Trip Details

Location: Linn County, IA

Weather: Sunny. High of 77 degrees. Low Wind.

Time: 6:15 p.m.

Herpers: Matt Ricklefs

Account by: Matt Ricklefs

Photos by: Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: Not the snake I was expecting…

I was on the trail of a Bullsnake. I had not found one this year, and in past years I had one area close to home that I had gone to a little more frequently and Bulls were fairly common, but getting less so. The area has had to deal with a lot of development over the years and that has put a strain on things. So I decided to once more hit this area.

At my first usual spot I found a nice Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) about 22 inches.

As I was holding it I did realize it was literally shedding in my hands. So since it was fully ready I did help it out. I never do this nor would I push this if it seemed close as it really could cause damage, but this one was clearly ready and was crawling out of its skin as I held it. I got some fair shots, but it was getting late, the light was weird and the snake was (obviously) wanting to just go its own way. After a few alright shots I allowed it to do just that.

I have a normal path and over the years have placed pieces of debris here and there to help check on things. A couple of years ago I found a really nice pallet that actually had a solid top (which became the bottom) that I placed in the middle of a field within a little weedy oasis. The first pay off was a year or so ago with a nice Racer. My main target for this has been a Bullsnake. Its normal pallet size so it is large and heavy enough for a good sized snake. So today when I got to it and flipped it, I had to take a double take. It was NOT a Bullsnake…but it was a nice sized Fox Snake (Elaphe v. vulpina).

This one was a good 36 inches and in good shape. I looked around and found a nice, aesthetic, if not completely natural, place for pics and surprisingly it cooperated pretty well!

Since it cooperated I finished pretty quickly, but alas never did find a Bullsnake here yet. We’ll keep working the area and one of these days it will pay off. Don Becker did find one out on the crawl a few weeks ago so we’ll see how it goes.

Happy Herping folks!

Read our disclaimer here...