Be careful out there. (Contains biting Critters and OH&S)

Discussion in 'Prospecting & Detecting' started by Eureka Moments, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    It has and will continue to be asked if detecting is a family friendly activity. Pros (bonding, teaching, quality time, etc) and cons (possible injury, death, divorce, etc) abound.

    There isn't a simple answer unless you dont have a family, in which case you need only worry about personal perceptions.

    One consideration is the terrain of the area you are detecting. I consider most of the areas I detect as not suitable for most kids. The biggest danger is the chance of trips and falls into such things as shallow diggings, gullies or mineshafts. Shafts can vary in depth from 5m* (approx 16 feet) to over a hundred metres deep (over 300 feet). Some can be barely visible where thick grass and scrub is growing. Most of my local mates wont take their dogs out with them for fear of them dropping down a hole.

    Speaking of thick grass and scrub, there are huge amounts of fallen timber and branches in our forests here in Vic. Logging ceased about 25 years ago and its illegal to cut or collect fallen timber except for designated areas. Lots of slip/trip hazards for kiddies and adults alike. Many insects and critters live in the undergrowth and fallen timber and also the underground.

    Getting bitten by an insect or critter can quickly change everybodys day. I wear jeans and gumboots year round. Keeps my lower half safe from snakebites. Not many visible snakes when detecting in my experience. I scrub my searchcoil along the ground so I make plenty of noise. Check all holes before stepping into them.



    In my part of Vic. the main biting critters in rough order of likelyhood of encountering and being bitten by are:

    Mosquitoes - Oct thru May. In the Vic. "Golden Triangle" they are not known to carry malaria or other viruses such as Ross River etc but still bite any exposed/unsprayed skin. In summer they mainly hang around creeks, damp shady holes and gullies. At dusk they all come out for a feed and find you wherever you are.

    March Flies - December thru April. These are a type of horse fly. Bite through double teashirts. I spray clothing as well as unexposed skin. These leave 1-2cm welts after they bite, but if you can manage to not scratch at them they will dissappear after an hour or 2. These buggers swarm in the summer.

    "Jumping Jacks" - Ants - Oct thru June. These hunt in packs and are incessant biters if they find bare skin. Most likely type of nest to stand on and get attacked. Wear jeans with legroom to pull down over the outside of your gumboots. They cant bite through jeans. These are the most likely thing you will pick up in a handfull of dirt while trying to find a target and get a bite.

    Bull Ants - Oct thru June (other months also but only a few). These operate differently to jumping jacks. When you get within 1-2 metres of a nest roughly 6 to 12 will come towards you until you move away. If you dont move away they will crawl onto you. Then many more will come out to have a go at you. This usually happens when you trying to dig or find a small or deep object and stay in the one spot for more than a couple of minutes. Their bite is fairly painful but backs off after the first few minutes. Swelling (like your entire ankle) is not uncommon, but unless allergic you wont die. Try and explain this if any of your loved ones get chewed whilst they are screaming their head off and tearing clothes off.

    European Wasps - Oct thru June. Oww, oww, oww. Beware of open drink containers. Repeated stingers. Avoid and move to a different area.



    Less common but very active in the warmer months:

    Centipedes - Massively painful bite. Encounter when digging and handling bark, soil etc. Size 3-10cm.

    Bees - Not too common but they're about.

    Scorpians - Not very big in Vic. but I still dont recommend touching them. Never been stung but Ive been close a couple of times.

    Happy prospecting everyone!




    Footnote:* - Anything less than 5m deep is considered to be hole rather than a shaft.
     
    STKR likes this.
  2. Naphthalene Man

    Naphthalene Man Active Member Silver Stacker

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    What about pigs? I disturbed something very large (it was hidden in the scrub but shook the tree it was under just in front of me) when i was walking around looking for derelict mine shafts a couple of years ago.

    Be aware of what trees are in your immediate area.
     
  3. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Only two legged pigs in Vic bush to my knowledge. Generally not dangerous, just being pigs.

    Good for people to list common dangers and bitey critters from different areas though. :)
     
  4. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Most Vic. bush spiders are non-toxic. Redbacks more likely to be in your back shed or wardrobe than out in bush swinging between trees. No funnel webs but trapdoors that can bite painfully.

    Most common snakes In Victoria are Brown, Black, Copper-head and Tiger. If bitten ring ambulance and/or drive straight to hospital if quicker IMO.
     
  5. Au-mageddon

    Au-mageddon Active Member

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    What about drop bears ? :rolleyes:
     
  6. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Only have to worry about the ones with trees or large branches attached to them. ;)
     
  7. errol43

    errol43 New Member Silver Stacker

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    The drop bears live in Bundy.. Well the white ones do! Don't like silver/gold prospectors.

    Still looking for the pelican that flew in and took some of our silver! :)

    Regards Errol 43
     
  8. REDBACK

    REDBACK Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    One word snakes!!

    REDBACK
     
  9. Clawhammer

    Clawhammer Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I was out in Yowie Country today when a Bunya Nut came crashing down.

    Imagine one of these 10KG bad-boys landing on your bonce. A cannonball like this would crack your coconut quicker than Full-Moon party tequila.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Snakes are acutely aware of the presence of large noisy (to them) humans. Be alert but not alarmed.

    If you wander quickly and aimlessly around you may well tromp on one. This is the most likely time you will get bit. Their normal defense is to bugger off away from you if possible. Moving slowly as you detect gives snakes (and other critters) time to sense your vibrations and go away unless looking after young which Im not even sure they do. If D. Attenborough is a member please let us know. If you try and chase or attack it, it will likely strike at you in self defense. If you back away it will most likely bugger off of its own accord.

    When I detect I carry my detector with a 1.5 metre stem in one hand and a hefty pick in the other. Both can be used to ward off nasty attacking snakes and the hefty pick can be used to chop them up if your life is in mortal danger. However both are next to useless during an ant attack.

    Please note that it is illegal to chop up snakes in Vic. even though your life may be in mortal danger.

    Hands up who's been bitten by a snake? Talking actually not nearly.
     
  11. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    [​IMG]


    Exhibit A: Hefty Pick
     
  12. Clawhammer

    Clawhammer Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Exhibit B:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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  14. Silver Soul

    Silver Soul Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Hey Eureka' I use to make picks like this one, years ago. U Make them outa leaf springs, will make a small one for an ounce of silver + postage for anyone interested. Post a picture later. If ya want Neodymium magnet on the spade blade 2 ounces covers it. :cool:
     
  15. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    My mates brother does this also. Does his own handles on a lathe as well. Im useless at metalwork so I went and bought it after using a cheaper, less effective model. They can be overkill for small, shallow holes and useless in parks but I love mine.

    Mine is a "Walco" brand. $80 retail and no magnet so your offer , for anyone interested, is worth consideration.

    @silver soul, please post a pic of your pick if you can. :)
     
  16. REDBACK

    REDBACK Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    If you want at least 3 picks for free,i left them out bush on different occasions!!
    Put them down to continue prospecting then bloody couldn't find them again.
    This might sound hard to do but i'm a champ at it :(

    Hey Eureka..talk about overkill after loosing those 3 expensive picks i used to take the work mattock :lol:

    REDBACK
     
  17. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Make fluorescent paint your friend. Spray your pick ultra-loud-pink or whatever "non-lose in the bush" colour you prefer.

    Borrow your kids graffiti spraycans for the job. :D
     
  18. goldpelican

    goldpelican Administrator Staff Member

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    Don't underestimate these little buggers. They are black with yellow pincers, and look like a miniature bull ant.

    My father went into anaphylactic shock after being stung by one of these in the mid 80s, and is still suffering health consequences almost 30 years later - ongoing heart issues and a collapsed lung. Particular concern is if you are repeatedly exposed to their stings, apparently there can be an accumulative effect (unless conventional thinking on the matter has changed). Died twice in the ambulance and was essentially in a coma for three days.

    If you get stung or bitten by anything, one of the worst things you can do is have a hot shower afterwards - it was suggested afterwards that him having a shower about 20 minutes after being stung (happened while doing framework, came inside to shower before dinner) triggered the anaphylaxis.

    Bush medicine tip - chopping about a foot off a petrol siphon hose makes a great emergency endotracheal tube - speaking from experience!

    Bush family tip - when someone is calling your name out in a hoarse voice from the bedroom, don't reply with "hang on, you're not dying!" before investigating!!!!! Speaking from my mother's experience :p
     
  19. REDBACK

    REDBACK Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    "Bush medicine tip - chopping about a foot off a petrol siphon hose makes a great emergency endotracheal tube - speaking from experience"!

    Now i know why they call you GP!

    REDBACK

    Cant remember where i heard it maybe deadliest creatures-But the Jumping jack was responsible for an amazing amount of deaths due to its toxic venom.
    My wife got stung by a fire ant in Noosa area,she was in a lot of pain.
    Its not wise to tell your wife to tuffen up immediately after getting bitten by a 5mm creature then watch her go thru the shakes and have an allergic reaction.Open sandals on mountain hikes is something she doesn't do anymore!
     
  20. Eureka Moments

    Eureka Moments Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Carry a basic first aid kit in your car or backpack. Buy one or make up your own. Doesnt need to be elaborate.

    Even more important to have a First Aid Book with you. Applying the wrong treatment to an injury or bite can make a problem a lot worse. Having a quick reference is a good thing. Doesnt hurt to try and find out what critters are in an area you are heading to and reading up on treatment methods before it may happen.
     

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