Snake Season....heads down!

Discussion in 'General' started by jerry, Mar 19, 2017 at 8:08 AM.

  1. jerry

    jerry Well-Known Member

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    image.jpeg Yesterday at Santo Tomas...next to houses...Never kill them myself if they are 50 yards away from my place...but moving them just causes more problems...kill and burn pack rat nests does way more good
     
  2. dirtsurfer

    dirtsurfer Well-Known Member

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    J: Those are some nice specimens. I once saw picture taken in the early 1900's of an Indian women somewhere in Sonoran cleaning about a dozen rattlesnakes for the family dinner.
     
  3. Jungle Jim

    Jungle Jim Well-Known Member

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    That's a damned fine pair of baby Coon Tails...........

    The Western Diamond Rattlesnake is the largest, boldest and has the most potent venom of our southwestern desert rattlers. An average adult is around five and a half feet long with some records of over seven feet. It is the only local rattler that can swallow a full grown Cottontail Rabbit. Contrary to most other rattlers, this snake will hold it's ground and defend itself. Last fall we were out in my Jeep in the desert north of Yuma in a wash near Picacho Peak and I spotted a big one maybe five feet long out in the open exiting a Pack Rat heap under an Ironwood and heading fifty feet or so out in the open to another one. I stopped and got out with my snake stick just to mess with him/her a bit and instead of boot-scootin it stopped, coiled up and reared it's head up sixteen inches or so. It was buzzin it's fifteen or so rattles and slowly lashing it's black forked tongue at me. I slowly approached when it made a strike my way and came for me at high speed. I jumped back into the Jeep, backed up and the sucker kept on coming! My wife was screaming as I told her to chill since it couldn't possibly get up into the Jeep. Well, the bad-assed thing continued after us for another ten feet or so as we reversed before stopping and continuing it's quest for the next rat nest and potential big meal.

    Last spring we were in the same area when I spotted a big adult male Desert Iguana on it's back out in the open writhing in a death fit with two puncture marks on his side. I took a little reconnoiter and spotted a baby Coon Tail in the shade of a Kangaroo Rat burrow nearby. A few hours later we stopped at the spot on the way home and the Iguana was gone along with a very well fed rattler. The biggest concentration of Western Diamond Backs that I have ever seen was maybe fifteen years ago at the shrimp farms west of Gila Bend off of Spot Road on I-8. A friend of mine was the manager of the operation and asked me if I wanted to see the harvesting in process. With thoughts of an ice box full of twenty or thirty pounds of fresh Peruvian Jumbo Blue Shrimp I said "why not!"

    They had scraped up a bunch of rectangular ponds not far from the Gila River with dirt access roads along the tops of each pond. One corner of each pond had a deeper area so that when the pond was drained the shrimp became concentrated in a sort of water filled pit. They had special trucks with big, maybe 24" pipes with a screw inside that sucked up the shrimp and deposited them in four or five hundred gallon plastic bins. Once the bins were full to a certain level they topped them off with blown in shaved ice. Once full, the trucks split down to the border where they took them to El Golfo where they were processed and became a final product as a kilo block of "Mexican Wild Caught Fresh Shrimp" SCAM SCAM SCAM!! Anyway I did get my thirty pounds of fresh shrimp but I couldn't leave to head back home until four in the morning. So I got my flashlight and did a little hunting so as to see what kind of nocturnal critters were attracted to this totally unnatural obscene scene. There were of course hundreds of rodents, mostly Kangaroo Rats and Pocket Mice, a lot of Wood Rats and Cottontail Rabbits, Racoons and a lot of Great Blue Herons making a score on the rats as well as the shrimp stranded in the mud. As I scouted around I realized that the powder fine dusty silt of the dirt roads were criss-crossed with hundreds of large snake tracks. I started looking into the Cattails and Reeds on the banks only to see a big Diamond Back quietly coiled up every ten feet or so awaiting an easy meal. I've never seen so many rattlesnakes concentrated like that. I asked my bud if he was aware of them and he said yes, I asked him what about his Mexican workers? He said they didn't have a problem with them as they either stayed in the trucks or in the water in the ponds.

    All of that operation is long gone now as of two years ago the last time we were out that way. Pobrecito rattlers, no mas Rattas y Ratones en el desierto.

    BTW they are not correctly known as Diamond Backs they are Diamond Rattlesnakes.

    JJ
     
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  4. jerry

    jerry Well-Known Member

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    My friend was bitten three years ago in Tucson by a big one...deep deep bite...took 200000 dollars worth of antivenin...the next year she was bit again by a baby in here potting area....coiled in a little pot....
     
  5. marybna

    marybna Well-Known Member

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    My husband got bitten in the backyard by a baby. He had the most anti venom they gave that yr at Kino. 6 month later developed leukemia. U of A Medical felt there was a tie between the 2 events. He is fine now but still has to go up to U of A Cancer Center every 3 months
     
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  6. MIRAMAR

    MIRAMAR Well-Known Member

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    Last year, I saw a dead snake on the track jammed in between the screen and glass door. I asked my hubby to remove it, and was surprised there were 2 dead snakes on top of each other. When he went to remove them, they started moving, so he took pictures of them, put them in a bucket and returned them to the desert. Unfortunately, I wish we would have looked better at the pictures- when we expanded them, we saw they were rattlesnakes.
     
  7. Jungle Jim

    Jungle Jim Well-Known Member

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    DEAD SNAKES.......

    Do not EVER assume that a "dead" snake is actually dead. A freshly killed rattler even with it's head removed will strike with precision when touched anywhere on it's body. Many fools and lots of stupid drunks have been bitten by rattlers that have been seriously bashed up and then hand held like the guy with the two trophy "dead" ones in photo above. Dead sharks deserve the same caution. I've had Mako Sharks laying on my deck for hours out of the water apparently awaiting the inevitable filleting and the barbie only to go right for my foot when I carelessly got close enough.

    I've never been bit by a rattler but I have known several people that have. Unless you have seen it in person you cannot imagine the damage their venom can do, and do it fast! The immediate area around the bite will experience a total loss of flesh often deep into the muscle. It does not matter if you cut, suck, squeeze, apply a tourniquet, ice water or a belt, the only thing that will stop the tissue loss is the correct antivenom injections and fast. Sadly PP has never had enough on hand and most victims end up getting evacuated to Scottsdale. Go back a few years and read my post about the Lobo Del Mar blondie that got bit by a little Sidewinder Rattlesnake some years back. That little belly dancing beauty ended up scarred for life.

    Hollywood has got to be blamed for a lot of the stupid movie poop related to downplaying the horrible effects of rattler bites with many bad-assed guys just "tuffing-it-out". Remember Billy Jack with his Injun sacred ceremony scene gettin bit by a few rattlers, having a little "dream time" then waking up fit as a fiddle without chunks of black stinking liquefied meat dripping from his chest where he allowed the snakes to get him.

    BTW...I was bit by a REEEALY big Gila Monster back in my infantile days, that is another story!

    JJ
     
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