According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, about 8,000 people a year in the U.S. receive a venomous snake bite.  Of those bitten, about 2% are fatal.  Most of the fatalities received no medical treatment or first aid. 

Although most venomous snake bites are not fatal, be aware that a snake bite can cause major tissue damage or a bad infection.

Snakes can appear anywhere, sometimes in very strange places.  Recently, FLW Pros Wesley Strader and Andy Morgan and their wives were playing miniature golf in a downtown Florida city.  Wesley's wife was retrieving a golf ball from some nearby shrubs and had a near miss with a copperhead. Nevertheless, the next few strokes of Wesley's and Andy's golf club were not counted on their score card. 

Outdoorsmen can use a few precautions and common sense to greatly reduce their chances of being bitten.  Here are a few snake smart precautions:

  1. As you move through the woods avoid downed trees, brush piles, and rock areas. 
  2. If trails are present, stay on the trail. 
  3. Stay out of tall grass areas.
  4. Never reach into areas you cannot see.
  5. Use extreme caution when climbing in rocks. 
  6. Collect firewood during daylight hours with caution.
  7. Always use a good light at night to move about in wooded areas.
  8. Wear snake boots.
  9. When camping, keep tent zippers secure.
  10. When crossing logs, always step on top of the log, then take a long step off the other side.
  11. If you walk upon a snake, leave it alone.

Do not attempt to capture or kill the snake.  (Almost 80% of all bites happen when tantalizing the snake).

Following snake rules and using common sense can help prevent the nasty snake bite and pave the way to an enjoyable experience in the great outdoors.