Whether you've gone camping, roaming the city, or just brushing up on your survival knowledge; learning how to handle wild snakes could potentially save your life some day. Using a few tips, you can be sure to avoid any disastrous snake situations that might be possible in anyones future.
First, before we get in depth, we must discuss the role of snakes as a respected animal. They are not to be feared, but to be respected.
#1. Don't Panic
Snake bites are rare in this era, especially by those that keep a calm-cool mind. If you've found a wild snake, it is likely that it's just a coincidence, and not that they were trying to hunt you. Many snakes will simply come near your camp or home to try and get warm on a cold night, or to hunt any vermin in the area. Make sure to stay calm if you run into one and not make to many sudden movements in it's direction, and it will probably leave.
#2. Walk Away
Most snakes are not aggressive, which is why we hardly ever see them. They crawl through our gardens, all over parks and just about everywhere in forests, jungles and prairies, and we rarely notice them. For the most part, they prefer to avoid us, as much as we prefer to avoid them. If you encounter a snake, the best thing you can do is walk away. In most cases the snake will have fled faster then you will. If you find yourself in the company of an aggressive snake or one that is cornered, just move away from it slowly and quickly.
#3, Make Loud Noises
Snake don't have ears, but they are VERY sensitive to loud vibrations, including your voice. They don't like it when it's loud and your loud voice is likely to send them slithering away as fast as their bodies can carry them.
#4. Pick It Up
If at all possible, you want to avoid picking up a wild snake at all costs. The only ones who should handle a wild snake should be trained snake handlers, those versed in the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, or those who don't mind dancing with death. However, there is the occasional time when a person might have to pick up a snake to remove it from becoming a safety problem. In this case, there are some very important things to remember.
(a) Never reach for a snake that is coiled or in a striking position.
(b) If the snake is calm enough, you can simply pick it up gently and move it, so long as you stay calm too
(c) If the snake is on the ground, you can place your foot on it's head firmly but gently to prevent it from biting you
(d) The best way to pick up a snake is by the farthest end of it's tail. If threatened, it might still try to bite, but it will have a harder time if you pick it up by the tail. Try to keep your arm out all the way and avoid letting it's head get anywhere near your body, especially your face or head.
(f) If you find yourself dealing with the snakes head before it's tail, you can grasp it firmly around the head with your thumb on top of it's crown and the rest of your fingers under it's chin. Be extremely careful that you have a firm grasp to avoid it biting you or slipping out of your grasp, and make sure to get out of the way quickly after you release it, they do not like that.
(g) If you can get a bag or something to cover the snake with and protect your hands, you and the snake will be in better shape.
(h) If you can find a long stick, or a shovel even, you can pick the snake up with that and safely move it away.
#5. Kill It
This is to be reserved as a last option. Most snakes can be easily scared away or you can move away from them. Killing a snake should only be necessary if you have no other options, not just because you were scared.
When it comes to killing a snake, it is important to remember that their body is like one long spine. If any part of it is severed or severely broken, they will die. You will want to find an object that you can hit it with, that is large, heavy, preferably long and easy enough to swing. Snakes are fast and will try to strike if they feel you are going to kill them, so you'll need to do this swiftly. The fasted blows will be directly to the head, right behind the head or in the middle of the body. If you hit them on the tail end you might not get their spine and only enrage them, so keep the blow high.
CAUTION: A dead snake can still be a deadly snake. If you have encountered a poisonous snake, stay away from the body even after you kill it. Many snakes can still bite for a while after they die from a nerve reflex, so don't touch it for a while.
NOTE: In a survival situation, snake meat can be a nutritious meal while you find bigger game.