introducing a king snake population...

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

shakezula
Posts: 4
Joined: December 16th, 2011, 11:13 am

introducing a king snake population...

Post by shakezula » December 19th, 2011, 7:56 am

Hey y'all,

I'm not quite sure where my question/topic would be best placed in this forum (and a moderator is welcome to have me move it if it doesn't belong here).

I'll try to explain what I'm thinking of doing -- and my rationale -- as briefly as I can before getting to my questions: My parents have a place on a mountain in western North Carolina, where they spend a week here and there for vacations. Copperheads and rattle snakes are common. Last time he was up there, my dad noticed an eastern diamondback tanning on his wood stack and had to shoot it. We know to watch our step, so as far as we're concerned, our policy towards venomous snakes is to live and let live... Unfortunately, dogs aren't known to be as careful. A few months prior to that, a juvenile copperhead was treated a little more kindly: We got it into a mason jar and kept it overnight before releasing it a couple miles away. Upset to hear that he'd shot a snake, I suggested to my dad that we nudge the balance of the area in a more friendly direction by letting a population of king snakes keep the pit vipers in check. He agreed, and a month later I had a male/female pair of adult king snakes on my hands.

My questions are primarily related to the subspecies he brought home: Florida Kings
Do they differ from the common eastern king snake to a point where they can't tolerate the cooler climate? If so, I need to trade them over for the common variety. If not, will they yield fertile offspring if they breed with the common variety? And my last question is more or less trying to find out if there is an ethics concern: If they can yield fertile offspring by crossing with commons, will that substantially impact the native gene pool?

User avatar
Don Becker
Posts: 3355
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Don Becker » December 19th, 2011, 8:03 am

shakezula wrote:Last time he was up there, my dad noticed an eastern diamondback tanning on his wood stack and had to shoot it. We know to watch our step, so as far as we're concerned, our policy towards venomous snakes is to live and let live.
Your policy is "live and let live", but he had to shoot it? That doesn't make sense. Why exactly did he have to shoot it?

Regarding releasing captive bred snakes. Don't do it.

User avatar
ThatFrogGuy
Posts: 743
Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:29 pm
Location: Southern Indiana
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by ThatFrogGuy » December 19th, 2011, 8:12 am

Don't release the snakes, and don't kill the venemous ones. Be watchful and keep dogs close when they are around.

User avatar
kyle loucks
Posts: 3148
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 12:40 am
Location: Pennsylvania- Bucks Co. near Phila.

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by kyle loucks » December 19th, 2011, 8:19 am

Diamondbacks dont live in the mountains of North Carolina. How old are you young man?

shakezula
Posts: 4
Joined: December 16th, 2011, 11:13 am

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by shakezula » December 19th, 2011, 8:28 am

He shot it because we had a few dogs up there at the time. He doesn't find killing things any more tasteful than I do; in his mind, it was justified.

And I had suspicions about releasing anything captive bred, wondered if my thoughts could be confirmed etc. I would prefer to simply capture and relocate a few snakes anyway (locally, of course - no more than a few miles). I'm not trying to justify anything so much as get the facts. And ideally, get some input from people way more experienced with ecology, zoology, etc. than I am.

Again, I did not have any plans set in place. I came here for professional advice because all told, I'm not yet informed enough to do anything and sleep soundly afterward (after all, I did not know that diamondbacks aren't found in WNC - I'm probably thinking of timber rattlers). I'm 23, by the way.

User avatar
Don Becker
Posts: 3355
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Don Becker » December 19th, 2011, 8:39 am

shakezula wrote:He shot it because we had a few dogs up there at the time. He doesn't find killing things any more tasteful than I do; in his mind, it was justified.
No it wasn't. You chose to bring dogs into the area with venomous snakes. It would be more justified to keep the dogs away. If anything, get a large garbage can and use a rake or something to sweep the snakes into the can and move them and dump them out.

You should also check into your local laws about killing any wildlife.

User avatar
ThatFrogGuy
Posts: 743
Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:29 pm
Location: Southern Indiana
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by ThatFrogGuy » December 19th, 2011, 8:53 am

shakezula wrote: I would prefer to simply capture and relocate a few snakes anyway (locally, of course - no more than a few miles)
From what I know, relocation dosn't usually go well with vipers. The snakes have scent trails leading to their dens, and if they are moved off them, even just a little, (I've heard as little as 8 feet can be deadly) they will either starve as they constantly try to make their way back to their home range, or freeze in the winter when they cannot find their den. Its nice you'd rather relocate then kill, but the best thing for everybody would be to be watchful and give them space whenever in areas they might occur.

-Zach

shakezula
Posts: 4
Joined: December 16th, 2011, 11:13 am

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by shakezula » December 19th, 2011, 9:10 am

psyon wrote:
shakezula wrote:He shot it because we had a few dogs up there at the time. He doesn't find killing things any more tasteful than I do; in his mind, it was justified.
No it wasn't. You chose to bring dogs into the area with venomous snakes. It would be more justified to keep the dogs away. If anything, get a large garbage can and use a rake or something to sweep the snakes into the can and move them and dump them out.

You should also check into your local laws about killing any wildlife.

Just keep in mind that I'm on your side. I personally didn't approve of shooting it and I wasn't there to stop him. The only reason I'm inclined to defend his reasoning - whether I agree with it or not - is that he's my father and that he routinely goes out of his way to avoid killing things.

Please cut me some slack. I only posted here because I have a soft spot for snakes and I'm trying to think of a right way to deal with a potential safety issue. Misguided and ignorant as I may seem, please understand that I'm aware of my ignorance and am asking to be enlightened outright. I'm here to learn, not to argue.

Zach: Thanks! I didn't know that vipers were so sensitive to relocation... but I was referring to local king snakes. Do they (colubrids) have the same sensitivity?

User avatar
Bob
Posts: 127
Joined: November 1st, 2011, 12:35 pm
Location: livingston MT

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Bob » December 19th, 2011, 9:18 am

The whole plan is most certainly illegal. Introduction of invasive species is perhaps the biggest issue in wildlife conservation today.

User avatar
-EJ
Posts: 1078
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:17 am

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by -EJ » December 19th, 2011, 9:22 am

I'm curious...

If shooting the snakes is not an option... and relocating them is not an option... what are the options? Just don't keep any dogs or whatever?

Personally... if I found a copperhead in my yard... it would be relocated to a less populated area... and nature will have to take its course. If that is not an option, which I think it is considering the other option, I have no problem 'dispatching' the snake. The safety of my family and pets will come first.

As far as relocation goes... another question comes to mind. How do these 'head start' reptile programs get away with introducing animals. Another example... Florida has figured out how to relocate gopher tortoises quite successfully.

To the op... do a little research and see if Chain Kings are native to your area although I really don't think that would solve your problem.

Another heads up to the op... there are some seriously opinionated participants on this forum... hope you have thick skin.

User avatar
monklet
Posts: 2648
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Location: Ventura, CA
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by monklet » December 19th, 2011, 9:28 am

I'll give you some slack Shakezula but you really shouldn't need it. All you did is honor our forum and it's contributors by posing an honest and sincere question and you deserve to be addressed respectfully regardless of your experience and knowledge.

Yes, most here will disdain unnecessary killing as you do as well suggest any reasonable alternative. As for the dogs being in harm's way, yes they are. There are snake aversion training programs for dogs but those are likely expensive and may not be available in your area.

I seriously doubt it relocating a snake by 8 feet will effect a death sentence but apparently significant relocations can do that so it is a consideration.

As for introducing a new population, especially of a non-native form or from a captive bred population, this is a bad idea for many possible consequences. Especially if you are not at all knowledgeable of that with which you are meddling. ...and in your particular case, it has little chance of solving the issue.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to contact you state wildlife agency for the best and proper way to address the situation.

Aaron Mills
Posts: 121
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:54 am
Location: Arizona

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Aaron Mills » December 19th, 2011, 9:43 am

-EJ wrote:... hope you have thick skin.
I don't see why he would need to have thick skin. He doesn't know any better and he is on here trying to find the proper way to best deal with the situation. If only more people were like he is...

Shakezula, as others have said, releasing captive snakes into your yard is not the best idea. It is in fact illegal, and the snakes chances of survival are basically zero. As monklet said, there are snake aversion programs that work well for dogs. Another thing you could do is relocate the snakes. There are many safe ways that you can do this. Snake Tongs would probably be your best bet for this. You can find them relatively cheap online, and just put the snake in a garbage bucket or something like that to move it out of your yard. Rattlesnakes are sensitive to relocation, so do not move them too far. Once they run into someone moving them, they usually will not return to the same area again.

User avatar
-EJ
Posts: 1078
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:17 am

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by -EJ » December 19th, 2011, 9:50 am

Maybe I'm the sensitive type but some of the responses to this one post seemed quite rude and arrogant...

I'm just trying to give the OP a heads up.
Aaron Mills wrote:
-EJ wrote:... hope you have thick skin.
I don't see why he would need to have thick skin. He doesn't know any better and he is on here trying to find the proper way to best deal with the situation. If only more people were like he is...

User avatar
chris_mcmartin
Posts: 2429
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by chris_mcmartin » December 19th, 2011, 10:40 am

Relocating the rattlesnakes and copperheads carries roughly the same results as introducing the kingsnakes would--you may feel good about what you're doing, but it really doesn't achieve the desired effect. Yes, kingsnakes are known to eat venomous snakes; however, those snakes do not make up their primary diet, and it's not as if they seek out or prefer to eat rattlesnakes over any of their more usual prey.

If I'm reading your initial post correctly, this isn't exactly a residential area you're talking about? If it's a rural location, I would approach it as: the world can be a risky place; take the proper precautions (i.e. don't let the dogs just run around wherever they want).

User avatar
Don Becker
Posts: 3355
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Don Becker » December 19th, 2011, 10:45 am

shakezula wrote:Just keep in mind that I'm on your side. I personally didn't approve of shooting it and I wasn't there to stop him. The only reason I'm inclined to defend his reasoning - whether I agree with it or not - is that he's my father and that he routinely goes out of his way to avoid killing things.
You have no need to defend his reasoning if you don't agree with it. Tell him you don't agree with it, and offer alternative options. The best option would have just been to keep the dogs away until it moved off the deck.
If shooting the snakes is not an option... and relocating them is not an option... what are the options? Just don't keep any dogs or whatever?
If you can't live with the wildlife, don't try to live among them. Keep your dogs inside. When you let them out to poop, check the area first, and keep them within that area.

erik loza
Posts: 244
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by erik loza » December 19th, 2011, 10:51 am

chris_mcmartin wrote:Relocating the rattlesnakes and copperheads carries roughly the same results as introducing the kingsnakes would--you may feel good about what you're doing, but it really doesn't achieve the desired effect. Yes, kingsnakes are known to eat venomous snakes; however, those snakes do not make up their primary diet, and it's not as if they seek out or prefer to eat rattlesnakes over any of their more usual prey.

If I'm reading your initial post correctly, this isn't exactly a residential area you're talking about? If it's a rural location, I would approach it as: the world can be a risky place; take the proper precautions (i.e. don't let the dogs just run around wherever they want).
This ^^^^^

My wife and I are outdoorsy and so is our German Shepherd, but he is "dumb" when it comes to knowing about potential threats in the woods like a venomous snake bite.

Rattlesnake bite vaccine is pretty standard for dogs and we vaccinate ours annually. Otherwise, there is not much you can do. For what it is worth, Canids do not seem to be anywhere near as adversely affected by Crotalid bites as humans are. There must have some biological resistance. I have seen dogs bitten on the face by rattlers have pain and swelling but no long-term damage. Nevertheless, get your dogs vaccinated. It was like $15 when last I had ours done.

As the other have mentioned, you should absolutely not release those other snakes into this area under any circumstances.

Best of luck to you and maybe you will share some photos with us of herps you find on your property.

shakezula
Posts: 4
Joined: December 16th, 2011, 11:13 am

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by shakezula » December 19th, 2011, 10:53 am

I certainly did perceive some of the responses to be rude, but I'm not easily offended. To suggest that I'm ignorant - in whatever language, harsh or well-intentioned - doesn't hurt my feelings. I was only slightly frustrated with a seeming lack of differentiation between my original thoughts/intents and short-sighted decisions with minimal regard for environmental impact...

Examples to the latter would be:
- Getting a juvenile Burmese Python without plans for what to do when it's 18' long, then releasing it into a Florida mangrove (evidently enough people have done this to where there's now an introduced population that's keeping the DNR's hands full).
- The Cane Toad, a species not native to Australia
- Kudzu, a plant not native to North America

And to the former:
- The South Carolina DNR routinely releases captive raised trout, native to North America, into upstate streams for conservation purposes.
- Ducks Unlimited, among other organizations and countless individuals, raise and release mallards, native to North America, for conservation purposes.
- Sea oats (native to North America) are often raised and planted on coastal sites in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, etc. for soil stabilization and habitat restoration.

The eastern king snake is native to the area in question, and not invasive. I've pulled over before on a winding mountain road to move one off the pavement. The theory would be to simply put a few more individual snakes into an area they already inhabit naturally. I understand and accept that releasing captive-raised snakes, even of the same species, into the area is discouraged at worst and ineffective at best (as the chance of survival for a captive-raised individual is small). And that's what I wanted to find out! :lol:

erik loza
Posts: 244
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by erik loza » December 19th, 2011, 10:59 am

TS, one thing to remember is that if kingsnakes are found in your area, they probably already ARE there and you have just not seen them. And, for all we know, could already be dining on these other snakes all the time. You've just never seen it because you are only there a few hours a year. Point being that just seeing one-of-this or one-of-that and assuming that small sliver of time that you saw was representative of the bigger picture is not really a good basis for action. I hope this makes sense.

User avatar
Josh Holbrook
Posts: 2195
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:11 am
Location: Western North Carolina
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Josh Holbrook » December 19th, 2011, 11:07 am

If you have a clearing that your dogs are allowed in, you could always put a silt fence around your property. It wont keep 100% on the snakes out, but usually when presented with such a barrier most snakes will follow along it than try to scale it.

-Josh

User avatar
JAMAUGHN
Posts: 1132
Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by JAMAUGHN » December 19th, 2011, 11:08 am

I think Erik Loza and Josh's suggestions are your best options so far, Shakezula. And while I agree with Psyon that you don't need to defend your father's decisions with your father, I do appreciate your willingness to defend your father from, you know, us. Call me Confucian, but I think that's admirable.

Thanks for taking the trouble to come onto the forum and ask your question!

JimM

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by hellihooks » December 19th, 2011, 11:20 am

I do rattlesnake avoidance training for dogs, and while my prices are lower than most, typically you can get it done for 75--100. Way cheaper than a 2-5 thousand vet bill. The dogs will often actually even alert you to the presence of a rattlesnake.
As for relocation (which I also do) the crotes out where I live will typically have a 'home range' of roughly a sq mi, and relocating them within their home range (as near as you can tell) will usually allow them to pick up one of their other scent trails. I've yet to have a snake return to a capture site.
Also... make sure you don't 'invite' snakes to find areas near the home inviting... no wood piles, sheds they can get under easily, thick brush, ect.... in fact... if you provide better spots for herps (rock piles, wood piles {either natural or plywood}, water sources, ect) AWAY from your house, the snakes will most likely frequent those areas. Think of a 'fire break' you might mow around the perimeter of your property... and employ that concept for a snake-free zone around your house, so that you are not literally 'inviting trouble'.... :thumb: jim
Also, keep prednizone on hand, in case a dog get tagged... get a pill down their throat... keeps them alive (by preventing shock)till you get to a vet... :thumb:

westernNC
Posts: 26
Joined: October 7th, 2011, 11:38 am

Legal vs Ethical delimma

Post by westernNC » December 19th, 2011, 12:08 pm

First off, let me apologize to you for the people on here who got their feathers ruffled by an honest question posed to a forum of 'experts' on the subject of snakes and field herping...the very reason I don't post on here often...it's like going with my mother to church and having to listen to her tell me about how I'm not living right...eventually I just stop going...

Now, onto the legal vs ethical options...I am a native of NC and live in the foothills of the state where L. getula (the eastern kingsnake) is present, but uncommon...we usually just find them in the river valleys and tributaries that dump into the rivers...pretty much anywhere that supports snapping turtles and water snakes could potentially have eastern kings...even then, we only find 1-2 a year out here, unlike the coastal plain of NC where they are common and we find them about every trip down there when conditions are right.

Legally, the only option you have is to kill the copperheads and rattlesnakes on your property. To capture a timber rattlesnake in NC would be considered illegal, so you should just blow it's head off with a shotgun and get it over with if it's a threat to you or your family. At least do it the decency of skinning it, tanning the hide, and eating the snake (I hear they taste like lobster)...be sure to save the rattles of course to show off to everyone you meet...kinda like a trophy. Before the forum goer's here try to persecute me...I'm just talking NC legalities here...it's legal to kill one if your life is 'at risk'...illegal to catch it. talk to the dumbasses who make the laws...I personally have never killed horridus and would never see a reason to, but this is what legislature tells me is ok. This is pretty much what the state has done...make laws that say we can't collect one, but we can kill it or, better yet, we can just bulldoze the entire property it lives on...just to make sure none of the ones hiding underground survive either...looks like they really thought that one through.

As for releasing Florida Kings...don't do it buddy...it will do no good and could potentially introduce things to the population that come from pet stores that the wild population of snakes there are not ready to deal with...illnesses and such. It is likely that they wouldn't survive anyway. If that habitat was supposed to support L. getula, there will already be enough there. It is likely that L. triangulum occupies that niche in the western part of the state rather than getula. I'm sure a hungry milk would eat a small copperhead or timber.

Leave them be and it will all work itself out. You could move wood piles and rock piles farther from your house and keep your dogs away from those places. Keep any dog food, bird food, or other things that attract rodents in airtight containers to keep your rodent populations in check and away from your home. This would keep the snakes away from your home.

And keep asking your questions. You could see that there were a few decent guys on here who wanted to help you. Ignore the bullies. They think they know more than they really know. My experience has been that the real herpers...college professors who dedicated their lives to understanding herps and the old school herpers who got out and get dirty before the internet to find snakes...will offer suggestions and try to help you. The rest of them are just regurgitating information they got from other forums anyway...you don't need their info.

For those who will read this and get angry, please read it a second time. I'm not getting into a forum argument with anybody. Just trying to help a young guy who is asking for help to understand the laws in my state and the potential implications of doing what he is asking about doing.

Merry Christmas Everybody,

Michael

User avatar
Don Becker
Posts: 3355
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Re: Legal vs Ethical delimma

Post by Don Becker » December 19th, 2011, 12:45 pm

westernNC wrote:Legally, the only option you have is to kill the copperheads and rattlesnakes on your property.
That is not true. The other option is to sell the property.
so you should just blow it's head off with a shotgun and get it over with if it's a threat to you or your family.
Please explain to me how a snake sunning itself on a deck was a threat to anyone? They don't chase people. The only threats from the snake would be when you DON'T know where they are. Once you know where they are, they aren't generally a threat because you can avoid them.
it's legal to kill one if your life is 'at risk'...illegal to catch it.
Again, how do you determine risk? Also, is using a rake to push it off the deck considered catching it?
And keep asking your questions. You could see that there were a few decent guys on here who wanted to help you. Ignore the bullies. They think they know more than they really know.
I assume you are referring to me partly, because I was the first person to jump in. What irked me was that he said they have a policy of live and let live, but said that shooting the snake was justified. Why would you come onto a forum where people enjoy reptiles and try to justify the killing at all? Hell, why bother saying his father killed the snake? If you are going to mention it, just leave it at the fact that he killed it, and don't bother trying to justify it. I doubt birders would be very receptive to me going on a forum and saying "What can I do about wood peckers that keep waking me up? I ended up shooting one, but it was justified because I couldn't get any sleep and it was taking a toll on my health and work"
My experience has been that the real herpers...college professors who dedicated their lives to understanding herps and the old school herpers who got out and get dirty before the internet to find snakes...will offer suggestions and try to help you. The rest of them are just regurgitating information they got from other forums anyway...you don't need their info.
You make very broad assumptions about the younger generation on this forum.

User avatar
justinm
Posts: 3430
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: Legal vs Ethical delimma

Post by justinm » December 19th, 2011, 12:58 pm

psyon wrote:
My experience has been that the real herpers...college professors who dedicated their lives to understanding herps and the old school herpers who got out and get dirty before the internet to find snakes...will offer suggestions and try to help you. The rest of them are just regurgitating information they got from other forums anyway...you don't need their info.
You make very broad assumptions about the younger generation on this forum.

Sounds like an old grumpy troll.

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by hellihooks » December 19th, 2011, 1:16 pm

shakezula wrote:I certainly did perceive some of the responses to be rude, but I'm not easily offended.
Really? I don't see it. You got some direct answers, and a few pointed questions, and once everyone figured out where you were coming from... some good advice, politely offered. I actually think our treatment of you and your questions were fairly even-handed. Please also consider... we sometimes get real trolls on here, intentionally posting provocative topics/questions.
Not saying that there aren't any 'Flamers' here... there certainly are... just that you really didn't meet any... :roll: :lol:

As for the advice to 'kill if necessary'... I don't buy it. IMO... the ONLY time killing a crote should be deemed 'necessary' is if someone gets tagged, and no one can positively ID the snake. Even a dog getting tagged should not be a reason to summarilly dispatch a crote... it almost certainly would have been a defensive bite, and the blame for it happening rests with the people who move into a crote's habitat, without taking appropriate measures to (at least) decreases the chances of a bite occurring...(as you, to your credit, are now)

As for the 'legalities' of relocation vs killing... you have to decide if your personal standards/beliefs are more important than any trouble you might get into, for breaking an inane law, SHOULD you get caught. As a Nafha Officer, I typically always try to promote law-abiding behavior, as we (the Nafha) promote ourselves as a law-abiding organization. So... as an individual only, I say do what you believe to be right, and appropriate, and think about it beforehand, as a lack of consideration beforehand often leads to hasty decisions, which one often regrets later.... :roll:
Sometimes bad laws have to be broken, to behave 'morally'... hell.. ask Rosa Parks... :crazyeyes:
Good luck to you, and I hope everything works out well... :thumb: jim

User avatar
-EJ
Posts: 1078
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:17 am

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by -EJ » December 19th, 2011, 1:31 pm

I'm surprised this post has gone this far. I wonder what the trigger was to keep it going.

Some of the OPs observations... totally spot on. Some of the younger generation of student biologists do give the impression that they are all knowing and better than most. This happens in all fields and I see this as a sign of insecurity and they just want to prove themselves quickly. Dealing with the academics and professionals (as an ignorant person in the field) over the last 35+ years... the OPs point on this is so not ignorant.

The other point... I'm not really surprised... (yea... I am) that the majority of the posts were helpful and respectful... sucks that the AHs stand out.

I'm going chalk this up to preholiday depression. (directed at the obvious)

Remember this is the guys 3rd post... how many new people have walked away from this forum for this reason.

I'll leave it hear least I be branded as a troll.

westernNC
Posts: 26
Joined: October 7th, 2011, 11:38 am

it was simply a typo...

Post by westernNC » December 19th, 2011, 1:41 pm

should have read "got dirty before the internet" instead of "get dirty..."

I make no apologies for the rest of the post. Not intended to be offensive, just one guy's point of view. There is a really good message in it...if you can get past being offended...

I love the same stuff you guys love. BUT understand that you will get your message out to more people and make more of a difference if you take time to listen to them, figure out where they are culturally first, and work from there. People in rural areas are brought up to fear snakes and shoot them on sight...esp venomous (and in NC, anything that is not solid black or solid green is considered venomous by most people who don't know better). This guy was asking for advice from you to find a better way. You guys jumped on him, treated him like he was less than worthy to ask those questions. The guy didn't get offensive, he just kept asking his questions...which is EXACTLY why I tossed out the idea that you guys were less than knowledgeable, less than worthy...to see how you would react...there is a valuable lesson to be learned here and it's not about snakes on your property...it's about how you treat people when you want to get a point across.

As for shakezula, PM me anytime. I wouldn't mind spending some time with you in the field in the western part of the state next year. The more time you spend out there with the animals, the more you see in the field, the more comfortable you will be with them and know what to expect from them, and the more you will appreciate them. Then you can use that knowledge and appreciation to educate the people around you in a way that gets through to them. You just gotta meet them where they are first.

User avatar
umop apisdn
Posts: 395
Joined: June 13th, 2010, 5:06 pm

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by umop apisdn » December 19th, 2011, 1:51 pm

There's also the option of getting your father a long, sturdy stick. If you gently poke a rattlesnake a little, then walk away in the direction you'd like it NOT to go, chances are you won't come back in 15 minutes and find the snake still sitting there. There are many people who live in places that have many more venomous snakes per unit area, and those people don't increase their risk of envenomation when they don't kill them all. For every one that you and your parents see, there are many more that you never detect.

Introduction of a non-native subspecies is just a terrible way to go about trying to control them. Not only that, but in the off chance that you actually could establish a population there, the king snakes would do more damage than your pops and all his guns. Not just small rattlesnakes would be eaten, but other snakes would be as well. And in that case, what does it matter if your dad kills them or a king snake does?

User avatar
umop apisdn
Posts: 395
Joined: June 13th, 2010, 5:06 pm

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by umop apisdn » December 19th, 2011, 4:02 pm

Judging people by your perceptions of them on an internet forum, whether it's individuals or age classes, is shallow. Plain and simple.

User avatar
azatrox
Posts: 793
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 5:51 am
Location: Arizona

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by azatrox » December 19th, 2011, 4:03 pm

First, to the OP, thank you for posting your question...your honest candor (being one of the few to admit what you don't know) is refreshing. While logisitcally your idea won't work (and shouldn't be attempted for reasons already explained), you sound like someone that is looking for a real solution to what you perceive as a problem, and you're to be commended for "thinking outside the box".

That said, rattlesnake relocations (so long as they take place within approx a mile of where the snake was found) can be successful for both you and the snake. As mentioned, the snakes will seldom return to the site of capture for quite some time, and releasing them a reasonable distance (within a mile) ensures that they will continue on with life just as you will with minimal contact. Obviously, you don't want to attempt to relocate rattlesnakes without the proper equipment, but I think that's a different thread.

Perhaps the best thing you can do to avoid a dog/snake encounter is twofold...One, train your dog(s) to recognize (and steer clear of) snakes. As mentioned, there are numerous snake avoidance classes that are quite successful. The preventative cost of the classes can be FAR less than the treatment cost of a bite (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so to speak). Secondly, even with the training, vaccinations aren't a bad idea (see rationale above).

If this is a real concern, do your best to see that the yard and surrounding areas are free of clutter, heavy brush, warm, dark areas, etc. Such things attract rodents, rodents attract snakes, etc. you know the drill. As the dog owner, it's up to you to try your best to ensure that your dog can enjoy the great outdoors without the danger of snakebite. Making a habit of walking the property daily (if you can) will do much towards ensuring that snakes aren't hiding/basking in out of the way places. If they are, you can relocate them without killing them.

In short, ensuring a relatively safe environment for your dog is in some respects no different than ensuring a safe environment for a child. It is not a "passive" exercise but rather one that requires active upkeep and attention.

-Kris

User avatar
Bob
Posts: 127
Joined: November 1st, 2011, 12:35 pm
Location: livingston MT

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Bob » December 19th, 2011, 4:06 pm

erik loza wrote:TS, one thing to remember is that if kingsnakes are found in your area, they probably already ARE there and you have just not seen them. And, for all we know, could already be dining on these other snakes all the time. You've just never seen it because you are only there a few hours a year. Point being that just seeing one-of-this or one-of-that and assuming that small sliver of time that you saw was representative of the bigger picture is not really a good basis for action. I hope this makes sense.

Great point. Indeed, if they were supposed be there they would be there and possibly are there. :beer:

Personally I do not kill rattle snakes in my yard, but then I don't have dogs any longer. When the grand kids come over we do scan the grassy lawn where they play as we do have a den site fairly close by. (We do have quite a few around in the spring and fall.) But killing one or two that did cause someone apprehension is not going to have that great an impact on the population, it's a personal call if legal in your area IMO. Moving them with care out of the immediate area of the house is a good if temporary fix, just be careful. :beer:

User avatar
Gyri
Posts: 919
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:18 pm
Location: Northern New England

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Gyri » December 19th, 2011, 4:42 pm

If there are native kingsnakes within miles of your location then there are probably already kingsnakes on your property OR your property cannot sustain a population of them. I won't go into the other stuff, seems like everyone's gone into it all quite a bit.

User avatar
Bob
Posts: 127
Joined: November 1st, 2011, 12:35 pm
Location: livingston MT

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Bob » December 19th, 2011, 5:00 pm

John Vanek wrote:
-EJ wrote:Some of the OPs observations... totally spot on. Some of the younger generation of student biologists do give the impression that they are all knowing and better than most. This happens in all fields and I see this as a sign of insecurity and they just want to prove themselves quickly. Dealing with the academics and professionals (as an ignorant person in the field) over the last 35+ years... the OPs point on this is so not ignorant.
As opposed to the "older generation" attitude of all knowing and better? I have found little correlation between age and knowledge when it comes to herps. In fact, if I really wanted to stir the pot, I would argue that based on modern research practices (yes, involving the internet), and my experiences in rural NC, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, NY, and Virginia, that the older generation is LESS knowledgeable.

However, I'm not going to do that, because it is just a gut feeling, and I have no actual data to back it up. As a group already considered to be "odd" and "strange" by the general public, segregating ourselves offers no constructive benefit.
The old guy vs the young pup is an age old battle. In truth us older guys have all been through the 'I know it all' phase and the younger guys have the 'kids THINK they know it' all phase to look forward to. It's all part of life, that said I know I may not be any smarter, but I do know I'm a bit wiser. Experience does that for a person. :beer:

I kind of liked being in my 30's with that nice balance, and being 54 am shocked daily that I'm not.... at least I have not reached the point that I have forgotten more than I have learned. :thumb:

User avatar
Mike VanValen
Posts: 2073
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Location: Connecticut
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Mike VanValen » December 19th, 2011, 5:33 pm

Don responds with constructive criticism and he's "being an A-hole"? Some of you really must need exposure to real life or maybe the internet has sheltered you from reality for far too long.

I agree that Kingsnakes may already be present, and even if introduced, there's no guarantee they'll be gobbling down every venomous snake in sight. Introducing a species to consume another doesn't usually end well.

User avatar
-EJ
Posts: 1078
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:17 am

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by -EJ » December 19th, 2011, 6:13 pm

I want to hold my tongue but... there are many young researchers who are sincerely into what they do... totally no ego. I so admire those kids. Those are the ones that answer the question without question... or... opinion... or...

I have no problem listening to the idea of a younger person. It is the younger person that comes up with the new idea.

It's kind of split. Sort of like typical statistics.
Bob wrote:
John Vanek wrote:
-EJ wrote:Some of the OPs observations... totally spot on. Some of the younger generation of student biologists do give the impression that they are all knowing and better than most. This happens in all fields and I see this as a sign of insecurity and they just want to prove themselves quickly. Dealing with the academics and professionals (as an ignorant person in the field) over the last 35+ years... the OPs point on this is so not ignorant.
As opposed to the "older generation" attitude of all knowing and better? I have found little correlation between age and knowledge when it comes to herps. In fact, if I really wanted to stir the pot, I would argue that based on modern research practices (yes, involving the internet), and my experiences in rural NC, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, NY, and Virginia, that the older generation is LESS knowledgeable.

However, I'm not going to do that, because it is just a gut feeling, and I have no actual data to back it up. As a group already considered to be "odd" and "strange" by the general public, segregating ourselves offers no constructive benefit.
The old guy vs the young pup is an age old battle. In truth us older guys have all been through the 'I know it all' phase and the younger guys have the 'kids THINK they know it' all phase to look forward to. It's all part of life, that said I know I may not be any smarter, but I do know I'm a bit wiser. Experience does that for a person. :beer:

I kind of liked being in my 30's with that nice balance, and being 54 am shocked daily that I'm not.... at least I have not reached the point that I have forgotten more than I have learned. :thumb:

Timber
Posts: 8
Joined: June 24th, 2010, 6:32 pm

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Timber » December 19th, 2011, 8:53 pm

I am an obsessed field herper who can't stand to kill a worm. Before I had kids I would say they is never a reason to kill a venomous snake. But now I understand people that kill them. I don't need to because I understand their behavior and no how to relocate them. Others that don't maybe risking a bite if they try and relocate. Nothing scares me more then the thought of a three year playing on the patio and getting tagged by a rattler. Now our lake house is in massassauga country. My g pa killed more than ten the first summer he built it in the fifties. Then less and less every year. I can go to any of the natural springs on the perimeter areas of the three hundred acres and find them but the central area near the cabin is clear. I have let numerous kings milks and great plains go under the cabin Translocated from nearby. They are doing their job damn well. Eating mice. I am damn happy he killed those rattlers now my family can enjoy our cabin. It also helps he built a cinder block wall.

User avatar
chris_mcmartin
Posts: 2429
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by chris_mcmartin » December 20th, 2011, 1:41 am

-EJ wrote:The other point... I'm not really surprised... (yea... I am) that the majority of the posts were helpful and respectful... sucks that the AHs stand out.

I'm going chalk this up to preholiday depression. (directed at the obvious)

I thought I kept my response simple and unemotional...can someone come up with a list of the perceived "helpful" people and the perceived "depressed AHs?" :lol:

User avatar
Don Becker
Posts: 3355
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Don Becker » December 20th, 2011, 6:21 am

-EJ wrote:Those are the ones that answer the question without question... or... opinion... or...
I would hope that any conservation oriented person would take the opportunity to turn it into a chance to educate a person.
Before I had kids I would say they is never a reason to kill a venomous snake. But now I understand people that kill them.
I have kids, and I still don't understand people who have the need to kill them.
Nothing scares me more then the thought of a three year playing on the patio and getting tagged by a rattler.
This is what gets me. The problem isn't when you know where the snake is, it's when you DON'T know where it is. Once you know where it is, what is the point in killing it? There will be more. Another will come. If you are that afraid for the health of your children, don't bring them into a place where venomous snakes are present. I have had more cats randomly attack my children than I have had snakes do it (and my kids are around more wild snakes than cats). Cats can and do cause serious injury, and they spread disease, especially when the poop in the sandbox that my kids play in. Most people would throw a fit though if I started talking about killing the cats that run around my house.

User avatar
Bob
Posts: 127
Joined: November 1st, 2011, 12:35 pm
Location: livingston MT

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Bob » December 20th, 2011, 9:35 am

Most people would throw a fit though if I started talking about killing the cats that run around my house.
Go for it! :thumb:

User avatar
Dell Despain
Posts: 542
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:08 pm
Location: Montana

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Dell Despain » December 20th, 2011, 11:03 pm

beast wrote:Spoken like a true hugger that has to push his beliefs on everyone else. This guy has every right to legally dispatch an animal threatening his family and pets. People like you are the reason why the "shoot, shovel, and shut up" method of wildlife management still goes on today. A landowner should not have to fear legal repercussions for protecting what is theirs. My hunting buddies and I go by simple rules with venomous- In the woods leave it be, around the house make it flee. If it don't crawl off then chop the head off! You can go all Tim Treadwell with your rattlesnake friends if you want but don't tell people how to conduct themselves on their property.
I understand what you're trying to say, and I didn't like Don's (Psyon's) approach any more then I like your's, you're on the wrong forum to fight this battle. And if you are going to fight this fight at least have the balls to use your real name.

beast?... Please.
Merry Christmas beast.

-Dell

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Brian Hubbs » December 20th, 2011, 11:48 pm

I'm not going to read this whole thread, but I'll tell you this...those Florida Kings will NOT survive in the mountains or foothills where you live. If you want to doom them, then turn therm loose there. If you value their lives...DON'T!

Brian Hubbs - author of "Common Kingsnakes"
http://www.mountainkingsnake.com

I would suggest you get my book... ;)

User avatar
Don Becker
Posts: 3355
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Re: Legal vs Ethical delimma

Post by Don Becker » December 21st, 2011, 6:23 am

beast wrote:Spoken like a true hugger that has to push his beliefs on everyone else.
I don't push my beliefs on anyone, but the original poster came here soliciting input from us. Also, if you make a statement about what your only options are, I have no problem pointing out what other options are. Even killing the snakes and moving are not your only two options. There are plenty of safety tips that have been given here already, but honestly, if you are that worried about your dogs and kids, then selling the property and moving is the only 100% safe option. You won't be able to find and kill every snake on the property, and new ones will always be coming in. No matter what you do, there will always be a risk.
This guy has every right to legally dispatch an animal threatening his family and pets.
Again, once he knows where the animal is, how is it threatening? Rattlesnakes do not chase things. They sit and do nothing for long periods of time. The snake didn't pursue his dog or children. It didn't corner them where they had no way to escape. The problem isn't the snake you can see, it's the snake you can't see. If you only ever saw one snake on your property, and you killed it, there is a chance that not many are there, and one stray wondered in. If you are seeing them constantly though, even as you kill them, then you have a much larger problem, and you will NOT always be there to protect your loved ones.
A landowner should not have to fear legal repercussions for protecting what is theirs.
I actually agree. I don't think the government should block you from doing anything with your land unless they plan to compensate you for the land. I think if someone is robbing you, you should be able to shoot them. In this case though, shooting the random snake that shows up on your property is not protecting anything. Training and education will do more to protect the things the property owner loves. The snakes are there, and unless they put a bounty on them again, they will be there for a long time to come.
My hunting buddies and I go by simple rules with venomous- In the woods leave it be, around the house make it flee. If it don't crawl off then chop the head off!
How do you try to make it flee? Yell "Scram snake! Get outta here!", or do you try to brush it away with a rake or something?

User avatar
Don Becker
Posts: 3355
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Don Becker » December 21st, 2011, 6:26 am

Question of curiosity. For people that live in areas with large predators such as Bears, Mountain Lions, or Wolves. Is it considered ok to just shoot any of those animals that wonder onto your property because you fear they will eat your kids?

User avatar
Stohlgren
Posts: 603
Joined: November 6th, 2010, 9:59 am
Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)

Re: Legal vs Ethical delimma

Post by Stohlgren » December 21st, 2011, 6:51 am

beast wrote:People like you are the reason why the "shoot, shovel, and shut up" method of wildlife management still goes on today.
People that advocate not killing animals out of ignorance are the reason for this "method of wildlife management"? So the alternative is to commend people for their ignorance so they can skip the "shovel and shut up" part? I don't follow your logic.

User avatar
Stohlgren
Posts: 603
Joined: November 6th, 2010, 9:59 am
Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Stohlgren » December 21st, 2011, 6:57 am

beast wrote: They need to have the balls to deal with the fact that sometimes you have to kill a snake to keep your family safe.
These are the prevailing ignorant attitudes that conservation minded people (most on this forum) have to fight every day. These attitudes are what started rattlesnake roundups and bounties.

I have never scolded someone for killing a snake on their property, but if they ask for suggestions to deal with snakes, killing every one they find will not be one I give them.

User avatar
Don Becker
Posts: 3355
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Don Becker » December 21st, 2011, 7:02 am

beast wrote:They need to have the balls to deal with the fact that sometimes you have to kill a snake to keep your family safe.
Sure, I agree, if you have a mamba or some other snake that might actually pursue humans then by all means, kill the damn thing. We are talking about a rattlesnake that sits around and does nothing. I have stepped on the damn things and had them not move or make any noise. I really want you to explain to me how a snake sitting in the open where you can see it is a threat to your family.
Anyone know if this stuff works or is it just another bogus product? http://www.drtsnatureproducts.com/store/snake-repellent
One complaint I have heard, is if they do work, and you make your perimeter too big, you may actually trap a snake inside the area you are trying to protect. Other than that, I haven't really heard much about whether they work or not.

User avatar
Cole Grover
Posts: 745
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 9:06 am
Location: Montana

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Cole Grover » December 21st, 2011, 7:09 am

psyon wrote:Question of curiosity. For people that live in areas with large predators such as Bears, Mountain Lions, or Wolves. Is it considered ok to just shoot any of those animals that wonder onto your property because you fear they will eat your kids?
Sadly, yes. It's also the case if you fear for your livestock.

-Cole

User avatar
Dell Despain
Posts: 542
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:08 pm
Location: Montana

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Dell Despain » December 21st, 2011, 7:49 am

beasty wrote:I'll use whatever handle I want
Yup, and you chose a good one. You sound like a bratty 12 year old.
beasty wrote: who are you to tell me how to conduct myself on this forum?
I never told you how to conduct yourself. It was more like advice to consider.
By all means insert foot in mouth any time.
beasty wrote: sometimes you have to kill a snake to keep your family safe.
Really? I've got three kids, and have had snakes on our property, and find them herping all the time, and I've never felt a need to kill a snake to protect the family.
I've also worked in the Amazon and have had numerous venomous snakes on the property and never found an incident where I needed to protect clients from a snake. Maybe you could enlighten me on when you "should" kill a snake.

-Dell

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by Brian Hubbs » December 21st, 2011, 8:42 am

I have to agree with Dell on this one. There is never a need to kill a snake to protect anyone. Just lift the snake with a hoe, rake or shovel or snakestick and move it 200 yds away and warn everyone to watch where they step and put their hands. No one has any idea how many venomous snakes live around their property, so killing one solves nothing. It just gives you a false sense of security. If you live around critters, you need to learn to live with the critters...not destroy all of them. I thought the people on this forum were more educated than this... :o :roll:

User avatar
walk-about
Posts: 567
Joined: June 14th, 2010, 11:04 am
Location: 'God's Country' aka western KY
Contact:

Re: introducing a king snake population...

Post by walk-about » December 21st, 2011, 10:29 am

Land developers & bulldozers have sprung me into action many times to relocate herps of every different specie. I would always make sure they would be released fairly close by and into the same general population as to maintain genetic integrity.

Rock ON!

Dave

Post Reply