New Herper in CA Coachella Valley Area

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Candyfornian
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Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:22 pm
Location: Coachella Valley, CA

New Herper in CA Coachella Valley Area

Post by Candyfornian » May 13th, 2016, 4:03 pm

Hi guys and gals!

I just joined the forum and am new to herping and just wanted to make a post introducing myself and ask for some herping advice.

To start off my name is Brandon and I'm 22 years old and live in the Coachella Valley near Palm Desert, CA. Growing up I've kept and bred a variety of local and nonlocal species of insects, arachnids, and reptiles. I've had everything from camel spiders to chameleons lol. Currently I have an adult cornsnake, an adult ball python, a juvenile Mexican black kingsnake (might be a hybrid), a juvenile Madagascar giant day gecko, an adult female Mexican red-rump tarantula, and an adult female black widow. I also am very interested in carnivorous plants and used to have a somewhat decent collection of them, but am now down to just a couple species of nepenthes. Also when the season is right I love catching, raising, and breeding mediterranean mantises that are found in abundance all around my area. I can't find a decent way to get an IMG code to covert the coding on photos from my iPhone, but I have a Youtube channel that's had a bit of success where you can see some of the various animals and inverts that I've kept over the years: youtube.com/user/nakedreptiles

Now recently I've become more interested in the herping hobby after my dad found a gorgeous desert phase Cal king in a pool that he was servicing out near Indio, CA (again, I have photos on my Facebook that I can't seem to link but it is featured on my Youtube channel with quite a few hits). It was severely dehydrated and sickly due to spending time in a chlorinated pool, so I kept it for about a month and nursed it back to health before releasing it in that same area. I've gone out to areas around WW and the Salton Sea recently over the past couple of weeks (morning, day, sunset, and night) road cruising and on foot to look for snakes, the Cal kings in particular, with no luck except for finding a few dune scorpions. With it being the beginning of May and having a pretty decent rain period for the desert I figured it would be a perfect opportunity to see at least one or another species of snake. I am thinking of moving out of state to Seattle in the next year or so and I would really love to collect a gorgeous juvenile Cal king to have in my reptile-family because of it being a local snake and from my home.

Any tips on herping this area or tips on what I am doing wrong? Or is it really that hard to find snakes out here? I know you can't give street names or specific areas, but if you have any tips on a good ideal habitat or general area where you've had success out here that would be helpful. Also, if there are any local herpers out here I would love a chance to meet up or tag along and learn a little bit more about the hobby. Also, I want to make sure I'm representing the hobby well and abiding by the CA laws of viewing and/or collecting a snake so if you have any info about that I would appreciate it as well.

Thanks in advance!
Brandon :)

hellihooks
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Re: New Herper in CA Coachella Valley Area

Post by hellihooks » May 15th, 2016, 8:36 am

nice intro post... try posting it in the Ca Chap... :thumb: with a valid Ca fishing license... you could collect a wild caught king (bag limit 4, i think) but if you want to remain 'legal' (and I appreciate that you do)... you will need to renew your license every year that you have a wild caught in your possession ... which with Kings could be well over 20 years... at $47 (and going up) a year.

Kings are one of the snakes that with the proper permits, you can breed and sell in Ca... and with the proliferation of 'locality pure breeders'... it's not that hard to get a king from about any area you want. probably spend less on a cb (captive bred) king, than on the time/gas it takes to find one... and no license to renew every year (just keep receipt with Breeder #) Cb's are typically 'nicer looking' than wc... and are healthier

If the original breeding stock comes from the area of your choice, a cb still represents that area, and you don't need to take one from the wild... :thumb:

I collect nothing but photos and data on the herps I see... the photos for my enjoyment... and the data submitted to databases as a way of giving back to the herps, by helping researchers and govt agencies make better herp management decisions... :thumb:

Happy Herping... 8-)

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rpecora
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Re: New Herper in CA Coachella Valley Area

Post by rpecora » May 15th, 2016, 10:08 am

Did the regs change? Do you have to have FL every year to maintain possession?

hellihooks
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Re: New Herper in CA Coachella Valley Area

Post by hellihooks » May 15th, 2016, 11:56 am

many people WANT to assert that you only need a license for the year the snake(s) were collected (as that suits them)... but... remember... these are laws written by lawyers... who would not write 'bag and possession' limits... if the words bag and possession meant the same thing. bag limits are for when you're in the field, collecting.... possession limits are for how many you may have at home... in your possession... and you must have a valid license to have a native reptile/amphibian in your possession. If there were any exceptions to this... it would say so, somewhere... and it doesn't. that's my take. :|

sometimes... even a game warden may not understand this, and think differently... but then again... most game wardens don't teach critical thinking, like I do... ;) :beer:

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rpecora
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Re: New Herper in CA Coachella Valley Area

Post by rpecora » May 15th, 2016, 6:20 pm

I am positive that this subject has been discussed here in the past. Please get the facts.

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Scott Waters
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Re: New Herper in CA Coachella Valley Area

Post by Scott Waters » May 15th, 2016, 7:20 pm

If you have a wild caught herp in your possession, you have to maintain a fishing license. I'm not aware of that regulation changing, though I'll ask my go-to reg guy Rick Staub about it for you. You need one to possess, meaning in your hands in the field or under a legal bag limit. Email me at [email protected] com and I'll get you everything you need, along with some tips to find one. Go out and find yourself a nice cal king! Don't let anyone tell you a wild caught cal king will hurt populations. That's personal preference stuff, not based on data. If so, I'd like to see that paper. :) I remember when I moved to CA back in 1996, finding my first king in my backyard. I was so stoked! That king went on to produce a ton of offspring. Perfect banded beauty she was! Anyway, you won't hurt the population, go get yourself a cal king! And like was mentioned, if you want a CB one there are many many many people breeding them. You can find all types, banded, stripers, dark ones, morphs, etc. Enjoy! If you come up to the Sacramento area, I'll show you some REALLY unique ones no one else has seen. :) I herp a lot up here, a lot, but unfortunately don't get down south often enough.

Welcome to FHF Brandon! The forum is more popular than ever, numbers have never dropped, even with the advent of social media. Actually, forums are making a swing up. I think people (especially younger generations who are statistically moving away from FB) find them engaging. Forums, public ones anyway, are open and breed discussion. Sometimes hot, sometimes not! FHF has seen it all, that's for sure! We've been here since 2004, exploding the hobby of field herping by posts by great people like rpecora, for example. Welcomem and reach out anytime if you need some assistance. You have my email. Also, check out our magazine, here's a link to the latest edition.....http://hnmdigital.herpnation.com/publication?i=301851

Candyfornian
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Joined: May 9th, 2016, 12:22 pm
Location: Coachella Valley, CA

Re: New Herper in CA Coachella Valley Area

Post by Candyfornian » May 15th, 2016, 10:17 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome guys! :D

Thanks for all the input! Now that I know the regulation of keeping a license and renewing it every year, maybe a CB baby would be a better option lol :P However, I know little/none of the surrounding herpers out here, and if anyone knows a breeder that is breeding nice desert-phase Cal kings in a close(ish) area to Palm Springs let me know! I just really want a snake to represent and remind me of my hometown area no matter where I end up moving to in the future :)

hellihooks
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Re: New Herper in CA Coachella Valley Area

Post by hellihooks » May 16th, 2016, 6:54 am

If you get a fishing license every year, anyways (you know... to fish :crazyeyes: )... by all means... go find a King you really like... but be very selective... for it's also illegal to re-release a wc, once in captivity, for a certain amount of time.

Exactly how long you can have a herp captive, and then release it is another very 'grey area' in the regs, and often a subject of debate.

what Scott says is of course completely true... collection has no significant impact on wild populations... and very often... having a snake you found yourself means a lot more than buying one... believe me... i get that... been keeping herps for over 40 years.

Despite what anyone might think or say... i have no interest in persuading
others to my point of view (except perhaps that collecting/submitting data on the herps you see, is a good thing) My goal here is to inform... not persuade.

So far... (IMO) you're doing everything right... good introduction post and trying to make informed decisions... 8-) Herping can ignite some hot passions, and it's good to see someone keeping a cool head, and knowing what they want to do, before they hit the field... ;)

Welcome to the Forums, and good luck in whichever path you choose... :thumb:

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