My late friend,Bill,hunted rattlesnakes.He made rattlesnake billfolds,purses etc.He diedc at the age of 96.He taught Zoology for may years at a Tenn. college.When he retired he took up snake hunting.He was bitten 29 times.The last bite hardly swelled.He and his wife,Ruth.vacationed in the Smokies every summer.He owned a cabin.I think it was in the Wear valley.Sometimes they would stay a month,usually July.Ruth would shop,Bill would explore the park.I talked to him often about snakes.I have a business.He was a good customer.Bill loved th park.Some of his comments about the park's snakes comes his vacations from the mid 60's to 1996 when he died.Agree or disagree here are a few of Rattlin Bill's comments.
1)The largest copperhead he ever saw was in the parking lot at Newfoundland Gap.It was over 60inches long!!!!
2)Be most careful around Tremont.It is very snakey.During the long drought of 1972-He saw and teased 8 rattlesnakes that lay along the banks of the stream.
3)Snakes are somewhat like bee's--Some are more aggressive than others--The hotter the summer,the more aggressive the snake--the drier the summer,the more aggressive the snake.
4)Noise will put most snakes in reverse
5)Don't tease snakes
6)Carry a snake bite kit and a small bottle of ammonia
7)Bill's snake bite treatment--(Like i said before this is what he told me)If you get bit--act as fast as possible--1)lance the bite with a sterile blade2)cut deep--don't stop cutting until you feel the blood running3)Pour ammonia over the lanced bite-wipe clean--pour again(Bill said ammonia will neutralize the venom!!)Apply a tourniquet--get it pretty tight--loosen when needed--Go to an ER.If you lance the bite correctley a suction cup will work well.Do not rinse the bite area with stream water--
the larger the snake the worse the bite
9)Rattlesnkes will not necessarily rattle.when you approach.About half the time they rattle an instant before striking.
10)Snakes can strike in water
11)Dark colored rocks attract more snakes than white or light colored rocks.
12)In late summer pine forests repel most tpes of snakes
13)honey suckle vines,moist-mossy logs,southern sun areas,attract snakes
14)Stay away from old structures
15)Where you find one snake--you will always find another close by--snakes are not loners
These are a few of Rattlin Bill's snakehunter theories,comments,instructions etc.