Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative Begins

Release Date: 07/12/2010


USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has developed the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) to improve the overall health of the basin.  Many activities contribute to nutrient loading in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), including farming.  Increased nutrients can result in diminished water quality, affecting fish and wildlife habitat locally as well as many miles downstream as exhibited by the hypoxic zone (Dead Zone) in the Gulf of Mexico.   Louisiana is one of twelve river states that was selected to develop systems of practices to improve the health of the Mississippi River Basin (MRB).

Projects were developed by organizations or agencies that have historically worked closely with NRCS.  The projects constitute true partnerships with 11 - 16 partners represented on each project, hence the term cooperative conservation partnership initiative (CCPI) to describe each project.  The NRCS and its partners will help producers within four sub-segments of three watersheds in Louisiana's MRB to voluntarily implement conservation practices that avoid, control, or trap nutrient runoff, improve wildlife habitat, and maintain agricultural productivity.  As such, this program is not a crop retirement program, but rather a working lands program that provides a comprehensive approach to lands management.

A unique feature of this initiative is the required water quality monitoring within the watersheds, thus allowing the objective evaluation of impacts on water quality within the selected areas.  That is one reason the participation areas are limited in size.  Having the focused areas provide the venues for demonstrating effective management of nutrients with the system of practices voluntarily implemented can provide a blueprint for expansion of efforts.

Persons interested in learning more about the MRBI for the Bayou Chene watershed can contact: Mike Perry, Imperial Calcasieu RC&D Coordinator, Bayou Chene project coordinator; for the Bayou Lafourche watershed: Mike Schooler, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Bayou Lafourche project coordinator; and for Upper Joe's Bayou: Donna Remides, Northeast Delta RC&D Coordinator, Upper Joe's Bayou project coordinator.

Areas selected for this multiyear project are within the work areas of three of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' private lands biologists who assist with development of wildlife interests into plans.  Kori Legleu (337-491-2574 orklegleu@wlf.la.gov) will be working with partners on the Bayou Chene watershed.  John Hanks (318-343-4044 orjhanks@wlf.la.gov) will be assisting the various partners delivering the program on the two Bayou Lafourche projects and Cliff Dailey (318-343-4044) or cdailey@wlf.la.gov will be work with participants on the Upper Joe's Bayou watershed.

List of Participants

Important contacts:

Bayou Chene (Lower Mermentau Watershed)

Imperial Calcasieu RC&D Coordinator
Bayou Chene Project Coordinator
337-824-0975 ext.5

NRCS District Conservationist
Lake Charles Field Office
337-436-5020 ext. 3

Bayou Lafourche (Boeuf River Watershed)

Office of Soil and Water Conservation
Bayou Lafourche Projects Coordinator
318-387-8683 ext. 19

NRCS District Conservationist
Rayville Field Office
318-728-4451 Ext.3

Upper Joe's Bayou (Bayou Macon Watershed)                            

Northeast Delta RC&D Coordinator
Upper Joe's Bayou Project Coordinator

NRCS District Conservationist
Lake Providence Field Office
318-559-2604 ext.3

For more information, contact Mike Olinde at 225-765-2353 or molinde@wlf.la.gov.


Other Public Uses and Nature Trips

Other Public Uses and Nature Trips

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has established dates of Feb. 1st – May 31st for non-hunting public use of White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area facilities. Uses may include nature photography, bird watching, skeet shooting, marsh tours, educational trips and business retreats. For profit or commercial activities are prohibited.  

WLWCA is located south of Gueydan and includes 71,000 acres of wetlands, freshwater marsh, agricultural property, and lodge facilities that can accommodate group meetings for 12 to 15 attendees, depending upon day or overnight use requirements.

The lodge facilities, accessible only by water, are available at rental rates that vary based on the level of services required by the group using the site. Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access. LDWF biologists will be available upon request for lectures on the ecosystem within the conservation area.

The following rules apply on these trips:

1.  Safety is a primary consideration. All visitors must adhere to posted safety rules and directions provided by site staff while on the property.

2.  Access will be provided at a designated parking area.

3.  Boat transportation to and from the site will be provided as part of the day use and overnight use access. Group participants must arrive at the White Lake WCA boat dock at the designated departure time (9:00AM for day use; no later than 4:00PM for overnight use). The site boat dock is located at the southernmost end of La. Highway 91, south of Gueydan.

4.  Boat guides for boat tours and biologists for lecture sessions must be requested in advance of group’s arrival on site.

5.  No permit or license is required for White Lake WCA visitors using the site for public access activities.

6.  No firearms may be brought onto the WCA unless authorized by LDWF.

7.  Visitors must adhere to No Littering rules on site.

8.  A deposit of $100.00 is required to reserve a date on the public access schedule.

9.  Site use may be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from Feb. 1st to May 31st.

10.  Site use will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis pending facility and staff availability, which will only accommodate 1 group per day/week.

11.  Arrangements for site use must be made 2 weeks in advance to allow for staff scheduling.


The Fee Schedule for public use is as follows:

Day Use (9:00AM to 3:00PM, for up to 15 people)

  • $300- Includes one-day use of the lodge for meetings with no food or drink or additional services provided by LDWF. Typical uses include meetings or bird watching around the lodge facilities during the spring Neotropical bird migration.
  • $300 + $10/person- Includes one-day use of lodge for meetings with coffee, cold drinks and bottled water provided.
  • $300 + $20/person- Includes one-day use of the lodge for meetings with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and lunch provided. Lunch provided will consist of a sandwich tray and chips or something similar. It will not include a hot lunch.
  • Exemptions from day-use lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Overnight Use (Day 1: arrive between 2-4:00PM; Day 2: depart at 1:00PM; for up to 12 people)

  • $400 + $25/person/night – Includes overnight stay at the lodge with only linens provided
  • $400 + $35/person/night – Includes overnight stay at the lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water and linens provided.
  • $900 + $35/person/night – Includes overnight stay at the lodge with coffee, cold drinks, bottled water, meals (supper, breakfast, and lunch) and linens provided.
  • Exemptions from overnight lodge rental fee: State agencies, local and federal agencies, and universities conducting research, or educational activities, conducted in cooperation with LDWF. Costs for beverages or lunch may apply ($10/person for drinks, $20/person for drinks and lunch).

Skeet Range (optional activity for groups using site for day or overnight use)

  • $10/person for 25 clay targets
  • $15/person for 25 clay targets with 25 shotgun shells provided
  • Exemptions – Any persons using the skeet range at LDWF-sponsored events

Boat Tours (optional activity for groups using site for day or overnight use)

  • $10/person for a 1.5 hour ride through the marsh
  • Exemptions – Any state, local, or federal agency working in cooperation with the LDWF on cooperative initiatives or universities/conservation organizations working with LDWF on cooperative research projects, or educational activities conducted in cooperation with LDWF.

For more information, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-536-9400, ext. 1 or Schuyler Dartez at ext. 2.



Property Advisory Board

Board Members

Dr. Steve Linscombe
1373 Caffey Rd.
Rayne, LA 70578
(337) 788-7531 office
(337) 296-6858 cell
email: slinscombe@agcenter.lsu.edu
LSU Board of Supervisors
Mr. Brandan Duhon
17601 Hwy. 699
Kaplan, LA 70548
(337) 258-7788
email: bduhon@smith.com
Speaker of the House
Mr. R. Martin Guidry
6139 North Shore Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70817
(225) 755-1915
email: guidryrm@cox.net

La. Ornithological Society

Ms. Sara Simmonds
1253 Dorchester Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71303
(318) 442-6356 telephone

 President of the Senate
Karl J. Connor
Government Affairs Director - AR, LA, MS
BP America, Inc.
650 Poydras Street
Suite 1405
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
504-561-6598 (office)
504-561-6631 (fax)
email: karl.connor@bp.com
BP America Production Co.
Mr. Armond Schwing
P.O. Box 10069
New Iberia, LA 70562
(337) 365-2357
email: armond@schwinginsurance.com
Ducks Unlimited
Mr. Sean S. Gayle, Vice-Chairman
410 Second St.
Gueydan, LA 70542
(337) 536-6600 phone
(337) 536-6444 fax
email: ssgayle@earthlink.net
Resident of Ward 8
Mr. Charles Toups
3237 J. Alcee Rd.
Abbeville, LA 70510
(337) 937-6740 home
(337) 261-0797 fax
email: ctoups@brenntag.com
Vermilion Parish Police Jury
Ms. Miriam Davey, Treasurer
9350 W. Inniswold Rd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
(225) 291-4867
email: Athena_9@bellsouth.net
La. Wildlife Federation



BP America Production Co.
Mr. Kieran Coleman
310 Levi St.
Jennings, LA 70546
(337) 275-1085 cell
Board of Supervisors of the Southern University Agricultural and Mechanical College
Mr. Steven Mansour, Chairman
P.O. Box 13557
Alexandria, LA 71315
(318) 442-4855 office
(318) 484-2777 fax
Email:  spmlalaw@aol.com
Dr. Eddie Lyons, Secretary
Asst. Professor of Wildlife Management
P.O. Box 92220
Lake Charles, LA 70609
(337) 475-5692 office
(337) 255-1078 cell
(337) 475-5699 fax
Email: elyons@mcneese.edu
Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana
McNeese University System




President of the Senate

Ex-Officio Members:

Robert J. Barham, Secretary
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000
(225) 765-2623 phone
(225) 765-2607 fax

Steven Chustz, Secretary
Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 94396
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
(225) 342-2710 phone
(225) 342-5861 fax


Meeting Minutes

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 3-24-2011

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 7-22-10

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 10-14-10

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 4-8-09

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 5-7-08

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 10-14-08

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 4-8-09

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 5-28-09

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 10-15-09

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 1-26-07

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 5-22-07

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 2-10-06

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 4-28-06

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 9-14-06

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 4-14-05

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 6-3-05

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 7-12-05

WLPAB Meeting Minutes for 12-9-05






Release Date: 06/30/2010

A Louisiana black bear was killed Tuesday night after being hit by an automobile and then shot by a Walker Police officer following a close encounter at the accident scene.

A Walker Police Department officer arrived on the scene at Burgess Ave. near Tiffany St. around 11 p.m. to investigate the auto incident and determine what kind of animal the vehicle had struck. The driver was not able to identify the animal before it moved into a wooded area near the accident site. While searching the wooded area for the animal that was struck, the officer came upon the black bear, startling the injured bear and forcing the officer to react in self defense.

Dr. Jim LaCour, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) veterinarian, determined the bear had moderate to severe internal injuries from the vehicle accident, but could not determine if the bear would have survived those injuries.

The bear was an adult male weighing between 350 and 400 pounds. LDWF records indicate the bear was previously captured in 2008 in Patterson, but had not been reported as a nuisance bear since.  Nuisance bears are captured, tagged and released using aversive conditioning in an effort to dissuade them from returning to residential areas.

"The breeding season is June and July for black bears in Louisiana, so we are right in the middle of their peak activity," said Maria Davidson, LDWF large carnivore program manager.  "Male bears will travel miles daily to look for possible mates and will cross roadways in the process."

Homeowners are reminded that bears are naturally shy and usually avoid contact with people.  Anyone seeing a bear in their neighborhood should retreat to a safe area and call the LDWF 24-hour hotline: 1-800-442-2511.

For more information, contact Maria Davidson at mdavidson@wlf.la.gov or 225-931-3061.


Black Bear Killed on Hwy. 70 Near Belle River

Release Date: 06/29/2010

A Louisiana black bear was killed Sunday when struck accidentally by an automobile while crossing LA Hwy. 70 near Belle River on the St. Martin-Assumption Parish line.

The bear had been reported in the Oaks at Belle River subdivision around dusk and was struck by a passing motorist after sunset, as it accessed the highway by swimming across Belle River.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) records indicate the bear was previously captured in the Patterson area in the summer of 2008 and subjected to aversive conditioning on site. Nuisance bears are captured, tagged and released using aversive conditioning in an effort to dissuade them from returning to residential areas.

"It's the breeding season for the Louisiana black bear," according to Maria Davidson, LDWF large carnivore program manager. "Male bears are traveling long distances in search of mates and consequently are crossing roadways in the process. This bear was a young adult male weighing approximately 250 pounds."

Homeowners are reminded that bears are naturally shy and usually avoid contact with people.  If a person sees a bear in their neighborhood they should retreat to a safe area and call the LDWF 24 hour hotline: 1-800-442-2511.

The St. Martin Parish Sheriff?s Office, Assumption Parish Sheriff?s Office and LDWF Enforcement and Wildlife Division personnel were all part of the weekend response effort. 

For more information, contact Maria Davidson at mdavidson@wlf.la.gov or 225-931-3061.


Ouachita Parish Man Cited for Possession of Spotted Fawn

Release Date: 06/25/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a Ouachita Parish man for allegedly possessing a spotted fawn on June 21.

Agents received a complaint that Danny Underwood, 45, of West Monroe, had a spotted fawn inside a mobile home in the Bawcomville community.  Agents made contact with Underwood and he admitted to catching the fawn earlier in the day.  The fawn was seized and released to the LDWF Wildlife Division.

The penalty for possessing a spotted fawn is a fine up to $750 and jail time between 15 and 30 days.

Agents involved in the case were Sgt. Duane Taylor and Agent Scott Bullitt.

For more information, contact Capt. Alan Bankston at abankston@wlf.la.gov or 318-362-3139.


Workshop Scholarships


Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship

Liz Barthel was known throughout the South as one of the top female bowhunters.  She was dedicated to supporting bowhunting, archery, and wildlife and conservation organizations.  Her many accomplishments to promote women and children in the sports included BOW, archery instructor, Jakes Day event organizer, committee member for the Twin City Longbeards, organized the 1st all ladies Chapter of the NWTF, one of the 1st two women to serve on the Louisiana State Board of Directors for NWTF, and the 1st woman in La. to complete a “Grand Slam” of Wild Turkey.  Liz was on the pro-staff of Hoyt, LaCrosse, Knight & Hale, Feather-Flex, Savage Systems, Scott Archery, Scent Shield, Indian Archery and many more. 

Liz played an instrumental part in establishing the 1st Louisiana BOW workshop and continued her support with each workshop until her untimely death.  She was a former LDWF employee that loved hunting and all aspects of wildlife. Liz enriched the lives of many people through her goals and accomplishments and sought after other women to reach and succeed in their goals.   Her wish is continued by providing well deserved women a chance to follow their outdoor dreams through the Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship.

Instructions:Please complete all sections of the application for full consideration for a scholarship to attend a Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop (BOW).

Application must be received at least 2 weeks prior to the opening date of the workshop registration.  Return completed application to the following address or fax number.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship
ATTN: Dana Norsworthy
368 CenturyLink Drive
Monroe, LA 71203

Fax:  318-345-0797

Low-income women who have children under age 18 will be eligible to receive the Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship pays $125 of the $200 registration fee. The scholarship recipient(s) will be responsible for a $75 fee which shall be mailed in with the registration form that we will provide to you, prior to the opening registration date of the workshop. To apply for the Liz Barthel Memorial Scholarship:

  • You may nominate an individual by submitting the following application or
  • You may submit the information about yourself

We hope Liz will live through other outdoor women in this way.


Becoming an Outdoors Woman

Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW)
Becoming an Outdoors Woman

"You are part of a pioneering effort to break down barriers to participation of women in outdoor activities"

Christine L. Thomas, Ph.D., Founder of "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman"


The "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" program was started in 1991 by Doctor Christine L. Thomas, Professor of Resource Management, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. The program focuses on providing opportunities for women to learn skills that enhance and encourage participation in hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. BOW is an introductory-level workshop that teaches basic courses only. Advanced courses are taught in Beyond BOW.

In September 1994 the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Information and Education Section offered its first "Becoming and Outdoors-Woman" program. It was a sellout. Today, LDWF conducts weekend workshops once a year offering more than 20 specialty courses, ranging from markswomanship to turkey hunting. The National Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Rules state that each workshop must consist of 1/3 hunting-shooting, 1/3 fishing, and 1/3 non-harvest activities to complete a balanced program. For those not interested in hunting, courses like beginning fly fishing and canoeing are offered. The woman who loves nature but not hunting and fishing can learn about outdoor photography, ecology, backpacking and more.

The program does not stop with educational courses. Unity and fellowship flourish at a "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" weekend. LDWF staff makes sure participants are well fed, entertained and housed at one of the finest educational camps in the state. The BOW workshops are held in Pollock, LA (just North of Alexandria, LA) at the Camp Grant Walker 4-H Center.

Regular check-in at the workshop is from 10a.m.-11a.m. Friday. Meals will be provided from Friday Lunch to Sunday Lunch. You will sign up for 4 hands-on educational sessions that are 3.5 hours each and are taught by LDWF personnel and qualified volunteer instructors. Accommodations are dormitory style (bunk beds) with one centrally located bathhouse. You must bring bedding, towels, and toiletry items. At night, enjoy the possibility of mini sessions, style shows, bon fires, and music. If a band is scheduled to play on Saturday night their session will last up to 11pm.

You must be 18 years of age or older to attend.

We have scholarships available.

Make for sure that you read the Course Descriptions before registering.

Forms can either be downloaded from this site, faxed to you, or requested by phone. These forms will not be available until the date below.

Next Workshop:   

April 1-3, 2016


Everyone may begin to mail their registration form on Jan. 30, and registrations will be processed as they are received until all slots are filled.  However, if you have attended more than 3 workshops (this workshop makes your 4th), you will be registered in order of arrival beginning on Thursday, February 5  (provided space is available) UNLESS you are bringing a first time participant, then those two will be registered together when the registration form arrives.  Please mail both forms together.  All registration forms must be mailed.  Walk-ins will not be accepted.

BOW Registration Begins:   Friday, January 29, 2016 – the registration form will be placed on this site and not prior to this date.

Cost:    $200

Number of Participants:    125

Registration forms will be accepted by mail ONLY (overnight will be accepted) and must be accompanied by a check or money order.

For more information contact Dana Norsworthy at 318-345-3912
or Chad Moore cmoore@wlf.la.gov

For more information about Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops in other states, visit www.uwsp.edu/cnr/bow

Becoming Outdoors Woman Updates

Louisiana’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman offers the standard BOW workshops and advanced workshops called Beyond BOW.  Please follow the link to enter in your e-mail address to be added to our distribution list.  You will receive updates on when the next BOW and Beyond BOW courses are offered, when registration for these courses will begin and other information to keep our outdoors women connected and educated about natures opportunities.

Join our BOW Louisiana Style Facebook Page. 

Keep up with the latest information and upcoming workshop dates whether it is for BOW, Mini BOW’s, or Beyond BOW’s.  Stay in touch with women that have attended past workshops or ask the coordinators and participants questions concerning the workshop.  Also post pictures of your BOW adventures from Louisiana or other state or International BOW programs that you have attended.



Venom apparatus of a rattlesnake
Tooth mark pattern

Snakes bite either to capture prey or as a defense. In venomous species, the discharge of venom is voluntary. Venom is stored in glands on either side of the head behind the eyes, and is expelled through muscular action. The venom passes through two ducts leading to hollow fangs located in the forward portion of the upper jaw (maxilla). Each fang possesses a small opening near the tip through which the venom is injected into the site of the bite (Fig. 1). This action is similar to forcing drops of fluid through a hypodermic syringe and needle.

Because injection of venom is voluntary, venomous snakes may occasionally deliver a "dry" bite in which no venom is injected. This can occur when snakes produce a superficial bite or are panicked. About one in five bites to humans from venomous snakes are in this category. At other times only a specific amount of venom is injected. Due to the spongy nature of the glands it is nearly impossible for a snake to expel all of its venom. When most of the venom is expelled from the glands, between 15 and 20 days are required for the secretory tissue to refill the glands. However, secretion appears to be rapid during the first few days, so that venomous snakes may possess dangerous quantities of venom within a day or two of its expulsion.

Bites from venomous snakes exhibit a distinctive pattern (Fig. 2). Typically only one or two fang punctures are evident on the skin, although smaller scratches or punctures may be evident from small teeth within the snake's mouth. Bites from non-venomous snakes display markings from small teeth only, typically seen in rows. Sharp, throbbing pain usually results immediately when venom is injected from the pit vipers, and will immediately indicate envenomation. However, pain is not always a symptom, even from potentially lethal bites. Bites from coral snakes may be nearly painless, or exhibit limited pain near the bite. Bites from nonvenomous snakes produce superficial pain, if any at all.

Bites from pit vipers are hemorrhagic, that is, they break down vascular tissue by enzymatic action. Upon entering the body, the venom travels through lymphatic vessels and sometimes the bloodstream, binding with the victim's tissues as it goes. This results in severe pain and swelling, and can produce secondary results such as dizziness, nausea, headache and shock. Short-term results from bites may include discoloration and eventual tissue loss. In fatal bites, death usually results from loss of blood pressure and volume through destruction of vascular tissue.

Coral snake venom is neurotoxic and effects the central nervous system. Thus, there may be little pain or swelling from the bite. However, effects on the nervous system can cause the arrest of involuntary muscle activity that normally controls breathing and heartbeat. Envenomation may cause symptoms of drowsiness or anxiety. It is important to note that subtle symptoms from coral snake bite may not be apparent for several hours.

Individuals may react differently to venomous snake bites, just as some people are more susceptible to bee stings than others. Successive bites may initiate some immunity which can reduce the negative impact of bites. However, successive bites often increase sensitivity to venom, producing the opposite effect -- people who have experienced two or three previous bites may go into shock if subsequently bitten.

Snakebite is a rare occurrence, even among people who spend a great deal of time outdoors.  Prior to the mid-1960s, approximately one in 10,000 people were bitten by venomous snakes each year in Louisiana.  The incidence of snakebite to Louisiana citizens is now likely reduced.  The people at greatest risk of being bitten are those who handle snakes, including individuals who keep venomous snakes as pets, or are in the habit of killing or skinning venomous snakes. Such individuals account for roughly 40% of venomous snake bites.   Surprisingly, the incidence of snakebite for children playing outdoors is relatively low.  Fatality from snake bites has become a rare occurrence: about one in 600 reported bites are fatal following medical treatment, and in some species such as the Copperhead, the fatality rate is near zero.  The fatality rate without medical treatment is about one in 40.


The first step in snakebite treatment is to avoid panic and seek medical attention.  The very low death rate from snakebites should be reassuring.  Several treatments have been recommended for field first aid, but the most important step is to seek medical attention immediately.  Call local hospitals to determine which ones are prepared to treat snakebite victims.

What to do:

  1. Remain calm; snakebite is rarely fatal.
  2. Seek immediate medical attention.  Call ahead to the hospital so that emergency personnel will be ready upon your arrival.
  3. Keep the bitten body part immobilized (i.e., if a hand is bitten, suspend the arm in a sling).
  4.  Remove jewelry and clothing that may become constrictive as swelling progresses.
    The following steps are optional for rattlesnake, copperhead and cottonmouth bites only.  No first aid for coral snakes is recommended beyond steps 1-4 above.
  5. If medical attention is less than 20 minutes away, apply a wide constricting band just above the bite (use only if the bite is on a limb).  This band should be loose enough so that a finger can easily be slipped between it and the skin, and should never be tight enough to cut off circulation.
  6. If medical attention is more than 20 minutes away, and the bite is less than 10 minutes old, small incisions may be made just above the bite (in the direction of the trunk).  These should be no more than 3/8 inch long and 1/8 inch deep.  Fluid may be sucked from the bite and incisions during the next half-hour.  Fluid should never be sucked orally if open sores are present on or in the mouth.  Incisions are ineffective if the bite is over 15 minutes old, as the venom will have dispersed within the lymphatic system.

What not to do:

  • Never apply ice packs.
  • Never apply a tourniquet that restricts blood circulation. 
  • Never attempt to excise the wound or "cut-out" the venom. 
  • Never allow the victim to drink alcohol or take aspirin or other blood thinners. 
  • Never apply electric shock to the bitten area. 
  • Never give antivenin in the field -- antivenin is, itself, a toxin that may cause anaphylactic shock.


  Snake bite can be avoided in a number of ways:

  1. Be cautious about where hands and feet are placed.  Do not put hands in holes or under objects (i.e., lumber, scrap metal, overturned boats) without first being sure that a snake is not located underneath.
  2. Do not lay your head down or sit down in vegetation or other situations where there may be any doubt about the presence of venomous snakes.
  3. Wear proper foot gear such as hightop leather boots when walking through dense vegetation.
  4. Do not attempt to capture, tease, handle or keep venomous snakes.  Involuntary nervous activity may allow snakes to bite for up to an hour after they have been ?killed.?
  5. Camp away from swamps, stream banks, brush piles, tall vegetation, trash and other areas likely to be inhabited by venomous snakes.
  6. Do not walk barefoot at night.
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