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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