Once, for a gobbler hunt in southern Mississippi, I read up on the area's snakes too diligently. Eastern diamondbacks, our biggest and most dangerous, are found there. According to Wikipedia, this rattler has "a very high venom yield: an average of 400-450 mg, with a maximum of 858-1,000 mg." A bit further on, I learned that "the estimated human lethal dose is 100-150 mg." In other words, a good bite could kill you eight times. It causes internal bleeding and makes your red blood cells pop like balloons. Hallucinations, bleeding from the mouth, nausea, and vomiting are not uncommon. Also, you don't feel very chipper. Rationally, I knew that 99.9 percent of venomous-snakebite victims in the U.S. survive. But my upper brain was no longer calling the shots. I got the tallest snake boots available, a pair of 18-inch Chippewas. On the three-day hunt, I saw neither turkey nor serpent. I did, however, discover why 18-inch boots are rare: You can't bend your knees in them. You walk out of the swamp like Frankenstein with a box call.