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View Full Version : Bowman/Bear River Today



Darin
05-27-2009, 10:55 PM
I made my way up to Bowman today. Didn't have much time to fish but the Thunderclouds made it a good day for takeing pictures.

Bear River near hwy 20
http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/572/bearrivertopcut52709smam.jpg

Bowman
http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/3453/bowman52709.jpg

Thunderclouds, and it was BOOMIN
http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/5386/bowmancloudssmaller.jpg

The Lone Tree
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/5172/treesmaller.jpg

I saw three of these at Bowman today. Ihad to get pretty close to this guy for this shot. I wanted a head shot but no luck..
http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/4993/rattlesnakebowman.jpg

FFG

Mackattack
05-29-2009, 08:57 PM
Darin that is a diamond back is it not ? Keep your distance my friend as I have been to close for comfort before my self ? Albeit a young one(only see one button)but those are the worst !

*Jake

Darin
05-30-2009, 12:13 AM
Darin that is a diamond back is it not ? Keep your distance my friend as I have been to close for comfort before my self ? Albeit a young one(only see one button)but those are the worst !

*Jake


Jake, I completely understand what you are saying and I wouldn’t recommend anyone trying to get close to one of these. My biggest fear being solo in the places I go is being bit by a Diamondback Rattlesnake or attacked by Mt.Lion. I have a "Spot Satellite Tracker" with me at all times as well as a survival back pack that includes a *Rattlesnake Bite Kit. I have had training in Search and Rescue and First Aid as well. I have also taken a couple of courses on reptiles and I have handled these many times. I usually would never get this close to one of these guys but with the temperature being 53deg I knew it would be less aggressive than usual. I also have a 45 strapped to my side at all times, not that it would help in the event of a strike from a rattler. It took me almost an hour to get close to him, slowly but surely. On my approach he never moved but more than 6". *It never once rattled it's tail at me after he saw me and never coiled. *Let me repeat myself. I would never recommend anyone trying to get this close to one of these. Usually strikes will happen from a sudden surprise to the rattlesnake. An example would be stepping over a rock and surprising the snake and getting bit from a reaction strike. On the trail I always have a walking stick *that I slap on the ground every few seconds as I slowly walk the trail and I listen for a rattle. That is how I came across this guy. If I had been just walking and not paying attention I would have stepped on him and got bit for sure, they blend into the surrounding area very well. *After hitting the ground with my stick I heard him about 20 yards before I saw him. Sure enough he was resting along the trail and close to shade. There was a definite chance of getting bit. But with the equipment I had and the precautions I took I was confident on what I was doing. I have been trying to get a closeup of one of these for a few years. On this occastion all the pieces of the puzzle let it happen. I still want a closeup shot from the front view but in this situation there would of been too big of a chance of me getting struck at as I would have had to have been on the side of a steep hill and would have had to cross over him ;) :o After getting the shots I wanted I was able to scare it off. I measured the spot he was and he went 38". I am still waiting to hear back from UC but I think this guy is a Adult Norther Pacific Diamond Back. There are seven different species in Northrern California. But the blochy Diamonds steer me towards the Northern pacific.*

Here is another Pic
http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/9593/56351478.jpg

FFG

Mackattack
05-30-2009, 01:06 AM
No worries mate you got the hill thing going ! My two encounters with these rattle toys as you seasoned veterans call them goes like this ! Sixth grade field trip to Sunol Regional Park=Walking to the soft ball game I see this maybe 8in snake(I pick it up)it turns its head towards my wrist and shakes its buttons(one or two) then back away(I toss it).The ranger comes up to the buss window and says dont do that again ! Next close encounter at Del Valle. Had to pee while fishing,sooo walk up the hill from the inlet and come face-to face with what I remember(5 to 7 buttons)shaking violently,as his head started to turn my way,WELL I jumped backwards down 20 ft or so(I was 13 or 14 then and limber)everyone else swam across the water. Came back later to grab our rods. Scarry at that age and still remember it like it was yesterday.

Mackattack

Mackattack
05-30-2009, 01:07 AM
Crap now I see 3 buttons !

Mackattack

Darin
05-30-2009, 01:34 AM
Those are some great stories J. As a kid I always was afraid of snakes, and to this day rattlers give me the hibby jibbies. A good friend has serious damage to his left forearm after being bit by one while hunting them in Foresthill at the American River(dumb azz) ;D. It took him 3 hours to get medical attention and it did some serious damage to his arm. It almost looks like his forearm was burned.

FFG

YakMotor
05-30-2009, 07:03 AM
FFG - When I first saw your snake I immediately recalled the last vision I had of one up close.

I was peddling the bike trail along the American River near Cal Expo and came across a three foot garter snake, I think, crossing the paved path. *Had my Nikon 35mm (twas a decade before digital) and decided it would be a great photo op. *A 24mm wide angle lens was attached but the snake was unwilling to wait while I changed it. *With a 24mm meaningful subject size means you've got to get close. *I hunkered down ahead of the snake. *Open eye in the viewfinder and finger on the shutter I skrunched toward it. *In an instant it sized me up. *Slither halted. *It reared back and it STRUCK!. *Frozen mental image SNAKE ATTACK appeared in my viewfinder. *Legs reacted before shutter finger. *I freaked! *Next thing I remember is being ten feet back with the snake gone in the grass. *I'd done a giant kangaroo hop in reverse. *Wish I had a picture of my record breaking jump as I'm sure it would be more humorous now than a shot of the smirking grin of that dang snake!

It was a photo published in a Boy Scout book or another book I saw when in the Scouts that imbedded in me disgust and fear for rattlesnakes. *A HUGE swollen human arm puffed three times normal bruised and discolored with snake kit suction cups stuck to it and cross hatch oozing cuts and smeared blood all over. *Another of those images the mind saves for life ... as bad as the B&W gore pictures the CHP used to post at the old state fair.

I've only encountered rattlers once when fishing. *It was in the Foresthill area down a very steep canyon and I was going cross country leading a friend down the side of the slope by passing a spot where the trail had *washed out. *I was picking my way and paying attention to my feet as slippery pine needles covered the ground. *I saw it just ahead passed a small downed trunk. *Not a immediate threat, but it still startled me. *A Ruger Super Single Six with birdshot nailed it and a hollow point finished it off. *We made it to the water and spent the day fishing. *On our way back to the trail we ran into the old dredge miner who'd originally brought my high school buddy and I to this spot years before. *I told him of the snake I'd killed on our way in and he started babbling on about how I'd better watch out for it's mate as it would surely be out to get me. *Yeah ... rrriiigghht. *And son of a gun ... he WAS! *Not twenty feet from where I shot the one in the morning was another just a foot off the path we'd scuffed through the needles. *Made ME a believer!

Same day on the drive out we'd just turned on back on to the foot deep dust road of the Foresthill Divide when rattler number three screeched us to a halt. *It WAS BIG! *It was in the middle of the road and I was in the mood to BLAST it. *Out of birdshot I recall it took the whole cylinder to finally stop and dispatch it. *Nerves shook my aim. *I dragged it by the tail stretching it to get look at it's length when a Jeep roars to a stop. *A burly babe jumps out when she sees the snake and then when she see my pistol starts reading me the riot act ... up one side and down the other ... for taking the poor harmless critter's life. *I don't remember uttering a word just standing with my jaw dropped. *Finally tiring of her tirade she asks what I was going to do with it. *Still I think without saying a word I shrugged, "Nothing" *She immediately snatches it jumps in the Jeep and roars off as fast as she came. *I finally closed my mouth to keep the cloud of dust out.

One day, three rattlers ... ENOUGH for my lifetime!

Oh! REALLY LIKE your #3 cloud shot too!

tarbuckle
05-31-2009, 07:56 AM
It's a "western Rattlesnake"

AKA: Northern Pacific Rattlenake

Mackattack
05-31-2009, 10:19 AM
It's a "western Rattlesnake"

AKA: Northern Pacific Rattlenake

Still scares me no matter what they call them. Thanks for the ID. I'll try and keep away from them too !

Mackattack