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Herping/herpotology


20 replies to this topic

#1 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 11:59 PM

Any herpers on here? Recently became interested in snakes and lizards and such, well have always been interested, more like fascinated recently. I know my snakes pretty well, and enjoy catching the local non venomous species when I stumble across them. I've caught Pine snakes, King Snakes (Scarlet and eastern) Yellow, Red, Grey, and Black Rat Snakes, a ringneck snake (at school!) and an Eastern Hognose most recently.

Caught a six lined racerunner recently, and it was cool because I always thought they were skinks but a little research turned up that they were not.

Also caught a broad headed skink yesterday, I saved it from my dog. It was about 7" long and gave me one hell of a bite. It drew blood. Beautiful lizard though. Can only imagine the bite of a 12" or 13" specimen would be.

Any advice on how to go about herping? Like purposefully looking for these critters? I usually stumble upon them in every day life.
<p>"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift, thats why they call it the present." - Anonymous"

Snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors." - Clifford Pope

"To him, all good things -trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean  "A River Runs Through It"

Tenkara is only for little fish!                                                                     </p>

#2 mikechell

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 01:14 AM

I've been searching for and keeping snakes most of my life.  My parents were not afraid and let me keep any snake I caught.  My list wasn't as extensive as yours.  For some reason, I've never been able to find them consistently.  Like you, most of mine have been suddenly, while doing something else.

 

These days, with online research, finding where they live is a little easier.  Get in touch with the local DNR and Game Wardens, ask where they get most of their snake reports from.  People sometimes call to have snakes removed from their property.  If you can establish patterns of multiple reports, you can narrow your search patterns.

 

Frequent places where land clearing and construction are going on.  Habitat destruction, obviously, will drive the snakes into new territories, and that makes them a little easier to find.  

 

If you have farms nearby, you can also ask permission to seek snakes on their property.  Rodents attract snakes.  Be sure they know, if they don't want you to keep any, you'll just identify and photograph them.  Once they hear that, they're usually more open to you keeping one or two.  You can also tell them you only want to keep one for a while, that you'll return it after you've observed it for a month or two.

They want the snakes, to keep the rodent population down.  If they think you're going to keep every one you find, they'll never let you on their property.

 

Good luck ... snakes and lizards have been around longer than mankind has, and they know how to be "unseen".


Barbed hooks rule!
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#3 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:09 PM

 

These days, with online research, finding where they live is a little easier.  Get in touch with the local DNR and Game Wardens, ask where they get most of their snake reports from.  People sometimes call to have snakes removed from their property.  If you can establish patterns of multiple reports, you can narrow your search patterns.


Mike, today the Ga DNR contacted ME! They were interested in the location and time where I saw a northern pine snake back in 2015. They logged it for range map data and I found out it's the first found in my area. They said the data went into a program to try and study the habits and habitats. Apparently pines are very rare because they spend up to 80% of their time underground, only moving to feed, sun bathe, or find new territory. Lots of herpers I know have looked for one all their life and never found it. So I feel kinda lucky I guess. I'll attach pics of what I've got logged into my list in my next post.
<p>"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift, thats why they call it the present." - Anonymous"

Snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors." - Clifford Pope

"To him, all good things -trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean  "A River Runs Through It"

Tenkara is only for little fish!                                                                     </p>

#4 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:18 PM

IMG_0220.JPG
Broad head skink

IMG_0219.JPG
Black Rat Snake

IMG_0207.JPG
IMG_0208.JPG
Eastern Hognose Snake

IMG_0167.JPG
Six lined Racerunner

All those, plus a juvenile American alligator, photographed not caught, and a couple red rats (corn snakes) were this year so far.




IMG_0053.JPG
IMG_0052.JPG
The Pine Snake from 2015. Not sure if it's a southern or northern Pine, as I live in a place where the ranges overlap each other.
<p>"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift, thats why they call it the present." - Anonymous"

Snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors." - Clifford Pope

"To him, all good things -trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean  "A River Runs Through It"

Tenkara is only for little fish!                                                                     </p>

#5 mikechell

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:10 PM

Very cool ... nice pictures!

 

This is an Eastern Diamond Back I caught trying to swim.  They aren't very good at it.

I didn't pick him up, but I was close enough to do so.

Ocala rattler.jpg

 

This is a small 'gator that hit my lure.  I got my lure back, and a picture with it.

caught one 2.jpg

 

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of any of the snakes I've had.  Since I started traveling for my company in 1999, I haven't had any.  Never knew how long I'd be out, and I never have expected anyone else to care for them.

 

I miss having one or a few around.  

 

My favorite was a Copperhead I had for several months while I was in the military.  She was beautiful, 3 feet long and as mean as you could ever imagine.  I fed her by lowering a rat through a small opening in the top of the cage.  I would let a friend feed her and I would bet they couldn't let her strike the rat without flinching.  My biggest "haul" was one guy who tried three times (three successive week feedings).  On his third try, he bet $100.00.  (usual was $20.00)

 

I felt no sympathy as I took the $100.00 from him.

 


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#6 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 11:31 PM

Wow 3 feet is a big copperhead! I've never seen one over 2ft, and it was dead, the skin is on my wall.


I'd love to keep a Snake or two but my stepdad is in the group that the only good one is a dead one. He hates and is afraid of them.
<p>"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift, thats why they call it the present." - Anonymous"

Snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors." - Clifford Pope

"To him, all good things -trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean  "A River Runs Through It"

Tenkara is only for little fish!                                                                     </p>

#7 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 11:34 PM

The gator I saw was only around 6 or 7" in length.


Beautiful rattler there Mike. So far I've seen Pygmy and timbers, but never a diamondback.
<p>"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift, thats why they call it the present." - Anonymous"

Snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors." - Clifford Pope

"To him, all good things -trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean  "A River Runs Through It"

Tenkara is only for little fish!                                                                     </p>

#8 mikechell

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 03:03 AM

The size of the Copperhead was why I kept her, at first.  I thought I might have a record sized snake, but it wasn't.  She was huge, though, and fat, too.

By the time I found out she wasn't a record, I was enjoying having her there ... and the extra income.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#9 Chase Creek

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:49 AM

My son was into reptiles for many years. His bedroom looked like the reptile house at the zoo.

I am VERY afraid of snakes (I know, I know) and he wasn't so good at keeping the lids on his stuff, so I had a flashlight I kept by the bed to use when I had to get up in the night, Many a time ,while fishing I'd sit on a log to change flies, only to find a snake sunning himself next to me. You've never seen anyone walk on water like me.

Lotsa stories about my son's collection, but the best is about the Hissing Cockroaches he had.


"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and
beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise"
Aldo Leopold

#10 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:22 AM

Chase Creek, I can deal with snakes, and creepy crawls don't bother me, so long as they stay off of me. If a cockroach or scorpion or spider is on me I suddenly turn into a little girl haha
<p>"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift, thats why they call it the present." - Anonymous"

Snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors." - Clifford Pope

"To him, all good things -trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean  "A River Runs Through It"

Tenkara is only for little fish!                                                                     </p>

#11 mikechell

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 11:46 AM

I had a friend back in South Carolina (1979 - 80) who emptied a 9mm magazine into the bottom of his boat, trying to kill a snake that had dropped into it from an overhanging branch.

9 holes in his boat ... not a single one through the snake, which crawled over the side and swam off.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#12 steeldrifter

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 12:02 PM

Herpotology....they make an ointment for that ya know happy.png


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#13 DrVette

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 03:57 PM

Herps R Us here...Just kiddin.

But i have a fairly good background in herps (still shaky on Squamoids, Not many around here). Unfortunately most of what you list falls under that. I have never heard of this pine snake...It looks like it is a squa. also.

 

The best time to get out and look for snakes (in N America) is the time just as the sun rises. They come out to bathe and the time is short. Seldom more than 2 hours and it starts at the first sign of blue in the sky. The rest of the morning you can try flipping over any debris you find in the field, but be careful. 

The other trick is to learn what your herps are eating and follow the food source. If you know the nesting times find areas that match what they use and keep watching.

 

I have had MANY snakes over the years, and worked with even more. I specialize in So.Colo. species.I have been trying to find the paper i wrote in the early 80s to try to save a colony of collard lizards. The State said the area would be protected...Today there are a bunch of houses over the area. It is sad. I would wake-up at 4am (or so)head out and wait there for sunrise. I don't want to know how many times i did that.

And as far as i have ever heard i am the only person to find a Gila Monster in Pueblo Colorado. I probably should have reported that...that was the 80s...to who and how?



#14 Kentuckysteve

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:58 PM

I came across this rattler while mowing my yard. First one i have seen here.Usually see copperheads and garter snakes.

 

When i was young we would get snakes out of peoples attics using a pvc pipe capped on one end.Place an egg in it for bait.Snakes dont have reverse.They would crawl in to get the egg and they dont have enough room in the pipe to turn around so there they were.We just picked up the pipe and relocated them.

 

 

IMG_0050a_zpsiymzhxyp.jpg


There is no greater fan of fly fishing........Than the worm. -  Patrick F. McManus


#15 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:07 PM

I came across this rattler while mowing my yard. First one i have seen here.Usually see copperheads and garter snakes.
 
When i was young we would get snakes out of peoples attics using a pvc pipe capped on one end.Place an egg in it for bait.Snakes dont have reverse.They would crawl in to get the egg and they dont have enough room in the pipe to turn around so there they were.We just picked up the pipe and relocated them.
 
 
IMG_0050a_zpsiymzhxyp.jpg



Beautiful timber rattler there Steve. Sucks that you killed him, although I can understand not tolerating venemous species close to your house.
<p>"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift, thats why they call it the present." - Anonymous"

Snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors." - Clifford Pope

"To him, all good things -trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean  "A River Runs Through It"

Tenkara is only for little fish!                                                                     </p>



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