Herping in New Hampshire

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Joined: May 5th, 2018, 4:29 pm

Herping in New Hampshire

Post by NHherper »


I got into field herping a few years ago and it quickly became my favorite hobby. The only problem is that I live in New Hampshire and snakes are hard to come by here. Of our 11 species, I've found milk snakes, garters, ribbons, water snakes, a few redbellies, and most notably, timber rattlesnakes. I also caught a fleeting glimpse of a black racer as it sped by me, but I've never been able to find one since. I feel like I know which habitats to look in, but I just can't seem to turn up many snakes. I'd love to find racers, ringnecks, and Dekays but, so far, no luck. I'll probably dedicate quite a bit of time this season to trying to track down a hognose here, but I don't expect that to be an easy search.

Any tips, tricks, or advice?

Feel free to PM me if you can suggest some areas to check out.


Posts: 43
Joined: July 16th, 2019, 9:56 am
Location: North Adams,Massachusetts

Re: Herping in New Hampshire

Post by AEthelred »

Hey NHherper, I am also A New Englander,I am from the Berkshire's.Your lucky to see that Timber,I have never seen a rattlesnake or copperhead in the wild.

Where about's in New Hampshire did you see that Timber,they say there is fewer than 200 left in N.H

Posts: 1955
Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: Herping in New Hampshire

Post by Jimi »

Careful, some stuff is pretty touchy!

The biggest "problem" with New England is, even taxa that are superabundant (e.g. racers) further south can be extremely localized, and sometimes occur in really small populations up there. Hey (assuming you don't already - sorry if mistaken) if you want to participate in something conservation-oriented, you've got this available to you:

https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/nongam ... rting.html

We welcome reports of any New Hampshire herps. While we know that painted turtles and bullfrogs, for example, are common, we have little documentation of species occurrence in particular waterbodies or towns. Specific location information on each sighting of all species, whether rare or common, is important.


Species marked with a * on the List of Amphibians and Reptiles of New Hampshire require documentation: a detailed description of the actual animal (not a description from a book), a drawing, or a clear photograph. These species are rare or similar to other species.


RAARP data is entered into the computer as a "verified" or a "sighting" report. In order for a sighting to be considered "verified," it must be accompanied by documentation. Photographs are acceptable documentation. As collection is not encouraged, specimens are not required. However, a properly preserved road kill may be submitted as documentation (see "Tips on Field Techniques"). A reporting slip unaccompanied by documentation is considered a "sighting report."
Good hunting! Stay legal, have fun! There's some good folks working at NHFG, get to know them if you don't already.

Posts: 428
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT

Re: Herping in New Hampshire

Post by stlouisdude »

I am in MA so probably not that much different than you. The same things will work there. For aquatic turtles, I like to use binoculars so I can see them before they take off. I have seen a lot of watersnakes that way too. For the timbers, check rock crevices, ledges, etc. Literring is illegal so I would never recommend bringing in new material, but if you find a flat board, tin, etc, I see no harm with strategically reloacting it from deep share into a grassy field or forest edge in the sun and checking under those for snakes. flat rocks are worth checking too, but I would caution not to lift one so heavy that you drop it to the demise of whatever might be under it, only lift ones you can comfortably lift and control.

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