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Field Herping Tips Please?

Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by EriksExotics, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Hello, HC. A friend and I are going to kind of circle Oregon in an attempt to see some cool herps. I know the regions that each species can be located in (For example: Rattlesnakes are often found in Northeastern and Eastern Oregon) However I don't really know where to look. Under rocks, logs? Any sort of advice would be very helpful!!! We will be going in sometime between May and July and we'll be out for a few weeks so I am not sure what we will find. Thanks for any advice in advance. Also, I am not sure if anyone is familiar with Oregon but I'd love any suggestions to improve our Route if you have any!!! We will be stopping at these locations and checking out everything in between!!!

    45.526582, -122.658479

    45.593675, -121.179755

    45.668845, -118.785247

    44.774327, -117.834475

    43.586929, -119.057104

    42.188298, -120.350364

    42.196488, -121.738815

    42.325820, -122.881908

    43.364055, -124.218267

    46.186057, -123.831298
  2. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    im not familiar with Oregon as ive never been further west the west Virginia lol, but good luck and post some pictures!
  3. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    I went to this years Expo for about an hour and came home with 500 pictures! A several week long trip is going to result in A LOT of pictures!!
  4. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    im planning on doing to herping this year myself so ill be posting some pics myself :)
  5. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    I can't wait to see them!
  6. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

  7. trappen

    trappen Elite Member

    I will be trailblazing with the wife in the woods around here in Japan this year once the weather stabilizes. Hoping to find some cool stuff to shoot.
  8. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    My daughter will be in Japan in Dec, she's going nuts and taking me with her :p She has instructions to take pictures of food and ANY reptiles she sees :p Hope she has a great time :)
  9. trappen

    trappen Elite Member

    Hahaha nice ... Where abouts in Japan? We have a lot of endemic herps here.
  10. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    As for Field Herping, Oh where to start LOL...

    Mapping out your route is a good thing, I'll add that you should have someone at home keep track of your movements. Call in when you reach key points in your trip, IE "today we passed hwy intersection XYZ and now on HWY 123. " So that when something goes sideways and you can't recover the trip, someone knows where to look for you.

    A weather report for the time you plan to be out is a HUGE boon, I can't tell you how many times Stiv and I where out in the middle of nowhere looking for any given species only to have it overcast and unseasonably cold....

    Know the habits of your target species, some breed at different times of the year and will be distracted :p making it easier to find them. Unless they breed underground and you will never see them.

    Film/Memory for camera.... More than you need, tends to not be enough.... Batteries....

    Don't skimp on a first aid kit, you are going into harms way here. In our search for rattlesnakes we never got bit... In camp for a day of R&R a 6 year old comes into camp with a cardboard box and a father white as a sheet. Kid had picked up a baby rattlesnake and put it in the box but never got bit. Seeing his dads condition we figured he didn't like snakes, he had no problem with snakes but was worried that his son would become to attached to the rattlesnake and get out of hand (causing agitation and possibly getting bit). So stiv and I played it up that we had not seen one this trip and offered a trade to something more colorful. Kid liked the idea and was a shroud dealer getting two baby kingsnakes off us... little bugger... But dad was hugely relieved and now could go on with their lives uninterrupted. The kid didn't know how close he came to dying, baby rattlesnakes are incredibly dangerous due to uncontrolled venom release. Anyway as Stiv moved the little guy to a safe bag... Zap he gets tagged in the middle finger and we are 2 hours from town down a long dirt road... He's fine now but that was a sobering wake up call.
  11. trappen

    trappen Elite Member

    yeah I am going to be first trying to find the Japanese Forest Rat snake along with a few endemic skinks in the area.
  12. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hey watch out for big foot if you'll be out a while! :)
  13. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    I have a complete (you'd call me insane if I explained lol) emergency plan and we have enough supplies to live comfortably for at least a month in the case of an emergency as well as a huge medical kit + emergency flares + smoke screens + tons of other useful tools. Along with that, every city and town is marked so if we are stranded, we can locate people easily. As for handling hots, I've already done so and have been taught how to do so safely, have an 8 foot snake hook so I am taking every precaution I can!
  14. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    screw hots lol, I know better to handle them, ill take pics from afar but I aint picking them up, I have more then enough respect for them as I learned as a kid.....

    I used to go to my uncle's house as a kid when he lived in Old Town Maryland, right outside of West Virginia. Well ond day we were about to go to the C and O Canal to go fishing, the night before was a huge storm right after Hurrican Ivan hit our area. and after the rain let up we always went looking for night crawlers and the day after we were cleaning debris from his yard and his front porch was destroyed because a large branch fell through it and so we were cleaning it up and when doing so I though it was a nice sized night crawler. well I went to get it and it was just the tail hanging out from under a piece of lumber and then I got it out it swung up and bit me..... well I ripped it off (dummy me). and my uncle beat the snake with a shovel after he heard me screaming and bagged it up and rushed me to the ER and I was in there for a little under a week. So right there gave me a total respect for all venomous snakes and a healthy fear of them, as I am not inclined to KILL them, and not avoid them but I will NOT handle them as I know what they can do as I have a huge scar on my arm left from the encounter.... lol
  15. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    I have a huge hook and I will not be anywhere close enough to receive a bite. I have hige respect for them and will also never let my guard down
  16. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    yeah im not the one to blame the snake for bitting me, as it was neither of our faults as I just made an honest mistake and the snake was just acting on instinct. I made that mistake once and im never going to put myself in that position again as there is nothing I felt worse then the venom of a snake pumping and burning and the just altogether pain I felt from the bite....
  17. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Don't know how many time I passed out because I didn't have any water on me.... Slurp down a pepsi that has heated up in the car when you are dehydrated, I'm pretty sure death wouldn't hurt that bad or taste like that coming back up before passing out in it.....

    Another lesson learned the hard way...
  18. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    We have six gallons (We will get about six more if we can) of water! As I said, we're over prepared :)

    We also packed a ton of MREs just in case of an emergency
  19. jaydsr2887

    jaydsr2887 Elite Member

    haha, I live in the boonies, lol, I can just field herp in my backyard haha
  20. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Field herping is like a trip to the zoo, it doesn't take much to walk out to a location and see stuff if you pay attention. The trick is all the prep that gets you to that spot and knowing what to look for.

    I don't read cord's to well without a topo map of the area so I have no clue what the terrain is like or the critters on your list.

    When out on the hike carry spare gear in a day pack you just never know when it will come in handy. Basically you are going out hiking with benefits. Unless your doing research, and that gets all kinds of special. If you ever plan to do real field work I'd suggest a class at college or university based on Field BIo. My current college SBCC has a class called Field Biology/Ecology and goes over note taking practices and the like. I've taken two of these classes (30 years apart :p ) and learned quite a bit on field research, and the mind numbing insanity of slow days......

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