View Full Version : Leucistic W. Hognose

08-13-2006, 05:08 PM
Greetings everyone.I would like to respond to several threads written about the leucistic w. hognose from Colorado that were brought to my attention from a very good friend in the business.The threads I'm responding to were written over the last couple of years.First of all I'd like you all to know that I am the original founder of the worlds first Leucistic W. Hognose.On June 28th, 2003 federal agents from the Division of Wildlife in Colorado raided my house in Firestone Colorado and seized 98 snakes.About 88 snakes were venomous and 10 snakes belonged to the ever so popular leucistic w. hognose group. Now the feds would love for everyone to believe that I collected a leucistic hognose in the state of Colorado illegally but the fact is that is far from the truth.About twenty years ago I started looking for a very special mutation of western hognose by collecting gravid females, hatching out their eggs and waiting for something very unusual to hatch out. Needless to say I spent many years hatching out hognose and releasing those hatchings ( and their mothers, for that matter).Fifteen years later I collected a very special female hognose snake.A few weeks after collecting her she laid five perfect eggs. About 45 days later ( thats right, hognose hatch in 45 days from Colorado), the eggs hatched and to my shocking surprise I had two leucistic hognose and three normal looking snakes.After several weeks of feeding and finally probing the hatchlings I learned that I had one leucistic male and four female siblings including the female leucistic.I was completely blown away!What I did was perfectly legal and of course I looked forward to offering the bloodline to the rest of the world since all the snakes were captive produced. By the way I released the mother before the eggs hatched so I'm sure there are many hets crawling around the plains of Eastern Colorado. Over the next 2-3 years I would produce about 10 leucistic and many hets from this fabulous mutation.I offered the first leucistics for sale at $10,000.00 ea. and had no trouble selling them, and sold hets for $5000.00ea.These kind of figures eventually got the attention of the feds and they decided, in their own devious ways, to put an end to it.Now everyone should know it is illegal to possess venomous snakes in the state of Colorado.When the feds finally raided my house they legally seized the venomous snakes but had no right taking the hognose group since the leucistic mutation does not and could not survive in the wild.Eastern Colorado has hundreds of birds of prey including red-tail hawks and kestrels by the hundreds.Western Hognose snakes peak activity is a couple hours after sunrise and a couple hours before sunset especially before dusk in the summer which also happens to be the hawks and kestrels peak activity. A solid white snake of any species would not survive long with those kinds of odds.Unfortunately when the feds raided my house they left me with nothing.I couldn't afford to hire a lawyer that knew anything about the case as far as the animals went and wasn't able to get MY hognose snakes back.I plead guilty to violating the Lacey Act which is basically interstate wildlife trafficking and spent 16 months in a federal prison.I'm now living in a state where it's legal to own venomous snakes and I'm now working with some of the more rarer crotalids, green tree pythons and womas.And for those of you wondering "are ther any more leucistic western hognose out there?" Well, all I can say to that is..... "Damn right there is!" Peace everyone, and happy herping, Brook

08-14-2006, 09:53 PM
Wow good to see your out and up and running again. I've seen a few threads on the subject and would love to atleast see a photo of one of those animals. May you have better luck the second time around. You got caught up in it and lost alot but take it as lessons learned.

08-19-2006, 05:58 PM
And for those of you wondering "are ther any more leucistic western hognose out there?" Well, all I can say to that is..... "Damn right there is!"

Are you hinting at someone still owning one, or are you just referring to the few that may be running around in the wild?

08-22-2006, 08:06 PM
The gene is out there so of course there should be some out there. Does some one own one... ...I don't have a clue but it would an awesome one to have.

08-25-2006, 10:09 AM
So what would happen if one popped up? Would the feds want to seize it?

08-31-2006, 01:22 AM
Wildlife You Can Own
Some animals sold commercially are considered exotic wildlife. The Division of Wildlife has created a category of species called Unregulated Wildlife. These are species that are legal to own, import, or sell. You do not need a license from the Division of Wildlife to have one of these species. You must, however, comply with all other federal, state, and local laws dealing with importation, disease, and other issues.
Legal Non-Mammals
These are the non-mammal species that are legal to own in Colorado:

* All tropical and subtropical birds, including parrots, in the order Passeriformes.
* All tropical and subtropical fishes, including common gold fish and koi.
* All tropical and non-native subtropical frogs, toads, snakes, and lizards. All venomous snakes require a license and proof of commercial use.
* All marine vertebrates and invertebrates, except anadromous and catadromous species.
* All tropical and non-native subtropical turtles. Caimens are legal. Alligators and crocodiles require a license.

Up to four individuals of each of the following species and/or subspecies of reptiles and amphibians may be taken annually and held in captivity, provided that no more than 12 in the aggregate may be possessed at any time.

Common Name Genus/Species
Plains spadefoot Spea bombifrons
Woodhouse's toad Bufo woodhousii
Western chorus frog Pseudacris triseriata
Painted turtle Chrysemys picta
Western box turtle Terrapena ornata
Sagebrush lizard Sceloporus undulatus
Tree lizard Urosaurus ornatus
Side-blotched lizard Uta stansburiana
Prairie & Plateau lizards Sceloporus undulatus
Bullsnake Pituophus catenifer
Western terrestrial garter snake Thamnophis elegans
Plains garter snake Thamnophis radix
Lesser earless lizard Holbrookia maculata
Western whiptail Cnemidophorus tigris
Racer Coluber constrictor
Western hognose snake Heterodon nasicus

This is straight off of the Colorado Fish and Wildlife page. It is an archive from 1996. I used to live in Colorado and have obtained one WC female western hognose from there. You are allowed to collect 4 per year with no more then 12 total. I had also called the department and they told me you are prohibited from selling any snake that is native to Colorado to anyone that lives in the state, however you can sell them to people outside the state. I was also told from the department your not allowed to have more then 12 in your collection at any time. I was also told that "collecting" included breeding them. EXAMPLE: If I were to breed a pair and they had 10 eggs, once they hatch I have just collected them, and there for broke the state law by collecting more then the 4 per year that is allowed. The law apparently hasn't changed much since then seeing as how I was in Colorado from 2004 to Jun 2005.

It sucks that they took your collection and you have been in jail. I would love to have the ability one day to have a lucy hognose. I guess I will just have to move back to Colorado and search one out, or wait for someone to pop out with them for sale.

This is where I called when I got to Colorado to ask about keeping my reptiles as pets since I knew none of the state or local laws:

With wildlife questions, contact:
Colorado Division of Wildlife; Don Masden
2300 S. Townsend Ave., Montrose, CO 81401