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Old 07-24-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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Nadine,

I've seen rattlers as high as 9,000+ in the southern San Juans west of the San Luis Valley, so they can survive at those altitudes. Interestingly, when I lived in the deserts of western Colorado, you would have thought rattlers would be very common. They're not in that area--I'm told because it is actually TOO dry. In nearly three decades of knocking around the backcountry there, I could count the rattlers I saw on one hand. When I lived around the Front Range foothills, I could see that many in one day (saw 8 in one day there--that was my record).
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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True about the Western Rattlesnake (prairie) being the only rattler in CO. There is one other poisonous snake that frequents CO, especially the southern part, and that is the "massasauga."

Favorite story about rattlers - I know a doctor who had a lady come in 3 times in her life with rattlesnake bites. He finally asked how in the world she could get bitten three times, all on her right hand. Turns out she was an avid gardener. Enjoying a nice Colorado sunny day, pulling weeds... reaches under a plant, and WHAM!

Just be careful.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:07 AM
 
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I have never seen one in the foothills around Evergreen but that doesn't mean they aren't around. I am always on the look out though. I lived in the high deserts of California for some years and have seen/caught/killed plenty of rattlers so I am pretty much on auto pilot to keep a close eye no matter where I am.

Actually, it is so nice that rattle snakes can let you know they are near. I was backpacking in the sierra nevada a few years ago and walked right by one that was about 4' off the trail. It buzzed me and I must of jumped 10' LOL.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:25 AM
 
Location: on an island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwk722 View Post
I would worry more about the snakes in Florida... Pygmy, Timber and Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes, Copperhead, Cottonmouth and Coral snakes. More in Central Florida than south. I have a friend in Lutz (north of Tampa) that gets rattlers sunbathing on her back patio.
Then you have alligators, crocodiles, bears, panthers, scorpions, brown recluse. Then you go in the ocean...

Colorado just has Western (Prairie) Rattlesnakes, Massassauga Rattlesnakes, Black Widows, Black Bears, Mountain Lion, Lynx, Coyotes, possibly wolves migrating in.
In my 20 months in north Florida, I've seen countless gators, one scorpion, two pygmy rattlesnakes and one cottonmouth: More scary critters than I saw in all my many years in Colorado. The scorpion was in the house.
Pygmies are not all that dangerous, but obviously nobody wants to step on them.
Sadly, several rare panthers were killed this past year, and they are not seen much in the first place.
If wolves come back to Colorado, I hope they have better luck than the Florida panther.

I did used to see Black Widows fairly regularly in Denver (especially when the new development really got going). Also, I'd frequently see coyotes in the early mornings--and we were living in central Denver.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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I am not knowledgeable of snakes or any kind other than to stay clear. But the too dry theory could be. The rattlers the Boy Scouts threw out of tents was close to the Beaver Creek(Penrose area). Dry prarie type land tho. Along the Arkansas River in the rocks is common too. The ones I have encountered in the greatest number were when I was a little kid in Pueblo. At that time our home was out more rural --again prarie type land but Dad irrigated from a well. They liked the alfalfa in the summer when it was hot. Guess there were no rocks to hide under. But I remember being cautioned about picking up things or sticking my hand under. I think Mom put great deal of faith in Frisky, my little Rat Terrier that was my shadow. He was death on any bug, mouse, snake that dared to show. Then later after I lost Frisky to rabies, Touser took over. He was some kind of Shepherd and a great cowdog. He just hated snakes.

But again I just want to say. Western Diamond Backs are in NM. and altho not native to Colorado they sometimes do cross the line of NM--CO. as we were informed by CSU. Also I am told that people who like to keep snakeswill have escapees or just turn them loose. That was the theory that one of those snake professors or whatever they are called, gave as to the size etc of the Western Diamond Back being above Westcliffe, so far from their normal habitat. Could be who knows? Animals etc are always being spotted where they should not be. Guess they get lost too. Guess the lesson here is NEVER SAY NEVER.

Last edited by Nadine; 07-25-2007 at 09:04 AM..
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:15 AM
 
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I have lived in the outskirts of Colorado Springs near the USAFA in Rockrimmon but have never seen a rattlesnake there. I worked the the Flying W Ranch and one was sighted. Basically the main animals there are mule deer, fox, rabbits, and an occasional bear or mountain lion. I have noticed rattlesnakes prefer the rocky areas around creeks and rivers below 7500 feet or so in general. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. I went to school at CSU in Fort Collins (a wonderful place!) and was told by a fishing buddy of mine that the Poudre canyon area just west of town was prime rattlesnake habitat; many have been sighted in the rocks and near the water. So just be careful! They really are not a scary as you think.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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I used to live near Castlewood Canyon State Park. We saw quite a few rattlers during our two years there. A neighbor found one in her garage. I occasionally saw one or two while out walking.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Most rattlesnake bites occur when you suprise the snake. In other words, you put your foot or hand next to the snake without giving it warning (in a crevice, next to a log or rocks). With normal encounters, the snake is aware of you before you are on top of it, and so it coils up and rattles at you without striking. This is to give you enough warning to back off.Younger snakes are more dangerous because they haven't developed the instincts. If they strike you they don't know how to hold back the venom, so they end up releasing all the venom. Older snakes don't do this because they are more experienced.Contrary to popular belief, rattlesnake bites are not usually deadly to adult humans. But can easily be deadly to young children.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Those would be a different breed of rattlesnake. We refer to them as timber rattlers. As opposed to western diamondbacks or sidewinders down at the lower elevations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Nadine,

I've seen rattlers as high as 9,000+ in the southern San Juans west of the San Luis Valley, so they can survive at those altitudes. Interestingly, when I lived in the deserts of western Colorado, you would have thought rattlers would be very common. They're not in that area--I'm told because it is actually TOO dry. In nearly three decades of knocking around the backcountry there, I could count the rattlers I saw on one hand. When I lived around the Front Range foothills, I could see that many in one day (saw 8 in one day there--that was my record).
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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i was in colorado this spring, mt princeton, and was walking along the roadside and came upon a huge diamond back rattler coiled on the side of the road, estimated to be 9-12 feet. slowly backed up and crossed the road, tried to get my camera out (like any good tourist from back east) but it took off with traffic. still bothered by images in my mind.
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