Rattlesnakes
Last Post 07 Jun 2015 11:01 PM by Benjamin Crain. 44 Replies.
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LEO LORENZUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
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23 Apr 2015 10:40 AM
Ben, that's a good question. I have a pair of thick rubber hip waders that I thought to wear when working in the streams, and if it was really brushy getting into it, seems like that would be somewhat safe to wear while going through the thicker brush. Seems if a snake put his fangs into that he would either get them broken off or stuck to the boot. I wonder if there is any products that can be spread around a campsite which would keep them away.?
Leo
SONIA CHAMBERLAINUser is Offline
Greenhorn
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23 Apr 2015 11:03 PM
You can buy snake repellent that comes in a half gallon plastic jug and you sprinkle it around your yard or camp. One of the major ingredients is sulfur so it smells bad. I have purchased it at Walmart and Home Depot, but I don't think it is sold everywhere. It only lasts a month (or less if it rains) and costs around $11. I heard and old tale that the cowboys used to stretch a thick hemp rope around their bed roll and a snake wouldn't cross it because the snake doesn't like the feel of the rough rope. I don't know if that is true though.
ARTHUR WAUGHUser is Offline
Buzzard
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24 Apr 2015 07:21 AM

As far as climbing in sagebrush, yes.

 

Back in the late 60's as a kid, I was in the sunstone area out of Plush Oregon and saw a nice thumb sized one under a sagebrush right up against the trunk.  Not a limb on it for at least a foot and it was about another 18 inches of greenery.  Since Mom didn't raise a complete knothead, I reached under with my rock pick to get it out and hit the trunk .  Sage started rattling, and down came a 3 1/2 footer headed for a big flat rock and went under.  I figure you could see about 4 feet of daylight under my shoes as I threw everything I had at it.  Could not hit anything from that high up though.

 Real heavy rubber boots might be OK, but I don't think hip waders will be much of a deterrent.  Had a guy up by Quincy get sick and die, wife gave his shoes and boots to a friend and everytime he wore the boots he would get sick.  They eventually found scratches by one ankle and asked him about it.  No idea.  What was he wearing...the boots.....they had him bring them in and sure enough they found a fang sticking through the leather just enough to scratch the skin and give him a very light dose.  They eventually figured out that was what did in the original boot owner.  He wore them when he went down to Spanish Creek below Keddie, and everytime he wore them he would get sicker.

OHV/Recreation Representative, John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council, BLM--- President, Wolfpack 4x4's, Region 5, Pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association--- Member- Mid Valley Prospectors, Brownsville, OR chapter GPAA, Willamette Valley Miners, Bohemia Mine Owners Association
Benjamin CrainUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
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24 Apr 2015 08:02 AM
Since my wife is new to the West being from Louisiana she has never had to deal with Rattlers and since she is with me everywhere we go I think this post has convinced me to buy two sets of gaiters just to be on the safe side. I have never thought her boots were high enough being ankle boots, and the added height of protection for myself won't hurt either.

Just don't forget to check your sleeping bag out, and under it, before you settle in for the night, and shake your boots out before you put them on in the morning. During Bivouac training in basic training in Missouri we had a guy almost climb into his sleeping bag with a copperhead sleeping in it, lucky for him he took the time to check like he had been taught.
RONALD PETERSONUser is Offline
Dredger
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24 Apr 2015 06:45 PM

    Yes, rattlesnakes are one of many concerns here in the Southwest. There are also other poisonous snakes, scorpions, one poisonous lizard, two poisonous spiders, other insects, cactus needles that can poison you, some four legged animals that can kill you, and of course the elements can get you.

 

    A few years back, the person in front of me while out prospecting went to step down off a large rock. There was a loud hissing sound and then I saw the snakes head come up mouth wide open, nearly flat, striking the bottom of his boot. The snake then made a beeline into some rocks and then started rattling.

 

    My advice is to carry two sidearms, one with shot shells for snakes and the other with solid lead for the four legged and two legged predators.

 

    The first time I did some desert prospecting back in 1979, the locals gave me this advice and now I am passing it on. They told me that unless I was " WISE TO THE WAYS OF THE DESERT DO NOT LEAVE THE MAIN (paved) ROADS ". They also told me that just about everything out there in the desert would, STING ME, PRICK ME, or BITE ME.

 

    Be knowledgeable, be prepared, be safe, and you will have fun out there.      Ron

ARTHUR WAUGHUser is Offline
Buzzard
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25 Apr 2015 10:21 AM
I generally load a .38 shot shell as the first round for the slithers, and a warning for the others, the other 5 are serious social talking points. But I'd just as soon give the slither a chance to goaway, don't need another hat band at my age.
OHV/Recreation Representative, John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council, BLM--- President, Wolfpack 4x4's, Region 5, Pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association--- Member- Mid Valley Prospectors, Brownsville, OR chapter GPAA, Willamette Valley Miners, Bohemia Mine Owners Association
DAN KELSEYUser is Offline
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
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30 Apr 2015 10:20 PM
Don't know what kind....being from Michigan other then a rattler....up 11 miles north of Quincy CA. Today step right over him before he rattled and my wife saw him...
ARTHUR WAUGHUser is Offline
Buzzard
Buzzard
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01 May 2015 05:51 AM
Grew up in Quincy.  Probably a Western Diamondback If pretty colorful then maybe a Pacific.  Huge den on Mt. Hough, and we once saw a track in the silt/dust crossing the road up there that was 7 inches wide.  Mom mentioned it to and old Indian friend of ours, and he said, yes, that is "grandfather".  All of the indians know of him and rever him.
OHV/Recreation Representative, John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council, BLM--- President, Wolfpack 4x4's, Region 5, Pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association--- Member- Mid Valley Prospectors, Brownsville, OR chapter GPAA, Willamette Valley Miners, Bohemia Mine Owners Association
PHILIP BODDYUser is Offline
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
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01 May 2015 01:44 PM
I've never heard of  "antivenom" being in any kit.  It is organic, incredibly expensive, and wouldn't last very long in the old tackle box. 
PHILIP BODDYUser is Offline
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
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01 May 2015 01:54 PM
In the warmer to sunny-side-of-Mercury season in the deserts, snakes generally get all their groceries at night just like humans.  In any areas with snakes, scorpions, centipedes, and black widows/brown recluse spiders most camping families I've know have a minimum high top sneaks to boots.  Incredibly, the herpetology folks will tell you there are often 3,4, or even 5 snakes around for every one you "see."
Benjamin CrainUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
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01 May 2015 02:14 PM
Yep, we were out yesterday and did a short walk to a dig site, It's "Baby Rattlesnake" season and what you should look for is things that look like twigs or a small cinnamon role, or you could just not worry and wear some high boots. Snakes can't bite through leather boots, trust me, and the worst time to go out is to a small hike to see the sunset, they are just coming out to feed and will be on the game trails we tend to travel.

You won't have a problem with rattlers unless you just ask for it, and even though my .44mag is loaded with the first round of snake shot, don't kill them unless you have to or get bit, they really do control vermin, and if you get bit you will need to bring the snake with you so the doctor can identify it. But remember this, even if the head is cut off of the snake it can still bite you for hours after it has been cut off.

The first time I killed a rattler it was with a shotgun while bird hunting and I blew it's head clean off. I got back to camp about an hour later and skinned the snake and then cut it open to roast it and sure as hell if the heart was not still beating.

Do your best to give them safe passage and they will do the same, like somebody else said, "Knows the ways of the desert or stay on the main roads."
ROBERT SCARBOROUGHUser is Offline
Sluicer
Sluicer
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07 May 2015 07:01 AM
I have read about the "Mojave Green Rattlesnake" (Crotalus Scutulatus) being a different breed of rattlesnake.
Their venom is very potent and very immediate treatment is recommended.
The article said the Mojave Green venom acts on the nervous system (Neurotoxin) and there are 2 types - A and B venom.
It shuts down the nervous system. Especially the nerves for breathing. Sort of like the Cobra Venom.
The best antivenom for a Mojave Green is a product a called CroFab.

This was a Rattlesnake I was warned about a lot by other prospectors and FS Rangers when
I lived in San Diego and later on in Tehachapi.

Most of the other rattlesnakes species (like Diamondback Rattlesnakes) have a Hemotoxin type venom that breaks down the
prey blood and muscle tissue as part of the digestive process that aids the rattlesnake in digesting the prey when it
consumes the whole prey.
This Hemotoxin component is why some bites result in the loss of a finger, hand or other limb component.
The other Rattlesnake species do have a small amount of a neurotoxin in their venom. But, not in the quantities found
in the Mojave Green.

The Mojave Green ( Crotus Scutulatus) is found in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and Mexico.
Snake Gaiters and a walking stick can help in preventing a possible strike by one of these critters.
Most of these snakes (pit vipers) hunt by heat sensors and use the night time for the best heat differential between the
prey and the ground temperatures. They come out during the day for sunning until it gets too hot then they retreat
to the shade. They also hide from raptor type birds that like tasty rattlesnake meat during the day.

Look before you step or reach and wear appropriate protection.

Regards and Happy Snake free Trails,

Bob Scarborough P O R (Press On Regardless)

Robert J. Scarborough
Benjamin CrainUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
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07 May 2015 03:31 PM
Sonia, people can go to their local pharmacy and sometimes feed store and buy a bag of Sulfur, when I was a kid we would pour it into a sock and then beat your legs with it to keep the chiggers off of you, and if you have ever had a bad case of chiggers you would rather smell like rotten eggs than to experience that again.

I witnessed a head on collision and both vehicles went spinning off into high grass in Texas and I went to render aid, the next day I had a few hundred bites up my legs and by the weekend the number was in the thousands to include the parts we are not going to discuss online.

Sulfur will keep snakes out and many other critters too, Sulfur really does work and you can sprinkle it all around and on your own body to keep out the pests.
Robert DeMossUser is Offline
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
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06 Jun 2015 02:09 PM
ANTI VENOM ISN'T GOING TO DO YOU ANY JUSTICE. DIFFERENT PEOPLE REQUIRE DIFFERENT DOSES. DON'T TRY TO TREAT YOURSELF. JUST GO TO THE ER.
Benjamin CrainUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
Posts:327



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06 Jun 2015 05:26 PM
Glad to see this topic come back up again, drove over a rather large one in the Escalante Canyon last Thursday, they are differently out and about and well fed thanks to the rain.
joseph LoydUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
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06 Jun 2015 06:23 PM
Ben did you slam on your breaks and slide it .If not some will live depending on were you hit it.
Member LDMA and several other clubs in CA.
Benjamin CrainUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
Posts:327



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06 Jun 2015 06:54 PM
I didn't hit it, I drove over it but it coiled up right in the center of the lane. It may have lost a fang or two striking my axles but I can't say I hit it. The one thing that did pass through my mind was how fat this snake was, I mean plump and meaty, probably pretty good eating actually.

Good sized fat snake, colors were beautiful and well marked, which leads me to believe the snakes have more than enough food this year because the rodents have plenty of food. If I had hit it I probably would have turned back for the meat and hat band. We always keep a cooler in the back.
LEO LORENZUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
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06 Jun 2015 07:36 PM
Gee Ben, I get a real kick out of your posts! Very informative as well. I would've never thought about eating one of them, but I guess I would after I've tried one first. Sounds like you could have steaked that one out.! 
Leo
Robert DeMossUser is Offline
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
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07 Jun 2015 08:14 AM
2 years ago, my buddy and I were flyfishing on the arkansas near north of salida. On our way back, my buddy was walking point. He yelled out STOP ( ACTUALLY SAID MORE THAN THAT). There is a rattlesnake lying on our path. I looked over and saw a 4ft rattler just sitting there. Of course the jackhole I am, I leaned in with my camera and started taking pictures. All withing striking distance. Luckily the snake was not bothered. We really wanted to get it to rattle. So once again, the jackholes we were, we took our 9ft rods and poked at it to get to rattle. Nope no rattle. So we left after that.
LEO LORENZUser is Offline
Lost Dutchman
Lost Dutchman
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07 Jun 2015 10:02 AM
I was out at Rye Patch late October 2014 and with a group of guys MD'ing and we went out at night. Now....I never thought about the snakes being out, and never asked the guys about the issue. They seemed to really like more going out at night because they said it was easier to focus their headlights in specific areas to concentrate directly on the area. But I am still wondering if there is a low temperature cutoff that would likely guarantee that snakes would not be out. Cause out there, it is more open and temps drop at night to 40 or 50. Would think in Arizona it would be a different story. BTW when out detecting....I would rather encounter rodents than poison snakes, thus having the propensity to execute each and everyone I find.
Leo
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