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Field Collecting/Observing Sightings of herps in the wild, where-tos and how-tos, as well as photos of herps in their native environment.

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Old 01-08-2005, 03:22 AM   #1
Finding BIG Black Rats

I live in the Ozarks, and I look for snakes every year. My main quarry is the Black Rat Snake. Any hints, or tips on ways, times, or places to find them would be greatly appreciated. or of you live in the area, maybe we could get together and go snake huntin. thanks a bunch,
Old 01-10-2005, 12:24 AM   #2
How big to they get over there? Biggest ones I have ever seen were over in Delaware. I didn't measure them, so I can't give an accurate length, but if they were not at least 7 ft. long, I would be VERY surprised.
Old 01-10-2005, 12:53 AM   #3
The largest one I ever saw was back in about 1976. And I am still sure it would have gone 8ft. easy. It was absulutley gorgiuos, freshly shed specimen, with a red chain pattern visible between the scales, and a few white speckels. I would like to have captured, measured, and recorded it, but my father was driving, he was terrified, and would have none of that! I can still see it drawn up into pre-strike position with it's mouth open, as if to say "don't mess with me"! I've heard stories of them even bigger, some people telling of big black snakes stretching all the way accross the road. A small country road, but a road none the less. I've been searching ever since. But the really big ones seem to be getting fewer, and farther between. This subject is of particular intrest to me, as I keep Indigos, and they are reputed to be North Americas largest snake. So it would be interseting to see what I can come up with. Again any help would be great. Thanks,
Old 01-10-2005, 01:18 AM   #4
Yeah, I've seen some big ones when I was younger living in Maryland. Used to live in Harford County. There was an old abandoned building behind my house where I live with my parents, on the other side of a stream bordering our property. I used to go over there and there were a good half dozen REALLY big black rats that would be in a tree next to this old building. I discovered that if I put my hand in the lower branches and made it look like a fluttering bird, they would ALL come down to investigate it.

One day I went over there and I found them all DEAD, shot with .22s it looked like. That is about the only time in my life that I feel for certain that I would have murdered someone if the person who did that had still been there. Those snakes weren't harming anyone at all, and some yahoo went over there and killed them for nothing but the "fun" of it.
Old 01-10-2005, 02:35 AM   #5
Karen Hulvey
Oh man that story makes me sick. Why can't people just walk away from animals they're scared of?

Last summer my neighbor was mowing his lawn, which is a field no less. He'd mow a while and then shoot a gun, mow a couple more minutes and then shoot a gun. He did this 3 times. Finally I went up to his house to see what he was shooting. OMG I about died.

He held up a black snake that was a good 6' with it's head blown off. He said lookey at what I killed, the biggest copperhead I ever seen. He wouldn't believe me when I told him what it was. Then he held up a prairie kingsnake that was all of 10" and mostly blown to bits. It was a copperhead too.

Next was a common snapping turtle, about 9" SVL with a hole through it's head. He actually said: That turtle was hissing at me and trying to bite me. My reply was: I guess the turtle was too fast for you to get away from.

I told him it's best to just leave these animals be and walk away from them. Or in his case, ride his lawnmower in a different direction. He doesn't want them in "his yard" which is a 10 acre field. He moved to the country, we live WAAAY out of town just above the St. Francis River. I moved here because there would be wildlife. I don't know why he moved here because he's afraid of everything.

I called the conservation department and reported his wonton killing but as far as I know they didn't even come out to see what he did.

Just last month he dumped a dead coyote on my property. He drove past my house (with me home) and dumped it. After he left, I went down there to see what he did and found that the coyote had been shot. It had a huge hole in its neck and it's hindquarters were nearly torn off by a gunshot wound. Conservation Dept said since it's coyote season it wasn't illegal to kill one and they weren't coming out to check his hunting license. So I placed the dead coyote on his porch. Happy hunting to him.
Old 01-10-2005, 04:42 AM   #6
I can relate to the outrage displayed in the posts above. The ignorance, and the subsequent atrocities commited by man are sometimes overwhelming. It never ceases to amaze me the horribly stupid things that man does. Not only to himself, but to his fellow inhabitants of this earth. It is a tragedy what we have done to this planet, and to all of the forms of life which live here. And the only thing that is more tragic than the grotesque nature of what we have done, is the fact that we continue to do them. I continue to believe that the species of man did not evolve. Not on this plannet or any other. If we did evolve, how could we have lost all connection, and kinship to that from which we came. I believe we were created, although, I often wonder, what, or whom? We are the only species of animal on the face of this earth that does the awful things that we do. We do not belong here. Perhaps we are some sort of sick alien experiment gone astray. I don't know, but to me, at least, it is painfully obvious that we do not belong. And the only thing that brings me any comfort, when I here about such tragedy, is that I personaly believe that some day mother nature will either teach us to respect her the hard way, or purge herself of our unatural presence all together. I think recent events in the Indian ocean are testament to this theory. And I think we'd all better get our affairs in order. Because we ain't seen nothin yet! Mother nature has a way of cleansing herself, and we are the filth most in need of being cleansed. I don't know about all of you, but I do believe a day of reconing will come. And I believe that karma will deliver what has been given. Still, I must confess that I too feel an overwhelming urge to choke an idiot like that until the karma squirts out of his ears. Every time I see a dead snake or turtle on the shoulder of the road, five or six feet away from the traveld road surface, I know that some {insert profanity and name calling to sufficiently discribe such humans}, went out of their way to take the life of a creature who's only crime agaisnt humanity, was to try and get to the other side. That really burns my,...well you know. And being a fairly agressive person, with a substantial amount of military trainig, with a bad temper to begin with, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I go to jail for giving karma a little help.

I'm sure we could all rant and rave for days on end about this subject, and I must admit that it feels good to vent. But I still just want to know how, when, and where to find big black rat snakes. Thanks for sharing. Let's try not to think about the idiots out there. Let's just go herpin!
Old 01-10-2005, 08:57 PM   #7
amen snakeman
Old 01-10-2005, 11:03 PM   #8
Originally Posted by Karen Hulvey
I told him it's best to just leave these animals be and walk away from them. Or in his case, ride his lawnmower in a different direction. He doesn't want them in "his yard" which is a 10 acre field. He moved to the country, we live WAAAY out of town just above the St. Francis River. I moved here because there would be wildlife. I don't know why he moved here because he's afraid of everything.

It's one thing when some "wild" animal wanders or crawls into a city and some ignorant terrified city slicker kills it (not that even in those situations, is it right, just that I can kind of "understand"), but for this guy to move to a place that has acres, and is out in the country and is doing this, is downright pathetic. That guy really chaps my hide, I only hope that Karma thing shows up at his door for "retribution"
Old 01-11-2005, 12:39 AM   #9
It is truly sad and embarrassing to think of your own race as being a cancer on the planet we live on. Then it gets scary to think that if that is true, we will either kill this planet, or it will find a way to cure itself of us. Either way, pretty bleak picture.

Or could we, perhaps, evolve from being a cancer to merely a benign parasite?

I think the transition would be too painful and difficult for most people to accept and endure. Likely impossible for any government to enforce.
Old 01-24-2005, 11:36 PM   #10
Osiris X
The way humans are going, we are going to destory the Earth. Rainforests are being torn down, countless creatures are losing their homes, wars just keep starting. Eventually animals will start to invade us, not because they want to harm us, but because they need a place to live. The space that was taken from their home is now our home, they just want to live and the only place left is our home.

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