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Author Topic: Timber rattlers  (Read 12392 times)

Offline Keith13

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Timber rattlers
« on: November 01, 2010, 04:18:42 PM »
Went out to walk the property this week to grab my cameras, came across 4 different rattlesnakes. I have never seen a rattlesnake in the wild on my place until this year. Earlier this year i killed a 5 footer i happened to have a brush blade with me. Yesterday I didn't have anything with me so they all are still out there. Two years ago we stopped farming the land and now they seem to be exploding in all this tall grass. Seems the website list them as a threated species, not in my neck of the woods.

Keith

Offline AllenF

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 04:53:34 PM »
Sounds like the fields are ready to burn.   

Offline Bee Happy

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 05:03:30 PM »
Went out to walk the property this week to grab my cameras, came across 4 different rattlesnakes. I have never seen a rattlesnake in the wild on my place until this year. Earlier this year i killed a 5 footer i happened to have a brush blade with me. Yesterday I didn't have anything with me so they all are still out there. Two years ago we stopped farming the land and now they seem to be exploding in all this tall grass. Seems the website list them as a threated species, not in my neck of the woods.

Keith

maybe you can have them relocated  :evil: I guess you just have to find some people who are in strong support of them and see if they'll let them put a few on their property.  ;)
be happy and make others happy.

Offline AllenF

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2010, 07:41:15 PM »
Went out to walk the property this week to grab my cameras, came across 4 different rattlesnakes. I have never seen a rattlesnake in the wild on my place until this year. Earlier this year i killed a 5 footer i happened to have a brush blade with me. Yesterday I didn't have anything with me so they all are still out there. Two years ago we stopped farming the land and now they seem to be exploding in all this tall grass. Seems the website list them as a threated species, not in my neck of the woods.

Keith

maybe you can have them relocated  :evil: I guess you just have to find some people who are in strong support of them and see if they'll let them put a few on their property.  ;)

Certain city parks, PETA meetings, and a few left leaning polling places tomorrow come to mind.

Offline JP

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 08:29:10 PM »
Schawee and I are scheduled to do a removal on Wednesday, may not go through now because of the weather, but anyway, the guy I'm removing the bees for killed a Timber rattler right across the street.

He's in Algiers which is technically New Orleans.

He showed me the skin and it is huge!

Someone paid him $100.00 for the head and rattle so I didn't get to see that but the skin was enormous and distinctive of a rattle snake.

I believe he said he killed it about a year ago, will have to double check.


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Offline AllenF

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2010, 10:01:21 PM »
$100.00.   Get the buyers name and number for me.   

Offline David McLeod

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2010, 09:49:35 AM »
Timbers are indeed rare in many areas and are a species of concern of most of their range. They are one of the more problematic species I work with. I do not kill any snake for any reason all of mine get removed and relocated alive into suitable habitat away from people. I also try to help my customer address the isssues which drew the snake in the first place such as habitat in and around homes and determine what the snake is feeding on. Remove the food and shelter and the snake moves on.
The reason the timbers are problematic is that they do not relocate well. Unlike most other species timbers will have an established home territory with known shelter areas, particularly winter denning sites. This of course is more important in the northern states. Timbers once relocated are often unable to find and reestablish these shelter sites and denning areas and will wander aimlessly until the elements overtake them.
It is mainly due to this behavior combined with our disturbance of the habitat that has endangered timbers. They are just unable to adjust as well as others. Seems to be a common thread among the species that are the dominant predators in their respective ecological niches.
BTW, whenever handling timbers (especially southern ones) be very careful new research is showing that timber venom is highly variable with populations from the south most notably Georgia having particularly virulent toxin of both neuro and hemo toxic varieties. Over the whole range from north to south the venom ranges from very mild to deadly.
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Offline iddee

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2010, 01:51:11 PM »
 :cheer:

Thank You, David. Very good post. Timbers are an important pest control themselves, and deserve our help and respect. If feasible, just leave them to go about their business. 
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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2010, 02:16:47 PM »
i grew up on southern CA.  rattlesnakes and black widow spiders were just a fact of life.  we learned young where to step and where to put our hands!

but...years ago, in an effort to pacify the loons in CA, Camp Pendleton became a nature preserve.  nothing could be killed except the mice unless there was no other choice.  military even assigned snake wranglers to be called in to relocate snakes that were a problem.  pretty soon, snakes were a problem everywhere.  i don't know that anything has changed there.
 it did become a distraction.  we were more concerned about the constant rattling in the brush, than with the big gunny that was going to stomp on us if we messed up the exercise.

so...live and let live....up to a point.... ;)
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Offline bud1

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2010, 02:41:07 PM »
I saw a show where a fella kissed a fish and threw it back; maby youall folks that like poisonus snakes might wanna start trying that, me , a 22 or nice long stick surfices. i move them right after the head  becomes deformed
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Offline Keith13

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2010, 05:27:32 PM »
Timbers are indeed rare in many areas and are a species of concern of most of their range. They are one of the more problematic species I work with. I do not kill any snake for any reason all of mine get removed and relocated alive into suitable habitat away from people. I also try to help my customer address the isssues which drew the snake in the first place such as habitat in and around homes and determine what the snake is feeding on. Remove the food and shelter and the snake moves on.
The reason the timbers are problematic is that they do not relocate well. Unlike most other species timbers will have an established home territory with known shelter areas, particularly winter denning sites. This of course is more important in the northern states. Timbers once relocated are often unable to find and reestablish these shelter sites and denning areas and will wander aimlessly until the elements overtake them.
It is mainly due to this behavior combined with our disturbance of the habitat that has endangered timbers. They are just unable to adjust as well as others. Seems to be a common thread among the species that are the dominant predators in their respective ecological niches.
BTW, whenever handling timbers (especially southern ones) be very careful new research is showing that timber venom is highly variable with populations from the south most notably Georgia having particularly virulent toxin of both neuro and hemo toxic varieties. Over the whole range from north to south the venom ranges from very mild to deadly.

Ok I will probably catch grief for this lord knows I have with all the country side of my family. I killed the first snake I came across mainly because I almost stepped on it and out of reaction I killed it. I felt bad about killing the snake it wasn’t bothering anybody out in the middle of nowhere doing what snakes do.
The others I came across I just side stepped and left them. I had no way to kill them anyway at the time only thing I had on me was my game camera (but come to find out the best use for that camera was as a snack basher, but that is another story). I guess if I had come across the snakes in my yard yeah poisonous snake in the yard i will kill it, not going to try to catch and move it and end up bitten. Non poisonous I will leave alone.

Weird thing about these snakes none of them rattled. Two were first year snakes and didn't yet have rattles. The other 3 never rattled, well that’s not true the one I dropped the ditch blade on and detached his head he rattled, but a little late. The other two never rattled.

About the venom I read about the swing in potency and, from what I read, can cause huge issues for doctors trying to treat snake bites. Also read timber rattlers have large venom sacks and the largest fangs of rattle snakes

Keith

Offline David McLeod

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2010, 07:30:02 PM »


Ok I will probably catch grief for this lord knows I have with all the country side of my family. I killed the first snake I came across mainly because I almost stepped on it and out of reaction I killed it. I felt bad about killing the snake it wasn’t bothering anybody out in the middle of nowhere doing what snakes do.
The others I came across I just side stepped and left them. I had no way to kill them anyway at the time only thing I had on me was my game camera (but come to find out the best use for that camera was as a snack basher, but that is another story). I guess if I had come across the snakes in my yard yeah poisonous snake in the yard i will kill it, not going to try to catch and move it and end up bitten. Non poisonous I will leave alone.

Weird thing about these snakes none of them rattled. Two were first year snakes and didn't yet have rattles. The other 3 never rattled, well that’s not true the one I dropped the ditch blade on and detached his head he rattled, but a little late. The other two never rattled.

About the venom I read about the swing in potency and, from what I read, can cause huge issues for doctors trying to treat snake bites. Also read timber rattlers have large venom sacks and the largest fangs of rattle snakes

Keith


Please don't take my post to be that of a bunny hugger. Far from it, bunnies taste good. :D So does rattlesnake for that matter, but why kill when I have the knowledge and skill to safely remove and relocate. Besides I get paid to do it, even better, and I'm not in the business of killing my business.

On the rattle thing, it has been reported by herpetologists that there is a marked decrease in rattling behavior being observed in the field. This has been most notable in populated areas. The working theory is that a form of natural selection is at work here, snakes that rattle near humans do not live to pass the trait on. Perversely, this may in fact make rattlers even more dangerous to humans as the number one type of envenomation (other than the totally preventable "playing with a snake" idiots) is the "did not know the snake was there" type.

Treating envenomations is a very difficult and troublesome thing. While it is rare for a fatality to occur with prompt treatment and antivenom the lingering effects can be debilitating. Recently a conservation officer (who kept venomous snakes at his home as part of his biologists duties) took a hit from an eastern in a moment of inattention. The life flight and 60+ vials of antivenom run up a tab in excess of half a million dollars and of course the insurance tried their best to weasel out of it. Last I heard he is now medically retired with major back problems from deteriorated disks in his back where he had no back injuries prior to the bite. The venom did the damage to his back when he was bitten in the finger.
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Offline AliciaH

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2010, 12:12:09 PM »
Please don't take my post to be that of a bunny hugger. Far from it, bunnies taste good. :D So does rattlesnake for that matter...

I'll second that!  It's been a long time, but I remember it being very tasty!  I also remember being bummed that the adults were so stingy with it and I only got a couple bites. 

Offline hardwood

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 12:39:51 PM »
As a teen I would hunt venomous snakes with a buddy of mine for several labs around here. We would have to kill a snake on occasion and would always put the meat to good use.

His Thai sister-in-law would make an awesome rattlesnake pizza!

Scott
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Offline annette

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2010, 12:52:17 AM »
OK I was going to post about this snake last week.  Headed up to my hives in the afternoon 2 weeks ago, a huge rattlesnake was stretched all along the road - about 4 feet long, maybe more, and very large in the middle. Big rattle standing up. I could not get up the road without running it over so I just sat there and watched it. It just stayed there and did not move so I started to make phone calls for help. Then slowly it slithered into the woods.

It was so beautiful and did not rattle even though the car was so close to it.

We have been seeing rattlesnakes all summer around here. More than usual.

Yep as KathyP says:  Rattlesnakes and Black Widows are all over around here.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2010, 01:19:09 AM »
You should make it work for you.  Start a Timber Rattler rescue effort and collect funds to help trap them off your farm, keep a few to show visitors and donors and ship the rest off to other reptile resuce efforts or zoos.     :catchchick: :brian:
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Offline AllenF

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Offline kingbee

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2012, 04:22:23 PM »
Timbers are indeed rare... They are one of the more problematic species... The reason the timbers are problematic is that they do not relocate well... timbers will have an established home territory with known shelter areas, particularly winter denning sites... This of course is more important in the northern states...  

It is also important in the South, especially for Americas largest Rattle Snake the Eastern Diamond Back.  These snakes depend on Gopher Tortoise holes or dens for shelter from summer heat, winter low temperatures, as well as flash brush fires.  (Many areas of the Eastern Diamond Backs territory naturally burns off on average every third year)  Gopher Tortoise dens supply a bolt or hidey hole for the snakes to seek shelter in from fire and inclement weather. 

Timber Rattlers almost always seek winter shelter in limestone rock crevices or small caverns when such are in the area.  If not the crawl space under your house will suffice.  One more thing besides hunger that stirs snakes up and makes them travel is drought, otherwise known as a lack of standing water.   It will cause Timber Rattlers to come down off the wooded heights to seek food and water in the low lands.   
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 04:49:26 PM by kingbee »

Offline hardwood

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2012, 06:36:50 PM »
And don't go bashing "bunny huggers". If Hef would ever let me in his place I'd be huggin' every bunny I saw!

Scott
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Offline David McLeod

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Re: Timber rattlers
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2012, 08:41:16 PM »
Kingbee, I didn't really touch on the easterns but you are so correct that the gopher tortoise is the key component along with fire. Gophers are absolutely protected in Georgia. I still have a few on my home place in south Alabama, along with a remnant population of saddlebacks (easterns). Alabama does not extend protection to gophers outside of Baldwin County (east of Mobile Bay) so my gophers to north have no protection and the saddleback is not protected anywhere in Alabama. Well everywhere that is but my homeplace, I'll skin someone for messing with either a gopher or a saddleback.
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