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Mojave Rattlesnakes; Multiple rattlesnakes in Camp; Low Sound; Appropriate Responses

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Mojave Rattlesnakes; Multiple rattlesnakes in Camp; Low Sound; Appropriate Responses

Old 04-26-19, 01:25 PM
  #26  
indyfabz
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What about caterpillars? Caught this guy defiling my Ortlieb pannier two years ago. I was worried that he might strike and do me in. Are they dangerous when they lurk around your tent, especially at night? Those spines do look like they could inflict a fatal wound. What about if I encounter one in my mom's basement?

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Old 04-26-19, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Strange, coyotes didn't make the list, never mind the dreaded jackalope. 🤔😁
They're stealth killers. Nobody ever can prove the dead bodies were killed by a jackalope.
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Old 04-26-19, 01:43 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Strange, coyotes didn't make the list, never mind the dreaded jackalope. 🤔😁
Both did, but they were wearing dog suits at the time of the report.
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Old 04-26-19, 02:15 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Bikesplendor View Post
Okay, this is a reasonably serious situation, so please put the BS on a leash for this one.

I've had four encounters, two in less than twenty-four hours, three of the four right in camp; two of the four were "low noise." In past experiences, the rattles have been very noticeable and instantly unmistakable. The last two I barely heard. They were like a low-volume hissing. In one of those two, the snake was within striking distance, and I could have been bitten easily. In the most recent case, the snake actually started coming at me when I poked him with a stick to get him to move away. Supposedly Mojave Rattlesnakes are more aggressive.

I used to think they weren't such a big deal, kind of like a bad bee sting without the allergic reaction. That is, painful but not fatal.

Now I read this, after the latest encounter:
"Even though all rattlesnake species are venomous, this species is particularly dangerous to humans. The Mojave rattlesnake has the most potent venom of any rattlesnake in North America. Its venom is about 16 times more toxic than that of the Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes) and surpasses even that of the tiger rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris)."


​​​​​And it has me concerned on a new level. I am not near medical assistance at all, and a bite could be much more serious than a bee sting. And apparently there are serious neurotoxins involved in the special case of Mojave rattlesnakes, that are different from other rattlesnake toxins. And the Mojave species are not uncommon in this area.

I don't really want to kill them (for several reasons).

What if the next one has lost its rattle in a fight (one of the ones in camp had lost part of its rattle, and it isn't unusual), so little or no sound. Or what it is just low-volume like the last two, but things go a little differently next time, or at some point?

No warning.

These guys can also be hard to see. They often blend in well.

I'm a bit concerned, and am open to any thoughtful and constructive suggestions.
Not a suggestion but a guess as to why the snakes are in camp and silent. The campsite probably has small critters coming in to scavenge garbage, etc. Those critters are rattlesnake dinners. If they rattle, their potential dinners hear it and leave.
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Old 04-26-19, 05:01 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
What about caterpillars? Caught this guy defiling my Ortlieb pannier two years ago. I was worried that he might strike and do me in. Are they dangerous when they lurk around your tent, especially at night? Those spines do look like they could inflict a fatal wound. What about if I encounter one in my mom's basement?

I've seen them before. They eat carbon fiber and give birth inside the tubes. Then the newborns eat the inside of the CF. This is the real reason for CF asplosions.
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Old 04-26-19, 06:41 PM
  #31  
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Actually, those hairs deter predators. Odds are that's one of the nasties where the hairs break off in your skin and can cause a lot of pain and inflammation. https://www.poison.org/articles/2014...rpillar-stings

I had a rattler ambush a jay in the dry leaves next to the little-used hike 'n' bike site atop Palomar Mountain years ago. Lots of leaves, six inches deep on the picnic table when I climbed up the little trail to the isolated site. I didn't do anything because at the same time the rest of the jays were scolding something hidden in the brush next to the campsite that was watching me. I left the snake swallowing the jay to go take a shower and attend the campfire program, but did a good search of the site when I got back to make sure it was gone. Hopefully whatever was in the brush was just a raccoon or coyote, and not a mountain lion, but it never made another appearance.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:02 PM
  #32  
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Beware the dreaded Puss Caterpillar! https://m.ranker.com/list/caterpilla...ic-vega?page=2

If you have rattlesnakes in camp you can either kill them or move on. I’m a great believer in “live and let live” but not when the thing I’m letting live may not share the same generous and enlightened attitude towards me! If I meet a snake on the trail I tip my hat to him and ride on but I stand firm about sharing a tent with one. And there’s no shortage of snakes to replace one.
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Old 04-27-19, 03:29 PM
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Good eatin'

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019...uahuan-desert/
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Old 04-27-19, 06:03 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Rumor has it they taste like chicken.. I wouldn't know.
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Old 04-27-19, 06:12 PM
  #35  
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Just as I was looking at the article again, my kid starts talking about the new Diamondback Syn'r.

I made the obvious joke. His mom was not amused.
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Old 04-27-19, 08:06 PM
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Uhh, don't poke the snake with a stick?
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Old 04-27-19, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Rumor has it they taste like chicken.. I wouldn't know.
I've seen a few roadkills in the last few weeks, and they look more like beef, but I was never curious enough to try any. 🤔😉
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Old 04-27-19, 11:22 PM
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I actually saw a beef road-kill (i.e., cow) on my way into Island in the Sky a few weeks ago.
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Old 04-28-19, 09:17 AM
  #39  
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As a meat for eatin', rattlesnake is, at best, okay. Better than frog, IMO. But snake is oily, and as snakes have pretty much no fat, it can be tough. Not fishy at least, which is good (frog is like a chicken-fish hybrid.) Snake is kinda one of those things you eat to say you've eaten it.
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Old 04-28-19, 04:10 PM
  #40  
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Probably just needs the right dipping sauce. With curley fries. 🤔😁 I'm not very big on hot dogs, but the right chili & a decent bun can transform them into something semi-decent. 🙂
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Old 04-29-19, 04:19 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Snake is kinda one of those things you eat to say you've eaten it.
+1. Had it at a function held by a natural sciences museum, along with crickets and some sort of meal worms. Rabbit, too, which I make for myself several times a year. Snake was just o.k.
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Old 04-29-19, 06:34 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I actually saw a beef road-kill (i.e., cow) on my way into Island in the Sky a few weeks ago.
Now that I have never seen. I do recall driving past Harris Feed Lot along I-5, between LA and SF, and seeing an old cow skeleton in the median of the freeway. Apparently the cow was "shot while trying to escape", just like in the old WWII movies. But they just left the body there, I suspect, as an example to the other cows thinking of making a run for it.



"There has never been a successful escape, from Harris Feed Lot."
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Old 04-29-19, 10:54 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
A few points:

First, how toxic the venom is doesn't mean anything unless it's coupled with the dose the snake delivers. I think I remember reading, some years back, that the only rattlesnake in the U.S. that can kill a 175 pound man is the eastern diamondback, because it's big and has correspondingly large venom sacs.

Second, physical barriers can protect you. Put on blue jeans and wear shoes in camp, if that's where you're most worried. Save the shorts and sandals for places where you're not so scared.

Third, back out of striking range. Obvious, I know, but it needs to be said. Cowardly? Maybe. Safe and rational? Definitely.
Deadly or not, any bite from a rattler is a serious concern. Of course, if it's a dry bite, then you don't have to worry about the venom. Otherwise, I'd certainly be concerned. And the Mojave rattler's venom is widely considered the most toxic of all rattlers.

Deadly or not, I don't want to be bitten by any venomous snake. It would quickly bring your tour to an end.

-Matt
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Old 04-29-19, 06:10 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Bikesplendor View Post
started coming at me when I poked him with a stick
Really? Boneheaded move! In everyone of your earlier paranoid-posts I and others mentioned not messing with wild critters.

Originally Posted by Bikesplendor View Post
any thoughtful and constructive suggestions
Maybe you need to stay home, watch TV, & play video games.

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Old 04-29-19, 06:41 PM
  #45  
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Old 04-29-19, 10:12 PM
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No wait, it says DON'T molest it. 🤓😁
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Old 04-30-19, 06:58 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
No wait, it says DON'T molest it. 🤓😁
Fortunately the OP didn't get that far, but he did poke-it-with-a-stick which every rattlesnake-warning-guide, posted in parks & nature recreation areas, tell you NOT to do.

I also find it disturbing that the OP mentions his fleeting thought of killing it!
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