Watch Out for Snakes in the Wichita Mountains
Just as a general reminder, as you're enjoying the bounty of nature we have in Southwest Oklahoma, we share every bit of it with some really venomous snakes.
While you're out hiking, be ever mindful where you're placing your feet. All too often, rattlesnakes and other critters are forced to defensively lurch at their space invaders. And there's really no match for Mother Nature in terms of survival. Sure, rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal these days, but that doesn't mean you won't lose an appendage in the process.
Save yourself some serious pain, and a mountain of medical bills, by keeping your eyes on the trail. Even if you've walked it a thousand times, there's always a chance.
Don't rely on your keen sense of hearing either. Rattlesnakes don't always let you know they're there. And of course, not all venomous snakes have rattles. It's not uncommon to run across a stray cottonmouth or copperhead.
Walk with heavy feet. Try to make noise. And if you run across one, back away and go about your business. You're in their world.
If you do manage to get bit, try to chill out. Relax as much as possible to keep your heart rate down. This means take a seat, don't run to the car, just call for help. Do not apply a tourniquet, and don't try to 'suck out the poison.' That's just bad movie advice. Just remember key details about whatever snake bit you, tell the emergency response crew, and they'll do what they can to save as much of you as possible.