Article Snakes on a plain

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by ribka, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Ok disclaimer I grew up with snakes and have always have been fascinated by them.

    With the opener of E side lakes in the near future time to think once again about snakes. I. count an encounter with a venomous snake, a bear, cougar, coyote, wolf etc as an added bonus when I hike, hunt etc in the PNW. Education and a healthy respect and understanding of these predators will lesson the likelihood of a negative experience.

    Anyway thought an interesting article with interesting characters :
    Brady Burmeister and Irafly like this.
  2. That was very interesting.
  3. I think I'll skip the snake bite encounters, at least for now. But I'm glad somebodys doing all that anti venom research.
  4. cool link...I always hated dealing with Copperheads as a kid in Texas. They were always more difficult to control with the hook than either Cottonmouths or Rattlesnakes...
  5. Really sorry I opened that link....I hate all snakes, especially Copperheads. Growing up in Tennessee you learned early not to mess with them.
  6. Snakes, like all wildlife are fascinating, but I'd pass on a handler's job even though I've done that & even been bitten once. Any more, I just give the snake the shady side of the rock/bush on hot days & vice-versa on cold days. Good article, Tom.
  7. That was an interesting article, thanks for posting. I like the part on rattlesnakes "and then it gets worse".
    Irafly likes this.
  8. I've lived here in Montana for over 8 years now and the only snake I've see was a garter snake. I'd just like to see one rattlesnake in the wild so I can say I saw one here. No bears here either. A few herd of Elk Lots of deer and antelope. A couple of Moose to. No cougar yet.
  9. Growing up in Eastern OREGON and living about thirty years in Eastern WASHINGTON, I've seen a few rattle snakes, a few bears, 3 cougars, and lots of coyotes. Rattle Snakes are not aggressive snakes hunting out somebody to attack. They will strike if disturbed. Baby Rattle Snakes are also venomous, I know man who was changing sprinklers and was bit by a little fellow about 5 inches long and he ended up hospital. He reached his hand down to turn on his sprinkler system and the little fellow nailed him. Had a coyote growl and challenge a friend and myself when we were hiking. Growing up on a farm in Eastern OR we recognized that rattle snakes helped keep the rodents under control so we didn't kill them. However, when out in the wild respect nature. Prepare for those emergencies. The article was an interesting read.
  10. When I was a youngster growing up in Indiana I caddied at the golf course next to and inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Despite being in the middle of the suburbs then, there was a small creek that ran through the course. Tommy, my friend and I were walking along the creek on our way to the club house area. It was August, hot and humid and the middle of the season. We had picked up about a dozen lost balls when Tommy saw one on a little sand island with heavy grass. He reached for it and felt a sting, he was dead inside of fifteen minutes. Not sure if it was a Copper Head, not to be confused with a Copper John, or a water moccasin, as I only got a look at the end of the tail.

    That started a few decades of looking where I stepped and reached. I am especially careful reaching out to climb the banks of the Yak in the Canyon.
  11. I played with one last year at DF's...bored, dumb thing to do... yup. It was under the truck when I returned for lunch. I let it strike the end of my rod case twice, then got to wondering whether the venom stain left on the nylon cover might inadvertently get onto my lunch, dinner and spent 5 minutes dunking my rod tube in the lake... fishing was slow as I recall.
  12. I had a friend bit by a rattlesnake.

    $40,000 paid by his health insurance. Three days in intensive care.

    He was fine and never in any real danger......Thanks, but I am going to pass on fooling with rattlesnakes. You know they never really made me paranoid UNTIL my friend got bit.
  13. Posted this before. rattlesnake-distribution-map #2.jpg
  14. Great article. Thanks for the link! I grew up in rattlesnake country. Only been bit once, about four years ago. I was lucky.
    It was after work, and I was putting tools away in the shop. About my third trip in I inadvertently trampled over some insulation that had fallen down from a pile of leftovers(I have a veritable ziggies worth of leftover construction materials in my shop). As I was stretching up to put a box of nails away on a high shelf, I felt something hanging from my pants. I looked down and was shocked to see a rattlesnake hanging by the fangs from my carharts. No rattle.
    I kicked it free and it came back, striking repeatedly. I was literally cornered, and was hit at least twice more before I was able to grab a metal ammo box full of sixteens and blocked several more strikes. Still no rattle.
    I don't know if the snake was aggressive because it was shedding, or it was under the insulation staying cool in the hundred degree weather and I stepped on it, but it just kept striking at my boots over and over. I managed to get a hold of a roofing shovel and mortally wounded it. Now it rattled just fine as it made it's getaway under a unit of 2x4s.
    I rushed inside, pulled my boots and inspected my feet for bites, not knowing if one of the bites had punctured my heavy work boots. Not seeing visible evidence of a bite, I jumped on my quad to meet some friends up the road at the swimming hole. As I eased into the water to cool off, I noticed blood spiraling into the water out of two perfectly symmetrical holes in the top of my foot. My head spun with adrenaline as I realized I one of the bites had got through the tongue of my boot. Luckily it was a dry bite, obviously, as I never had any ill effects. It must've wasted all it's juice on the several misses before finding meat.
  15. Man, you are LUCKY!!!
  16. Read that Rattle Snakes don't like high altitudes. They are rare above 4500 -
    5000 ft in elevation. Come to think about it, don't believe I've seen a poisonous snake above 5000 ft.
  17. I spend the summer along the Yellowstone River in Paradise Valley, about 35 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. We are just under 5000 feet elevation, and have plenty of rattlesnakes all around us. I can't speak to other places and elevations, but here they seem to do just fine.
  18. Great read to say the least. Only saw one once and that was a very long time ago. That said, lived in/near Santa Rosa, California and played golf at the local course. Beatiful fairways/greens/etc., and sighs in the 'ruff.'


  19. I read another article that said that in the Rockies that rattle snakes have been seen as high as 9,000 ft. But in most places they don't care for high elevation of over 5,000 fit. In the Blue Mtns of Oregon there are plenty of rattle snakes but I've never seen them in the Wallowa Mtns higher elevations. The East Slope of the Cascades have plenty of rattlers but I've never seen them at the higher elevations. Could be the Rockies sub specie is more tolerant of altitude than other rattlers? Would make for an interesting study.
    Randall Clark likes this.
  20. I've seen more than a few in the Blues, but like Keith, never higher up in the Wallowas (perhaps not the best comparison as the Blues are lower in elevation than the Wallowa Mtns). I'm guessing it's because for much of the Rockies, it's a drier environment and gets warmer during the summers for them (i.e. still more of a desert-type of environment rather than your typical mountain-type, just at a higher elevation)...

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