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Old 09-23-2014, 07:04 PM   #1
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Boondocking in S Arizona desert and Rattlesnakes

We are moving to Oxbow road tomorrow 9/23/2014 in Arizona on the Colorado River. What do we need to know about rattlesnakes. How safe are we. We are from New England and dont have poisonous snakes any knowledge would be great

Thanks Kevin
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:44 PM   #2
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There are a couple of snakes there you will have to be aware of, I'll dig up what I can and re-post.
Neighbor at Park Moabi , south of Needles on I-40 had a poisonous one take up residence under her TT. Being a Texas Gal she knew how to deal with it.

EDIT: This web site give info on range and description of what to watch out for.

http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/arizona-rattlesnakes.shtml
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:12 PM   #3
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Wow, what has compelled you to go to Oxbow? Have you ever been to AZ before?

I grew up in AZ, worked inspecting water facilities and dams on the Colorado River for a number of years. I also spent 8 years as a maintenance Engineer with the Central Az Project, spending most of my days out in the desert. I've seen 3 rattlesnakes in the wild in my whole life. One in the Grand Canyon and two near the CAP canal.

You will have far more issues with water related insects, especially, black flies in the spring. We used to wear face masks to keep from inhaling them when were on the river.

There are also a lot of exotic animals loose in these back water areas. I've seen Komodo Dragons and boa constrictors. These are probably pets that over whelmed their owners who released them to the wild.

Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:02 AM   #4
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If you have a dog it will find a snake first. Odds of seeing a rattler are not that high. Just watch where you are walking and you will be fine. They will not try to find you, hunt you down or chase you. They like to be left alone. I actually picked a coiled up one with my spade shovel and relocated it down the hill from my house without it rattling at me, I happen to like them.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:30 AM   #5
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If you have a dog it will find a snake first. Odds of seeing a rattler are not that high. Just watch where you are walking and you will be fine. They will not try to find you, hunt you down or chase you. They like to be left alone. I actually picked a coiled up one with my spade shovel and relocated it down the hill from my house without it rattling at me, I happen to like them.
Yeah, I like them too...but only if they're fried!!
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:39 AM   #6
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You are much more of threat to the snakes than the other way around. The poor rattle snake has been run down and shot to the point of where they are an at risk species.

Your only real danger is if you come upon them unawares which is pretty unlikely. They like to hold up under bushes, rocks and such. Old wood piles are a favourite up here in the more desert regions. If you come across one, back away slowly, give them lots of room and if it is in a bad place (like your rig), call the local wildlife authorities to deal with it. Generally speaking, they don't want anything to do with you and most bad encounters are simply a case of accidental path crossing. Probably more at risk crossing the street.

Here are some good tips for you.

http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-a-Rattlesnake-Attack
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:46 AM   #7
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I would be more concerned about the heat. 100 degrees at 10AM this morning.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:10 PM   #8
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Most snake bits in US are inflicted on inebriated young men. As in "hold mah' beer Bubba' and watch this!" "Durn that stangs!" "Wow, that really stangs!" as they attempt to double down on the poor serpent. I like to observe snakes, from a distance. I have been known to go airborne when I have nearly stepped on an inoffensive Gopher Snake as they do resemble rattlers. I do not want poisonous snakes in my backyard or workplace.
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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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 09-30-2014, 06:46 PM   #10
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You will hear a snake before you see it. When walking about keep your eyes on the ground where your walking.

If you hear the rattle sound stop! Locate the sound and slowly back away.

If you have a dog(s) they will get hit on the snout since dogs are big at looking into holes in the ground where a snake would be. Get the animal to a vet ASAP for an anti venom shot. Their face will swell bad and it will look nasty but they will live.
We have had many a dog hit even our horse.

Here in NM we have prairie rattlers. We shoot them if we see them in our living space, around the house, garden, cars, paths to out buildings.

In Az. it's illegal to kill rattlesnakes from what I understand. Hope I don't cross paths with in in Az. cuz I'll kill it.

Just be careful out in nature and remember your in their environment. They want nothing to do with anything or one.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:08 PM   #11
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In Az. it's illegal to kill rattlesnakes from what I understand. Hope I don't cross paths with in in Az. cuz I'll kill it.
I've never heard this. My BIL kills them all the time in Tucson, along with many other people I know throughout the state.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:27 PM   #12
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We live in west Texas and have them all the time. We take our dogs twice a year for a rattlesnake booster shot, in case they get bit. Rattle snakes are also starting to eliminate their presence by not rattling their rattler . This is getting more and more common. Worst times to come up on a rattler is dusk and dawn when their coming out to eat or warm up. If you come on one let it leave first. Remember they see heat related objects and movement. Not trying to scare you, just be cautious.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:33 PM   #13
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Killing rattlesnakes in Arizona is against the law? You know, Arizona and New Mexico used to be the Arizona Territory. For some weird reason, they decided to create New Mexico. I'm still not sure that New Mexico thinks it is part of the USA.

There is no law about killing rattlesnakes in Arizona, but there doesn't need to be as they are not much of a nuisance. They don't like people any more than we like them.

Snake bites are serious. Children and pets are most vulnerable. Young rattlers are the most dangerous as they don't control their venom. Larger, older snakes may strike if threatened, but seldom inject venom as they don't plan on eating a 200 pound human.

Along the Colorado River there is a species known as the Mohave Green. They are a smaller pit viper and are actually green in color. They are shy and will not provoke an attack, but if bitten by a Mohave, your chances of survival are low. Their venom is one of the most potent of all pit vipers.

But seriously, your biggest threat along the Colorado River is California speed boats. They are driven by Californians, need I say more?
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:34 AM   #14
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Not all rattlers rattle before striking apparently. Ask the 90 year old guy that just walked into a store, in Quartzite I think it was a week or two ago and got hit while minding his own business. He's doing fine, as he sought medical attention immediately, but they can be anywhere hiding even inside a store.

Also there is a list of which snakes are not allowed to be killed in AZ, can't recall the website but someone else likely does who'll be along soon. However, if I were bit by any snake, I'd hope my buddy, if not myself would kill it to take to the hospital with me for correct antidote administering.

As mentioned before you'll likely have more bug problems than anything.
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