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Justin Of Terrytown

snakes risk

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I went for a hike (I already found the Geocaches on trail so the hike was for fun and exercise) and saw a rattlesnake on the trail.  I did not get anywhere near it (closest I got was between 20 and 30 yards).  I waited for it to crawl away before continue walking on the trail.  

 

Since I know there are Geocaches in the area I was hiking, it got me to start thinking more about Geocaching in areas where snakes should be expected.  What steps should I take to reduce the ricks of snakes while Geocaching?   

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Best thing you can do is pay CLOSE attention to your surroundings, especially at ground level!, and keep your distance if you run across one of those buggers.  If, OTOH, you have a surprise close encounter that you can't avoid, there's always this option (if you can find them in stock anywhere at the moment).  Only good for very close range -- they create a pretty big pattern.  Fairly readily available in both 9mm and .45.  We rarely take it along, but when we know we're headed into questionable country...

 

353009034_SnakeShot.jpg.06643d41f2663bfcbf717f65dd6bd077.jpg

Edited by ecanderson
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2 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

Best thing you can do is keep your distance.

Yep, although 20-30 yards is more than you really need. And don't reach into places that you can't see.

 

I remember one cache hunt where we saw a nest of baby rattlesnakes and just walked away. We logged a DNF on that one. (Oops... wrong thread. ;) )

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Oh heavens -- there's no way you could hit anything with these at 20-30 yards, if that's what you were thinking.  They're good for about max 8-10 feet.  Beyond that, the spread is such that you'd be lucky to hit anything.  They're quite purpose specific.

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looks like a great tool , except one place I love to cache, has a no weapon policy. Guess I should get all these caches and then I need not worry-- there.

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Best to grab them all there on overcast days when the weather gets really cold, but before the snow flies and it takes a shovel to find them!  No self respecting rattlesnake should you any crap on a day like that!

Edited by ecanderson
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1 hour ago, Justin Of Terrytown said:

I went for a hike (I already found the Geocaches on trail so the hike was for fun and exercise) and saw a rattlesnake on the trail. 

I did not get anywhere near it (closest I got was between 20 and 30 yards).  I waited for it to crawl away before continue walking on the trail.  

 

Since I know there are Geocaches in the area I was hiking, it got me to start thinking more about Geocaching in areas where snakes should be expected.  What steps should I take to reduce the ricks of snakes while Geocaching?   

 

You're out in the woods.  The woods you were in is clean, with enough food that rattlers stick around.  

20-30 yards isn't an issue, it's when you accidently step on one.  But they were here before us...

I'd be more concerned with ticks from all the mice that those rattlers are feeding on...

I'm still healing, and in simple family parks here we see snakes.  They were here before us...

Just have some common sense ... like pay attention, don't just step over a log, but run your stick out front first, pay attention,  leave the ear buds at home, and pay attention - that kinda stuff.     :)

 

The largest we ever saw was in TN, on our way to a cave rat cache.  Blocking the entire trail coiled, with thick, thorny brush on both sides.

It obviously fed, and too big to slip away as fast as it (and us) would prefer.  I used a large branch to pick it up, and placed it on the densest side.

 - Then the other 2/3rds ran through like her can was on fire.  :laughing:

 

 

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I did think of getting a snake hook to carry, that would guarantee I would never see any. But I usually have my Garmin Etrex on a strap around my neck, my iPhone in one hand, a walking stick in the other. If on my bike I'd have no place to carry a hook at present. I did see one at a pet store that telescopes, not very long. 

Edited by Jayeffel
spelling error I missed
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Here is list of the world's most dangerous snakes. Of course, how venomous they are is just one factor. How aggressive they are and how much venom they inject is another. The rattlesnake doesn't make this list. https://safarisafricana.com/most-venomous-snakes/

I go out bush here in Australia and take the normal care; look over to the other side of a log or other object before stepping over it; don't reach into logs without checking it first (from not too close), check where stepping and if I come upon a snake (for most outing I don't, as they also don't want to come close to humans) I keep my distance. Sometimes a snake can be located by seeing waving grass. The snake in the photograph (a brown snake - number two on the list I supplied) crossed in front of us. It turned its head as it passed to look at us, but displayed no aggression.It was 'cool' and it continued where it was going. My friend yelled 'snake' and I jumped backwards. Then, recovering from the shock, I pulled out my camera and followed the snake to get its picture. Keeping some distance naturally.

I have come VERY close to stepping on a snake; a black snake (less poisonous than the brown) one time. I stepped over a fence and I saw it pull its tail away from the spot I placed my foot. So mere centimetres.  Another tried to strike me, but fortunately there was a mesh fence between us and it hit that. I was reaching for a cache. I can't say what type of snake that was, as I took off in fright. I have also been out bush on horseback and another horse trod on a snake sunning itself. The snake then came towards my horse striking. I had to steer my horse away or it would have been bitten. (Mind you, if the snake had got close enough to strike the horse I would have been standing or kneeling on top of the horse by that stage, and I was young enough then to do that.) Unlike what happens in the movies, when I was riding a horse and had an encounter with a snake, never once has the horse reared or panicked. The closest was a horse that I was riding attempted that to stomp on a snake.

Are rattlesnakes aggressive? That would make a difference. Do they chase you?

Snake.jpg

Beware of Snakes.jpg

Edited by Goldenwattle

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

Are rattlesnakes aggressive? That would make a difference. Do they chase you?

I suppose it depends on what you mean by "aggressive". They won't chase you. The "more aggressive" species will stand their ground though, and will attack if cornered. I've encountered rattlesnakes while hiking and backpacking. Mainly, you just need to leave them alone and be careful not to startle them (don't reach where you can't see, and all that).

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As Goldenwattle said, snakes are commonplace here in Australia and I've even encountered a few in my yard. All my caches have the "dangerous animals" attribute set. Most of the ones I've seen have been non-venemous pythons like this little green tree snake I found on my back step:

 

96551668_2880937841988852_1913266514274811904_o.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_sid=dbeb18&_nc_ohc=c-MB7z3DVQYAX_vJYUo&_nc_oc=AQn5B-vRF40-vnabJBeK9_UJypJhkLHba_1jG6FSFB38fQjo0OntpThwF333tMyF_zY&_nc_ht=scontent.fsyd6-1.fna&oh=c8790618de3a572852f4308fb2464afb&oe=5F964C18

 

Red-bellied black snakes, like this one I saw while hiking the Great North Walk a few years ago, are quite venemous but fairly timid and will retreat into the scrub when they sense someone approaching.

 

DSC_0344.jpg.87e1c75fe3c1b7c0cc0b8ec20532b1dd.jpg

 

Eastern browns and death adders are the more nasty ones here. Death adders rely on camouflage, usually covering themselves with leaf litter, and won't move when you approach. Best not to step on one. I try to do most of my bushland caching in the winter months when the snakes are hibernating or at least less mobile. Springtime is the worst as the young snakes will bite first and ask questions later.

 

I always carry a snake bite compression bandage and a personal locator beacon in my caching backpack, just in case, and if that's not enough, well, I'm an old geezer and will have to die of something sooner or later.

 

20200929_124752.jpg.b2d7701f0e555aa3f59a44a560c778f3.jpg

 

That said, there are about 3000 snake bites recorded in Australia each year, resulting in about 500 hospitalisations and 2 deaths. Many of those happen when the victim is trying to kill the snake so the best advice when you see one is to stop walking and make sure the snake is aware of your presence. Give it plenty of room and time to decide where it wants to escape to. The risk of an unprovoked bite is pretty low, much lower than the risk of a motor vehicle accident on the way to the parking waypoint. Oh, and snakes are a protected species here so killing them is also illegal.

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Thread about snakes turns into Australians going: "You call that a snake..." ;-)

 

I did nearly step on an adder - our only even vaguely venomous snake - years ago, but have never seen anything whilst geocaching. Much more likely to be killed by cows in the UK.

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1 hour ago, Blue Square Thing said:

Thread about snakes turns into Australians going: "You call that a snake..." ;-)

 

I did nearly step on an adder - our only even vaguely venomous snake - years ago, but have never seen anything whilst geocaching. Much more likely to be killed by cows in the UK.

I saw a snake - a black coloured one - while visiting the UK. I was amazed to see a snake in the UK and chased after it for a better look. However, it disappeared into long grass before I could look at it better.

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1 minute ago, Goldenwattle said:

I saw a snake - a black coloured one - while visiting the UK. I was amazed to see a snake in the UK and chased after it for a better look. However, it disappeared into long grass before I could look at it better.

 

Possibly a slow worm I imagine? The one I saw when I was a kid was much darker coloured than the ones on wikipedia. Otherwise it'll be on this list.

 

I've seen a total of two snakes in 50 years. We don't really do snakes (thankfully).

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8 minutes ago, Blue Square Thing said:

 

Possibly a slow worm I imagine? The one I saw when I was a kid was much darker coloured than the ones on wikipedia. Otherwise it'll be on this list.

 

I've seen a total of two snakes in 50 years. We don't really do snakes (thankfully).

Looking at that list, my guess is a barred grass snake. It was swimming in water and then came ashore into long grass.

When I told some locals, they said they had lived there all their lives and never seen a snake.

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Not something we need to worry about too much in the UK, but I did once almost step on a snake sunning itself by a French cemetery.  No idea what it was but it was a couple of metres long and moved fast.  Scared the life out of me!

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13 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Best to grab them all there on overcast days when the weather gets really cold, but before the snow flies and it takes a shovel to find them!  No self respecting rattlesnake should you any crap on a day like that!

 

You need quick reflexes, grab them at the back of the head and hold on tight.

 

 

 

 

:P

 

 

 

 

 

 

:ph34r:

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13 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

You're out in the woods.  The woods you were in is clean, with enough food that rattlers stick around.  

20-30 yards isn't an issue, it's when you accidently step on one. 

 

I've thought about that while walking through leaves in a forest.  I might not see a snake sunning on the ground, they have perfect camo!

 

So my plan is to poke the hiking stick on the ground at the spot where I'm about to step.  It's more likely they'd be among rocks or among logs or hollows of trees for protection.  But venomous or not, you have a problem if you step on a snake.  Don't aggravate a snake, don't try to pick it up, stay out of its nest, and the snake will be glad to leave you alone (and it will take off in the opposite direction) .  Especially rattlesnakes, but most US venomous and non-venomous are the same.  They're not aggressive in the way that they chase you.  They prefer to escape.

 

But I intend to increase the snake encounters while Geocaching.  I'm one of the few who hears a report of a giant snake up the trail, and I go there to check it out. :P

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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If I am worried about snakes, I don't creep about. I walk noisily, and most of the time I don't see a snake. I have seen the grass wriggling away from me :D.

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12 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

If I am worried about snakes, I don't creep about. I walk noisily, and most of the time I don't see a snake. I have seen the grass wriggling away from me :D.

 

I've done that, too.  But I've once or twice come to a hollow tree, rattled my hiking stick around in it, in preparation to reach into the tree for a cache.  My initial plan was to check for snakes or "warn the snakes away", and just as I'm about to reach in up to my shoulder, it occurs to me that my plan has set any snakes on high alert. :o

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At one of my very early finds I was following the arrow cross country, not on a trail and almost stepped on a large diamond back rattler.  Stopped and waited a minute till the snake moved on then went on to the find.

 

When out checking on one of my hides there was a small rattler under the cache.  Ended up moving the cache to a better spot.  I put the following on my hides.  

 

Caution!! As with any desert Cache, NEVER put your hands in or under any rocks or containers that you can't see fully. Always turn over rocks with a stick before picking them up. Things that like to bit and sting love to hide and wait just for you! .

 

 

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I described to a New Zealander once how careful I was when reaching into a hollow log for a cache. They replied that they were surprised that there weren't dead NZers when they came to Australia, as NZ having no snakes, they weren't used to looking for snakes.

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rattlesnakes.jpg.0ad748e442ccdf7a65d2ccf0a4be72d9.jpg

 

Caching in dangerous areas, I stay on the track as long as possible, I walk slow to give all animals time to run/creep away, once leaving the track, I have a walking stick to touch bushes I get close to, If my wife is with me, she walks right behind me, not on the side, at GZ I not only check the ground but the trees above me also.

Never had a problem with snakes this way.

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11 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I described to a New Zealander once how careful I was when reaching into a hollow log for a cache. They replied that they were surprised that there weren't dead NZers when they came to Australia, as NZ having no snakes, they weren't used to looking for snakes.

 

It was funny when I was holidaying on Lord Howe Island a couple of years ago. It also doesn't have snakes but I kept noticing that I was subconsciously watching for snakes when out hiking and had to tell myself that I didn't have to do that.

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Funny thread B)

 

No "dangerous animals" here although it seems cows can be dangerous too :lol:

The only time I saw a snake near a cache was near a small shrine in Hiroshima, from that moment on I kept an eye out when searching caches in Japan. We did see a few in Australia. I remember one very small black one (20-25cm) we saw and went a bit closer to see what it was when a local who approached yelled to get away from it fast. He may have been joking though.

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3 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Funny thread B)

 

No "dangerous animals" here although it seems cows can be dangerous too :lol:

The only time I saw a snake near a cache was near a small shrine in Hiroshima, from that moment on I kept an eye out when searching caches in Japan. We did see a few in Australia. I remember one very small black one (20-25cm) we saw and went a bit closer to see what it was when a local who approached yelled to get away from it fast. He may have been joking though.

 

Probably a juvenile red-bellied black from your description and no, the local wasn't joking.

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4 hours ago, Mausebiber said:

I stay on the track as long as possible

Unfortunately, not always a track. Out caching with a couple of friends. (I took the photograph).

Bush walk 1.jpg

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I've been geocaching for a decade and outdoorsy longer than that. In my entire life, mostly in Florida, I've only encountered three venomous snakes in the wild.

 

One was a dead copperhead and two were live pygmy rattlers. That said, I rarely go into the swamps. I've heard a few firsthand stories about ill-tempered cottonmouths that dwell there.

 

One of the pgymies was right next to the trail and didn't move an inch when the hiker ahead of me walked past him on a cool morning. The other was crossing a road.

 

I've seen a fair number of snakes, but mostly black racers and rat/corn snakes. The only snake that ever behaved aggressively toward me was a coachwhip. I came across one laying still on the left side of a scrub trail. He blended a bit with the pine straw. I stepped to the opposite side of the trail to take a photo of the snake when, after having not budged, suddenly took off straight for me. I jumped out of the way and the coachwhip disappeared into the brush. I guess he really hated having his picture taken.

 

I naturally walk heavy and I think it tends to scare the snakes away. 

 

My snake safety plan:

 

1. Carry a hiking pole/stick. Use it to poke and, if possible, retrieve containers from under rocks and in hidey holes.

 

2. Look before stepping over logs.

 

3. Whenever possible, walk where you can see your feet. Admittedly, palmettos and grass don't always make this possible. 

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On 9/28/2020 at 7:25 PM, Justin Of Terrytown said:

I went for a hike (I already found the Geocaches on trail so the hike was for fun and exercise) and saw a rattlesnake on the trail. 

I did not get anywhere near it (closest I got was between 20 and 30 yards).  I waited for it to crawl away before continue walking on the trail.  

Since I know there are Geocaches in the area I was hiking, it got me to start thinking more about Geocaching in areas where snakes should be expected.   What steps should I take to reduce the ricks of snakes while Geocaching?   

 

Missed this (bolded) earlier...

No offense, but no one we know would have an issue with a snake 60-90 feet away.  That's longer than a tennis court.   ;)

Here, folks tend to hike more in the cooler months if snakes are a concern, though I've seen copperheads in February on a warm day.

Some who do caches with higher terrain might even wear a snake gaiter they can don n remove later.

 - But really surprised  that one who lives in a state that has 'gators on golf courses,  snakes are a concern years after joining the hobby.

IIRC copperheads, and maybe cottonmouths, are the most common poisonous snakes in your state.  Haven't you seen any ?   Thanks.   :)

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On 9/29/2020 at 6:21 PM, Goldenwattle said:

I described to a New Zealander once how careful I was when reaching into a hollow log for a cache. They replied that they were surprised that there weren't dead NZers when they came to Australia, as NZ having no snakes, they weren't used to looking for snakes.

 

Didn't know that!  I've heard that said of Ireland.  Kinda makes sense an island could be free of snakes but snakes can swim pretty well, I thought.

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On 9/30/2020 at 8:48 PM, barefootjeff said:

holidaying on Lord Howe Island

Norfolk Island doesn't have any either, so that was one thing I didn't need to look for there on my visit last year. (Sigh, in the days we could visit places.) I was told they don't have poisonous spiders either, or ticks or leeches. Paradise!

 

I saw this photograph today, titled, ""Neighbourhood Watch in Australia."

It's a python, not venomous.

I was driving along a quiet country road in northern NSW and turned a corner, to see the largest snake I have ever seen. It's head was off the road in the long grass and its body stretched across my lane and into the other lane. I squeaked. Fortunately no one was coming the other direction and I was able to steer around it.

 

image.thumb.png.4804c9e86ce6f6d1fbc3286326832c53.png 

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On 9/30/2020 at 8:48 PM, barefootjeff said:

 

It was funny when I was holidaying on Lord Howe Island a couple of years ago. It also doesn't have snakes but I kept noticing that I was subconsciously watching for snakes when out hiking and had to tell myself that I didn't have to do that.

I've done that exact thing in New Zealand..... :D
 

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