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Old 05-03-2008, 07:44 PM
 
108 posts, read 380,446 times
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2 questions for the locals if I might-
We will be driving from the Battlefield at Little Big Horn to Red Lodge.

1. Is Pompeys Pillar worth taking the time to visit?

2. What can you tell me about the snake situation (late July) at the Little Big Horn Battlefield?

Thanks
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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I've been there several times and never seen a snake yet.... but they do always warn to watch out for them. Part of that I think is them trying to keep people on the main trails. Never seen one but it is snake country.
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 38,395,184 times
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AQHA,

You are absolutely right. I've been there several times and never seen a one. But the place has so much traffic that it "SHOULD" be a rare thing.

I'd say, keep to the trails they've laid out. They have traffic. Be snake aware. In other words, know the conditions, know the ear-marks. I.E. know that a snake lays on the shady side of rocks when it's hot. They lay on the sunny side when it's cold. They gotta sun themselves like a California girl. haha

But, there's so much traffic on the beaten trail that I think they shy from it. I've been bitten twice elsewhere, but never saw one there. Know the signs. haha
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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Having grown up near the Battlefield and been there many many times, probably more than I ever care to count, and having worked there. Yes there are rattlesnakes there, I have seen more than one. But if you watch where you walk and look at the path ahead of you instead of just stepping blindly, you should be fine.

I can't even recall if in the last 20+ years there has been anyone bitten by one there. If something bad happened and you were to run into one and they were to bite you, there is a hospital just across Hwy 39 that would be more than capable of helping you.

Pompey's Pillar is worth visiting, they have a new visitor's center and if you take the interstate to Hardin then head North to Custer, and West to Pompey's Pillar you'll have paved well traveled roads all the way. Here is a link to the Custer Country official website Montana Custer Country, Custer Battlefield, Monster Truck Show, Dinosaur Trail.

Good luck and have fun, feel free to pm me if you need any recommendations about places to eat, stay or things to do and must see sights (which reminds me the Big Horn County Museum in Hardin is a must see and a great place to stretch your legs with some nice green grass and less of a snake hazard).
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Laguna Woods, CA
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I live smack dab in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas of the USA...Orange County, CA. I run in the hills above Laguna Beach, and it is rattlesnake heaven. This time of year the Pacific, Western Diamondbacks, and Red Diamondbacks wake up from winter hibernation and begin to move around.

My running trail is five miles round trip, and this past month I have seen several of each variety...some as large as 24-30 inches with 8-10 segments and smaller ones.

Rattlesnakes are more afraid of you than you are of them. None in the west are particularly aggressive, and the most they can strike is about a third of their length. That said, rattlers usually just want to get away from you. They have no ears and sense movement through vibrations. If you are in an area that is hard to see, stomp your foot or bang a walking stick on the ground...they will move away.

The quickest way to get bitten is to be careless. Always know where you are stepping and sitting. If you sit on a log or a rock, case out that seat well before you sit down or put your hands down anywhere in the area. Don't walk in scrub brush unless you REALLY know what you are doing as regards rattlesnakes...stay on the trails. Don't ever try to be a hero and try to pick up any snake....tip toe around it and go about your business. If you want to watch it, do so from a safe distance. Don't ever corner a snake where its only way of escape is toward you.

Bottom line...be careful and always give the snake the benefit of the doubt. The Western Diamondbacks and the Mojave rattlesnakes are especially dangerous and quite potentially lethal.

As an afterthought....probably about 40-50 % of snake bites are dry bites. Rattlers don't like to waste their venom on anything they can't eat. It takes a while to replenish that venom, so unless they are seriously in danger, many strikes are to scare...but you will never know which ones they are.

Be careful.

NB....if you do get bitten, vials of anti venom are VERY expensive and a snake bite can cost you several thousand dollars in medical costs.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:49 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
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L-88 is soooo right ! I grew up in California and have been all over the state and it's hard to not run across them there. Now I've been in Montana for ten years and I'm all over the hills hiking in many areas that are supposed to be infested with rattlesnakes and have never seen one here yet.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Laguna Woods, CA
198 posts, read 294,670 times
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I suspect the cold harsh long winters in Montana keep the rattlesnake populations small. I lived in Montana for a year, hiked a great deal, and I never saw a rattlesnake.

In California, Arizona, and Utah...where we spend a lot of time exploring, coming across rattlers is common. Arches NP in Moab has Sidewinders galore. Little devils, but they sure can move, and they blend real well into the scrub.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 38,395,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L-88 View Post
I suspect the cold harsh long winters in Montana keep the rattlesnake populations small. I lived in Montana for a year, hiked a great deal, and I never saw a rattlesnake.

In California, Arizona, and Utah...where we spend a lot of time exploring, coming across rattlers is common. Arches NP in Moab has Sidewinders galore. Little devils, but they sure can move, and they blend real well into the scrub.
HAHAHA. I'v only been bit twice. Nasty things. But livable.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:53 AM
 
108 posts, read 380,446 times
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Thanks for the information...oh great...it'll be worse when I visit California summer 09?????
I'm glad I have my hiking sticks. Actually, sounds like I have more chance of having tea with a grizzly in Yellowstone than dealing with the slithery guys.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 38,395,184 times
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I've had tea ......... Whoops. hahahahahaha

You should have no problem.
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