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Old 05-10-2004, 10:36 PM   #41
Seamus Haley
I was typing simultaneously with others it seems so...

I am the one who would not let a fourteen year old near my venomous collection. I don't even keep anything which is really considered capable of a lethal envenomation if medical treatment is sought. There's a single EDB but that's about as potent as it gets.

The issue is a legal one and I stated that to explain why a fourteen year old might be turned away by keepers even if they are trying to learn.

I know of one example firsthand... There's a guy, great guy, intelligent, respectable, cautious and knows his herps inside and out, backwards and forwards who wanted Scott to help get him started with the handling practices. This kid was a few years older than you guys when he first expressed a desire for this kind of interaction and he was being extremely mature by asking to be taught rather than just finding the snake and keeping it with no training whatsoever. He had to wait. He is GLAD to wait until he turns eighteen because he reccognizes the seriousness of the potential negative consequences should a mistake be made while he was still a minor. When he does turn eighteen (or if he has reccently) he'll be THRILLED with the chance to fill water dishes, scoop feces and change bedding because it's all a part of turning "protocol" into "instinct" when it comes to safety.

I was keeping hots before I was 14. There are a lot of bright and responsible young people whom I'd trust with a hot a lot more than I would trust a lot of adults. Age is not the only predictor of either ability or maturity.
No, but it certainly is important from a legal standpoint. The court of public opinion cares a great deal for it as well.

Further, these fourteen year olds keep wavering between "Respect my abilities!" despite not having any way of showing tangible or worthwhile experience and "Stop being mean, I'm just a kid!"

They can't have it both ways... either they approach the situation maturely and as adults and respect the right of others to disagree with their opinions on the subject... Ideally they might even pay attention and consider changing their minds but I'd frankly settle for simply accepting that there are people who's opinions on the matter differ greatly. Accepting frank and open discussion is the mature thing to do... Or they are treated as children, in which case they are simply told "No! Bad! No touch!" and I toy around with the idea of calling Virginia child protective services myself. The news story about a kid being removed from a dangerous situation wouldn't have the same negative impact as one where he was first hurt, then removed.

drug abusing, heavy drinking, tattoo covered, wife beating, macho 40 year old with a bigger ego than IQ
Hmm... What do tattoos have to do with responsible hot keeping?

Heck, come to think of it, while it's clearly not a good thing, what does someone beating their wife have to do with their ability to keep venomous snakes in a safe and responsible manner?

Even drinking and potentially drug use really don't have a direct impact, unless someone handles WHILE drinking or drugging. That, of course is more a stupidity issue than an alchohol issue though, isn't it?

Working out some of your own issues as they relate to the public's opinion of herp keepers Tanith? Maybe taking up the sword for young teenagers because you feel a bit empathetic? I know you've had your problems with some of the hardcore old boys. You had to work hard to earn the respect and admiration you have gained... It's more valuable because of it though. Fight hard for something and it's precious... have it handed to you and it's worthless. These boys should have to work to earn the ability to keep hots, just as everyone else did.

There were venomous snakes in my house from the time I was around ten years old... My old man put them aside until my sister and I were old enough to listen when he told us not to even attempt to interact with them and, like Scott's setup, they had a locked room and individually locked cages with only one set of keys existing. I was allowed to begin learning how to approach them at a young age too... doesn't mean they were MINE though. I was not responsible for their care, I never handled them unsupervised and it was pounded in from a very early age that they were never handled when it wasn't important anyway.

A fourteen year old kid who's allowed to work with their parent's animals is a far cry from a fourteen year old kid owning a copperhead.

A fourteen year old kid who has a proper respect for the capabilities and an education about of the animals involved is a far cry from one who says he wouldn't need medical attention if envenomated.
Old 05-10-2004, 10:45 PM   #42
Awe yes and that kid expressed a very straight forward view that he wanted to only learn about a very few specific hots and only wanted to work with those species. Which he has a standing offer for me to train him anytime. That being said before I would sign him off for his VRL I would insist he be monitored by another hot keeper to vouche for his abilities as I firmly believe that a single teacher can be bias to his student and that multiple teachers even if its only to reveiw are an important safety and learning tool for a potential keeper.

There is never enough knowledge to be past on to the up an comming generations of herpers be they hotheads or nonven keepers. And the older generations can certainly learn from the new generations.
Old 05-10-2004, 10:48 PM   #43
Seamus Haley
I did it again...

Eric, I've got no problems with you or your approach whatsoever.

In fact, I really wish more people of any age shared it. Your statements early in this thread were pretty clear... you were interested in venomous snakes and were curious as to how to get started. No problems there whatsoever. I've got a problem with Kevin's approach but I think I've pretty well expressed what I feel about that and why.

Tanith, I fully agree that years of dealing with agressive species is a good starting place and wouldn't begrudge an experienced herper the ability to buy a hot without being directly trained.

I think we can ALL agree that experience is qualitative, not quantitative. There are people who have worked with these animals a fairly short time who's competence far exceeds that of others who have been doing it longer. Has to do with the intelligence of the person doing the experiencing and the oppurtunities avaliable to them I suppose. It's difficult to compress the learning one might be capable of into a set time frame... there is no cutoff point. Someone is not "experienced" or "ready" at exactly five or ten or fifteen years of keeping reptiles... But the more time devoted... really truly devoted... to learning everything that's possible every day for a good period of time... Yes, then I can see someone not needing to be an "apprentice hot keeper" Still would never EVER hurt... and I stand firmly by my statement that the best first venomous snake is one belonging to someone else... but I'll concede that there are individuals who I would trust with venomous species with no hesitation, prior experience or not. Not many... but a few.
Old 05-10-2004, 10:52 PM   #44
Seamus Haley
Awe yes and that kid expressed a very straight forward view that he wanted to only learn about a very few specific hots and only wanted to work with those species. Which he has a standing offer for me to train him anytime
The fact that you'll be getting a thousand hours worth of work that you'd otherwise have to pay someone to do has nothing to do with your standing offer though.
Old 05-10-2004, 10:52 PM   #45
Mustang the major cities by me are Dallas and Ft.Worth and i agree with you Seamus about Irwin getting a copperhead but that is also not for me to decide it's his parents but I wish Irwin would sell the hot because now that i think about it thats pretty stupid because if he knew what a bite from a copperhead could do to the herp society it would probably cause even more laws and im afraid by the time im 18 venomous herp will be banned. "shivers" bad thought
Old 05-10-2004, 10:57 PM   #46
Ok im not the best when it comes to TX geography I know where eagle lake is as ive sent many geese crashing to their table fair their. How far from Lubbock are you.
Old 05-10-2004, 11:06 PM   #47
well not very close richardson is in south east texas so lubbock isnt an option due to it not being close enough im still on the look for venomous keepers. The only person i know lives 3 houses down and their a bunch of bikers that know anything and they have a diamondback rattlesnake.
Old 05-10-2004, 11:08 PM   #48

My first exposure to the non academic segment of the venomous keeping community was total culture shock. I ran into some people who pretty much fit all the scary stereotypes, and they were keeping snakes for all the wrong reasons. Those people do worry me. Yes, it's true that some decent and responsible people have lots of tattoos, or use recreational drugs or alcohol intelligently. It is also true that there are some people who fit the stereotypes because they are part of a subculture that encourages risk taking, irresponsible drug use and "macho" behavior. Those people scare me because they are not educated enough to care for the animals humanely or to deal with an envenomation.

Your personal speculations are a ways off base. It is the information that is important, not the egos or the personalities. When egos and personalities get in the way, people lose focus on the important things. I don't particularly want respect or admiration and I certainly don't work to earn it, particularly from any "good old boys". I prefer to be basically ignored on a personal level while only the actual information or issues are paid attention to.

I am sympathetic to young people because I remember being one, and because almost all of the young people I have met in this field have impressed me positively. I wish I could say the same for more of the adults.
Old 05-10-2004, 11:19 PM   #49

That rattler I called you on you hit it on the head Broken ribs protruding causing a blockage. It has now been treated and hopefully soon it will be feeding on its own soon.

Thought you should know.
Old 05-10-2004, 11:21 PM   #50
Eric sorry didnt see your post fingers seam to be flying and post going up just as fast. I will contact a few friends in Tx tomorrow and see if any can help you find some good keepers near you.

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