The Snakeman is Raymond HoserVenomous Snake Handling Course for Groups, companies
and groups/persons from outside of Victoria.
Call (03) 9812 3322 to book.

For one or two persons only, it is usually best to travel to Melbourne to do a course at the Snakebusters facility (see snake handling courses for individuals or one-on-one courses). For three or more people,it is usually best to arrange for Snakebusters/Raymond Hoser (and/or staff) to come to you to teach you.

Because the time spent with a group from a company or similar is the same as for a group of individuals, our pricing tends to be similar (for the group). However due to the often unique situation of having to tailor a course towards a specific need or location (e.g. a mining town), the length of the course can be altered accordingly as can other factors.

Hence pricing is for groups, companies and the like are quoted on a "job by job" basis.

Outside Victoria, besides price, the other added constraints are as follows:

1 -The cost of getting the teacher (usually Raymond Hoser) to the desired location (this is generally cheaper than sending lots of people to Melbourne, Australia), and accommodation, etc. Accommodation for Raymond Hoser can usually mean a bed and a shower and little else, hence besides transport is rarely a notable cost in dollar terms.

2 - Licences needed to import/export reptiles to the other location and to "demonstrate" them. These vary from state to state and the fees are payable by the person/entity booking the course, but the fee/s usually average about $100.

While these costs may make the Snakebusters venomous reptile handling course slightly dearer than local alternatives in other states, the vast superiority of the snakebusters course is such that those costs will be money well spent.

By way of example snakebusters courses are the only ones in which participants can handle all Australia's best known deadlies including Taipans, Brown Snakes, Death Adders (various kinds), Tiger Snakes, Copperheads, Black Snakes, etc in complete safety. No other course comes close!

Further details of the venomous snake-handling course are given below:

For persons/groups outside Victoria, course dates are booked by the person/entity at least 8 weeks before the actual date of the course to allow for relevant permits to be applied for and issued. Payment, liability and other issues are the same as for other "snakebusters" shows and the fine print is at the site:
Our courses have the following vital components.

1 - Legal constraints in terms of reptiles (regulations and so on).

2 - Introduction to the basics of snakes and other reptiles (origins, physiology, habits, etc), including identification of reptiles to family level for all reptiles and a lesson on the use of keys as published to enable the participants to be able to identify down to species level if required.

3 - Hands on handling of all types of reptile (snake, lizard, tortoises and crocodile), with same-time explanation of the basics of each in terms of physical features, habits, handling and so on.

4 - Hands on handling of dangerously venomous snake species of all major types, including all dangerous Victorian snakes as well as most common varieties from elsewhere in Australia including Taipans (the world's most deadly snake), Death Adders, King Brown Snakes (and/or close relatives), etc. The course participants handle all these snakes. No other snake-handling course in Victoria or anywhere else in Australia offers this essential component and frankly they are grossly inferior. This "hands on" by participants is done in total safety in this course as all snakes used have been "voided" using the (world first) methods described in Hoser 2004 and later papers.

5 - Detailed "hands on" explanation of handling deadly snakes in the wild state using "voids", including use of appropriate tools, containers and the like. This includes details of what not to do, use and the like.

6 - Transportation protocols (legally and not-legally binding), including that which should be done, including standardized treatment for exoparasites, keeping accurate records and the like.

7 - Husbandry of all reptiles with an emphasis on the deadly species. This is needed for when reptiles must be retained as may occur from time to time (e.g. exotic species caught, injured reptile, young unexpectedly born and perhaps held for surrender to authorities, etc). The husbandry component of our course is important as many people who do the course intend keeping venomous reptiles at some stage (usually a special licence is needed for this and this aspect is covered). It should also be noted that not all reptiles caught or sought to be removed will be of the venomous kinds.

8 - Miscellaneous aspects including how to research material and find things out if required, including explanations as to how to separate fact from fiction in places like the internet where "information" abounds, but a lot is inaccurate.

9 - On site inspections of residences that have had venomous snake "problems" to highlight the features of these areas and to explain the movements of snakes within their physical, thermal, habitat and other constraints.

10 - On site explanations of where snakes retreat to after being seen. This vital component of our course is not emulated by most other outfits and we regard this as essential. Most snakes seen by people who call a "snake catcher" have fled by the time the snake catcher arrives and most improperly trained people fail to find the reptile often leading to customer dissatisfaction. Properly trained snake catchers find most "missing" snakes with relative ease.

11 - Details of what should be carried by the snake-catcher at all times and/or as preferred optional extras.

12 - What needs to be done in terms of leaving information with people at houses visited and the like, including post capture property inspections and the like.

13 - Touting for business. What works, what doesn't and realistic expectations as to income likely from a job as snake-catcher (not much, but fun when the jobs roll in).

14 - Basics of snake venom, bites and treatment.

15 - Dealing with the public in terms of factors like, a/ general dislike or fear of reptiles, b/ the reality of when reptiles are or must be killed, c/ removing snakes and snake habitat from residences, d/ when snake habitat cannot be removed, e/ public safety with snakes and in snake infested areas, f/ other matters of relevance

16 - All participants are given a copy of the "Hoser Wildlife Collection" CD-rom which has the full page proof's of the 240 page reptile "Bible" Australian Reptiles and Frogs published in 1989 and now out-of-print in hard copy due to demand for the book, over 120 definitive scientific papers and articles by Raymond Hoser, published in journals worldwide, most individual papers in several formats, including MS Word and Adobe Acrobat enabling easy searching for information as needed at any stage and also including magnificent photos (The CD has thousands of quality photos on it). The full texts of 8 other books and a number of definitive reptile papers and articles by other leading herpetologists and reproduced on the CD-rom with their kind permission. (To buy the publications on the CD-rom individually as "hard copy" would cost over one thousand dollars!).

17 - Certificate of completion (including legal statement) at end of course.

The time of the course is usually 8 hours, although it is best to allow a full day for the course (one day course). Due to the "fun" nature of the course, time literally flies and the day appears to be over almost before it starts.

Non-Victorian courses are often scheduled over two full days, but this depends on the needs of the persons booking.

The teacher is Raymond Hoser, known as the "Snakeman" TM or the "Snake Catcher" TM. He's caught and kept deadly snakes for more than 30 years and has discovered and named numerous taxa of deadly snakes from most parts of Australia and the islands to the north including Brown (Pseudonaja), Death Adders (9 of 15 named species, Genus Acanthophis), two of three species in the newly named genus Pailsus and one of two known species of Tropidechis.

Methods used to catch and keep reptiles first used by Hoser and now standard in the industry include the use of wide based pinning sticks (e.g. squee-gee) to immobilize wild snakes, plastic containers as a safe option/alternative to contain wild snakes instead of bags, plastic tubs as snake cages for all snakes (as opposed to juveniles only), proactive treatment of captive snakes infected with viruses such as Paramyxovirus and Reovirus, which previously were regarded as an unavoidable death sentence for affected snakes, venomoid surgery via internal (as opposed to external) excision of venom glands, use of alternative snake foods and supplements (alternative to rodents), including meats, fish, bones, chicken necks and even vegemite TM, as well as other matters of significance.

Unlike other "snakies" who claim many years of (unverifiable) experience with snakes, Raymond Hoser's association with Deadly Snakes can be easily tracked through his scientific publications in peer-reviewed Scientific journals commencing in his teens (he is now in his 40's (2005)), and before that, newspaper clips from when in the 1970's and early 1980's he had venomous snakes (including Death Adders) stolen from his home in Sydney. No other venomous snake teacher in Australia has such a notable CV.

For persons wishing to find out more or book a venomous snake handling course/s please phone 0412-777-211 or (in Victoria, Australia) 9812 3322.


We have had numerous complaints about an unscrupulous "snakehandler" doing so-called venomous snake handling courses in Melbourne and touting for business elsewhere.

This person is of limited experience (he claims 10 years on his website) and the course is of dubious value and not recognized by persons and entities including "Snakebusters" and other Victorian-based herpetologists. We and others do not refer work to persons who have completed such courses on the basis that it's our view that the teacher fails to properly train people and teaches people handling methods that are both dangerous to the person and likewise for the snake.

For example the teacher promotes use of metal tongs sold as "Pillstrom Tongs". These are not suitable for attempting to restrain moving snakes and have the added hazard of often breaking the snake's ribs and backbone. We have seen snakes caught with these tongs (or imitations) that have been fatally injured. Persons using these tongs have stated that they prefer to break the snake's back rather than get bitten, but besides the fact that the argument is questionable, the tongs themselves are cumbersome and actually increase the bite risk for the person using them to restrain a snake.

We've also been advised that the only "venomous" snake that particular course's participants are allowed to handle is the relatively innocuous and only mildly venomous back-fanged Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis) which as a colubrid (not native to Victoria) is also not related to any venomous species from Victoria (family elapidae - which includes all the deadly ones with fangs at the front of the mouth) and hence gives the course participants no effective preparation for handling venomous snakes in the state of Victoria or for that matter pretty much anywhere else in Australia, due to the fact that most snakes in this country are elapids.

A poor quality 28 page leaflet (complete with blurred photos on the cover and throughout) handed to persons doing the same course is replete with inaccurate and improperly referenced statements and frankly we do not regard it as being worth to paper it is written on.

Also refer to the link at:
(see bottom of media release).

Venomous snake catching/handling course links (details)
Please scroll through this entire list before making a selection

Snake catching courses for individuals in Victoria (Course details, booking info, etc).
Snake expert Melbourne

Snake catching courses for groups (Victoria), and businesses, interstate (non Victorian) bookings, overseas, etc (Course details, booking info, etc).
Snake expert Melbourne

Raymond Hoser - why he's the best venomous snake course teacher in Australia.
His CV with verification of details.
Snake expert Melbourne

Venomous snake course warning.
Snake expert Melbourne

Snakebusters website "front page" entry.
Snake expert Melbourne

Snakebusters website gateway links to all other Snakebusters webpages.
Snake expert Victoria

Snakebusters booking and contact page.
Snake expert Melbourne

The best kid's party is a Snakebusters kids party!Non-urgent email inquiries
via our:
Bookings page

Urgent inquiries phone:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:
(03) 9812 3322 or 0412 777 211