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Snake Activity


HartClimbs
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Are there actually more now? 10 years ago sightings of copperheads and rattlers were fairly rare. Now they seem relatively common. Mxzyptlk saw a copperhead near my Wildcat Ridge cache a few weeks ago.

 

I was talking to someone who was hiking with his wife in Harriman last week. She was a about 20 feet ahead of him and she walked within inches of a rattler that was sitting at the side of the trail. He saw it just as she passed it, but didn't say anything until she was a few yards beyond because he thought if he startled her, she'd make a sudden move and cause the snake to strike. As it was, the snake never rattled and just sat on the trail eyeing them.

 

"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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This thread is precisely why I am always telling Joe not to stick his hands in cracks and crevices. That said, I fear it's only a matter of time before he encounters a snake much closer than he would like. We did come across 3 snakes in the Watchung Reservations. Well, one of them came across me while slithering over my hand as I was making my way to Steeps Over Green Brook. We also came across 2 little guys while heading to one of the Copper Mine caches in the same park. He was brown with 1 yellow stripe on each side and a diamond-like pattern repeating down his back. He was about 12-16 inches long. I'd love to post the picture, but I can't figure out how.

 

~JandM

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Ran into this NASTY one while on vacation in Nags Head, NC. It's a Water Moccasin - otherwise known as a Cottonmouth. It was in a swamp in the Maritime Woods of Nags Head. I showed the picture to a local park ranger and he told me that they are one of the most poisonous and most aggressive snakes in the US. He also said that they like to hang from the trees in the swamp areas! Glad I didn't know that when I stopped to take pictures of him icon_eek.gif!

icon_biggrin.gif

 

Peace!

 

iBrew

 

Click here to see my Completely Useless Webpage

quote:
Oh, Great Spirit, let us greet the dawn of a new day when all men live as brothers and peace reigns everywhere! "Indian Prayer"

 

[This message was edited by iBrew on October 22, 2003 at 08:41 AM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Og Rof A Klaw:

Thx, Ibrew. I saw that but couldn't tell whether it was a schnake or a floating beer bottle. icon_biggrin.gif

 

____________________________

- Team Og Rof A Klaw

_All who wander are not lost._


 

Ssshhhhh!

Don't give away my secret!

.

.

.

Yea, but it was a VERY DANGERIOUS beer bottle!icon_biggrin.gif

 

Peace!

 

iBrew

 

Click here to see my Completely Useless Webpage

quote:
Oh, Great Spirit, let us greet the dawn of a new day when all men live as brothers and peace reigns everywhere! "Indian Prayer"
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We went biking down where Magoo's mile used to be this weekend with the kids (I didn't realize the cache had been archived).

 

Just crossing the canal - my wife spotted a teeny tiny snake right next to the locks.... the kids really dug it.

 

We just relocated the little guy into the grass where he'd be less likely to get rolled over by bikes.

 

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

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Team DEMP and I found this guy near Bear Swamp Lake on our way back from the Monroe Ridge Micro Challenge yesterday. I thought it was a rattlesnake at first because it seems to have a rattle on the tail...but it didn't rattle even after I mercilessly harrassed it with rocks and sticks. Team DEMP finally smashed its head with a big rock and took it home. "It tastes like chicken" he told me. If it is a copperhead, it's quite big for one because it was close to 3 feet long.

 

aa89e69e-0105-4ea3-8bd9-d0f4ea160d67.jpg

 

A better photo of the same snake:

ac7305c8-3e6f-4478-9ec2-22e957d0c1d5.jpg

 

Also saw this along the way. Just a common black snake:

 

03e10d15-1f96-4736-afc4-5ac92b875715.jpg

Edited by briansnat
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Looking at some internet pix, looks like it was indeed a timber rattlesnake, that for some reason didn't rattle. I read somewhere that the propensity to rattle is slowly being "bred out" of rattlesnakes, because when they rattle and the intruder is a human, they too often die.

 

That's kind of scary, because I WANT to be warned if I'm approaching one of them.

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We spotted two black snakes while searching for the Lakeview cache in Ramapo. We watched one of them in action trying to get inside a hole in a small tree full of mice. Unfortunately a baby mouse popped out and got gobbled up. Of course we see this stuff when we do not have our cameras :-(

 

Kar of TS!!

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Anybody want to buy a GPSr, pair of boots, backpack, compass and all my other caching stuff?

 

I had a hard enough time walking alone in the woods just knowing there was a small possibility of seeing a snake. Now that you've posted a dozen different snake found in all the places I hike, I'm done.

 

I would crawl under my bed and hide, but after looking at those photos, I'm never looking under my bed again.

 

I'd climb a tree, but BeachBuddies spoiled that one too.

 

I guess I've gone one choice: move to Ireland.

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I had a hard enough time walking alone in the woods just knowing there was a small possibility of seeing a snake. Now that you've posted a dozen different snake found in all the places I hike, I'm done.

 

How do you think Team DEMP and I felt after bushwacking all over the area, only to see Mr Rattesnake on the way back to the car?

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In 180 or so caches, I only saw 1 small black snake and that was last weekend. I got out on Thursday with Brian and we see a large black snake and a timber rattlesnake (that refused to rattle).

 

Here's a good picture of another timber rattler I found on the net - looks very much like the one Brian and I saw.

 

I'm not scared of snakes, but seeing those 2 made me look around a lot more while we hiked. Also - for fathers day, I'm getting a pole like Brian. I'll tell everyone it's for hiking, but I'll use it to poke in any place I don't want to put my hand.

Edited by Team DEMP
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The timber rattlesnake is one of the most persecuted animals in the eastern United States.  Thousands of rattlesnakes are killed or moved around by organized rattlesnake "round ups" every year.  These animals are often replaced in areas different than where they were captured, resulting in many negative effects for the individual.  The probability of someone getting bitten by a rattlesnake, including hikers and campers, is less than that of getting struck by lightning.  They are very misunderstood animals and as a result few escape an encounter with a human with their head still attached to their body.

 

Probably shouldn't have bothered it they don't want to bother with you they would much rather use their venom on something they can eat like a mouse.

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That's just the problem. They go around killing the poor cute little things.

Do you hike on the AT and stay in shelters?

 

In 1993, an A.T. thru-hiker contracted hantavirus as he hiked through Virginia. He became quite ill but did recover and completed his hike the next year; investigators were unable to pinpoint the exact location of infection.

 

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)

 

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the United States. Although rare, HPS is potentially deadly. Rodent control in and around the home remains the primary strategy for preventing hantavirus infection.

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Do you hike on the AT and stay in shelters?

 

Absolutely not. Not only do shelters attract mice, but every bear, porcupine and raccoon for miles knows exactly where they are and they visit regularly in hope of an easy snack. If I do encounter a shelter, I'll walk at least a half mile away before making camp.

 

Hmmm... This makes me wonder about caching. I shouldn't have read this thread! I am off to Harriman tomorrow. Hope it's a cold day.

 

After running into a copperhead last year near Split Rock reservoir, I'm a lot more careful when tramping around the woods. Seeing that rattler yesterday just reinforces that. And for years I wandered around the woods without a worry.

Edited by briansnat
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If I do encounter a shelter, I'll walk at least a half mile away before making camp.

Hehe... I did that once but I think I went quite a bit more than a half mile. Wasn't afraid of snakes or mice. It was the large claw marks all over the tree everyone hung their food in. :( I think it was the camping area near sunfish pond.

 

Well to keep this on track I havn't seen to many snakes yet this year, usually I find a few garter snakes in my yard but I think the two hawks that moved into the area may have taken care of them. We have one cache nearby that is frequented by rattlers in the summer.

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By the way everyone, we didn't harrass and kill the snake I was just kidding.

I guess you got PMs/emails on that. No one PM/emailed me. I don't even know if it tastes like chicken - never ate snake. But if it does - then I'd recommend eating chicken. There's much less chance of getting bitten in the meat section of your favorite local supermarket.

 

Going out hiking the next day, I definitely was on the lookout for more snakes but didn't run across any that I saw.

 

Late last night after about 40 people were here for a BBQ, I couldn't fall asleep and was flipping back and forth between a movie and 2 snake shows on Animal Planet. One was on anacondas and the other on king cobras.

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We ran into this fellow

68889059-bf24-44b3-b6a9-cdbdfd63ef3c.jpg

on GC5132 about a 1/2 mile off trail in the middle of nowhere. He didn't rattle until we moved away from his spot and then Gus noticed him and wanted to play with the pretty new toy. We leashed him fast--and then caught a strong odor of snake. Having seen a Crocodile Hunter special filmed in the Shenandoah where he stumbled into a nest of five rattlers without realizing it, we exited stage left ASAP.

 

Last night on GCH07N we had a snake swim within 1' of our canoe as we paddled back. It was dark, so we couldn't make a positive ID, but by its markings, it was either a copperhead or a watersnake. Not pleasant to be paddling along and see a snake swim inches from your hand... :blink:

 

No snakes (or humans or golden retrievers) were harmed during the making of those logs.

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I just read this year's posts on this thread. I'm generally not bothered by snakes (though I let out a bloodcurdling scream at the site of spiders), but my stomach is turning and the thought of hiking/caching right now is not one I want to entertain. I'm pretty put off right now. I'm sure it'll pass, but I'll have to continue yelling at Joe for sticking his fingers in places they should not go...

 

~melissa

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Last night on GCH07N we had a snake swim within 1' of our canoe as we paddled back. It was dark, so we couldn't make a positive ID, but by its markings, it was either a copperhead or a watersnake. Not pleasant to be paddling along and see a snake swim inches from your hand... :D

Chances are if it was in the water it was a Northern Watersnake they have markings that make them look like a copperhead. They aren't poisonous but they are aggressive if you try and pick them up.

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Agreed--I just spent a good 10 minutes in the company of a rather friendly watersnake this afternoon. He didn't run and let me take several photos from about 3'-5' without becoming the least bit aggressive. He eventually approached to within 2 1/2' of me before turning back quickly. I thought I'd startled him at first, but he met another, smaller and darker, watersnake at the edge of the river. They then swam off together. (I'm assuming a he, because of the size--~3' long).

 

However, many folks don't realize that copperheads--like virtually all snakes _can_ and do swim. There is a notable difference in the appearance between watersnakes and copperheads once you've seen it, but that bugger last night just wasn't cooperating with my headlamp. :D

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Agreed--I just spent a good 10 minutes in the company of a rather friendly watersnake this afternoon. He didn't run and let me take several photos from about 3'-5' without becoming the least bit aggressive. He eventually approached to within 2 1/2' of me before turning back quickly. I thought I'd startled him at first, but he met another, smaller and darker, watersnake at the edge of the river. They then swam off together. (I'm assuming a he, because of the size--~3' long).

 

However, many folks don't realize that copperheads--like virtually all snakes _can_ and do swim. There is a notable difference in the appearance between watersnakes and copperheads once you've seen it, but that bugger last night just wasn't cooperating with my headlamp. :rolleyes:

We were caching near a pond within a mile of our house a few weeks ago. Heard a big "plop", went to look for the frog, but it wasn't a frog, it was a pretty good-sized snake. Kind of tan with stripes. It got itself in the pond fast when it heard us coming, and stayed there with its head sticking out of the water actively looking us over for a good long time. Kind of odd being looked over by a snake. Then it swam away. Not at all a scary experience at the time, but y'all have taken care of that.

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Just a quick couple facts: All venomous snakes in the Northeast are Pit Vipers (Rattlesnakes or Copperheads & Cottonmouths further south), and have a shovel shaped head. If you have to ask yourself "Is that a shovel shaped head?" then it isn't. Don't get me wrong that doesn't mean you should handle it. Non-venoumous snakes can be more aggressive. It seems alot of people here arn't familiar identifying venomous snakes, and that isn't very good considering our hobby.

 

Also, I know that Briansnat didn't actually smash that Timber but..... If some one had I would tell them that if you feel you have time to kill a snake and not get bit, then why wouldn't you have time to leave the snake alone and not get bit?

 

Last, remember that the Timber Rattler is endangered in most of our northern states and a canidate species in some others. You people should feel lucky to spot them, Not want to kill them!

 

Thanks.

Berserkr

(Finally something I can feel righteous about!!) :D

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You people should feel lucky to spot them, Not want to kill them!

 

I bet most of us feel that way. I know I did. It was the second time I encountered a rattlesnake in the wild. The other was in the Catskills. I also ran into a copperhead last fall.

 

Its just that after you spent an afternoon bushwacking for caches and see one on the trail, it makes you think and hey, this is New Jersey, not Arizona. Rattlesnakes are supposed to be nearly extinct here.

 

And a note to Mr Rattlesnake, kindly rattle the next time I'm approaching. I do not want to step on you. If you are there I want to know it so I can give you some berth. I was hiking today and nearly every root gave me a start.

Edited by briansnat
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As I live on the edge of the wilderness (not only in reality) ;) I have noticed an incress in copperheads for the year, after reading this posting, I am wondering, Do copperheads have a apperance cycle? Does any of the snake gurus, on here, have any ideas?

 

My neighbor has found just under 10 while cutting the back forty, I have seen 2 so far, I have talked with a few canoers on the Greenbrier over the weekend who have seen a few, and now this posting. Seems to me that we are in a cycle for the copperhead... By the way, both times I saw the copperheads, I did smell the cucumber!! Very strong, any truth to this rumor?

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It seems alot of people here arn't familiar identifying venomous snakes, and that isn't very good considering our hobby.

It's not only the venom I fear. It's the snake.

I agree Foster... if it's a snake, the last thing I'm truly interested in is if it is venomous or not. I don't want to have it bite me under any circumstance.

 

Of course, if I ever get bit, being venomous would then be a concern ;)

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Its just that after you spent an afternoon bushwacking for caches and see one on the trail, it makes you think and hey, this is New Jersey, not Arizona. Rattlesnakes are supposed to be nearly extinct here.

 

True, But they (rattlesnakes) thrive in a couple of areas; The Pinelands and The Skylands. The Appalachian Mountain Range is loaded with them. There are certain hot spots in each area which could be considered venomous snake country. (like the DWG to blairstown)

 

Remember that there is a much better reason to fear the Rattlesnakes in Arizona over our local Timber Rattlers. The rattlesnakes that you hear about causing fatalities out their have a neurotoxin which attacks the nervous system. If antivenom is not recivied the bite can be fatal.

 

Our Timber Rattlers have a hemotoxin which attacks the blood cells. The bite is rarely fatal to humans and large mamals. Often times anti-venom will not even be administered if the victims white blood cell count is high. The body often times can fight it off on its own. Of course it is said to be very painful. The anti-venom can have side effects considered worse than the injected toxin as long as the body is strong enough to fight it off.

 

On the down side, people can have an allergic reaction to both the venom and the anti-venom. Much like a bee sting. This is why it important to get help asap.

 

I have been told no one has died in NJ from a snakebite in hundred(s) of years. Also, the vast majority of snakebite victims in this state are bitten on the hand.... Trying to handle snakes which they shouldn't have.

 

Berserkr

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Snakes in general don't bother me. Only the venomous ones. And what's worse, their markings make them camoflage. How come harmless snakes (to us humans anyways) like black snakes stand out like a sore thumb, but the dangerous ones like copperheads and rattlers easily hide among the leaves waiting for you to step on them.

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Its just that after you spent an afternoon bushwacking for caches and see one on the trail, it makes you think and hey, this is New Jersey, not Arizona. Rattlesnakes are supposed to be nearly extinct here.

I was recently caching in AZ and NV. Hit a few fairly remote caches. Never saw a single snake (and I looked real hard). Caching here in the NW it seems like we see them all the time. I treat every wild animal like it's dangerous. That doesn't mean I fear going into the woods, just I try not to invade any animal's space; you never know how they may react if they feel threatened. If you want to get closer, use a zoom lens.

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Ok, I think my geocaching days are done. I will now return to the safety of my house like I did for years. I was so happy when I finally found a hobby that would get me out of the house and into the wilderness. I was feeling pretty confident since I am deathly afraid of snakes and I didn't see any big ones. I saw one a few weeks ago but he was small so he didn't scare me but I would FREAK out if I saw a big one. Thanks for the fear. And briansnat, funny posts.

 

How do I post a pic of the snake I saw?

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Its just that after you spent an afternoon bushwacking for caches and see one on the trail, it makes you think and hey, this is New Jersey, not Arizona. Rattlesnakes are supposed to be nearly extinct here.

I was recently caching in AZ and NV. Hit a few fairly remote caches. Never saw a single snake (and I looked real hard). Caching here in the NW it seems like we see them all the time. I treat every wild animal like it's dangerous. That doesn't mean I fear going into the woods, just I try not to invade any animal's space; you never know how they may react if they feel threatened. If you want to get closer, use a zoom lens.

In the SW most snakes will be hiding during the daylight hours, staying cool. They are most active after sunset. In my experience you are lucky to see a snake in the desert unless you are out wondering around at night.

 

In the wooded areas of the NE/NW they can stay cool enough during the day to remain active.

 

Edit : Added reference to NW.

Edited by rusty_tlc
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