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Old 10-01-2014, 01:25 AM   #15
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Your chances of a snake encounter are very slim. It can happen and certainly does but it is not as scary if you gain some knowledge and information. Best policy is just to leave it alone, watch it and let it move away from you which it will want to do. In general they do sound a warning. If you hear it first locate the snake, if you panic and run you may just step on it. Give it room to move away from you because that is what it wants.

Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research - Amphibians of the American Southwest - Arizona State and Federally Protected Species

Arizona Rattlesnakes

Here; some reading on Arizona and Rattlesnakes. The jist of all this is you probably will not see a Rattlesnake. More so if you use reasonable caution moving around.

Generally they require shade during the day time temperatures (they do not cool themselves by sweating so finding coolness is important). So do not sit under bushes, put your hand under rocks or step over ledges things of that nature without looking and being careful where you step.

At night they do use rocks to heat themselves so they may be stretched out absorbing heat from a rock. So use a flashlight and just move with reasonable caution at night.

There is no need to kill a Rattlesnake if you see one. Keep an eye on it; when it sees you it will want to get away from you. Some species in Arizona do not have an "open season" and killing them may be illegal. You are not knowledgeable enough to distinguish species.

They move slowly over ground (seems fast to the eye) but their striking motion is extremely fast so just do not get close.

Few people see Rattlesnakes, many fewer get bit and those that get bit are usually doing something completely irresponsible toward the snake.

As with any other emergency be prudent and know where the nearest hospital or treatment is and how to get there.

Have fun in Arizona it is a beautiful place to see. The fact is as stated earlier the bigger issue for newcomers is understanding the facts about hydration and the effects of dehydration. Make sure you have and drink water always, especially hiking and moving away from your water source.

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Old 10-01-2014, 01:46 AM   #16
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X2 on the Mojave Green. If provoked they are aggressive.

Best advice, don't put your hands or feet where your eyes haven't been first. Keep the dog on a leash. Snakes are looking for small mammals, and small mammals are looking for water and food. The only places I've seen snakes in the desert were within 100 ft of water.

If you put a carpet out watch for the scorpions underneath.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:21 AM   #17
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Having boat camped along the Colorado River(mostly the lake areas) for 40+ years, we only saw a few Rattle Snakes, which were pretty much minding their own business slithering around the bushes. What you need to be more aware of are Scorpions, if you put anything on the ground under or around your MH be very careful when you pick it up. Scorpions like to hide under stuff, boxes,rugs,rocks ect. They pretty much have to be touched in some way to sting you, but they can suprise you by clinging onto whatever you pick up or move.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:05 AM   #18
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I'd hope my buddy, if not myself would kill it to take to the hospital with me for correct antidote administering.
The hospital should have a venom ID kit to figure that out. Trying to kill the snake is just likely to result in another bite.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:28 AM   #19
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Arizona was part of New Mexico until 1863. The southern part broke away to become part of the Confederacy and then the state was split the other way, east and west as carpet baggers and lame-duck congressmen decided to make money by starting a new territory. It was probably to big to manage before the coming of the railroads. Colorado and Nevada became states and took away what was now northern NM and western Arizona.
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:50 AM   #20
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Arizona was part of New Mexico until 1863. The southern part broke away to become part of the Confederacy and then the state was split the other way, east and west as carpet baggers and lame-duck congressmen decided to make money by starting a new territory. It was probably to big to manage before the coming of the railroads. Colorado and Nevada became states and took away what was now northern NM and western Arizona.
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Thank you Reed for the history lesson. I will say my feathers were a bit ruffled and had to stand back from posting something stupid.
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:04 AM   #21
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I believe we have attached photo of a friendly female Tarantuala (one of 50 species in US SW). They are curious and "fairly" harmless. If really annoyed, they might bite but one really has to work at it (and I do not). They are not poisonous but certain scorpions are. They are enjoyable to watch.

Saw this one while hiking about at Villanueva State Park in New Mexico. This is a great park on the Pecos River between I-25 and I-40. This is where the Texas Expedition of 1842 ("Dead Man's Walk) surrendered to local Mexican militia (local militia being made up of buffalo hunters and Comancheros)
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:36 AM   #22
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Sorry, did not wish to perturb. Considering the fact a very large percentage of US citizens do not know New Mexico is part of the US, we get a bit defensive. New Mexico Magazine has a page every month called "One of our fifty is missing!" The same folks do not confuse New York, New Jersey (officially the Bailiwick of Jersey), and New Hampshire with the counties in England. Still annoyed that Colorado got the 3 or 4 14,000' peaks that used to be in New Mexico.

The southern part of what became New Mexico and Arizona was obtained from Mexico via the Gadsen Purchase (a write-up of the convoluted shenagigans of this is something else).

Primary purpose of the Purchase was to be able to build a southern state dominated trans-continental railroad. Gadsen planned to have bothNew Mexico territory and California split into free and slave-holding states. "...Gadsden and 1,200 potential settlers from South Carolina and Florida submitted a petition to the California legislature for permanent citizenship and permission to establish a rural district that would be farmed by "not less than Two Thousand of their African Domestics". The petition stimulated some debate, but it finally died in committee..." From Wikipedia. Said African Domestics were not to be slaves but rather indentured servants with 90 years till manumission.

As noted in earlier posts, some of our favorite boondocking areas are in SW NM/SE Arizona. These are far enough from California that they are really secluded. It is primarily BLM Taylor Grazing Right area but such is multiple use. One just pays attention to protocols: close fences, don't camp within 200 yards or so of watering areas, and the usual good manners of back country camping.

So not suggest playing with large fuzzy spiders. It can be done with care and gentleness, but best left alone and observed.
Reed and Elaine
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:45 AM   #23
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Rattlesnakes aren't active in winter, even here in southern Arizona. They really aren't out and about until temps start to warm up in spring
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:00 AM   #24
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I was told that in winter time the snakes generally hibernate in cooler weather. It is in the spring when they come out you have to be more vigilant.
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:54 PM   #25
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I was told that in winter time the snakes generally hibernate in cooler weather. It is in the spring when they come out you have to be more vigilant.
When hibernation is mentioned it is easy to assume we mean something akin to what we believe the bear does; make a den and sleep for months. Rattlesnakes merely move to the warmest place they can find and remain still when it is cold. Since they require outside temperatures to heat and cool their bodies they come out during warmer periods and "sun" themselves. Warmer climates mean a rattlesnake can be found almost anytime of year. However the colder air makes them sluggish and lethargic. If molested they will defend themselves.

The nut of all this is that with reasonable caution and care you can avoid rattlesnakes altogether. You do not have to be overly cautious so you are afraid to move, enjoy yourself, just watch where you step and put your hands and feet. But do not assume they are not there.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:56 PM   #26
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A friend at White Sands Missile Range was on an interesting project 40 years ago. They were installing seismic devices in old mines in the San Andres region of the base. The were about 200' in and about finished installing when noticed that the floor of the mine was moving. They walked in over a rattlesnake den. Friend mentioned that, as far as he knows, those seismic devices have not been looked at since.
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Old 10-02-2014, 03:06 PM   #27
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Another snake story. A friend of our kids some 20 or so years ago was collecting Banded Rock Rattlers (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) for sale to folks to put in terrariums. This sub-species is beautifully colored and is protected in New Mexico and is very inoffensive. Primary book on rattlesnakes said it had never been known to strike humans in the wild (I would choose not to test this). I mentioned this fact to David and he said that his best friend Bob (they were doing collecting together) had been bitten by one. I asked what were the circumstances. "Bob was stuffing him into a Tupperware container!"

This was not an inebriated young man but most definitely not the most careful person about.
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Old 10-02-2014, 03:19 PM   #28
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..snip... My BIL kills them all the time in Tucson, along with many other people I know throughout the state.
That's gotta be rough on the "friends" circle....
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