The following was posted on the Tracker email list (now defunct) in August 1999 by Mike Andreasen:
The following applies to snakes of North America.
- You are not on the snake's menu. He is not going to strike you in
order to eat you.
- Even if you have so threatened the snake that he bites you, his venom is
too slow acting to make a good defense. Anything can kill him even
after being bitten.
- The venom is valuable to the snake. It is after all, his next meal.
- Only 1 in 5 snake bites results in the venom being injected.
- Very few snake bites with venom injected result in death. Your
biggest fear is fear itself.
- Your next biggest fear is infection.
Given all the above, this is the best advice I can give: Stay Calm
If you can not get immediate help (i.e.; you are in the deep woods alone) put
yourself in survival mode. This means the following priorities:
Basically, if venom is injected, you will be very sick for about
3 days. You will not feel like hunting water, shelter, or firewood after an hour
or so (varies according to how excited you get and where bit).
If you move through the woods properly, you will probably not
get bitten in the first place. The most snake bites are experienced by
10-12 year old boys, on the hand. Occurs when they try to pick the snake
up. Second most is rock climbers, on the hand or face. Happens when
they put their hand on, or stick their face over, a ledge the snake happens to
be sunning on.
Lose your fear and become a part of the flow.