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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?

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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 08:35 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...

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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 . Ride in the morning to avoid em.

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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.

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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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  20. #20
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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
    btx
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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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  25. #25
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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.

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