Friday, August 01, 2008

Artificial Cover Setup

“The urge to hunt and collect is strong in most of us, but never stronger in any one group of people than in naturalists....”

Carl Kauffeld

Hunting snakes, to me and many others, is absolute fun. Most of my friends and a few relatives think I’ve lost my mind. Why would I want to do such a thing? I hear… “Snakes bite!!” or “Snakes are evil!” Snakes are also interesting and very essential to our ecosystem. The woods near our camp are teeming with snakes and in order to increase my chances of finding them I decided to set up an area using artificial cover (AC). The use of AC is employed by serious snake hunters because it’s an effective way of finding snakes. During the summer months they like to crawl up under pieces of bark, pine straw, scrap metal and wood to remove themselves from the blazing heat. There are lots of AC sites out there in the form of trash and brush piles, but doing it yourself allows you to experiment with different types of medium (tin, plywood, vinyl, wood, etc.), and different areas (sunny, shady, tall and short grasses, sandy areas, etc.) to see what works best for your particular spot. I fully expect to see coachwhips and racers due to past experiences, but chances are I could attract copperheads and possibly a coral or rattlesnake. I will more than likely allow it to set for a couple weeks undisturbed before I check under it. Hopefully I'll have lots of great photos and stories for all of my fellow snake-lovers. Stay tuned...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How neat; I'll have to come back and see how this turns out.

I just found your blog so please forgive me if this is covered in another post, but I'm wondering: What do you do to make sure you don't get bitten when you lift those boards?

I'd love to do this in my area, but I have no idea how I'd get the boards up to expose the snake(s) without risking a fairly serious bite. None of the "pick-things-up" gadgets I've seen would handle anything as heavy as a board, and tongs and pliers and so forth don't seem nearly long enough.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Jace Stansbury said...


Excellent point. The tin roofing I'm using is pretty light and will allow me to use my snake hook to lift them. On heavier material you can use a potato rake. Hopefully this will attract some nice snakes! If so, you'll sure hear about it!


8:23 PM  

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