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Thread: snakes?

  1. #1
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    snakes?

    How many snakes are you guys seeing? I just read the post about white ranch and so much news about people, dogs getting "snagled' (BIT), that I'm getting paranoid everytime I ride. The damn things always pop up when you aren't paying attention and scare the bejeezus out of ya. I haven't seen or heard any rattlers, but I'm sure filling my lawnmower bag w/garter snakes everytime I mow. Maybe we need to do a roundup like they do in Texas. Everyone would carry a snake lasso and meet up on one of front range trails on weekends, good idea?

  2. #2
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    This season has been crazy with snakes.

    I had that close encounter at WR and two weeks ago I saw two rattlers on separate occasions on the side of the trail when I was hiking. Then about 6 weeks ago I was at C Cone and had to brake hard from 25mph to avoid running over a rattler who was coiled up on the trail. He was right before a sharp slow corner so I couldn't just hop him or run over him. I managed to stop with my front tire about one foot from him. My front tire is a 2.8 DH tire that I run at 20psi, so I think it saved me from being bit.

    Anyway I don't have anything against rattle snakes. The fact that they warn you via rattle is freaking awesome as it probably saved me from being bit at WR. We have seven of the worlds deadliest snakes back home in Oz, so I'll mix it up with the rattlers any day.
    Last edited by Steve71; 08-08-2007 at 07:35 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah - let the snakes continue eating the rodents. It's not like they're out to kill you. Killing snakes is cowardly, unless they're in your house I suppose... and even then they'd better be poisonous.


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    taste like chicken

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    2.8 DH tire?

    You run a 2.8 Downhill tire at Centennial Cone!? Maybe just a little overkill?
    (Just busting your chops - LOL).

    The only snake bites anyone should worry about are the ones you get on your tires from hitting obstacles/rocks on the trail.

  6. #6
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    I still have yet to see a rattlesnake (not that I'm complaining). I've seen lots of bull and garter snakes this year, but no rattlers. I suspect some percentage of the rattlesnake reports are actually bull snakes, they are fairly similar if you don't know what to look for (bull snakes have a glossy skin, they are usually more yellowish and their heads are the same width as their body instead of the spade-shaped viper head). Either that or we hit the trails early enough in the morning that we miss them...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanruss
    taste like chicken
    Snakes, the other white meat.

    They're a very important part of the ecosystem, and it's illegal for you to kill them in most places around here. Heard a guy got a hefty fine last summer for killing one on a trail around Horsetooth.

    A lady up here in FoCo got bit a few weeks back. Sounds like a couple bikers saved her life. I rode past one the other day and didn't even know it (the rider behind me saw it).

    One thing I'd suggest is that if you have to walk off the trail for say, a bathroom break, throw a few rocks in the direction you're walking, to scare any rattlers out as their pretty hard to see in the brush.

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    I've seen a few this season on GM/DR and Zorro. My dog was also just bit by one on Saturday that was in the backyard on the patio (middle of Lakewood). He is okay (though still drousy 5 days later), but the vet bill was out of this world. I always expect to see them on the trail, but I was shocked to hear a yelp and go downstairs to find my dog with two fang marks on his swollen muzzle and a big ass rattler chilling out on the concrete in the middle of lakewood. Animal Control came to pick up the snake, so hopefully he is somewhere now that he'll cause a little less trouble. The officer who came mentioned the incredible number of snakes this summer.
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    I have only seen one bull snake so far this season. He was a big one. Some horse back riders warned me about a rattler on WR last weekend but I didn't see him.

    I used to see them all the time at horsetooth in fort collins though.
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    I've seen many snakes on the lower sections of WR, M.Winters, Apex and Chimney Gulch. They mostly come out in the afternoon, mostly <aliens>. Ride in the morning to avoid em.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by btx
    I suspect some percentage of the rattlesnake reports are actually bull snakes, they are fairly similar if you don't know what to look for (bull snakes have a glossy skin, they are usually more yellowish and their heads are the same width as their body instead of the spade-shaped viper head)
    Bull snakes may also shake their tail to act like a rattle snake, again causing people to think that it's a rattler.

  12. #12
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    This has been a big year for rattlers - both in the news and on the trail. I've personally seen three this season. Two were right on the side of the trail at WR.
    Just pull your socks up and ride faster!

  13. #13
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    So far this year, I've run into 2 rattlesnakes on Chimney. The most interesting snake I ran into was a "milk snake" on Apex. I had no idea they existed in CO, but they do.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_Snake

    Had just seen Man v Wild where he ran into one...this saying from the show jumped into my head: "Red next to black, is a friend of Jack; red next to yellow, will kill a fellow."

    I know we don't have coral snakes here in CO, so I kind of just figured it wasn't...but when you run into something like this you don't think too straight.

    R

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    We've got some young bull snakes that keep coming back to our trash can in the backyard, we never use the trach can so it's always empty....except lately for these snakes....I'm clueless how they get into the trash cans. We just take him out the the field across the street and dump him.

    My bf found him (or another one) slithering up the driveway over the weekend.

    No snakes out on the local trails though. I used to see rattlers all the time when I lived in Cali....none here yet. In Cali on a local hiking trail, I found my dog in a full on point staring down a rattler all coiled up around a rat it just killed. Good thing my dog didn't move in for a closer look.

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    I almost ran over a snake on DR last night about 8 pm. It was all stretched out across the warm rocks. Don't know what kind it was, and was not really interested in going back to find out. Watch out for the critters.

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    I suspect all the plant growth from the wet weather over the past year increased the mice/vole population so the snake population will increase with the abundance of food. That and the mosoons flooding out there snake holes. Although the only one I've ran across in the Springs lives under my shed.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3sigma
    You run a 2.8 Downhill tire at Centennial Cone!? Maybe just a little overkill?
    (Just busting your chops - LOL).
    I prefer to think that C Cone was underkill rather than my tire being overkill.
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  18. #18
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    Rattlers so far this year:

    1 dead about 1 mile up Youngs Gulch - someone brained it with a stick and left it in the middle of the trail along with the stick.
    1 on Michaud trail about 50 yards from the parking lot.
    1 on Horsetooth service road right at Audra Culver trial.

    Lots of bull snakes.

    That's about a normal year so far.

    Saw a Black Mamba in South Dakota in a cage at the reptile gardens. Scary.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by btx
    I suspect some percentage of the rattlesnake reports are actually bull snakes.
    Yeah, good point. The snake at WR and the one at CC rattled so that makes them rattlesnakes, right The other two I saw hiking Ft. Collins didn't rattle IIRC so they could well have been bull snakes.
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    too many this year

    I've seen them at a lot at GM, Waterton, 2 on 1 ride at Red Rocks, table mountain hiking. They are everywhere. Not too worried about getting bit myself, more worried about the dog finding one. I still don't like coming across one. Head up to the high county to get away from them.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    Yeah, good point. The snake at WR and the one at CC rattled so that makes them rattlesnakes, right The other two I saw hiking Ft. Collins didn't rattle IIRC so they could well have been bull snakes.
    Generally yes, but bull snakes (aka gopher snakes) are quite good a mimicking rattlesnakes...I've heard of them hissing and waving their tails around like rattlers. This page describes it pretty good: http://www.desertusa.com/mag99/july/...phersnake.html

    Also, there has been lots of press lately over speculation that more and more rattlesnakes are not rattling anymore--the theory is that the ones that don't rattle tend not to get killed by humans, so they are winning in terms of evolution. Sounds like bunk to me, but it's good not to make assumptions.

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    I think I'll go higher to avoid the things. I saw way too many cottonmouths when I was in the service and way too close for comfort, so probably 9000 ft altitude ought to be safe, I don't think they can breath too well at that ht. Cooler up there too, since we've slipped back into the heat.

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    I've seen two this year...almost ran into a baby rattler on Maverick at White Ranch and another (baby also) crossing the path in the rock garden at Hall. Both of the above were rattling...no confusing that. I believe the little ones are worse?

  24. #24
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    I've only seen one this year (a 4-footer crossing Tower Road), but several dogs have been bitten in our neighborhood, with frequent sightings. There was yet another snakebite tonight near C-470 and Morrison, oddly. People say that the rattlers are more active this year than normal, and later in the season. Not sure if it's true.

    I just ride, and if I should come across a snake / mountain lion / marmot / wildebeest, I figure I'll get it figured out in the spur of the moment (except maybe the mountain lion)...
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    There are a lot this year. Probably due to the wet winter and increased rodent population. I had one on WR strike my front tire when I tried to use my bike to move it off the trail. No puncture - another benefit of UST tires

    Please never kill these guys - they are critical to the health of the ecosystem.

    When you see one on the trail try to find a stick twice as long a the snake and scoot it off the trail. Also, off course, warn everybody coming your way.

  26. #26
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    5 so far this year:
    2 @ cent cone
    1 each @ apex / mattie winters / green mtn

    anybody got solid advice on what to do if you're bit & alone?

  27. #27
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    Ridden in COS and the mountains for 5 years now and still have yet to see a rattlesnake. Found a King snake in my backyard though...
    Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic...

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    I've only seen one, dead. Appeared to have been run over.

  29. #29
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    song...stuck...in...head


    Baby Snakes
    Late at night is when they come out
    Baby Snakes
    Sure you know what I'm talkin' about
    Pink 'n' wet
    They make the best kinda pet
    Baby
    Baby
    Snakes
    Looked around
    An' there's a couple right near me
    Baby Snakes
    Maybe I think they can probably hear me
    Pink 'n' wet
    I'll take all I can get
    Baby
    Baby
    Baby Sna-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-kes, Yeah
    They live in a ho-ho-hole
    (Tiny hole)
    That is usually empty
    (Usually empty; tiny too)
    They live by a code
    (Ditditditdit)
    That is usually SMPTE
    Which stands for
    Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers
    Maybe I think
    That is what keeps them in sync
    They're wet 'n' they're pink
    I think I'll give'em a, give'em a,
    Give 'em a drink
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  30. #30
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    This is from http://www.sdsnake.com

    "If someone is bitten by a venomous snake, try to remain calm, treat for shock, and seek medical attention immediately. Reduce physical activity and exertion as much as practical. Excitement and shock allow the hemotoxic venom of a rattlesnake to spread faster through the circulatory/lymphatic systems of the victims body. Time is critical with any snakebite, the victim should seek medical help as soon as possible. A person will normally know how serious the bite will be within the first 30 minutes. The location of the bite and the amount of venom injected are the main factors affecting the seriousness of the bite. In most cases, the bite area will swell up, turn black and blue and can be very painful. Any cutting or suction with the mouth or mechanical device in the bite area IS NOT RECCOMENDED and can be more dangerous than the snakebite itself. Remove any tight-fitting garments and constricting jewelry, such as rings."


    Stay calm, don't move - that's pretty hard to do when you are panicing and the only way to get help is to ride / hike / run like hell for the nearest phone.

    A girl in FC got bit a couple years back while trail running on Timber trail and tried to walk out. Some bikers found her laying in the parking lot unable to walk or talk but still breathing and got her to the hospital. The problem is that your heart rate is already high when riding / running so that venom just spreads. I think the best thing to do is race to get help no matter how high your heart rate gets.

    Of course if you do get to the hospital the antivenin is about $10,000 per dose. A kid in Wellington got bit this spring and took 13 doses. Might be better off dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleAndRigid

    anybody got solid advice on what to do if you're bit & alone?
    good question. 90% of my riding i do alone. seems like it would be impossible to just sit on the trail and wait for someone to come by if bitten. i keep meaning to look into those shin guards.

    i saw one at hall about a month ago about 20 yards after crossing the fire trail (before the rock garden). there were two riders in front of me, first one got his first tire over then knicked it with the rear. the other two of us were able to stop. i'm freaked out now whenever i fall over into the bushes one the sides of the rock garden.

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    After moving here in March, I saw my first and only rattler while riding up on the hogback behind the Trailmark subdivision where I live. My brother's been here and riding, hiking, etc. for 13 years and has never seen one.
    Just happened to bring my camera that day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijX2e8YSbuA

    I hate snakes, but for some reason after seen this one, I'm not as concerned as I was before.
    I don't think that line of thinking will work though if I see Mtn. lion. :/

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleAndRigid
    anybody got solid advice on what to do if you're bit & alone?
    You have about 3 hours to get yourself to help or get help to you.

    If you are riding alone, but in an area that sees lots of traffic, just stay there and stay calm. Someone will come by eventually who can go for help. Get your heart rate down and keep the bitten area below your heart. Apply pressure to the wound, but don't cut off circulation.

    If you are riding alone in a remote area where you don't expect anyone will find you, well keeping the 3 hour window in mind, get yourself closer to civilization, but still try to keep your heart rate down.

    As a "rull of thumb", I only ride alone if it's an area that isn't remote.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluchris
    You have about 3 hours to get yourself to help or get help to you.
    If you are riding alone, but in an area that sees lots of traffic, just stay there and stay calm. Someone will come by eventually who can go for help. Get your heart rate down and keep the bitten area below your heart. Apply pressure to the wound, but don't cut off circulation.
    If you are riding alone in a remote area where you don't expect anyone will find you, well keeping the 3 hour window in mind, get yourself closer to civilization, but still try to keep your heart rate down.
    good advice, thanks. where did you get that 3 hour figure?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    The other two I saw hiking Ft. Collins didn't rattle IIRC so they could well have been bull snakes.
    This is what I've seen in FtC. Rattles, but no rattlin'.

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  36. #36
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    Beware the beheaded rattler

    I always see a bunch of rattlers around the Front Range. White Ranch, Apex, Green Mtn, Matthew Winters/Dakota Ridge, Centenial Cone, Falcon... maybe I should list the places that I haven't seen one.

    Anyways, you know the expression about how the snake's not dead until you cut off its head (or something like that)? Apparently, even THAT doesn't get the job done.
    Check this out:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20212558/

    Yikes!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleAndRigid
    anybody got solid advice on what to do if you're bit & alone?
    If you get bit on the leg, cut off your leg at the joint just above the bite. Bummer if you get bit on the thigh. It's a good idea to carry a cleaver with you when you ride. At all costs, avoid getting bit on the face.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleAndRigid
    good advice, thanks. where did you get that 3 hour figure?
    A Red Cross first aid training course. I also read it somewhere, but not having any luck finding the link now.

  39. #39
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    Saw another rattler on Michaud on Sunday. It was curled up about 1 foot from the trail in the rocky section near the top. I was descending so I went smoothly by it and stopped to go back and take a closer look. It was in a spot where I know I've had to take my foot out while climbing in the past. Eeks. I'll take my camera next time - I've seen a snake (this one?) near this location several times over the past 3 years. I've heard they don't travel much. Now I'm having snake dreams.

  40. #40
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    I've ridden over a good number of snakes in years past - thought they were sticks until I got right on top of them. Rolled past a few on road rides and saw one on a bike path this year, but none on the trail yet. Just jinxed myself now, probably...
    I think I've only heard 'em rattle once or twice in the 10 years I've lived/ ridden here now. Maybe I've actually only seen 1 or 2 rattlesnakes?
    Oh, and I did see a few good sized piles of what I think were bear scat on Chim Gulch Friday. Bears don't eat snakes, do they?
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    Another girl got bit down by ken caryl, I think they're out to get us. Made it around cent cone this weekend without seeing or hearing one, but now I'm sure checking down the trail as I ride. I wish I'd never started this thread.

  42. #42
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    haven't seen any rattlers, but I have seen at least one snake on about six straight rides. Mostly bull snakes. I try not to run them over but two times it couldn't be avoided. Sorry little guys.
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  43. #43
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    Hop over them?

    OK,
    Since we have covered getting bit, what about avoiding them?

    So, I am trucking along on my Superlight at a pretty good clip, see a diamond back on or next to the trail.... If I can stop, by all means I would try. But if you can't stop, what would people do? Bunny hop it? Go around if you can?

    Thoughts?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewie65
    OK,
    Since we have covered getting bit, what about avoiding them?

    So, I am trucking along on my Superlight at a pretty good clip, see a diamond back on or next to the trail.... If I can stop, by all means I would try. But if you can't stop, what would people do? Bunny hop it? Go around if you can?

    Thoughts?
    Start singing some Milli Vanili. This should cause the snake to become entranced so that you can scoot by without him noticing. I've found that "blame it on the rain" works nicely. If that doesn't work, maybe try to position your Superlight between you and the snake or bail off the trail.

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