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Summer Monsoons bring out Arizona Rattlesnakes!!

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Summer Monsoons Bring out More Rattlesnakes

Hello All, this weekend I done some metal detecting for gold nuggets and ran into these two Arizona Rattlers throughout the day. This is the time when you will see more of them due to the cooler weather (Monsoons). I spotted several on the road, just didn't get any video or pictures of them. Check out the video below also.

Be alert and know your surroundings when hiking and exploring out there. We highly recommend the use of snake gaitors or snake chaps for a added layer of protection.

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Rob,

What is your strategy when encountering rattlers while detecting in the desert. Do you immediately leave the area, freeze and look around when you hear the rattle, attack with your pick, leave the snake be? How far can they strike at you? I 've never had such an encounter so need to have a good strategy for when it does happen? And does an electric shock stop the venom if bitten or use a suction cup thing or what do you do for first aid,especially if you are alone and a mile or more from your truck?

Do you use the 1 cup Nuggetbuster headphones or detect without headphones so you hear the rattlesnakes?

Thanks,

-Tom

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Tom ... FIRST ... Rattlesnakes don't always rattle. I have never been struck but have seen my share of them. I tend to walk the other way and leave them alone ... I'm hunting in their backyard and am only a guest ... do you kill your host when you go visiting friends? :) I'm no tree hugger just don't feel I need to kill every rattlesnake I go to visit. My suggestion is to respect what they are capable of doing ... especially if it is a Mohave Green (that snake has a neuro-toxin venom and is very capable of shutting down your nervous system inside of an hour's time). Most of the other rattlesnakes have a hemo-toxin that thickens your blood and reduces your ability to absorb and transmit oxygen to all parts of your body ... They will degrade the bite site and make you sick but with the right treatment in the shortest period of time possible after a bite you will in all likelihood live through it. If you are struck the biggest and best thing you can do for yourself is to remain calm ... OK I know that is difficult but it is important ... and get medical attention. Get medical help ASAP. The latest info I have read on self treatment is DON'T! Don't cut the bite holes, suck the bite holes, ice it or shock it ... stay calm and get medical help! DISCLAIMER:That is what I have read ... it is NOT me giving medical advice!

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I am new to this forum and hardly expected to talk about anything else but gold, but could not help myself when it comes to rattlers; well really, snakes in general. I am a herpetologist, co-founder of the Everglades Herpetological Society and I cannot pass a snake on the road without stopping to usher it to safety. That is why I like Mike's comments below. I am no tree-hugger either, but we are in their backyard and they do not have it in for us, so we shouldn't have it in for them. They have a job to do in nature and that is beating back the rodent populations and they do it very well. Mike is right, not all rattlers rattle. Rattling is a reaction to their fear or apprehension on an approaching potential threat. This will undoubtedly draw criticism but in my book rattlers do not rattle to warn someone, rattling is just a reaction to their being afraid. Anyone who has handled snakes knows that all snakes rattle their tail when they are upset or afraid. Bearing that in mind, when you encounter a rattler living up to their name (rattling) they are just involuntarily communicating that they are afraid of you. Truth be told, a rattler will sit as quietly as possible to try to let potential danger pass - but their fear reaction gives them away and well, we know how defensive they can get. Rattlers will never chase you, though their seeking a quick exit may appear that way. They will often restrain from striking as long as their nerves will allow them, because their venom takes a while to produce and they need it for prey. If you see a rattler, giving it a wide berth is all that is needed to eliminate the risk to both of you.

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Gary ... First welcome to the forum! Secondly thank you for the back up info. I'm a born and raised New Englander and only 4 years ago relocated permanently to AZ though I have been coming here annually in February since 2003. I'm mildly fascinated with snakes and especially rattlesnakes. I don't know really what the attraction is ... maybe that we didn't have any around when I was growing up in MA, NH and ME. They said a rare sighting of the Timber Rattler could be had under the right circumstances but I never saw one in the wild and only once in captivity. Anyway I have a great deal of respect for them ... and you are right ... they have a big job to do in nature ... rodents could easily over take the desert if it weren't for snakes. Give them their space and walk the other way is the best advice when encountering a rattlesnake.

Mike F

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Thanks for the welcome MIke. I will read into your staying in Arizona that it was a good move for you. I think it will be for my wife and I also. We are not unfamiliar with New England, having spent many years at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, and even experiencing the great blizzard of 78. Never saw anything like it - though I suppose Bostonians smashed even that lofty record this year. My wife is from Hawaii, where I spent a lot of time growing up - but I don't think the desert will be as bad a wake-up call as a blizzard was. She is worried about the sandstorms a bit, but no serious reservations.

Unlike you, I cannot pass up a snake. I have to stop and take stock of it, make a mental note as to size, condition and yes, even sex - and then record that info for my bff, Joe Wasielewski. Joe is a big name herpetologist - on tv all the time - one of the Judges on Jeff Corwin's "King of the Jungle". He was just down in Tucson and took a nasty bite from a Western Diamondback. Nearly lost him this time, his 15th envenomation. Which should be a good lesson to all - if an expert like Joe can screw up, so can the rest of us. Joe was the one who put me on to Tucson - talked me into it so he would have a place to stay when he came down I suppose.

Sorry I ramble so much - curse of an author - thank the Lord for editors huh. But what I am really looking for on this forum is to connect with experts in a field where I am a novice - prospecting. You would think that I would have found a lot of old relics here in Kansas - but all my detecting ever results in is currency - emphasis on "current" - nothing older than a few years ago. But even here in what they call the "motherland" I am amazed at the amount of metal trash in the ground. I try to pack up as much of it as I can when I go out, but it is a losing battle. Not sure how people can be so flippant.

Anyway - if you, or anyone can give me an idea about the best clubs to join or about the claims questions I posted, I would be in your debt. Thanks again.

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Tom:
My strategy for dealing with rattlers is to immediately jump like a cat the other way and scream like a girl.

Has gotten me away from them every time :)
I just leave them alone. They have their purpose (to make me poop my pants) and plus im in their home. :)
Tom H.

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Snattle Rakes are amazing animals indeed.

I grew up in a very rural area with Angeles Forest as our back yard.

All our free time was spent in the hills and came across our fair share of rattlers and other critters.

I'll never forget the evening my friends and I were just up the hill riding our bikes and my brother and I heard our Mom yell like never before...ran home and she's in tears, pointing into the kitchen.

Well there it was, I nice little 2 footer coiled up right at the foot of the sink.

I grabbed a broom and swepted it outside.

Sad to say, this one did not get spared as Brother was right outside waiting with a hoe...whack.

It is truley amazing that our Mom was able to see it as she walked up to the sink with dishes in hand.

It blended it with the foot rug so well and was just sitting there. Cooling off more than likely as it was a hot summer.

But when we we're out and about, we lived by the same philosphy as Mike and Gary.

Even as kids we believed in live and let live and just gave them the respect they deserved. a "wide" respect.

And we also learned to always scan that 5'-6' radius and all edges of trails as we hiked.

Only issue we came across was our dog was about 100ft in front of us and stuck his nose under a rock and...Whack, right on the nose. Carried him home (about a 20 min jaunt out of a steep canyon with a 45lbs dog, wee).

Got him to a vet and he survived.

When out and about, just walk like you expect to see one and scan accordingly.

Then there is no real surprise or shock when you do spot one.

And when MDing you don't need to look at the coil or your screen the whole time.

You can still swing cleanly and scan further ahead and around as you walk.

I must say it is crazy how I caught myself just zoning in on my coil and had almost tunnel vision on it at times.

So I had to remind myself to look around as well.

Also, if you do indeed get surprised and are closer than you want to be, just drop your coil onto his head and pin him down...before he pins you down.

Just give them the "Wide" respect they deserve and you should be OK.

(Disclaimer: These are just my opinions and are not to be construed or offered as proffesional advice.

Please be smart when out there in "life" and take responsibility for your own desicions and actions.

Thank you and have a great day :D )

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