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Letter From the Prez

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April 2005

Hello Herpers,

April is the start of a New Year. Yep! A new year of snake hunting. Back in my snake obsessive years, April meant the beginning of snake collecting season in north Florida. Then in May and June it got better and better. By midsummer I was catchiní gravid females and then ... it got hot and the snakes went back into hiding. "Summertime, when the living is easy. "(A. Green? B. Benton)

Snake hunting is a highly enlightening activity, that prepares you for life. That is, if you do it right, long, and hard for ten or more years without thinking of anything else. "Crazy on you." (Heart)

Snake hunting takes lot of time, and energy. Walking, peeling miles of bark, looking under junk in stumps, in the muck, the water, sand hills, gopher holes, trees, and road crusiní at night in the rain. "The long and winding road." (P. McCartney)

Some of the obstacles and annoyance of snake hunting are: large land owners, bulls, ants, mean dogs, scorpions, mosquitos, ants, gnats, skunks, venomous snakes, hornets, wasp, ticks, boars, red bugs, gators, poison ivy and did I mention ANTS?!! And for road crusiní "BEARS" "Breaker, Breaker 1-9. There is a Smoky at your front door." (T. J. McCall) And worst of all, spilliní that bottle of coke with the peanuts at the bottom and not a mini-mart in sight!

Many other lessons of life are learned like economic value - the price per foot for E. Diamondback vs. the cost of intensive care. wildlife permit, wildlife law, wildlife enforcement! And the consequences of trespassing. Documentation of your catches and D.O.R. (Dead on Road) can be a very valuable resource later in life. I had a good list going but that rust hole in my old Chevy leaked water in the glove box and Oh Well!! It was only a six year list! "We were high on life and low on gas." (S. Brown)

Itís a blast, as you can tell by my account. I love that first musk and slime with the hand full of teeth from the first catch of the "Snake Year". A full life lived by all who take part. Just donít get greedy and over collect. You can wipe out a viable population, Iíve seen it happen. "Even the losers get lucky sometimes." (T. Petty)

Most importantly you will learn that snakes are not born in a deli-cup. So, take a few, make many!! Defy Destiny, "Captive Breed".

Vic the prez with Debi at the keyboard.

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