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Thread: Rattlesnakes

  1. #1
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    Rattlesnakes

    So they're definitely out now. Being a newbie here to Colorado, I"m not sure what to make of them. I assume the risk is pretty small while riding. Just have to watch where I step when I dab or dismount, right?

    I saw two today, although they could have been bull snakes as I'm not sure if I can tell the difference while zipping past on my bike.

  2. #2
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    I've never heard of anyone being bit while riding, even off of the bike. I ran right over one last week and apart from scaring the p!ss out of me, everything was fine. You will likely see them quite a bit if you pay attention, but I wouldn't worry about it. Just watch where you step and sit (they hang out in, under and around rocks) you should be fine.
    Last edited by Godzilla; 05-29-2009 at 07:53 PM.
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  3. #3
    GL1
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    Rattlers

    This thread comes up every spring.

    As a former JCOS employee I can tell you that the risk on your bike is very slim. You will almost always see them and hear them going uphill. Downhill, you are going too fast for them to strike you. Plus, you usually startle them (if they heard you, you wouldn't see them) and they are typically stretched out and not coiled on the trail.

    The #1 way people get bitten are typically trail runners with i-pods etc. in both ears. They simply don't hear them. Also, sitting down on a rock without looking around it can be bad. But yeah, being on your bike is the best really.

    Where were you riding when you saw two of them? Just curious.

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    Seen them on Apex and Mathew's Winter's so far this year.

  5. #5
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    Where were you riding when you saw two of them? Just curious.
    I was at HTMP/Lory. I did some research and figured out that the two I saw today were probably bull snakes. But I'm pretty sure I ran over a rattler on the FTC Spring Creek trail last week.

  6. #6
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    So according to my toxicologist friend (who is a leading expert in envenomations) rattler bites are generally limited to a relatively specific demographic.

    Male
    18-35 years old
    Blood Alcohol content >.08%

    Pretty telling, isn't it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by subliminalshiver
    So according to my toxicologist friend (who is a leading expert in envenomations) rattler bites are generally limited to a relatively specific demographic.

    Male
    18-35 years old
    Blood Alcohol content >.08%

    Pretty telling, isn't it.
    Dang alcoholic snakes...

  8. #8
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    Who Knew

    Rattlers love booze. Heck, I should be a rattle snake.

    My one story is, I was at Bear Creek lake using the bathrooms in the main building with the kids. They have all sorts of stuffed animals in the building. While talking to the receptionsist I asked if they ever had rattle snakes in the park. Her response was that there was enough traffic that the snakes usually stayed off the trails. When they did find one they relocated it. Where I asked.... To Green Mountain.

    Have to love that...

    Just look up the trail on G.M. and you will see a bunch of folks about 10 yards apart staring at each other. Usually there is a snake bewteen them. Someone has decided to throw rocks at it thinking that will help...

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  9. #9
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    haven't seen any yet, but I know they're out.
    I have heard that dogs are at the greatest risk of being bit.
    I'm cool with dogs on the trail, just keep em leashed if they're the wandering, inquisitive type (for their own protection)
    “Me fail english? Thats unpossible.” - Matt Groening

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by subliminalshiver
    So according to my toxicologist friend (who is a leading expert in envenomations) rattler bites are generally limited to a relatively specific demographic.

    Male
    18-35 years old
    Blood Alcohol content >.08%

    Pretty telling, isn't it.

    And dogs off leash!

  11. #11
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    Snakes & Dogs

    Yeah, I didn't mention that but dogs are by far bitten more often than people because they'll go after them. Big incentive to have them on a leash I guess.

    Also, as to the rattler/bull snake identification...without a good look it is hard to tell isn't it? Some of the bulls are light in color like the Prarie Rattlers.

    I have seen about 8 in the last fifteen years of riding front range trails that I actually stopped and confirmed they were rattlers. I have seen 3 on Chimney (one in the trees, two lower on the climb), 2 at White Ranch, 1 at Green Mtn/hogback, 1 at Falcon, 1 at Apex. I have then seen several others that I have hopped over and was unsure if they were bulls or rattlers. I have also heard them right off the trail a few times. There is a bug that makes a similar sound...but a rattler is pretty distinct.

    Like most of you they are not my favorite part of riding but I don't let them deter me and I know from working at JCOS that even a single biker bite (actually on the bike) has never been reported. Also, one good thing about a trail having a lot of people on the trail is that your chances of rattlers are much less. Every time I see one I hate the initial shock. Once I have stopped and identified one, then they're sort of cool to look at etc. It's just that initial shock of seeing one that I hate. I don't harm them, but I have squirted them with water and that seems to get them to move better than throwing rocks at them or the stick option...better be a long stick. Last year on Chimney I encountered a guy that smashed one with a rock. I'm not morally opposed to killing snakes in any way, but I'm not sure what a ranger would say about that. I don't think their population is in danger or anything either. Still though, I think they qualify as "wildlife" and as such should probably not be killed. I dunno.

  12. #12
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    I ran one over today in Monument going about 30mph downhill and it probably exploded!

  13. #13
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    Saw this guy a few days ago at Waterton
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkMaster
    Saw this guy a few days ago at Waterton
    I was at Waterton today and halfway expected to see one but never did. I did see a lizard though.

    About a month ago I did see one while going up the fireroad at GM. I was disappointed that I finally see one in "the wild" and didn't have my camera with me. I'm sure I'll see others eventually and be able to get a pic or two.

  15. #15
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    How 'bout the skunks?

    You know, what I'm much more wary of than the rattlers are the skunks

    If you ride much at night, these guys are out, and they're not the brightest (or fastest) critters around. Was on GM Thursday night and cruzing along at about 15-20 mph when I caught the sight of black/white in my peripheral vision. This guy waddled out on to the trail right in front of me. I locked 'em up into a front wheel stand (maintained without going OTB ) and missed hitting him by 4-5 feet. He then proceeded to lumber along the trail for 15 feet before crossing over into the grass on the other side of the trail.

    I don't know what their "spraying range" is, but I sure don't ever want to find out - I'll be sleeping in the garage with my bike. This is now my third encounter with a skunk this year ... and a friend said that she heard there is a problem with rabies in the skunks too - sweet!
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  16. #16
    btx
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    Quote Originally Posted by llama
    I was at HTMP/Lory. I did some research and figured out that the two I saw today were probably bull snakes. But I'm pretty sure I ran over a rattler on the FTC Spring Creek trail last week.
    Lol...the paved trail? Wow, I know they are out there too, but that's a new one to me...where on the trail was this?

  17. #17
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    I was struck at and barely missed by a rattler on Blue Sky a few years ago as I rode past it.

    I remember a ride within the last 5 yrs that I saw 100's of juvenile rattlesnakes per mile on the Cathy Fromme Prairie section of the Fossil Creek trail.

    Also the dozens of Bull Snakes eating them up.

    Yumm

  18. #18
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    I saw 2 today. Sort of.

    I was riding Maxwell, shoreline, Michaud, and back west of Fort Collins today and saw 2 of them. First one was at the top of the Michaud climb, he was on the right side of the trail and alerted me to his presence when I was about 7-8 feet away from him. I took a picture but it turned out blurry. Stupid camera . So then later on I'm climbing back out of shoreline towards the parking lot at the top of Maxwell and just kinda watching the ground roll by when I realize my front tire is RIGHT next to the tail of a snake. I jumped off the back of the bike and grabbed the seat to pull the bike away from it. I think G$# D$#$ was involved too. Well it turns out this one is dead, so that's why it didn't rattle. Scared me good though. It was sort of torn up in the middle, maybe got run over by a bike?

    So as you descend shoreline from the parking lot at the top of Maxwell, it's on the right, with some rocks around it. Just a little heads up.

  19. #19
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    Saw one a few hours ago while road riding at Bear Creek Rez. It was sunning itself on the bike path...about a 4 footer.
    Naysayers never apologize. Critics go to their grave thinking everyone else is wrong.
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  20. #20
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    I saw a tiny baby one on the bear creek trail yesterday It's the first time I've ever seen one in my many years of riding lots of different places.
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  21. #21
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    3 years of riding Colorado trails and I only saw one on Ringtail Trail. I rode MW multiple times a week and never saw one. weird. cant say Im unhappy about that. Im not a big fan of snakes

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518
    3 years of riding Colorado trails and I only saw one on Ringtail Trail. I rode MW multiple times a week and never saw one. weird. cant say Im unhappy about that. Im not a big fan of snakes
    7:30-8:30 am I see one about every other ride going up that last climb on Rimrock trail in FtC right before the technical dogleg before dropping into Blue Sky Valley. They love that morning sun and are stretched all the way out. I guess I'm almost used to seeing them now....they're easy to spot 50 feet away and don't blend well with that part of the trail.

    I'd love to see a den full of babies though. I've heard stories of ranchers walking up to old prairie dog dens and seeing hundreds coming out of the ground.... that would be cool.
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  23. #23
    GL1
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    Snake Den

    How about riding up on this:

    http://www.mountainproject.com/image...ium_5717df.jpg

    Oh man, I do not like them Sam I Am! The thing is that every time I expect to see one, I don't and then when I think I'm in the clear there one lies in wait to startle the crud out of me. The last one I saw was on Chimney last fall...after it was getting colder. I thought it was past the "season" for them and I couldn't believe it.

    Still though, I think you're much safer on your bike than on foot etc. So take heart in that. The story of the guy that struck at as he rode by is not much fun to think about though.

    Growing up in Golden, I have seen my fair share (see my previous post) and as a kid our dog cornered one in the back yard once. We called a cop that lived up the street and he came down and shot it with a small .22 snake shot gun. At that time (this was the 80's, he said he took it to The Fort restaraunt and they took the meat and sold the skin. Maybe...I dunno, I was just a kid. It was pretty scary though with all the neighbors in our backyard looking on etc.

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