Progression of a timber rattler bite

Timber Rattle snakes are one of the scariest snakes that one can encounter east of the Mississippi. As you can see from the following pictures their venom can pack a serious punch.

Dalton Doris posted the following series of pictures to Facebook. They lay out the progression of a baby timber rattlesnake. viewer discretion is advised.
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23 Responses to Progression of a timber rattler bite

  1. bogsidebunny says:

    Yeow! Imagine if it’d nailed his dick.

    • Bildo says:

      I was trimming the too tall hedge by my driveway yesterday and got into a hornet’s nest. Now I keep thinking “What if I’d accidentally stuck my dick in there?”

    • crazyeighter says:

      “Doctor sez you’re gonna die.”

  2. B_Rad says:

    I have a friend that was tagged by about a 3 1/2 Rattler. Northern Cali foothills. He was bitted about the Achilles tendon level from behind. The snake got one of it’s fangs caught in the deck shoes he was wearing and just kept pumping venom. His wifes a nurse and right after he got through pulverizing the snake she loaded him up in the car and split for the hospital. By the time they made the ten minute journey, foot to the wood, he said his throat was so closed up he couldn’t breath. To this day he has half a calf muscle on that leg. It looks like somebody to a big bite out of it.

  3. Elmo says:

    An acquaintance of mine was bitten on the finger by a baby rattler after picking it up. Yeah.

    4 days in the ICU, three weeks in the hospital, at a total cost of $170,000. Fortunately he has good insurance, as he is a biologist for the State of California. Yeah.

    As for myself, I’ve never been to college or worked for the State of California so I’ve never been tempted to pick up a rattlesnake, even though I’ve had plenty of opportunity to do so.

  4. Sarthurk says:

    I was lucky. The 48 inch Crotalus viridus oreganus that got me, only scratched my hand near the base of my thumb. The snake was about to shed,and when they do that they stop producing the hemolitic protein that basically dissolves vascular tissue(They pre-digest their prey). What they do still have is the neurotoxin in their venom, as they are otherwise sorta helpless because they can’t see very well, when getting ready to shed, and it affects the pits in the head as well. I got more black and blue on the other hand from the IV than the area around my thumb. But boy did it swell up. So much so, that the doctors were considering cutting my forearm skin to relieve pressure so that I didn’t lose the circulation in my hand. But eleven units of antivenom serum stopped the swelling. All in all, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Well except for the hourly morphine shots over the course of the evening. I was in love with that nurse by morning.

    • Sarthurk says:

      Oh yeah, after getting the anti-venom serum, I’m supposedly immune to certain snake venom, . . . I don’t plan on testing that theory.

  5. M. Sage says:

    “He was picking up some metal and the snake was under the metal.”

    Yep. Rattlers, scorpions and the 6-8 inch centipedes we have around here are why I kick stuff over before I grab it and pick it up.

    I’ve told many a greenhorn on their first trip off the pavement: snakes aren’t a problem if you never reach or step where you haven’t looked first. Only really two ways to get bit by a rattler – fuck with it or step on/grab it by accident. Either one’s pretty easy to avoid. Look on the other side of that log before you step over. Kick that piece metal over with your boot before you pick it up.

  6. in the woods of south carolina there are timber rattlesnakes that have no rattles. they are called pilot rattlesnakes in the country. i have seen a few when i grew up there but have never seen them described in any books. when i was about 10 i fell over a clay pipe backing up to catch a pop fly, and accidentally but luckily kneed ones head into the ground. it was a 6 footer and had no rattles.

    • Sarthurk says:

      when I was working in the Sierras I found a nice rattler on the bank of the creek I was in, and my supervisor harassed the poor thing with a stick. It wouldn’t rattle. Strangest thing i’ve ever seen.

      • Riverwood says:

        Rattles don’t make noise when they’re wet. Imagine my surprise clearing brush from the irrigation ditch to come face to face with an angry rattler furiously shaking it’s rattles and making no sound. The Salmon River country of central Idaho is snake central, had to carry a hiking staff to the outhouse just to knock the early morning sunbathers off the trail.
        … Oh yea, the smaller the rattler the stronger the venom, I’d rather be bitten by a 6 footer than a 6 incher, the little ones can kill you.

  7. Paul B says:

    Never have seen one close up and it is an experience I don’t miss. Been face to face with a bull snake and that was enough for me.

    • Sarthurk says:

      Ah hell, bull snakes are just for funnin’ around with. And it pisses my wife off too.

  8. Tennessee Budd says:

    Heard about that one on Trashville radio. Something to worry about, certainly, but not too much–if you get bit by a venomous snake in Middle Tennessee, it’s much more likely to be a copperhead that gets you. Fortunately, you can generally smell them before you see them–out of the water, anyhow.

  9. Jeremy says:

    We had a rat snake show up in the basement where I work this week. Floor boss is a big fella from Texas. Ran like a sissy. Couple other guys tortured the hell out of him. He’d walk past, and they’d toss a rope his way.
    They may not be poisonous, but they still have a dirty mouth.

  10. pigpen51 says:

    You people who live where there are multiple venomous snakes can have them. Here in Michigan, we have one, the Massasauga rattler, and I have hunted and spent hundreds or even thousands of hours out in the woods and trails here, and I have only seen 2 of them, in my life, and they were both very small. But our black bear and cougar populations are doing quite well. And coyotes are everywhere, where they never were when I was a kid. I even saw one cross a road in a residential neighborhood, of the city. I suppose that tabby cat will have to start hiding better.

  11. singlestack says:

    There is a canebrake (subspecies of timber rattler) den near my property, on the other side of the road. They have a trail they follow every spring and fall going to and from the den at the edge of my property. I see several passing by every season.
    I’ve never seen one near the house. I think the 7 foot speckled king snake that lives under my house keeps them away.

  12. Sarthurk says:

    People keep copperheads because they tend to be fairly docile and manageable. There used to be a rattlesnake in a cage at the Iron Door Saloon in Groveland, CA. The summer I was there, Cal Fun and Games took it, because animal abuse and such. Yeah right.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I kept one in a terrarium in my house for a long time. I’d but people 5 bucks that they couldn’t hold their hand to the glass without flinching when the snake struck. I won every damned time.
      I used to drink at the Iron Door back in the 80s. Cool place, although the snake must’ve been before or after my time. I’ve got a buddy that still drinks there. The pictures he’s taken shows it hasn’t changed much since the last time I was in.

  13. whynot says:

    Problem with baby snakes – they haven’t learned how to control whether they envenomate or not….adult vipers can choose whether to pump venom or not, i.e pump venom for a meal or not as a defensive move (called a dry-bite).

    We use the SnakeBite Severity Score to determine whether CroFab (anti-venom) should be used

  14. Stretch says:

    Last Sept. was in Nebraska. Taking photos of the Courthouse and Jail rock formation. I heard a rattle. Set a new personal best for standing high and broad jump … simultaneously. Funny how certain sounds go from the ear directly to the feet. Still don’t know how close the snake was to me. Don’t care. Too damn close for me.

Play nice.