Snakes on a trail- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Snakes on a trail

    I just about ran over this guy on Twin Oaks trail at Dupont Sunday.

    Snakes on a trail-rattlesnake-dupont2.jpg

    I was cruising the downhill section and never saw him until I heard the rattles. I jumped off the bike to warn the guy riding behind me. And this being the age of social media, I had to take a pic.

    Here is a black rat snake I saw a Croft a couple of weeks ago. They seem to be all over the place this year. Good thing we don't have boas as I would have probably been eaten by now.

    Snakes on a trail-snake-croft.jpg
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    I ran across this guy on a hike by Lake Lure area last week.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Snakes on a trail-20170611_095941.jpg  


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    Well not quite a snake but he made me stop and wait.
    Fat biking in the Coastal Southeast.


  4. #4
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    Both from this spring. I've seen a lot of copperheads as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scbison View Post
    Well not quite a snake but he made me stop and wait.
    Allow me to be the first to say F*CK THAT!
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    There was a Timber Rattler hanging out on the gravel road leading up to Daniel's Ridge last weekend. He was about halfway across the road until someone chased him off.

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    New to the area. Can someone help with what the above snakes are and how dangerous?

  8. #8
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    I'll try

    1) rattlesnake - venomous; black rat snake - non-venomous
    2) copperhead - venomous - these are pretty small snakes, probably 24-30 inches but even the babies are dangerous
    3) fat legged snake - non-venomous but they can bite really hard and spin you underwater (ok, it is actually an alligator, didn't know they had them in the Carolinas)
    4) black king snake or maybe a rat snake - non venomous; rattlesnake - venomous
    6) timber rattler - venomous - not a very common snake though it is the only rattler I have ever seen in Georgia where I live

    You don't really need to worry. Just don't stick your hand somewhere without looking, etc. Venomous snakes aren't all that common, most snakes you come across are not.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamm3 View Post
    New to the area. Can someone help with what the above snakes are and how dangerous?
    Copperheads and rattlesnakes are the venomous snakes around here, as chazpat, mentioned. They are actually fairly common, particularly in certain areas, but as he also mentioned, not something to worry a lot about. Just be mindful and pay attention. They won't kill you!

  10. #10
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    They probably won't kill you, but a rattlesnake certainly can kill you if a bite goes untreated for a long time. There are parts of PNF where you can be a long way from help if you get bit.

    Wikipedia has a list of fatal snake bites in the USA.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._United_States

    Looks like a few of these folks belong on the Darwin awards site, especially the Pentecostals that think playing with snakes in church is a good idea.
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    thanks everyone...i have only seen the black ones thus far and someone said they actually eat the poisonous ones?

    on 3)....grew up with those in my yard...can't say i have ever seen those on a trail thou!

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamg35c View Post
    thanks everyone...i have only seen the black ones thus far and someone said they actually eat the poisonous ones?

    on 3)....grew up with those in my yard...can't say i have ever seen those on a trail thou!
    I am not a herpetologist or anything, but here's what my then 90 year old neighbor told me about black snakes/rattlesnakes back in the early 2000's...

    They wake up earlier in the spring then the rattlesnakes, thanks to their coloration are able to soak up some heat and get active, go into the rattlesnake dens while they're still hibernating, and eat them.

    Might be an old-timer's tale, but I like it.

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    I took a herpatology class in HS. The teacher kept a 10' Boa in a cage in the classroom and would take it out for walks in the hall after school Scared the hell out of a lot of people.
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  14. #14
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    They are called King Snakes because they will eat other snakes, including venomous ones.

    Came across this a little while ago:

    Matthew Goode, a research scientist in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, believes the threat of snake bites is "way overblown."
    "It's pretty obvious that way more people die from horses or dog bites or bee stings," said Goode. "More people die from probably tripping over a rock or something."

    Now that did come from this article:

    Snake bites are on the rise in US - CNN.com

    Odd, I've seen very few snakes this year.
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    Cool thread, informative for the out of towner and mythbusting for the Ophidiophobic. A couple things I would like to add:

    Two ways to be bitten:
    -Handle a snake
    -Step on a snake
    A snake will never chase you.

    Just because you don't know what species a snake is doesn't automatically make it a Copperhead...Regardless, it would be nice if you (snake fearing redneck)didn't drop a rock on a snake everytime you see one. Thanks.

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    Snakes are harmless 99.9% of the time... Grab it, step on it, or run over it it will bite out of self defense. They only have 3 ways to defend themselves... bite, slither away, hide.

    The only snake that will eat others is the Eastern King and its black with cool white stripes down its back. Very gentle and important snake.

    Black snakes eat a shit load of mice which carry ticks. The snake is harmless but what it eats is very harmful to humans i.e rodents with ticks, hantavirus etc.

    Rattlers and copperheads are very important for rodent control. Please dont kill snakes because you are scared of them. We need them more than they need us...
    On your left!

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    I'm with banjo.....king snakes are virtually top of the food chain in snakeville and great to have around as they'll eat other venomous snakes. I live in a huge neighborhood down in GA with Chaz and I have an agreement with all of my neighbors - if you see a snake and don't want it around...call me and I'll come get it...just don't kill it. Caught two huge rat snakes in the past month and relocated them to a very wooded area. I have a video of it somewhere. Neighbors were so happy they bought me a new snake hook! Such great neighbors I owned a canebrake rattler (timber rattler) in college and it was beautiful but feisty. That gator would make me rethink my bunny hoppin skills.

  18. #18
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    lol, he doesn't mean he lives WITH me!

    Bridgemill?
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    Yep- you? Great to be so close to Blankets

  20. #20
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    Lower Roswell Road, two mile ride to Sope Creek trailhead.
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    In Raleigh we know the copperhead and it's habits well. Basically leave it alone and it won't do much to you unless in striking distance.

    I didn't know about rattlesnakes in Pisgah.....same deal with them? And is the timber rattler different from a rattlesnake? Or does that mean the same thing? Basically am I looking out for 2-3 venomous snakes out there (including the copperhead).

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dba4life View Post
    In Raleigh we know the copperhead and it's habits well. Basically leave it alone and it won't do much to you unless in striking distance.

    I didn't know about rattlesnakes in Pisgah.....same deal with them? And is the timber rattler different from a rattlesnake? Or does that mean the same thing? Basically am I looking out for 2-3 venomous snakes out there (including the copperhead).
    A timber rattler, sometimes called a canebrake, is a different snake than the Eastern Diamondback, but they are both rattlesnakes.

    Yeah, leave them alone. Snakes aren't going to go after you, they are just defending themselves if they feel threatened.
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  23. #23
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    For what it's worth the same antivenin is used to treat Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake bites. Both have hemotoxin venom. Another fun fact is that the antivenin is ridiculously expensive. A severe envenomation can require a lot of treatment. Long story short: don't pick up or handle a venomous snake and watch your step.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by scbison View Post
    Well not quite a snake but he made me stop and wait.
    Wilmington?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by go-pirates View Post
    Wilmington?
    Charleston - Marrington Plantation
    Fat biking in the Coastal Southeast.


  26. #26
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    This afternoon at DSRF...

    Encountered this fine crotalus horridus specimen on a popular DuPont trail this afternoon. Watched him (pretty sure it was a male) for a few minutes hoping he would move off-trail, but ended up carrying him ~50' off the trail using the "long pole" method.


    Snakes on a trail-0806171310.jpg


    He was between 4'-6" and 5'-0" long--largest timber rattler I've seen in several years.
    Geriatric mountain biker and trail maintainer... ...with digital braking!

  27. #27
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    Beautiful snake

  28. #28
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    I think I would have used the haul ass method with one that big!
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    I think I would have used the haul ass method with one that big!
    Yeah, I had that urge, but was concerned that he might not clear the trail before another trail user came along, and that the next trail user might relocate the snake into the after-life instead of off-trail. I routinely move snakes off-trail when riding or doing trail work, and moved a small copperhead (20-24") out of my chainsaw cutting area a couple months ago. All Mother Nature's critters have a purpose...

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailZen View Post
    All Mother Nature's critters have a purpose...

    TZ
    Except for yellow jackets. I hate those mothers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    Except for yellow jackets. I hate those mothers.
    I stand corrected! And I suspect I hate those mothers as much as you do...

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  32. #32
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    Beautiful snake and you did a good service moving it.

    Speaking of yellow jackets, I found a hive in a rotten log on my property. I intended to nuke it some night, but never got around to it. Went down there the other day and some creature had decimated it. Pretty nice, wonder if it was a raccoon, possum or a bear? Any ideas on what might have done it?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    Beautiful snake and you did a good service moving it.

    Speaking of yellow jackets, I found a hive in a rotten log on my property. I intended to nuke it some night, but never got around to it. Went down there the other day and some creature had decimated it. Pretty nice, wonder if it was a raccoon, possum or a bear? Any ideas on what might have done it?
    Probably bears, and I've seen several basketball-sized nests excavated on DSRF with bear claw marks left in the soil. So maybe Mother Nature's purpose for yellow jackets is to help feed bears!

    From What Animals Attack Yellow Jacket Nests in the Ground? | Animals - mom.me : Among large mammals in the United States, bears are the most likely to consistently feed on yellow jackets. Insects provide a large portion of a black bear's diet, and a yellow jacket nest provides a convenient and nutritious meal. A bear's thick coat protects it from angry swarming adults while the bear slurps up nymphs and larvae out of the nest. If you encounter bear dung when you are out on a hike and poke it apart with a stick, it is not unusual to find exoskeletons of yellow jackets that have been passed through the bear's system undigested.

    TZ
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  34. #34
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    Thanks TrailZen. By any slim chance did we talk yesterday on Pine Tree about Cascade Lake? We also crossed paths on Twixt. I only ask because of your sig (we're both on the geriatric side of things), your love of snakes and the fact that you are a trail maintainer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    Thanks TrailZen. By any slim chance did we talk yesterday on Pine Tree about Cascade Lake? We also crossed paths on Twixt. I only ask because of your sig (we're both on the geriatric side of things), your love of snakes and the fact that you are a trail maintainer.
    Wow--that was indeed me, sir! And I encountered Mr Timber Rattler just a few hundred yards up Pine Tree from where we were discussing DSRF's snakes, salamanders, and flowers. Hope to see you again on a trail soon.

    TZ
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  36. #36
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    Cool, fun talking with you. I should have followed you, would have loved to see that huge rattler.

    The guy I met just before you near the crest of Pine Tree was on a life mission to see a Timber Rattler. Too bad he just missed it.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    Thanks TrailZen. By any slim chance did we talk yesterday on Pine Tree about Cascade Lake? We also crossed paths on Twixt. I only ask because of your sig (we're both on the geriatric side of things), your love of snakes and the fact that you are a trail maintainer.
    TZ, I know you don't want me to do this, but oh well...you and woody deserve it, even if neither of you have the egos to ask for it.

    TZ is so much more than a trail maintainer. Any of us who run into him at DuPont should stop, shake his hand, and thank him for his decades of trail creation, maintenance, and advocacy. We literally would not have DuPont as a riding destination without him.

    Thanks my friend!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    TZ, I know you don't want me to do this, but oh well...you and woody deserve it, even if neither of you have the egos to ask for it.

    TZ is so much more than a trail maintainer. Any of us who run into him at DuPont should stop, shake his hand, and thank him for his decades of trail creation, maintenance, and advocacy. We literally would not have DuPont as a riding destination without him.

    Thanks my friend!
    You're too kind, Mike--thanks for the compliment, but I prefer to think of the DSRF work as a group effort. WNC's mountain biking volunteers have hundreds of hours on DuPont's trails, and our work includes trail design, Forest management input, trail maintenance, volunteer instruction (including three or four IMBA Trail Schools), etc. Everyone involved with DSRF's evolution, especially those who helped address some of the early trail issues there, should be proud of the trail system at DuPont.

    Hope to see you on a trail soon--it's been a while.

    TZ
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    TZ, I know you don't want me to do this, but oh well...you and woody deserve it, even if neither of you have the egos to ask for it.

    TZ is so much more than a trail maintainer. Any of us who run into him at DuPont should stop, shake his hand, and thank him for his decades of trail creation, maintenance, and advocacy. We literally would not have DuPont as a riding destination without him.

    Thanks my friend!
    Thanks for pointing that out Mike Brown and thank you TrailZen, I couldn't imagine our life here without Dupont. A magical place. I love Pisgah too, but Dupont is so much warmer and welcoming.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    TZ, I know you don't want me to do this, but oh well...you and woody deserve it, even if neither of you have the egos to ask for it.

    TZ is so much more than a trail maintainer. Any of us who run into him at DuPont should stop, shake his hand, and thank him for his decades of trail creation, maintenance, and advocacy. We literally would not have DuPont as a riding destination without him.

    Thanks my friend!
    I will second this. I am new to the south and rode both Dupont and Pisgah and followed routes suggested by him. He truly represents all that is good about MTBR and the mountain bike community.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    I will second this. I am new to the south and rode both Dupont and Pisgah and followed routes suggested by him. He truly represents all that is good about MTBR and the mountain bike community.
    Thanks again, but let's get back to snakes, or my head won't fit my helmet!

    TZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailZen View Post
    Thanks again, but let's get back to snakes, or my head won't fit my helmet!

    TZ
    I saw a smaller- say 4 foot or so- black snake at Richmond Hill last night, playing disc golf not riding. The funniest part was watching how my friends Great Dane was pretty darn terrified of the alien...

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    Two ways to be bitten:
    -Handle a snake
    -Step on a snake
    A snake will never chase you.
    This ^^^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar_Brad View Post
    Just because you don't know what species a snake is doesn't automatically make it a Copperhead...Regardless, it would be nice if you (snake fearing redneck)didn't drop a rock on a snake everytime you see one. Thanks.
    Come on, they are obviously all copper-headed-water-rattlers

    I'd like to see a rattler all day before a copper head. Rattlers let you know where they are. Easy to avoid. Careful with the headphones!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithified View Post
    This ^^^^



    Come on, they are obviously all copper-headed-water-rattlers

    I'd like to see a rattler all day before a copper head. Rattlers let you know where they are. Easy to avoid. Careful with the headphones!
    Saw this 5-6' beauty on Funnel Top in Pisgah.
    Should you do more trail work?

  45. #45
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    Just about ran over this in BC this evening. It was not happy that I relocated it.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    Saw this 5-6' beauty on Funnel Top in Pisgah.
    That's awesome.

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    Basking in the sun beside us at the bottom of the falls in DuPont


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