Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

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azatrox
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Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by azatrox »

Well, we're a few short months away, so I thought I'd give everyone a sneak peek of what to expect in Az in August/Sept. I'll write something a bit more in depth up as the time draws nearer, but this should give those that have never been here an idea of what it's like...All of this is just one man's opinion, and in no way reflects the views of NAFHA, its affiliates or this station.

1) The weather can be spotty and unpredictable. You may have torrential showers in one area and 5 miles away it's dry as a bone. As such, it's generally a good idea to chuck the carefully laid plans out the window and go where the weather tells you to go. In my experience, the only things you'll find during a rain storm are amphibians...You may find reptiles that have been flooded out of their hiding place, but reptiles are usually found preceding or after a rain. Again, that's a general rule...The second I post it someone will cruise a coral snake in the middle of a rain storm, so it's not a hard and fast rule by any means. Follow the weather. Listen to the weather.

2) We don't do much flipping here. There's almost no point to it. You'll see what I mean when you get out here. Sure you CAN flip if you like (ALWAYS returning rocks, logs, etc. EXACTLY as found), but generally speaking you're best served to cover as much ground as possible whether hiking, cruising, etc....I know this may be a departure from how herping is done in the South or Midwest, but here there are so many other places for animals to hide and hang out that flipping just winds up tiring you out and it generally is a pretty big waste of time.

3) The closed season species in Arizona are as follows: Gila monster, Banded rock rattlesnake, Arizona ridgenosed rattlesnake, New Mexico ridgenosed rattlesnake, Desert massasauga, Twinspotted rattlesnake, any Tiger salamander, any Leopard frog, Narrowheaded Garter snake, Mexican Garter snake, Milksnake (Cochise Co. only), Desert tortoise, any Box turtle and Flat tailed Horned lizard. Any animal located in a National Park or other area designated as a "closed season" area is also considered a "closed season" animal..

In order to manipulate, pose, etc. these closed season species, one must be in the presence of someone on the Scientific Collecting permit issued by Game and Fish. As yet we do not have the permit in hand, but expect to very shortly. Game and Fish will be out there....They know about the NAFHA meeting so we can expect a presence. It's important that everyone have the appropriate licenses (Hunting for reptiles except softshell turtles) and/or fishing (for amphibians and softshell turtles). Licenses can be had at any sporting goods store/Walmart/etc. If there's a question as to the legality of posing or manipulating a particular animal and you cannot locate someone that can tell you the legal status of said animal, best to leave it alone and get in situ photos if possible. Again, one ***MUST*** be in the presence of a Scientific Collecting permit holder in order to pose, manipulate, etc. any closed season species. As with all NAFHA activities, no collection (aside from collection for photos and re-release exactly where found afterwards) will be permitted.

4) If you see an animal and it gets away into a rock pile, tree snatch, etc. PLEASE do not attempt to dig it out...I know we're all well meaning individuals, but the impulse to "catch it!" can be strong. If you found it basking and it bolted, chances are good that if you keep herping you'll run across another one. If you leave it alone and come back, there's also a good chance the animal may have come back out from hiding. Again, please don't go digging up rock piles and such because an animal dove. It happens.

5) Shining artificial lights out of a vehicle is illegal. If you see an animal in the road and want to get a closer look with your flashlight, head lamp, etc., you ***MUST*** must legally pull over (ensuring that your ENTIRE vehicle is off the roadway), exit the vehicle and inspect the animal. This is as much for public safety as anything else.

6) Have FUN! Arizona is an amazing place with amazing diversity. Respect the environment and the animals in it and have a blast while doing so. Can't wait to see ya'll there!

PS- Should anyone have any questions about Arizona law as pertains to reptiles and amphibians, I'll be happy to answer any questions I can. I can't promise I'll know the answer, but I've lived here for 20 years and am well versed in what is legal and what isn't. If I don't know the answer, I can find it.

Should anyone have any questions about GENERAL animal habits or natural history, I'll be happy to answer those too. I will NOT be giving out sensitive locale info, "honey hole" info, etc. so please don't ask. We'll be smack dab in the middle of some awesome habitat, so you probably won't need much info on specific locales to find animals.

Anyone attending the NAFHA trip is welcome to PM me any questions they have.

-Kris

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justinm
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in AZ

Post by justinm »

Kris,

Thanks for this, I'm trying to go but work keeps changing my schedule. I have to travel often and don't know if this trip will work for me. If I'm able to go then I'm going to make sure I'm legal to the letter. This is important for all of us so that we're not casting a bad light on the community.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in AZ

Post by chrish »

azatrox wrote:1) The weather can be spotty and unpredictable. You may have torrential showers in one area and 5 miles away it's dry as a bone. As such, it's generally a good idea to chuck the carefully laid plans out the window and go where the weather tells you to go. In my experience, the only things you'll find during a rain storm are amphibians...
And that's bad because....? :lol: Damn reptocentric herpers! ;)
Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in AZ
Even more important info........the meeting is in the part of Arizona known as New Mexico :)
It might be good if we had the NM laws posted as well.

And just a heads up....AZ F&G has been known to have stings in the past where they give herpers the opportunity or incentive to break the law in an effort to catch them doing so. I was involved in one such sting in the Chiricahuas about 20 years ago (We didn't break the law, so they didn't get us for anything, but they searched our camp, our vehicles, our ice chests, etc, very thoroughly).

How do you stay out of trouble? Follow the rules!

Thanks for posting this. Hopefully it will be "stickied" or at least linked to the invite.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by justinm »

Chris,

Can you expound? I'm not sure what you mean when you say that there are enticements to break the law? Isn't that entrapment? Do they have rights to search through coolers, gear and tents etc.? Seems a bit much to me? Unreasonable search and seizure even?

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by chrish »

justinm wrote:Chris,

Can you expound? I'm not sure what you mean when you say that there are enticements to break the law? Isn't that entrapment? Do they have rights to search through coolers, gear and tents etc.? Seems a bit much to me? Unreasonable search and seizure even?
Some friends and I were in the Chiricahuas on a family camping trip with kids and several families. While there, a buddy of mine wanted to see a Twin-spot so I took him up to one of the well known places. We heard one, but didn't see one. We had hooks and cameras but no bags.
After we climbed down from herping, two guys happened to walk by us with one of them carrying a sock which obviously contained a herp. We asked him about it and he pulled out a nice C. pricei which he let us photograph. He told us how and where he caught it just a few minutes before. We said thanks and they went about their way. Meanwhile the kids were chasing Sceloporus jarrovi around the parking area.

Next morning in our Sunny Flats Campground, one of the women in our group saw the two guys from the afternoon before wandering near our camp. She said they had binoculars (like 1/2 the people in Cave Creek Canyon do) but they appeared to be watching our camp rather than birding. We told her to cut back on the coffee :lol:. They eventually wandered over to our campsite and asked if we had had any luck herping. We said (truthfully) that we had gone roadhunting into NM the previous night and hadn't found much. We picked up a couple of amphibs and a blind snake in NM. I had a Scientific Collecting permit for NM at the time and was actually a subpermittee on an AZ permit as well. I had copies of both permits. I didn't bother telling our "guests" about my permits because I didn't know who they were.

Not 10 minutes after they wandered off, an AZ Fish and Game truck pulls up to our campsite and gets out. The game warden introduces himself and asks if we have any herps. I told him about the NM stuff and I showed it to him. He then asked if he could search and we consented since we were in 100% compliance with the law. He went through our tents and cars and was particularly interested in our ice chests, all of which contained food and drinks. After searching for 20 minutes, he sat down with us and had coffee and actually told us the better spots to look for Green Rats and Pyros!

The only scary moment was when he was searching my car and he came across a snake bag with a knot in it on the floor of the back seat. I had NO idea what was in the bag because I didn't put it there and the last time we had used my vehicle was to go up to the talus slides. I was wondering if one of my buddies had bagged a pricei or lepidus to keep without telling me. That's a scary moment when the game warden asks you "What's in that snake bag tied up there?" and you have to say "I honestly have no idea!". I opened it rather gingerly only to find a young Sceloporus jarrovi that one of the kids had caught "for me" because she thought I would want it. The warden laughed.

So it was clearly a setup from the start. The guys were obviously trying to find out if we were herping, to get information and then to lead the warden to us.

Another time I was staying in a hotel in Ajo, AZ. We were actually making day trips to Puerto Penasco to go snorkeling and were coming back to AZ each night to herp. We weren't collecting anything. As we were checking out of our fleabag Ajo hotel, the lady at the desk asked what we did for a living and we said we were both grad students in Biology. She said that was interesting and then told us that AZ F&G and the US NPS had recently contacted her and told her to watch out for any groups of guests who had an unusual number of ice chests in their rooms. Apparently these herp poachers also drive pickups with campers and have lots of lights on their cars. At that time there was apparently a large number of poachers herping in the Organ Pipe National Monument and the local hotel owners were told to keep an eye out for them.

Of course, then there are the famous Gila Monster stings that happened in AZ.

I actually have no problem with any of this. If this encourages herpers to be in compliance with the laws, then more power to it. If it catches poachers, two thumbs up! If you don't break the laws, you have nothing to worry about. If you are a criminal, you deserve what you get.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by ThamnElegans24 »

G&F will also set out things that look like snakes to see if you will shine a light out your window at them. They almost got a friend and I with that one last year. Had it been any darker at the time, we might not have seen the truck parked in the bushes.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

Officer Chang is known for putting freeze-dried snakes on the road, at Whitewater... you stop for one... he comes roaring up, lights going blue blue blue. but if your all legal...he's a nice guy... ;) jim

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by klawnskale »

A good way to stay out of trouble is to not allow ballast to tag along. Sometimes people will invite friends and friends of friends, and well, you can extrapolate on the possibilities. I am aware of situations such as this where people permitted individuals they were not familiar with to tag along on herping trips and found out later they committed multiple violations such as collecting protected species. Don't let this happen to you...

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

There is NO collecting at Nafha events, and only the dedicated Nafha members will pay the traveling costs of attending, so I doubt extra 'ballast' will be an issue.

What folks do on their way to a Nafha Outing, and on their way home, is on them, and where your advice may be germane. If you were a Nafha member, you probably would have known these things... :beer: :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by klawnskale »

If you were a Nafha member, you probably would have known these things... :beer: :lol: :lol: :lol: jim[/quote]

That will never happen.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

klawnskale wrote:If you were a Nafha member, you probably would have known these things... :beer: :lol: :lol: :lol: jim
That will never happen.[/quote]

Yet... you won't hesitate to offer a group you have no intention of joining your advice? that seems... odd?

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by klawnskale »

Yet... you won't hesitate to offer a group you have no intention of joining your advice? that seems... odd?[/quote]

I don't understand the rationale of your reply. People on this Forum will generally offer advice and suggestions regardless. Many are not NAFHA members. It is not in my best interest to be affiliated with NAFHA.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by justinm »

Klawnsnake,

If I go it won't be to support NAFHA, it will be to go herping. Hang out with like minded people and have a great time. We'll collect data, and most if not all will go to NAFHA. It's funny to me that a guy who keeps several things he's collected is so strict about not collecting in the name of NAFHA. If Jim wasn't the NAFHA hornblower people might actually want to be a part of it.

Thanks Jim Bass for another successful thread derailment. Is there an achievement button we can put on his posts now?

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by klawnskale »

justinm wrote:Klawnsnake,

If I go it won't be to support NAFHA, it will be to go herping. Hang out with like minded people and have a great time. We'll collect data, and most if not all will go to NAFHA. It's funny to me that a guy who keeps several things he's collected is so strict about not collecting in the name of NAFHA. If Jim wasn't the NAFHA hornblower people might actually want to be a part of it.

Thanks Jim Bass for another successful thread derailment. Is there an achievement button we can put on his posts now?
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

I think this thread had pretty much run it's course, and while on the Main Forum, where anyone can comment, ostensibly it was addressed to Nafha members. It's a shame you (seemingly) have such a conflict of interests, Hanna, that you can't consider joining Nafha... you do know that you no longer need to be a Nafha member to be a HERP contributor, right? Thank you for (at least) caring enough about Nafha's welfare to offer advice (only non-Nafha FHF member who did) however superfluous it may or may not have been... ;)

the fact that Nafha has no rules preventing members from attacking other members, they don't like, is what keeps people from joining, and is the main cause for people leaving. The IB threads discussing your expulsion for driving members away, were many pgs long Justin, long before I ever became an Officer. It's the main reason I rarely post on the main, for fear of being randomly attacked.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFEoMO0p ... bedded#t=9
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by justinm »

hellihooks wrote:I think this thread had pretty much run it's course, and while on the Main Forum, where anyone can comment, ostensibly it was addressed to Nafha members. It's a shame you (seemingly) have such a conflict of interests, Hanna, that you can't consider joining Nafha... you do know that you no longer need to be a Nafha member to be a HERP contributor, right? Thank you for (at least) caring enough about Nafha's welfare to offer advice (only non-Nafha FHF member who did) however superfluous it may or may not have been... ;)

the fact that Nafha has no rules preventing members from attacking other members, they don't like, is what keeps people from joining, and is the main cause for people leaving. The IB threads discussing your expulsion for driving members away, were many pgs long Justin, long before I ever became an Officer. It's the main reason I rarely post on the main, for fear of being randomly attacked.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFEoMO0p ... bedded#t=9
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Jim,

I was expelled? First I've heard of it? I gave up giving two shits when they let you act a fool, lie and be an ass all in the name of NAFHA. I'm pretty broken up about your club not wanting me to the point that I haven't looked at the forums in so long I can't remember. As far as drving members away didn't you have a hand in making Don the original database admin and creator leave? Didn't your buddies have to scramble to stay afloat after that fiasco? Didn't your lies and hidden agenda have the most damaging effect on membership to date? Weren't you found to be breaking the "laws", telling lies and lose whatever hilariously made up position you had in NAFHA? You're right Jim I'm a detriment to the club.

Jim make sure no one collects because your club said so and that supersedes licenses and laws both state and federal. You're hilarious truly, since you keep snakes you find all the time apparently. Can we make all of this a sticky, I want people to see the true character of this guy.


Let's call a Spade a Spade though folks. This is without a doubt the FieldHerpForum Field trip and some NAFHA guys are also going. That's what it was originally and likely always will be.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

It's pretty obvious you don't understand the written word, and as for the rest of your strange claims... you are sorely mistaken... other than a few crotes I've collected for Dr Hayes, at Loma Linda, for venom and genetic samples, a rescued ball python, and a few milk snakes, I neither collect nor keep herps anymore. Dollars to donuts you have a bigger collection than me.

You have absolutely no clue what's going on, or what has transpired, and most importantly that you were the root cause of many (if not most) of the controversy at Nafha. 'Your' Chapter is looking for a new Pres... go for it... if for no other reason than to have access to the IBM archives.... so you can read for yourself, what people (including your so-called friends) really think of you.

And I'll guess that again, nothing will be done about your unprovoked attacks, which may be fine for a fully public forum like FHF, but for a group like Nafha, that is trying to unite with 'professionals'... it causes untold damage. I'll just go back to the 4,000 member Facebook pg I'm involved with, where behavior like yours is not tolerated. Have a nice day.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by justinm »

hellihooks wrote:It's pretty obvious you don't understand the written word, and as for the rest of your strange claims... you are sorely mistaken... other than a few crotes I've collected for Dr Hayes, at Loma Linda, for venom and genetic samples, a rescued ball python, and a few milk snakes, I neither collect nor keep herps anymore. Dollars to donuts you have a bigger collection than me.

You have absolutely no clue what's going on, or what has transpired, and most importantly that you were the root cause of many (if not most) of the controversy at Nafha. 'Your' Chapter is looking for a new Pres... go for it... if for no other reason than to have access to the IBM archives.... so you can read for yourself, what people (including your so-called friends) really think of you.

And I'll guess that again, nothing will be done about your unprovoked attacks, which may be fine for a fully public forum like FHF, but for a group like Nafha, that is trying to unite with 'professionals'... it causes untold damage. I'll just go back to the 4,000 member Facebook pg I'm involved with, where behavior like yours is not tolerated. Have a nice day.
Jim,

I'm sorry I forgot that you had your home raided and all your animals taken. That's right, I probably do have a bigger collection since I haven't been raided and haven't had my animals taken. I follow the rules and don't break the laws... Weird how that works for staying out of trouble, and weird how you're the one telling people to follow them. If professionals wanted to unite with NAFHA they would and could and it wouldn't have anything to do with little ole me who's not even a member, apparently. Enjoy Facebook, maybe they just delete your posts when you derail conversations there, since that's pretty much what happens on every thread you post on this forum.

As far as me not telling the truth maybe go back to when you originally started being a shithead to me and lying. Check the NAFHA forums from then. Your own guys (SoCal) were saying to me that you were lying, and using NAFHA's name without permission or authority. Remember the lying and politicking to get NAFHA rules changed to allow collection, and to use data to convince California Fish and Game to see how many snakes there are?! Remember all that Jim, I'm sure you've conveniently forgotten the scheming and lying that almost killed NAFHA back then. Probably a lot like you're doing in this thread that isn't a NAFHA forum. This is a public forum, so keep your ilk there. If people want drama I'm sure they can go to NAFHA for it.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

It's a matter of public record that Animal Control, who executed a search warrant on my home, based on false reports, were not able to write one single violation, for so much as dirty mouse tank, and they invented a 'gas leak' to justify kicking me out of my house and taking my animals (so the people who ok'd the search would not lose their jobs) which were all later returned, at their costs... in the hopes that I would not sue the City.... which I probably will. While I'm at it, I'm going to consult with my Lawyer about suing you for Slander and Liable, for continually publicly calling me a liar. I have never lied regarding ANYTHING, and just because you don't understand the meaning of the word, and listen to stupid rumor-mongering, does not give you the right to say I've lied. That's the one thing I actually take VERY seriously. I have every conversation I've had with you, from start to finish (including all your obscene threatening pm's) saved/stored... so be my guest... KEEP building the case against yourself. I STRONGLY suggest you figure out what damages for Slander & Liable can amount to, and consider what you say more carefully.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by justinm »

Jim,


Since you keep saying I don't understand the written word. The word you're looking for is Libel, not Liable. Because I'm liable to keep telling the truth. :beer: You must have found steady work again, lawyers get pretty cashy.

Maybe it's time you STFU and stop being the personal spokesperson for NAFHA? I'm sure they'd all like that, and so would I because you'd probably post about 98% less often.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Aaron »

I think if you are hunting and you have a license then LE does not need a warrant to search containers that hold herps. What constitutes a "container" might need to be decided by a judge.

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