SSSSSNAKES!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: March 26, 2024

As the snow begins to melt and the temperatures rise. Nature will begin anew. Bears will come out of hibernation, mosquitos and bugs will begin again, and snakes will crawl out of their dens. 

Some people like snakes. They are amazing critters. Others can’t stand even talking about snakes. It may be because of the snake that temped Adam and Eve. Maybe they were bitten or surprised by snakes at an earlier age. 

When you touch these cold, scaley, legless slithering beasts, you either love it or don’t. 

All snakes bite! If you are snakebit and do not know what kind of snake it is, safely take a cellphone picture. Bull snakes are a Big Sky Country snake that eats rattlesnakes and can administer a hefty bite, which is not venomous. This is a snake that we need to keep around since it feeds on Rattlers. This bite is easily treated with soap and water. Then keep from getting infected with a clean bandage and 

Early season snakes tend to shed their skins. They will have cloudy looking eyes and are often aggressive and aggressive during this stage. Leave them alone.

Venomous snakes have venom to incapacitate their rodent foods. The last thing they want to do is waste this precious venom on humans. A bite is usually a defensive bite or a dry bite with little or no venom. Mixed in the venom is a digestive juice which begins breaking down cells for consumption. 

Montana is home to Rattlesnakes. Thanks to the rattles on their tails, most rattlers will announce their presence before a bite, but not always. Young snakes or snakes that have lost their tail rattles can be deadly. 

Rattlesnakes’ bites are rarely fatal to people. 7,000-8,000 humans are bitten annually and less than 5% of bite victims die. The bite will be painful and can leave a scar, but fast medical care will save the life and day. 

Let the pros deal with snake bites. Snake Bite kits don’t work. Cutting and Sucking will just make the wound worse. No torniquets either. Keep the victim calm and position the bite area below the heart. Wash the wound with soap and water and get to a med center. Call ahead using the cell phone. Notify where the bite is and the type of snake. A cell phone picture of both is helpful. 

Dogs often get bitten by snakes. If the bite is in the face, nose, eye, or neck, get to a vet quickly. Don’t cover the bite area. Keep the dog calm to slow the venom spread. The dog may need antivenom. Call ahead and let the vet know what is going on. If you have Benadryl, administer this antihistamine to prevent an allergic reaction. The vet will do bloodwork and administer opioids for the point. Hopefully the bite will not contain much venom. None of this will be cheap. 

Dogs can be snake trained to avoid snakes, but a random encounter is still a concern. People can wear sturdy boots and hear/spot snakes before an encounter. When doing Spring cleaning, snakes will be under wood and lumber piles. Think about where the rodents are and that’s where the snakes will be. A Snake Hunter always checks these places first. Anticipate an encounter to prevent an incident. Snakes are part of the ecosystems that we live in, like them or not. 

Snakes can suck!

Montana Grant

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