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P15-D24

Rattlesnakes

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I live in one of the many California canyons that back up to a national forest and mountain range. We get all kinds of wildlife including coyotes, bobcats, bears, deer and mountain lions. The creek on my property line is a freeway for wildlife activity at night. We have 6-8 foot fences around the back which won't stop everything but at least encourage them to move on to a location with easier access.  We had a very wet winter which means lot of food sources and this year we are seeing a bumper crop of rattlers. My neighbors are seeing a lot of them and just tonight I had baby rattler one of my dogs almost stepped on while playing tennis ball catch.  Looking for info on best way to deal with them safely, and capture them for animal control to  pick up for relocation. Killing them is a last resort but if I can't safely capture them I'll get the .410 out. I don't want my dogs to get bit or me so recommendations for proper gear is appreciated. TIA

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I appreciate your predicament. Not wanting to kill them is admirable. We have a copperhead nest/den/breeding gound near here  and I usually spot one every year.

If I can, I catch them and relocate them. Some times I'm too late and find them dead on the road. If they are not too 'ripe' I put them in alcohol and get to a guy who makes a liniment out of them. I don't think I would mess with a rattler. They are pretty serious critters. Not sure who you should contact about them. Google is pretty helpful.

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I will never kill a copperhead or rattler if he is out in his own environment ie cross the road or in the woods.  Many of my neighbors say I am crazy for letting them live.   I do however take them out if they are on my property near my house or barn...I have no need for poisonous snakes in these locations as often it is I who is out ratting about.  I will not harm any other snake on the property, black snake, rat snake etc.  as these guys are very beneficial.  I suppose the others eat rats and such also...but the risk of coming upon them and disturbing them not knowing they there and get bit is just not worth it.  We have a good number of rattlers in our area also....

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The best way to deal with rattlesnakes is to get rid of what is drawing them to your property.  Sounds like that would be a difficult task with the conditions you describe, a lot of rattlesnakes means a lot of rodents attracting them.  Kind of a Catch-22, they take care of your rodent problem, but that creates a problem with them.  Relocation only works with the snakes you move, it doesn't keep others out.  Nothing really works to keep them away once they find a food source, other than removing the food source.  Despite their reputation, they would rather not be around you, or your dogs.  I grew up and lived and worked many years amongst them, and just kind of figured out how to avoid and/or deal with them.  A good way to trap them is to bury a 5-gallon bucket(s) in the ground, preferably under or near bushes or other low shade, with a board, brick, or flat rock loosely covering the top, but not so loose they can move it.  If you've got a spot where you constantly find snakes, that's a good location, too.  They'll slither under the board/rock, fall into the bucket, and won't be able to get out.  You can either use a double bucket so you can pull the one with the snake(s) in it out, or bury it so you can take it in our out easily.  Keep bucket covers handy to keep them in, with holes for air if you're so inclined.  Then deal with the snake(s) however you deem necessary.  There will be other critters in there, too.  Learned this from folks who trap snakes and other reptiles in the desert for the pet industry.  I bet herpetology sites may have info on traps, too.      

Edited by Dan Hiebert

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On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 6:15 AM, Frank Elder said:

You need Riki Tiki Tavi........

 

Yes I agree. He could deal with Cobras so rattlers shouldn't be a problem. Great short story by Rudyard Kipling.

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After doing a bit of research here are my thoughts. 

 

http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21340

 

The link above is how to visually sex a rattlesnake from the rattlesnake forum. 

 

I suggest you acquire a large supply of viagra and a large supply of laboratory mice. Force feed the mice with the viagra and turn them loose in the rattlesnake nesting habitat. Once the male rattlesnakes eat the mice they will have a boner that lasts longer than the 4 hours normally required for medical treatment. As there are no rattlesnake doctors available to administer such treatment. Imagine what it would be like to have to squirm about with an 8 hour boner and no treatment. The rattlesnake population would soon dwindle and the female rattlesnakes will have to seek there pleasures elsewhere. I did not do any research but there is most likely a forum on female rattlesnake self administered pleasure devices.

 

I will go sit in the corner now.

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I'm going to chime in because I live in the foothills of Northern California that are full of rattlesnakes.  My property is semi remote so I can use guns when necessary.  When we first moved in 23 years ago we had rattlers every spring.  Having small kids at the time, I had a "the only good rattler is a dead rattler" policy.  My wife and I killed many, and now we don't have them.  Maybe 1 per year.  We have gopher snakes, milk snakes and garter snakes to keep the rodent population down.  The bite from a rattler can be deadly but is also going to rot the flesh around the bite area (see google images).  I'll spare you my snake stories because it's a car site.  I have not yet run one over with the p15 yet,  but, I will at the first opportunity. 

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Quick postscript, County Animal Control was out to the house Monday for the one I captured. Their re-location policy has changed, they will only capture and relocate to a different part of your property. They will not remove them from the property nor will they destroy them. Termination is left up to the property owner.  Not a lot of help.

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lock and load...download some #5 buckshot...good for a variety of varmints...your animal control is about like ours EXCEPT they did respond to your call....we pay the same taxes as any other county resident but get no service...did not used to be this way here either....neighbor moved and left 10 cats behind....not the cats fault....but guess who suffers....yes the cats and the community in general.  :soapbox:  I yield the box to the next man....

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Thank you Plymouthy.....(climbs on the box)

 

I've removed (shot) the few Diamondback Rattlers on my immediate property (California).

Working in the ER for 35 years has shown me the problems that come with being bitten.

Not interested.

They will survive as a species, regardless of what we do. Rattlers in California are "not endangered".

Timber Rattlesnakes are considered "not endangered" either, but some states classify them as "endangered" due to declining habitat, pet market etc....

Encounters are considered rare, but its a lottery you don't wanna win. 

If I encounter them outside my home, say at a park, I'll adjust my path etc......but at my home?

I'll enforce my "Apex Predator" status.

 

48D

 

(gets help off the box, but still falls in a blaze of glory)

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That's bizarre, relocation onto a different part of your property is not relocation, that's just moving your problem around.  What's the point of having animal control if they're no help?  Despite my previous dissertation, I've never tried to capture rattlesnakes on purpose.  Killing them does get rid of them (duh), but you still have to be careful, probably more so with your local ordinances if you choose to shoot them.  Luckily, I've never been bitten, but I've lost count of how many I've stepped on, or had to change my course because of them.  Hoes, shovels, BFRs, etc. will do the trick, too.  Something with a bit of "reach".  I always carried a "snake stick", about a 4' hiking stick to move them out of the way when I didn't have time to mess with them.  You have to go for the head, either lop it off or squish it, and you can't be timid about it - if you're going to kill it, then kill it.  Once you start hacking at it without killing it quickly, it will defend itself.  And if you're squeamish, once you lop the head off, they'll still move around quite a bit, even act like they're still trying to strike.  And always treat the head/fangs with caution, as the poison is stored in glands, and doesn't decompose like the rest of the animal.  When they are stretched out, they can't strike further than the limit of their body, but if they're coiled up, they can strike something like 1/3rd again the length of their body.  I've dealt with them all the way up to over 6 feet long.  Shotgun or snake shot is best, better chance to hit them, and the pellets are less prone to ricochet.  You can always eat the bigger ones, and I'm sure there is some local tanner or hobbiest that would love to get some hides.  Thankfully, there are no poisonous snakes in Maine, so I don't have to be quite as vigilant as I used to be.    

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1 hour ago, Plymouthy Adams said:

 

There you go Gerald, the perfect relocation spot, Maine...….

 

Yeah, but I'm allergic to that white cold stuff that falls from the sky.

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4 minutes ago, P15-D24 said:

 

Yeah, but I'm allergic to that white cold stuff that fall from the sky.

 

 

can't fault you on that....while it is hot in the south....come winter, compared to the north....it is still hot in the south.....and lot less to shovel....

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To each their own, but at least we can add layers to stay warm, you can only take so many off before you start scaring the neighbors or getting the cops called on you. 

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I will say this.....I do not like working with long sleeves much less a coat/jacket.....at the worse I do put on a sweatshirt...but for sure not many days here in GA require lots of clothes....I did my walk this evening followed by a bicycle ride....while warm...it is not nearly as humid tonight...that is the killer...

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coming home from town and about 1/2 mile from the house was a huge rattler on the edge of the road...I stopped to see if it had been hit as my cousin wants a Canebrake rattler skin.  It was fully alive and fully functional.....he was huge about 5 foot long and get this...only had two rattles and a button.....Canebrakes are pink and chocolate in color for our neck of the woods...very pretty in a dangerous way....yes they are timber rattlers...but tell a local that and he says...

 

"say what...you not from around here are ya boy?... your momma drop you when you were born?"

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Yep, rattlesnakes can be "pretty".  We had what they called a green rock rattler in west Texas - mostly green, brown, and a little black.  We'd find herpetologists from some of the universities poking around in the desert looking for them because they are rare, and not very big compared to the others.  I rather enjoyed watching their reaction when I could point out where to find some - giddy - over rattlesnakes.

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Back in the 60's..  Friend of mine owned a '64 dodge 440 with a built Keith Black 440 six pack and Art Carr tq flite.  Use to go snake hunting in the Agoura Hills in Ca.  Get this...I would drive, he would sit on the right front fender.  Would cruse along at 20 mph or so at dusk just as the critters are looking for a nice warm road to bask on.  The idea was to spot a snake of some kind on the road and when I got the signal...  hit the brakes while the friend slid of the fender and captured the rascal.  Bag in one hand and a noose in the other.

This thing (the car) would turn mid 12's @ 115 in the 1/4 at lions........I always thought....what a waste!!

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On 8/7/2019 at 7:04 AM, Dan Hiebert said:

Yep, rattlesnakes can be "pretty".  We had what they called a green rock rattler in west Texas - mostly green, brown, and a little black.  We'd find herpetologists from some of the universities poking around in the desert looking for them because they are rare, and not very big compared to the others.  I rather enjoyed watching their reaction when I could point out where to find some - giddy - over rattlesnakes.

I used to do a lot of hiking. I've seen many rattlesnakes. Timber Rattlers and diamonds. Beautiful creatures. My favorite encounter was a fairly rare pink rattlesnake in the Grand Canyon. Having said that, I would shoot the MFrs if they were in my yard.

PhotoPictureResizer_190815_183549255-480x360.jpg

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