Rattlesnake season?

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sonyhome
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Rattlesnake season?

Post by sonyhome » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:24 pm

When is the rattlesnake season? I remember I've had trips where baby snakes were very aggressive and saw quite a few.

I would expect now, like April/May is the season when you see them the most. Can I get confirmation by someone more savvy about that?

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wbdeford
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by wbdeford » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:34 pm

Most of my trips have been in April and I have seen a total of about 7. None were aggressive in the sense of trying to strike, but most were ready if I decided to be stupid.
Last edited by wbdeford on Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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blackturtle.us
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by blackturtle.us » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:41 pm

Only one for me so far this year. I generally do one hike each week in the area. This one was on the Argus Range side of Panamint Valley. As usual, I wrote a quick one-minute annoying little song to go with the video and included a bunch of pics from the hike.
https://youtu.be/CxfPGHGGsx4

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kayaker77
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by kayaker77 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:54 pm

Saw one 8 years ago on Emigrant Canyon Road at dusk on my way back from the charcoal kilns. I think it was a mojave green, very ornery!! Went from slithering across the road to ready to strike in a fraction of a second. Haven't seen any more in DV since then. It was late April/early May.

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sonyhome
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by sonyhome » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:24 am

So no firm answer.

But that song! :) That was fun.

I've seen a bunch from being dumb with car wrecks - they hide inside, to the babies darting out of bushes on our way to remote sand dunes, to on the road.

Way more frequent than cool lizards. I've seen crested ones only once...

I'm coming back till the end of the week with a cr-v, not my old travel buddy's 4x4, likely to saline valley.. after a long hyatus going to Mojave instead. There's a death valley mine there!

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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by D.A. Wright » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:45 am

Snake sightings can be altitude dependent. Right now they should be out below 7,500 feet or so. I’ve had numerous encounters with baby rattlers in the Keane Spring and Chloride City area in late March and early April. Panamint City in May. I’ve yet to encounter a snake on the valley floor in sub sea level areas, but know they are around.
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Candace_66
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by Candace_66 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:50 pm

It generally depends on the temperature. But I came across a rattler in a gully once (not in DVNP), though the temperature didn't seem warm enough for any reptile to be out. However, it was sitting in a sunny spot that was apparently cozy for it.

My view is, if its warm enough to see lizards out, its getting warm enough for the snakes, too. ;-)

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Death Valley Dazed
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Two sightings this year

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:35 am

Ashford Mill area below the mine a half mile. Medium sized late Feb. Full grown rattle sunning self beside Widow Mine rail a mile south-east of Ryan April second week rattled and then retreated into its den. Last year saw medium sized one west of Monarch Canyon mouth, for a total of three snakes over the past five-six years.

I don't mind them at all and would like to see more. I feel like I'm intruding into their personal space which I respect because they live there while I just stop by and bother them with my big infrared tourist ass.

Oh, and blackturtle.us, Love your vid and left a comment over there.
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JesPortland
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by JesPortland » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:11 pm

Only one...wife almost stepped on baby Panamint in the shade side canyon of Marble Canyon late March 2016. It was up and ready to strike.

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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by N0 02 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:36 pm

Ok, I must ask. What do you do if you do come across one? Run, slowly back away, or just ask it to go away? LOL

We have them here although I have never seen one, Massassuga Rattlesnakes.

They blend in so well with their environment it must give a bit of a start to see one. I am not a big fan of any snakes.

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kayaker77
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by kayaker77 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:19 pm

When I got too close to a mojave green one time, I just stopped, took a very slow couple of steps backwards, and then it went on its way.

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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by D.A. Wright » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:09 pm

Hiking poles or a hiking staff comes in handy in a snake encounter. It also is helpful to know that a rattlesnake’s rattle often doesn’t sound like the media portays. It often sounds higher pitched and can sound akin to whining.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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wbdeford
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by wbdeford » Tue May 01, 2018 5:11 pm

They have always sounded like this in my experiences of hearing about 5 of them:


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MojaveGeek
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by MojaveGeek » Wed May 02, 2018 7:20 am

What do you do in a rattlesnake encounter? Well first note that the buzz is a warning to you to back off. So do so! But first you may have to look around a bit to find the snake, if it is not obvious. So, freeze until you've located the snake, or its general direction (most likely, in front of you, but sometimes to the side) and move away until you are out of range. A rattlesnake can strike to about half it's body length. (so take your your measuring tape and measure its length and then back off half that :) ) Seriously, once you're out of range you can look, take pix, vids, etc. If you cannot proceed by walking around the snake, though, you may need to back off further to let it calm down and move away.

Note that once a rattlesnake is coiled, it is difficult for it to back off safely, so you're the one who has to do so. A cool exception is the sidewinder, which can move away while at the same time keeping its head oriented toward the threat, with its neck crooked enough to give it a bit of striking range.

As D.A. says, a hiking pole to probe thick brush in front of you can help you out. And never put your hands or feet into places where you can't see what might be lurking there. I came very very close to picking up a big sitting rock at Darwin Falls many year ago, but chose a different and slight better one (to move over to where the water was flowing). Only on the way out did I notice the snake coiled neatly in the shade behind the first rock, precisely where I would have put my hand to pick it up.

And note that the following factors are highly correlated with snake bites: youth, male gender, and intoxication. Don't play with them.

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wbdeford
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Re: Rattlesnake season?

Post by wbdeford » Wed May 02, 2018 10:17 am

MojaveGeek wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 7:20 am
What do you do in a rattlesnake encounter? Well first note that the buzz is a warning to you to back off. So do so! But first you may have to look around a bit to find the snake, if it is not obvious. So, freeze until you've located the snake, or its general direction (most likely, in front of you, but sometimes to the side) and move away until you are out of range. A rattlesnake can strike to about half it's body length. (so take your your measuring tape and measure its length and then back off half that :) ) Seriously, once you're out of range you can look, take pix, vids, etc. If you cannot proceed by walking around the snake, though, you may need to back off further to let it calm down and move away.

Note that once a rattlesnake is coiled, it is difficult for it to back off safely, so you're the one who has to do so. A cool exception is the sidewinder, which can move away while at the same time keeping its head oriented toward the threat, with its neck crooked enough to give it a bit of striking range.

As D.A. says, a hiking pole to probe thick brush in front of you can help you out. And never put your hands or feet into places where you can't see what might be lurking there. I came very very close to picking up a big sitting rock at Darwin Falls many year ago, but chose a different and slight better one (to move over to where the water was flowing). Only on the way out did I notice the snake coiled neatly in the shade behind the first rock, precisely where I would have put my hand to pick it up.

And note that the following factors are highly correlated with snake bites: youth, male gender, and intoxication. Don't play with them.
Well-said, MG! Another great benefit of trekking poles, though I have never had to use one this way. LOL on measuring the snake :) I take a few pictures, and then move away to limit the stress to the snake--except for the one I found on the Racetrack who let me sit probably 20 feet away and just watch him.

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