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question for you all about snakes...

i was fishing the arkansas river yesterday (4/30). despite the poor weather throughout colorado, the area i was (browns canyon) was sunny and mid 50's all day.

we came across a very large snake, about 8 feet long i estimate and about 3" in diameter. it was on a grassy trail, very near the river bank. it was tan, brownish with a diamond pattern. we almost stepped on it!!!!!!!!!! but jumped back and from about 6 feet away inspected it as well as we had the nerve to do so. it appeared to not have rattles, especially since it was not rattling. it was pissed off and hissing fiercely. it was not interested in moving, so we altered our path. kind of freaked me out!

any ideas on what it might be?

thanks
 

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sounds like a bull snake... but i am very much not an expert
i lived a while in west texas and saw quite a few rattle snakes. never saw one hiss but saw a bull snake hiss
 

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It was probably a bull snake...sounds sort of like a brown tree snake which is an invasive species from asia, but thank god they're not supposed to be able to stand our climate up here! They do well in the caribbean though, and have been documented as far north as georgia (united states). I seriously doubt it was a brown tree snake, just thought I'd throw that in there...sounds like a bull snake but it might not be.
 

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It does sound like a bullsnake. Did it look like this:



Here is the description of a bullsnake and here is a general guide to help you determine what kind it was...

Hope this helps,
 

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yeah, most likely it was a bull snake...ive seen some big ones in colorado, and once saw a mating pair of 5 footers all coiled up doing "the wild thang" near Teller Lake in Boulder County. They are also a species known to imitate a rattlesnake by rattling its tail, just like a big rattler would do..infact ive seen a few do that. i once pulled over to look at one on the side of the road and it got scared of me and coiled up like rattler about to strike--- and then took off just to head right under my truck and up into the engine compartment....i shut off my truck and then lucky for me it decided to crawl out and head off in the weeds. anyways, just as the guys said, it was most likely a big bull snake.

oh yeah..look out...they can still inflict a pretty good bite, even though its a non poisonous species, so dont pick them up......
 
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pretty much waht it looked like.  i was doing some digging on the internet and saw many photos that looked similar.  i guess the early part of the year, it was sort of washed out in color, but distinguishable.  reading about bull snakes, ithe one we came across sure exhibited traits and behavior like a rattler, but again, without the rattle.

a snake that big is something i have not crossed paths with.  and no need to worry about me picking any snakes up.  although the thought did cross my mind to squat down and say "he sure is a naughty boy" in an austrialian accent  ;D
about 5 minutes after seeing it i though - i should have taken a picture.  smae thing i say when fish are caught!

below is pretty much what i think it was?

[attachment deleted by admin]
 

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More than likley a Bull Snake. We have only one venimous snake here. The Prairie and Western rattlesnake. I feel sorry for them. They are slow (compared to other snakes) and take a lot of bad press.
 

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It really would not have mattered to me what he was. They ALL scare the hell out me.... Especially if they surprise me.....
 

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Bullsnake. One of the most beautiful and beneficial snakes in USA. Harmless to people. I caught a nice big one once and handled it for about 20 mins before releasing it to catch more rodents. Good kissers too. :D Fanks for the reminder, mate.
 

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Temps in 50's are enough to get the snakes active for sure, but still surprises me you'd see one this early in the year at that elevation.

Many times I've heard that rattlesnakes really thin out above 6,000' here in Colo. But I've found that's just a general guideline. A few years ago I was fishing a few miles down from Salida, so probably still close to 7,000' and nearly, ahem, urinated on one. Luckily, he was on the other side of the bush from me along the railroad tracks. My movements set him off while I was pulling my waders up, so I then discovered that he was nearly within striking distance of any of my body parts that were annoying him.

Grim thought.
 

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I've seen plenty of Rattle Snakes around 7500 ft outside of Oak Creek on 20 mile road. In my youth, we would go just to check them out. I appreciate a snake at a distance...
 

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I see most of my rattle snakes around jerry creek reservoirs...and I see a lot there. If anyone wants to hike there, you better watch out!
 

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TroutFishingBear said:
I see most of my rattle snakes around jerry creek reservoirs...and I see a lot there. If anyone wants to hike there, you better watch out!
TFB I saw one Saturday morning sunning itself on some rocks next to the trail. It gets kinda spooky when you have to walk through tall grass and all the sudden you hear one start to rattle. :eek:
 

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The only other snake that I think it could be is a gopher snake. I know they hiss, but I'm not sure they get that big. In my experiences bullsnakes have been fairly docile, but you never know, snakes have bad days too.
 
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i am 99% positive it was a bull snake.
i was down in the exact spot today and was with several park ranger that work the area. they all said bull snake before i could mention too much more than "huge" snake. they said the rattlers don't get that big and that the bull snakes act like them.
makes me feel better about what i saw. but still creepy.

speaking of creepy....i had to go back down to the river to help the police identify remnants of a dead human body we came across on the river fishing saturday. seems a fisherman might have fallen in the river and drowned and was pinned under a rock and rotted. i came across a decayed vest, bones a belt and after all the law enforcement were around, a leg of some very decayed waders with bones still in them! they called in the coroner and we going to scout around for more parts. not something that happened this year - but a grizzly find. especially since the run in with the snake forced us off the path down to the river area where we happened upon this.

how many times in one's life do you happen on a huge snake and then a decayed human body?
 

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The Arkansas always seems to take its share of victims. That's one river I never would raft. A friend of mine foolishly jumped in for "a swim" one spring long ago. He ended up like the body you found.
 

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Let me get this straight, tomcat...

You came across a huge bull snake and, later, a dead body?


I uhhh, ...wouldn't sweat the snake.
 

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Wow Tomcat,

I believe I might find a new river to fish in...

John
 
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very decayed remnants of a body - nothing gross but after realizing what it might be and then when the law and cornor got involved, yep, the snake seems insignificant.
 
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