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  1. #1
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    rattler at oak glen

    I didn't get a picture so I guess it didn't happen but if it had happened Grizz, me and JoAnn were hiking when I almost stepped on a rattle snake two feet from me on the trail. I jumped back and it started to rattle which made grizzly decide to defend me so he charged it. Luckily he is very obedient and reacted to my command. I was going to get a picture but first made sure grizz was secure but by then the snake had slithered off into a bush.
    It is really weird I really don't ever fell any fear when I'm hiking in Grizzly country (except once when I did something really stupid) but although I've lived my whole life in rattlesnake country (actually I guess all America is rattlesnake country) they do scare me. I guess it's because the 10 or 12 times I seen one in the wild they were all within a few feet of me when I either saw them or they started rattling. I was skittish the rest of the hike.
    These are the things that did happen as I got pictures of them.
    These was me getting ready for the hike with a new sporran I made. I quite like it and it will double as a Viking belt bag (there may be functional differences but I haven't really seen any I'd recognize. Click image for larger version. 

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    A couple of close ups of the sporran (the symbols are norse except the bear which I designed) This is the top
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    and this is the bag under the cover flap.Click image for larger version. 

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    There was lots of blooming going on.
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    This is the heritage tree with grizz sitting in the middle
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  3. #2
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    I am not surprised that Grizz (professional snake wrangler) led an offensive against your unphotographed attacker. I've followed his exploits of speed and mastery of calm and control over the years. Thank goodness all is well with you and yours.

    I like the new bag. I too make a bag with a square bottom that allows more room. If I spent more time out and away for longer periods, it would be my go-to choice.

    Thanks (always a pleasure to see) for the photos.

  4. #3
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    Glad everyone made it out safe. I understand watching our for snakes more then bears, if you make noise a bear will normally leave before you get there while a snake can strike without working. I would rather hear about the creature that got away then about another person getting bitten while trying to get a picture of a dangerous animal. I have changed hiking routes a few time due to rattlesnakes.

    In my experience there are two types of rattlesnake encounters; the basking snake spotted from several feet away that stays calm as long as you keep a distance, and the ones that you don't see unless you get too close. It is better to hear a rattle then to see the fangs get ready to strike. I have only seen the fangs once and thankfully was not bitten, yet I know people who got a bite before they saw the snake.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I am not surprised that Grizz (professional snake wrangler) led an offensive against your unphotographed attacker. I've followed his exploits of speed and mastery of calm and control over the years. Thank goodness all is well with you and yours.

    I like the new bag. I too make a bag with a square bottom that allows more room. If I spent more time out and away for longer periods, it would be my go-to choice.

    Thanks (always a pleasure to see) for the photos.
    Thanks. It's true about the size. I decided I liked the design better for hiking because of that. I'm really happy with the grizzly design also. I have been experimenting this last year and have made ten sporrans with various designs or variations of a previous design and am finally really happy with it. (of course that leads to the problem of having 17 sporrans now which take up a lot of room in the closet). I made another one in a more classic size and shape and will probably make a Rob Roy and then be content. (Of course as the grandkids get bigger so should their sporrans so I'm not done plus I still have a bunch of leather from a clearance sale. I made small sporrans for them a year ago and the 4 year old said excitedly "A pocket. I've always wanted a pocket")

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LKM View Post
    Glad everyone made it out safe. I understand watching our for snakes more then bears, if you make noise a bear will normally leave before you get there while a snake can strike without working. I would rather hear about the creature that got away then about another person getting bitten while trying to get a picture of a dangerous animal. I have changed hiking routes a few time due to rattlesnakes.

    In my experience there are two types of rattlesnake encounters; the basking snake spotted from several feet away that stays calm as long as you keep a distance, and the ones that you don't see unless you get too close. It is better to hear a rattle then to see the fangs get ready to strike. I have only seen the fangs once and thankfully was not bitten, yet I know people who got a bite before they saw the snake.
    Except for the time I walked up on him and didn't see him I was in no danger of being bit. I had a 500 mm lens on so I wouldn't have been able to focus until I was well out of the striking zone. It's true there are many more snake bites in America than bear attacks but in fairness to the snakes they also say that in at least half of the incidents there was alcohol involved (and not by the snake).
    I have read that there are other dangers of modern rattlesnakes (and a couple of rangers have said it's true) one is aggressiveness. The Mohave is apparently really getting aggressive and across the snake board the poison they use has changed and is more deadly. There are thankfully a lot of dry hits. I remember reading Doug Peacock's "Grizzly Years" where described his struggles to adjust to civilization after Vietnam and going on a hike through the desert to Mexico City where about half way there he sat on a log and was bitten in the **** by a rattler. He said he knew there was nothing to do but hope he didn't get juiced as he was hundreds of miles from anything.

  7. #6
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    oh by the way

    The ranger came by as I was shooting the heritage tree and grizzly and stopped the truck and said "it's wonderful the heritage tree is blooming and then noticed grizzly and said what a perfect picture will you send me a copy so I can put it on the web page. Now grizz will be more "famous" than ever.

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  9. #7
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    Nice pics and a good story. That sounds like a real close call. Glad everyone made it home OK.

    On the plus side, at least rattlers usually give an audible warning before striking. In the woods 'round here we have copperhead snakes and cottonmouth/water moccasins. They're generally not very aggressive unless cornered/startled, but don't make much noise either, and some can be a bit skittish with large groups around.

    To relate a couple of close encounters I've had:
    I was once hiking about 15 feet behind a couple of young men (Scouts) who passed a copperhead on a trail. I watched it slip off the side of the trail just after the boys stepped over it. I had to call their attention to the fact that they should have been paying more attention to where they were going and what was on the trail than the conversation they were having. These same young men also nearly walked into a spider's web that spanned the trail (about 8 feet wide at that point). I happened to be a little closer at that time and caught the glint of light off some of the web fibers before they hit it. Big yellow spider too! We managed to get around rather than through that one.

    I also once had the privilege of walking past a snake sunning on a tree stump, within about 5 feet or so. I don't recall what type of snake it was, but in my memory it seems it was a pretty good size, 2-3" diameter in the body and several coils.

    My brother was in a camp truck helping to clear a new site at our then-new Scout camp (about 30 years ago). The truck ran over what appeared to be a "small log". The driver stopped & backed up over it again, then pulled forward again. They got out to see what they had run over & it turned out to be an Eastern Diamondback rattler, about 8 ft long , now dead.
    John

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by EagleJCS View Post
    Nice pics and a good story. That sounds like a real close call. Glad everyone made it home OK.

    On the plus side, at least rattlers usually give an audible warning before striking. In the woods 'round here we have copperhead snakes and cottonmouth/water moccasins. They're generally not very aggressive unless cornered/startled, but don't make much noise either, and some can be a bit skittish with large groups around.

    To relate a couple of close encounters I've had:
    I was once hiking about 15 feet behind a couple of young men (Scouts) who passed a copperhead on a trail. I watched it slip off the side of the trail just after the boys stepped over it. I had to call their attention to the fact that they should have been paying more attention to where they were going and what was on the trail than the conversation they were having. These same young men also nearly walked into a spider's web that spanned the trail (about 8 feet wide at that point). I happened to be a little closer at that time and caught the glint of light off some of the web fibers before they hit it. Big yellow spider too! We managed to get around rather than through that one.

    I also once had the privilege of walking past a snake sunning on a tree stump, within about 5 feet or so. I don't recall what type of snake it was, but in my memory it seems it was a pretty good size, 2-3" diameter in the body and several coils.

    My brother was in a camp truck helping to clear a new site at our then-new Scout camp (about 30 years ago). The truck ran over what appeared to be a "small log". The driver stopped & backed up over it again, then pulled forward again. They got out to see what they had run over & it turned out to be an Eastern Diamondback rattler, about 8 ft long , now dead.
    That is true but as I said in an above post snakes are adapting and changing. They say a majority of rattle snakes don't rattle anymore mostly because those that rattle get killed so we have bred out the warning impulse. I actually find it a cool part of the snake but admit there is no sound that can quite raise the hair on the back of your neck like it.
    I was singing in Arkansas once and a vacationer there got killed while water skiing as he fell into a group of baby water moccasins.
    We are heading out this morning for another hike. Hope that snake has moved.

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