Beginner herper.

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Redneck98
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Joined: January 31st, 2017, 4:53 pm

Beginner herper.

Post by Redneck98 » January 31st, 2017, 5:42 pm

I am new to herping and would like to know some good areas in West Palm Beach. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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Noah M
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Location: Gainesville, FL
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Re: Beginner herper.

Post by Noah M » February 3rd, 2017, 5:46 am

I'm glad you're excited about herping. I'm from northern Florida so I can't help you with spots down there.

I also think it worth noting that one of the first rules you might learn about herping is you don't get information without giving information. People very rarely offer up herping spots to just anybody. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just explaining that is the culture of field herpers.

It also helps to know what you're looking for. If you're new to the hobby, this can be overwhelming. You want to see all of it ASAP. In my experience however, I have found going after a few things at time helps. Start simple. Can you find a brown anole? Can you find a black racer? Then learn from your experience. How did you find the racer? Would that technique work for other snakes?

I hope this helps. Good luck :thumb:

Redneck98
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Joined: January 31st, 2017, 4:53 pm

Re: Beginner herper.

Post by Redneck98 » February 3rd, 2017, 10:35 am

I completely understand where you are coming from. You are not being rude. Anything I should have with me when herping like a snake hook?

simus343
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Joined: March 30th, 2014, 12:16 pm
Location: Okaloosa ca, Fla.

Re: Beginner herper.

Post by simus343 » February 3rd, 2017, 4:06 pm

A camera, as you'll want to take photos when you find stuff, I'd imagine. A flashlight, as many herps are more active at night. I like to have a good strong dipnet as well. A snake hook is good, if you're getting a venomous species off a road, otherwise it's unnecessary. I also always like to good some food, water, and caffeine source too. ;)

Also keep in mind, being in S. Fla, I'd imagine you'd be going to the everglades eventually. Don't have any herp related gear with you there as I hear that they are anal retentive about making sure people do not so much as think about messing with their herps.

Redneck98
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Joined: January 31st, 2017, 4:53 pm

Re: Beginner herper.

Post by Redneck98 » February 3rd, 2017, 4:14 pm

I didn't even think about food, water or caffeine! Good idea! I'll definitely pack some as Fl gets so hot. I really appreciate everyone's input so far and helping me out. I hope to gain a few friends with this new hobby.

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mtratcliffe
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Location: Springfield, VA

Re: Beginner herper.

Post by mtratcliffe » February 4th, 2017, 12:52 pm

If you are willing to drive an hour-plus away, you have the Everglades and Big Cypress, which have nearly endless herping opportunities. Closer to you, try kayaking the Loxahatchee River or hiking the local Wildlife Management Areas and Preserves near you. Pulling up Google Maps shows several of them. If you can find any roads through the nearby WMA that aren't heavily trafficked, then they should be good for road cruising during the day up until about April, and then roadcruising during the evening/night from late April through late September. You are bound to turn up some snakes.

Good luck!

simus343
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Joined: March 30th, 2014, 12:16 pm
Location: Okaloosa ca, Fla.

Re: Beginner herper.

Post by simus343 » February 4th, 2017, 1:15 pm

Yeah, WMAs are good herping. Even if they have some messed up areas (like timber farms), you can be surprised at times. More hunting restrictions so less traffic and more herps.

Redneck98
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Re: Beginner herper.

Post by Redneck98 » February 4th, 2017, 2:31 pm

I've got JW Corbett near me I can check out.

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Noah M
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Re: Beginner herper.

Post by Noah M » February 5th, 2017, 6:51 am

I like WMAs because you can often go off trail. If you find a park is too heavily trafficked both in terms of cars on the road and people on trails, WMAs offer a good alternative.

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Josh Young
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Re: Beginner herper.

Post by Josh Young » February 6th, 2017, 10:23 pm

Redneck98 wrote:I've got JW Corbett near me I can check out.
As someone who is intimately familiar with Corbett, it's genuinely the best local herping around, unless you wanna herp the eyesore that is the canefields.

Corbett is loaded with crayfish, swamp, garter, ribbon, Florida water, green water, brown water, Florida scarlet, and corn snakes. Don't expect much in the way of venomous except the occasional random coral. Cruising is generally effective to turn up snakes, but those freshwater marshes offer the opportunity to find the water snakes, crays, swamps and mud snakes doing their thing naturally by hiking around in them. There's a lot of greater siren and two-toed amphiuma in the marshes as well as more striped mud turtles than you can keep count of.

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