom in my wallet for five years. I probably had a lot more chance of getting bit by a snake than getting laid during that time but I still carried it. I must admit it did give me a certain sense of security although it made my prospecting partner very nervous.

The next time I head that way I am definitely going to invest in a set of shin guards. Maybe a mongoose too.

Feliz Navidad!

Bob

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YIKES! First, this green horn to snakes finds out that I was not all that safe hunting AZ during Winter months... And now I learn that my gaiters are inadequate?!?! :WOW: Next trip, full body armor! I've never seen one, never heard one and certainly don't want to feel one... Thanks for the headsup!

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Guest bedrock bob
Hello everyone.

Living in an urban and farmland area like I do, I have to admit that I have had very little experience with venemous scorpions, spiders and snakes. We do have Timber Rattlesnakes a few hours north where I intend on venturing here in Canada but the main hazzards in my area are two legged snakes. I have been following this thread closely and would be interested in learning more about the precautions you take and equipment you southwest folks use. I have heard about such creepycrawlies as the Brown Recluse Spider, the Black Widow Spider, various species of Scorpions and many varieties of Rattlesnakes and other venemous species of snakes. Does that list pretty much cover it or are there other nasties I should look out for? What routine precautions do you take against each of these and what equipment in the way of high boots, snake gaiters, snake sticks and such do you use and where do you get such gear? Thank you in advance for your replies. Cheers, lvlagnum.

That is pretty inclusive list, but you need to prioritize them.

Bugs are the worst. Repellent is your best friend in the desert. Gnats and no see ums have ruined a hell of a lot more trips than all the other threats combined. Scorpions will get you in your bedroll if you dont shake it every moring and roll it up. Kissing bugs at night will bite your ears and lips and you will never know it... Just dont go to sleep and you will be allright. You wont last five minutes without repellent.

Sunburn will kill you almost as fast as a rattlesnake and ruin an outing faster. Sunscreen, a big straw hat you can dunk in water (I like raffia), and plenty of water. If you are not used to the sun, especially at altitude, any bare skin will cook in about fifteen minutes. You will get a fever and be sick for days if it covers a big area of your body. Dont expose ANY skin until you are certain you can handle the heat. Temperatures can swing here like no other place so wear the right clothes and dress in layers. It could be 60 at night and 110 during the day. Even worse on some days depending again on altitude and where you are. This is a really diverse country and each area has its own little tricks.

ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED. Drink one gallon a day minimum and begin hydrating before you come. It will take a long time to get used to a summer day with no cover. Dont expect to get used to it too fast. Dont go 100 yards away from some sort of shade until you know you can handle the heat and never out of reach of the water. Take an asprin or three in the mornings and take it slow until you get used to it. A one mile walk in 120 degree heat is a stroll for a Yaqui but impossible for someone who is not used to it. Some folks get dizzy in five minutes. Take it slow.

Horny bushes and the various plant hazards are a concern. Cover up and wear proper shoes. You will get stuck but as long as you dont fall down in a cholla you will learn as you go. Keep the cell phone handy in case you do fall down in a cholla. Keep a pistol handy in case the cell phone does not work so you can shoot yourself if you fall down in a cholla.

I would worry about these items a hell of alot more than any snake and definitely any spider. They are serioous threats but you will not last long enough for a rattlesnake to bite you without water, a hat, and repellent. The best advice anyone could give you is find someone that knows the area and what they are doing and learn from experience before you strike out on your own and get too far out.

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When in heavy snake country as well as cat claw I wear full length snake chaps and don't care about how hot my legs get. I've been bit twice and each time on a hand by an unknown snake I put it near. They probably thought my hand was a mouse and each struck without any warning. A quick google search would make it appear that most bites are to a dogs face and a persons arm/hand. http://images.google.com/images?q=rattlesn...sa=N&tab=wi

Yet I still wear the chaps.

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