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Old 19 March 2010, 07:51 PM
muncle
 
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Snake Burning snakes to keep away other snakes

I am working at a Monterey County Park in the hills south of San Francisco. With the increasing hot days we have been encountering rattlesnakes. Because they are found in areas where people work and pose a danger, they are killed. A Ranger here says that if a snake is burned, the other snakes will stay away from the area. His information came from when he went hunting with his father in the 50's on Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of California. He said that the hunting guide stated that, "there would be no rattlesnakes around the campfire areas". He had previously burned a live rattlesnake in each of the campsites.

I can't find any information on this and feel that it has to be an old wives tale or urban myth.
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Old 19 March 2010, 09:11 PM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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Whalephant

Whoo! Lived in rattlesnake country all my life, and never heard that one!

I have heard the one about how the snake doesn't "really die" until sundown, and that you have to cut off their heads or they might bite even after obviously dead. At least I can understand why this myth arose, as a dead rattler will continue to squirm and writhe for some time. Really grisly to watch!

My papa also told me the one about how you ring your camp with horsehair rope, because the snakes won't crawl over it -- the stiff bristles irritate their tender tummies!

Silas
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Old 19 March 2010, 09:16 PM
muncle
 
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Yes, there's lots of activity in the dead snake's body, even with the head cut off! The horsehair rope idea was mentioned here too as there are lots of cattle ranchers around.
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Old 19 March 2010, 10:27 PM
Broken Sword Broken Sword is offline
 
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Well, at least he admits that his source was some random guy saying something in the '50s.

Even without the dubious source, I wouldn't believe this one for a second. I doubt it's been scientifically tested though.
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Old 19 March 2010, 11:45 PM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muncle View Post
. . . The horsehair rope idea was mentioned here too as there are lots of cattle ranchers around.
'Course, rattlers don't seem to mind crawling over rocks and gravel and hot asphalt roads... So their tummies can't be too sensitive! But that's another one I'd like to see tested scientifically...

(Hm... The San Diego Zoo has a fairly new rattlesnake pit as part of their "Elephant Odyssey" area... I wonder if they'd be willing to engage in a little experiment?)

(Also, my father's longest horsehair rope wasn't half long enough to go around a man in a sleeping bag... We're gonna need a longer rope...)

Silas
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Old 20 March 2010, 03:29 AM
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Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
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Where the jigggins do you get enough horsehair to make a rope long enough to encircle your camp? Surely you've either got to have access to about ten thousand very hairy horses or have a very small camp.

Anyone else reminded of that episode of Spongebob Squarepants where Patrick and Spongebob tell Squidward that they can repel the vicious sea bear by drawing a circle in the sand - Squidward doesn't believe them but it works?

Last edited by Eddylizard; 20 March 2010 at 03:47 AM.
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Old 20 March 2010, 10:18 PM
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Namowal Namowal is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muncle View Post
I am working at a Monterey County Park in the hills south of San Francisco. With the increasing hot days we have been encountering rattlesnakes. Because they are found in areas where people work and pose a danger, they are killed. A Ranger here says that if a snake is burned, the other snakes will stay away from the area. His information came from when he went hunting with his father in the 50's on Santa Cruz Island, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of California. He said that the hunting guide stated that, "there would be no rattlesnakes around the campfire areas". He had previously burned a live rattlesnake in each of the campsites.

I can't find any information on this and feel that it has to be an old wives tale or urban myth.
One of my uncles used a variation of sorts to handle a tree on his property that had snakes (not rattlerers). He set the whole tree on fire!
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