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#245142 - 04/20/12 07:01 PM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: bacpacjac]
barbarian Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/18/12
Posts: 70
Loc: USA
@ Bacpacjac:

Snakes are a topic I'm very familiar with. I grew up, and currently live in rattler country. Have handled a few by hand (don't recommend.) And still hunt them occasionally (they taste great grilled.)

You pretty much covered the highlights yourself.

Situational Awareness
Boots
Walking Stick

Rattlesnakes are fairly docile, so long as they're not antagonized. They can strike 2/3's their body length, not x3, (I have indeed tested this.) Still... wide berth.

The one thing I would mention that hasn't been said, rattlers have VERY good camoflauge. If you're not looking for them, you WILL NOT see them, so .. situational awareness.

They're not a big threat. Just keep your eyes open, is all.




Edited by barbarian (04/20/12 07:05 PM)

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#245148 - 04/20/12 10:15 PM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: haertig]
Unca_Walt Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/03/11
Posts: 27
Loc: Floriduh
Originally Posted By: haertig
-
Wow! That's a pretty high strike for a rattler. Must have been a big one!

[/quote]

seven feet, ten inches.

Here is one of THREE rifle slings that I made from him. That is Fuzzy, giving my crossbow a sniff-spection:


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#245175 - 04/22/12 03:20 AM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: bacpacjac]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
OK, I've had a few encounters with rattlers in SoCal.

First, if you hear the rattle, it doesn't sound like a baby rattle or anything. The closest sound I can equate it to are those automatic pop=up sprinklers that you see in places like golf courses. When they first pop up you hear the "ppsssssttt... pop, pop" as they start shooting water. Anyway, it sounded really similar. Enough so that I stopped and thought "Why is there a sprinkler here?!?" in the middle of a mountain range.

Second, they sometimes hang in groups. Before you retreat, check around you to make sure you don't step on his buddy.

If you're moving real fast, sometimes you'll cruise right over one. I saw one once, my dog went sprinting past me and kept going. I waited 5 minutes for the snake to get off the trail (and a couple of rock-carried suggestions) and couldn't call back my dog because I was afraid she'd get bit the second time around.

Cold mornings - they like to get near heat, ie, around your sleeping bag or tent. The nice thing is they're pretty sluggish in the morning. I stepped literally inches away from one, bent over trying to find some keys, and realized my face was about 2 feed from a rattler one morning. It didn't budge, but I sure did.

Have fun!

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#245185 - 04/22/12 06:23 AM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: MDinana]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I've heard many Rattlesnakes,& many of them sound just like a Baby's rattle toy,or marachas,I've heard some that sounded like a Rainstick,I've heard & watched some, that hissed with No rattle at all!I never thought of sprinklers,Only a doctor would think of such,being they like Golf so much,lol! grin

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#245200 - 04/23/12 01:02 AM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: bacpacjac]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1361
Have had a few encounters with rattlers.
1 or 2 close calls.
All this stuff happened several years ago in CA.

The close calls were pretty much MY OWN fault.
I should have been paying more attention to where I put my feet.
Generally rattlers will let you know if you're close to their space. So their rattle and reaction is actually a big advantage.

I would not be troubled if i were you.
Chances are that you probably wont see a rattler, unless you are lucky - OR you are walking through the underbrush. My best piece of advice is to move SLOWLY, use a walking stick (probing ahead with the stick), and look carefully. But if you stick to trails, I wouldn't think you need to worry.

I do agree with the comments that a real rattler does not sound like what Hollywood depicts. To me, the sound was more like an insect that suddenly started flying from ground level. That being said - the sound still got the job done. I sprang back and went "Whew!!!". Hahaha !

Sometimes encounters with rattlers can be really cool. I saw a cute baby one crossing a trail in Kings Canyon (CA) one time. And I found a whopping big one on a back road in the Santa Monica mountains one time too. But truth is - these snakes would have only been a problem if I did something really stupid. Like harassing them or trying to pick them up.

Have fun on your hike. :-)

Pete2

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#245202 - 04/23/12 02:21 AM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: Pete]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2068
Loc: Colorado
When I think of "rattlesnake sound", I think of those little plastic boxes of TicTac breath mints, half full, shaken as short and fast as you can.

Another "synonym" for that rattlesnake sound that I conjure up is one of those old party favor noisemaker toys. I don't know what they're called, but it's like a pencil-stick you hold upright in your hand and you swing the top around with centrifugal force, sort of like a hula-hoop motion, but with your hand. It makes a buzzing-type sound.

Funny how many of us associate the rattlesnake's sound with some other more common everyday sound. And the sounds we choose to describe with are all so different. Probably each snake has its own semi-distinctive variation of the sound, and we're all remembering the one that made the biggest impression on us!

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#245238 - 04/24/12 12:02 AM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: haertig]
bsmith Offline
day hiker
Addict

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 584
Loc: ventura county, ca
Originally Posted By: haertig
Probably each snake has its own semi-distinctive variation of the sound, and we're all remembering the one that made the biggest impression on us!

i think it is safe to say that if you are paying attention to your surroundings, when you hear one, you will immediately know what it is and you will never forget the sound.
_________________________
“Everyone should have a horse. It is a great way to store meat without refrigeration. Just don’t ever get on one.”
- ponder's dad

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#245241 - 04/24/12 01:47 AM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: bsmith]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6854
Loc: southern Cal
I agree that a buzz tail makes a very distinctive sound, but there are some insects, mostly cicadas, that sound enough similar to make you pause.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#245278 - 04/24/12 03:02 PM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: bacpacjac]
wileycoyote Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 277
Loc: eastern oregon
we have a plant (arrowleaf balsamroot) up here that when it dries hard in late summer it rattles just like a rattler. a gust of wind causes it to sound off, as does walking thru them. makes it hard to go for a hike without having a heart attack.

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#245339 - 04/26/12 05:19 PM Re: Rattle Snakes? [Re: hikermor]
Snake_Doctor
Unregistered


I believe I said if it were a danger, Hikermor. If you can back out of the danger zone to find rocks then by all means have at it. I'd rather wait the snake out or discourage it somehow. #8 is a little light for snakes. I'd suggest #6 in a CCI shot capsule and drive it fast. As for you killing that snake, I would have done the same if I had a child around. My son bought a hefty bull snake from a pet shop once. Not only was it an escape artist, but it bit. A lot. I was tempted to kill it but instead I drove it out in the desert and turned it loose.

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