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Old 11-28-2013, 07:02 AM   #21
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
I've jumped out of the truck and landed on a Rattlesnake three times in my life and once picked up one by accident - none of them tried to strike at me, but all scared the hell out of me.

By the way, statistically, your dogs are at far greater risk riding in your vehicle than running around in the desert with Rattlesnakes. People always worry about the wrong things.

Nice point. I actually thought about this last night: to even get to the Mojave, we will be drive 1000+ miles, from Portland to SoCal, on I5, of course. That is sure to be the most dangerous part of the trip for all of us!


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Old 11-28-2013, 07:53 AM   #22
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

I've thought about this a lot. People fear what they can't control, even though statistically there is no real risk. My Ex-Trophy-Wife (she likes it when I refer to her that way) is deathly afraid of Sharks, a totally irrational fear since her chances of getting attacked by a Shark is ZERO - she never gets in the ocean.

Not to get to long winded on the subject, but we feel safer if we feel we are in control. But, feeling in control and being in control are two different things.

Driving is statistically one of the most dangerous things we do (approx 100 people die every day in the USA in cars, injuries are much higher), less than ONE person dies every year from a snake bite of any kind, and only 45 shark related deaths in the US since the Pilgrims (Happy Thanksgiving) landed.

Driving, are you really in total control of the process? No, other drivers, who you have no control over actually have more control over your safety than you do. Throw in mechanical failure, road hazards... that's it, I'm never getting in a car again!

One last thing - people who let their beloved dogs ride on their laps, while they are driving infuriate me to know end. They are putting their dog at great risk, and themselves and everyone around them. Talk about distracted drivers, impaired visibility... not to mention smashing Fido when the Airbag goes off in a fender bender. If you love your dogs, secure them in your car while driving. You would let your toddler climb around in the car unsecured or sit in your lap while you are driving.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:17 AM   #23
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

To all the sensitive folks here who took offense to my choice of words, please replace the word 'dumb' in my post with the word 'risky'. My apologies to those who may have thought that I was name-calling when it was just a phrase that I was using lightly.

This includes the ultra fragile types that are so quick to lash out because they interpret everything posted here as so utterly literal.
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:53 AM   #24
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

I was dog sitting for a fellow camper / co-worker at a Lake Arrowhead campground about 15 years ago while they went off roading and Buster (medium sized mutt) stuck his snout in a hole and got himself bit. It swelled up and it took me about 1.5 hours to get him to a vet. I covered the admittance & IV costs while we waited for the owners to return and authorize the anti-venom treatment. Which they did but it was at least 4 hours by then. This was before cell phones! Anyway Buster survived and I got a nice Christmas present from him. I remember the vet saying the larger dogs tolerate the venom better than humans. Not sure if true but it stuck in my mind.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:59 PM   #25
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Originally Posted by Viejo
Well - now please don't take offense at this but... calling someones plan 'pretty dumb' is kind of offensive and apologizing for it advance doesn't help all that much.
And pretending to apologize for it after the fact doesn't help either...
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:47 PM   #26
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

I found two baby Sidewinders in winter in Anza Borrego a few years back. Both a sighting about a year apart. No Rattles or hardly. The baby ones are the most deadly.

Both of them where staying warm underneath the totes I use that I leave outside near the Sportsmobile Side Doors.

So I carefully check the totes when packing up from now one. The third sighting was a big Scorpion..

Both of those sightings where at the same location(near Shell Reef) in Anza Borrego so that led us to believe we were near a snake Den where we camped.. long story short, we don't camp at that specific spot any more..
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:00 PM   #27
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Originally Posted by Viejo
These folks may just define 'hike' the same way we do:
"Any walk that can be safely accomplished by two people and two dogs with all our physical and mental abilities/impairments taken into account."
And some we may not be aware of until after the fact.

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Old 12-03-2013, 05:15 PM   #28
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

Originally Posted by janliness
...they hunt at night -- they're "pit vipers" and have an infra-red sensing organ that helps but doesn't work well when the ambient temperatures are higher in the daytime. They tend to hibernate during the winter, and it's usually not worth their effort to "wake up" just for the occasional nice day...
great info jan

Originally Posted by NRL
... The baby ones are the most deadly...
"technically" they arent anymore deadly than a full size snake. thier poison is the same as an adult, they just dont regulate it as well. not that it really matters, cause its hit and miss with any poisonous snake. you could be bit by a full size snake and not get any venom, or it could empty its tanks on your ass. zero rhyme or reason, but best to assume, your gonna get venom.

either way, rattlesnake bites arent anything to take lightly. ive been bit on the thumb by a baby prarie rattler and it was no joke. it only got one fang in me for a split second, but it was enough to jack me up pretty dang good, so i cant imagine what it would do to a much smaller animal. i was in icu for 1 night and in the hospital for the weekend. my thumb was as big a round as a toilet paper roll. it was freaking gross and while ive been in more pain (kidney stones), its a few weeks ill never forget. plus it ruined the opening of my snowboard season
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:27 PM   #29
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

I would say that you probably already know how outdoor savvy your dog is, or should know. In my experience with mutts outside I find they generally find trouble with all sorts of risks besides snakes long before they run into a rattler. Insect bites, cactus, other dogs, chasing things into bad situations, traffic, hassling people, etc etc. If your dog is well behaved and under control I doubt it will stick it's nose into a snake. I used to go out into the Mojave all the time looking for them, and although they're common they aren't nearly as common as all sorts of other threats. A rodent bite, for example, can cause all kinds of problems. And I've seen more dog-on-dog bites than anything.

If you're worried, use a leash, at least until pooch gets used to the desert.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:22 AM   #30
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Re: Mojave in the winter: rattlesnakes

After my dogs and I missed stepping on a small rattler in a tuft of grass at night I took them to a rattlesnake aversion session. Summer has a very sensitive nose and responded immediately, Eddy dog was slow on the uptake. Haven't run into one on a trip since and will probably take them to training again to see if they still remember that smelly and rattling things are bad. Summer has stopped a couple of times on trail/road and refused to move forward unless we took a detour. I wondered if a snake had recently passed by and left a scent trail. I had a dalmation bit on the nose by a small rattler that was trying to escape by hiding under my car tire (the dog was chasing it away from my toddlers). Her face blew up pretty fast and she was partially paralyzed by the time we reached the vet 15 minutes away. They gave her anti-venom and kept her overnight and she was fine, but I don't know what would have happened if we had been farther out. I tend to keep the dogs on leash if the terrain is not open enough for good visibility. I've lived in the boonies a fair bit and only a few of the rattlers I've seen actually rattled. I talked to my vet about the anti-venom "vaccine" for dogs and she didn't feel there was good data to indicate that it helps.
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