Snake Question

#45
OP, I don't own snake gators. Since my play time is in the Mojave, I have considered them. I am assuming they are not an in demand item out west as all I see are in forest patterns.

For the last 40 odd years I have just followed the basics of paying attention, stepping on rocks as opposed to over them and taking the long step off the rock. I have run into rattelers out there but they have warned me at enough distance for me to easily detour around them without being anywhere near the strike zone. Also I don't sleep on the ground.
 

Dave

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#46
IRT snake gaiters, the USMC owns a wide swath of the Mojave known as 29 Palms. They don't issue snake gaiters, and despite thousands of guys training there year round bites are very rare.

Common sense, and situational awareness are more useful than snake gaiters in the west.

Of course, that's just my .02 ;)
 
#47
Here is my encounter with a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. Its mating season and these are 2 males competing who will get the female. This is at Eaton Canyon playing with my little trucks. This is an onboard video and no harm done on the snakes.
 
#49
We by necessity kill cottonmouths as we see them in our pond and stream. We've had one dog get bit, he lived, but was swollen and down for the count for just shy of a week. Univ of Google said benadryl and baby tylenol, and so we did. Not fun when it was the dog... would be unacceptable if it was the Joe or Mrs... so cottonmouths have to go.
 

100acre

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#51
I grew up with snakes both in the wilds of Florida and had large terrariums where I had 40' of common and albino Burmese Pythons in 4 snakes at one time. When I studied Forestry in north Florida it was a common practice to hunt both Canebreak, Pygmy and eastern Diamondback rattlers. It wasn't for fear or for sport. We always ate them and more often than not made hat bands and other crafts from their skins. Cotton mouths were almost always aggressive and were more often than not eradicated. Not too long ago I was picking wild blueberries up on Balsam Gap along the Blue Ridge Pkwy and heard what I thought was a large insect or bird down in the bottom of the bush. Knowing better but not acting on caution, I spread the trunks to discover a rattler looking up at me still rattling away and a foot from my hand which I slowly removed from its presence. I have 18 acres surrounded by larger tracts of forest, but I've only ever had a few rat or black snakes go after my chickens. For whatever reason we just don't see too many poisonous critters around here.
 
#53
I also do not own gaiters (found some abandoned near a campsite once, they looked like they would be uncomfortably hot).
Rattlesnakes mostly (but not always) warn you as you approach; I usually hear them when walking along a trail, but unless I hunt for them, I don't normally see one (good camouflage).
IMO, Just carry a walking stick, be careful where you step, and don't mess with them.

Enjoy!
 
#54
@jscusmcvet, I have no love for Cottonmouths either. If they are in my proximity, they die. I will typically go with the live and let live philosophy, but Cottonmouths can be downright ornery and aggressive. I grew up in swampy, South Florida, and have enough personal experience and near misses with them to instill a deep, and abiding hatred for them.
 

TangoBlue

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#55
I recall Cottonmouths being quite aggressive as a youth. In southern Illinois we'd go fishing to some of our preferred spots "North" of town and on several occasions while fishing from the bank they would come swimming to you and actually chase you along the bank. I have no love for them either...
 
#56
Growing up in So. Mississippi it was a routine occurrence to see snakes of all types (Cotton Mouth, Copper Head, and Rattle Snakes in abundance). During the summers while in college I surveyed timber and spent all day every day trudging through the Piney Woods of Central/Southern part of the state. The fulltime guys all wore snake boots that came almost up to their knees. They provided snake leggings for me, and they were hot and uncomfortable. I remember the one time that I didn't wear them. About 100 yards into the woods, and 3 snake encounters later I quickly went back to the truck and put them back on.

I have since lived up and down the East Coast, Hawaii, and now in Washinton State. I have never seen snakes like I did growing up in MS. We did see a small rattler in Canyonlands a couple of years ago, hanging out in the shade of a pit toilet.
 

100acre

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#57
Growing up in So. Mississippi it was a routine occurrence to see snakes of all types (Cotton Mouth, Copper Head, and Rattle Snakes in abundance). During the summers while in college I surveyed timber and spent all day every day trudging through the Piney Woods of Central/Southern part of the state. The fulltime guys all wore snake boots that came almost up to their knees. They provided snake leggings for me, and they were hot and uncomfortable. I remember the one time that I didn't wear them. About 100 yards into the woods, and 3 snake encounters later I quickly went back to the truck and put them back on.

I have since lived up and down the East Coast, Hawaii, and now in Washinton State. I have never seen snakes like I did growing up in MS. We did see a small rattler in Canyonlands a couple of years ago, hanging out in the shade of a pit toilet.
I guess you could call it a pit viper…o_O
 

Robert

Adventurist
#58
Never had a problem with most snakes, other than me being uncomfortable with them (read more or less scared of them) and I generally have a live and let live attitude towards most living things* (cockroaches, wasps, fire ants and mosquitos being the notable exceptions). Water moccasins can be another story though. I will always try to give them a wide berth and leave them alone since I was usually in their territory but they often seem to have their own ideas on that plan. I grew up in SC helping my dad survey then went to Clemson for wildlife biology and did environmental work for several years before getting into EMS (continued to do some environmental/wetlands consulting for a while). I don’t know whether it’s because they know they smell bad, bad breeding or what but I have seen them do some of the damndest things. I’ve had them attack fishing bobbers, both cork and the red and white plastic ones. I’ve had them attack fish I was reeling in. I’ve had them swim at my canoe or kayak as I was paddling and the kayaks sit low enough they could easily get on it. I’ve been wading in creeks electrofishing (habitat assessment and tissue collection for analysis of contaminants) and had them hold in the water just looking at me before swimming at me with their mouth open- I don’t care if you’re an atheist or not you will start praying that you don’t accidentally trip the dead man’s switch on the backpack shocker thereby killing the juice to the shocking wand when you really, really want it to work. Incidentally, shocking them is pretty cool since they’re basically all muscle. You don’t have to touch them, just get the loop close and it stuns them and they coil up in a ball so that the net guy can scoop ‘em up and toss onto shore out of the way. A couple of minutes’ rest and they’re fine and usually seem to get the hint but not always in which case they’d get re-netted then whacked with a stick. I very rarely wore leggings working in the swamps and I’m sure they could bite through most waders. My dad got struck on his leather boots once when he stepped on a cotton mouth by accident and my best friend took a strike from a large eastern diamondback to his calf while dove hunting. He said he never saw or heard it, he guesses he just walked too close to it while it was hiding in the sunflower stalks. Luckily he was wearing Chippewa snake boots after having one of his labs get bitten in the same field about two weeks prior (dog survived) . He said it felt like someone whacked his leg with a stick and that it was a really good thing he’d already gone to the bathroom that morning. 20ga works as well on rattlers as on dove apparently.

My exception to killing the cotton mouths was when I lived on the local lake; I also killed one copperhead snake that didn’t want to relocate and came back for a visit. Since all of us had dogs and cats and most of the neighbors had kids or grandkids that visited, the water moccasins weren’t welcome. I’ve shot a few over the years but killed far more with a boat paddle, leveling rod, bush hook or bank blade or just a stick. I always worried that at close distances I’d either shoot myself as I was trying to jump out of my skin or I’d run the risk of pellets ricocheting at me.


*Ironically there's a thread on ExPo right now about hunting but not really liking to kill things, that's pretty much me as well.
 
#59
I don't have the trouble I used to with poisonous snakes, and I think it's because I actively hunt for King and Black snakes to release under the house or in the yard. I know of 2 black and 3 king snakes that I see every year for the last 4 or 5 years and I haven't seen a poisonous snake in several years.
 
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