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My Gun Saved My Life On A Cache Hunt


GeoSar
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To mtn-man: Don't rely on snake-shot in your weapon. My experience leads me to think all that does is piss them off more. One well-placed hollowpoint is worth 20 snake-shot rounds!

 

Sparky I will have to disagree with you on the snake shot. I lived in the Kingman Az area for quite a few years and always carried snake shot in my mod. 19 SW it never took more then 1 shot to dispatch a rattler.

What made a believer out of me was the day I hit a 4 footer 3 times with 158 grain round nose slugs all it did was p--s him off, I loaded a snake shot round and that did it.

I also found a gun shop that carried the caplets for different calibers of snake shot and started reloading my own with #9 shot, if I remember correctly commercial rounds were #11 shot unless it was 22 cal.

Also since the caplets act like a wad cup you shouldnt be getting any leading of the barrel, unless your talking about a 22 cal..

And for the others that mentioned the Mojave green from what I understand their venom is similar to a cobra, and yes they are very nasty tempered,

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Here comes some science:

 

I looked into "Mojave toxin" and the issues of deadliness. As always, a specific allergy will spell a worse prognosis.

 

It turns out that different individual Mojave Green Rattlesnakes actually carry different voracities of venom. Some carry both a hemotoxin and a neurotoxin. These are the most dangerous rattlesnakes in North America. Others have varying amounts of neurotoxin in their venom and some have none at all (but still the hemotoxin). Interesting to a molecular biologist/geneticist (like myself), this is due to differing expression (and actual total loss in some cases) of a gene that makes a separate part of the neurotoxin protein required to make it the potent neurotoxin.

 

So, some will say "Mojave Greens are no worse than any other snake" and they may have ran into some of the neurotoxin-less individuals and others say something else...

 

Either way, I'd rather not get bitten by any snake at all (but I'm also not worried about how best to blow them into mush either). A stick big enough to distract and push them away to a place they feel safer about finally turning tail is all I need.

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Interesting post. I've thought about carring a pistol after almost stepping on 4 rattlers in the past few months. I've hunted and fished E. WA for 30 plus years and can only recall a handfull of times when I've come across a snake. Now that I've started to geocache I've upped my odds by quite a bit. I was over near Banks Lake several months ago searching for a cache and all hell broke lose when I stepped next to a large boulder. I don't know how many rattlers there were, but it sounded like a bees nest. I was way up on a 45 degree rock slope and I nearly flew to the bottom. The other 3 I've run across did not rattle at all. While searching for my micro cache that was either tossed or blew off the bluff I nearly stepped on a coiled rattler. I froze about 1 ft from it and we had a stare off for about 15 seconds and then the snake turned tail and ran. I almost had a heart attack on the spot. I grabbed a rock and nailed it good. 7 rings and a button, so a small one. My most recent one last week was in N. Calif. As I reached for the cache about 2 ft. away a rattler headed in the oppisite direction. It was a big one about 3 ft long. That one didn't rattle either. I'm getting so parranoid when I geocache in any rocky areas now that my eyes are glued to the ground. I know a bite is rarely fatal, but I'm not ready to test those odds!.....:tongue:

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Sound like a scene straight out of Gunsmoke! :unsure:

 

Around here we have some rattlers and a lot of copperheads. I received a "dry" bite from a huge, 4-ft. copperhead a few years ago. That was frightening...I can't imagine a rattlesnake attack.

 

Here is an article from this month's Today's Cacher about snake encounters. :tongue:

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The other 3 I've run across did not rattle at all. While searching for my micro cache that was either tossed or blew off the bluff I nearly stepped on a coiled rattler.

 

I've read that the tendency to rattle has been "bread out" of rattlesnakes over time, because when they rattle at humans, it's often fatal for the snake. If this is true, it isn't a good thing, because if they're around, I want to know it. I've encountered two rattlesnakes in the wild. One rattled and the other (the one pictured earlier in this thread) didn't.

 

I froze about 1 ft from it and we had a stare off for about 15 seconds and then the snake turned tail and ran. I almost had a heart attack on the spot. I grabbed a rock and nailed it good. 7 rings and a button, so a small one.

 

I don't want to sound like a PETA wacko, because I'm far from it, but is it really necessary to kill a snake that isn't posing a threat? They are good for the environment and help keep the rodent population in check. Besides, in many areas the things are endangered and killing one is quite illegal.

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I don't want to sound like a PETA wacko, because I'm far from it, but is it really necessary to kill a snake that isn't posing a threat? They are good for the environment and help keep the rodent population in check. Besides, in many areas the things are endangered and killing one is quite illegal.

Yep it's necessary.

 

I live on a ranch in the godforsaken state of Oregon. If we want to get rid of more rodents we'll get more cats. We dispatch every rattler on our property as quickly as possible.

 

One thing that helped rid us of rattlers is rasing pigs for a couple of years. We put them right over the top of a known snake den. I don't exactly know what rattlers taste like but the pigs that ate them tasted good.

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I think this topic is horrible. You people need to become a little more educated about snakes and how to avoid bites then be fearfull of them. In my 35+ years I have tramped through the woods and around lakes/swamps/ponds I have encounted dozens of poisonous snakes. Never once have I ever "had" to kill one and I have had lots of close encounters and stikes my way. There are ways to avoid getting bit even if you are standing over the top of one, you just have to stay calm and use your head.

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There are ways to avoid getting bit even if you are standing over the top of one, you just have to stay calm and use your head.

 

Easy to say when you don't have a rattlesnake between your legs.

 

Yep it's necessary.

 

I live on a ranch in the godforsaken state of Oregon. If we want to get rid of more rodents we'll get more cats. We dispatch every rattler on our property as quickly as possible.

 

How does that make it necessary?

Edited by briansnat
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brian said

is it really necessary to kill a snake that isn't posing a threat?

 

I said

I live on a ranch in the godforsaken state of Oregon. If we want to get rid of more rodents we'll get more cats. We dispatch every rattler on our property as quickly as possible.

You said

How does that make it necessary?

I wasn't explaining why it's necessary, just that I get rid of every rattler I see or take means to get rid of them.

 

Perhaps you aren't familar with ranch life. We have family and friends wandering around our place. Children wander around. THAT makes it necessary. Contrary to popular opinion not everyone who gets bitten gets sick, some die from it.

Edited by Lazyboy & Mitey Mite
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I have no problem with the OP killing the snake in question in self-defense but wonder why the need to kill them if you are not threatened...

 

Here in Texas every year the is a big 'Rattlesnake Round-up' held in Sweetwater. While at first glance it appears to be a good thing (i.e., bring in money for charity, milking the snakes for antivenom, collecting research data) it turns out to be just a big festival where 1000's of snakes are killed. The round-up was originally started to rid the rattlers from newly developed areas to protect children and animals since the rattlers had been displaced from their 'homes' but now some of these snakes are collected from as far as 100 miles away. :tongue:

 

On the other hand, because of all the new development in the area the deer population has exploded causing property damage as well as threat to human-life (have you ever seen a car hit by a deer?) but not many would suggest a round-up to slaughter thousands of deer (nor would I!). Instead they are left or in severe cases relocated.

 

Okay, I know we're talking apples and oranges here but I guess I'm of the feeling that we should leave nature alone (when possible) and let it take its own course.

Everytime I am in the woods I try to leave it as I found it but if I felt myself or my daughter were threatened then of course I would take action. Then and only then.

 

Sorry for the rant...

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The last rattler I ran into was this guy last year:

 

1768740_300.jpg

 

He was busy, but he rattled at me anyway. I guess he didn't want any company while dining. I've run into many gopher snakes since then, but no rattlers.

 

Here in Southern Kalifornia, it's darn near impossible to get a carry permit. I've carried while hiking a few times anyway, although my main concern is mountain lions, not rattlers. Glock 27.

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Perhaps you aren't familar with ranch life. We have family and friends wandering around our place. Children wander around. THAT makes it necessary.

 

I am familar with farm life and my kids are also. As far as family and friends, I remove the snakes from the imediate area (about an acre or so) around the house and I keep it mowed and clear of any brush or trash to hold down the rats and other food sources. Its very rare I find a snake that close to the house. (maybe one a year and its usually a harmless variety I leave...some snakes eat others) and yes I have even caught and removed a copper head from the area once and released it...never saw it again. You dont have to kill snakes.

Edited by Rainwater
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My dad almost died from the bite of a diamondback. (Southern California, Yuma/Mexico border.) It was a long time ago, when he was a little boy. They lived out in the country and it took him a while to get to the doctor. To this day, a rattler is the one creature he will kill on sight. Glad I never really pissed my dad off when I was growing up. Almost 70 years later and he still holds a grudge!

:tongue: Oh, man! Not funny that he almost died, just the holding a grudge part made hot coffee come out my nose!!!

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The last rattler I ran into was this guy last year:

 

<Image removed so as not to cause undue stress on any whiners>

 

He was busy, but he rattled at me anyway. I guess he didn't want any company while dining. I've run into many gopher snakes since then, but no rattlers.

 

Here in Southern Kalifornia, it's darn near impossible to get a carry permit. I've carried while hiking a few times anyway, although my main concern is mountain lions, not rattlers. Glock 27.

OMG!!!! For a moment, I thought that was Signal until I saw the tail! :tongue:

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Perhaps you aren't familar with ranch life. We have family and friends wandering around our place. Children wander around. THAT makes it necessary.

 

I have family and childeren wandering around my backyard. That doesn't mean I'm gonna that kill every copperhead (or bear for that matter) that wanders through. I teach the kids to stay away and leave the animals alone. They'll leave soon enough if there is nothing there for them. As Rainwater mentioned, keep the area clear of attractants and they won't stay long.

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Last time I checked, killing snakes was against the law.  They can't help it that sometime early in life they decided to be lawyers ...

It is illegal to kill rattlesnakes in Pennsylvania without a permit. They are considered a threatned species by the state and protected appropriatly. It is very difficult to get a permit and with it you may hunt and harvest 2 snakes per year.

 

Yet, we still have a bunch of irrational idiots who think they are doing some good by killing every one they see. :tongue:

 

Salvelinus

Edited by Salvelinus
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Informative and entertaining thread here, with lots of different points of view. :unsure:

 

Pilgrim does sometimes carry his gun when we're out caching in rural areas, but mostly for protection as someone else mentioned, against the two-legged type of snakes. :tongue: And for mountain lions as well.

 

As for rattler bites not always being fatal, even if it's not a fatal bite, it can really screw you up for a long time, if not permanently. I had a friend I worked with who was bitten on the arm - he was on a fishing trip walking on the edge of the river next to a steep bank and never saw the rattler coming. He was bitten on his forearm and rushed to the hosptial, but he was in there for weeks. His arm turned all black and he lost a lot of tissue, movement and feeling. He never did make it back to work. That was probably 7 or 8 years ago, not sure if he ever regained the full use of his arm or not - but it shows that a bite can be quite debilitating.

 

As for shooting the suckers - I'm not for killing every snake I see, even though I can't stand the critters. But if one is posing an immediate threat to me, Pilgrim or Sweet Pea, his days are over! I don't think I'd want to gamble with trying to keep a cool head and waiting for the snake to back down - if he's coiled, rattling and within striking range (especially as was the case in the first post of this thread), well, there'd be one less snake out there.

 

~Rhubarb

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NO they taste like frog legs.............oops watch out SIGNAL.

 

I have had hundreds of encounters with the ole rattlesnake(BUZZ BUTTS).

The one's I have found to be the MOST DANGEROUS are the Pygmy rattlers of the Florida Mountians in SW New Mexico.

They attack in packs,or what ever you call a whole bunch of rattlesnakes.

I think of bunch of snakes are called a 'council' or possibly a 'firm'. Okay, I'll stop with the lawyer jokes now, hehehe.

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I think this topic is horrible. You people need to become a little more educated about snakes and how to avoid bites then be fearfull of them. In my 35+ years I have tramped through the woods and around lakes/swamps/ponds I have encounted dozens of poisonous snakes. Never once have I ever "had" to kill one and I have had lots of close encounters and stikes my way. There are ways to avoid getting bit even if you are standing over the top of one, you just have to stay calm and use your head.

I completely agree.

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I have luckily never seen a snake on any trails or anything, although i have read logs that other cachers have after ive been there :)

 

rattlesnakes are probably my biggest fear/paranoia. and what REALLY freaks me out is i went to Santa Catalina Island a few years ago witha friend and we camped out there and had a lot of fun, but after getting back and reading about the island soem more I found that is is one of the few places that has Rattlesnakes with no rattles!! Rattleless Rattlesnakes :blink:

 

catsnake1.jpg

 

catsnake2.jpg

 

catsnake3.jpg

 

catsnakesign.jpg

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Welcome back from the dead, lol. Now I know why I have a ccw as well. Actually thats not the reason but I am an Ex-Police Officer, Corrections Technician, Locksmith also. Mnay people here in Colorado Springs have commented on the fact that I should not kill the rattlesnakes I run across in my geocaching ventures, but you know what? I live because they don't. I also live because I killed that rattler that might of bitten your 10 year old son that may be hiking after me tomorrow, to a cache. Very few think of that. And I will continue to kill them suckers when I find them. I have found them smack dab in the middle of the trail in Garden of the Gods here also. It was actually pretty funny because I was watching a gentleman hiker come up the trai lbehind me when I saw that rattler and after the THIRD time I hollered to him to go around the trails side he asked me why; then I showedd him the rattler that was under my next step and waiting for him. Here sure appreciated me after that. At the time I did think about watching him get bit, this scenario I have never witnessed as a life lesson ( I wouldnt do it so get real people). :rolleyes:

 

Remember some of us have already seen or lived a certain scenario and are SIMPLY offering a better way for you to learn from it and not have to go through its hardship. :laughing:

 

As for other snakes I honestly came across about ten common variety snakes today while hiking on private property open to the public and watched them all slither away from me-they never attempted to harm me so I did let them go about their business. :rolleyes:

 

:rolleyes: As for drunk drivers all I will say is that I used to work with a police officer whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver and I do know that he has no mercy for drunk drivers. Especially now that he is the sheriff of Las Animas County in Colorado. more power to you Jim, go get em all. :unsure:

 

As for the owner of this topic anytime you re in Colorado Springs and need a caching partner feel free to email me and we will go have fun. :unsure:

Edited by KEYPERSN
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Not easy gettin' a heart-lung shot at a skinny snake, eh? Most of our woodlands caches around here are on state or Army Engineer Corps property, where you can't carry your pistol, unless you're legally signed in to hunt with it that day. In south Florida, growing up, I stepped on a pygmy rattler, very lethargic, acted dazed--when I skinned her and cut her open, there were 11 babies in her--(They are live-bearers, no eggs)-- I figured she was giving birth at the time I met her. Got twelve with one knife blow! :rolleyes:

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I am alive today because I carry a weapon while Geocaching, I have a carry permit being a former Police officer I always carry my weapon, this weekend I went after a cache in the middle of the forest the Caches was about 50 miles from the nearest hospital and about five miles off a main road on a two track trail, from where I parked the car it was about a 3/4 mile hike into the forest to the cache, as I was walking out from the cache, I stepped over a very large rattler , he struck once and missed just grazing my bdu's then he started to rattle I was standing right over him if I moved he would have struck again, I pulled my 45 acp and shot him 4 times before he uncoiled and died, this snake was huge the largest I have ever seen, I used hollow points and it still took 4 shots to kill him, after I got home my leg was very sore I have a bruise the size of a tennis ball on the side of my knee where his head which was larger then my fist struck my knee and my bdu's have the fang marks in them, he just missed sinking his fangs in me, had I moved he would have struck again because I was standing right over him, but because I had my weapon I was able to dispatch him before he struck again.

GeoSar

Now with the 1994 Clinton crime bill blowing away in the wind, we can now carry much more ammo per magazine for entire snake dens!!!!! (Just kidding). I would never shoot into a snake den, I would however, carry a hi-cap mag... way to go with yet another tale of a gun saving a life..!!!! (ps, I am NOT being sarcastic, I am a lifetime member of the NRA if anyone asks) :rolleyes:

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I did an internet search on rattlesnake bites and two sources said they account for about 2-4 deaths per year in the U.S. I don't carry a gun, but what I would have done is waited for it to strike, and when it did, I would have quickly reached around and grabbed it by the tail and slung it like a whip and cracked its head on a rock. :rolleyes:

OK Grizzly Adams!

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I did an internet search on rattlesnake bites and two sources said they account for about 2-4 deaths per year in the U.S.  I don't carry a gun, but what I would have done is waited for it to strike, and when it did, I would have quickly reached around and grabbed it by the tail and slung it like a whip and cracked its head on a rock.  :rolleyes:

OK Grizzly Adams!

Or he could be the man from Nantucket, who got bite by a snake and said @#&* it. :rolleyes::rolleyes::laughing:

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Rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal, particularly to healthy adults.

"According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, about 8,000 people a year receive venomous bites in the United States, and only 9 to 15 victims die. In fact more people die from wasp and bee stings than from snake bites."

 

Must be harder to shoot bees.

 

-WR

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For those of you that don't or can't carry guns on your cache hikes, a good sturdy hiking stick can also be a very effective weapon or tool against snakes. And as an added bonus, your ears won't be ringing for the next two days if you use something other than a firearm to scare snakes away.

and it makes it a whole lot safer for anyone else in the area! B)

not if you use the stick to flip the snake on THEM!

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Rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal, particularly to healthy adults.

"According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, about 8,000 people a year receive venomous bites in the United States, and only 9 to 15 victims die. In fact more people die from wasp and bee stings than from snake bites."

 

Must be harder to shoot bees.

 

-WR

Another good argument for high capacity magazines.

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B) This is my first post after more than two years. I live in arizona and have come across the "horrible" rattlesnake twice. Once on the job for Mr. Don Laughlin in his new business which we were able to pick him up with a pvc pipe and after a couple attempts move him to his beloved habitat. He actually tried to go back in to the building, but we stopped him. And the second time was on our cache to Lake Havasu. We never wanted to harm either one because as scary as they are, they belong in the scheme of things for many reasons, just as we do. Just because we fear something, does not mean we need to destroy it.
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I have to admit one of the truly frightning times in my life was about 6 or 7 years ago I was canyoneering in southern Utah with three friends and we were swimming through a flooded chamber that was ?unknown? depth, and with 400 foot walls on either side about 6 feet apart. I was the lead swimmer and came across a RATTLESNAKE in the water, his head above the waterline, I started thrashing about and yelling with TRUE fear trying to swim back with my buddies not knowing what the ????? Needles to say nobody got bit, but I will NEVER forget that as long as I live.... :blink:

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I have to admit one of the truly frightning times in my life was about 6 or 7 years ago I was canyoneering in southern Utah with three friends and we were swimming through a flooded chamber that was  ?unknown? depth, and with 400 foot walls on either side about 6 feet apart.  I was the lead swimmer and came across a RATTLESNAKE in the water, his head above the waterline,  I started thrashing about and yelling with TRUE fear trying to swim back with my buddies not knowing what the ?????  Needles to say nobody got bit, but I will NEVER forget that as long as I live....  :laughing:

Whoa, that'll make ya pee your pants ...

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Unless it would just make them strike blindly, I don't see a downside to carrying pepper spray for snake encounters...

The downside is that you risk being bitten or being immobilized yourself if the wind is blowing the wrong way. If you're in a situation you can't escape, as described here, I'd rather have a lethal weapon.

 

If you can escape, then you don't need either (why harm the snake at all).

 

I carry a Glock 23 and will probably downsize to a Kahr 9mm since the 23 is kind of bulky in a fanny pack.

I have the Kahr PM9 - it's very light and easy to carry. Highly recommend it!

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