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Keiththom

Rattlesnakes

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I do a lot of outdoor photography and I am looking for a spot with a good number of Rattlers, Timber or Pigmy to photograph.  Does anyone here see them regularly that would be willing to point me in their direction? It's been quite a few years since I ran across my last one.  (August is typically a bad time to spot them due to the heat. )  How many people here have seen one lately?

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Look for counties with low turkey numbers.  That is where the MDC trapped all the turkeys out to restock the rattlers!

There was a rattler restoration project around St Louis somewhere a few years back.  There was some stories on the project.

In Cape Girardeau County, the areas around KFVS and KBSI Towers seem to be teeming with Timber Rattlers.  Not sure why, but most seem to thing it may have something to do with the radio waves.  And they like the cooling pipes running up the towers, they are warming to them.  But you would have to get permission to be in the area.

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36 minutes ago, jdmidwest said:

Look for counties with low turkey numbers.  That is where the MDC trapped all the turkeys out to restock the rattlers.

Well that is just terrible advice.  The feral hogs were established to help eat rattlesnakes, so that is the populations to target.  Or maybe not if the hogs have eaten them all.  Could go either way I guess.

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We don't got feral turkeys or hogs and with that in my favor, I see a timber rattler every five or ten years and though I know some of the glades are thick with pygmies I don't recall ever seeing one.  Maybe I just don't time it right every time I'm on the creek or at RRSP someone else has just seen a water moccasin and it's been maybe twenty years since I even thought I saw a moccasin.

Over all the snake population is way down from what it was 20-30 years ago and I blame armadillos, they increased at the same time snakes decreased. I think they mistake small snakes for worms and eat them, they ain't got a very big brain. The state herpetologist I spoke with agreed with me that the hard shell possums may be responsible , but she thought it was a food competition thing with the armadillos winning. 

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Around Bull Creek in Christian County MO has a good chance to spot a timber rattler.  Also the same area has a decent amount of pygmy rattlers also.

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It would be a long drive for you, but in Northeast Arkansas, there is 10,000+ acres of state ground called Shirey Bay/Rainey Brake WMA. It is mostly bottomland timber surrounded by crop fields. Let me assure you, it is absolutely OVERRAN  with Timber Rattlers.  I am not kidding and thank God they are not aggressive. Always been this way. 

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14 hours ago, jdmidwest said:

Look for counties with low turkey numbers.  That is where the MDC trapped all the turkeys out to restock the rattlers!

There was a rattler restoration project around St Louis somewhere a few years back.  There was some stories on the project.

In Cape Girardeau County, the areas around KFVS and KBSI Towers seem to be teeming with Timber Rattlers.  Not sure why, but most seem to thing it may have something to do with the radio waves.  And they like the cooling pipes running up the towers, they are warming to them.  But you would have to get permission to be in the area.

Sorry. Lots of misinformation. I've been a herpetologist all my life. Missouri has never stocked rattlesnakes. The "restoration project" you refer to "around St Louis," was designed to radio tag and track rattlesnakes, since they are a species of special concern.

Populations of timber rattlesnakes are declining rapidly in the Eastern U.S. due to persecution and habitat loss. Armadillos and feral hogs are not generally credited with Rattlesnake decline, however hogs especially can and will destroy about anything and everything.

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