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    Whether it is a trail walk in a national park or a half day hike into the wilderness, we need to remember that we are entering shared territory. Most snake bites are the result of a surprise encounter. Snake-bite accidents can occur when you step on them, walk too close, agitate or threaten one - even if unintentionally. You can avoid surprising snakes and other wildlife by singing, talking loudy and using a homemade walking stick.

    You'll need:

    • A broom handle with metal tip
    • Paint or wood stain
    • Leather or nylon strip
    • Elastic bandage
    • Decorations
    • Electric drill


    Cut the broom handle long enough to reach from the ground to your shoulder. Drill a hole about 3 inches from the top for the strap. Paint or stain your stick and allow it to dry.

    Pull the leather or nylon strip through the hole and tie it to make a loop. Mark off inches from the stick’s end in order to measure the depth of creeks. Make a hand grip by wrapping the elastic bandage around the stick.

    Now attach ornaments. Some are practical, like a compass, a whistle or cluster of jingling bells to warn wildlife that you nearby. Some are just fun, like ribbons or beads strung on leather laces, or even souvenirs.

    All you need now is a song in your heart and a friend to hike by your side!

    Hawks Close-up

    With a hooked beak and talons perfect for catching and tearing meat, the hawk is an efficient hunter capable of great speed and precision.


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