New to hott snakes

Natemass

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
619
So as the title said im new to hott snakes. first and foremost i know and respect the nature of hott snakes,i know there are morons out there that are stupid and act stupidly around hott snakes and get bit. i know there are people who have died and will died from venomous snake bites. but i do have a soft spot for them. im old enough to respect the animal and their abilities. i only want to learn to further respect them and even protect them. in massachusetts there are only a few hott snakes and they have very,very low numbers of them, from man killing them and destroying their territory. this summer i plan on capturing a few snakes to record where i found them and how i found them. i will be taking pictures of them to try and "log" them to find how many are around my area. i have purchased a nice head light and flashlight and soon to purchase a nice set of tongs. i have seen quite of few people on this site with hott snakes and want to know if anyone knows about or even has expierence with Crotalus horridus(timber rattle snake) and Agkistrodon contortrix (copperhead). i want to know of their venom and the likely hood of actually finding them. feel free for suggestions, opinion or just comments, harsh or encouraging.

thanks

Nate
 

Arietans

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
288
Firstly, to make your findings viable, you need to make a GPS log (its how we have to do it here). Secondly, important findings are possible prey items and the sex of the animal caught. These are very important factors when studying a wildlife population. What I used to do, is taking a small clip on the subcaudals. This way I know I have captured this animal before. Otherwise it becomes an exercise in futility.

Catching wild snakes can be very risky, especially with something with the strike range of a Rattlesnake. So be very careful. Personally, I don't like using tongs on the bigger vipers. I feel they are a touch heavy and could sustain some serious injuries. I am assuming you don't keep any venomous snakes, so what I would suggest is finding someone in your area that does to tag along a few times, just so you can get the hang of it. What I would also suggest is learning how to use your tongs etc., learning how to restrain the animal and so on before I attempt it.

Both species carry a rather nasty haemotoxin. The Copperhead has a low yield, but still a very nasty bite. I would recommend staying away from the pointy end of a Rattlesnake.

I support your endeavour, but make sure you know what you are doing before attempting to catch a rattlesnake.

I hope this helps

These are the fangs of a Cottonmouth, and are fairly small in comparison to a Rattlesnake's (to give you an idea of what is in the danger end)
 

Sheri

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
2,357
I'd suggest finding out if there are local field herpers that will take you out with them. This way, you can begin to collect data and enjoy seeing the animals while learning by watching initially.

Have fun! :)
 
Last edited:

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
Also, check on state law and your local authorities. Often when an animal population becomes scarce, the wildlife management folks really don't appreciate people pestering them. It may also be the case that they are already monitored to some degree and they would appreciate you either helping out with an existing survey (in which case, they may be willing to show you the ropes themselves) or staying out of it entirely.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Sheri

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
2,357
True.
You might want to read about this.
And, if this were the case - that the numbers are so low they need you to leave them alone entirely - you're fortunate to live in a country where a drive to a better locale for the weekend is not out of the question.

It seems as though New Hampshire has even fewer horridus (but apparently their population is almost entirely black!) and Vermont lists the species but there was no information as to their strength in numbers.

I would *love* to find horridus - they're about my favorite I think.

They're reputed to not use their rattle as willingly as other species when encountered in the field.

Hurry up spring!!!
 

James H

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
120
Survey and keeping hots

I am doing a similar survey of the Hopi rattlesnakes in an area around my house. I have been collecting sighting records using GPS as well as air temps and a photo from the top to look at pattern. This summer I will be taking it a bit further, I am going to collect both ground and air temps as well as barometric pressure, sex, animal weights, and to help mark individuals I will be painting one half of one rattle.
Please if you have not worked with venomous snakes before do not attempt to collect all of the data that I have listed. I have been keeping and collecting venomous snakes for over 10 years now. I also carry two hooks, tubes, and tongs with me when I go out. I also try very hard to go out with other incase the worst should happen. I volunteered at a zoo for 2 years to learn to double hood snakes and restrain grumpy snakes. The keeper that I worked under had five rules that he used when dealing with venomous snakes and they are list below.

1) Never work with a venomous snake after drinking ANY alcohol.
2) Its always better have a back up when working with venomous snakes.
3) If you are tired don’t even open the cage there is always tomorrow. Poop will wait.
4) Know your surrounding, you should be able to grab any tools that you need without taking your eyes off the animal.
5) Don’t take your eyes off the animal when the cage is open, if you have something that needs your attention finish what you are doing and then go and take care of it.

In the field these guide lines can be adapted to working with a snake in its natural surroundings. The keeper that I worked under has worked with everything from king cobras and mambas to cottonmouths and sidewinders and hasn’t been bit in 25 years of keeping venomous snakes so I guess that they worked for him and they have worked well for me. If you have any questions feel free to email me and I will be happy to talk more.
 

ScorpDemon

ArachnoScorpion
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 5, 2005
Messages
595
I would *love* to find horridus - they're about my favorite I think.

They're reputed to not use their rattle as willingly as other species when encountered in the field.

Hurry up spring!!!
I love my horridus. Wouldn't mind having a sidewinder though.
 

Nich

Curator of glass boxes
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
824
Check out venomlist.com.....they have many seasoned vets in handling WC hots there. YOu honestly sound half cocked and chalk full of notion.....in a good inquisitive way. I started by catching rattlers in my area....and came way too close to losing limbs for the first year. Despite that, spend a couple hours looking at post-bite photos and the necessary precautions that the "elders" take and you should do fine....granted you have excellent reactions, are not an addictive type to substance (ie alcoho), and have organized records of all your collections. The # 1 on Jame's list leads to....well you get the point. Good luck and google images of nasty bites....
 

green_bottle_04

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
437
The keeper that I worked under had five rules that he used when dealing with venomous snakes and they are list below.

1) Never work with a venomous snake after drinking ANY alcohol.
2) Its always better have a back up when working with venomous snakes.
3) If you are tired don’t even open the cage there is always tomorrow. Poop will wait.
4) Know your surrounding, you should be able to grab any tools that you need without taking your eyes off the animal.
5) Don’t take your eyes off the animal when the cage is open, if you have something that needs your attention finish what you are doing and then go and take care of it.

In the field these guide lines can be adapted to working with a snake in its natural surroundings. The keeper that I worked under has worked with everything from king cobras and mambas to cottonmouths and sidewinders and hasn’t been bit in 25 years of keeping venomous snakes so I guess that they worked for him and they have worked well for me. If you have any questions feel free to email me and I will be happy to talk more.


i couldnt agree more. i handled a few...timber rattlers, copper heads, pigmy rattlers, cotton mouths, monocled cobras, corals, gaboons. and it doesnt matter what snake those rules listed above apply to them all!!!
 

Brian S

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
6,543
I would *love* to find horridus - they're about my favorite I think.

They're reputed to not use their rattle as willingly as other species when encountered in the field.

Hurry up spring!!!
I am also fond of those. Here is my neonate that was found last year in Oklahoma. Its in hibernation now. Looking forward to seeing it out and about soon
 

ScorpDemon

ArachnoScorpion
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 5, 2005
Messages
595
I am also fond of those. Here is my neonate that was found last year in Oklahoma. Its in hibernation now. Looking forward to seeing it out and about soon
My girl was shedding this morning when I left home. I'll see if I can get some good pics sometime in the near future.

Thats a good lookin horridus ya got there.
 

Brian S

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
May 29, 2004
Messages
6,543
Thanks, its in the garage now so those pics are when it was first caught although it looks no different now, maybe a bit thinner after a long Winters nap. I'll be warming it up probably next month or April and let the pinky slaughter begin LOL
 
Top