Not my board line

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
jb000
Posts: 7
Joined: July 26th, 2018, 2:54 pm

Not my board line

Post by jb000 » February 19th, 2020, 5:46 pm

I recently found some board lines in SoCal on Google Maps. I have no idea who placed the boards or how often they are flipped by others. Would it be unethical for me to go to these sites and flip boards that aren't mine? If I were to go, I would be very respectful to the boards and the surrounding habitat.

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 20th, 2020, 9:15 am

You know what they say… One man’s trash is another man’s trash

I was going to lay down the law with a 13 point subparagraph underlining user manual Rule-of-dr- Herp-thumb... But instead I’ll just share this...

In Northern California, it’s been way too early to be going out. However in my first couple hike/walks I found countless rocks already rolled over, logs flipped upside, boards laying next to discolored squares on the ground of the same size... And spent my annual replacing of the critter houses so that the same jackasses can come back in a couple weeks and do it all over again and find the snakes before me. So my advice is, don’t be a jackass to yourself... Because I’m not driving all the way to Southern California (hands in the air shrugging emoji inserted) :lol: and if you respect yourself, you’ve got better chances of the person who set up that board lien respecting you. Well, maybe...

And it’s never a bad idea to reseal moisture gaps :thumb:

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 20th, 2020, 9:34 am

If you’re truly worried about disrespecting this person’s board line. I have the coolest suggestion in the world… Screen shoot the board line and post it to this thread. (Removing the Lat and long) and ask the person to PM you. They may just join up with you for the day :beer:

Jimi
Posts: 1888
Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Jimi » February 21st, 2020, 3:41 pm

Would it be unethical
I (sort of) applaud your presented sense of decency, at the same time as kind of laughing at your framing of the situation. Either:
  • the boards are on private land owned by those who laid them out, or
  • the boards are on private land owned by someone else (who may or - far more likely - may not have given permission for the boards to be placed there), or
  • the boards have been placed on public land (again, either with or without permission for the boards to be placed there). A very low-odds possibility is, the boards are there legally as part of some monitoring or research project, in which case you'd be an ass to mess with them. In all likelihood, they were put there without permission (i.e., illegally dumped).

Clear enough? Now,
  • In the first case, the so very least likely case, you need to discover the owner (just go to the County Recorder website) and ask permission.
  • In the second case, if permission wasn't granted, if you ask to get onto the land, you've set up the trespasser-vandal for detection and prosecution. Or, you trespass, and risk detection & prosecution for trespassing - and maybe whatever else they can make stick.
  • In the third case, you're looking at what is now public trash, and a crime scene. Nobody can legally f*ck with you for touching public trash. Almost all of the public would appreciate you loading it in a truck and taking it to the dump. All except one or two guys. Who are probably the most likely guys you'd run into out there. You might also run into a cop with jurisdiction over the property, who might just try to stick you with the violation.

If I were to go, I would be very respectful to the boards and the surrounding habitat.
Sounds nice. But does it actually mean anything, in the real world, outside of your skull?



Seems to me like there's just something you want to do. All you really need to ask yourself (and NOT US) is, are you willing to pay the price - to yourself, to the board-setter, to the landowner, and to "the man" - of doing it? Seriously - make that judgment. What do you stand to gain? What do you stand to lose? Easiest route would to just forget those boards, dude. Any other course of action has a pretty damn big cone of uncertainty flaring out from it.

Stepping back some - life is simpler when you establish a personal code, and live by it. Accept the consequences if your code leads to conflict, and don't whine like a bitch when it goes sideways. But a good code is a good code. Your subject line says it all -
not your board line
Assuming you have one - does your personal code say "your stuff is actually my stuff"? Dirtbag life, man. Dirtbag life. Trouble, sooner or later.

Good luck, take care.

User avatar
BillMcGighan
Posts: 2311
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Location: Unicoi, TN

Re: Not my board line

Post by BillMcGighan » February 22nd, 2020, 5:43 am

You're a good herping person for even asking this question.

Jimi pretty much hit the nail on the head.


When forming your personal morality, I'd like to add two things to consider:

1. If you are harvesting, and not just observing, consider that someone else put in many hours and sweat putting the boards out.

2. In some states (I don't know about CA) and on some federal land, you may find a board line with tags indicated that it is part of a formal study by a University group or other Government group. You may find yourself more responsible to leave these be.

Again, just for consideration..... It's ultimately your choice. :)

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 22nd, 2020, 9:31 pm

.

mark buck
Posts: 83
Joined: March 30th, 2015, 10:01 am
Location: Bakersfield, CA

Re: Not my board line

Post by mark buck » February 23rd, 2020, 1:30 am

To put it simply... yes, its unethical to flip through someone's board-line.
That's probably not the answer you wanted to hear but I'm just being honest.

That said, almost nothing in field herping is black and white... hence all the long replies above, and the one your about to get haha. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you I've never flipped through someone else's line, because that would be a lie. But after I started setting out my own boards(2nd year in the field), I realized how much effort goes into setting up/maintaining a simple line, and I stopped visiting other people's sites out of respect to them. In order to truly understand the frustration behind this topic, you just have to experience it first hand. It's a horrible feeling to set up a board-line, wait a full year(sometimes 2) for the boards to set, then finally visit your site when conditions are good and there's trails to all your boards/everything's been flipped.

You also have to understand that the more times a board is flipped in a season, the less likely it is to harbor snakes. Snakes don't want to hang around under a board that's flipped up from over their heads every weekend LOL. So every time you go out and flip this person's boards, your hurting their chances of seeing whatever it is their targeting.

Then again, it's also the responsibility of the board-line creator to keep his boards hidden. Using smaller boards can prevent your lines from being discovered on google maps. With today's technology, laying out a big 4x8 in a field is almost like sending out an invitation for a bunch of yahoos to come flip it LOL.

My recommendation to you is to find a "dump site" to flip through(not a deliberately set up "board-line"). There's lots of them around SoCal and sometimes they are even more productive than traditional "board-lines". This way you get your fix flipping serpents and don't piss anybody off in the process :)

PS: My experience with this stuff is pretty limited, there's others on this forum with 30+ years of board-line experience. Some of them have even written books on the topic! Like Brian Hubbs, he wrote a book, its called "Common Kingsnakes"... go buy it! :lol:

And finally here's a few pictures to remind you that setting up board-lines is a lot of damn work! :thumb:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

jb000
Posts: 7
Joined: July 26th, 2018, 2:54 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by jb000 » February 26th, 2020, 7:16 pm

I appreciate all of the insight.

I have also spent hours setting up board lines and I know how tedious it can be which is why I try to be considerate.

The boards I found are all on public land so I think it should be fine to access them. Besides I would only go to these board lines once because I have to drive somewhat far.

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 27th, 2020, 2:11 am

You should post what you find to the thread! If it were my board line, Id want to see what was found there…

Think of it like a crawdad trap or a trotline... If you come across one out in the middle of nowhere, it’s probably OK to check it. But if there’s fish on the hook or dad’s in the trap, it would be unethical to take it. That’s the way I see it... From a hunters perspective (i’m not a hunter. Or a fisherman anymore). But I’ve never set up either one. Maybe a crawdad trap when I was a kid. But I remember I used to find them when we were fishing out in elk Grove, crawdad traps, my dad said leave it there don’t take it. He worked for Fish and game after his army service

Here’s an interesting story that might settle some disruption among readers… When I was a kid (11-15 yrs old), our board lines were all set up from old fallen sheds that we found while out hiking through the Roseville foothills. Or junk piles in the middle of fields or just randomly laid boards. Wed see some fallen shed or Farm house and there would be pieces of sheet metal that blew off the roof during a windstorm laying around the outside of it. Or pieces of plywood. We’d find a snake under there and then we end up pulling the thing apart and spreading everything out. Very organic and no one ever taught us how to do it. So when I’m driving through Yolo county and I see a trash pile that somebody dumped on the side of the road near Field, I might go and pull a couple of those boards off the side of the road. But if something is laying there randomly and I find a snake under it, I just leave it right there.

So there was this one time, there were three giant boards dropped. Maybe eight by fours or something like that. They were obviously just dumped on the side of the road and they were on gravel more than anything else. Two of them were overlapping. I’ve left those boards and found Three racers in a garter snake. I left them there for a whole year and I ended up calling that the razor boards. I even took Gary Nafis to them. They were that productive. Then one day I noticed someone pulled one of the boards over into the grass. At first I thought about moving it back because I thought it was my spot or at least a good spot. But instead I just left it there inside well maybe somebody said these boards here. It was highly unlikely that somebody put the boards there purposely because they were in Plainview of passing cars right on the side of the road. Anyways I just left the board there and I figured OK will someone who is a Herper wants that board there for whatever reason LOL I’ll let them do their thing no worries. I ended up finding my Lyford giant garter snake under the board and two more giant garter snakes. I kind of felt like somebody saw me flipping the boards and we’re wondering or trying to show me to pull them out into the grass and you’ll get better results. But I was doing great with those boards to begin with. Why fix something That isn’t broke. But whoever drug that bored out there they only drive one board and not the other two. Then again maybe the wind just blew it up on it’s end and flew it over there who knows lol The moral of the story is, positive thinking equals positive results. I have spoken… Well maybe Nick Nolte has, but words have been said

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 27th, 2020, 3:02 am

Oh yeah and if anyone didn’t get the Nick Nolte reference you need to be watching the Mandalorian ... what the heck. Or you could just reference the nick Nolte to not understanding what the hell I’m saying because of auto correct :lol: and for that I’m not going to correct that last paragraph above :mrgreen:

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 27th, 2020, 8:30 am

So the main point about the trotline and crawdad trap is… If you’re going to set down a board in hopes to catch a snake from under it, essentially it’s a trap. And then when you set a trap to catch an animal, we normally call that hunting. So, you have to ask yourself how do ethics tie into hunting? When is hunting unethical? Well, you truly should only hunt if you’re starving to death. Otherwise you’re not doing it for any ethical reason, you’re only doing it for fun... for sport. For the love of killing something. Now of course there’s some gray area in regards to fishing. People catch fish and release them. Still, that has nothing to do with ethics… That’s sport.

So to sit here and debate whether or not you’re making an unethical choice by utilizing another persons methods/traps to accomplish something that is unethical, seems to me to be a paradox, or some other crazy goddamn thing. Like what the hell are we Really even talking about here? :lol: :lol: The ethical thing would be to leave the snake alone to begin with. So ethics have nothing to do with this in my opinion. It’s about a code between hunters. And the only thing you really should be concerned about is… Becoming the hunted :shock:

Ok I’m done lol

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 27th, 2020, 9:25 am

There’s only one true 100% morally correct ethical method of field Herping… In situ photography. Otherwise you’re all bad guys :lol: :lol: :lol:

…And road cruising. That takes it even a step farther because you’re Saving an animal’s life

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 27th, 2020, 3:48 pm

I’m really sorry for dragging this on…lol but I just woke up for a moment and was rolling around in bed and something else funny occurred to me. So if it’s unethical to hunt an animal without the intention of survival. Then the person who is checking the traps to see if the Hunter caught anything, is actually LESS unethical than the person/hunter who set up the board line to catch the snake. Because they’re the ones committing the crime against nature :lol: you’re just observing to see if they were successful or not :lol: :crazyeyes: :sleep: Back to sleep. My job is done here

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 27th, 2020, 5:56 pm

All right I’m sorry but I have to clarify what I mean by “crime against nature” because I can already see how people are gonna swing this around,In their minds in a negative way, to something that I’m not saying..

I don’t mean crime against nature as it’s commonly referred to in legal terms. What I mean by crime against nature is exactly what the words mean, literally. A crime against “mother nature”,. Doing something that has no logical reasoning behind it in regards to the natural circle of life. Somethings that throws off the balance between positive and negative, hot and cold, good and evil, etc. etc. an act of killing, is only justifiable under the law of mother nature if it’s for the purpose to save life. And mother nature Is something you’re a part of and bound to by Adams. It’s inside of you, it’s all around you, you’re a part of it and you’re bound to it as a whole. so it’s not like it’s something you can ever cheat or trick. It always knows exactly what you did. Because the decisions that you make change the positive and negative balances within you. You can’t escape it. That’s what they mean by karma. That’s what they commonly refer to or try to explain through religions. Religion is basically just an attempt to understand and explain it to other people. There’s many versions of it. But it’s all talking about the same thing. So religious person might refer to what I’m talking about as a crime against God. You know, the whole Santa Claus is watching you thing… Its something simplified to help children understand the concept. But geez Louise, right and wrong is so twisted nowadays we are literally being threatened with the end of the world or existence as we know it. I mean you turn on the radio and listen to some popular music, Jesus Christ… How could it get this far. But the concept is simple. Be a good person and good things will happen for you. Positive thinking leads to positive results. It’s best explained with the “force“ concept in Star Wars. Which George Lucas basically just simplified the fiber of all religions to give a child like easy to understand concepts of what we except and believe as religion. The force is real lol We just haven’t become technically advanced enough to prove it. This is why it seems so silly to me to see scientist argue with religious people like it’s two opposite sides. Unbelievable

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 27th, 2020, 6:25 pm

And what I mean by “killing is only justifiable if it’s to save life” i’m speaking specifically to the natural world. In regards to predator and prey. Not any human justifying in their mind through insanity that they’re doing something right and that it’s going to have some benefit by killing someone. In no way am I referring to “murder.” What I’m saying is, snakes aren’t bad lol … The common house cat on the other hand… yeah...Very bad lol When it leaves that little lizard on your doorstep That he chased around, clawed and Chewed on for an hour until it finally died. Pure evil :lol:

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 27th, 2020, 6:39 pm

But with cats, even that’s Debatable because you don’t truly know the reason the cat is doing it. Honestly, I believe it’s a result of domestication. Mother Cats probably did that to teach the kittens how to hunt, by weakening the prey items or simply showing them how to kill something to eat it. But with domestication, house cats get their food from us ...so I think it’s just some lingering instinctual reminiscence that they should be doing that for some reason or another… But yeah, cats are just as confused as us these days lol Overboard

jb000
Posts: 7
Joined: July 26th, 2018, 2:54 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by jb000 » February 27th, 2020, 11:53 pm

Wow I guess I really got you thinking :D . I was merely looking for yes or no answers but your response was quite elaborate. I read your posts but I’m not the one to respond to it all.

Anyway, thanks for the input. I have concluded that going to one of the flip sites I scoped out won’t do much harm to anyone if I only go once, maybe twice.

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 28th, 2020, 5:15 am

jb000 wrote:
February 27th, 2020, 11:53 pm
Wow I guess I really got you thinking :D . I was merely looking for yes or no answers but your response was quite elaborate. I read your posts but I’m not the one to respond to it all.
Lol under no obligation to. Yeah, once I get on a subject I feel like I need to explain myself thoroughly and not leave any loose ends. Otherwise it bugs me. Especially when typing things in social media. Because if I leave things open to interpretation, believe me I always get the worst :lol:

Also, just know that I’m not necessarily speaking to you directly, personally! I’m speaking specifically towards the subject.
jb000 wrote:
February 27th, 2020, 11:53 pm


Anyway, thanks for the input. I have concluded that going to one of the flip sites I scoped out won’t do much harm to anyone if I only go once, maybe twice.
Only mother nature can determine that :lol: you’re betting with your karma, so play your cards right. Even if you sneak in and out of there without the board setter seeing you, she will (insert one eyebrow raised emoji). And be ready for someone to hit your board line once a n return… Or twice ;) :)

Also, I want to point out one last thing. This isn’t the opinion of someone who feels like he can just go around and do whatever he wants or has no respect for other herper’s spots. Last year, a guy took me to one of his hidden spots to look for coast range mountain kingsnake. We only went one time and we found only one snake, which I found myself. And I was pretty stoked because I found it under something that he had never checked before in all of his times of going there. So I felt like I did my part in the team effort. Not only that, but it was a new individual which made the spot owner very happy to see! All around it was good vibes and a positive experience. Now, I gave him my word that I would never return there to search for them. That was a one time one thing. In fact I don’t think I will ever search for a Coast Range mountain king snake again for the rest of my life. I don’t like mountain king snakes. I differ from everyone else in regards to that species. So, I had made that decision before he ever took me there. Also, a different person took me to see my lifers zonada. I gave him my word upon his request to not return there without him and to not Bring anyone else there. I kept my word in both situations. Even though I have horrible luck with Mountain kingsnakes (The thing is I need/want to find one myself so I can be settled on the issue) :lol: I mean, I have found my own spots from DORs and I seriously just cannot find one. And I truly believe that it’s the way that I think of those snakes. Everything surrounding those snakes and how they are viewed in the Herping community goes against my Herping principles. So me even going out to look for one goes against my beliefs as far as a Herper. So it’s like I’m fighting against myself is what is preventing me from finding one. I honestly believe there has to be some positive reason behind finding one in order for me to find it. I found species much harder to find than Zonata. So it would have to be a situation where I’m saving the snake from getting run over or something like that I don’t know… I think the DORs are a clue to that or a foreshadowing...We shall see.

But not to get sidetracked, I do respect people’s spots who I know. My opinion I spoke of earlier is only in regards to finding boardlines That is unknow who they belong too.

And for one final thought… That board line or any board line could belong to no one. It may have been set by someone who has passed away. Maybe a veteran Herper who was beloved by countless members within the Herping community. Maybe some of those people know Of the board line and have left it fallow. Or maybe they shared that boardline with this person. My point is, it could be a highly sentimental place. So that is something to consider…

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 2065
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Not my board line

Post by Porter » February 28th, 2020, 5:22 am

So like I suggested before… The most respectful thing you can do is to post a screenshot of the Google Earth board line. Remove the GPS. And ask permission to go there. Only a person who knows the board line will know where it is. So you ask them to tell you where it is by giving you the latitude and longitude in the p.m. Then you know for sure they’re not bullshitting you.. Then you ask them, is it OK for me to go to your board line? That’s the coolest thing you could do

Post Reply