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If bitten by a poisonous snake, does the snake let go of the victim after the injection of venom or does it continue to hold on

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  • If bitten by a poisonous snake, does the snake let go of the victim after the injection of venom or does it continue to hold on

    If bitten by a poisonous snake, does the snake let go of the victim after the injection of venom or does it continue to hold on until the victim manually pulls it from himself? I've never seen this question addressed in any of the sports publications that I read. Thank you, Dwight New

  • #2
    I can't speak from personal experience, but I understand that pit vipers such as rattlers let go immediately after injecting venom. Coral snakes will chew on you since their fangs are located at the back of their mouths.

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    • #3
      I was bit by a pigmy rattle snake. It bit and let go. I had a few as pets latter on to learn how to draw the snakes to tatoe the scars that were left behind. They always bit and let go when I fed them mice. I worked in a pet store, responsible for the reptile department. Of course when the non poinsonous snakes bite to feed they would bite and hold on. When biting to defend themselves, it was split about 50 50 between holding on and letting go.

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      • #4
        It really depends on the species of snake. Front-fanged snakes such as vipers will usually do a quick bite, specifically because often times their biting involves jumping or lunging at the prey. However, some cobras...and coral snakes and whatnot...might hang on and "chew".

        So, there's really no hard-and-fast rule. It depends on the species and even then, depends on the specific snake and the aggression and circumstances surrounding each bite.

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        • #5
          Dwight, Only your constrictor's will strike and hold on, So unless you hunt in the Florida Everglades, you should be safe from those. Most all Poisonous snakes will strike and release and wait for the poison to take effect. Even the Coral snake can strike and release if confronted, but are believed to have to chew the venom in. Only on very rare occations will they hold on and that is usally because they are attached to your boot, pants, etc. So relax and enjoy your hunting, just always be aware of whats around you.

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          • #6
            They may let go, BUT their teeth can and do hook in your clothing you will need to then pull them out. I have had to do this on 2 different occasions with large diamond back rattler twisting and wrapping around my leg.
            I have come to hate snakes.

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            • #7
              I have taken care of more snakebites in the ER, than I can count, but only gave anti-venom 3 times. Most people described a quick strike and then the snake tried to leave. For most of them the quick strike was so quick there was a grade 0 envenomation, meaning there was no appreciable signs of a bite other than the holes made by the fangs (things like swelling or discoloration, stuff like that) Grade 0 is what you want in a snake bite, antibiotics for any infection, a tetanus shot, they were good to go.

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              • #8
                I have been working with snakes for many years, and I can confidently say that our venomous snakes will bite and let go, even coral snakes, who are actually front fanged, not rear fanged as stated above. The coral snakes fangs are small and fixed like most cobras, unlike the rest of our venomous species like our pit vipers who have folding fangs. We do have one rear-fanged snake that is mildly venomous and it will bite and chew its way up to engage its fangs, and that is the western hognose. You can view a pictoral essay of this process at http://www.herpnet.net/bite/ . However, a hognose would have to be very confused to bite and hold on to envenomate you because it is trying to subdue its prey species, a spadefoot toad and to do so means he has to hold on to the toad, work his fangs into position, then envenomate by allowing his toxic saliva to slide down grooves in his back teeth, not through an actual fang like a rattlesnake. In regards to our other snakes colubrids like kingsnakes, ratsnakes, etc., when they bite in defense, the last thing they want to do is hang on to you and expose themselves to even more danger, ie being attached to you. Occasionally I will be bit by a kingsnake or ratsnake in the process of feeding it and it will wrap my finger thinking it is the mouse. It will eventually let go. Another post says that sometimes the teeth in both venomous and non venomous snakes can get caught in your clothing and that is true...they are curved backwards and sometimes to get hung in the fabric. Generally given a few moments, the snake will work itself free. That takes patience and probably more than a pair of coconuts if that snake is a rattlesnake, however, they are still more afraid of you than you are of them, so give them a chance to get away and they will. That also goes for bites to your flesh. If a non-venomous snake bites you and hangs on, give it time to let go. Tearing your skin free will cause more damage....a bunch of small cuts that will bleed freely for some time versus 6 rows of small pinholes. Again, that takes some experience to not panic. So in general, no, our snakes do not bite and hold on, unless, as another readeer points out, you are wandering through the everglades and whatever grabs you is non-native and about 20 feet long, in which case you just may be lunch.

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                • #9
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