Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

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gbin
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Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by gbin » August 25th, 2011, 9:33 am

Something mentioned in another thread got me thinking about how long I've herp hunted in AZ, and that got me wondering how long it's been for other folks here. I'm not trying to trigger any "my snake hook is bigger than your snake hook" kind of comparison among us, but just to get a feel for the span of time of various folks' experience there. So many of us say things like "back when" or even "way back when" as opposed to "nowadays" to qualify the other things we say, but such expressions can mean quite different things to different folks. I know I certainly use them differently than I did when I was a young(er) man, anyway! ;)

So, in what year did you first herp hunt in AZ?

And in what year did you last herp hunt in AZ?

I'll start:

1983, soon after first arriving there (to attend ASU).

2003; I've visited a number of times since, including as recently as 2009, but unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to herp hunt on those visits. :(

Gerry

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Jaffo
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Jaffo » August 25th, 2011, 9:54 am

Good idea, Gerry. :)

First year I visited AZ for some herping and exploring: 1998.
Year I moved to AZ, at which point I spent time nearly every week of every year for 4-5 years in the field: 2001.
Last year I herped AZ: hasn't arrived yet.

The frequency of time I've spent in the field the last few years has subsided a bit, due to several factors, not the least of which my travel schedule between 2007 and 2010, distributing much of my nature outings all around the U.S., mainly the S.E., and a nice big trip to South Africa.

And my snake hook is tiny, and I usually don't even carry it anyway. :)

When I say "way back" or "back then", I'm usually referring to the forum crowd in the mid 90s, not so much the old-school herpers I've known or when I started in the field. I am a lot younger than many of the guys I communicated with for several years "back when". :)

Jaffo

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M.J.FRANETOVICH
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » August 25th, 2011, 10:36 am

1997was my first time. -2010 was my last

I have not made it out this year due to a nasty bite from a northern pacific!

Arizona is one of my most favorite places to Hunt! I try to spend 10-12 days a year there as well as,, as many side trips as I can squeeze I'n

April-May and July-August!!! :thumb:

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gbin
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by gbin » August 25th, 2011, 3:12 pm

M.J.FRANETOVICH wrote:I have not made it out this year due to a nasty bite from a northern pacific!
Ouch! I'm sorry to hear that, sir, and I hope you're mending well!

I'm not sure which would be worse for me to suffer through, a venomous snakebite or the a$$-kicking my wife would give me for it as soon as she knew I was going to live. Let's be careful out there!

Gerry

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Retes » August 25th, 2011, 3:23 pm

I first hunted Az, in 1963. I was living in SoCal I came with my girlfriend and her mother and stayed by south mountain. Easter week. Found a lot of nice critters, my first chucks etc. But the best was a 44" lyresnake. I kept it for many years. It was under a board in an abandoned race track at the base of South Mountain.

I started seriously herping here in 1966

I moved here in 1971, soon got a job at the ASDM in both the reptile department and exhibits.

I live here now.

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John Martin
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by John Martin » August 25th, 2011, 3:38 pm

Really dating myself here, but... First trip to the Tucson area was in '63 on vacation with my father (after reading Kauffeld's Snakes and Snake Hunting, which referenced Ajo Road). I even got HIM into road cruising. :lol: I had just obtained my driver's license and I'll never forget when I jumped out of our '59 Ford at the top of a dip on the ASDM road and ran off to chase a "red racer", leaving my Dad to trying to control a driverless car coasting backwards - bwahahahaaaaa!! We both loved the Sonoran Desert so much that we did it all again the next year. Finally moved to Tucson in '74 and lived/herped there for 31 years.

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by chuckwalla » August 25th, 2011, 3:53 pm

Ok first time was in 1987 then not until 1998. I got to assist Dr Richard Montanucci in the field doing some chuck studies. I think I went in 98.99,00 and 01. then attended the Sonoran Desert Herp Symposium on 02. The didn't get out again until 2007, 08,09 and 10. Missed this year but hoping for spring 2012. I know a lot of AZ natives are pretty protective of their state and I don't blame them. BTW I didn't collect all those times. Just a few odd times when I needed an odd chuck from a certain locale. I just love the sonoran desert. My favorite spot I think are the mountains west of the Devil's Highway. What a desolate area! It is so peaceful it's sort of erie.

Retes
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Re: Hi John

Post by Retes » August 25th, 2011, 4:00 pm

John, miss you around here, hahahahahaha it has not rained normal since you left. Yes, I am blaming you. I have to blame someone, and your gone, so its you. hahahahahahaha

One day I need to come see you before you move back or a Roo gets you.

I hope your having fun and things are going good.

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Correcamino
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Correcamino » August 25th, 2011, 4:31 pm

Well, if ya count catching horned lizards and seeing atrox and coachwhips in the yard, about 1963. Last herped, I guess last night, lol. Oops, saw a garter while running about an hour ago.....

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gbin
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by gbin » August 25th, 2011, 5:06 pm

Retes wrote:I first hunted Az, in 1963. I was living in SoCal I came with my girlfriend and her mother and stayed by south mountain...
Well, Frank, there's a little bit of shared ground for us to stand on! When I lived in AZ, mostly that was right by South Mountain Park and I too used to herp there often. And, of course, you already know about the soft spot I have for lyres... :beer:

I can't tell you folks who still live in AZ how incredibly envious I am of you!

Gerry

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Jaffo
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Jaffo » August 25th, 2011, 5:12 pm

I still dig it after 10 years. But I'm about ready to try somewhere else for a while.

Good to see ya, BTW, Frank. Long time...

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Mike Rochford
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Mike Rochford » August 25th, 2011, 8:46 pm

I've been herping here since I was a little kid (15-20 years ago) because I've always had family here. I didn't know what I was doing at the time but I chased a bunch of lizards around my grandma's place and found my first horned lizards with my uncle. Also found a "red racer" which I now know as Masticophis... or is it Coluber now? Lol. We tried to find rattlesnakes but didn't have a car or much of a clue on how to find them back then. My first trip with some knowledge of how to herp was in 2001. Plenty of times since then and now I live here.

Mike

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M.J.FRANETOVICH
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » August 25th, 2011, 11:35 pm

I'm good thanks for asking! You can see the whole post on the California chapter under rattlesnake bite

Then
Image
Image

Now
Image

><)))&>
Mel

Arizona is an amazing place and I'm kinda bummed out I had to miss out this year, I had plans of pm'ing a few people and trying to meet up I'n the field! Next year!

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by dpurcell » August 26th, 2011, 1:26 am

I have only herped AZ once, way back in August 2009. Snakes are alot more common there than here in Aus and i love rattlers. I found 4 species of Crotalus, my first ever Tortoise, a venomous lizard, a number of Colubrids, a Phrynosoma solare and a really cool toad Bufo alvarius. Arizona put a big smile on my face. Just wish it wasn't so expensive to get to.

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Brendan
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Brendan » August 26th, 2011, 10:58 am

My first trip to AZ was in 1995 on a family vacation. Although I was into snakes at that point I was not a "herper" and only managed to find a few species of lizards while visiting many of the tourist attractions across the state.
I moved to AZ in 2000 and started herping about a month after settling in and I have never stopped. I'd say I manage to see herps just about every day, even when I am not "herping". On average I herp about 4/5 days of the week all year round.

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by JDM » August 26th, 2011, 11:06 am

I started herping when I lived in Fort Huachuca when I was a kid in 1982. I was only able to herp in the neighborhood, never got into the sky islands at that time. I found only lizards back then. I herped whenever I got a chance as a kid and didn't finally start herping for real until I got my first car in 1993. Ever since then I have been herping Arizona. Now that I am a little older and have ALOT more responsibilities, I only manage to find the time to herp one or two big trips a year, and a handful of small local trips per year. I love it here!

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gbin
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by gbin » August 26th, 2011, 12:55 pm

M.J.FRANETOVICH wrote:I'm good thanks for asking! You can see the whole post on the California chapter under rattlesnake bite...
Dang, Mel, that's nasty! I'm glad you're mending so well!
JDM wrote:I started herping when I lived in Fort Huachuca when I was a kid in 1982. I was only able to herp in the neighborhood, never got into the sky islands at that time...
That's like me saying that while growing up in MN I was only able to fish in the lakes and stretch of the Mississippi River that were nearby enough for me to bicycle to, and could only dream of the great walleye spots like Mille Lacs until I could drive. Poor little rich kid, JDM, you'll get no sympathy from me! :lol:

Seriously, I'm loving folks answers here. Keep them coming!

Gerry

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Verhoodled » August 27th, 2011, 11:55 pm

In 1982 I visited my grandparents on a planet called Tucson far, far removed from my home in the DC suburbs, and different from the nation's capital in every way imaginable to a 10 year old. A dozen visits over the years later I finally moved here 6 years ago.

The first herp found was a banded gecko. My first snake, a 6 beastly foot gopher, whom I roadcruised by foot and flashlight while walking my grandparents' white lab. I still visit the stretch of road I found her on, and still routinely come across her hissy little descendants in that vicinity, my original AZ herping hotspot from nearly 30 years ago now.

The magic of this land and its fauna has only ever continued to grow.

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by NickD » August 28th, 2011, 5:38 am

My first visit was in September of 2000. I was fortunate enough to tag along with a couple local veteran herpers, who would be driving from Colorado to California, and back through Arizona. It was a great trip.
I have tried to make it back there every year since, missing a couple years, and making it twice in other years.

I'm sure the first herps I saw in the state were whiptails, zebra tails, and side blotched lizards. Though these encounters were forgetable, the first herps in Arizona that made an impression on me were a couple male chuckwallas in Yuma County.
I really got to see thier curiosity, as they periodically poked their heads out of their rock cracks to see what I was doing.

That trip was one of the best experiences in my life, and was really the foundation for my love of Crotaphytus and Sauromalus. :beer:

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by rosy-man » August 28th, 2011, 7:11 am

Started in 91 and last their in july 2011

ADCIII
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by ADCIII » August 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

I was always looking for snakes, lizards, frogs, toads, and turtles while growing uo in Spokane WA, so when we first visited Tucson in 1955, I'd guess you'd say that was when I first herped AZ. When we moved there in 1957 I spent all my spare time in the field for the next six years. Although getting a full time job and supporting a family greatly reduced my herp time, I still managed to plan vacations around good or interesting herping areas. As we moved to The Big Island in 2005, we usually visit Tucson anually, I still am always looking, Art Cecil
ps. I don't have a snake hook. :)

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by troy hibbitts » August 29th, 2011, 12:25 pm

gbin wrote: So, in what year did you first herp hunt in AZ?

And in what year did you last herp hunt in AZ?
1985 (I was 15)
2011 (at 41)

probably have never gone more than 2 years between trips where I've done some herping in AZ, although some (like this year) consisted of a few stops to take pix while passing through to other places.

Troy Hibbitts
Brackettville, TX

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Natalie McNear » August 29th, 2011, 12:56 pm

Last year was my first year herping in Arizona, I went in both April and in July/August. The very first herp I found on my second trip, right when I stepped out of my car, was this scrawny ass thing. :D

Image

I'm going back next month for a third trip, hopefully I'll still have some of that luck left.

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by mikemike » August 29th, 2011, 2:53 pm

Natalie McNear wrote:Last year was my first year herping in Arizona, I went in both April and in July/August. The very first herp I found on my second trip, right when I stepped out of my car, was this scrawny ass thing. :D

Image

I'm going back next month for a third trip, hopefully I'll still have some of that luck left.
It's my turn this time.

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Norman D
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Norman D » August 30th, 2011, 12:21 am

Been in Arizona most of my life (since 88) and have always been into animals. Used to look for mountain kings since I was a child but never turned one up.

The last few years I put in more time and effort to find animals... found most of the stuff that alluded me as a child - pyros, DTs, gilas, etc.

The end of last year, I started getting into rattlesnakes. Now, that is what I primarily look for but still enjoy seeing the "other" stuff - though I usually only photograph rattlesnakes, gilas, desert tortoises, pyros, and an occasional colubrid if I am bored.

The next few years I want to knock down some AZ rattlesnake species I am missing: Obscurus, Viridis, Edwardsi, Abyssus, Lutosus, & Concolor.

I am having lots of fun herping and it has led me to many places in AZ that I would have probably never explored. Also have met some really nice people

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Jimi » August 30th, 2011, 3:34 pm

So, in what year did you first herp hunt in AZ? summer 1983
And in what year did you last herp hunt in AZ? summer 2011

I try not to skip more than a year or two. I did have a real bad stretch I missed 5-6 years in a row. Good years I get over/down there a couple-three times (spring in north & west, summer and fall in southeast). Lately they've all been "rocket runs" lasting a long weekend. I used to take longer trips, a week or 2 apiece.

Good times, but the development (in what often looks like ridiculous places - e.g. Casa Grande - WTF?!?!?) is a bummer to behold and ponder. Story of our country I guess...paving paradise for an ephemeral buck.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Natalie McNear » August 30th, 2011, 4:21 pm

mikemike wrote:
Natalie McNear wrote:Last year was my first year herping in Arizona, I went in both April and in July/August. The very first herp I found on my second trip, right when I stepped out of my car, was this scrawny ass thing. :D

I'm going back next month for a third trip, hopefully I'll still have some of that luck left.
It's my turn this time.
LOL, we'll see about that...

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Correcamino
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Re: Over what period of time have you herp hunted in AZ?

Post by Correcamino » August 31st, 2011, 6:48 am

mikemike wrote:
Natalie McNear wrote:
Last year was my first year herping in Arizona, I went in both April and in July/August. The very first herp I found on my second trip, right when I stepped out of my car, was this scrawny ass thing.

I'm going back next month for a third trip, hopefully I'll still have some of that luck left.


It's my turn this time.

LOL, we'll see about that...
Just wait for it to dry up a bit. They don't like wet weather which is why you don't see many during monsoon. In hot dry weather it is easy to find 3-4 a day.

Image

Cheers,
CC

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