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Old 01-11-2021, 09:45 PM   #15
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You'll need a black light to see scorpions at night. There are more than you think.

Yep! I choose not to know
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:24 PM   #16
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I've lived and camped in the southwest almost my entire life. Most of those years in tents. Many night with just a pad and sleeping bag laid on the ground, no tent.

I've seen dozens of rattle snakes everywhere from low elevations up to about 10,000 ft. Even stepped on one once. I've had bears in campsites a hundred times or so. Racons a few times and other critters once in a while. My biggest concern is always the two legged variety of critters. But in reality that has never been a problem either. Never had anything bothered in any campsite, tent or otherwise. A few most unusual folks a few times, but not bad people.

All in all no problems in well over 1,000 night of camping in the southwest. I fell much safer out there than in a city any day.

The advice to keep your dog on a leash is always good for a variety of reasons. One is avoid them from coming back from a early morning run right after having rolled in very fresh cow pie and wanting back in your tent! Been there!

Some of our dogs almost always ran free when away from roads and people. Our present dogs I'd NEVER trust off leash. In our backyard one day I found one of them had eaten the back half of a bull snake that was still coiled up trying to defend it self, while the other dog had found a second bull snake and was laying on the ground nose to nose with the snake wagging her tail having just made a new best friend. Go figure. One morning tent camping a person in a neighboring tent woke up to find a rattle snake coiled up asleep on the top of their sleeping bag. Worked out fine. Ended up eating that snake.

Both of our dogs get rattlesnake shots every year as we get a few rattlers in our yard. Never been an issue so far. Around here they have snake avoidance training for dogs. A one day class.

IMO- the advice to keep them on a leash is the best approach. Some dogs can do well off leash but it depends on the breed and their training. One dog I had many years ago would jump out of the truck at a trail head and take off running not to be seen again for about an hour. She'd find us while we were hiking some trail. Oh one day she attacked a porcupine and got it in the face only to go back after it a second time even madder now. On a leash you have better control of them at all times.

As for the rest of the critters, bears, racons, bob cats and mountain lions plus the small guys, don't worry about them. Keep a clean camp and life will be good. I've had them all in camps at one time or another.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:37 PM   #17
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Live in the Mohave desert Arizona side, lived here 22 yrs. Have seen one Mojave Green rattler , one Gila Monster down towards Phoenix, one Sidewinder in the Cali side, a couple scorpions and plenty Blackwidows .Use common sense , stay on trails and pets on lead.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:35 PM   #18
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One other thing ..... many a dog has come back home after a romp full of Cholla cactus thorns. They're called 'Jumping Chollas' because the slightest brushing against them will land on you. Since they drop so easily the desert floor in some areas will be full of them. Very painful and difficult to dislodge. Sometimes takes a vet to do it. Be aware of your surroundings for many reasons.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:19 AM   #19
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What parts of the SW have pack rats? Donít have them here in the Texas hill country. We spend some time in the Big Bend area... are they there?
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:05 PM   #20
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What parts of the SW have pack rats? Donít have them here in the Texas hill country. We spend some time in the Big Bend area... are they there?
Here's a useful link to pack rats.

https://www.desertusa.com/animals/packrats.html

They also called by several other names, wood rats, trade rats, etc. They occur in much of the US.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:10 PM   #21
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One other thing ..... many a dog has come back home after a romp full of Cholla cactus thorns. They're called 'Jumping Chollas' because the slightest brushing against them will land on you. Since they drop so easily the desert floor in some areas will be full of them. Very painful and difficult to dislodge. Sometimes takes a vet to do it. Be aware of your surroundings for many reasons.
Yep I agree totally. When we built our house we had perhaps 20 or more cholla cactus plants in the yard. I spent time to remove them and all of the remaining tide bits from them to help protect the dogs in our fenced yard. Problem is that the pack rats love using cholla cactus in their nests. They will travel long distance to obtain nest building materials and sometimes pieces of the cactus stems still get dropped in our yard just to found in dog's paw or my hand. I have an on going war against pack rats at the house.
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:42 PM   #22
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What parts of the SW have pack rats? Donít have them here in the Texas hill country. We spend some time in the Big Bend area... are they there?
There are definitely packrats in Texas.

https://agrilifetoday.tamu.edu/2014/...rate-in-texas/
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:41 PM   #23
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Pack rats build a nest on the desert floor. Most are about 2 feet high and 3 feet long or in diameter. The nest is built out of twigs, catus, bark, rocks, electrical wire insulation, plastic bags, what ever they can find in the desert. Hence the name Pack Rats.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:04 PM   #24
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I've lived and camped in the southwest almost my entire life. Most of those years in tents. Many night with just a pad and sleeping bag laid on the ground, no tent.

I've seen dozens of rattle snakes everywhere from low elevations up to about 10,000 ft. Even stepped on one once. I've had bears in campsites a hundred times or so. Racons a few times and other critters once in a while. My biggest concern is always the two legged variety of critters. But in reality that has never been a problem either. Never had anything bothered in any campsite, tent or otherwise. A few most unusual folks a few times, but not bad people.

All in all no problems in well over 1,000 night of camping in the southwest. I fell much safer out there than in a city any day.

The advice to keep your dog on a leash is always good for a variety of reasons. One is avoid them from coming back from a early morning run right after having rolled in very fresh cow pie and wanting back in your tent! Been there!

Some of our dogs almost always ran free when away from roads and people. Our present dogs I'd NEVER trust off leash. In our backyard one day I found one of them had eaten the back half of a bull snake that was still coiled up trying to defend it self, while the other dog had found a second bull snake and was laying on the ground nose to nose with the snake wagging her tail having just made a new best friend. Go figure. One morning tent camping a person in a neighboring tent woke up to find a rattle snake coiled up asleep on the top of their sleeping bag. Worked out fine. Ended up eating that snake.

Both of our dogs get rattlesnake shots every year as we get a few rattlers in our yard. Never been an issue so far. Around here they have snake avoidance training for dogs. A one day class.

IMO- the advice to keep them on a leash is the best approach. Some dogs can do well off leash but it depends on the breed and their training. One dog I had many years ago would jump out of the truck at a trail head and take off running not to be seen again for about an hour. She'd find us while we were hiking some trail. Oh one day she attacked a porcupine and got it in the face only to go back after it a second time even madder now. On a leash you have better control of them at all times.

As for the rest of the critters, bears, racons, bob cats and mountain lions plus the small guys, don't worry about them. Keep a clean camp and life will be good. I've had them all in camps at one time or another.
Exactly what type of 2 legged creatures are you referring to? Asking for a friend.
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:17 AM   #25
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If your worried about your dog and snakes, as previously mentioned, thereís a dog training class here in SoCal. Our dog, an Australian Shepherd, ferriteís out anything that moves and wants to play with it. We have encountered a surprising number of snakes in CA so we put her through the training and it was very effective. She still goes on the hunt for anything with a pulse, but if it looks like a snake she wonít go anywhere near it.

We came across a huge rattler spread out on the trial that had just eaten, it appeared to be dead. Picked it up and strung it over the fence. On the way back it was gone. Hmmm...
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:43 PM   #26
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In our backyard one day I found one of them had eaten the back half of a bull snake that was still coiled up trying to defend it self, while the other dog had found a second bull snake and was laying on the ground nose to nose with the snake wagging her tail having just made a new best friend. Go figure. One morning tent camping a person in a neighboring tent woke up to find a rattle snake coiled up asleep on the top of their sleeping bag. Worked out fine. Ended up eating that snake.

Both of our dogs get rattlesnake shots every year as we get a few rattlers in our yard. Never been an issue so far. Around here they have snake avoidance training for dogs. A one day class.
It sounds like you have labs!

What's a typical price for the rattlesnek shot? Also curious about the snake avoidance training - what is that like? I have a German Shepherd whose nose is *always* on the ground seeking out ways to get herself in trouble.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:47 AM   #27
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we named our Lab Einstein, on occasion he does not live up to that standard. last year at our Seasonal property in the Adirondacks there was a rather large common water snake on a rock at the waters edge (we have 400' of lake frontage) it was about 2" in diameter and 30"-36" long.

Einstein walked right over it, 3 times, before it moved. apparently Einstein doesn't like when "sticks" move, LOL he jumped about 2' in the air and yelped. I started laughing my butt off. I guess he just assumed it was a stick? After it moved he got curious and thats when the "stick" took off for the water.

Einstein jumped in the water after it, but of course, the snake went submerged, which just confused Einstein. he swam around in circles for 15 minutes before I could get him back on shore. Hes a tremendous bird dog, he will search for a downed duck forever, but underwater, he simply doesn't understand.
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:32 AM   #28
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Well, we've had two weimaraners, two yellow labs and two King Charles Cavaliers. That have all been great dogs. The weimaraners and labs when in remote areas were allowed off leash. But the Cavilaers, no way!

On a trip to Alaska one of the Cavilaers decided to go after a wolf we ran into near our campsite. She broke her leash to give chase. I ran and tackled her to the ground, no problems. She has a very strong hunting instinct. Any thing that moves.

As for cost of the shot, I don't really remember, it was part of several other shots and medical expenses. But it was not that much. The rattle snake training lasts about four hours around here. At the end of which they don't want any thing to do with snakes any more. The trainers have a couple of defanged rattlers along with an electric collar. When they get close to the snake they get a mild shock.
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