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It's snake time!

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2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
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Came upon this guy in the weeds yesterday! He seemed like he was sleeping until I showed up. lol I've gone thirty some years without encountering one, now this one is my third in the last 2 years. All along the same stream in NC Pa.

Folks really need to be careful when in rattler country, because all three rattlers that I've come upon didn't rattle until I enduced it. There is no mistaking that sound!

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Posted on: 2013/6/9 17:36
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Re: It's snake time!

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Thanks for the reminder! Havent seen a rattler in a while,good thing to be very careful out there.

Posted on: 2013/6/9 17:59


Re: It's snake time!

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I got buzzed by a big rattler in Tioga County on June 1. It was laying right on a gravel forest road. I was walking back to my car around 9 pm, so it was near dark. It was buzzing loud, and moving around as if it was very agitated.

Maybe their numbers are on the increase. It seems like I've been hearing about a lot more sightings than I used to.

Posted on: 2013/6/9 18:37


Re: It's snake time!

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2008/6/14 23:22
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I have yet to ever see a rattler fishing I hope to never see one.

Posted on: 2013/6/9 19:42


Re: It's snake time!

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Love/hate relationship. I don't want to get tagged by one obviously, but I do notice where I see or know there are a lot of rattlers the tick populations are very low from the mouse predation. All anecdotal, of course.

Posted on: 2013/6/9 19:51


Re: It's snake time!

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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Quote:

BeastBrown wrote:
Love/hate relationship. I don't want to get tagged by one obviously, but I do notice where I see or know there are a lot of rattlers the tick populations are very low from the mouse predation. All anecdotal, of course.


Just curious - how do you take a tick census to support your anecdotal claim?

Posted on: 2013/6/9 21:14


Re: It's snake time!

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They are generally very passive creatures until you step on them, immediately in front of their heads, or on the rock under which they are lying (if it teeters). I used to accompany a friend who did telemetry work with timber rattlers. I learned to look in the horizontal cracks/gaps between two stacked boulders before using the boulders for a seat. I also learned to not step on 6-8 inch dia logs lying on the forest floor and when stepping over them not to place my foot close to the opposite side of the log. Rattlers take the Reinert position to feed on rodents that use the logs for woodland highways. They lie in wait and in striking position curled up with their heads resting at about the 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock position on the logs ready to strike a passing rodent.

Posted on: 2013/6/9 22:03


Re: It's snake time!

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Quote:

salmonoid wrote:
Quote:

BeastBrown wrote:
Love/hate relationship. I don't want to get tagged by one obviously, but I do notice where I see or know there are a lot of rattlers the tick populations are very low from the mouse predation. All anecdotal, of course.


Just curious - how do you take a tick census to support your anecdotal claim?


Ehh, well, if I fish/hike an area repeatedly, and have low numbers of ticks that I am pulling off my body in peak tick seasons, then I conclude that there is a lower tick population. Generally, wetter, swampy areas that I explore have less ticks. I assume this is because most snakes that eat mice prefer drier, rocky areas.

But, on average, the very boulder filled areas I frequent have very low tick numbers, based on the amount of ticks I pick off myself.

Posted on: 2013/6/9 22:26


Re: It's snake time!
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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I have a cabin in NE PA where there are a lot of rattlers. Everyone seems to believe rattlers only frequent rocky areas and/or in and around logs. While they are there, the most dangerous places, because they are hidden, are in the high weeds and especially in the dense ferns you find this time of year. If you hike in such areas, I recommend you wear snake chaps or stay at home.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 7:51


Re: It's snake time!

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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More likely your habitat observations are based on, well, habitat, rather than the snake populations in those habitats.

And regarding mice, I have no idea if I'm right, but I always heard that a large mouse population DECREASES your chances of getting ticks on you. They don't have much affect on actual tick populations. However, if there are a lot of mice, then there are a lot of ticks feeding on mice, which are ticks that AREN'T feeding on people.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 8:02


Re: It's snake time!

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I believe the path for the lyme bacteria can involve mice. I don't know about a connection between the number of mice and the number of ticks. But maybe deer ticks from areas with more mice are more likely to have the lyme bacteria?

Afish I hear ya. Up NE of your cabin there are some overgrown dirt roads because the bridges serving them were wiped out in major 11 floods... I almost put my foot down on a snake walking one of those roads that are getting overgrown with tall grass now that there are no cars or ATVs on them. snake went one way, I went the other, but could well have been a rattler.

ticks, mice, and lyme: "The complete life cycle of Ixodes ticks requires 2 years. Tick eggs are laid in the spring, and hatch as larvae in the summer. Larvae feed on mice, birds, and other small animals in the summer and early fall. The larvae may become infected with Lyme disease bacteria when feeding on these animals."

Posted on: 2013/6/10 8:09


Re: It's snake time!

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2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
Posts: 2032
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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
... the most dangerous places, because they are hidden, are in the high weeds and especially in the dense ferns you find this time of year.

In my original pic you'll see that's exactly where that snake was! I just happened to see it because I'm VERY watchful of where I'm walking when I'm in NC Pa. I keep telling myself that because of the airspace between my hip boots and my leg, that a bite won't actually make it to my leg. I'm thinking the boot will take the bulk of the bite? Like I mentioned, they don't always rattle, that's the scary thing.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 8:14

Edited by wildtrout2 on 2013/6/10 8:33:54
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Protect the resource, let them go!


Re: It's snake time!

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only definite rattler I ever got very close to did not rattle.

thanks for the thread, I think it is great to see a rattler, but not seeing one? shudder.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 8:18


Re: It's snake time!

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Quote:
I keep telling myself that because of the air space between my hip boots and my leg, that a bite won't actually make it to my leg.


I'd rather have that airspace than not, but certainly don't think it's foolproof. The bigger ones have LONG fangs.

Nothing is foolproof. Even the snake gators, like turtle skins, only cover up to your knee. Many actual bites are hand bites when the person was climbing up steep hills or ledges.

There are degrees of "safer", depending how much effort you want to put into it. There's no such thing as completely safe.

Posted on: 2013/6/10 8:22


Re: It's snake time!

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2009/7/29 10:25
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right I wear turtleskin snake gaitors but they are only up to knee. bargain at $125 for me at least. also help waders last. I try to be very careful with handholds when hiking.

I am trying to cut down on summer bushwhacking given snake and tick risks plus it takes so much more energy than hiking on trails in hot weather.

and as afish pointed out , some ravines are now full of ferns you cant see footing through

Posted on: 2013/6/10 8:27



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