Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

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How far do you move Roadcruised herps off the road?

I leave them on the road
2
4%
I move them to the verge / edge
16
31%
I move them between 10-20 feet off the road
13
25%
I move them a good distance, 50+ feet off the road
3
6%
If the snake is moving, I'll let it go off by itself, but if it's not, I'll move it
13
25%
Depends on the species. I won't stop for common things but for more interesting things I will stop and move
4
8%
 
Total votes: 51

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Jeremy Wright
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Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Jeremy Wright » March 8th, 2017, 11:33 am

Hi all!
Just a 2 part question I'm wondering. For road cruised herps, how far would you all tend to move them off the road? I've seen some herpers leave them on the road, and others like I do move them angood 50-100 feet in the direction they were first pointed to minimize the chance that they return and get run over.
Also, I know some of us will hold herps overnight for photos in daytime light. Usually, how close to the original location will you let them go at? I know this is different for everyone so I'm hoping for a few responses here!
For me personally I always move things at least 20-30 feet off the road, and in the rare case I hold something overnight (only done it twice) I have always returned the animal to the exact location it was found at.

Thanks,
Jeremy

Jimi
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Jimi » March 8th, 2017, 12:26 pm

A not so simple question. I added my 3 votes.

Also depends on the road. Seriously dead roads require no action. Mostly I will just encourage (intimidate) an animal off the road on its own. Things that hide in their shell, or coil up and stand their ground, will get a manual assist. Usually gently to the edge of the grass or bushes - the far edge of the gravel or dirt shoulder.

A couple buddies and I had an interesting evening last summer, cruising a 5-mile piece of grassland blacktop in SE AZ in 2 vehicles. Had it to ourselves, it's a sweet little quiet piece of road. Not a great night, not much moving. This one yearling Mojave rattler was dead-set on being on the road, and we were seeing him every single pass. After a couple of (unheeded) gentle nudges just to the road's edge, we slung his butt WAY into the weeds on multiple occasions. He was more persistent than we were, always coming back to the exact same spot. Our last pass, leaving to go to camp, there he was, coiled in his spot. We must have seen him 5 times. It was kind of impressive, really. Dude wasn't having it any way but his own. And his homing was just perfect.

I don't take pictures, myself. When I'm herping with folks who do, and they want to hold something overnight, I encourage or help them to take it back to the exact same piece of road it came from (GPS or flag). I currently live in a desert, so tend to look for a rodent hole or some such to release the animal into. Better than releasing them into the broad daylight, when it's gonna cook soon.

Hope this helps.

cheers

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by chris_mcmartin » March 8th, 2017, 7:06 pm

By law in Texas, you can't pick up, touch, or "encourage" an animal off the roadway.

That being said, I've taken two Texas Parks and Wildlife employees road cruising and they both agreed that's crazy.

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SurfinHerp
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by SurfinHerp » March 8th, 2017, 9:10 pm

I don't stop for every herp I see on roads, but when I do stop I usually just move them a few feet off the road. I don't recall ever finding a herp I moved off the road to be DOR later on.

I'd like to mention that, in California, it's illegal to place herps into containers and then release them later. I believe this rule is designed to help prevent the spread of diseases.

Jeff

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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by mark buck » March 9th, 2017, 12:22 am

SurfinHerp wrote: I don't recall ever finding a herp I moved off the road to be DOR later on.
This happened to me last summer with a large(at least 8") adult Sonoran Desert toad.
I definitely try to move herps a little further now if possible.

*General rule of thumb: the cooler the herp, the further off the road I move em'

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Fire Drake
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Fire Drake » March 15th, 2017, 2:18 pm

I'd like to mention that, in California, it's illegal to place herps into containers and then release them later. I believe this rule is designed to help prevent the spread of diseases.
Seriously not trying to start a fight here, but I have never heard this. I am very familiar with the regs here in California. Would you please cite the code and section that mandates this? It should be somewhere in California's Title 14 or possibly a different code. If you are right, I will thank you for the good tip off. If you are wrong, I would like us all to know it. That is a bit much to make something that innocuous a crime (although it wouldn't be the first time).

Brian

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Fire Drake
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Fire Drake » March 15th, 2017, 2:59 pm

Okay, so here we go...

Didn't find anything relating to a "plastic container", but I DID find this which I was not aware of...

California Code of Regulations
Title 14. Natural Resources
Division 1. Fish and Game Commission-Department of Fish and Game
Subdivision 1. Fish, Amphibians and Reptiles
Chapter 5. Native Reptiles and Amphibians (Refs & Annos)

"(e) Reptiles or amphibians which have been in captivity, including wild-caught and captively-bred individuals or offspring, shall not be released into the wild without the written approval of the department."

I would still like to know about the plastic container reg (don't want to invite any trouble at all while out and about) but I would say that the above citation is much, much more restrictive in it's scope and we all certainly need to be aware of it. And I would bet you dollars to donuts that a Game Warden wouldn't hesitate to include an overnighter or even shorter amount of time as sufficiently representing, "captivity."

Brian

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Scott Waters
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Scott Waters » March 15th, 2017, 3:17 pm

The literal translation is that if you pick something up and put it in a container, it is a captive animal. For that matter, in your hand is "possession", meaning if you touch it you should have any necessary permits or licenses. I live in CA. We actually have VERY good herp regs here, in my opinion.

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Jeremy Wright
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Jeremy Wright » March 15th, 2017, 3:29 pm

SurfinHerp wrote:I don't stop for every herp I see on roads, but when I do stop I usually just move them a few feet off the road. I don't recall ever finding a herp I moved off the road to be DOR later on.

I'd like to mention that, in California, it's illegal to place herps into containers and then release them later. I believe this rule is designed to help prevent the spread of diseases.

Jeff

Hi Jeff. I did not know of this law, but luckily I've never done this in California. Once in Arizona and once in Europe actually haha. I don't like doing this anyway unless it is really absolutely necessary, and I completely understand and agree with the rule.

I'm not sure how many people do it, but it definitely seems like it isn't an uncommon thing to, holding on to an animal overnight, even here in CA.

-Jeremy

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Fire Drake
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Fire Drake » March 16th, 2017, 11:24 am

I live in CA. We actually have VERY good herp regs here, in my opinion.
I am going to respectfully disagree with you on that, sir. I won't go into my background, but I have extensive experience with the topic of conservation and find many (certainly not all to be reasonable, realistic, and fair) CDFW regs/Title 14 laws to be overreaching and very archaic in their attempt to preserve our native wildlife. Take the Pond Turtle for instance. They are illegal to posses, but you can go anywhere and find Red-Eared Sliders and buy a bushel. The RES has been a contributing factor in the demise of the Pond turtle across this state. This makes no sense. If they were to restrict the importation of the RES, and establish a captive breeding provision (think Rosy Boa and the others on the way-to-short list) and tons of these were to get released like the Sliders do each year by the irresponsible masses, then you would not have the current encroachment problem that you do. The CB permits could finance the program. That is a perfect example of why the Fish and Game Commission's long-standing stance on simple prohibition is ineffective in so many areas. Don't even get me started on how they are approaching the Zonata debacle either. And the list goes on.

I am well aware of the need to regulate our natural resources. I have been contributing to this effort personally and financially since I was 7 years old. I am not anti-law, or anti-establishment but I have to say, I really, really dislike the way our state is managing....well, just about everything they manage currently. Simply making it illegal to do anything but pick up a rock out at the tide pools is not true conservation. Look at Catalina Island as another example of how NOT to do it. They restrict land-use and development to the nth degree in the name of conservation but they have had several problems over the years dealing with goats, eagles, etc., and since they have no real effective way of generating revenue, it takes forever to get anything actually done to preserve something or make adjustments to their micro-environment. This way of managing doesn't work in the long run. You can't just restrict and then hope for the best. It's just as bad as the other practice that makes me crazy which is to create restrictions on bad or insufficient data, something the Commission also does on a regular basis. Unfortunately for me and anyone else who shares my opinion on the matter, my inside track at CDFW leads me to believe it is going to get worse. There has been a noticeable shift in the direction the department is moving recently. The concept of Restriction=Conservation seems to be the new mantra over there more than it ever has been. I have even heard long-time, retired Game Wardens use the word "transformational" to describe the recent shift.

Anyway, today I am having a sale and for the time it takes to read this post you get much more than 2 cents...about $20 bucks worth I'd say. I am brand new to this board and I really hope that my opinion and comments do not upset anyone who's views differ. I did not join to flame, troll or attack anyone or their views. I hope that people read what I type with an open mind, and I assure you I do the same. How else are we supposed to try and understand other people's viewpoints (especially the ones that differ from our own) in order to better understand why people do what they do and say what they say?

Fair weather and safe, productive hunting everyone.

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Fire Drake
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Fire Drake » March 16th, 2017, 12:00 pm

Please also note that I was responding to what amounts to one line of your post without the benefit of knowing the details of what and why you feel is "VERY good" in your opinion. I want to stress that there are parts of California conservation that I am in total agreement with and I actually very much support the "thin, tan and green line" that stands between the decimation of our F/F and it's sustained recovery and/or proliferation. I have stood by and watched as a Game Warden cited a squirrel hunter for taking 200 squirrels when the limit was 5 and watched in enjoyment as all his gear was confiscated. I don't want to come off like I am poo-poo'ing the whole system. I am a SCUBA diver and LOVE what they have been doing off of our coasts with the Marine Protected Areas and finally allowing sea otters to come south instead of relocating them to San Nicolas Island when they do.

I think my last post was more of a knee-jerk reaction to your phrasing: "VERY good." Or maybe call it a "nerve" being struck that drudged up some old feelings I don't get to talk about much. In any case, again...I hope I haven't come off too opinionated. And since I feel better now, please feel free to send me an invoice for services rendered to the tune of $125 for an hour of therapy. After all, it's the going rate...trust me...I know.

Brian

craigb
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by craigb » March 16th, 2017, 12:16 pm

Brian, I agree with much of what you said and also think that more restrictions are coming. I was an Animal Control Officer in Ca. for 15 years and I have special insight regarding Coyotes and Cougars. I think they will be next in regulation reform.

I take quick, crappy pics on the road and walk them off a reasonable distance. I enjoy seeing them, and their longevity is my focus.

:thumb:

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Fire Drake
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Fire Drake » March 17th, 2017, 9:56 am

Like I said in my "Newbie Intro" post, I consider many of you on here to be at the Rock Star level to me, and you are definitely one of them, Craig. Thanks for replying and I completely agree with your statement about those two animals. Nice to finally type with you, sir.

Brian

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nightdriver
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by nightdriver » March 17th, 2017, 7:35 pm

I agree with much of what's been said. A lot depends on the road/traffic and the type of herp. I seem to recall once or twice finding a snake as a DOR after I've seen it/helped it off the road/or watched it get off the road. If I recall correctly, it/they were rattlesnakes I encouraged to leave the surface of the road on their own. I've seen the same snake 3 or 4 times in the same night on roads without traffic, never touching them or assisting them in any way.

Mostly I would say I take photo's while the snakes/amphibs/geckos are moving off the road on their own. A couple of times I have "helped" a rattlesnake get further faster if I thought it seemed to really want to be on the road. I will help herps on very busy roads/highways (HWY 395) should I actually find one alive, if I can do so without killing myself.(so-far-so-good)

I was once almost flattened(literally inches from death) by a Semi that intentionally crossed to our side of a road (WAY WAY over the line)in New Mexico to hit a large Mojave Rattlesnake we were trying to assist off the road. :x :x :x

I try to herp the roads without lots of cars....other herpers...., but sometimes you just have to go where the herps are....and sometimes the only roads have lots of traffic.

Most of the snakes/herps I do collect/move off the road are DORs. Some for scientific purposes(permit in hand) or just to toss them aside so something else doesn't become a DOR trying to eat it(usually a mammal)..... or so it doesn't make me hit the brakes the next pass down the road.

Unlike Jeff, I stop at everything....well almost every herp I see on the road. Just ask my wife and kids... :roll:

If somebody want's to give me a ticket for assisting a Desert tortoise across HWY 40, I'd just have to live with that.

Know the reglations where you herp, whether you agree with them or not. I once spent far to long in a Highway Patrol station for walking around with a lizard noose in a perfectly legal area(fishing license in pocket) because some busybody flagged down the CHP to tell them we were poaching or doing something illegal. Luckily the CHP were nice enough about it when they finally got in touch with Fish and Game to see what I was telling them was completely accurate. Unfortunately it wasted some prime herping hours.

I cruise thousands of miles every year...sometimes I even find stuff :beer:

-nightdriver

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by BillMcGighan » March 27th, 2017, 5:13 am

Chris
By law in Texas, you can't pick up, touch, or "encourage" an animal off the roadway.

That being said, I've taken two Texas Parks and Wildlife employees road cruising and they both agreed that's crazy.

Nightdriver
If somebody want's to give me a ticket for assisting a Desert tortoise across HWY 40, I'd just have to live with that.
I always recommend following the law, even if I don't agree, but here it strikes a personal moral chord, so I would be able to sleep quite well breaking this law to get a healthy animal out of the path of vehicles.

It also is worth mentioning, however, risks of road rescues, keeping safety in mind:

http://www.lakejacksonturtles.org/accident.htm

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Scott Waters
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Scott Waters » March 28th, 2017, 5:40 pm

BillMcGighan wrote:Chris
By law in Texas, you can't pick up, touch, or "encourage" an animal off the roadway.

That being said, I've taken two Texas Parks and Wildlife employees road cruising and they both agreed that's crazy.
VERY important, thanks for adding that Bill! This topic is 100% about safety in my opinion. I love herps, all animals, but putting yourself or someone else in serious danger is a terrible idea. I've seen way too many lives destroyed on the roadways due to unsafe acts by pedestrians and drivers. I'm a former news photographer, so I've seen a lot of unnecessary carnage over the last 25 years. Stepping on to a roadway in any amount of traffic can ruin lives, and not just that of a herper but the driver as well. Even if the driver survives, they have to live with hitting a human being. They are victimized. I've interviewed them, people not at fault, they are victims.

Anyway, be smart when deciding on whether you should step on to a roadway. I road cruise a lot, and I do it, but not with any amount of traffic present.

Scott

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nightdriver
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by nightdriver » March 30th, 2017, 6:07 pm

And when I say every....I mean every one that is SAFE to stop at.

Excellent point. Safety first.

-nightdriver

craigb
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by craigb » March 31st, 2017, 6:37 am

Another simple but important point is that when removing animals from the road is to get off the road ASAP. It sounds stupid but a few years back, road cruising for the first time in Arkansas, I jumped out to grab a ratsnake off the road, and got too interested in the event. A semi came barreling around a curve and the driver and I made eye contact. I came close to leaving a stain in my shorts, as I jumped off the road. :crazyeyes:

Better to sacrifice the animal than yourself, regardless of the species. :thumb:

craigb

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Chaitanya
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Chaitanya » April 17th, 2017, 12:20 am

generally prefer the animals to move on their own. dont mind waiting and stopping traffic till animals move out of danger.

nicnmike
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by nicnmike » April 19th, 2017, 5:54 am

When road cruising, what kind of safety measures do you take? Do you guys have flashing amber lights for the top of your car and wear reflective vests? Or is it better not to draw too much attention to yourselves?

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Jeremy Wright
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by Jeremy Wright » April 20th, 2017, 7:34 pm

nicnmike wrote:When road cruising, what kind of safety measures do you take? Do you guys have flashing amber lights for the top of your car and wear reflective vests? Or is it better not to draw too much attention to yourselves?
I don't have either, but I always cruise in pairs of 2 people in a car. If the current spot isn't safe to stop the car or pull it entirely off the road whoever is in the passenger seat will hop out and deal with the animal while the driver goes on until a safe place to stop. That's the way I always do it at least.

rtdunham
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by rtdunham » April 26th, 2017, 3:31 pm

craigb wrote:Another simple but important point is that when removing animals from the road is to get off the road ASAP. It sounds stupid but a few years back, road cruising for the first time in Arkansas, I jumped out to grab a ratsnake off the road, and got too interested in the event. A semi came barreling around a curve and the driver and I made eye contact...

Better to sacrifice the animal than yourself, regardless of the species. :thumb:

craigb
Similar experience in Florida. Thought i could see MILES in ever direction, but a trucker was upon us totally unexpectedly. He missed the car I'd left partly in the road, but i felt SO stupid afterwards, and so careless.

rtdunham
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Re: Question / Poll : How Far do you move herps from roads?

Post by rtdunham » April 26th, 2017, 3:31 pm

craigb wrote:Another simple but important point is that when removing animals from the road is to get off the road ASAP. It sounds stupid but a few years back, road cruising for the first time in Arkansas, I jumped out to grab a ratsnake off the road, and got too interested in the event. A semi came barreling around a curve and the driver and I made eye contact...

Better to sacrifice the animal than yourself, regardless of the species. :thumb:

craigb
Similar experience in Florida. Thought i could see MILES in ever direction, but a trucker was upon us totally unexpectedly. He missed the car I'd left partly in the road, but i felt SO stupid afterwards, and so careless.

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