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Curious....about Rattlesnakes

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It seems like quite many of you....hunt the Desert areas of Arizona and such, Now I know they are out there...the snakes, but just curious how many you actually run into out there while swinging them detectors and how much of a danger do they really pose to you all, if any ? Tigger

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They are out there this time of year. Be Aware of where your stepping and look in bushes before your reach. Especially during the heat of the day. They like rocks, Shade and crevices during the heat of the day. I find about one a trip here in NM during the summer. No they do not always tell you there their . My dogs find them before I do most of the time. They don't like them.

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I have been told that Trinity Au operates his detectors at a frequency that attracts them, so he will be a reliable source on this topic. Ive never had an encounter with one where we didn't part company as respected enemies. It's always on my mind in certain areas but I've never been surprised by one while detecting. In and out medical treatment in our area can cost $50,000.+.

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Poison Control Center assisted with 124 snake bites in AZ in 2012.

Ankles, feet and hands most common areas

Peak season August and September. About 70% of the people bitten were f'ing with the snake.

Jim

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I don't really run into that many while detecting. Maybe 2 a year. Some areas have higher concentrations of them, and other areas seem to be completely void of them.

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Basic fact is #1 always keep it on your mind while walking around.
Never put your hand where you can't totally see whats there.

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Seems like the more pack rat nests there are the more snakes. Wonder why that is??? And areas with lots of cholla cactus too.

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I've run across a few between Rye Patch and Q and over here, never had any strikes. Usually when I've seen them, it was cold and they were holding tight. I've seen tails slithering away into holes. Can't say I've heard them rattle, could have something to do with my hearing?

Haven't run into a Mojave, but believe if you spook a snake and it comes for you, you're detecting too fast. BUT on the same note, don't know if all of them have read the book.

Never had to kill a snake out; but killed three on my property.

Shep

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BD the snakes like the rats an the rats like the cholla cactus balls they use them for cover and protection from most predators.
Yeah, seasons with more rains produce more vegetation and more varmit births etc leading to a bigger snake population an so on.

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Frank(Tigger) ... Last Thursday down around Cleator AZ my year and half old Black Lab got hit by a small western diamondback. To far in to get him out to a vet quickly but did call the vet ... he said keep him quiet and hydrated if he will drink ... never known that dog to refuse food or ice cubes before but he did that morning. He was swollen around his lower jaw and throat for most of the day and then by Saturday was so swollen one of his eyes was shut. By today, Monday, he is all back to normal and his old self. For him it is youth, good overall healthy condition and annual snake shots that saved the day for him ... I'm guessing a higher power had another thing in mind for him too! :) I didn't kill the snake but believe me I wanted too ... perhaps if Max had died I would think otherwise but with the exception of the Green Mohave's all the rattlers around me will live. I see a Mohave and that one will die. Why ... they have a neuro-toxin that could kill an animal the size of Max ... about 45 pounds ... in about 30-45 minutes ... probably not much more for a human since it shuts down the nervous system and one ceases to function. All the others have primarily a Hemo-toxin which coagulates the blood ... thickens the blood so oxygen doesn't get carried where it needs to go ... most folks survive those bites from what I have read. Anyway if you're going to be out in the desert wear 'snake-gardz' and as others have said don't step over or reach around what you can't see. Hope this helps you ... and maybe a few others who may be curious.

Mike F

Edited by Mike Furness

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Mike heres how it is around me, if I frequent an area my property included there will be no rattlers.
I have been in a position of stepping on one just before daylight and I know what they are capable of if they strike.
Homey don't play that game, and I don't care what anybody says about OH bUT the snakes keep the mouse and rat populations down etc. etc.
Yeah well theres plenty of other non venomous ones that will do the same job.

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Wade I carried mine around in the truck for about 4 years.
Then with a "close encounter" I started actually wearing them instead of carrying them in the truck.
And after seeing what a local woman went thru because she walked out on her porch and down the steps during the night and was hit in the foot, let alone the COST of medical attention is enough to bankrupt or KILL YA either one !!!
Definitely No Fun .

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In the years that i have hunted the Franconia area, I have seen as many as five rattlers in the early morning while hiking in. They are mostly small Westerns, and sidewinders, but there are Mojaves in the foothills. I usually just walk around them, as they are just trying to make a living. The exception is the Mojaves, too aggressive. Yes, I wear snake-gaiters too. I would not tolerate rattlers in an area that I live in.

Ben

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I dont normaly talk about this very often but here we go. If you can excuse the pun here is a first hand true story about a snake we have here in the southwest. years ago I was out with a friend collecting snakes and I got bit by one of those Mojave's. He only hung one fang in my thumb and I shook him off as I was putting him into a bag but it was too late. I felt the venom going up my arm. I tried to tye it off to slow the venom. I sat down lit a smoke watching my thumb bleed profusely thinking that's a good thing, get that poisen out right? but in less than five minutes I looked at my friend that thank god happened to be with me and said, I think we need to go to hospital. I stood up to leave and collapsed. He drug me over to his car and stuffed me into it on the passenger side. I remember I was laying more on the floor than on the seat just looking up at him driving. I could see and hear everything but could not move. could not even lift my arm. when we got to the hospital I remember my friend telling them that I may have been bitten by a Mojave. the next thing I remember I was inside laying on a gurney with nurses all around looking at me and cutting my clothes off. I felt like I just wanted to go to sleep. so peacefull, the next thing I know I heard the doctor say dont let him go to sleep and then the nurse slapping me in the face saying dont go to sleep, dont go to sleep! I heard the doctor say I just got of the phone with poison control in Tucson, then he asked the nurse how many doses of antivenom do we have and the nurse replied I think ten. the doctor said give them all to him. turns out it almost wasn't enough.

The next thing I remember,

I woke up three days later with IV's in both arms and legs and blurred double vison. I thought it was still the same day? I remember it was at night and there were no lights on in the room other than some lights from the machines. I looked over and I saw a silhouette of a person sitting in a chair just staring at me. It was a nurse that they had stationed with me full time. She said something to me but I dont remember what she said then she called for the doctor and I remember one of the first things I asked the doctor was, is this double vison going to stay forever? he smiled and said no it should go away in a few days. he also told me when I first came into the hospital my blood pressure dropped to 40/0 but I should be ok now. I looked at my hand and it was swollen up like a football and hurt like hell!. Poison control requested samples of my blood tests and the snake if possible and confirmed I was bitten by a Mojave. along with a huge hospital bill you can see why I have a great deal of respect for them Mojave's now, one of the baddest snakes we have here in Arizona. All I can say is dont screw with them and never underestmate them.

AzNuggetBob

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WOW Bob. Here I was just getting ready to sleep, and you lay that story on us. If I were a drinking man,I'd have a couple of stiff shots about now. I'm sure glad you're still around to tell your story.

Some day I'll tell you about the ring tail that trapped me in an outhouse!

Patrick

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You were real lucky to be with a friend Bob. Thanks for sharing your story.

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Hi Bob,

Holy crap, that is awful. What if you had been bitten full on, and with both fangs? You're very lucky to be alive. Those Mojaves are just too agressive, and venomous. Back in the early eighties, when we'd go into Congress to get supplies at the Chinaman's store, there was an old-time prospector from the Depression era, that used to hang out in front. If you mentioned Mojaves to him, he'd say "Some critters need Killin'. Nuff said".

Ben

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Bob, That's a wild story man, and im glad they had enough anti-venom. I have done a lot of night collecting from Anza Borrego to here, and pretty much stopped doing that a few years ago .

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Adam I gota say at the time early 80's I was getting big bucks for the snakes because they wanted them for the venom testing and anti-venom research. there is no margin for error with them. nobody has ever survived getting bit again within a few years. the venom is accumulative you cant get immuned to the bites over time. I was lucky and I still owe Stirling a good friend for saving my life. my ticket had already been punched once I was done.

I have to say in most cases, most people that get bit are screwing with them. Bob

Edited by AzNuggetBob

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There have been a couple years over the past 15 I have seen at least one or two every day I went out, which was darn near everyday out at the LSD ... Over the past 3 or4 years I've only seen maybe half dozen each season between Snake Day (March 1) and December 1 ... Have had a few close calls out there, but the worst is my own 3 acre property at the south edge of Wickenburg ... From time to time we have years where the property is infested with them ... Lost both our old border collie, Mahina, and Jose', our old cat ... Both to Mojaves ... Jose made it about 3 feet and dropped dead and Mahina lasted exactly a week ... Lots more snakes in town than in the wild here in Wickenburg ...I kill'em in the yard but just get away from them out in LSD and the Vultures ...

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Ron I have to admit I have killed a few of them in my patches. snake shot. just because I dont want to have worry about them later and I know I'll be back. They hang out in the same area too.

Sorry about your loss of your pets in your yard. on the other side I also want to say its a good idea to take a well trained dog with you out hunting and I mean well trained, bark dont try to bite. Bob

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Ron I gata tell ya the best nugget dog I ever had was queensland heeler border collie. That dog was so smart.

The only thing I could not train it to find was nuggets. :D Did not miss a snake, cat or pig/java.

AzNuggetBob

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Thank's for sharing your story AZ! Good to know what happens if you get bit by a Mo.

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Rimshot If you ever get out this way let me know I'll give you a personal tour. :4chsmu1: AznuggetBob

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