Respect to all you boa hunters.

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LouB747
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Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by LouB747 »

OK, so I live close to the coast and seldom venture into boa country. The only boas I see are the ones crossing desert roads at night. Yesterday I decided to try and hit the rocks and see what happens. First off, finding a place that others haven't already hit can be difficult. It was easy to see what had been lifted and what hadn't. Anyways, about 2 hours into what seemed like prime habitat yielded no boas. If fact, I was wondering if I would see anything at all. Finally, I found a ruber hanging out by a crack in the rocks. I'd say in the 2 hours I probably lifted and replaced about 60 rocks. Not a lot, but enough to wonder if I was looking under the right rocks. Anyways, respect to all you boa hunters. Wearing long pants, boots, gaiters, gloves, and carrying a hammer felt odd and almost like work. I did awake today wanting to go back! Hopefully next time I'll be rewarded with my first boa flip.

Quick question....what's your flip/find ratio?

Flip/boa?
Flip/lyre?
Flip/Ruber?



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Kent VanSooy
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Kent VanSooy »

Hey Lou, lots of boas are encountered visually - either crawling around, hanging partially out of a crack, having a bit of coil exposed under a bush, etc. Lyres are found under rocks occasionally, but more often seen in cracks. Ruber will be in cracks or under rocks early in the season, but will then will tend to bask in the sun as the spring wears on. I can't put decent percentages on any of this, but just keeping your eyes open constantly will yield snakes.

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by hellihooks »

#1... i ain't a 'numbers' guy...
#2... see #1... :lol: :lol: :lol:

As for finding the right rocks to flip, for boas... I went out with the boa masters, like Bill and Kent, and watched what they did Very carefully, and asked questions...and then practiced... a LOT :crazyeyes: :thumb: jim

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

I don't look for boas anymore. Too much work. But, when I did, and in primetime, I would find 1 or 2 boas for about every 20 rocks and crevices checked. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It's all about the conditions and how the habitat is set up. It's also all about who was there ahead of you and how recently and if they collected boas or not...I'm sure none of that helps you, but it is the way it is. :thumb: Oh, and pay no attention to what hellihooks says, the only boas he's ever seen were in the zoo... :crazyeyes:

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Fieldherper
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Fieldherper »

Flipping for boas is one of the most enjoyable forms of herping I have ever done--EVEN when I haven't found boas!! The habitat is awesome, ranging from near coast to desert, and from sea level to 5,000ft in some areas!

You tend to see many different herps, including "rarer" finds, like Tantilla, Sonora, , etc... AND you get a great workout. At the end of the day, you've usually seen some cool things/herps/vistas and your tired & ready for a good meal and a good beer or two.

Echoing what Kent said, it's not about how many rocks you flip, but about how much ground you cover/visualize and flipping the right rocks. I've seen as many boas out crawling in open areas as I've flipped under rocks. They move regularly in the daytime from Jan/Feb to May/June depending on locale.

Like many things in life, the hunt/journey is as good or better than the "payoff."

FH

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by hellihooks »

Brian Hubbs wrote: Oh, and pay no attention to what hellihooks says, the only boas he's ever seen were in the zoo... :crazyeyes:
Yeah... you're right, Hubbcap... :lol:
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Most boas ever flipped was 11 in one hour... shouldn't matter that they were Rubbers, and not Rosys... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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LouB747
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by LouB747 »

Yeah, I totally understand about the hunt vs the prize. I like just being out there too. Tough part for me is that I do on a weekday after dropping the kids off at school. Drive about an hour each way, so that leaves me about 2 hours to hunt. I did feel good about the fact I found the ruber, he didn't find me. No rattle to tell me where he was.

I went to the Flint Hills in Kansas a few years back. I guess it sorta spoiled me for flipping rocks. Almost every rock there was a great rock. And there were so many snakes. So many snakes.

Next week I'll give it another go.

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by RobertH »

Lou,

Nicholas and I are FAR from being successful rosy hunters. In fact we haven't really looked for them at all. But our experience so far has been much like Kent's - we seem to find them on the crawl or basking more than under rocks. Just last weekend, Nicholas found - for a second time! - this female rosy in Riverside County:

In situ

ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) insitu by NicholasHess, on Flickr

He had found the same snake in the same spot two weeks earlier.

Note that both times the snake was found in the afternoon. Same with most ruber we see, and we tend to see those every time we go. So the morning, right after you drop off the kids at school, may not be a good time to find boas or any snakes out and about this time of the year. Though day time temps are unusually high right now, nights are still cold and it takes time for temps to warm up and penetrate into snake burrows and other hideouts. Once we are in spring, this should change, though.

As far as flipping goes, we flipped a good amount of decent rocks that day and didn't find any snakes under them, though Todd Battey flipped a rosy at the same place two weeks ago. On the bright side, we flipped 6 Granite Night Lizards. That species, we realized, is actually easy to find, if you are in the right habitat and know where to look. I won't say more than that here.

Robert

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by SDherp »

I have just enough flipping seasons under my belt to give my $.02, and since I gravitate towards looking for Boas, I can attest to the difficulty and dissapointment after a long unsuccessful day in the hills. Ruber are often the consolation prize! Hit Google earth and wait for some more rain and you'll eventually find your first flipped Boa. It was pretty dry last weekend underneath the rocks out in Riverside despite all of the greenery that had sprouted. Just a pair of Ruber under a ledge for me and a friend.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

Rick Staub once said it all..."to find snakes in rocks, just add water and sun"...if it's too dry, you won't see many rosys under rocks or in crevices...right now it's pretty dry out there.

And Jim, LOL I made you post... :lol: You're so easy...

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Fundad »

Boa hunting is fun and challenging.. Even cheater boas are hard...

Some people go back to the same locations they know well and they learn where the boas are at those places and they rack numbers up high.

For example I could go out tomorrow and see 2 to 6 boas in a hour or two at many locations I know very well. Dont be fooled by some of the numbers you see going around, some of those are the same boas year after year.


If you are going to new grounds, under these conditions, and with little experience its a different ball game, so dont be discouraged by two hours.. For me I LOVE the challenge,, oh YEAH bring it on.. I don't get discouraged.. I get after it..
My boa mapping project has brought great life to my boa hunting hobby.

The workout, the hunt, oh YEAH.. Boas are the most amazing creatures, and it amazes me they have survived here for 6 to 10 million years, that about 5 million more years then most of these other species..


Successful Boa hunting is not for everyone it requires a strong will, knowledge, and effort. But futhermore if you search for other species while boa hunting it hurts your boa totals.

Female boas are found year after year under the same rocks or cracks with the biggest and oldest pushing out younger females and males, they occasionally will tolerate a male but only for a short while. This is how some people get big numbers quickly, they learn these rocks. Males are often found nearby or in random places. This time of year though the winter the number of boas actually up on the top surface is low, but come march a large number of boas are up, and that is easy pickens for even the most inexperienced boa hunters, when compared to winter results.

Ruber are easy, they ambush on the surface for days at time. Boas are more fluid in the winter coming up and going back down in the same day, as a general rule anyway.

I have flipped well over 1,000 + boas in my lifetime, in over a hundred + (maybe 200+) individual locations, throughout the state ranging from Inyo county into mexico. It's is my all time favorite challenge and fun.

I Echo FH statement that its the journey not the results when it comes to boa hunting, but I whole heartily 100% disagree with the statement it's not how many rocks you turn, it is completely how many rocks you turn, they key is how many "Good" high percentage rocks you turn VS how many LOW percentage rocks you turn that lower you chances, because of wasted time and wasted energy. One must be in good physical shape to hunt boas for 8 hours successfully.

Fundad

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by hellihooks »

Brian Hubbs wrote:
And Jim, LOL I made you post... :lol: You're so easy...

actually... I let you think that, silly man... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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LouB747
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by LouB747 »

Thanks again guys. Fundad, that's a lot of great info. Thanks. As it was morning, I tried to target the rocks that had the most exposure to the sun, and left the ones still in the shade for someone else later in the day. I'm looking forward to going again in March.

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by LouB747 »

I actually like looking at the rocks in the pictures to see what looks good.

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Rothdigga »

Lou,
Funny that you went out yesterday looking for boas and ruber. Me and Kevin Price met up in riverside county and did the exact same thing. Actually, i posted the almost exact same video to instagram of the ruber we found. Also our first time reallly out looking for boas. With the same result.

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Kent VanSooy »

I actually like looking at the rocks in the pictures to see what looks good.

Exactly! And ask yourself, why that rock, which way is it facing, is it big/small, thick/thin, what's the surrounding vegetation like, and put it in the context of the time of season, the current weather, the preciptation to date...

....jeez, that sounds complicated! But look enough, and you'll start making those connections.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

Lou, when you get tired of lifting rocks and seeing boas you might just graduate to photographing all the Granite Spiny lizards you can see out there. It's a lot easier...and somebody needs to do it...Fundad and I went to Riverside county on Sunday...he looked for boas (found 3) and I photoed the lizards (about 40 zillion of them). :lol: It will take me the next 10 years to enter them all in the database... :o

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by mattg »

Brian Hubbs wrote:Lou, when you get tired of lifting rocks and seeing boas you might just graduate to photographing all the Granite Spiny lizards you can see out there. It's a lot easier...and somebody needs to do it...Fundad and I went to Riverside county on Sunday...he looked for boas (found 3) and I photoed the lizards (about 40 zillion of them). :lol: It will take me the next 10 years to enter them all in the database... :o
I'm on it!

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

Oh...crap... :lol:

Actually Matt, they aren't easy to get pics of unless you have at least a 180mm telephoto lens...they like to run and hide when you get closer than 75 yds...

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by RobertH »

Brian and Matt: It's funny how you two are so motivated to photograph a zillion granite spinys this year. Good luck :thumb:

Robert

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Fieldherper »

I see your point, Fundad; you generally do have to flip a lot of freakin rocks! Enough that if you don't have gloves, all your fingerprints will be gone in a few hours ;). I guess what I mean
is that being selective is important. Early on in my herping life, I would go to an area and flip EVERY rock. As a consequence, I didn't cover much ground & wore myself out too early.

Watching some seasoned herpers be selective and pass many low-probability rocks for the better ones taught me a lot. It was almost creepy how a good boa hunter could get out of the car, walk past 2-3 good looking outcrops and then find a boa under the FIRST rock they turned. The first couple times I saw it, I thought I was getting punked! I do enjoy finding ALL herps and so I will flip rocks that may conceal other herps, and that does limit boa numbers.

For me these days, I enjoy trying hard locales & finding one boa than going for numbers. Been a few years since I hunted boas at all, though. Living on the opposite coast doesn't help!

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Kent VanSooy »

you might just graduate to photographing all the Granite Spiny lizards you can see
So tell me Prof. Hubbs, do I get my diploma? - from last weekend

Image

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

Yes...that's a nice one too... :thumb:

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by hellihooks »

Fieldherper wrote: For me these days, I enjoy trying hard locales & finding one boa than going for numbers. Been a few years since I hunted boas at all, though. Living on the opposite coast doesn't help!
that's pretty much ALL I do anymore... look for hard to find stuff... berdoo aboreals/klauberi... berdoo regal Rings/ Gila... yellow leg frogs... and new boa locales (like in NE LA) Been taking new member Jacob a lot...teaching him how to enjoy the smell of skunk... :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by RobertH »

So tell me Prof. Hubbs, do I get my diploma? - from last weekend
Actually, it's not a beauty contest, Kent. Brian is talking about NUMBERS, numbers big enough to win the database contest. :D Like utas and fence lizards, but even more so, granite spinys can be found and vouchered in huge quantities - if you have a long lens, move slowly, and take the time to do it.

Robert

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

Hmmm...maybe I should look into THAT... :lol:

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by mattg »

RobertH wrote:Brian and Matt: It's funny how you two are so motivated to photograph a zillion granite spinys this year. Good luck :thumb:

Robert
Hey I only have 9 granite spinys this year, . . . .soo far

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by hellihooks »

I've seen Kent photographing Granites...few do it better, or get better shots. :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

Yes, his work is very good...but like Robert said, it isn't a beauty contest when it comes to the database. I'd rather have 100 average shots in there than 10 beauty shots. I mean, not all our pics need to look like these to be considered data:

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by hellihooks »

Did I just make you post??? :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

No...I did it anyway... :lol: 8-)

check out the last pic...my first Black-tailed Brush lizard...I'm very proud of that one...not the pic, but the fact that I finally saw one... :crazyeyes:

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by hellihooks »

nice... I still need mine. other shots are pretty dang nice too... :thumb: jim

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Kent VanSooy »

Alright, that's it! From now on I'm keeping on eye on you guys...

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This one will never win a beauty contest, check out the leg

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LouB747
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by LouB747 »

Do you guys really enter all the lizards you see into the database? At one of my local spots, there are lizards everywhere. What's the point? Who's to say your not entering the same ones over and over again.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

I'll just sit this one out...

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but, I've got my eye on YOU...

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Oh, you boys and your testosterone...

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

LouB747 wrote:Do you guys really enter all the lizards you see into the database? At one of my local spots, there are lizards everywhere. What's the point? Who's to say your not entering the same ones over and over again.
Some of us do...and those that do try to go to different places when we enter mega lizard numbers. Lou, the database is part mapping project, so everything you see and enter is important. Entering dozens of lizards from one spot on one day is good for demonstrating densities...same with snakes and salamanders and turtles...and the gps will demonstrate whether one area has been over documented. It's all good, but not everyone wants to spend the time uploading 500 or 1,000 lizards a year. I've got it down to a speedy science though, and each entry takes about 30 seconds once I get going. the real key is in cropping the pics and resizing them to 1MB or less before you enter them. I have not entered all the lizards I see, but I'm getting better...I have them from all these spots:

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Now, that's about 3,200 + or - lizard entries...my snake entries total 2,900+, so I'm not really overloaded with lizards...if I was doing it right I'd have a ratio of 25 lizards to every snake...so I need to photo more lizards, not less...

Here's the snakes:

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Ain't that neat?


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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

Nice shots, but i think you're taking too much time with them...you should look for rosys exclusively...at least, for the next 2 months... :lol:

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jonathan
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by jonathan »

You've probably figured it out by now, but different people have very different styles of hunting for boas.

I was with Billboard when he found four boas (on a day when no one else in the group found any). Every single boa he found was in a crack - he hardly touched a rock the whole day. I was talking to him about it, and he claimed that that's how he usually hunts - like Kent, he checks far more cracks than spend time flipping rocks.

On the other hand, I've been out with Fundad, and he can flip rocks like a maniac. Seriously, it's incredible how much ground he can cover and how many rocks he can flip in that time. And from seeing his photos, I get the impression that that's also how he usually hunts - many, many of his rosys are found under rocks.

And those two guys are both incredibly successful at finding boas, far more so than the average herper.

It could be a difference in habitats and locales, but I think it's also a difference in styles. Both techniques work, and everyone using both techniques to some degree, but different people have chosen to specialize more in one or the other.

I'm a loser, so I find all my rosys out on the crawl and under boards. :lol:

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Kent VanSooy »

LOVE that family shot of orcutti !!

For boas, both cracks and looking under rocks can be productive - it depends on the time of year, moisture/temp levels, etc. We shine an awful lot of cracks to see what we do.

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by jonathan »

Since I was giving away other people's knowledge, I should be more free with my own extensive Rosy expertise.


Here's a board:

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Here's a Rosy as found under that board.

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Here's another board, in the background next to the coach, with the Rosy that was found under it (the board, not the coach). Probably can figure out that exact locale if you want, but the board disappeared at least 5 years ago.

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This is what the Rosy looked like when I spotted it under the board. Notice that it's shiny, unlike the sand - that's how I spotted it. Also, sometimes they move. If they start moving, it is important to grab them quickly before they escape.

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Here's my only Rosy double, as found under a board. Sometimes people get so focused on the first snake that they don't notice the second one, but I carefully observed the entire area under the board and spotted both snakes.

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Not all Rosys hide so conveniently under boards. This one was trying to sneak across the trail where I wouldn't see it. Scan the trail in front of you carefully for something that looks like a long, gray, mentally disabled slug, but is not wet or sticky.

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This Rosy was probably my most difficult find, as it was cameoflauged extremely well on the asphalt road. It apparently had managed to stay there a long time without being detected. I moved it off onto the side of the road so that it wouldn't risk further damage.

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I hope my photos were informative. You can certainly find Rosy Boas without spending all that time flipping rocks! :beer:


p.s. - the wife's name is Rosey. :)

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by hellihooks »

sometimes it comes down to grit and determination... and not giving up. Of all the ways there are to find a rosy... I like night-walking them best... this one took me 5 hrs and 18 mile walk to find... :shock:
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Wish I had Granites in my 'backyard'... i gotta settle for these...
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by RobertH »

Notice that it's shiny, unlike the sand - that's how I spotted it. Also, sometimes they move. If they start moving, it is important to grab them quickly before they escape.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

This is just one example, of course. Your whole set of instructions is hilarious, Jonathan.

Robert

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

I would like to take this moment to thank Nicholas for ruining a bunch of my Riverside and SD Spiny entries and making me replace them with Fence lizards...thank you...now I have more Riv and SD Fence lizards...and fewer spinys... :lol:

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by hellihooks »

RobertH wrote:

Your whole set of instructions is hilarious, Jonathan.

Robert
I agree... wish he'd have more of these humorous 'outbursts'... too damn serious most of the time... :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by RobertH »

I would like to take this moment to thank Nicholas for ruining a bunch of my Riverside and SD Spiny entries and making me replace them with Fence lizards...thank you...now I have more Riv and SD Fence lizards...and fewer spinys... :lol:
You are more than welcome. :D There is a new sheriff in town, and he doesn't mess around. :crazyeyes: :lol:
I agree... wish he'd have more of these humorous 'outbursts'... too damn serious most of the time... :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol: :lol: jim
I am not sure we have room for another comedian here in addition to our Hi D court jester :lol:

Robert

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Brian Hubbs »

Wait a minute...I thought I was the comedian here...

In other news, I just added about 100 Golden Age comic book scans to my flickr page...some even have reptiles on them... :lol: and some have scantily clad risque women...and some have both... :o

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... 782896185/

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LouB747
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:50 am
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by LouB747 »

Well, went out again today. Maybe 4 hrs total in 3 different spots, 2 of which are well known. Well known, as in plenty of flipped rocks. Broke my hammer about an hour in, which was nice. Did find a single snake, but only for about a 1/2 a second. Flipped a small, approx. 2 ft, striped racer. At least that's what I think it was. It disappeared so fast I barely had time to call out snake. While common I'm told, it would have been a lifer for me.

I guess I'll wait for rain, if that happens.

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Fundad
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Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by Fundad »

I was out for two hours and found one today.

I have seen 5 boas in 3 tries, all 5 boas were found in new places/rock piles that I have not ever seen them from before as a
part of my boa mapping project. I busted it hard today for those two hours though. The boas are not sitting long under the rocks due to the heat and dry conditions. 2 of the last four were crawling around under the rocks.

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LouB747
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:50 am
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Respect to all you boa hunters.

Post by LouB747 »

Thanks for the info. Due to work and other commitments, I won't be able to get out until March. Hopefully some rain between now and than. It did seem quite dry.

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