Skip to comments.Change in rattlesnake behavior?
Posted on 11/19/2010 10:16:49 PM PST by roses of sharon
HUNTERS AND FARMERS AND THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY.....TAKE HEED....
My fellow friends and family,
We have killed 57 rattlesnakes on two separate ranches this year. 24 @South bend & 33 @ Murray, since mid May. Not one has buzzed! We provoked one fair sized boy with a stick and he coiled & struck at the stick a couple of times before he buzzed up and rattled. The purpose of this explanation is that I have been hearing the same from fellow ranchers and hunters in regards to the lack of warning with rattlesnakes.
I had lunch with a friend today and he offered a theory about the fact that these bugs aren't rattling anymore. He raised pigs for years and reported that when he would hear a rattlesnake buzzing in the sow pen, the sows would bee line to it and fight over the snake. For the uninformed, pigs love to eat rattlesnakes.
Therefore, the theory is they are ceasing to rattle to avoid detection, since there are plenty of pigs roaming the countryside. I have a neighbor ranching lady who was bitten 3 weeks ago 2 times by the same snake without any warning....she spent 5 days in ICU, after 22 vials of anti-venom she is back at the ranch and still may lose her foot or worse yet her lower leg.
The days of perceived warning are over. Keep your boots on and use a light when out and about. As you all know, one can pop up just about anywhere! You may wish to forward this to anyone that would be interested.
These guys think the rattlesnakes have stopped warning with their rattles before striking because the abundance of wild hogs has taught them that if they rattle a hog will come and eat them. The wild hogs are a problem (ferrule not Razorbacks which are not so plentiful but which must also eat snakes) to farmers and ranchers and now they have possibly made the rattlers a bigger problem. Just in case you guys get out in the woods or wilds.
Just in case, better to be safe than sorry!
Well I used to hunt “rattlers” as a boy back in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s and at least half of them didn’t rattle back then either.
Rattlesnakes are probably not smart enough to “learn” behavior of this sort. However (assuming this anecdotal evidence is accurate), perhaps the ones who naturally did not buzz before striking are more likely to survive to breeding age, and therefore would eventually become the majority population. It would be interesting to have a herpetologist look into this.
Bump for reference.
That is the current theory in herp circles.
The rattlesnakes around here didn’t get the memo, never having seen a wild pig, I guess.
We lived in a desert community north of Phoenix. The snakes that rattled got killed. The ones that didn’t often got away scott free. Our neighbor was bit twice by a rattle snake that didn’t buzz. He killed it, but not before it did some serious damage. It’s a case of selective breeding.
My question is, will we have to change the name of the snakes if they quit rattling?
Do you not see that this is evolution? The buzzing snakes died off and the non-buzzing snakes did not. So, they evolved.
Dawkins is vindicated.
Now move along and stop asking ya-but questions.
I can get along with rattlesnakes, but water moccasins are bad.
This does not reflect the process of evolution. It reflects the process of natural selection.
Do you not know the difference?
bitten my a rattlesnake should read as, “bitten by a rattlesnake”
You and I are both lucky we haven't been bitten (yet). I've handled -- in the wild -- nearly 100 rattlensakes (six different species) and I look back now at my sometimes reckless behavior.
I never physically handle them now. I must be smarter. ;)
But in a wild setting, I never kill them either. I'm an old-school Conservationist with a capital C, which makes me the philosophical enemy of the socialist Environmentalist with a capital E.
Rattle snakes are still evolving. Some have even turned into Lawyers. Many have become politicians.
My experience is that rattlers won’t buzz unless you stay too near to them for long enough that they become threatened. Most people bit by a rattlesnake never heard them buzz. I had a baby in my backyard that didn’t even make a sound before he got whomped with a rake.
Of course, this hog story does seem to make a good excuse for blasting some feral hogs.
No way I’m going to get a good night’s sleep after that.
Aside from the baby rattler in my backyard that got killed because our little Siamese cat was too curious near it, I won’t kill a snake either. I think about Hantavirus.
They may have stoped ratteling, but up here they better be undercover cause we got snow, and its cold. Dont think they much like snow.
We have snow too, and they are hidden out in their dens now.
Nueces Helicopter Pig Hunt (no music)
“This feral hog eradication program is funded by a group of farmers who are taking progressive action to reduce the devastation done to their crops by these animals. Each and every feral hog is estimated to cause $1400 in crop damage during its lifetime. As you can see this data in combination with the extraordinarily high and ever expanding hog population proves to be a very big problem.”
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