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What about snakes and other nasty criters?


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It seems like the posibiliy of getting bit by something while digging around in the bushes and tree's and stumps would be high. What's your take on this? So far I have been luckey. But in other areas the risk would be a lot higher.

 

hey cedar most of the times snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them sneaking up on them is usually the main cause of getting bit especialy with venemous ones they would rather run away given the chance than bit so my advise would be make a normal amount of noise so they can detect you

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A local cacher was recently bitten by a rattlesnake. I don't feel free to share his story here but, perhaps he will see this thread and decide to share. I can tell you though that it was a very close call and we are all very grateful that he is doing better now. Please be careful.

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A local cacher was recently bitten by a rattlesnake. I don't feel free to share his story here but, perhaps he will see this thread and decide to share. I can tell you though that it was a very close call and we are all very grateful that he is doing better now. Please be careful.
I have had one close call and been with three others when each of them had a close call. I have been told that if you get bit don't hesitate to call in the rescue copter. If you don't then you risk having permanent nerve damage in the area that was bitten or worse. Edited by TrailGators
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A local cacher was recently bitten by a rattlesnake. I don't feel free to share his story here but, perhaps he will see this thread and decide to share. I can tell you though that it was a very close call and we are all very grateful that he is doing better now. Please be careful.
I have had one close call and been with three others when each of them had a close call. I have been told that if you get bit don't hesitate to call in the rescue copter. If you don't then you risk having permanent nerve damage in the area that was bitten or worse.

 

I had one "go off" - start rattling loudly - right by my foot the other day. The next cacher at the site had the same thing happen. It's a noise that REALLY gets your attention right away. However, they don't always rattle. The snakes in Northern California this year are extremely agressive for some reason. You may not get any warning at all before you are bitten.

 

The cacher who was bitten recently is extremely experienced. I can't imagine ANY way he could have done anything wrong or done anything differently - yet he was still bitten. There was NO rattle as a warning and the snake was totally hidden from view. It's a good thing he was with a friend and is also someone who is very smart. If not for those two things I don't believe he would be alive today. I believe he owes his life to his own wits and, in a very real way, to his caching partner. I doubt either one will ever be the same after this experience but, despite his ordeal, he will continue caching and simply says to be alert and careful.

 

Snakes, spiders, etc. are a part of what we do. We need to be careful and alert. Freak accidents can happen and you really can't protect against them. A helicopter may fall on your head while you are watching a movie at home. All you can do is to be careful and, if you do that, you are "probably" going to be ok. All activities have some risk inherant in them.

 

If the cacher involved in the incident I mentioned sees this thread I sincerely hope that he doesn't take offense to my speaking of it here. It seems germane to the discussion and I haven't disclosed any personal information. I know it's still a very "close" and personal experience for him.

Edited by Thrak
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It seems like the posibiliy of getting bit by something while digging around in the bushes and tree's and stumps would be high. What's your take on this? So far I have been luckey. But in other areas the risk would be a lot higher.

 

hey cedar most of the times snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them sneaking up on them is usually the main cause of getting bit especialy with venemous ones they would rather run away given the chance than bit so my advise would be make a normal amount of noise so they can detect you

 

keep in mind though that they sense vibrations in the ground not necessarily hear so you'd be better off stomping the ground over yelling or clapping hands

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well my two cents is the only good snake is a dead snake but thats not accepted by everyone. just be careful, carry a stick to do the majority of the poking around and look good before stepping or placing your hands somewhere. i've seen 4 in southern cal this year and only one was aggresive but the one of the others did seem to stop and wait for me, lol...i think they respond to vibrations and sound so make noise and maybe toss rocks to kind of move them along maybe??

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A local cacher was recently bitten by a rattlesnake. I don't feel free to share his story here but, perhaps he will see this thread and decide to share. I can tell you though that it was a very close call and we are all very grateful that he is doing better now. Please be careful.
I have had one close call and been with three others when each of them had a close call. I have been told that if you get bit don't hesitate to call in the rescue copter. If you don't then you risk having permanent nerve damage in the area that was bitten or worse.

 

I had one "go off" - start rattling loudly - right by my foot the other day. The next cacher at the site had the same thing happen. It's a noise that REALLY gets your attention right away. However, they don't always rattle. The snakes in Northern California this year are extremely agressive for some reason. You may not get any warning at all before you are bitten.

 

The cacher who was bitten recently is extremely experienced. I can't imagine ANY way he could have done anything wrong or done anything differently - yet he was still bitten. There was NO rattle as a warning and the snake was totally hidden from view. It's a good thing he was with a friend and is also someone who is very smart. If not for those two things I don't believe he would be alive today. I believe he owes his life to his own wits and, in a very real way, to his caching partner. I doubt either one will ever be the same after this experience but, despite his ordeal, he will continue caching and simply says to be alert and careful.

 

Snakes, spiders, etc. are a part of what we do. We need to be careful and alert. Freak accidents can happen and you really can't protect against them. A helicopter may fall on your head while you are watching a movie at home. All you can do is to be careful and, if you do that, you are "probably" going to be ok. All activities have some risk inherant in them.

 

If the cacher involved in the incident I mentioned sees this thread I sincerely hope that he doesn't take offense to my speaking of it here. It seems germane to the discussion and I haven't disclosed any personal information. I know it's still a very "close" and personal experience for him.

I'm glad to hear that he's OK. I'm sure that anyone can get bit under the right set of circumstances. I've thought getting some snake gaiters....

 

321456_oi.jpg

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A friend (and fellow cacher) taught me early on (read this as my first cache) the importance of carrying a "walking stick" and the use of said stick in searching in areas where snakes, spiders, etc might be hiding. The stick I use is a cheapy telescoping one so I can fold it up when not using it.

 

My caching buddy is very fond of wearing gloves when actually going after these caches after a thorough sweep with a walking stick. YMMV, but so far it's worked for us.

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I really don't get the whole "OH GOD A SNAKE!" thing.....

 

What is so gosh darned scary about a snake? A snake is always more scared of you. It's basically a lizard with no legs, what's the big deal?

I did some Googling and found this: Approximately 8,000 people annually are treated for poisonous snake bites in the United States. However, the California Poison Control Center notes that rattlesnakes only account for about 800 of those bites each year with about one to two deaths.
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I recently cached in an area that potentially has snakes. I researched the snakes and such and the one piece of advice that stuck out above all advice I got on the internet was this:

 

"Don't let your fear of snakes keep you from enjoying the outdoors"

 

After reading that I decided to push on. I am vigilant, but I won't let unwarranted fears keep me from doing what I want to do. Like not going outside for fear of being struck by lightning. Precautions are always helpful and don't hurt BTW.

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i've worked with snakes for awhile, one thing you must understand is your level of excitement and how you can react can be the difference between a bite and the snake slithering away. if you've ever held a snake or mouse you'll notice one thing, you can feel the blood rushing through them and vice versa, when i use to hold my mice, if i was excited or just got done running, i could feel their heartbeat as if they were freaking out, if you're excited, they are too, and are often scared, when you keep your cool, they will do the same, whenever i held a snake if i was not calm they would get ancy and start trying to slither out of my hands.

 

when in the bush make sure to make a decent amount of noise, if you're with a friend, elevate your voice slightly above how you normally talk. pick out a walking stick before you head deep in too, one that is at least up to your chest and be sure to make strong hits with it in the ground while you walk, snakes will easily detect this and will know your location so the risk of having a suprise encounter with one will be far less likely. unless you're hunting theirs no reason to be extremely quiet, unless you live in a area with no dangerous snakes.

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It seems like the posibiliy of getting bit by something while digging around in the bushes and tree's and stumps would be high. What's your take on this? So far I have been luckey. But in other areas the risk would be a lot higher.

 

hey cedar most of the times snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them sneaking up on them is usually the main cause of getting bit especialy with venemous ones they would rather run away given the chance than bit so my advise would be make a normal amount of noise so they can detect you

 

Snakes are deaf!

 

The best way to deal with snakes is to take precautions. Snake proof chaps / boots are a great idea if you spend a lot of time in high brush/ tall grass, and the area has venemous snakes. Like others have said, never "blindly stick your hand into an rock crevice, hole, or bush, without properly checking for wildlife. I live in Mojave Green territory, and I practice the following precautions.

 

I always look where i'm going, many people are too busy looking at their GPSes to pay attention to the ground.

 

Most of the time I avoid walking too close to tall bushes, unless I check them with my trekking pole first.

 

If the cache is most likely in a thick bush, I take the time to methodically check for snakes before I put my hands in the bush.

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Snakes are deaf!

 

 

Snakes have no external ears, but they do have a bone called the quadrate under the skin on the sides of their head which focuses sound into the cochlea. their sense of hearing is most sensitive around sounds which are about 300 hz, the human voice ranges anywhere from 300 hz to 3500, so while its not a common practice, it still helps for snakes but in general while in the bush you should always make your presence known for other wildlife, i always prefer the walking stick method, every few feet a good thud on the ground will do you well.

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Some snakes are more aggressive than others. Some rattlers won't bite until provoked. Others need little provocation. A herpetologist I know told me that a bite from a watersnake (not a venomous species) could be of concern because of the possible infection you could get from an animal that is in water, eating whatever is floating (rotting?) around there. Also, it is an aggressive snake to boot.

 

I just try to be alert when walking through wetlands--and let the geo-husband go first. :laughing:

 

Chris

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At the moment I'm not a happy snake person and agree with whoever said a good one is a dead one! I'm use to being on the alert for snakes since we played in the desert a lot growing up. Recently we were caching and had a GREAT day! Lots of hiking/wheeling/etc. to get caches and decided to get a couple more on the way home. Precautions taken all day long and we avoided ANY trouble.

 

So here it is, 8 p.m. and it's dusk. We pull off the road and walk about 150 away to find a cache. As we're looking I see a rock and start to look closely before putting my hand down. What do I see but a snake heading towards my foot!!!! He was covered enough by some brush that I couldn't identify it and decided I wasn't sticking around to find out if it was friendly or not! I jumped up and lid on some loose gravel and then proceeded to slide down a bank. Unfortunately my foot got caught in some rocks up towards the top!!!

 

Oh well. I figure sore ankle is better than a snake bite!

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At the moment I'm not a happy snake person and agree with whoever said a good one is a dead one! I'm use to being on the alert for snakes since we played in the desert a lot growing up. Recently we were caching and had a GREAT day! Lots of hiking/wheeling/etc. to get caches and decided to get a couple more on the way home. Precautions taken all day long and we avoided ANY trouble.

 

So here it is, 8 p.m. and it's dusk. We pull off the road and walk about 150 away to find a cache. As we're looking I see a rock and start to look closely before putting my hand down. What do I see but a snake heading towards my foot!!!! He was covered enough by some brush that I couldn't identify it and decided I wasn't sticking around to find out if it was friendly or not! I jumped up and lid on some loose gravel and then proceeded to slide down a bank. Unfortunately my foot got caught in some rocks up towards the top!!!

 

Oh well. I figure sore ankle is better than a snake bite!

 

you got real lucky, the last thing you want to do is freak out with a snake next to you, especially since you got some bad snakes there in Cali, i suggest using a walking stick from now on, and be careful with lifting and looking around rocks at high noon as thats when snakes are in hiding to keep cool from the sun and as you saw, they love to be out at dusk and dawn

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At the moment I'm not a happy snake person and agree with whoever said a good one is a dead one! I'm use to being on the alert for snakes since we played in the desert a lot growing up. Recently we were caching and had a GREAT day! Lots of hiking/wheeling/etc. to get caches and decided to get a couple more on the way home. Precautions taken all day long and we avoided ANY trouble.

 

So here it is, 8 p.m. and it's dusk. We pull off the road and walk about 150 away to find a cache. As we're looking I see a rock and start to look closely before putting my hand down. What do I see but a snake heading towards my foot!!!! He was covered enough by some brush that I couldn't identify it and decided I wasn't sticking around to find out if it was friendly or not! I jumped up and lid on some loose gravel and then proceeded to slide down a bank. Unfortunately my foot got caught in some rocks up towards the top!!!

 

Oh well. I figure sore ankle is better than a snake bite!

 

you got real lucky, the last thing you want to do is freak out with a snake next to you, especially since you got some bad snakes there in Cali, i suggest using a walking stick from now on, and be careful with lifting and looking around rocks at high noon as thats when snakes are in hiding to keep cool from the sun and as you saw, they love to be out at dusk and dawn

 

Yep. I've come across many snakes out here and I wasn't so much freaking out as I was moving away from it quickly! I could see enough of it to know it was small and not in a position to strike that I figured jumping away in the opposite direction would be fine. I normally have a stick with me and had used it on all the others. We forgot it on this one as we were just doing a quick road side stop. (next time it goes ANYWAYS!) My stick also has a cane like handle on it that I normally use for moving rocks. With growing up around Mojave greens and such I'm generally very cautious re snakes.

Edited by kyoteh
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i would love to visit the mojave someday, i heard they got some good biking there?

 

I enjoy being out there. (except for the snakes!!!) Long ago the dirt biking and wheeling was great. Now much of the land is getting closed. There's still good places to enjoy but not as much as before. It's fun to take some of the trails and see some of the old mines and things that are out there. Just gotta watch out as some you find the hard way!

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I have lived in Wyoming all of my life. After you've heard the snake rattle, that's a sound you NEVER forget! My 10 year old and I have personalized walking sticks. We take them with us when we "cache in the outback". The are at least shoulder high so that we can poke around quite a ways ahead of us and under bushes. We also watch for feathers, antlers, skins or something cool to add to our sticks as reminders of our adventures.

If you notice my avatar, though it is small, it a photo of a red-striped lizard right above the cache we found. What it doesn't show is the huge rattlesnake we met who wanted to eat the lizard guarding the cache! After he alerted us by his rattle, we allowed him his space and he moved on. As you can see by the terrain, this is snake paradise!

Though they were referred to as "lizards without legs", they are not to be taken lightly. You should see the damage that these "lizards"do to their human victims! :anitongue:

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