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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had mentioned seeing a Fox Snake near the barn on another thread and Stickbow and Jr were disappointed that I didn't post a photo of it. Well, I saw 2 of them yesterday and did take some pics. These snakes (also called Pine Snakes up here) are fairly common. We have seen many of them that are 5 feet in length. Although they do look somewhat like the Missasauga Rattler they are actually non-venomous and quite harmless. My wife doesn't like the idea of having them around the barn and her garden but they do eat a lot of voles (my apple tree nemesis) and ticks so they are OK in my book:

In reading this link below, I see that Michigan is home to both the Western Fox Snake and the Eastern Fox Snake:

Fox Snake - Snake Facts

I saw this small female working her way along the edge of the barn. When I approached it to get a photo it turned around and went the other way:

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When I came back a few minutes later I saw that it had hooked up with a larger male at the corner of the lean-to:

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Snake Reptile Scaled reptile Python Serpent

They appeared to be mating:

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When I returned a few minutes later they had both disappeared but then I noticed that the larger one which had apparently climbed up the corner post inside of the steel, was working his way down under the concrete. I don't want to trap them in there now but I will be filling in this hole come fall:

Wood Road surface Flooring Floor Asphalt
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A lot of people are terrified of snakes as you say Stickbow. Unfortunately, their fear of them results in a lot of snakes being killed (illegally) here in Michigan. They also get a bad rap because they will eat bird eggs (and birds if they can get them) so a lot of grouse and turkey hunters are not so fond of them. For me, the snakes fondness of rodents and ticks outweighs the loss of game birds. Everybody has to eat, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Total agree Wildthing, I have seen people go out of there way while driving to run them over. Everything has its place in this World. I swear my son is going to have a heart attack one of these days because of snakes.
I have seen a lot of road killed snakes and often wonder how "accidental" they actually were. Same thing with turtles this time of year. They are migrating and are often seen crossing roads. I really hate to see a 20-25 year old turtle lying dead in the road. I can't tell you how many times my wife has stopped along the road to "rescue" turtles. She usually just "helps" them get across the road but she has been known to bring a box or painted turtle home and release them near our pond.

Very much agree Stickbow - Everything has its place...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That is the first picture I have seen of a Pine Snake. I have heard that they love to hang out in the rafters of outhouses and tickle your neck as you settling in there to relax! The thought of it just sends chills up my neck and puckers things up!
I do appreciate the photo so that I can properly identify one
Probably doesn't take long to take care of business when that happens. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Well, the Pine Snakes are definitely out and about in Dickinson County. Last week one of them emerged from the lean-to of the barn. Knowing that Elaine isn't real fond of them, I kind of scooted him towards a firewood pile on the other side of the lawn and hoped he would take the hint.

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I had purchased some snake repellent over the winter in hopes that maybe these reptiles would take up residence someplace else. I poured an ample amount of it in the 2 places we know they like to escape to...

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like the corner of the lean-to wall where they have been able to either go down under the concrete or up under the corner steel surrounding a post.

Apparently, this stuff is an attractant rather than a repellent as we saw the snakes just curled up with the granules - no worse for the wear.

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Today, 2 of them were snuggling one another on the other side of the barn. Even though I like having them around for their ability to consume ticks and voles....I thought it was best to just relocate these so Elaine didn't have to see them anymore.

I got a plastic trash can out and caught one of them and took him for a ride on the Gator:

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I tipped the trash can over next to one of the many rock piles we have around our food plots - this one is about two 40's north of the barn.
The snake exited the trash can and scooted right into the rocks...

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When I got back to the barn, I found that the smaller female snake had come back out and I was able to catch her as well. Before I could get the trash can loaded back onto the Gator, Elaine informed me that there was another one on the other side of the barn. I was able to catch him as well and took both of them for a ride to the same rock pile. They both scooted into the rocks just like the first one.

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This afternoon while walking out to the garden, I noticed that there were 2 more Piney's in the lean-to. I was able to catch the larger one but the smaller one crawled up into the wall and got away. I actually had to catch number 4 three times as he kept getting out of the trash can before I could get the lid on it. Unlike the first 3 snakes, #4 crawled out of the trash can and back-tracked into the grass like he was headed back to the barn immediately. Hope it takes him a while to find us again.

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Unbelieveably, Elaine saw another one come down the corner pole and crawl into the lean-to shortly after I got back from relocating number 4. I was able to catch him and took him for a ride as well. He scooted right into the rock pile when he got out of the trash can.

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I know we still have at least one more - the smallest of the bunch which was hanging out with number 4. Hopefully I can catch and relocate her tomorrow.

I also saw a dead Pine Snake on the county road on my way into town this morning so this hot weather has definitely got them moving...
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Well...Numbers 7 & 8 were waiting for us when we got home from church! Fornicating by the wood shed:

I told you we had seen some "rutting" activity @Dish7 😀 By the time I got my gloves and trash can they had moved some and the male had the females' head in his mouth. Since they were somewhat distracted, I was able to grab both of them at once...

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Catching 8 snakes in a little over 24 hours is making me somewhat suspicious. We are thinking we may have to start marking them with orange paint in order to either prove or disprove @Forest Meister 's theory of these rascals beating me back to the barn after I drop them off.

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I thought it may be getting a little crowded in that rock pile where I left the first 6 snakes so these 2 went all the way up to the far NW corner of our property. Hopefully they can start a new family up in that neck of the woods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
WT, my wife would move out on me if we had that many snakes around our property! I like to see them, but she practically melts when she does - it's rather funny!
LOL - I hear ya NTCPA. Elaine is normally really cool-headed about just about anything she encounters but she doesn't feel very comfortable around the big snakes. She did help me coral a couple of the snakes that tried to get away before I caught them, but she made it pretty clear that she doesn't want them hanging around close to the house and barn any more.

These Pine Snakes are really heavy and healthy looking so I have to believe they have been eating pretty well. I just hope I don't create a mouse and vole invasion by removing them 😀
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
@Wild Thing, are you painting those things up? Not being overly fond of being surprised by snakes, I used to do that regularly when marking trees. Red, yellow, orange, or bright blue snakes show up a lot better in a pine plantation or early spring hardwoods than those sneaky color patterns Mother Nature gifted them with. By the time they shed their skins I would be long finished marking in the area. FM
Haven't marked any yet FM, but I may if they continue to show up. Didn't want to harm them from the paint and didn't know for sure if it was harmful or not. I do have some tree marking paint available 😀

I also blocked the opening where most of them have been seen at the corner of the lean-to after catching #9. Hopefully that will be it until at least next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 · (Edited)
Had not seen any snakes for a couple of days and was beginning to think maybe I had seen the last of them for a while.... Nope - found #10 in the lean-to this morning. Didn't bother looking for paint to mark him as I was busy with other things so I just took him for a ride up north and released him.

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Got back and parked the Gator in the barn...walked out and found another Piney on the sidewalk next to the lean-to. Tossed him in the trash can but this time I did go get some paint so I could mark him.



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unfortunately, when I went to get my paint ready to spray him .... I couldn't get any paint out of either can.
Still - hard for me to believe these are the same snakes. The first 6 or 7 I only took a 1/2 mile or so before releasing them but the last several have been dropped almost a mile away. Hopefully these aren't the same snakes.

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Almost Unbelievable!! Just took #12 for a ride... Are these things really "Threatened" or "Endangered"??

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I've got a batch of buffalo jerky in the smoker which is almost done but I didn't want Ol Piney getting too hot in the trash can so I hurried up and gave him a ride north. Just a little over 1 mile on the odometer of the Gator to the NW corner. Hopefully he stays up there. Looks like the jerky can go a little longer 😀
 
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