Snake Road Question

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Norman D
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Snake Road Question

Post by Norman D » September 15th, 2011, 9:45 am

I will be in Western Indiana between October 20-25 (I believe).

I am kinda thinking about sneaking over to snake road for a day, but I was wondering what my chances are of seeing a timber rattlesnake. Are they down for the season in that area by the end of October?

Thank you for any help. Perhaps PMs for more specific information.

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-EJ
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by -EJ » September 15th, 2011, 10:00 am

I don't remember that Timbers occur in the area of Snake Road but that is the end of the change of seasons so stuff should be still moving.
Norman D wrote:I will be in Western Indiana between October 20-25 (I believe).

I am kinda thinking about sneaking over to snake road for a day, but I was wondering what my chances are of seeing a timber rattlesnake. Are they down for the season in that area by the end of October?

Thank you for any help. Perhaps PMs for more specific information.

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Mike VanValen
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Mike VanValen » September 15th, 2011, 10:34 am

I believe they are there but are one of the least seen species.

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reptilist
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by reptilist » September 15th, 2011, 11:09 am

I talked to a local fellow who walks snake road several times a year. I asked him about timbers and he said that he has never seen one on snake road, but has seen them up in the forest where he mountain bikes (nearby, I assume).

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Knightkrawler5
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Knightkrawler5 » September 15th, 2011, 11:14 am

They are definitely there...I didn't see any last year but we found sheds and some other people spotted a few crossing the main road

Erik Williams
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Erik Williams » September 15th, 2011, 11:26 am

I've seen many timbers on snake road itself, but they are not a common snake. Southern IL hasnt gotten a lot of rain this year (except for some SEVERE flooding this spring) so I'm not sure how productive it will be - your timing is a bit late but not too late, so concentrate on the west facing bluffs in the afternoon. I wouldn't even start until after one. The mornings will be better for flipping AC.

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-EJ
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by -EJ » September 15th, 2011, 11:29 am

Are there east facing bluffs????? (I'm sorry... couldn't resist)
Erik Williams wrote:I've seen many timbers on snake road itself, but they are not a common snake. Southern IL hasnt gotten a lot of rain this year (except for some SEVERE flooding this spring) so I'm not sure how productive it will be - your timing is a bit late but not too late, so concentrate on the west facing bluffs in the afternoon. I wouldn't even start until after one. The mornings will be better for flipping AC.

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Eric East
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Eric East » September 15th, 2011, 2:01 pm

There are indeed timbers there but, you aren't likely to see them crossing "the road" in fact, I have never seen one on the road. You just have to put in a little time and effort to find them.
Don't carry a hook, tongs or bags though. They take collecting (or the appearance of collecting) very seriously.

Good luck!

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Norman D
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Norman D » September 15th, 2011, 2:15 pm

Thanks everyone! Maybe I may give it a whirl. Might be a few more years before I have another shot at a timber.

I have no intentions of carrying a hook/tongs/etc. I rarely ever bring one with me except maybe roadcruising.

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Don Becker
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Don Becker » September 15th, 2011, 2:19 pm

They are there among the rocks, and people have posted pictures here of them crossing the road. They aren't as common as cottonmouths, but they don't seem to be as rare as they used to be.

KevColubrid
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by KevColubrid » September 15th, 2011, 3:35 pm

There are no snakes at snake road whatsoever. You have to go to cool places like nerdslick, Kansas or bumtwist, Iowa to find snakes. I like to look in corn fields. :thumb:

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reptilist
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by reptilist » September 15th, 2011, 4:36 pm

I can understand not carrying potential snake containers... But walking without my hook takes a little fun out of it.
It's like an extra finger for poking around.... I mean, presume me innocent first OK, LE ?

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Don Becker
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Don Becker » September 15th, 2011, 5:18 pm

KevColubrid wrote:There are no snakes at snake road whatsoever. You have to go to cool places like nerdslick, Kansas or bumtwist, Iowa to find snakes. I like to look in corn fields. :thumb:
Don't tell people to come here. We don't need tourists :P

Wayne_MO
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Wayne_MO » September 15th, 2011, 6:25 pm

October 20-25th is too late to be ideal but not too late to see a Timber Rattlesnake.

Generally their peak migration on the road itself is late September-early October (they are among the first snakes to move) and they can be found on the road itself into at least mid-October.

On the bluffs you can find them into mid-November if the weather is unseasonably warm.

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DaneConley
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by DaneConley » September 15th, 2011, 6:56 pm

They are there. If you spend an entire day there during the migration you have a decent chance of finding one. Not anywhere near 100% chance. People have found mulitple in one day, but usually if you spend all day and know what you are doing you have a 50% chance. However, if you dont have someone with you who knows the road and you dont know where to look, your chances shrink.

They are not the most common snake there but walking the road at night is a good idea. (Doing it safely! So I dont reccomend going off the road at night where there is lots of plants)

For snake hooks, there isnt any real reason for them. Touching hots indirectly or directly is forbidden. Poking around in a hole with one is dangerous for the snake and you would only scare it more out of sight.

Hope this helped.

MonarchzMan
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by MonarchzMan » September 15th, 2011, 7:45 pm

reptilist wrote:I can understand not carrying potential snake containers... But walking without my hook takes a little fun out of it.
It's like an extra finger for poking around.... I mean, presume me innocent first OK, LE ?
I agree. A large number of people go there to look for the snakes, and I guess I'm of the opinion that it's probably safer to let people have equipment that is specifically designed to work with snakes than equipment that is not designed for such (i.e., a random stick in the woods).

You don't even have to plan to handle venomous snakes directly or indirectly. You could be flipping logs and get a hand too close to a snake you don't see. Hooks give you that added safety net.

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Norman D
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Norman D » September 15th, 2011, 11:34 pm

DaneConley wrote:They are there. If you spend an entire day there during the migration you have a decent chance of finding one. Not anywhere near 100% chance. People have found mulitple in one day, but usually if you spend all day and know what you are doing you have a 50% chance. However, if you dont have someone with you who knows the road and you dont know where to look, your chances shrink.
My chances are slim, but I figure I would give it a whirl. I plan to return again since my fiance's family resides in western Indiana.
DaneConley wrote: They are not the most common snake there but walking the road at night is a good idea. (Doing it safely! So I dont reccomend going off the road at night where there is lots of plants)
Are timbers active at night that late in the year?

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Knightkrawler5
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Knightkrawler5 » September 15th, 2011, 11:36 pm

MonarchzMan wrote:reptilist wrote:
I can understand not carrying potential snake containers... But walking without my hook takes a little fun out of it.
It's like an extra finger for poking around.... I mean, presume me innocent first OK, LE ?


I agree. A large number of people go there to look for the snakes, and I guess I'm of the opinion that it's probably safer to let people have equipment that is specifically designed to work with snakes than equipment that is not designed for such (i.e., a random stick in the woods).

You don't even have to plan to handle venomous snakes directly or indirectly. You could be flipping logs and get a hand too close to a snake you don't see. Hooks give you that added safety net.
Yeah :? ....Hooks imply you mean to "harass" snakes...which is a no no on the road. Snake road is a great place to observe the snake migration and get all the cool "in situ" pics you could ever want of a great variety of snakes. Sure a hook is "safer" to have than a stick....but on the road it is illegal to mess with any of the snakes....so having a hook is pointless. Just enjoy all the snakes that you get to see!

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Norman D
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Norman D » September 16th, 2011, 12:13 am

Not a big fan of hooking/posing animals and I try to photograph in-situ as much as possible. For me, it is fun observing/photographing an animal without disturbing it. In-situ shots are far more interesting to me. For me, its like a documentation of natural behavior.

I bring a hook with me when road cruising to move animals off the road if necessary. Actually, I bought my first snake hook last summer for this purpose. Initially, I was taking my hook out with me while in the field to move annoying branches out of the way or to get animals on the crawl. But now, I just take what I can. lol

Image
Image

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Mike Pingleton » September 16th, 2011, 4:46 am

Wow, nobody's posted any pics!

Here's a big Timber on the Road from back in 2007. Some of you might remember how hot it was that October weekend - daytime temps in the 90s!

Image

and here's a little guy, found off to the side:

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Please note, if you bring a hook to Snake Road, you may get a ticket.

-Mike

seanchilders
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by seanchilders » September 16th, 2011, 8:06 am

i made my first venture to snake rd late last year, on oct 28th....and found this.
Image
not the heartiest timber, but he was out......good luck

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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Barry R » September 16th, 2011, 10:11 am

I was fortunate enough to see one crossing the road last spring, and I saw 2 that others found on consecutive days in early Oct. I've been to "the road" about 6 times and these were the first Timbers I'd seen there.

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peterknuteberg
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by peterknuteberg » September 16th, 2011, 1:14 pm

Herping at Snake Road is like a box of chocolates--you never know what your are going to get. :lol: . As Mike Pingleton, one of the best herpers I know, likes to say, "we'll take what the Universe brings us."

My theory: slow down, smell the fall air, look and listen and the Universe and snake road will not disapoint you. If you bring a snake hook on the road however, the $10,000 fine might put a damper on your experience. The police will be out there. I have spoken to them and they are generally nice and reasonable people: no Snake hooks, no collecting, no harassing animals, leave stuff the way you find it, and you should still have a great experience. The Timbers are hit or miss but massive herp movement is almost a guarantee. I have also noticed that the Timbers at the road are usually quite cooperative for photos and rather docile. Of course, touching one with your hands, pinning them, or picking them up with your hands or a snake hook are a "no, no".

Once a group of herpers, me included, were talking in a circle on the road. It was 5 minutes before someone noticed that a Miss. Green water snake was coiled up right in the middle of our circle--somehow, we didn't see it. It's very easy to walk right by a snake. You almost have to put yourself on Reptile speed to fully appreciate the experience: stop, soak up a little sun, re-engerize, move a little, flick your tongue into the air and get a taste....(i digress).

It's also pretty much impossible to check all the rocks, nooks, crannies, hillsides, cliffs, and spots at snake road--the possibilities are almost infinite, although I saw some Candadians get damned close in a weekend and they were rewarded with 40 species, including at least 4 horridus. The other thing is that there will large numbers of herpers at the road. When you see a group of them standing around a circle, with cameras flashing, and looking at something, you will know that they have found something. Usually, someone finds a Timber and lets others know.

Eric Williams correctly stated:
so concentrate on the west facing bluffs in the afternoon. I wouldn't even start until after one.
--True. Snake road can be cavernous, dark and even a little "cold" on October mornings.

I will see if I can post some photos tonight. :beer:

missouriherper
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by missouriherper » September 16th, 2011, 1:51 pm

There are definately Timbers there, I myself have never seen one bt the last time i was there, some guys told me that they found one the day before.......

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reptilist
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by reptilist » September 16th, 2011, 2:44 pm

Of course I did not bring any herping tools with me on my stroll down the famous path because I always try to conduct myself within the law. But I met a fellow from Chicago with a walking stick... Granted he had a bad hip, but what's the difference? I have a bum hip too sometimes, I guess a special cane might be ok.... I enjoyed my stroll there and I'll go back some day for another look, but I think I enjoy poking around the wild country, the public lands, where a guy can carry a snake hook, I like seclusion just a little bit better.
The main thing is to practice a policy of no harassment toward the native residents, whether you pick up a stick or bring your own.

Love the horridus pictures!!!

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justinm
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by justinm » September 16th, 2011, 7:26 pm

I could post a ton of Snake Road Timbers... Mike that was a great find early evening halfway into our hike. I remember being covered in sweat on an Oct. evening, found a milk crossing the road as well. Milks seem to be less common than Timbers, with hoggies being even more rare.

To those that haven't seen them don't give up. I've seen them go only a few feet off the road, and I had a hard time locating it by sight. They blend in so well it's amazing literally disappearing before your eyes. For that I will post some pics. But you should seriously look at under herped places like Montana, South Dakota, Manitoba, and San Diego for all the cool stuff.

Beautiful juvie with a meal, likely the first and last meal of the year for that one before going down for the long cold.
Image

This is one sharing a den with a more common Cottonmouth, I think Andy Avram was with me when he asked "can you find Timbers here at Snake Road". I think this was the first den I took him to, and well they are at the Road, obviously.
Image

This snake was crossing the road, one of the handful I've seen fully exposed and "crossing" the road.
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This Timber was encouraged to cross the road by kind of stomping towards it so that a large group of civilians coming down the road wouldn't harass it. It was on the road exposed and "crossing".
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Last one I'm going to post from Snake Road, but this one was on the road exposed as well... I guess there's a reason that this place is so special. Even hacks like me can find snakes.
Image


Justin

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Norman D
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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Norman D » September 17th, 2011, 5:24 am

Thanks everyone again and thanks for the pics
justinm wrote: But you should seriously look at under herped places like Montana, South Dakota, Manitoba, and San Diego for all the cool stuff.
There are lots of places I would love to herp! I would say San Diego gets a decent amount of herping though. I am choosing snake road because I have never been there and it isn't too far from my fiance's family's home. I go to Western Indiana every other year or so. There is another place I am researching for timbers, but I will save that for another time - perhaps in more ideal weather to hike them out. I went road cruising once or twice in the past and didn't do well - lots of DORs. It would be cool to see some animals, but my main targets are rattlesnakes. Timbers are legendary. I would say that any rattlesnake aficionado needs to see a timber, a neotropical, and both diamondback species in their lifetime - I have only seen atrox. Of course, there are many other cooler rattlesnakes as well.

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Re: Snake Road Question

Post by Paul White » September 17th, 2011, 8:38 am

underherped areas...I've always wanted to herp Montana actually, never had a chance.

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