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Any idea what snake this is?
Posted: 18 September 2012 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Thanks guys. I should have got some better pics of the pattern, but he was getting angry as you can tell in the last pic. I emailed a herpetologist with the Natural History Survey earlier, still waiting to hear back from him.

P.S.- Josh I have not seen any blog posts from you on here in a while. Are you still writing for HO? It was nice to have a downstater posting great articles about places I could actually get to.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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no just watersnakes,    i do have a 6 foot timber rattler skin on my wall from Oklahoma that was in my yard while i was mowing and a few copperhead and moccasin incounters,  however i have never come across a venomous snake in illinois

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Posted: 18 September 2012 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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i no longer write for H.O.  i miss doing it and sharing stories as it was a great fishing year around here and i had plenty of good whitebass and flathead stories to tell,  but doing it all for free just wasnt worth it to me giving up my spots and tactics,  it just took too much time to compile pics, type it out and etc for no pay, i dont make much at my 40 hr job and to spend a couple hours a week on here for free just wasnt in my best interest.  feel free to add me on facebook as i post alot of my stuff on there for friends and family to keep in touch

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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Glad to hear about side stepping a viper strike,heard it can be painful.I’m still waiting on my first wild rattlesnake encounter…not that I’m in a hurry.Seen plenty of mocs and one copperhead,but like you they have been in other states.My Great Grandpa had claimed to killed a couple rattlesnake just east of Hamilton many years ago.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Josh- That is a shame, I totally understand though. Seems like quite a few of the writers here do it to promote their business, you were one of the few that did it without plugging anything. I really appreciated that. Not that there is anything wrong with a little self promotion.

I would add you to facebook, but I quit going there a couple years ago.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I Grew up In hamilton/keokuk and my grandpa would say he used to see em on the bluffs and rocks along wildcat springs every once in awhile but that was back in the late 50’s early 60’s. i spent my young years running chaney crick and his property is less than 1/2 mi off the river and i have never seen one. my uncle has lived in hamilton his whole life and actually goes out snake hunting along the bluffs and rivers and has found anything from hognoses to milk snakes but no rattlers,  i see pics along the SE illinois border on the mississippi on the internet all the time so theyre still here. gotta be some dens left somewhere.  i have always had an interest in snakes and will pick up about anything.  i would love to see one local sometime and would def let it be as i wouldnt mind seeing them around more often ( just not on the ground during turkey season) lol.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Agree on missing your reports Josh.Will look for ya on facebook,it’s the only way I can get ahold of my college kid sometimes.Plus it’s a great way for me to communicate with my friend serving over seas.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I sure do miss those childhood days running around that area…geode haven.
Love those bluffs that over look the river..hard press to find a better fall drive.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Poisonous snakes are actually pretty rare in Illinois. North of I-70 and away from the Illinois and Mississippi rivers you probably are not going to see one unless you get lucky and find one of the endangered Massaugua Rattlers. Most of the “water moccasins” people see are actually Water Snakes.

My uncle used to do taxidermy in Chester and he would get rattlers that people would run over along RT 3 near Rockwood from time to time. I have seen a rattler in Perry County and a couple Copperheads in Randolph Co.

Here is a post from today on the Illinois Birders Forum where a guy found a Timber Rattler near Galena in Northern Illinois.
http://www.ilbirds.com/index.php?topic=51500.0

He has another post with more here.
http://www.ilbirds.com/index.php?topic=51484.msg78698#msg78698

Here is a great site that shows distribution of all of Illinois Snakes and other Reptiles. If you look around this site there is a lot of other cool info on different animals as well.
http://www.inhs.illinois.edu/animals_plants/herps/ilspecies.html

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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Those pics of the rattlers are cool.Easy to see how well they blend in.There used to be alot more numbers way back,but people used to actually blow up their dens.There’s old reports of huge dens near canton(I believe)that they dug up and killed them by the dozens.
Galena is close to the driftless area that still has a few decent active dens.I do alot of travel/fishing up in that area,always have an eye out for them.I just hope my first encounter is on my own terms.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Definitely a water snake (Genus Nerodia). This website by the Illinois Natural History Survey is the best online source for looking up and keying out herps in this state. http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/animals_plants/herps/ilspecies.html 
Once you click on a species, you can see a map to see if it is known to occur in your county.

Judging by the pics alone, I’m almost certain it is NOT a northern water snake (N. sipedon). Upon closer inspection of pic #2, I’m pretty sure this is a diamondback water snake (N. rhombifer). You can see the faint patterning on its back and I think you can see some markings along the belly (which would rule out plain-bellied water snake).

Totally harmless, but water snakes are probably the most vicious creatures in Illinois. They come from the school of hard knocks.

Great pics!

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Posted: 19 September 2012 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Thanks Walston for the useful link. Even with guide pictures,it’s hard for me to tell alot of the snakes apart due to their different color variations,within the same species.Heck,I’ve not even heard of alot of those critters on the list.
Have any of you folks ever been down to snake road,Pine Hills? That for me would be really cool and my perfered way to observe some of those longer fanged ones.

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Posted: 19 September 2012 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I’ve been to LaRue Pine Hills a few times - it is an excellent place to visit!  Not just for snakes but for other unique qualities as well. Not many people know that we have a little extension of the Ozarks right here in Illinois. The Illinois Ozarks. Definitely a few photo ops.

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Posted: 19 September 2012 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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If it were on my place, Id call it a DEAD SNAKE!!!!!I HATE SNAKES!!!!

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Posted: 19 September 2012 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Don’t worry WTF,you’re not alone….most little girls feel the same way smile
I’ve actually broken a fishin pole once,when a snake decided to pop up unexpected.Then there was the time while night fishing,I let out a yell (scream) when I reached into the minnow bucket and grapped a snake instead…I’m not without my own moments .

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