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rattlesnake hunting

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by blitz, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. blitz

    blitz beaverton Active Member 2015 Volunteer

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    well i am heading to hood river for a camping trip the first weekend of august and i have always wanted to try rattlesnake.
    so i was kinda wondering if anyone knows where i can find the little buggers around there, i am willing to drive as far as john day from there but i would much rather find something closer.
    my father in law grew up there and says he knows a place, but that was also a looong time ago so i am just looking for options incase that one fails.
    i have alot of experience in handling big snakes but no i do not plan on just going up and grabbing it, i will be using my 357 with snake shot and then my machette to get the deadly end off.
    i was also wondering if you need a hunting lisence and any sort of special tag to do this in oregon, i looked around but cant seem to find anything.

    any info would be great
     
  2. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    There are some big ones around Fossil and Spray down by the John Day River. Hunting them in Spring is actually better when they have just started to come out of their dens and are looking for someplace to sun themselves. I've also almost stepped on a couple when I was fly fishing on the Deschutes.
     
  3. blitz

    blitz beaverton Active Member 2015 Volunteer

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    thanks for the reply, last year when i was down there i went to the mouth of the john day but didnt have any luck there but i have heard they are all over by the town of john day.
    hopefully i will get me 1 or 2 this year i am wanting to cook the up for a potluck at my family reunion
     
  4. raisersedge

    raisersedge backwoods Member

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    Try along the Klickitat on the roads there. The old highway from Mosier to The dalles is a good one to. Go after dark when the pavement is still warm and you should get all you want. They do move fast to get off the road. Just jump out and fetch them into a bag and take them home with you.
     
  5. blitz

    blitz beaverton Active Member 2015 Volunteer

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    might have to take a drive down the mosier/dalles highway, looks like a pretty long stretch of highway are they more towards the dalles?
     
  6. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    Blitz, find one of those fluorescent tubed camping lights, preferably the large, "bright" kind. The white bands around the tail and the stripes across the eye glow much like white fabric under a black light. As Raisersedge said, they come out to warm along rocks at night. We used to get quite a few along the Deschutes river between Maupin and south junction at night along the tracks. Two words of warning, the trains use these tracks regularly and they move right along. And secondly, even after being shot with birdshot and decapitated, the head of a rattle snake can still inflict a bite! There's really not a bunch of meat on a rattler, a 3 foot snake only has two strips along the back that are slightly bigger in diameter then your thumb, so you may need more than a couple for a feast.
     
  7. Scott

    Scott Battle Ground Well-Known Member

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    Taste like chicken. Look for them at night is best as the rocks and road hold heat. I came from So. Cal and thousands of them and seen them everyday.

    But find them alot a night on rocks because they hold heat in the cool of the night. Plus them like to hunt at night.

    But here are some stats for you 78% of snake bite victims are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    Be careful............. and where good boots as I have been bit 3 times in my boots but never broke skin..........

    Good luck. Plus the head can bite up to 3 hours after it has been cut off. So bury the head if you kill one so it does not bite anyone.
     
  8. blitz

    blitz beaverton Active Member 2015 Volunteer

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    thanks for all the replies, i will definataly be burying all the heads or putting them under rocks.
    i am also hoping to find some during the daylight hours, that seems a little safer then going out and getting them at night.
    but if that doesnt work out for me then i will try some night hunting
    hopefully i will find me some of them, i will post some pics when i get back if i do

    also looking for a couple good recipes for them.
    the one that i found that looks the best is to marinade them in teriyaki sauce and diced ginger and then bbq'ing them
     
  9. Shawn the Locksmith

    Shawn the Locksmith The Dalles, Or Member

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    just got back last nite from the Fossil area. Between 8am and 10am driving (if i remember) from Mitchell back roads up along the John Day (road around Priest's Hole) I seen 6 dead, 3 still wet with blood 2 with 5 buttons 1 de-rattled 1 still quivering but not rattling 2 barely identifiable as rattlers all about 2 foot or 14" and a Goodyear. They're there be careful.
    shawn
     
  10. blitz

    blitz beaverton Active Member 2015 Volunteer

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    thanks for the replies, i think i am gonna head to J.S burres state park on the john day to look for em.
    should be able to find em around there
     
  11. kubota

    kubota Oregon City Member

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    Sounds like fun and a good chance of getting some. Post some pictures if you can. Good luck.
     
  12. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    I see them all the time around Mecca Flat Warm Springs area.
     
  13. blitz

    blitz beaverton Active Member 2015 Volunteer

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    well i went out and serached hi and low with no luck, went out to J.S burres park on the john day about 20 miles before condon, and stopped by a few places on the way back to 84. after that we headed to maupin, started walking on the tracks for a bit before we noticed the signs that said no tresspassing on the tracks.
    so we walked along the trail for a bit that kinda ran along side them with no luck.
    on the way back to hood river we drove down the mosier dalles highway (was close to dark by then)

    all we seen were a bunch of lizards everywhere, a whipsnake in maupin and a smashed bullsnake on the mosier/dalles highway.

    i didnt really want to drive around at night to much because most of the good places were about 100 miles from camp and i didnt want to leave the kids at camp with there mom at night.

    i am gonna plan another camping trip just for rattlesnake hunting in the next couple weeks, this time the kids will be staying at home so my options are a little more open and i can go out at night.

    most likely we will camp around maupin.

    so i am still looking for info.
     
  14. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    Blitz. Look at south juntion between Maupin and Madras. The road winds waaaay down to the river here with a campground along the tracks and river. Lots of company from the rafters on the weekend though. Bring your own water, theres outhouses and tables. Nice area. We also have found a few along the campground at Prineville res. on the east end. You get to this by coming in from the little town of post, its called juniper flats campground as I recall, oh and bring your crappie gear,,,em em good eats!
     
  15. Old Hick

    Old Hick Oregon Active Member

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    I have never personally tried this, but have heard it works great. Just an FYI.

    Another hint to do, is run a 4 ft length of 2x4 with chains attached to it as streamers, and then a have the 2x4 attached to the bumper of your truck, either by chain or rope.
    The noise of the chain streamers as you drive slowly down the dirt or gravel road will draw the attention of the snakes, and they will come out onto the road to check out the noise. have .22Lr ready or shotgun, as this should bring em out for you.

    If you plan on keeping the skins, take some baby food jars or the like, and antifreeze to store them in. Take as much meat off the skins, roll it up, and put it in the baby food jar, then fill with antifreeze, cap the jar and your set.

    The fangs will hold the venom for a long time, so if you even scratch yourself with a fang, get medical attention.


    Good luck.


    Stay Safe.
     
  16. blitz

    blitz beaverton Active Member 2015 Volunteer

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    thanks for letting me know where to look, i found south junction road on the map now. i think i will go down there in a couple weeks for a night and give it a try. i have searched hi and low around prineville resevoir and havent found them there either, but you are right the crappie fishing is excellent down there. i dont eat fish so i usually do catch and release but sometimes i keep a few of them for sturgeon bait.

    i will bring some chains and give that a try too, couldnt hurt and seems logical. i picked up a couple boxes of snakeshot for my 357 so i will most likely use that instead of my shotgun or 22 because it is a lot easier to pack around, i also made a couple snake hooks out of garden
    tools. i dont know if i will keep any of the skins or anything like that but if i decide to i will go ahead and try that trick.
    and like i said i have studied snakes my whole life and i am definately aware of the danger of things like even nicking yourself with the fang of a dead snake.
    but i dont plan on even touching the snake until it is headless, i will either shoot it with the 357 or pin it down with the snake hook and whack its head off with a machette. either way after it is dead i will dig a whole and pick the head up with my machette and snake hook like tongs and drop it in, or just flip a big rock over it.

    thanks again for all the responses! sooner or later ill find me one.
     
  17. Fossilman

    Fossilman Dallas OR New Member

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    LOL-Usually when you stop looking for them,you will find the critters..........My biggest one was around 4 1/2 feet and 12 and a button(Montana).....See alot of them while looking for fossils.......Good luck on your finds......
     
  18. blitz

    blitz beaverton Active Member 2015 Volunteer

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    well i am gonna head to the campground on south junction road this weekend, hopefully i will find me some..
     
  19. blitz

    blitz beaverton Active Member 2015 Volunteer

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    one other question though, i am having a little bit of a hard time finding the campground on google maps.
    is there a campground right on south junction rd, or is it accross the river right by where 212 goes into warm springs road?
    EDIT: nevermind i think i found it, it looks like i just go due west on south junction off 97 and it is in the northwestern corner of south junction rd.

    someone correct me if i am wrong though please.
     
  20. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    Blitz, follow the road down to the river. You will see it on the right. You should be able to see it from the road all the way into it. South junction is a rail stop. theres also a county campground. If you head down river from the junction, you'll go right through it. It an unimproved camp with out houses, tables and fire pits only, make sure you bring water. Look down towards the river during the day for snakes along the flats, you'll know the flats when you see them. Check the tracks towards evening and night, but use caution as the trains move along at a good clip! Bring your pole and some good leach imitations, the red sides get fat here. Along the rim rock, before you drop into the canyon is another spot I've got snakes. Watch for private property that's marked along the road, they could get touchy. We expect a full report with success-John.