Recently I’ve been looking for things that I can post on a weekly basis. Since I’m not fishing every week now, and hunting season is still a couple of weeks away, I can try this out to fill up the time. Hopefully, I’ll have something to post every Tuesday for Tuesday Terrors.

The focus of Tuesday Terrors will be things in the Florida outdoors that can hurt/kill you. Each week will feature a new subject. Some (like this week) are obviously dangerous, while others may be overlooked or forgotten at times. And not all things are found -only- in Florida, but some. The purpose is to try and gather all the different dangerous things in order to be more aware…or maybe paranoid.

So with that, I give you the first installment of Tuesday Terrors.

With hunting season right around the corner, more and more people will be venturing into the woods to begin scouting. Aside from the heat and mosquitoes, there’s another thing one must be especially careful to watch out for: Rattlesnakes.

Photo taken from Floridiannature.com

With it still being so hot and humid outside, the Rattlesnakes are out in full force. Even though they may not be as much of a threat later in the season when it’s ungodly cold out, they’re certainly something to watch out for in the preseason and early archery season.

I’ve encountered Rattlesnakes in just about all forms of habitat in Florida. But, if I had to select a few that they tend to hang out in, it would be grassy areas such as sandhills or old fields. I’d also watch my step in areas with thick saw palmetto cover. Areas with lots of Gopher tortoise holes seem to hold a population of rattlesnakes as well. It could be due to the presence of prey that use the holes, or even the holes themselves to stay cool in mid-day and warm in the winter.

Gopher Tortoise hole

Last summer I encountered several Rattlesnakes while prescribed burning and even a few while just walking around. And it’s not just the big ones that you have to watch out for. I found this Pygmy Rattler crawling on my foot while I was finishing some photo-points.

Luckily he never got aggressive, and I was able to safely change my pants soon afterwards.

Snake chaps or snake proof boots are a good idea this early in the season. Yes they may be hot, yes they may be uncomfortable, but in my opinion, I’d rather be hot and uncomfortable than get bit.

I’ve had this pair of snake boots for quite some time now. They certainly give me a sense of security, but I’ve yet to be unlucky enough to test out their ‘snake proof-ness’. I suppose if one was to get bit, my suggestion is to stay as calm as possible. I imagine that a rushing heart rate only helps to spread the venom faster. After you’ve shot the snake several hundred times (that’s at least -my- next step), get to a hospital ASAP. I’m no doctor, but I’ve seen the pictures of people who’ve been snake bit and it’s not pretty.

Overall, I’d just suggest to watch where you step, especially in places that look like they’d hold snakes. Wear snake boots or snake chaps, and generally just be careful. Even though they’ll sometimes rattle at you to warn you not to get any closer, it’s hard to run away on jello legs while your heart’s in your throat.

Ready to strike

Hope ya’ll enjoyed my first try and Tuesday Terrors. There’s -plenty- more to come (not to worry, I haven’t forgotten about the other horrible snakes), and they’ll get better…I promise.