Field Herping Values for da youts....

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by hellihooks » April 28th, 2015, 2:50 pm

Really. I guess I did misunderstand what you were asking. I sincerely though my replys to you might help you... and that made me feel very good. now i feel bad. guess my participation here has become unbalanced. L8r.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by orionmystery » April 28th, 2015, 7:17 pm

peterknuteberg wrote:I'm giving a talk at the Chicago Herpetologial Society Junior group to help educate these kids on Field Herping...

1) Field Herping (kind of like birding) is more about seeing, photographing and appreciating nature rather than collecting, keeping, possessing....
2) If you want to keep an animal, buy one from a reputable breeder rather than keeping wild caught animals.
. . .
I couldn't agree more with these. I just started on herp photography but have been doing macro since 2007. I don't bring my bugs home and keep them as pet just because they are pretty and/or cool.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by stlouisdude » April 28th, 2015, 9:00 pm

The collection debate was bound to come up because from the opening post it was pretty clear the OP was looking to present an anti-collection viewpoint to the children lol and again mentioned such views throughout his posts here. I can only speak from my own experience but I collected herps as a kid. I don't think the current amphibian declines can be linked to my handiwork though :lol:

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by justinm » April 29th, 2015, 5:29 am

Gerry,

How many children have you raised? I'm going to guess none. Which really means you have shit for experience to pull from, and don't have a leg to stand on with regard to how they should be raised or moralized. I love when clueless idealists tell me how to raise my kids, or what they would do. Go find the bridge you live under and stay there, Troll.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by Kelly Mc » April 29th, 2015, 5:32 am

If a kid likes being out in the hills and lookin for stuff like we did, he (or she) will Naturally Catch the animals that we find, and Naturally want to keep them.

If a kid is at an educational outreach event and among all of the other input hearing one thing but seeing and experiencing another ( ..Now remember leave nature as you find it.. ) Yet they are taking turns holding wild herps and seeing them in containers captive. (which is necessary to the format - I know, I know) They are absorbing the wonder of the nearness of the animal and the thrill and even triumph, if they are a little afraid at first, of that moment. Which is wonderful.

They will absorb the most exciting factor most indelibly.

If children are given the unique opportunity to experience herps where they live and breathe with an adult actually modeling Nature as you find it, they get to experience and learn most effectively about Another Way and that's wonderful too.

On another note kinda but the Cost/Benefit Analysis aka Trickle Down Theory is a broad brush without enough bristles in animal/human relational issues and I don't think its collateral deficits merit its un proven effectiveness.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by Kelly Mc » April 29th, 2015, 5:56 am

When I was a little kid I would have loved to have had a grown up who was kind to me walking with me in the pastures and hills talking to me about the animals and plants. It would have been the greatest thing ever.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by Kent VanSooy » April 29th, 2015, 7:01 am

Peter, here's a bit from an old post of mine about rock damage - feel free to use the pics if they're suitable

------------------------------------------------------------

This crap is so irritating – it’s not necessary, horribly unsightly, and makes herpers looks like jerks (which some clearly are).

Image

As of last month I’m now officially a senior citizen – if I can put back your $#&^%(# rocks, so can you!!

Image

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by justinm » April 29th, 2015, 7:43 am

Kent,

You're indoctrinating these kids by showing them your morals on what you think is proper etiquette when field herping. You're harshing Gerry's buzz.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by dthor68 » April 29th, 2015, 8:54 am

justinm wrote:Kent,

You're indoctrinating these kids by showing them your morals on what you think is proper etiquette when field herping. You're harshing Gerry's buzz.

Amen!

stlouisdude wrote:The collection debate was bound to come up because from the opening post it was pretty clear the OP was looking to present an anti-collection viewpoint to the children lol and again mentioned such views throughout his posts here. I can only speak from my own experience but I collected herps as a kid. I don't think the current amphibian declines can be linked to my handiwork though :lol:

The declines of all plants and animals today are directly linked to the human race. Even though I am against collecting any plant or animal and I do the best I can to conserve the natural world, I still feel responsible for any and all losses. Responsibility is what separates the adults from the children!

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by peterknuteberg » April 29th, 2015, 9:05 am

Kent, thank you. I need photos like yours to help illustrate points. :thumb: Thanks also for caring enough about our environment to put the rocks back... There was a popular song out there illustrating that very point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJiPAA6cq9Y

Can't play this one for the kids though.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by gbin » April 29th, 2015, 10:06 am

justinm wrote:Gerry,

How many children have you raised? I'm going to guess none. Which really means you have shit for experience to pull from, and don't have a leg to stand on with regard to how they should be raised or moralized. I love when clueless idealists tell me how to raise my kids, or what they would do. Go find the bridge you live under and stay there, Troll.
I'm not at all sure what's gotten justin so emotional that he's gone into attack mode. I guess this?...
gbin wrote:
peterknuteberg wrote:Gerry, Perhaps, despite the above, it is true that I am moralizing. However, those are my beliefs about Field Herping, and I feel that I should share those with these kids...
As I said.

I'd like to ask you and like-minded folks to at least think something through, though: How would you feel if someone else moralized your children on some subject under the guise of educating them? What if the morals imparted were contrary to your own? Should that really make a difference?

Dealing with morals in a classroom or equivalent setting is always perilous (albeit far more so when it involves something people actually care about, which unfortunately doesn't generally include herps :? ), but there are ways a teacher can share his/her personal beliefs with children while educating them without misappropriating his/her influence over them as an authority figure. All that needs be done is to point out that "(Such-and-such) isn't a rule. It's something many people including myself personally believe, but many other people instead believe (so-and-so). The important thing to remember in any event is (this-and-that)." That would be educating.

Even fairly young children are incredibly smart creatures. They're capable of understanding distinctions that are drawn for them, e.g. between a teacher's personal belief and an actual tenet concerning an activity, or between places such as parks that are governed by strict rules and others that aren't.

I've done a fair bit of teaching myself, Peter, and I certainly do understand your desire even though in this case I don't share your particular belief. But educators (including occasional, informal ones) and other authority figures are held in special regard by children, and have a corresponding special responsibility not to misuse their position. (Insert Spider-Man quote here. ;) ) And if you decide to do so, anyway, I'd suggest that you not compound your error by deluding yourself that your rationalizations are actually justifications.

And please don't take my constructive criticism as condemnation. I recognize and applaud that you're making quite an extra effort with these kids. I'm just trying to help you keep the passion behind your effort from leading you astray.
Yeah, that's some pretty awful trolling on my part, all right! How dare I talk about teaching parenting that way! :crazyeyes:

Maybe when he calms down a bit he'll see I didn't say whatever it is he seems to think I did. Or maybe he already knows that but is acting otherwise because he knows he won't get much traction trying to attack me on what's really got him upset, my pointing out in a later post (as a fact relevant to what was being discussed) that more people in the herp hobby either collect or think it's OK to do so than are against collecting, when he so very much wants to believe the opposite? I reckon your guess is as good as mine... :?

Gerry

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by gbin » April 29th, 2015, 10:26 am

gbin wrote:Maybe when [justin] calms down a bit he'll see I didn't say whatever it is he seems to think I did. Or maybe he already knows that but is acting otherwise because he knows he won't get much traction trying to attack me on what's really got him upset, my pointing out in a later post (as a fact relevant to what was being discussed) that more people in the herp hobby either collect or think it's OK to do so than are against collecting, when he so very much wants to believe the opposite? I reckon your guess is as good as mine... :?
No, wait, I think I just realized what the issue is. I bet it's that justin is particularly close to Peter, and he's attacking me because he sees me as attacking his friend. (I haven't been attacking Peter, of course, but some people seem to lack the ability to distinguish between criticism and an attack, and perhaps justin is one of those.) But if that's the case, why not get after me for that rather than making up some nonsense about me telling people how to raise their kids? Even if I'm guessing right here, his behavior doesn't really make sense. But I suppose that's what happens when people get too emotional for whatever reason... :?

Hopefully justin will (eventually) defer to Peter's wishes to have this thread focus on Peter's topic, in any event.

Gerry

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by stlouisdude » April 29th, 2015, 4:40 pm

Sorry, I just can't resist commenting on the rock video. When we are consumed with a particular hobby, we tend to overestimate the scope, size, and effect of it. I've been guilty of this myself. Every rock you ever see overturned was not done by a snake collector or lazy herper. Yes, sometimes that is the case, but unless you actually saw the person doing it and questioned them, you can't say for sure. It could have been kids, bug collectors, etc. I think we are too quick to blame other herpers for any overtuned rock we may encounter just as much as we tend to overestimate the impact individual specimens have on a population.

As far as education, I think that's a great idea to teach kids about field herping sans the whole animal rights bit.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by Kelly Mc » April 29th, 2015, 6:03 pm

stlouisdude wrote: sans the whole animal rights bit.
You know, I would really like to know what exactly "The Whole Animal Rights Bit" is.

'Cause Ive watched how the term is wielded and how much it scares people in the herp world ta getta splatter of that rep on ya. :shock:

That way the clumsy, the cheap, and the imperceptive can be immune from reproach, examination or critique..

Just wave that term around and its like a magic silencer!

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by peterknuteberg » April 30th, 2015, 10:31 am

My commentary on the help I've received here. One good herper sent me photos for the presentation. That's it. Thanks to that person. Those photos will be used to explain the concept of putting rocks back.

One individual here has mostly criticized my "preaching" and "moralizing" and always must have the last word. This person has failed to truly read what I wrote or simply cherry picks things out of context. He must always show everyone how smart he is. His posting is more about him and how smart he is and how preachy I am, then about helping "da youts...here in Chicago." That is ego and has not been helpful in trying to put together a presentation to prepare about 60 kids for what will probably be their first "field herping" expedition.

The law in Illinois and in the areas were are going is clear about many things:

1) Collecting is not allowed in the park we are going to. You can't take a snake bag with you or a tongs, or a snake hook, an aquarium or even a jar or you can get a ticket.
2) You pretty much need a license to collect and possess Illinois Herps and then there are plenty of rules and regulations, which are often difficult to understand for an adult, much less a child.
3) Once you keep an Illinois herp for any real length of time you are not allowed to release it.
4) If you are releasing an animal, it must be released in exactly the spot that you found it.
5) Pets are never to be released into the wild.
6) Rocks, logs, etc. must be returned exactly as they were when you found them. You can't rip a rotting log to pieces. (It's in the Illinois statute).
7) Then there is the list of threatened and endangered species and what you can and can't do and the permits required etc.

I have stressed that the CHS, who I'm doing this for, has a mission (which is primarily education and conservation--not collecting). The CHS also has a continual supply of unwanted former pet herps. These are up for adoption. Too often, they have trouble finding people who will take care of those animals. Last night they had a beautiful Blue Tongued Skink...tame...nice, healthy looking....couldn't get find someone to adopt it...then there are the ball pythons and the corn snakes...and the tortoises.

Finally, there are breeders, who have lots of healthy animals suitable for kids.

So, why do I want to teach these kids that they can collect when in fact they are prohibited from doing so, and if they do find a place to do so, they must wind their way through the legal red tape and must follow all kinds of rules and regulations? We are in Illinois. This is not Kansas (as Chris correctly states).

There is some limited collecting that the CHS does (but not the kids) which is for the pupose of educational diplays such as boat shows here in Chicago, for example, to explain to most Illinois fisherman that the snake they are seeing is not a Cottonmouth, but a harmless Northern Water snake and that Cottonmouths are only found at the extreme Southern part of the State. All of the collecting has to be done with licenses and sometimes special permits.

So, can I get some photos of bad herping etiquette please? And good herping ettiquette?

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by MCHerper » April 30th, 2015, 1:24 pm

Peter,

First, I don't have any photos of good or bad herping etiquette. I wanted you to know that I didn't overlook your request. Second, I, as well as several others have posted ideas about the actual delivery of the lesson, and I didn't hear much in the way of discussion about the suggestions-do you feel that the ideas are valid and worth discussing? Is there something else you need about the actual delivery part?

Regarding etiquette, collecting, etc, you cannot be completely objective in your lesson, as your experiences, good and bad, will come through. Therefore, teach from the heart. Your passion will not shine through if you are teaching against your values, and the kids will pick up on it. You are an adult and you came to your own viewpoints through your experiences and knowledge, and if you can trace the origins of your values to your experiences, and they are in line, and the herps are not being harmed, then no one should question that. We don't all think alike, and that diversity in thought has the potential to enrich us as a community, despite the attempts at swaying opinions.

Regarding teaching 60 kids about herping, do your best and keep in mind that no lesson is perfect. As this is your first time, you will learn that some things work and some things don't, and you will have to adjust in the future. Have fun, enjoy it, make it enjoyable to them, make sure the herps go home in one piece, and be happy that you had the experience.

Just my $0.02.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by peterknuteberg » April 30th, 2015, 1:43 pm

MC Herper, thanks. The comments were mostly helpful and I agree that we have to follow our hearts. I just hate to digress and turn the discussion into something else. There really never was a question of collecting because we can't.

I have actually, given a few of these talks before to kids and just try to go with the flow and take it as it comes. I hope to be able to post my Power Point if anyone ever wants to use any part of it.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 30th, 2015, 6:27 pm

peterknuteberg wrote: So, can I get some photos of bad herping etiquette please? And good herping ettiquette?
The reason there has been a lack of photos of bad herping etiquette might be because most of us here (I hope) don't practice bad herping etiquette. I suppose someone with some time and access to some flat rocks could go out and stage some photos, though.

Another suggestion, and I don't have time to dig through photos tonight (I'm trying to type over the din of multiple out-of-state family members who arrived on my doorstep today), would be to show a lifted rock, with the obvious difference in appearance of the microhabitat under the rock (e.g. lack of vegetation, moist earth, etc.) vs. the adjacent ground (grassy, etc.). You could use that to launch a conversation about "what's different about the space under the rock compared to the surrounding ground?" It might help the kids discover for themselves why it's probably best to replace cover items as they were found.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 30th, 2015, 7:10 pm

I actually got most of the guests out of the house now, so I did a quick search for a photo I have posted here earlier. I think this one might get at what I was saying--the obvious contrast between beneath-cover habitat and surrounding habitat, and why it might be a good idea to preserve that habitat by putting rocks back as you found them (so you can find cool things underneath).

You can see the rock itself at the bottom of the pic, since I was holding it up with one hand and photographing with another.

Image

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by peterknuteberg » May 1st, 2015, 6:57 am

Chris, I like this last photo. It shows a lot and some great herps too. Peter.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by BillMcGighan » May 1st, 2015, 7:17 am

You shamed me, Peter, into trying to get something so here are some shots that I took on my property.
If you can use any or all, can you capture it here, or send me an email and I’ll mail them to you.



The first is a salamander board line that requires much more dampness underneath than a reptile board line, much like a downed forest log. These must be much wetter than a reptile board line.


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By flipping the boards you can see where they were and it took them 9 months plus to provide a habitat for many organisms.


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If left where they are, they would take another season to be productive. Some of the organisms that depend on the moisture and protection.


Wet leaves


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Mold and fungi


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Ants


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Other inverts:
(I think these are centipedes in ecdysis, but I’m not sure. Maybe some of the invert experts can comment?)



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Slugs and their eggs


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Salamanders like this Eastern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus):


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These with lunch, termites:


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Sal with friend


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NOT a friend of salamanders (but has a roach pal.)

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Natural logs in wet forest can be a virtual garden of plants like mosses.


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Just rolling them sometimes reveals tunnels made first by small mammals but can then be homes to reptiles and amphibians:


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Sometimes when a log is rolled, it is rotten and just falls apart:

Log as found:


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So doing your best to reassemble and put it back can speed up recovery.


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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by peterknuteberg » May 1st, 2015, 9:59 am

Bill, awesome. Thanks, those photos really illustrate why it is important to put things back as we find them and how much life depends on those little covered areas. :thumb:

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by MCHerper » May 1st, 2015, 10:57 am

Peter, something just popped into my head when I was reading Bill's post. It might not be a bad idea to give the students a firm heads up about the occasional stinging insects that are found in rotting logs. One of my reservations about being out with groups of kids is that one of them may be allergic to bee or hornet stings, and may not be aware of their allergy and therefore not have an epi-pen. Also, advise the students watch for glass, nails, etc when flipping. Once I was flipping and came across a syringe. I'm always concerned about that when out with my own kids.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by peterknuteberg » May 1st, 2015, 12:57 pm

MCHerper, that is a very important point.
It might not be a bad idea to give the students a firm heads up about the occasional stinging insects that are found in rotting logs. One of my reservations about being out with groups of kids is that one of them may be allergic to bee or hornet stings, and may not be aware of their allergy and therefore not have an epi-pen. Also, advise the students watch for glass, nails, etc when flipping. Once I was flipping and came across a syringe. I'm always concerned about that when out with my own kids.
By the way, the photos are extremely helpful.

If I could only get my hands on a smashed snake...crushed by somone putting the rock back on top of the snake, rather than clearing the snake out first and then replacing the rock and then lettin the animal make its way back under.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by BillMcGighan » May 1st, 2015, 1:39 pm

If I could only get my hands on a smashed snake...crushed by somone putting the rock back on top of the snake, rather than clearing the snake out first and then replacing the rock and then lettin the animal make its way back under.

If I see a DOR this weekend, I’ll stage a “snake crushed by rock” pic.



Another serious problem is to warn them about is to never to throw a snake so it lands in the crotch of a tree.
It can get stuck, the tree will grow around it, and the snake will be stuck there forever.

Image
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:roll: :roll:

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by hellihooks » May 1st, 2015, 1:45 pm

Pretty sure i have a pic of a smashed neo speckled rattlesnake, between 2 boards, and was going to spend hours looking for it... but quite frankly, since you obviously consider me a persona non grata here, I am no longer inclined to help.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by peterknuteberg » May 1st, 2015, 8:41 pm

Hellihooks, I don't consider you a persona non grata. Not at all.

I got a picture of a smashed mountain kingsnake found under a rock by Pingleton. Imagine a careless herper flipping the rock back on top of such a gem? I can't imagine that with a speckled rattlesnake either.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by stlouisdude » May 2nd, 2015, 6:11 am

Sadly, I must agree that I have seen some horrible rock flipping practices and sometimes I can say it was herpers involved (although I think we need to educate bug hunters and such as they are also involved in much rock flipping). When I first started I received some really horrible advice and unfortunately I still see some people doing these things today despite having injured and killed animals by doing so.

Things I do not agree with:
*Flipping largish rocks with hooks: I've first hand seen salamanders and small snakes have rocks dropped on them this way. Despite that the people involved continue this practice because they'd rather smash herps than take a .00000001% risk of being bitten. After having flipped thousands and thousands of rocks the worst I've received are a few wasp stings and a couple of scorpion stings. Carry an epipen if worried IMO.
*Trying to lift too large of a rock. Although less common than the above, I've seen a couple of large rocks get dropped. Especially when solo this is important. I lifted a huge rock which has two beautiful copperheads under it. The problem was I couldn't get the rock all the way back to lay it down and I couldn't return it to the original position because of the snakes. I ended up being able to wedge another rock under it to prevent it from crushing those snakes but it was definitely a close call and I would've felt horrible if I had killed them. This was from a location that has extremely beautiful, nearly white and sometimes pinkish colored copperheads that would be the envy of any venomous keeper. And yes, they do get prettier every time I tell that tale lol
*Recanting the tales of how many times one "almost died" from a venomous snake encounter. While these are good camp fire tales amongst herpers, I don't think the general public needs any fear stricken in their hearts, the media has always done that for us.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by BillMcGighan » May 3rd, 2015, 3:53 am

some horrible rock flipping practices
There are other groups to be aware of:

We were camped in the Mt Rushmore National Forest and watched a group of 10 -12 dirt bikers "jumping rocks" on a hillside.
This "sport" rolled and split loose rocks up to 2 feet across.


Another was a university geology group attacking and dismantling a rock cut, south of Alpine TX.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by hellihooks » May 3rd, 2015, 8:20 am

peterknuteberg wrote:Hellihooks, I don't consider you a persona non grata. Not at all.

I got a picture of a smashed mountain kingsnake found under a rock by Pingleton. Imagine a careless herper flipping the rock back on top of such a gem? I can't imagine that with a speckled rattlesnake either.
Hmmmm... ok. haven't found the smashed speck shot yet... but took these the other day... don't step on boards... :o
Image
Image
Image

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by Scott Waters » May 3rd, 2015, 8:32 am

I solve all of this by not going to places I know other herpers hit. :)

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by Noah M » May 3rd, 2015, 8:48 am

Scott Waters wrote:I solve all of this by not going to places I know other herpers hit. :)
I'm late to the party here, but I agree with Scott's words. I met a herper new to the hobby not long ago. I have several great locations in FL other herps have shared with me in confidence. I couldn't take this new guy to any of these locations, and like hell I was going to show him my own best spots. So I had to find some brand new places. It has paid off nicely so far.

Sometimes the hunt for a good location is as much fun as hunting that location for a good herp!

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by hellihooks » May 3rd, 2015, 10:01 am

finding spots for yourself does nothing to teach kids good herping techniques. thread is not about us... it's about teaching kids.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by stlouisdude » May 3rd, 2015, 10:43 am

The problem with the don't show anyone theory, is I can't think of many examples where even hard core herping really had any impact on the species that live there. The worst place I know of, rocks disgarded on a very, very regular basis, people collecting right and left, still produces the same species as it did several years ago when I first visited and so far as I can tell, in the same numbers. I must admit though, trying to figure out where other local herpers have been is a bit of fun, more so than just asking. I always try to find "their" spots :lol:

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jonathan
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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by jonathan » May 6th, 2015, 8:55 am

Awesome photos Bill! You went above and beyond the call of duty.
cbernz wrote:Also, I think if you are going to discuss any of the negative effects careless herping can have on animals or the environment (which is fine), you should definitely make some mention of habitat loss, pollution, or other outside forces that impact herps as well.
Yes! Often the moral messages that stick the hardest are the subconscious ones. Even our choices of what to talk about are moral messages, though they don't come off overtly as such. If we only speak about careless herping (or hunting, or collecting), but don't mention habitat loss and pollution, they might get the impression that only direct, intentional effects on herps cause the problems, when in fact it's the effects wrought when we're not even thinking about herps that do far more large-scale harm.

Preach to the kids not just by telling them what they "should" and "shouldn't" do, but by carefully choosing what you do and don't say. A major omission, or major inclusion, can have a bigger effect on moral development than a preachy-sounding lesson ever would.


MCHerper wrote: Regarding etiquette, collecting, etc, you cannot be completely objective in your lesson, as your experiences, good and bad, will come through. Therefore, teach from the heart.
Exactly - no one has an objective place to stand. There are literally millions of things that one could say about herps, and the choices we make about what to say and what not to say are moral choices, which have an effect on the moral education of the people we talk to. Worry about what you think is most important for the kids to understand, and arrange your talk material in the best way possible to get that point across.

And help them have fun. :D Because a fun person and a fun experience goes a long way to helping cement a point in one's head.

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Re: Field Herping Values for da youts....

Post by hellihooks » May 9th, 2015, 12:25 pm

saw this on fb, Peter, and have seen your name there, as well. Dangers of riding 'off road'... :shock: Scott's a cool guy... sure he'd let you use it... :thumb: jim

Edit (duh!) https://www.facebook.com/groups/highdes ... 768502445/

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