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Being Situationally Aware is the key to safe detecting!

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So during Bill's last outing down at San Domingo, I had the opportunity to do a little educational video.

Being forewarned is to be forearmed, as they say.  Be careful out there!  Doc
 



 

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Shared it on my Facebook page Go Treasure Hunting. Great reminder!

SASAGA.png

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I've only recently got FB, kind of empty yet, so posted this to FB also.

Edited by Red_desert

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Thanks Doc, good video and we all need reminders! 

I was there for 10 days during the outing and definitely kept my head on a swivel but didn't see any. 

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I would guess that in the last 10 years I may have seen 5 or 6 snakes that could have done damage ... how many others were there and I didn't see I have no idea. Of the ones that I saw only two gave warning and only one tried to strike ... but fortunately missed his mark. He would have gotten a mouth full of plastic had he hit because like Doc I wear gaiters all the time. And for the same reason as Doc. Those Prickly Pear spines I used to back into while getting back up from digging are no joke! :old:

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I actually saw another one, much bigger about 5 minutes later as I was riding riding down the wash.  Just laying out sunning itself in the middle of the wash.  It looked like a mojave green.  It got really agitated but moved off quickly.  Amazing how fast those darn snakes can go.

Doc

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I detected for about 4-5 yrs without snake protection, recently last season I bought a pair of snake boots, Ariat. Love em, Second nature to wear. And I feel a lot more confident about detecting the desert now. I still proceed with caution.

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I  never wear them been in AZ all my life and never worried about them-yes Ive seen them here and there but dont think about them-I believe if you think snake you see snake so I just dont think about them :Just_Cuz_06: Doc you should have tested out your gators to see how they work and vid it :inocent: Mike C...:200:

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Great vid Doc. Plus.......gators keep your knee pads up! :)
Tom

 

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I had just bought snake gators a week before, and had set off a couple hours before light.  I think I may have kicked one or it snapped at me, but I heard it rattle and slither away, as I walked the other direction, as scared of me as I was of it.  I’m glad I had them on.  Since then, seen rattlers, but never needed them for snake protection, but I never have to pull a thorn out below the snake gators.  Usually was pulling thorns out each trip.

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Good Post Doc,...........Here's one I came across a year ago in November,......can you see it in the first photo?????  It had curled up in a hollowed-out cow paddy that had dried up and crumbled away, thus leaving a circular cavity for it to encircle itself into.  It was actually asleep laying there when I walked up on it from behind.  I would have stepped right on it had my eye not noticed the circular shape, which stopped my in my tracks.  I left it alone, went on up the wash detecting and came back about 30-minutes later and then took some photo's facing-it, ...and it was still asleep!!!!  I took a long stick and touched it from the backside (thinking that It may be dead???)  and only then did it "slowly" slither away into the brush.  It never buzzed, and never struck at me.  I still am on alert when I go back to that area.  It was pretty-good nature'd considering, as I have come across a number of others in the past that had and "expressed" a fighting attitude for the get-go.  I've got a set of snake gaters, but very seldom use them,....I just walk very slow and am mentally-always looking for them.  "La-La Land" is not the state of mind to be in while you are in "their" terrain.  Gary  

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2 hours ago, TomH said:

Great vid Doc. Plus.......gators keep your knee pads up! :)
Tom

 

Tom I learn something new ever day.  Here I thought I was wearing those knee pads to keep the snake gaiters down.   :-)

 

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I saw 18 diamondbacks and one prairie rattler this season. I found 3 skinned carcasses and four that had been run over on the road.

I saw all but three before I was too close. Only one bothered to strike and that was just for show. He made my heart beat that's for sure.

I generally only see a few snakes in the late fall. This year the snakes were everywhere. Lots of dogs got bit and two people here in the valley that I know of. 

I generally wear my gaiters and carry my stick out in front of me. But most bites are on your feet where a gaiter does no good. So seeing those rascals before you get within range is the best way to keep from being severely envenomated.

I have never needed the gaiters so far. No snake has ever hit them. Clean underwear is a different story. I am often reminded of how powerful snake venom is. It will make you crap your pants just getting near it.

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Good video, Doc...I know that tree and wash and have encountered many rattlers in that area...The red ones are the most aggressive there generally...It's actually the most concentrated rattler areas out there in the LSD area ... I've had a number of incidents there over the past 20 years...Up hill to the SW of there there's lots of them in the basalt rocks ... I walk slow there!  Cheers, Unc

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Good eye opener Doc, I see many and just part of the landscape. I don't bother them and they don't bother me.... We have an agreement :arrowheadsmiley:

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5 hours ago, Nugget Shooter said:

Good eye opener Doc, I see many and just part of the landscape. I don't bother them and they don't bother me.... We have an agreement :arrowheadsmiley:

This one seemed pretty laid back.  I scared him with my ATV, and he hurried up over into his hole.  He didn't rattle and seemed pretty content to let me stick my camera right in his face.  Literally 6 inches away. 

Now the other one I saw about 5 minutes later, seemed a little more aggressive, but that was probably my fault.  I was traveling back down the wash and looking for the turn off to get up and out of the wash and head back to camp and I was looking off to my left.  Out of the corner of my eye to the right I saw what appeared to be a stick lying in the wash.  When I looked it was a big rattler, I swerved to avoid it.  That snake went from a position of lying all stretched out to recoiling and striking at my ATV in a split second.  Let me tell you that I still have a big area on the vinyl seat of my ATV that is all stretched out when my butt puckered that vinyl.  I stopped my ATV hoping I could go back and get some other pictures.  But this one had turned around and head toward the side of the gully went up the ridge and into a clump of trees and bushes.  I figured he was too scared and probably agitated to have a sensible conversation with.

This one I got the picture of, what kind of a snake is he?  Anyone know?

image.png
Doc

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50 minutes ago, DOC said:

This one seemed pretty laid back.  I scared him with my ATV, and he hurried up over into his hole.  He didn't rattle and seemed pretty content to let me stick my camera right in his face.  Literally 6 inches away. 

Now the other one I saw about 5 minutes later, seemed a little more aggressive, but that was probably my fault.  I was traveling back down the wash and looking for the turn off to get up and out of the wash and head back to camp and I was looking off to my left.  Out of the corner of my eye to the right I saw what appeared to be a stick lying in the wash.  When I looked it was a big rattler, I swerved to avoid it.  That snake went from a position of lying all stretched out to recoiling and striking at my ATV in a split second.  Let me tell you that I still have a big area on the vinyl seat of my ATV that is all stretched out when my butt puckered that vinyl.  I stopped my ATV hoping I could go back and get some other pictures.  But this one had turned around and head toward the side of the gully went up the ridge and into a clump of trees and bushes.  I figured he was too scared and probably agitated to have a sensible conversation with.

This one I got the picture of, what kind of a snake is he?  Anyone know?

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Doc

Without being able to see more of this snake's details/markings, etc., from just looking the markings on it's back it looks like a Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake.

If it's indeed a Ridge-nosed rattlesnake it is the Arizona state reptile and is also the only venomous snake on the endangered species list (I actually think there maybe more then this one on the list) and is federally protected, so don't hurt it!! 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crotalus_willardi_obscurus

https://www.ereferencedesk.com/resources/state-symbols/arizona/reptile.html

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The only way short of DNA to tell the difference between a Western and a Mohave is certainly not looking at its tail or color.  I once made a living catching them...  Two large scales connecting its eyes are a Mohave, so many small scales you are unable able to count and its a Western species of which there are numerous.  Really doesn't matter unless bitten which I have been 3 times. 

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8 hours ago, Au Seeker said:

 endangered species list (I actually think there maybe more then this one on the list) and is federally protected, so don't hurt it!! 

I didn't hurt it.  I thought it was cool.  Also it was also a very cooperative photographic subject.

Doc

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1 hour ago, wes said:

Good info Lotsaluck

I found this page with more info: https://www.snakes.ngo/mohave/

 

Mohave-v-Diamondback-Heads.jpg

Thank you, I never realized that before.  Nex time I kiss one on the head I will get a closer look.  LOL - Doc

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7 hours ago, lotsa luck said:

The only way short of DNA to tell the difference between a Western and a Mohave is certainly not looking at its tail or color.  I once made a living catching them...  Two large scales connecting its eyes are a Mohave, so many small scales you are unable able to count and its a Western species of which there are numerous.  Really doesn't matter unless bitten which I have been 3 times. 

I'm sorry but there is a bit of irony in having a "handle" that is Lotsa Luck and getting bit by a rattler three times?  That is the kind of luck I do not need.   Glad you are OK.



Doc

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17 hours ago, DOC said:

This one seemed pretty laid back.  I scared him with my ATV, and he hurried up over into his hole.  He didn't rattle and seemed pretty content to let me stick my camera right in his face.  Literally 6 inches away. 

Now the other one I saw about 5 minutes later, seemed a little more aggressive, but that was probably my fault.  I was traveling back down the wash and looking for the turn off to get up and out of the wash and head back to camp and I was looking off to my left.  Out of the corner of my eye to the right I saw what appeared to be a stick lying in the wash.  When I looked it was a big rattler, I swerved to avoid it.  That snake went from a position of lying all stretched out to recoiling and striking at my ATV in a split second.  Let me tell you that I still have a big area on the vinyl seat of my ATV that is all stretched out when my butt puckered that vinyl.  I stopped my ATV hoping I could go back and get some other pictures.  But this one had turned around and head toward the side of the gully went up the ridge and into a clump of trees and bushes.  I figured he was too scared and probably agitated to have a sensible conversation with.

This one I got the picture of, what kind of a snake is he?  Anyone know?

image.png
Doc

It's a light colored Western Diamond Back. Not a Ridge Nosed.

Chris

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When I was out west years ago I spent plenty of time outside and saw many rattlers. But I was never afraid of those. It's the ones you don't see that scared me. How many times did I almost step on one but never heard or saw it??? I'm sure it happened a number of times.

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you can wear all the protectors you want, BUT, do not step over rocks or logs or clumps of grass, etc...never reach up on a  ledge when climbing and be aware that snakes can and will get up in bushes or low limbs.....

you are way to big to eat so don't kill them just go around!

fred

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