The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 7,000 to 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes annually. (Note: snakes can be venomous, not poisonous—there’s a difference). Few deaths are attributed to the venomous bites, but the aftermath can range from miserable to life changing.
Rattlesnake venom is largely composed of hemotoxins. So, beyond the initial, unfathomably painful bite, and after the instant bleeding and swelling, you can experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and labored breathing. Left untreated, the strike can lead to organ failure, and in some instances, death.
Water and marsh-oriented cottonmouth snakes—colloquially referred to as water moccasins—also carry hemotoxic venom. And past the bodily effects listed for rattlesnake bites, both cottonmouth and rattlesnake bites can cause necrosis, which breaks down blood cells and can lead to temporary or permanent tissue and muscle damage.
The widely distributed copperhead snake also carries hemotoxins, but bites are generally not considered deadly. Yet, a strike is wickedly painful, and you can expect swelling, throbbing and possible nausea.
The takeaway is avoid getting bitten, but not to run scared and avoid outdoor activities. To that, Blocker Outdoors offers an array of snake-protection gear, with suggested uses that go well beyond hunting. Birders, hikers, bank anglers, and general outdoor enthusiasts active in areas with known snake populations should all consider snake bite protection.
For information on the sorts of protection Blocker Outdoors has on offer, check out blockeroutdoors.com.