I took a trip to the Shawnee National Forest and to Louisiana June 22 - 28. This trip was a record. The worst snake hunting trip I have ever done. Even so, I really enjoyed it for three reasons. I met a herpetologist at Southeastern Louisiana University, Dr. Cliff Fontenot. He was a great host and recommended a road to hunt. I saw about 6 snakes on this road including a DOR mud snake. The next day I made contact with John Pojman at Louisiana State University. We both share a pursuit of chemistry for a career and herpetology for fun. He has the worlds largest 3-toed amphiuma and it weights 9 lbs. He also showed my how he catches amphiumas. All of this is on the You Tube link below. In addition, he treated me to a Baton Rouge classic – boiled crawfish, a first for me. Finally, I got to see my brother in Houston, whom I have not seen in 20 years. I rented a car for this trip and put 3,440 miles on it.
I cannot tell you the road I hunted that was recommended by Cliff Fontenot – not my place to divulge his favorite road hunting spot. I hunted or tried to hunt the Snake Road in the Shawnee National Forest. It had rained a lot recently and water was lapping up on both sides of the road. The road got blocked by a fallen tree and I have very little room to turn around. I must have made 10 forward-reverse maneuvers to finally turn around. I saw no snakes on this road. I did see a box turtle on the way back to my room. In Louisiana, decided to try and hunt the Whiskey Bay Highway (975) near the Atchafalaya River in the Atchafalaya Wildlife management area. I got onto the road from US 10 and went North to Louisiana 190. The road was a gravel road with little traffic and one snake (18 in cottonmouth, not videotaped). I also saw 3 armadillos but could not videotape them. I wanted to hunt the Chicot State Park, but the park closes at 9 pm. So, I decided to hunt marshy areas in Southern Louisiana. I got a room in Kaplan, Louisiana and hunted south on 35/82 towards Pecan Island. The road splits at 3147 and I took this road until it ended. Looks like a good road with no traffic. Saw several live and dead turtles, 3 live alligators and 3 dead alligators and only one snake. At this point I went to Houston to see my brother and the trip ended. See the attached You Tube link if you are interested.
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