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Snake Activity


HartClimbs
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A couple news items recently on folks getting bitten by copperheads in the northern NJ area.

 

As the guy on Hill Street Blues used to say... "Let's be careful out there".

 

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Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves. - Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)

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Have a buddy two weeks ago in his own back yard, after enjoying a few cold ones, saw a snake slithering through the grass. He decided that it would be cool to catch it. He spent 3 days in intensive care from a copperhead bite. This in a suburban subdivision in VA.

 

Hey, I didn't say he was bright :-)

 

Sometimes a majority only means that all the fools are on the same side

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quote:
Originally posted by CCrew:

Have a buddy two weeks ago in his own back yard, after enjoying a few cold ones, saw a snake slithering through the grass. He decided that it would be cool to catch it. He spent 3 days in intensive care from a copperhead bite. This in a suburban subdivision in VA.

 

Hey, I didn't say he was bright :-)


 

I have a friend who HATES snakes, so he wont have this problem.....

 

He rides the lawnmower with a beer in one hand, and a snub-nosed .357magnum in a shoulder holster, just in case he sees a snake...No Kidding!! icon_smile.gif

 

Art

 

www.yankeetoys.org

www.BudBuilt.com

www.pirate4x4.com

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I know a geocacher encountered a copperhead at my Osio Rock cache a few months ago (the photos are on the cache page), but I've been wandering the woods of NJ for many years and have yet to encounter a poisionous snake. Out of thousands of hiking miles, the two that I have encountered in the wild were in the Catskills.

 

Of course they are out there, but if you actually see one, please buy me a lottery ticket...and if you are bitten, buy me two.

 

Just in case though, be sure you bring a hiking pole to poke in leaf piles and under stumps when looking for a cache.

 

"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day" - Dave Barry

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quote:

I know a geocacher encountered a copperhead at my Osio Rock cache a few months ago


 

Actually it was two snakes, not one, the other one was much smaller but was also a copperhead. For a moment I thought I was surround by them. They were a feet or so apart from each other, and after taking the shot I did not feel like looking to see if they were more.

 

It was close to the first stage of the Osio Rock Cache in a Rock Formation that I had to climb as the trail passed through it.

 

I was suspicious that it was poisonous as I remember reading somewhere that some poisonous snakes tend to have a triangular or pointy head. But I did not recognize the snake until I posted the pic here.

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Lerch:

Does enyone know if the Copperhead gives any kind of a warning before striking?


 

it screams "I'mma Gitchyou Sucka!"

 

those things give me the creeps. a buddy of mine has a neighbor across the street from him that has caught THREE in the last few months. this is in a nice neighborhood off Rte 29 in Wheaton/Silver Spring near 193.

 

~robert

(that's mrkablooey, not kablooey)

The Maryland Geocaching Society www.mdgps.net

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Don't forget, Rattlesnakes don't always give warnings either...

 

 

My current caching attire is caLf-high boots, heavy gators, long pants, long sleeve shirt, and hat regardless of weather... The Hatbill gets the Deet, and the long sleeves help prevent mosquito bites(west Nile Virus). Long pants, gators and boots are good protection against scratches, ticks and hopefully snakes.

 

Give me a Tall ship, and a Star to steer her bye...

 

The White Fleet....

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

They just give you a real nasty look.


 

Although sometimes you may also hear a very faint "Laa Dee Dah". icon_razz.gif

 

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Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves. - Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)

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A few weeks ago, I was doing a long bicycle ride from McKeesport, PA to Washington DC along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath. I hit a bunch of caches along the way. One such cache was Pterodactyl mountain exploration #1 (GC7AFD).

 

It was a tough climb up the hill but an absolutely spectacular view on a rock outcropping overlooking the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

 

I searched one area without success. I looked at another, also without success. I went back to my starting point to get a better satellite signal and searched again without success. I decided not to rely on my GPSr and began to widen my search. But under the next rock overhang I came face to face with a big, beautiful COPPERHEAD. Alone, on top of the mountain I decided not to go poking around under any more rocks lest I irritate the locals. I abandoned my search and went back down.

 

I wish my camera hadn't broken two days before because it really was a pretty snake.

 

On several other occasions along the Youghiogheny River Trail I have chased Water Moccasins off the trail so that they didn't have unpleasant encounters with people walking along the trail. In one instance, a bunch of kids were poking around in a water filled ditch half as mile down the trail. I warned their chaparone about the dangers of what they were doing.

 

I am always careful not to be sticking my hand in places I haven't investigated first with a stick or hiking pole.

 

Kordite

 

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Copperheads and Rattlesnakes do all they can to avoid contact with us, but if they feel threatened will strike. Geopackrat is correct about rattlers not always giving a warning. If they are nervous they rattle, if you surprise them they may strike first. I have had it happen twice.. both missed. People need to realize they are rat, squirrel, mouse.... hunters and don't really want to even see us. Make a little noise as you walk and be observant when in good snake habitat. They will crawl under a rock or log if given a chance. Saw a really beautiful Rattlesnake along the A-T in Berks Co a couple weeks ago. It was near a cache but not in the same rock pile.

 

The "Water Moccasins" that kordite refers to in western PA are not poisonous. The northern limit of the Cottonmouth or Water Moccasin is just below Norfolk VA. Their range in the east is down along the coast to about Georgia then across the south and up the Mississippi Valley to mid Missouri. A lot of people call a Northern Watersnake a Water Moccasin. They can be aggressive and nasty, and will bite, but have no poison glands. Another urban legend in PA is that we have Poison Oak but I'll save that lesson for another day [icon_smile.gif] edscott

 

[This message was edited by edscott on July 25, 2003 at 05:36 AM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by Kordite:

 

I am always careful not to be sticking my hand in places I haven't investigated first with a stick or hiking pole.

 

Kordite

 

http://img.Groundspeak.com/user/89355_500.gif


 

I worry about that too. I did p;art of a cache yesterday where I had to stick a mirror in a hollow tree to locate the capsule and the stretch to get my hands on it. All I was thinking was I hope nothings living in there. Another leg had the marker in a hollow tree knot on the ground. I made sure to poke the crap outta the hole before sticking my hand in there.

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i always bang a stump or rock before expoling it, and my wife always chuckles. this past tuesday, while doing down by the river cache in pond eddy NY on the delaware i did just that.. banged the log and got a hisss in return. i left it be for a minute and got the cache out by using a stick. when i returned the cache the same creature gave me a god aweful warning hisssss again. be careful with stumps and rocks.

 

on the wheelin and dealin cache in PA, Milrift on the delaware my daughter (7) stumbled into a snake on a rock staircaise. it was sunning and more stunned than her. she says it was 10 feet long and huge with red eyes. my wife saw it and said 3+ feet a nd black. i did not get a look, but a previous cacher took a photo of one similar.

 

this is from a prev visitor, and this is what she saw. never saw those markings before.. what is it??? i say watersnake. ???

 

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A family that Geocaches together... eventually gets wet.

 

required reading

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PERSONAL PROTECTIVE MEASURES AGAINST INSECTS AND OTHER ARTHROPODS OF MILITARY SIGNIFICANCE

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That looks like a water snake. When young they have the striped pattern, which they lose as they get older. Although not poisonous, they are vicious if cornered and can give a nasty bite. They have a lot of very sharp teeth to enable them to hold on to their slippery prey (fish, frogs, etc.). I was bitten by a small water snake (I used to like to catch snakes when I was younger) and it ripped up my finger pretty good.

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quote:
Originally posted by edscott:

A lot of people call a Northern Watersnake a Water Moccasin. They can be aggressive and nasty, and will bite, but have no poison glands.


 

Here is a picture I took of a Northern watersnake the markings and color are very similar to a Copperhead and are sometimes mistaken as one.

 

northern1.jpg

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For almost 30 years, I've hiked in NJ'w woods without fear. The past two days I've been hiking and checking out every crevice and log before I stepped, pounding my hiking stick on rocks to announce my presence and generally looking everywhere for a copperhead or rattler. Thanks a lot gang! icon_mad.gif

 

"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day" - Dave Barry

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

For almost 30 years, I've hiked in NJ'w woods without fear. The past two days I've been hiking and checking out every crevice and log before I stepped, pounding my hiking stick on rocks to announce my presence and generally looking everywhere for a copperhead or rattler.


 

My paranoia knows no limits, I too listen and look entirely to carefully as of late. I race home every day to check and see if there have been anymore snake sightings posted in the forum

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The neatest snake thing I ever saw was when I was fishing Lake Stahahe in Harriman Park NY. I was fishing from the shore by the ranger's house on the west sie. I had just taken a dead minnow off my hook replacing him with a live onedropping the dead one right into about ten inches of water by me feet. It settled to the bottom

 

A few minutes later I look down, and there a small maybe 12" snake swimming on the bottom towards the minnow. He gets up close, takes it in its mouth and swims away - all underwater!

 

My guess the snake found this place because of other fishermen like me. Easy meal!

 

Alan

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Alan2:

 

That must have been really interesting! I love seeing things like that. It's one of the benefits of hiking! icon_smile.gif

 

To get this back on topic, I grew up on NWNJ (Sussex County) and spent most of my childhood in the woods there. I also spend of lot of time hiking where I now live. (Pike County, PA). I have never seen a rattlesnake or coperhead. (Doggone it!) I would consider it a very good day if I did. It's a real shame some folks have this fear of snakes and that they let it effect their hiking. Rattlesnakes and coperheads are very rare and even if one encounters them, a little common sense will protect you.

 

Most times I hear about snakebite it is from some dodo that does something stupid. I particularly remember hearing about one dolt who got bit by a rattlesnake because he picked it up so his friend could get a picture of them. Darwinism at work! icon_biggrin.gif

 

I bought an invisible fence for my invisible dog.

 

Buzz Lightfoot

Pike County, PA

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I didn't mean to spook anyone (Brian!) - just keep your eyes open.

 

That's part of the fun of being in the woods. Today, while hiking (not geocaching) along the Delaware, my five yr. old learned an important life lesson - how pissed off wasps get when their nest is disturbed.

 

I grabbed him, we ran and after getting stung upwards of 10 times - he was fine after a few minutes. Ice pack and a little sting-ease and he was fine.

 

The lesson he learned was...just be prepared and you can enjoy the woods without worry.

 

I (on the other hand) continued to whine for hours to my wife about the stings I received. icon_wink.gif

 

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Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves. - Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)

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Okay, Okay!!! I couldn't stand it any longer! Being female almost everyone has the idea that we run and scream (or is it scream and run?) if we see a snake. That's ridiculous! I've grown up in the Nat'l Forest region of my state and have seen all kinds of snakes and critters. I get off of my mower to save snakes, efts, baby rabbits, or frogs. I truley believe that if we hike into their territory, we need to watch out for them, and not in a harmful way. No rattlesnakes do not always give warning. Believe me they can strike from a distance of a foot or two, it depends on if they are coiled, and how large they are. Don't mess with the snakes! I rescued a garter snake from the local YMCA parking lot last summer because it was going every direction trying to dodge cars. By the time I fished it out from under a truck it bite me four times. Yes it drew blood, but no I didn't cry or run! How about that! If we are doing cache in/cache out, I also believe we need to make sure we protect our wildlife as well as woods. Besides, what a chance to teach the kids. Soooo....Yes I've handled many kinds of snakes over the years, and the only time I was bitten was by the poor soul under the truck., but for the most part I leave them alone.

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it screams "I'mma Gitchyou Sucka!"

 

Funny one Mr. Kablooey! icon_biggrin.gif

Mrs. Last Lap reached in and almost grabbed one yesterday at the MGS picnic (Always carry your stick honey!). By her description and the picture on this page it seems to have been a northern watersnake. Of course Lakemaster and I teased her unmercifully and strecthed the snake to 80 feet with fur in our regaling of the story. Sorry Erin but it was fun teasing you. You were a good sport! icon_smile.gif

 

Wags, Russ & Erin

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From Mrs. Last Lap:

I enjoyed seeing the Mink yesterday, much more than seeing the snake. Yes, I didn't have my stick,but hey... it was a game, and time was of the essence! The snake was very polite, and I only saw it's body. I screamed out of being startled, rather than being scared. However, I was SCARED to go back and investigate the log further for the elusive micro... which turned out to be UNDER the snake practically! I wish I wouldn't scream. I am trying so hard to get over my phobia. Plus, my scream was misinterpreted as "I Found It" to my team mates, causing further confusion and lost time. Oh well. The mink still was cuter than the snake. And yes, I'm almost certain it was a Northern Watersnake. Its patten was lighter, and more diamond defined than the copperhead. Next time, I'll pause to get a closer look... yeah right! icon_wink.gif

 

Wags, Russ & Erin

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I have had runins with poisoness snakes many times in the past. The secret to dealing with most snake is giving then plenty of warning that you are comming. If they know you are there in advance you most likely will not see then at all. Rattlesnakes do not always give that tell tale warning rattle before striking and when snakes are preparing to shed their skins the thin clear membrane over the eyes is also shed. It becomes more opague and the snake has a hard time seeing it's enemys so it will more readily strike at anything that moves. While in Gambril park in western MD recently I was nearly struck in the face while bending over to pick up a stick with which to probe a hole in the rock overlook. Rattlesnakes are rare to this part of Maryland but it only takes one to ruin your day so take care out there folks. Copperheads also will strike without warning and will sometimes actually vibrate the end of their tail like a rattle snake when highly agrevated. They can vibrate the tail so fast, that it makes a slight vibrating noise. Neat to see but nothing to play with cause when they do that they are very serious! Oh yea the other snake pictured is indead a type of watersnake. The eastern watersnake and it can attain some real length and girth . Though they can inflict a nasty bite the mose you have to worry about with non poisoness snakes is a nasty infection so make sure all bites are cleaned and doctored properly.Hope that answered some of the questions.

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While geocaching at the MGS Picnic this weekend I almost stepped on a fast little black snake with a single yellow ring right behind his head. It was about 14" long and was near a river bank. Does anyone know what it was?

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while searching for the "Pinnacle" cache near Pinnacle rock on the appalachian trail near lenhartsville, pa. i nearly stepped on a 5'timber rattler. fortunately, he was a little sluggish- i guess we interuppted his sunning. despite his sluggishness, he gave me two good warning rattles. i thought i snapped some good pics, but got back to camp and realized that i missed them. at two points he came towards us, i guess i was more concerned with keeping some space between us than checking if my cheap digital camera was working.

i'd like to thank dad for teaching me long ago not to step over anything in the woods. step up and check before taking the next step.

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quote:
Originally posted by GPS_Brian:

That black snake is very cool! I've only come across Eastern Garter Snakes so far. Twice now, here is a picture from the last occurance:


 

lucky you that's all you've come across!!!

 

~robert

Driver carries less than $20 cache.

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Funny that I discover this today as we returned from caching this AM and I was remarking how many snakes we saw this weekend. I grew up in western NY in the country and spent lots of time near the Bergen Swamp, home of the Missasauga Rattlesnake. We were walking along in a park outside of Buffalo and my boyfriend said "Hello Mr. Snake" I jumped about 10 feet high. I tried to explain to him that when you are taught about these snakes from about age 5 onwards, you don't get excited about a little garter snake, only about the big ones! He promises not to say that anymore! Anyway, I have seen more snakes (of various kinds) this year than ever before (maybe it is because I look for them now?) Anyway, enjoy my story and happy caching!

Melodie

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Saw a copperhead on Split Rock road on my way back from the Splitrock Overlook cache. Pictures didn't come out though.

 

I guess this negates my earlier post in this thread.

 

"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on his hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" - Max Beerbohm

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I saw a Copperhead on Sunday while leading a hike in Devil'd Den, in Conneticutt. That is the second I have seen this year. In a couple of weeks, as the weather gets colder, they will go into hibernation ( at least in the northeast), so people will have to find something else to worry about. I really feel the danger is being overblown, snake bites are seldom fatal for rattlers and copperheads. Worrying about dangerous wild animals is most common among people who are not comfortable in the wild and view it as a hostile environment. There is no doubt in my mind that the most dangerous species is Homo Sapien. When was the last time a snake bombed a city?

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