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[ft-l] Looking Out on the Trail



Holly:

My territory (around Tampa Bay) has mostly Eastern
Diamondback Rattlers. I'm no expert, but here's how I handle
them.

First, I trained myself to scan the ground five or so paces
ahead every few seconds. It's not a pain any more, it's just
like blinking or swallowing. I just do it.

When I see them, they're usually closer than that though,
because it takes a few seconds for my brain to process that
pattern and send out an alarm.

I've had NO luck yelling or waving my arms or bowling pine
cones at them. What does work is to back off about ten or
fifteen paces, then approach them again, stomping my feet as
heartily as I can.

I guess they feel the vibration, and when there's no
immediate danger (from me! hah!) they slither off.

Bear