Fisher and Rattlesnake in Southeastern WI

4/20/09 @ 3:44 PM
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P.I.K.E.
P.I.K.E.
USER since 10/28/03
A good friend told me he had heard that the fisher and rattlesnake (not sure which species) has been introduced to southeastern Wisconsin. Walworth county for sure. He asked someone in the DNR if this was true and they said yes.

I really don't know what to think of introducing rattlesnakes. I know the whole "leave them alone and they'll leave you alone" thing but is this really a smart move? What greater good for will this achieve? Rodent control? Is it worth someone getting bit and possibly die? Probably not. I'm not a "hater" of this move but I guess I would like some kind of explanation of what benefit this give Wisconsin. It would be neat to while out hunting but I have mixed feelings on this.

After some quick research I'm guessing that it is the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. They were native here at one time.

As far as the fisher I think that would be pretty cool to see one while sitting in the deer stand some day.

What does everyone else think?

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 18 Posts
4/28/09 @ 8:19 PM
Leviathan
Leviathan
USER since 6/2/07
I have those Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes by me and I never knew it untill my cat killed a tiny one he brought it home and I never seen a pattern like that, then on a closer look I noticed a little rattler on the tail so I checked into it and found they live in wetland areas like where Im at so Im hopeing he dosent try this anymore on the bigger ones!

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4/28/09 @ 10:51 AM
1234567890
1234567890
USER since 10/5/05
As a person who has once been bitten by a rattlesnake, I would like those damn things as far away from where I live as possible.

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4/26/09 @ 9:48 AM
Fishbrain
Fishbrain
MEMBER since 1/1/02
I heard the rattlesnakes were introduced to take care of the Asian beetles. Or was it the other way around? Darn I wish I could keep these things straight! Doh!

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4/23/09 @ 3:33 PM
One shot one kill
One shot one kill
USER since 8/12/02
My land is central Wi , well over 100 miles from IL . Looks like oak savanna to me on the map.

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4/23/09 @ 12:19 PM
Myth_buster
Myth_buster
USER since 3/7/08
In SE WI a lot of land owners and organizations are converting their land back to what it used to be historically: prairies and oak savanna.

In the counties boardering Illinois it was.

Here is a link on pre-settlement vegitation.

A fair amount of that was actually oak forest or oak forest with openings which I suppose could qualify as oak savanna.http://dnr.wi.gov/landscapes/pdfmaps/state/finleys.pdf

Edited on 4/23/09 12:19 PM
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4/22/09 @ 4:51 PM
flyfisher309
flyfisher309
USER since 5/28/04
Its better to think of the rattlesnakes in terms of ecology rather than the idea that they should serve some sort of human benefit oriented purpose. Their historical range has not changed very much, but it is thier preffered habitat in SE wisconsin that is changing. SE wisconsin used to be predominatly prairie and oak savanna before the settlers settled here. Both of these habitats are the preffered living space of the timber rattler as well as deciduous forests. Wisconsin is now 50% forest due to conservation efforts. In SE WI a lot of land owners and organizations are converting their land back to what it used to be historically: prairies and oak savanna.

Due to the conversion of land to that of the historical landscape, I would presume that SE WI could become part of their natural range. They are probably planted because these "wild" areas being converted are broken up by cities and suburban areas. They would probably not be able to disperse naturally on thier own due to the "islands" of habitat that exist within our cities.

As far as saftey goes, people would have to be careful and hospitals would have to start carrying anti-venom. Perhaps the DNR would have to make an announcement about snake saftey to the public.

We can't just extirpate the snakes after they have been introduced based on human saftey. With all of the land converted, certain animals would dominate. In prairies, small mammals and birds would dominate. Without any predatory control other than hawks, the ecological balance could be compromised.

I also think that WI needs more wild places and native plants and animals.

It would be a battle between human saftey and ecological integrity, but that is for the DNR biologists and the public to decide.

Just my thoughts, Fly.

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4/22/09 @ 3:46 PM
buckbrush
buckbrush
USER since 1/1/02
Rumors we are hearing up this way is that the DNR planted the snakes in order to assist in controlling the Turkey.

I'd like to hear your best explanation of how rattlesnakes would be used to control turkey populations.

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4/22/09 @ 1:04 PM
lawdog616
lawdog616
MEMBER since 1/20/04
Rumors we are hearing up this way is that the DNR planted the snakes in order to assist in controlling the Turkey. Not that allowing more hunting of turkey could not accomplish this....go figure..

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4/22/09 @ 12:46 PM
Greenheads4Ever
Greenheads4Ever
USER since 2/9/03
I actually do remember an episode of Crocodile hunter where the late Steve Irwin was catching rattlers in Western Wi. They didn't say where but it was aired obviously a long time ago. I may be wrong it might have been MN. but these were all naturally occurring snakes too.

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4/22/09 @ 11:33 AM
Bigsilverkiller
Bigsilverkiller
USER since 4/22/05
sounds like one for the "ask a warden" thread!!!

i doubt they introduced them but knew about the ones that were already here! I also have a house in Wautoma and never heard about a release there!

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 18 Posts