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 Post subject: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 14th, 2012, 10:25 am 
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Joined: June 29th, 2011, 12:56 am
Posts: 777
Location: Belgium
Dear Arizona herpers,

I am a Belgian PhD biologist. I plan a herping trip 11th-26th August to (southern) Arizona.
I am looking for AZ herpers who would be willing to take me out herping.

Last year’s CA trip would never have been the same without meeting California members
hellihooks, bkmamba824, Natalie McNear, devlin, klawnskale and RobertH.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6989
(pictures after the initial call for help, on 2nd page of post)

I am hoping AZ herpers are equally hospitable as those from CA ;) ;) .
If desirable, I’d be happy to specify what species I have on top of my wishlist.
Surely, something like this creates a certain appetite...
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9563

g's & thanks for your time,

Jeroen.

P.S.: Some recent posts of mine…
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9402
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9418
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9660
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9715
My personal site
http://www.hylawerkgroep.be/jeroen/

I understand that a lot of people are interested in AZ herping. I also understand AZ herpers
are protective about their spots. I hope the provided links show my honorable intentions.

I do not collect anything but pictures, nor does any of my friends. More so,
I never have kept any herp. I never give away site info without the approval
of the person who told/showed me the spot.

I understand some people feel that herping is all about the hunt,
but I don’t mind some help (and education), especially when that far from home.


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 14th, 2012, 11:04 am 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:56 pm
Posts: 2840
Location: Wittmann,AZ
If you are in the area during one of our survey trips to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale AZ you are welcome to join us. At this time I am not sure the dates we will be there. So kep in touch on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve survey thread...

http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=911

Dave Weber


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 14th, 2012, 2:10 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm
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Jeroen: I would meet you out there if I could. I try to go at least once to AZ during monsoons. But unfortunately, I just got hired to do tortoise monitoring work for a public utility project ( a big one) and I will be working my butt off 6 days a week 10-12 hours a day in the Colorado Desert (eastern CA Desert south of I-10). But hey; I shouldn't complain.The pay is good. If you get across the Ca Border and you want to herp , just contact me. Only caveat is August is not very productive in the Colorado Desert; not even for night roadcruising. Wish you luck, though!


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 15th, 2012, 9:54 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
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Location: Los Angeles County
If the weather is good and I plan a trip during that time, I'll show you around for a few days atleast, as most of my AZ trips are only a couple of days at a time.

Fundad


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 15th, 2012, 11:48 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:38 pm
Posts: 1834
Location: Los Angeles
As an officer of the CA chapter and someone who knows Jeroen personally - he stayed with me for a couple of days last August - I strongly encourage all AZ members to support Jeroen and his herping buddies.

To begin with, you'll find Jeroen to be a very friendly and agreeable guy. I enjoyed hanging out with him as much as herping with him.

On the herping end of things, I probably ended up learning more from him about herping technique in general than he learned from me about particular CA herps. That's because he's one of Europe's most accomplished herpers - last year he became the first, and so far only, person to find and voucher every known herp in Europe. During last year's 3-week trip to CA, a "non-herping" trip with his wife, he still managed to find, voucher and enter in our database over 50 different species and subspecies.

So, I hope that some of you will see this as a unique opportunity to share your local knowledge with an accomplished - non-collecting - herper from another country, who has contributed and will continue to contribute to our database.

Thanks for your support!

Robert
Conservation Officer of the CA Chapter


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 1:03 am 
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A European herper wants to come to Arizona, and three Californians offer to show him around. I'm a big fan of Jeroen's posts, but for the herpers that don't know him this probably describes an Arizona herper's worst scenario. :crazyeyes:


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 1:26 am 
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Location: Belgium
Thank you very much once again for the hospitality, Klawnskale, although I'm guessing I'll stick with AZ for this one. Wish I could get such research job, though ;) .

Thanks, Robert, for the supportive words!
In all honesty, there's 1 other guy & dear friend who also vouchered his final European twitch a couple months after me last year [searching for 'geek' smily], yet we both have a new hunt to do, since there's a frog split adding a new one to the list [searching for 'ubergeek' smily].

Thanks to Dave and Fundad for the preliminary invitations - I will keep track of things until then and get back to you. I already received a very valuable PM offer too, but more is never a bad thing :mrgreen:.

Not sure I'm getting what you are saying, Jonathan - some CA vs AZ thing? AZ herpers not too pleased about CA herpers helping someone to enjoy their state('s fauna)? In any case, I am as innocent as I am ignorant :) .


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 1:38 am 
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Arizona has probably had as bad a run as any US state with non-Arizona herpers coming in to exploit their native fauna, both in terms of collecting the animals and disturbing the habitat (or even roads). As a result, they tend to be very protective of their best areas and wary of non-native herpers who want to come in and find things. The fact that California herpers, and not Arizona herpers, were the first to respond to your query played into that stereotype a little bit, so I was just acknowledging the potential discomfort that a few people might feel in a lighthearted manner.

As far as European herpers go, though, I think you have a far better shot than most of getting a local guide or two. And if you're just stuck with Fundad, you're still doing pretty good. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 3:24 am 
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OK, I get it.

I more or less tried to address these issues briefly in my OP. Me and my 3 co-travellers are in fact all members of a (the) local herpetological conservation group. We live in one of the most densely populated areas of Europe, which makes us -unfortunately- very much aware of conservation threats.

jonathan wrote:
And if you're just stuck with Fundad, you're still doing pretty good. :thumb:


That is absolutely obvious. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 5:37 am 
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Joined: June 29th, 2011, 12:56 am
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Location: Belgium
Would it make (in theory) any difference to do this trip 1 week later?


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 7:49 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Quote:
I more or less tried to address these issues briefly in my OP.


Indeed you did, and very well enough. I dunno, maybe more folks haven't seen this and chimed in yet. You will have people respond favorably. I'd be happy to run down (from Utah) and share some good times and local knowledge. Aloha. Pura vida. Please come again to our hospitable and generous country. Aggro localism can go to hell.

Quote:
Would it make (in theory) any difference to do this trip 1 week later?


Well it'd put the second half of your trip after Labor Day (a big holiday in USA, and traditional end of the summer for road-tripping families). So, it could be quieter on the roads and some touristy destinations which you may wish to see and herp.

On the other hand, it would be unfavorable from a moon-phase perspective (new 8/17, full 8/31). As you saw in CA, you simply must do some road-cruising.

I'll let others chime in about their personal schedules. If you let us know what you want to see, perhaps you could get some PM chats going with people who could help with that for a day or two apiece. Or at least point you in the right direction.

Cheers, and congrats on the ability to do this again.
Jimi

PS - ever do any herping in N Africa or the Levant? I loved your vipers series, and was curious if you had any experiences across the Med.


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 9:43 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 8:08 am
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Location: Southern Arizona
Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:
OK, I get it.

I more or less tried to address these issues briefly in my OP. Me and my 3 co-travellers are in fact all members of a (the) local herpetological conservation group. We live in one of the most densely populated areas of Europe, which makes us -unfortunately- very much aware of conservation threats.

jonathan wrote:
And if you're just stuck with Fundad, you're still doing pretty good. :thumb:


That is absolutely obvious. :D



Geez, I can't believe he might get stuck with Fundad...LOL.

Personally, I love meeting new herpers. Since I love Euro herping, but have little chance of ever getting there, I like meeting Euro herpers a lot. However, it is true that AZ herpers don't like to give up locations of their most sensitive spots. There are good reasons for that, even with folks we know well.

I live in southern AZ, in the Santa Cruz Valley, south of Tucson. My one acre residence has a lot of herps you can see, such as many of the common lizards. Gopher snakes and diamondback rattlers are common here. I also have a few local herps in my collection. In the desert around my home we can find a number of other herps including several amphibians, during the monsoon season. A couple of problems might be that August is one of the busiest months of the year and most herpers have road trips planned. It would be hit and miss with me, so close contact would be important. Another thing is that very special places would likely not be on the agenda. Most locations that I might show folks would be fairly innocent locations, conservation-wise.

I would suggest that discussing agendas is probably best through e-mails and pm's. Look forward to hearing from you.

Terry Cox/AZ Sec. :beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 10:06 am 
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Location: Southern Arizona
Jimi wrote:
Quote:
I more or less tried to address these issues briefly in my OP.


Indeed you did, and very well enough. I dunno, maybe more folks haven't seen this and chimed in yet. You will have people respond favorably. I'd be happy to run down (from Utah) and share some good times and local knowledge. Aloha. Pura vida. Please come again to our hospitable and generous country. Aggro localism can go to hell.



"Aggro localism," what's this? The fact that folks come from other states and sometimes give away sensitive locations is why many local herpers don't share anymore, and makes it hard to recruit AZ herpers to our chapter.

mucho gusto.... TC :sleep:


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 11:20 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Quote:
"Aggro localism," what's this?


Mmm...think "Deliverance", ha ha: it's where visitors are made to feel like unwelcome intruders in the hopes they'll go (and stay) away and - even better - tell their friends to also stay away because "those guys are mean and tough". It's a pretty universal animal reaction to crowding and resource competition, and also something people can watch for and attempt to manage in ourselves. Or we can fail to do so, and experience how bad things can get. In other (non-herping) pursuits I've personally seen things get pretty awful (no pretty mouths or squealing pigs though ;) ). But situations can also improve.

Sorry you all are having recruiting problems. I hope it doesn't have any relationship to the phenomenon I describe above. I'm not implying it does (if I believed it absolutely does, I'd say so). But an honest, sober assessment must surely recognize that it could be possible. I think these forums are probably our organization's front-line marketing tool, whether or not we treat them as such. "Visitors" applies as much to local not-yet-members, as it does to non-locals.

So these 4 fellows want to come see and photo a bucket list of lifer herps (and presumably other critters, and landscapes). Let's see - how about Sabino and Madera Canyons, maybe Chiricahua Nat'l Monument (as much for the scenery as the herping), and the Desert Museum & environs? We can pretty much guarantee showing them a good time. And no "secret spots" would be divulged. (Crazy intrusive thought :idea: - if it's a secret, then for God's sake keep it a secret.) Jeroen didn't ask for secret spots, just for some company and a little help seeing the country and what it offers. Piece of cake. Personally I'm intrigued and enticed by Robert's observation:
Quote:
I probably ended up learning more from him about herping technique in general than he learned from me


Que le vaya bien.
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 12:02 pm 
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Jeroen: I would strongly suggest taking Ratsnakehaven (Terry) up on his offer. He lives in the heart of a wonderful herping area in Southeastern Arizona. He is a great host and tour guide. You won't be disappointed. But please, do Nature a favor when you go there and try not to trod all over the loose talus piles in search of species like willardi. I have seen so much damage the last time I was there; rocks strewn everywhere and broken up by callous herpers.


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 4:23 pm 
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Just send me a PM around the time you are leaving for AZ. I will probably be in SE AZ at that time anyway and wouldn't mind showing you a few well-known spots. The cost of the tour is the purchase of all 3 of my books...at a discount of course... :beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 4:58 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Hell, I'd come down just for that!

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 5:37 pm 
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Location: Southern Arizona
Jimi wrote:
Quote:
"Aggro localism," what's this?


Mmm...think "Deliverance", ha ha: it's where visitors are made to feel like unwelcome intruders in the hopes they'll go (and stay) away and - even better - tell their friends to also stay away because "those guys are mean and tough". It's a pretty universal animal reaction to crowding and resource competition, and also something people can watch for and attempt to manage in ourselves. Or we can fail to do so, and experience how bad things can get. In other (non-herping) pursuits I've personally seen things get pretty awful (no pretty mouths or squealing pigs though ;) ). But situations can also improve.

Sorry you all are having recruiting problems. I hope it doesn't have any relationship to the phenomenon I describe above. I'm not implying it does (if I believed it absolutely does, I'd say so). But an honest, sober assessment must surely recognize that it could be possible. I think these forums are probably our organization's front-line marketing tool, whether or not we treat them as such. "Visitors" applies as much to local not-yet-members, as it does to non-locals.


There are those that hope visitors will just stay away, but most of us here on the AZ Forum are pretty friendly. I'm with you on meeting and sharing with quality herpers from other countries. We are just somewhat protective of some sensitive locations, and I don't want to discount why this is, and you're right it is partly a recruiting tool. If I sounded a little irritable in my previous post it's probably because of discussions/debates we've been having lately about this very thing, on this forum and other forums (Members Only Forum).


Quote:
So these 4 fellows want to come see and photo a bucket list of lifer herps (and presumably other critters, and landscapes). Let's see - how about Sabino and Madera Canyons, maybe Chiricahua Nat'l Monument (as much for the scenery as the herping), and the Desert Museum & environs? We can pretty much guarantee showing them a good time. And no "secret spots" would be divulged. (Crazy intrusive thought :idea: - if it's a secret, then for God's sake keep it a secret.) Jeroen didn't ask for secret spots, just for some company and a little help seeing the country and what it offers. Piece of cake. Personally I'm intrigued and enticed by Robert's observation:
Quote:
I probably ended up learning more from him about herping technique in general than he learned from me


Que le vaya bien.
Jimi


I didn't have any problem with Jeroen's post or any apprehension with him coming here. I know he's a great herper and will enjoy seeing the landscapes, many critters, etc, here in AZ. I do worry about folks thinking AZ herpers are just selfish and/or not understanding what problems we face here. All the places you mentioned would be great places for these folks to visit. I hope they'll visit my place too, so I can meet them and show them a few things myself. I look forward to learning from them too.

Ahi nos vidrios,

Terry
[email protected]


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 16th, 2012, 5:52 pm 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
Just send me a PM around the time you are leaving for AZ. I will probably be in SE AZ at that time anyway and wouldn't mind showing you a few well-known spots. The cost of the tour is the purchase of all 3 of my books...at a discount of course... :beer:



I have all of your books, so I can go for free, right? :P


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 17th, 2012, 3:29 am 
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Many thanks, ratsnakehaven and Brian Hubbs!

Still plenty of time to figure out how to fit in meeting (m)any of you. Also have a few sites from my European "herper network" that I'd like to check out. Will get back to you via PM. In situ cell phone contact will be necessary, I guess, since goals and desires change in view of the cumulative result of each additional day.

Wish I was leaving today...


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 17th, 2012, 7:46 am 
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Thanks, Jeroen. Check my website for cell number, and I look forward to meeting you. .. :beer:

Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 17th, 2012, 7:55 am 
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A question. I understand a 200 dollar out-of-state hunting licence is required? Would it suffice for one of us to have one, or do we all need to buy one?


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 17th, 2012, 9:47 pm 
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Each person will need there own License. However I think the $200+ is for a full year. I am not sure if you can buy one to cover a couple of weeks .

If you are planning on just dealing with reptiles a hunting license is required. If only amphibians a fishing license is required. If both reptiles and amphibians you will need a combo license.

Here is the link to the AZ Game and Fish website...
http://www.azgfd.gov/eservices/licenses.shtml

Some people will say that if all you are dfoing is photographing herps and are not touching them you dont need a license.... but if you read the rules - - the fine print says that if you are in the "pursuit" or "hunting" then you need a license.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 17th, 2012, 11:42 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:32 am
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Biker Dave wrote:
Each person will need there own License.


Hmmm.... I am surprised to hear that. I discussed lincencing requirements with the lady at AZ F&G in connection with a student field course I ran last summer, and was told that one licence would be sufficient so long as everyone was within shouting distance of each other or in the same vehicle. (However, since it was an academic teaching event, we ended up getting a Scientiific Collecting Permit, which was much better for our purposes anyway - probably not applicable to Jeroen's situation).


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 18th, 2012, 1:26 am 
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There seems to be no e-mailbox for questions to AZGFD ?


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 18th, 2012, 6:32 pm 
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Probably because you had the Sci Collect Permit. Recreational herping...each person requires a license.


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 18th, 2012, 6:48 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Quote:
There seems to be no e-mailbox for questions to AZGFD ?


Jeroen - I can't answer specifically, I don't spend much time looking at AzGFD's website, but I can give some general advice in dealing with any American state or federal wildlife agency. You're going to want to talk with someone there, who's trained to answer questions like you're asking. Go into the AzGFD headquarters office, or a regional office, and ask in person. Not to say don't try to get an e-mailed answer - but for absolute clarity, and a better chance at enjoying the latitude often available to interpreters and enforcers of often-rather-vague "rules and regulations" - go be a human being, with another human being. Be sure to introduce yourself, and ask (and remember, just in case) their name.

This might sound like some kind of third-world petty-corruption bullshit, but...hey, we're all just people. There's always a little discretionary wiggle room in interpretation. You probably wouldn't benefit much from that wiggle room if stopped by law enforcement, and they discovered you somehow failing to comply with the law. But if you dropped a name & time ("Yesterday morning I spoke with Patti Morales, in your Carefree office, she was very helpful and she said...") demonstrating your effort and their colleague's response to you, well, it would surely help.

For what it's worth - I always just buy the license. Usually the 3-day non-resident hunting license for $65, for my long-weekend trips down there. I generally recommend everyone do the same - just buy the damn license, and don't risk wasting a chunk of your trip arguing intent with an officer (or worse, getting a citation and fine). But - for all 4 of you, to be covered for your whole trip (cheapest option being a full-year, non-resident combo license), you'd be dropping about a thousand bucks. That's a lot of money for just taking pictures (which under some strict interpretations might require pursuit of wildlife, and thus a license). I bet you could make that case successfully in person. "Whoa! A thousand bucks to take photos? Whoa! We're not harvesting, we're short-term tourists! For that much money I could have flown my mother over too!" (Aside - do birders have to buy licenses? Aren't they also pursuing wildlife?) Bring your cameras and your return air tickets in with you. And maybe some good pictures you've taken. Maybe you won't need the licenses, or maybe you can get away just buying one for your whole party.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 18th, 2012, 7:00 pm 
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Jimi

Quote:
which under some strict interpretations might require pursuit of wildlife, and thus a license). I bet you could make that case successfully in person. "Whoa! A thousand bucks to take photos? Whoa! We're not harvesting, we're short-term tourists! For that much money I could have flown my mother over too!" (Aside - do birders have to buy licenses? Aren't they also pursuing wildlife?) Bring your cameras and your return air tickets in with you. And maybe some good pictures you've taken. Maybe you won't need the licenses, or maybe you can get away just buying one for your whole party.


While your intent is good...it is NOT what the law says and it is not what the AZGF has stated to me and others. If you read the regulations, which in PLAIN LANGUAGE say that what we do is "pursuit of" and or "hunting" and thererfore require a license.

Poachers take good pictures too.

A written correspondence leaves a paper trail. A paper trail can be shown to a Game and Fish officer...personal conversations can not be.

Jeroen

I would suggest you begin a written dialogue with AZGF and perhaps you can redolve the issue.

As far as an email address for AZGF.. pm me and I will provide you with my connection at AZGF's email addy.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 18th, 2012, 7:46 pm 

Joined: June 15th, 2011, 2:07 pm
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Hey guys, just some info: a non-resident combo license is $225.00 this year. Combo being a hunting license for reptiles, and a fishing license for amphibians. However, not to rain on anybodies parade this year, but road-cruising is now illegal in Az. Technically, it always has been, but the statute (R12-4-304 section F, part 3) was very ambiguous , and was basically open to interpretation. But now, under A.R.S. 17-301 B, and R12-4-319, I quote " You are unlawfully using a vehicle to take wildlife if you intentionally drive around until you see the animal you wish to harvest and then make an attempt to take. 'Road hunting' is illegal; so is pursuing wildlife with a vehicle, chasing or heading off moving wildlife with a vehicle, and driving offroad to get closer to wildlife." End quote.
I suggest each one truck on down to Wal Mart, or elsewhere, and pick up the 2011-2012 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations. It is still okay to hunt on foot, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 18th, 2012, 11:35 pm 
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At this point I'm not sure I'll be able to make it down to Arizona this year, but if I do I'll be happy to meet up with you again, Jeroen. If I do make it down there I'll be concentrating on finding Oxybelis aeneus in areas they're not commonly found.


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 1:13 am 
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R. Troup wrote:
Hey guys, just some info: a non-resident combo license is $225.00 this year. Combo being a hunting license for reptiles, and a fishing license for amphibians. However, not to rain on anybodies parade this year, but road-cruising is now illegal in Az. Technically, it always has been, but the statute (R12-4-304 section F, part 3) was very ambiguous , and was basically open to interpretation. But now, under A.R.S. 17-301 B, and R12-4-319, I quote " You are unlawfully using a vehicle to take wildlife if you intentionally drive around until you see the animal you wish to harvest and then make an attempt to take. 'Road hunting' is illegal; so is pursuing wildlife with a vehicle, chasing or heading off moving wildlife with a vehicle, and driving offroad to get closer to wildlife." End quote.
I suggest each one truck on down to Wal Mart, or elsewhere, and pick up the 2011-2012 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations. It is still okay to hunt on foot, though.


So we can end up paying 4 pricey licences AND get a sizeable fine after all? :(


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PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 1:33 am 
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As a (non-provocatively intended) personal side note, it strikes me as somewhat odd to justify licence prices as 'beneficial for conservation', while collecting/hunting/disturbance/whatever (i.e. always detrimental to some level at least) is allowed by it. May very well be my non-collector-biased view, but sounds a little bit like paying of the guilt of harassing animals ;)

More importantly, however, I don't mind to contribute to conservation in return for being allowed/able to admire animals. The level of damage we are likely to cause is low enough for me to dare to call this mutually benificial. While hardly AZGF's fault, it unfortunately comes on top of a 1300 dollar flight. Now let's hope we'll get some rain...


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PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 7:37 am 

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Jeroen,

There is a long discussion of the legalities of roadcruising here:
http://www.azreptiles.com/forums/showthread.php?14202-Arizona-herping-questions/page3

The upshot (answer from F&G) seems to be that roadcruising is OK so long as you have a hunting licence.


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PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 8:35 am 
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Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:
R. Troup wrote:
Hey guys, just some info: a non-resident combo license is $225.00 this year. Combo being a hunting license for reptiles, and a fishing license for amphibians. However, not to rain on anybodies parade this year, but road-cruising is now illegal in Az. Technically, it always has been, but the statute (R12-4-304 section F, part 3) was very ambiguous , and was basically open to interpretation. But now, under A.R.S. 17-301 B, and R12-4-319, I quote " You are unlawfully using a vehicle to take wildlife if you intentionally drive around until you see the animal you wish to harvest and then make an attempt to take. 'Road hunting' is illegal; so is pursuing wildlife with a vehicle, chasing or heading off moving wildlife with a vehicle, and driving offroad to get closer to wildlife." End quote.
I suggest each one truck on down to Wal Mart, or elsewhere, and pick up the 2011-2012 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations. It is still okay to hunt on foot, though.


So we can end up paying 4 pricey licences AND get a sizeable fine after all? :(



Ha, ha! I'm not sure who R. Troup is, but I'm pretty sure he's not an AZ native. If this "technicality" about road cruising were actually enforced, AZG&F would never sell any licenses to herpers, because noone would be road cruising anymore, and that's pretty much all that most folks do. Even if that were enforced one time in the state, I'm sure it would be big news. I don't believe the intent of that regulation has anything to do with reptiles and amphibians, or would be interpreted by any officers that way.

IMHO, LE vary in how they interpret the law. Most of the time we don't even get approached by officers, except in the most popular and well known locations. They usually won't waste their time, unless they know ahead of time we're going to be someplace, especially if in numbers. Sometimes they just want to know if we're herpers, then they check to see if you have a license. If they think you're collecting or might be a poacher, they might ask to check your vehicle or if you would open your trunk for inspection. If you're driving funny, which most herpers do, they can pull you over and ask questions. If you have a license, show it, and you're cool, and you're on your way. If you don't don't have a license, you'd better just be sightseeing.

IMHO, a license is mostly for those who are collecting animals. You're paying for the privilege. Of course you're also paying for the privilege of experiencing this great state of ours and getting to see some of our interesting wildlife. But, a license isn't required to look at all the birds, or javelina, or foxes, or deer, or invertebrates. I rarely ever collect a reptile and never any amphibians. I buy a license every year to contribute to the conservation effort of our state agencies and to make it legal when out with friends. It's ok, if I have a snake hook when we're looking at a snake in the road, or a snake bag in my pocket or car, because I have a license; but it's also ok, if the passengers in the car with me don't have a license when they are not hunting, and they don't have any equipment for hunting reptiles. If you are just walking, or hiking, and you have a camera and/or binoculars, you are not likely even going to be stopped or questioned; but if you are, you are just a naturalist looking at everything. I would add that folks who are road cruising are hunting, or "pursuing," the wildlife, so LE could interpret this as hunting and thus require a license.

I looked up the license prices for this year and believe these are accurate....Resident hunting = $32.25, combo = $54.00; Non-resident hunting = $151.25, combo = $225.75. I usually get the resident combo, because I spend a lot of time yearly looking at reptiles and amphibians. When I was a non-resident I always just got the hunting license, because I didn't know you needed a fishing license, and I rarely looked at any amphibians. No LE officer ever asked to see the fishing license with me. Most officers are understanding and friendly. There's always a chance you might run into one who has a beef with herpers in general or interprets the law very strictly. In that case you're taking your chances. Even though I know non-resident herpers have to pay a much larger price to look for herps in AZ, I think it's too much to ask that all four in your group, Jeroen, should have to pay for a non-resident combo license, just for a two week trip, especially when your expenses are already so high. Of course, there will probably be those who disagree.

In their regulations, AZG&F say that those who are required to have a license are those who are "taking" the wildlife. The technicality is mostly about, what is the "take." When I'm in the field with just a camera and pair of binoculars, I'm just looking at wildlife in general. I don't feel there is any "take," and I don't think I need a license for that, and I've never gotten in any trouble for that.


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PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 12:15 pm 

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Terry - your experiences and perspectives on this accord with mine 100%. Most LEO's could give a fig about herps. Most of those who do are reasonable and use their sound judgement. A very few (Whitewater, anyone?) are totally unreasonable, appearing more interested in "gotcha" than in conserving the resource while promoting its use and enjoyment (NOT merely "allowing for", but promoting, is the second half of state wildlife agencies' mission).

All - In the most basic practical terms, you buy a license for the privilege of pursuit of wildlife with the goal of transferring the animal from public property to your own property. "Just looking" at wildlife ends up with it remaining public property. Harvest ends with it being privatized (whether meat in a freezer, mounted on the wall, or alive in a cage). Historically, herping never required a license, partly because harvest was considered so low as to not constitute an existential threat. Increasingly it does require a license, partly as a convenience for enforcement staff who find it impossible to distinguish between those who are "just looking" and those who are "looking to harvest". If there is ZERO intent to harvest, and no evidence of intent, the case for requiring a license starts falling to pieces. (Special cases like training pursuit dogs by running cats and bears, without terminal harvest, are just that - special cases. The animals' harassment is extreme enough to justify requiring a license.)

Jeroen - it might be useful, in this license purchase question, to consider self-censorship of certain behaviors and possessions that could give law enforcement a hard time understanding what you're actually doing. For example, avid photographers often will restrain and/or confine an animal, sometimes overnight even, to get better photos (with nice morning light, or whatever). Having a snake in a bag looks A LOT like harvest. Just having an empty bag looks like intent. If you don't have a license, you don't want to look like you're harvesting - or intending to do so - without a license (poaching). No confinement, no temporary possession - those are more than "just looking". Just a thought, and something you can offer in your discussions with AzGFD. And a solid way to stay on the right side of field-based enforcement staff.

The reason I suggest a face-to-face is because you just get better communication that way. Most folks are going to be a lot more conservative in writing - they're going to cover their butts and stay out of grey zones. Face-to-face they can feel you out, get a better sense of who you really are. In an e-mail, you're just an anonymous character coming out of the ether. It'll be harder to get the benefit of the doubt, to be extended some trust. The world works on trust; most people understand this subliminally, and go with it.

Oh, finally - in USA wildlife is considered a) a public resource, and b) a renewable resource, and managed on a population basis. Harvest of a sustainable number of animals is not considered to be detrimental to populations. License sales help fund the determination of "sustainable". Because wildlife is a public resource, it would be undesirable for a wildlife agency to simply say (without very good justification) "We shall allow no harvest, thus there's no need for determination of "sustainable", thus there's no need for a license". Highly undesirable - basically government stealing from the people they work for. We try really hard not to have that.

Cheers,
Jimi


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PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 6:23 pm 

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Terry, first off - we have met on the road a few times, and yes, I've been in Az. for well over twenty years. I have had some serious run-ins with officers before. As I said, it's pretty much open to interpretation by the one stopping you. Plus, the A.G.F.D. doesn't actually sell a "herper" license - it's the same for hunting small game, so they will continue to sell it. Especially to anyone willing to spend money. But, your welcome to test it for yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 7:13 pm 
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R. Troup wrote:
Terry, first off - we have met on the road a few times, and yes, I've been in Az. for well over twenty years. I have had some serious run-ins with officers before. As I said, it's pretty much open to interpretation by the one stopping you. Plus, the A.G.F.D. doesn't actually sell a "herper" license - it's the same for hunting small game, so they will continue to sell it. Especially to anyone willing to spend money. But, your welcome to test it for yourself.



Well, I'm sorry I didn't remember your last name, I tried. If you'd put your first name in somewhere or mentioned you lived in AZ or were on our member list, I probably wouldn't have gotten a little uptight. Believe it or not, I've met literally hundreds of herpers since I've retired, some in the field and some at conferences, etc. I'm also terrible at remembering names, so I get it wrong a lot. But I digress. This is really about your statement that road cruising is now illegal. That statement had no backing and sounded much like something made-up for some kind of attention. I'm not sure what the purpose was?

I tried to make it clear that it was just my opinion that LE would not consider herpers to be breaking the law by road cruising. I am open to opposing arguments from anyone that knows better, or knows of some new law, or whatever. But the way I see it, nothing seems to have changed recently. I will test the law to a certain extent. I will be road cruising, only I will have a license. I just can't see even getting stopped, let alone getting a ticket for road cruising. If I see you again in the field (was it in Santa Cruz Co?) I hope you don't hold it against me. If you're sincere, by all means make your case here. BTW, I'm not arguing about LEO's always being perfect gentlemen. I'm just saying they have a job to do and we can make it easier for them and ourselves by the way we act.

Peace....TC ;)


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PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 7:27 pm 
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I spoke to the head of LE at AZGF last year about this.
Road cruising, while technically illegal is still allowed by non-enforcement. If a field agent sees you making seemingly random u-turns in the road he then has PC to pull you over to check for a license. If you are licensed you are good to go. The key here is drive safely, pull over for faster moving traffic, etc. And be sure you have a license.
DO NOT flash any type of light out of your vehicle. This IS illegal and will be enforced. Your vehicle must be stopped and you must have 2 feet on the ground prior to spotlighting.

Other than that he told me to be safe and have a good time.

Oh by the way...AZGF does not receive ANY funding from tax dollars. They are funded by license sales and donations to the Heritage Fund and I think some lottery money.

Dave


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PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 7:31 pm 
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Terry...you and me met Mr Troup that day you showed me that juvenile green rat. He was the guy in the van with the dogs. Am I correct Mr Troup?


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 19th, 2012, 8:22 pm 
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R. Troup wrote:
Hey guys, just some info: a non-resident combo license is $225.00 this year. Combo being a hunting license for reptiles, and a fishing license for amphibians. However, not to rain on anybodies parade this year, but road-cruising is now illegal in Az. Technically, it always has been, but the statute (R12-4-304 section F, part 3) was very ambiguous , and was basically open to interpretation. But now, under A.R.S. 17-301 B, and R12-4-319, I quote " You are unlawfully using a vehicle to take wildlife if you intentionally drive around until you see the animal you wish to harvest and then make an attempt to take. 'Road hunting' is illegal; so is pursuing wildlife with a vehicle, chasing or heading off moving wildlife with a vehicle, and driving offroad to get closer to wildlife." End quote.
I suggest each one truck on down to Wal Mart, or elsewhere, and pick up the 2011-2012 Arizona Hunting and Trapping Regulations. It is still okay to hunt on foot, though.




I've reviewed all these regs and can't find anything that has to do with road cruising. Can you tell us exactly where that quote came from? It sounds more like road hunting big game, not reptiles. It just doesn't seem to be in context with any reptile hunting regs.

Terry :?:


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PostPosted: January 20th, 2012, 2:54 am 
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Another question.

I noticed discussion about moonlight and its impact on nocturnal reptile activity.

I had a look here =>
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/a ... =-11&day=1

Please consider my dilemma.

- I chose my initially intended travel period (August 11th-26th) because it seems to offer an excellent "moon window" for herping. However, the airplane tickets would cost me about 1300 USD.
- Delaying the trip to August 20th - September 2nd, would offer a far less suitable moon phase period, I guess. However, the flights are only about half as expensive!

So, here I am, trying to assess how important that moon stuff really is to spend or save on cash.

What do you think? Will I blow my chances of seeing a gila monster and much more if I go for the cheaper option? Do I get it right that herping after moonset might compensate for the unfavorable moon phase?

As a side note, I was wondering if monsoon doesn't envolve enough cloud cover to lower the impact of the moon on scaring off reptiles, but maybe that's silly and/or ignorant...

Thank you all for your time and help so far!


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 20th, 2012, 12:05 pm 

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Quote:
So, here I am, trying to assess how important that moon stuff really is


Ha ha, so are we! Everyone has their opinions and experiences. It isn't a clear-cut matter. Which helps keep road-cruising interesting (it can be dreadfully boring, or it can be outstanding).

If the price were the same, I'd say go with the first set of dates, because (like lots of folks) I do put some stock in the moon phase hypothesis. But to save almost $700 each - personally, I'd come later. (Maybe set the savings aside for your next visit?) That time of year is often cloudy (dimming a bright moon), it's high season behaviorally for lots of the critters you probably want to see, and again, the relationship between moon phase and what you see on roads is simply not 100% deterministic. And finally, it'll be "baby season", and personally I think they're more active on bright nights than adults.

Also, if the road-cruising seems generally slow, you can go to bed early and get up for some dawn-midmorning field herping. That technique is also favored, and can be very productive. It's also a lot cheaper and "greener" than burning a tank of gas, and you get to see the habitat and other desert flora and fauna. Also, even if the moon is bright, if it isn't straight overhead sometimes hiking the shaded side of a hill or mountain, or down in a dark canyon, can be very effective.

You guys are lucky, to be bringing lots of eyes and probably picking up some here too. It'll increase your field finds, for sure.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 20th, 2012, 12:42 pm 

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Saw this from Dave, had to respond, I thought I could provide some stimulating, illuminating information:

Quote:
AZGF does not receive ANY funding from tax dollars


The recent (< 10 yr) national trend is for state wildlife agencies to be receiving less and less state General Fund dollars (monies appropriated by their state Legislatures, typically derived from state income taxes but always coming from some tax source). Thus they rely more and more on "restricted" funds (license sales and fees), "pass-through monies" and "income". I believe it is true that AzGFD presently receives no General Fund dollars.

Pass-through monies and "income" often were generated from taxes (particularly the pass-through). All state wildlife agencies get a large chunk of their annual revenues from (mainly federal) pass-through programs such as USFWS' Federal Assistance to States. Here's a recent example of just one program (scroll down to see AZ'z share, based on a formula):
http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/Gr ... teFY12.pdf

That program, created in 1937, is funded from federal excise taxes on guns and ammunition. There are a number of such programs, with similar funding streams - e.g., federal taxes on outboard motors, boats and trailers, fishing gear, etc. Mine and some others are funded through royalties from outer continental shelf oil and gas "production". (Question - is it a "tax" when public-resource income going to the Treasury (and destined to federal entitlement programs, "defense", etc) is diverted to other places, like state wildlife agencies?)

"Income" often comes when state wildlife agencies basically act as contractors for other state or federal agencies. For example, BLM and USFS will often fund the hiring of state F&W seasonal technicians, to perform inventory and monitoring work on lands they (federal land-mgt agencies) administer. BLM and USFS generate a little of their own "income" from grazing, timber and minerals sales, etc but...it's kind of like the OCS oil and gas monies. And most BLM and USFS revenues are annual Congressional appropriations, coming directly from the Treasury. Ditto Department of Defense...they transfer a lot of money to state wildlife agencies. Ever thought about all our domestic military bases with test and training missions? They REALLY benefit from knowing the status and location of their wildlife populations, and strive mightily, sometimes heroically, to keep them healthy and non-endangered. Typically they outsource that work to contractors, including the state wildlife agencies.

Anyway, I could go on like a pedantic prick, but like I said I thought I could provide some illuminating and stimulating information so hopefully it's a venial sin. My basic message is, "it's actually quite complicated". Definitely not so simple as "we get NO taxpayer support". As if (given contemporary American sensibilities) that were necessarily a good thing...when wildlife is everybody's property, does it make complete sense for <<100% of everybody to help pay for its management and perpetuation? I'd rather we attach a price tag to all the stuff we think we want and need (bombers, food stamps, clean air, freeways, wildlife...), and then force ourselves (via our elected reps) to make some tough but considered - and transparent - decisions.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 20th, 2012, 1:24 pm 
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I really don't think it will make much of a difference either way. Herping here during that time of year is usually good no matter what. And I don't know about everyone else but I actually saw some great stuff during last August's full Moon, including 3 Tigers and a Ringneck. And like Jimi stated, if one method isn't working try something else. That's the great thing about Arizona, during the summer you can find stuff 24 hours a day. And I doubt someone with you level of experience will have any problems finding all sorts of cool stuff.


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PostPosted: January 20th, 2012, 3:54 pm 
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I'll go with the flow here and say I'd wait. Jimi had some good points about the babies and some cloud cover, etc. Most native herpers prefer darkness to full moon, but it doesn't always make too much difference, imho. The best time to road cruise after dark is in the first two hours. Cruising all night can be very tiring and wasteful of time. During this time of year it's often best to herp during the daylight hours. Mornings are good for cruising crepuscular animals like green ratsnakes and gila monsters. Many folks like to walk canyons for snakes and lizards and search rock piles and other rocky places. There are places where water is flowing or in ponds and frogs can be found, along with garter snakes and others. This time of year has a good chance for rain too, in which case it would likely be cloudy and there would be lots of toads and frogs on the roads. I would want to save the money to pay for other things, like lots of gas. Besides, if you come during the best moon phases the popular roads will be very crowded.

Keep us posted on what you think.... ;)

Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 20th, 2012, 4:42 pm 
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ratsnakehaven wrote:
Keep us posted on what you think.... ;)


Well, I think you are all doing your very best to be helpful! :thumb:

At this particular moment, I'm thinking I will try to move the trip even further into September
I think I have learned by now that
* we can benefit from the next new moon,
* there will be less people about (?),
* temps will be more agreeable (for daytime stuff etc.),
* there will be more juveniles out and about and
* plane tickets will be not so expensive.

One obstacle: I will have to have a nice chat with my boss, since I'm usually supposed to be at work in September.


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PostPosted: January 20th, 2012, 6:02 pm 
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Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:
ratsnakehaven wrote:
Keep us posted on what you think.... ;)


Well, I think you are all doing your very best to be helpful! :thumb:

At this particular moment, I'm thinking I will try to move the trip even further into September
I think I have learned by now that
* we can benefit from the next new moon,
* there will be less people about (?),
* temps will be more agreeable (for daytime stuff etc.),
* there will be more juveniles out and about and
* plane tickets will be not so expensive.

One obstacle: I will have to have a nice chat with my boss, since I'm usually supposed to be at work in September.



The new moon in September is the 15th. The first two weeks of September are better than the last two, generally, but with the new moon the middle two weeks might be best. Yes, there will be less other herpers. Usually the temps are very agreeable during daytime, pretty good in the evening also. Yes, more juveniles. One thing that might be more different is that there might be less rain, less amphibians.

8-)


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PostPosted: January 20th, 2012, 9:19 pm 

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Biker Dave, yes that was me, and I have seen you at the Tucson Herp show if memory serves me right. Terry, as stated, that quote is from the 2011-2012 Hunting and Trapping Regulations that they just got in at Wal Mart here in Sierra Vista. I did not make it up and did not comment as to whether it will be enforced or not. Just providing information and letting everyone make of it what they will. Also, I have been keeping reptiles for almost fifty years, and have been hunting in Az. since 1967. First, as a kid visiting an aunt and uncle in Tucson every summer, and then road cruising after my hunting buddy got his driver's license - he was a year older than I. Together with two good friends, have our own herp club and do many educational displays and talks every year. Besides every school in Sierra Vista, we've hit Desert Winds and Robert M. Bracker schools in Nogales, and Naco Elementary. We do the Santa Cruz County fair in Sonoita every year, the Southwest Wings birding festival in S.V. and have been asked to do Wings Over Willcox next January, and Buenas Aires NWR this fall. We have trained the Rio Rico Fire Dept. on safely removing rattlesnakes from people's properties. One of us, Dale, is one of the founding members, in 1969, of the A.H.A., and the third, Tom, does rescues in the S.V. area, and has for forty years - accounting for over 15,000, yes 15,000 snakes removed from people's yards. I could go on, but just suffice it to say that we know our reptiles, and we try to stay abreast of current laws.


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PostPosted: January 20th, 2012, 9:25 pm 

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Terry, to answer your query from Thursday. Yes, it did originally apply to big game, however, they've changed the wording from "game" to "wildlife", which includes rodents and reptiles - but not arthropods, for all the tarantula, scorpion, and centipede lovers.


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 Post subject: Re: Arizona trip of European alien
PostPosted: January 21st, 2012, 9:35 am 
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R. Troup wrote:
Biker Dave, yes that was me, and I have seen you at the Tucson Herp show if memory serves me right.

Terry, as stated, that quote is from the 2011-2012 Hunting and Trapping Regulations that they just got in at Wal Mart here in Sierra Vista. I did not make it up and did not comment as to whether it will be enforced or not. Just providing information and letting everyone make of it what they will.


Well, I thank you for that, but it wasn't obvious at first. I spent over thirty minutes searching AZG&F hunting regulations looking for your quote, so I could follow up on that. The Dept. needs to update their online regulations in that case, imo. You can be sure I'll be picking up my 2012 license soon and I'll get a hard copy of those regs.

Quote:
Also, I have been keeping reptiles for almost fifty years, and have been hunting in Az. since 1967. First, as a kid visiting an aunt and uncle in Tucson every summer, and then road cruising after my hunting buddy got his driver's license - he was a year older than I. Together with two good friends, have our own herp club and do many educational displays and talks every year. Besides every school in Sierra Vista, we've hit Desert Winds and Robert M. Bracker schools in Nogales, and Naco Elementary. We do the Santa Cruz County fair in Sonoita every year, the Southwest Wings birding festival in S.V. and have been asked to do Wings Over Willcox next January, and Buenas Aires NWR this fall. We have trained the Rio Rico Fire Dept. on safely removing rattlesnakes from people's properties. One of us, Dale, is one of the founding members, in 1969, of the A.H.A., and the third, Tom, does rescues in the S.V. area, and has for forty years - accounting for over 15,000, yes 15,000 snakes removed from people's yards. I could go on, but just suffice it to say that we know our reptiles, and we try to stay abreast of current laws.



Heck, why haven't you posted more here? We have some of the same goals and would like to have you as a Chapter/NAFHA member. BTW, I would prefer to use your first name, if that's ok, rather than call you Mr. Troup. I'm probably older than you even though you've been in AZ much longer than me.

What kind of snakes do you keep? Obviously, I have a couple green ratnsnakes, but I don't keep any hots, amphibs, or lizards.

Terry ;)


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