Alright, this story needs to be told. First to illustrate how careful we need to be. Second, to say thanks to Jerry (Mr. Cachemates to the noobies), for saving my hide, and third , just because it was pretty exciting.
Cachemates, rklmbl, and QuartzCachers (sans the much smarter one of the two), were all headed back up Ouachita County road 25 after nailing down a bunch of FTF's on some new Pshelto caches.
We were all in our own vehicles and headed back north to get back to our respective homes. I was trailing the group right behind Mr. and Mrs. C, when I saw Jerry swerve hard to the left. I knew immediately what that was about, and the tail I saw slither out from under their truck told me it was either a huge snake, or a small alligator. We got past the spot and stopped, Jerry rolled down the window and said that it was a big ol' rattlesnake. So we backed up to the spot where he had hit it, and I saw tracks in the road from where the snake had crawled out into the ditch.
Now here is the part where I temporarily lost my mind. I hate big snakes, and I think they all must die. (Apologies to my good friend OEnavigator. We differ on this point) Anyway, I jumped out of the Jeep, and stepped toward the ditch, to go finish the job. I started pulling apart the chest high weeds and looking down. I visually cleared an area where I felt that I could safely put my foot, and was contemplating just such a move, when Jerry, being much wiser and level headed, said DON'T GO OUT THERE! As he walked up, we looked down, and less than two feet from where I was gonna step, was five feet of coiled up, ready to strike, half run over, PISSED OFF, velvet tail rattler! He was as big around as my forearm, and would have nailed me good. I could have easily lost a foot, a leg, or my life, if he had chomped down on me. While the venom of pit vipers is very nasty stuff, the bacterial infections from snake bites can be as bad as the venom. That would not have been the case here, as his sheer size indicates that the amount of venom would have been substansial. It depends a lot on when he last ate. Either way, I am glad we didn't find out.
So let me just say a big ol' THANK YOU, to my good friend Jerry, for saving my hide. Also, let me just remind y'all to BE CAREFUL out there! When the weather gets nicer for you and me, it is also nicer for the snakes, and they are more likely to be crawling around when it is 75 or 80 degreees, than when it is in the nineties, so keep that in mind as the temps start to get nice. :D :D :D
A long time ago when i was doing some serious bowhunting down in the piney woods of Mississippi, i had 'close encounters' with big rattlers on three consecutive saturday mornings. And although i was extremely lucky not to have been bitten in all 3 instances, it still totally screwed with my mind. I was seeing (imaginary) snakes everywhere! I would be sitting in a treestand and convince myself that i was seeing a big snake out there 30 yds away!
Totally ruined my bowseason that year. I was the one that was 'rattled':)
Anyone that caches with me knows that i'm very proficient at whacking the bushes with my hiking stick:)
I'm with you. The only good snake is a D-E-A-D snake. I don't like anything about them and the people that do like them and have them as pets..... I'm glad cachemates was there and saved your "neck" so to speak. Not exactly sure where Ouachita 25 is but if I don't have the caches on that road yet I'll be looking out for a "mad" rattlesnake waiting to take his revenge out on a lonely ole geocacher. Glad it turned out the way it did. Just one question, when you went after him (before you stopped) what in the heck were you going to do when you caught him?
I tend to kill snakes that are in my immediate threat area; close to my home (kids, chickens, etc) mainly. If there out in the woods or on the trail, I'll tend to let them live unless I know there are people behind me on the trail or something.
You should have caught him and made you a belt out of him!
Just last week ninjagirlar found our Hoskins Cemetary (GC10G64) with a copperhead under it. She even snapped a picture of it in it's hiding place UNDER the cache! Perhaps she'll log on here and tell what went though her mind, but I know I would have had to change underpants!
http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_de ... 781f0f1d70
Okay, this thread gives me chills...
See a snake call me! Might be a reward if you find me a Pigmy rattle Snake. I photograph them and release them on land where they are safe. I also have tought my kids everything you could possibly know about Copperheads, cottonmouths and anything dangerous in Arkansas. My kids know how to identify just about all snakes here in the natural State. The only snake we have encountered and photographed is the pigmy. I will gladly pay money if anybody can locate one for me to photograph. Not saying go out and look for one but if anybody sees one call me 740-818-9695. I know most people say I'm nuts but there are only a few of us out there who would love to photograph a Hot snake meaning poisonous
Back before Mz Grzz and I took up Geocaching we were hiking on the Old Military Trail at Village Creek State Park. As we were going down the part of the trail that is cut down into the top of the ridge I stopped short and realized the sound I was hearing was that familiar "buzz" we all dread. There about 20 feet in front of us was the biggest rattler I have ever seen. It was all coiled up and "ready" for action. We just stood there for a few minutes amazed by it's sheer size. While it tail was steady buzzing I counted what I thought was 12 rattles and several more that were too small and fast to be counted. An impressive sight indeed. It finally calmed down enough for us to cautiously move by on the far side of the trail. I think it was an Eastern Diamondback, but I do know it had some of the brightest markings I've ever seen. Kill it? First it's against the the law in Arkansas and the State Park and second, It would have taken my stick away from me and made kindling with it. I don't bother them in their habitat but in mine......that's another story!
From what I have been herring I guess they just found a rattler in Holland Bottoms WMA thats the new state record. For everybody in the Jacksonville area beware its very close.
Hmm, the only good snake is a dead snake or behind a lot of glass and metal.
Unless it's a docile constrictor type snake, then I'm ok with them. The fast movers I don't like. Or spiders.
*shrug* Haven't really seen any snakes out near Fort Smith, but I've had people tell me they are moving lately...apparently they are starting to look for nests because of the cool weather.