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Cache In The Desert


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I was happily out caching in Arizona on our way home from Mesquite and we stopped at the "Heart Break Hotel" cache (GCRYRA) and I almost stepped right on a sidewinder. :D


I wonder how many times we've all stepped near or nearly on a snake but not noticed it.

Perhaps if we knew how many times that has happened without causing the snake to bite, then we'd be a little less afraid.

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A little trick for those of you on the trail. Poisonous snakes have verticle pupils, like little slits. Nonpoisonous snakes have round pupils.


Is that true? If that's really really true, then I'd like to know that. But don't say it if you aint' sure.


I don't personally know much about poisonous snakes. But after reading this thread, I'm planning to do some research and edumacate myself!

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Not sure how true, but this is what I've heard since I was a kid. It's said that a bite from a baby poisonous snake would more dangerous than if bitten by an adult. All snakes have the same toxins (potency) from birth through death. The years teach snakes control on how much venom will do the job. They need to conserve their venom in case they would like to eat again anytime soon. A baby snake doesn't posess this sort of control yet. It's like giving the car keys to a 2 year old and asking him/her to only go 15mph. Good luck.

I've heard this, too. I had to deal with a baby rattler (about 1' in length) because it trapped itself near a sidewalk and was harassing passerbys. When I tried to move it with a stick (about 5' long), it sprayed a LOT of venom everywhere on its first strike. So maybe it is true.


Another warning about baby rattlers - some of them can't rattle yet, even though the tail is shaking like a happy dog.


I wish I had a camera the night I discovered the nocturnal nature of the Mojave Rattler. After completing the afternoon I refer to as Mission: RRTW, we went out caching for several hours in the darkness of the AZ desert. A mere 12' from the Red Rock Spring cache, I stopped to kneel down and survey under a large rock to see if that was where the cache was. Underneath, I was surprised by a set of beady eyes that went with the young Mojave Rattler. I studied it from a distance and as soon as the rattle started I took my cue to leave. It was then that we discovered they travel in pairs. On the jog out, my foot landed probably a foot from the other one hiding in a nearby bush. From the research I did to learn which species it was, I learned that typically the first strike is a 'dry bite', but when they do strike and inject venom, it is usually 3x the lethal dosage for a human being. Given that we were miles from even a paved road, that's bad news.

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Snakes don't want a piece of you any more than you want a piece of them, leave 'em be and everyone will be happy.


I don’t know about that. :grin: That was my bad childhood experience with a snake. It was about a 6 foot long non-poisonous blow snake (commonly referred to as the bull snake) but to a 4 year old with a new puppy it looked like a very big horrible monster coming to eat me and it was coming for me and my puppy. :) Slithered right out of a pile of rubble toward me...


When I and a friend of mine were 19 we encountered a young rattler near Wenatchee, WA. We got out of the car on a dusty back road to wet down the roadbed a bit and noticed the approximately 24" long snake on the hillside.


Being 19 year old males we might have made a few comments that the snake found offensive because it decided to come after us. It did rattle on the hillside but was all business when on the move. Dumb kid that I was I figured it couldn't get us when stretched out chasing us. I got a tire iron out of the trunk and kept pushing it around trying to make it change course until we got bored. No other snake of any kind has ever come after me and I'm not sure why this one did. From its length and low number of rattles I estimated it to be the equivalent of about 19 years old. It was acting just as stupidly as I was. (Edit for adverb deficiency.)

Edited by Team Sagefox
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I live in out the desert and the area of the Mojave Green. They are nothing to fool with. Their venom is the worse in the USA by far. :grin:


The best way to protect your dog is to snake train it. My dog is snake trained and on at least 3 times has prevented me or my wife from approching a snake.


All of my desert caches have a warning to not put your hands or feet anywhere you have not checked out first.


How do you go about snake training a dog? I am about to move to Texas, and was thinking about getting a dog, but being a Yankee I have never heard of this. Matter of fact, can you snake-train Yankees?


Ok this how I snake trained my dog. I had a dead snake, sorry it wandered too close to my house and my dog of course wanted to sniff it. I held the dead snake on the end of a stick in one hand and a newspaper in the other. I then chased my dog around the yard yelling "NO" and slaping my leg with the newpaper. After about 5 minutes I put the equipment away and petted the dog to show her that I still loved her.


After a couple of hours I left the snake laying in the yard and watched as the dog came within 10 feet caught the smell and would not approach. The training was still effective as we were out on the Mojave rd and my wife had the dog an a leash and the dog would not let her approach a rock pile where a rattle snake skin was found.

Edited by captnemo
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