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  1. #1
    KJL
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    Snakes curbing my exploration

    I've got access to a huge amount of land, but its in northern california rattlesnake territory, and just recently they have come out of the wood work. Do i just put my tools down for the summer and ride and work elsewhere? Im looking into getting snake pants so i can start catching some, but should I just leave it be and focus somewhere I wont get mauled by a pack of bloodthirsty rattle snakes.

    If i posted in the wrong area let me know, i figured my passion for making new trail and exploring new land is making this a hard decision.

    -kellen

    ill post picture of two babies ive killed in the last week, almost walked over both of them

  2. #2
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    You killed the snakes? Is that a normal practice where your from? Just curious...

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    Quit being a Puss, leave the snakes alone, be aware of your surroundings!
    Because, one is never enough.

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    Killing the snakes is rather pointless.

    Once in a blue moon you will find a pissed off aggressive rattler, but most of the time they are sunning and will slither off trail and leave you alone if you let them.

    Their venom is a resource not to be wasted on something they cant kill and eat unless it is self defense. Cant count the number of times ive set my foot inches from a rattler who let me pass with nary a rattle or strike. Dont piss them off and they will leave you alone.

  5. #5
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    I don't kill snakes! I live in Florida and we have large diamondbacks in many biking areas and there are little to no problems each year. A 6 footer had to be killed a few years back who was acting aggressive near a kiosk...otherwise I say live and let live. If people are being bitten by these snakes, that would be a different issue.
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    Leave them alone and they will leave you alone in return. It's that simple. It's those who mess with them who get bit. Give them respect and they will pass it on to you. If you happen upon one that is blocking your way, go around it. They would much rather get away from you than stand up as tall as you, sprout wings, and attack you with their blood sucking fangs out...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    Killing the snakes is rather pointless.

    Once in a blue moon you will find a pissed off aggressive rattler, but most of the time they are sunning and will slither off trail and leave you alone if you let them.

    Their venom is a resource not to be wasted on something they cant kill and eat unless it is self defense. Cant count the number of times ive set my foot inches from a rattler who let me pass with nary a rattle or strike. Dont piss them off and they will leave you alone.
    This. So much this.

    HTFU

  8. #8
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    "Bloodthirsty Rattlesnakes" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

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    I'd kill them if I were you. Alligators get culled because they multiply so quickly.

    I'm not gonna take any chances.

    Justin's Rattlesnake Pics

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundam168 View Post
    I'd kill them if I were you. Alligators get culled because they multiply so quickly.

    I'm not gonna take any chances.

    Justin's Rattlesnake Pics
    As horrible as that is...there is still no need to mindlessly kill them.

    I'm in Florida and I run into snakes and alligators pretty regularly on the trails. The gators will either move, or they wont. They decide if your trail day is over or not, lol. The snakes will always move, given the time.
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    I eat what I kill..I would eat a snake too. Make a chainstay protecter out of the snake skin LOL Or a headband on my helmet. Here in Cali there are thousands of Rattlers up in them hills. I guess I wouldn't just randomly kill one just cuse I spoted it...might huck a rock at it lol Get outa Here Raaaahhhhh
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    Snakes curbing my exploration

    Get over it.
    There really is very little good reason to kill a snake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundam168 View Post
    I'd kill them if I were you.
    Nice example of respect for life in general...

  14. #14
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    Snakes curbing my exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Gundam168 View Post
    I'd kill them if I were you. Alligators get culled because they multiply so quickly.

    I'm not gonna take any chances.

    Justin's Rattlesnake Pics
    Ouch, is Just a rider? Can he still grip his bike to ride & how did he get bitten?

  15. #15
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    BTW, @metalhack
    Is that Neil from Clutch as your profile pic? If so well done, best band in the land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KJL View Post
    ...looking into getting snake pants so i can start catching some, but should I just leave it be and focus somewhere I wont get mauled by a pack of bloodthirsty rattle snakes...-kellen...
    Might be alone here, but think that snake pants sound damn scary.
    Stuffing a piissed-off rattler down one's pants is going to hurt, and there will be casualties.

    If it were me, I'd rather spend the $$$ on snake charming lessons to convince them this new trail is all good.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by backcountryeti View Post
    BTW, @metalhack
    Is that Neil from Clutch as your profile pic? If so well done, best band in the land.
    Right on brother!

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    Re: Snakes curbing my exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Gundam168 View Post
    I'd kill them if I were you. Alligators get culled because they multiply so quickly.

    I'm not gonna take any chances.

    Justin's Rattlesnake Pics
    You have more chance of getting killed in a car accident than getting bit by a venomous snake. Try enjoying nature while riding.

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  19. #19
    KJL
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    damn guys! This helps a lot.

    The usual policy with rattle snakes that are close to people I've observed is either
    1.) animal control
    2.) kill it and bury its' head.
    3.) if its far enough away we'll leave it be

    The terrain is pretty steep, I'm working in tall grass growing over loose rock.
    I'm not worried about one while trail riding, I'm worried about stumbling upon one or even a nest while im working. Going into their nest and telling them to gtfo so I can bench. *snake pants are overalls that snakes cant bite through.*

    The two I've found so far have been hiding under big rocks in the "bench to be." I've heard babies cant control how much venom they release and that scared me.

    As for Justin who was bit, thats awful and I'm sorry for that kid.
    I'm a fully grown adult at 6'2", and I'm about thirty to forty five minutes from a hospital, so my conditions hopefully won't be the same if I do get bitten :-/

    not to mention mountain lions, anyone have tips for kitties?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallstreet View Post
    Ouch, is Just a rider? Can he still grip his bike to ride & how did he get bitten?
    You can click a link on Justin's website to read the story. It's pretty wicked. No treatment for more than four hours due to remote location in Yosemite.

  21. #21
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    I live and have ridden miles and miles of dirt in Nebraska. From pasture to dirt roads. I've seen more rattlesnakes then I care to talk about here. I kill them when I encounter them. I'm a father of four. I've been around rattlesnakes my whole life and have been very close to being bit several times. If I can save my children from a run in with a rattlesnake by taking it out of the ecosystem I will. I've shown them, I've told them what to do. However why take the risk? There are too many variables in a rattlesnake encounter that can have things ending up badly. That being said, we don't harm other snakes. Even other aggressive snakes. Such as a pissed off bull snake. We just leave them alone. On average I'll have any where between 3-20+ rattlesnake encounters a year. Just depends on how dry it is. If it's dry and your close to a remote water source. You'll see rattlesnakes, every time. Do we avoid these places? Yes. We don't go looking for trouble.

    Should any of this info in any way stop you from riding? Hell no! Be aware, know what to do when you encounter one.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeroack View Post
    I live and have ridden miles and miles of dirt in Nebraska. From pasture to dirt roads. I've seen more rattlesnakes then I care to talk about here. I kill them when I encounter them. I'm a father of four. I've been around rattlesnakes my whole life and have been very close to being bit several times. If I can save my children from a run in with a rattlesnake by taking it out of the ecosystem I will. I've shown them, I've told them what to do. However why take the risk? There are too many variables in a rattlesnake encounter that can have things ending up badly. That being said, we don't harm other snakes. Even other aggressive snakes. Such as a pissed off bull snake. We just leave them alone. On average I'll have any where between 3-20+ rattlesnake encounters a year. Just depends on how dry it is. If it's dry and your close to a remote water source. You'll see rattlesnakes, every time. Do we avoid these places? Yes. We don't go looking for trouble.

    Should any of this info in any way stop you from riding? Hell no! Be aware, know what to do when you encounter one.
    This is one reason why Timber Rattlesnakes are endangered in Ohio. Great way to teach respect for nature...

  23. #23
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    Snakes curbing my exploration

    Look into snake chaps or snake boots instead of stuff with more coverage. Snake protective gear is HOT and can restrict movement. I worked in snake country in the TX prairies and in the UT desert and didn't have any trouble. I saw venomous snakes regularly. When you see them, keep your distance and they will most likely move on after awhile. Just work in another area until then.

    even cottonmouths have a terribly undeserved reputation.

    I was so stoked to see a 5ft timber rattler a few years ago. Never an aggressive move. It just made its way into cover while breathing heavy (the "hissing") to warn me not to get too close. I respected the snake and gave it space. I took some pictures and went on my way.

    I would not even kill snakes if kids were present. For young kids, I would just not let them into situations where snakes are likely. As they age, they would learn to give snakes space and later learn to distinguish venomous ones from nonvenomous ones. Shoot, even dogs can be trained and learn to avoid snakes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by backcountryeti View Post
    This is one reason why Timber Rattlesnakes are endangered in Ohio. Great way to teach respect for nature...
    There are no shortages of Rattlesnakes in Nebraska. I have no wish to put a species on the endangered list. If I have to choose between the safety of my family and a snake, I'll choose family every time.

    BTW... love the Troll build up you have going. I'm loving my Revelate Design bags as well.

  25. #25
    KJL
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    Yo Natehawk!

    If a ratler is in tall grass and i come up on it, will it give me a good amount of warning. im afraid of getting into one of these situations with no warning.

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    Re: Snakes curbing my exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeroack View Post
    There are no shortages of Rattlesnakes in Nebraska. I have no wish to put a species on the endangered list. If I have to choose between the safety of my family and a snake, I'll choose family every time.

    BTW... love the Troll build up you have going. I'm loving my Revelate Design bags as well.
    All I hear is rationalizing...

    They are part of natue"s balance. If there was no food supply there would be few snakes. Of course if you prefer the alternative, rodents.

    You are in their backyard and it's usually as simple as be aware and avoid.

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    My penis is very small, so when I see those long and fat snakes I get incredibly jealous and have to chop them up so I don't feel inadequate.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeroack View Post
    There are no shortages of Rattlesnakes in Nebraska. I have no wish to put a species on the endangered list. If I have to choose between the safety of my family and a snake, I'll choose family every time.

    BTW... love the Troll build up you have going. I'm loving my Revelate Design bags as well.
    Out of curiosity, which species are you killing?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeroack View Post
    There are no shortages of Rattlesnakes in Nebraska. I have no wish to put a species on the endangered list. If I have to choose between the safety of my family and a snake, I'll choose family every time.

    BTW... love the Troll build up you have going. I'm loving my Revelate Design bags as well.
    I agree wholeheartedly with family first, but I feel there are other ways to deal with rattlesnakes than killing them.

    I should also point out that I am not an animal hugging member of PETA, with unrealistic views of animals etc. I just feel that snakes get a bad rap in their natural habitat.

    Thanks for the kind words on the Troll, it's been a blast so far!

  30. #30
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    Prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)

    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Out of curiosity, which species are you killing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KJL View Post
    Yo Natehawk!

    If a ratler is in tall grass and i come up on it, will it give me a good amount of warning. im afraid of getting into one of these situations with no warning.
    sometimes yes, sometimes no. many times you will walk right by one without ever knowing it. I never wore snake protection and never had a problem. I do tend to be hyper vigilant about where I step, however. I had friends and coworkers who preferred to wear snake boots and pay less attention to where they stepped. whatever floats your boat.

    years ago I worked extensively in a habitat island for Eastern massassauga rattlesnakes in Ohio, and once around another population in Michigan, another endangered species. I wasn't working with the snakes, but I encountered them often. Usually half a dozen on a warm day, sunning themselves on the trail in the morning. not a single one ever struck at me. I had even heard stories of folks stepping on them and picking them up not realizing they were a venomous species, and the snakes never becoming agitated. IME, nonvenomous snakes tend to be more aggressive than most venomous ones. and when most venomous snakes act "aggressively", they are just bluffing to convince you to go away. especially North American species.

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    I'm with you. I don't go looking for snakes but if I see one near the yard or in it I'll kill it. I have four goofy, lovable dogs and I'd rather not test whether the snake can control it's venom. My neighbors dog was killed last year by a copperhead.

    But on the trail? By the time I see them it's too late and there's no point stopping.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeroack View Post
    There are no shortages of Rattlesnakes in Nebraska. I have no wish to put a species on the endangered list. If I have to choose between the safety of my family and a snake, I'll choose family every time.
    About 10 people die each year (USA) from rattlesnake bites. At least half of those 10 deaths were the result of someone attempting to handle a rattlesnake.

    So among every person in Nebraska who does not attempt to handle a rattlesnake, at most only 1 will perish from a snake bite in a 10 year period. 1/10th of a person per year, and the number is probably a lot lower than that because most snake bites happen in the warmer southern states.

    There is virtually nothing that anyone in your family does routinely every day that doesn't endanger them more than a potential snake bite, and dozens of things (including driving) that are hundreds, if not thousands of times more dangerous. Another thing much more dangerous than a potential snake bite is exposure to dangerous chemicals, and one less snake means one more dose of cancer causing chemicals to kill the gopher that the snake didn't get, which becomes imbedded into the soil that your children play in.

    Anyone who kills snakes to "protect their family" should lock them all in a bomb shelter and never let them out, because something could fall out of the sky at any moment!

  34. #34
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    Nevermind, I was beaten to the punch (line).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Snakes curbing my exploration-snake.jpg  

    Last edited by kapusta; 04-12-2013 at 12:13 PM.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  35. #35
    MK_
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    And here I was expecting you to say that they kept getting stuck in your spokes.

    _MKSnakes curbing my exploration-image.jpeg
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  36. #36
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    D@mn, you beat me to it while I was searching for that picture!
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Nevermind, I was beaten to the punch (line).
    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    And here I was expecting you to say that they kept getting stuck in your spokes.

    _MKClick image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    D@mn, you beat me to it while I was searching for that picture!
    Wow....context please?
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  38. #38
    KJL
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    I take it as trying to underplay my situation. I'm walking in two to three feet of grass, my plan as of now is to get snake bite resistant overalls and trim all the grass down on both sides of the trail so I can see them. Hopefully then I can let them go without having to go Uma Thurman on their ass.

    help on mountain lions too...

  39. #39
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    Context? Just riding along, to my understanding.

    In the tropics.


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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    About 10 people die each year (USA) from rattlesnake bites. At least half of those 10 deaths were the result of someone attempting to handle a rattlesnake.

    So among every person in Nebraska who does not attempt to handle a rattlesnake, at most only 1 will perish from a snake bite in a 10 year period. 1/10th of a person per year, and the number is probably a lot lower than that because most snake bites happen in the warmer southern states.

    There is virtually nothing that anyone in your family does routinely every day that doesn't endanger them more than a potential snake bite, and dozens of things (including driving) that are hundreds, if not thousands of times more dangerous. Another thing much more dangerous than a potential snake bite is exposure to dangerous chemicals, and one less snake means one more dose of cancer causing chemicals to kill the gopher that the snake didn't get, which becomes imbedded into the soil that your children play in.

    Anyone who kills snakes to "protect their family" should lock them all in a bomb shelter and never let them out, because something could fall out of the sky at any moment!
    All I have to say is come raise a family on a farm in the Nebraska panhandle. I've been here all my life. I know what I've encountered in my 30+ years here. If I leave the rattlesnake in the yard and let it live it's life. Are the odds greater or lesser that my wife, children, pets, or livestock will encounter them? It's all about the numbers.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJL View Post
    If i posted in the wrong area let me know, i figured my passion for making new trail and exploring new land is making this a hard decision.

    After re-reading this I'm wondering what it has to do with mountain biking? If you're riding it's a non issue, if you are lucky enough to see one on the trail you can either go around or scooch it on it's way with a long stick, and if you're building trail you should be sufficiently competent in the woods to have sense enough to avoid them.

    If you're worried about being "mauled by a pack of bloodthirsty rattlesnakes" you ought not be in the backcountry alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    About 10 people die each year (USA) from rattlesnake bites. At least half of those 10 deaths were the result of someone attempting to handle a rattlesnake.

    So among every person in Nebraska who does not attempt to handle a rattlesnake, at most only 1 will perish from a snake bite in a 10 year period. 1/10th of a person per year, and the number is probably a lot lower than that because most snake bites happen in the warmer southern states.

    There is virtually nothing that anyone in your family does routinely every day that doesn't endanger them more than a potential snake bite, and dozens of things (including driving) that are hundreds, if not thousands of times more dangerous. Another thing much more dangerous than a potential snake bite is exposure to dangerous chemicals, and one less snake means one more dose of cancer causing chemicals to kill the gopher that the snake didn't get, which becomes imbedded into the soil that your children play in.

    Anyone who kills snakes to "protect their family" should lock them all in a bomb shelter and never let them out, because something could fall out of the sky at any moment!

    It's true that there are only ten deaths or so per year but many more people get envenomated than die. In my ER alone in the last year I have seen about a dozen snake envenomations. Nobody died but a few of them had to go to the ICU and about half required Cro-Fab, a drug that costs about a fifty thousand dollars for a a typical patient.

    So that statistic is somewhat misleading. Rattlesnake enevenomation is seldom fatal but does cause severe pain and morbidity which is worth avoiding.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    It's true that there are only ten deaths or so per year but many more people get envenomated than die. In my ER alone in the last year I have seen about a dozen snake envenomations. Nobody died but a few of them had to go to the ICU and about half required Cro-Fab, a drug that costs about a fifty thousand dollars for a a typical patient.

    So that statistic is somewhat misleading. Rattlesnake enevenomation is seldom fatal but does cause severe pain and morbidity which is worth avoiding.

    How many people come into your ER because of car wrecks, back yard injuries, bathroom falls, etc. compared to snake bites? Just trying to keep things in perspective.

    I agree that rattlesnakes are best avoided and should generally be left alone, the exception is if one makes a home in my yard. I have kids too.

  44. #44
    KJL
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    im bound to encounter hundreds of rattle snakes in the process of making/exploring/riding this trail, im looking for the best advice on how to deal with them, because I've already stumbled upon a few while making bench, If i can't find a safe alternative to get past them I'm gonna have to put my tools down till winter, and I dont want to stop progress.

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    In my opinion, on the trail, I'll avoid critters if at all possible. What good is it killing a few snakes in the woods? You're not going to make a dent in the number of snakes in the area, you'll be plucking grey hairs. Unless I screw up and get in a position where it's me or the snake, I'll leave them alone except for throwing something at them to scare them off the trail.

    On my property and around my house though, they're dead.
    Earnest Hemingway once said "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KJL View Post
    im bound to encounter hundreds of rattle snakes in the process of making/exploring/riding this trail, im looking for the best advice on how to deal with them, because I've already stumbled upon a few while making bench, If i can't find a safe alternative to get past them I'm gonna have to put my tools down till winter, and I dont want to stop progress.
    Wear snake boots/pants, gloves, and keep long snake tongs with you. When you find one and it won't move away after some prodding, pick it up and move it away yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeroack View Post
    I live and have ridden miles and miles of dirt in Nebraska. From pasture to dirt roads. I've seen more rattlesnakes then I care to talk about here. I kill them when I encounter them. I'm a father of four. I've been around rattlesnakes my whole life and have been very close to being bit several times. If I can save my children from a run in with a rattlesnake by taking it out of the ecosystem I will. I've shown them, I've told them what to do. However why take the risk? There are too many variables in a rattlesnake encounter that can have things ending up badly. That being said, we don't harm other snakes. Even other aggressive snakes. Such as a pissed off bull snake. We just leave them alone. On average I'll have any where between 3-20+ rattlesnake encounters a year. Just depends on how dry it is. If it's dry and your close to a remote water source. You'll see rattlesnakes, every time. Do we avoid these places? Yes. We don't go looking for trouble.

    Should any of this info in any way stop you from riding? Hell no! Be aware, know what to do when you encounter one.
    Awesome, now your kids might be infected with the plague because snakes aren't controlling the populations of rodents...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    Wear snake boots/pants, gloves, and keep long snake tongs with you. When you find one and it won't move away after some prodding, pick it up and move it away yourself.



    +1 for snake tongs, I've snagged dozens with mine-


    Snakes curbing my exploration-s-11.jpg


    This one was gentle as a kitten after I picked it up to move it-


    Snakes curbing my exploration-s-2.jpg

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Awesome, now your kids might be infected with the plague because snakes aren't controlling the populations of rodents...
    No worries there. The mice rodent population is keep in check by the farm cat's that we've rescued from the local shelter.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJL View Post
    im bound to encounter hundreds of rattle snakes in the process of making/exploring/riding this trail, im looking for the best advice on how to deal with them, because I've already stumbled upon a few while making bench, If i can't find a safe alternative to get past them I'm gonna have to put my tools down till winter, and I dont want to stop progress.
    You can learn to be safe in that situation. Lots of woodsmen do it. I don't live in your area, so can't recommend anything other than learn from others and carry a stick. I am careful in North Carolina, but don't worry about snakes much. I did have a small fright when swimming in Wilson's Creek, because there were poisonous snakes swimming there too.
    "Head injuries are pretty high-consequence" - AndrwSwitch

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