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Anyone from Maryland?

Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by mldolan, Feb 28, 2008.

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  1. mldolan

    mldolan Active Member

    I've really been bitten, no pun intended, by the whole herp thing and now would like to take it a step further. I am raising two ball pythons, but would like to document photographically, and in a journal, the native species of my state. Not sure when the best time to start would be. I live next to a 75-100 acre wooded area with a stream and some open areas. I'm sure there are plenty of snakes there. Current project is to make a snake hook from an old golf club (I've noticed many of the snake hooks for sale in the $30-40 range are made from old clubs). Mine cost $2.00 at the local thrift shop. While documentation is the primary focus of my efforts, if I were to find a nice specimen, keeping it would not be out of the question, providing it would not harm the snake (certain snakes I'm sure don't do well in captivity if they are caught as adults). Any help or advise would be appreciated.
  2. venus

    venus Founding Member

    There are quite a few members here from there. I am sure they will chime in.
  3. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    The golf club things a nice idea, last time i picked up a wild snake i actualy just threw on some leather work gloves and scooped him up, you get them right your fine, but please don't take my example, i'ts a really bad idea to do this. The Rat snake i grabbed was actualy rather okay about it, ,i was tempted to keep him, but i beleive snakes in the wild, should stay in the wild, i prefer CB much more than WC. As for certain snakes not doing okay in the wild, really any snake you catch outside is not going to be acclimated for life in a cage, Bringing a snake in for a bit to study it closer is not going to really hurt it, but i personally would'nt suggest it.
    As far as Snakes native to maryland goes i beleive theres like 25-30 Species native to maryland, The most common are The Black Rat Snake, Eastern Garter Snake, Eastern Hognose Snake, Eastern Kingsnake, Eastern Milk Snake, Eastern Ribbon Snake, Eastern Worm Snake, Northern Black Racer, Northern Brown Snake, Northern Copperhead, Northern Ringneck Snake, Northern Water Snake, Rough Green Snake, Smooth Green Snake and the Southern Ringneck Snake. The Coastal Plain Milk Snake and Corn Snake are less common but also native, along with the Southern Copperhead and Southern Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake, though i doubt you'll find a Timber Rattler.
    As for when to start its hard to tell you esactly when to start, I would suggest Spring, Your going to have little to no luck during the winter, your best bet would be, once the temperature's stable out, and its consistently warmer out.
  4. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hey there! Howard county here... I would wait another month or two before expecting to see much. good luck!
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Harford county here. herps in the area start poking their nose out in another month or two, depending on the spring we have.
  6. Typhanie

    Typhanie Elite Member

    Is it illegal in Maryland to keep wild caught native species?

    I had thought it was illegal in VA, but it turns out you can keep no more than 5 animals of a native wild caught species. Huh.
  7. mldolan

    mldolan Active Member

    Howard county too! North Laurel just off US1 near where US1 splits. If you have experience field herping it would be great if we could get together some time and you could show me the ropes. Heavy wooded area next to my house with a stream and some open areas.
    BTW I doubt my wife will let me bring anything back home anyway lol.
  8. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Im pretty sure it is illegal to take things out of the wild in MD without the proper licencing, though in many cases its not something really looked into all the time. its mainly in place to keep people from making a business out of it. There are also laws about selling native species, You won't find a black Rat snake in a pet store anymore.
  9. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    my field herping consists of hiking in gunpowder state park and turning over a few rocks once in a while. However i got off the trail once to collect some bark and found a turtle.
  10. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    You have to have a special permit to sell native species. I know you can find little green reed frogs at Tom's.
  11. mldolan

    mldolan Active Member

    i checked the state laws here in md and based on wether or not they are endangered threatened thriving etc you can own up to five reptiles from list A (the most commonly found), this is geared toward hobbyists and definitely not toward businesses.
  12. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    I'm sure there are permits that enable you to deal with native species, but most petstores probaly don't bother with it, not a whole lot of money, what i meant, was that many of them are usualy used to keep a person from making a small business out of capturing wild snakes and selling them "out the back door" so to say.
  13. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Yeah, it depends on the species, but you can usually keep the more common ones. I think you're limited to one or two eastern box turtles though.

    I've seen and caught a lot of native MD herps. Eastern box turtles, spring peepers, eastern painted turtles, common snapping turtles, black rat snakes, eastern garter snakes, worm snakes, and other frogs, toads, skinks, and salamanders. There's a lot more diversity in MD than what I was used to from ND.

    Most of the snakes will do ok in captivity. About the only thing I'd say would be a real challenge would be snapping turtles, skinks, and the salamanders. You also have to consider that almost anything wild caught is going to harbor internal parasites of some kind.
  14. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Personally I feel like anything from the wild should stay in the wild, and the ONLY thing that should be in captivity are captive bred animals. We have enough diversity in the captive world now to accomplish this.
  15. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Could not of said it better myself. Mike if you really want to own a native species, You can occasionally find CB Black Rat Snakes for sale, usualy out of state though. Its worth the expense anyway, yeah sure it does not seem like taking one or two snakes out of the wild would hurt, but if everyone decided to do that?...
  16. mldolan

    mldolan Active Member

    well the area is slated for development as a community center soon, so catch and release of a few snakes is only delaying the inevitable. If i know more about the local snake populations, or was a real herpetologist i might catch and release some of these soon to be homeless snakes somewhere else. but for know i'd just like to see a few of my neighbors up close. been walking those woods for years now and have never seen a snake, i would love to know how/where to find them. kinda like opening up a new world for me.
  17. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    most snakes like to hide under rocks, so looking in rocky areas and turning over rocks is your best bet.
  18. Hillside Herps

    Hillside Herps New Member

    All good information, however I do suggest you go to the Maryland DNR site and review (print) the laws referring "Native Species". The DNR applies heavy fines if you are caught breaking their laws. The DNR people come to the reptile shows and canvas each table to see what we have and do make unannounced home visits as well. You can get a free subscription to the DNR magazine as well. It touches on all of the Marylands ecosysten and its inhabitants. You do need a license ($25.00 ea type) to breed native species.
  19. mldolan

    mldolan Active Member

    well i'm not gonna get that deep into it, i have been to the mdnr web page and read the rules regarding native species, never would sell or breed. mostly i just want to see what's out there. and maybe just maybe if i came across a young hognose.......
  20. 0Michael0

    0Michael0 Member

    I too, am from Maryland and do a lot of herping in Gunpowder State Park. I've found ten species of snake there and I suspect there are probably a few more. It's a great place to search. If anyone from Harford Co. reads this, I'd love some hints on where I might find a smooth earth snake and an eastern king snake.
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