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Keiththom

Rattlesnakes

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11 hours ago, Keiththom said:

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.

Having fun with that Urban Legend.  Rumor has it that the MDC dropped them in from helicopters.

Have fun rolling logs looking for the snakes.  I personally try to avoid those areas.  Have not had much luck taking photos of live Rattlers.

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only saw one in our area and thats near the old atlas powder property in jasper co, they have seen them around that general area from time to time, most all of the property in no trespassing but if you ask and sign a waver you might get in, the one I saw was warming itself on a cool October morning... prob a den area, knew someone who bought a house near atlas and they where told to be on guard for rattlers...you don't hear that said in SW Missouri much

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It sounds like, like myself, not many here have seen a rattler in some time.  They are more difficult to see in the hot weather of July and August. Easiest to see in the fall.  But if anyone runs across a den site this fall, and wouldn't mind divulging the information for an old herper and photographer, I'd appreciate it!

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38 minutes ago, Keiththom said:

It sounds like, like myself, not many here have seen a rattler in some time.  They are more difficult to see in the hot weather of July and August. Easiest to see in the fall.  But if anyone runs across a den site this fall, and wouldn't mind divulging the information for an old herper and photographer, I'd appreciate it!

True.  Biggest one I've ever seen was during a bird hunt in November.  Frost covered the ground that morning.

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As an accomplished herp, can you tell me how far from dens they range? The half dozen or so I've seen appeared to be loners far from any others, and I wonder that they ever breed.

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54 minutes ago, tjm said:

As an accomplished herp, can you tell me how far from dens they range? The half dozen or so I've seen appeared to be loners far from any others, and I wonder that they ever breed.

From most of the data I've seen, rattlesnakes do not travel far from their den sites. Probably 100 yards or less.  Some den sites will be communal, and others not so only one snake will use that site.  Reptiles make use of pheromones / scent to find each other.  Timbers drop live babies around August - September. 

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That 100 yards is surprising. The last four that I have seen were on timbered ridge tops with no nearby ledges or rocks that I associate with dens.

I remember as a teenager in Idaho being shown a den that looked as though  it had thousands of snakes in it, no way that the surrounding desert could support three in a hundred yard circle, maybe western snakes travel farther.

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