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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-14-2014 05:33 PM
PowernFinesse Yak I've got enough at home and at this age I don't take wild snakes home anymore. There's a specific locality of bull snake in Kankakee called the tri-colored bull snake I'm hoping to see. I might find some legless lizards as well. I'd also be doing CPR with whatever I find. My semester ends the first week of May so I'm hoping to get down that way in the next few weeks. It seems like the garter snakes are just waking up here in Cook county, because visitors at my work said they saw a few on a walking path Saturday. I also bought a new camera so I'd like to field test it on some moving subjects.

In addition to Kankakee, I might take dacas's advice and go to the quarries. I bass fish there anyways, so I might as well bring my snake hook with me. My good fishing buddy has been fossil hunting lately and many of the areas he has been going to also harbor good snake populations. I always love a good multipurpose trip.
04-14-2014 03:53 PM
Dresden Dam (Illinois river)

I used to bowfish the Illinois river near the Dresden dam and came across many large snakes there....enough to get the 'ol heart pumping! I used to get off at the Minooka exit to get there.
There is a parking lot a bit of a distance away and the path in follows the I&M canal. Just a great area for anyone into snakes.
04-12-2014 10:05 AM
Yak Man Are you looking to bring the snakes home? Catch / photo / release? Or what?
04-11-2014 10:13 PM
dacas1 You may want to check out Lemont Quarries. The I & M runs right down the middle of it and there are multiple quarries and trails throughout. I used to catch snakes as a kid and that seems like a prime place from them to hide out. Plus it would save you and hour's drive.
01-23-2014 05:26 PM
PowernFinesse Thanks for all the info so far guys. Glad to see there's people out that understand reptiles and their positive roles in the ecosystem. Cheap, if you saw Masssasaugas I'm sure Lake County and the zoos would like to know as they do a rattlesnake roundup every spring to collect animals for captive propagation. There's so few Massasaugas left in Illinois that the FPDs and the zoos are having a hard time finding any. I know when I was at Lincoln Park we had 12 in our collection and were in the process of breeding them. They're endangered in most states they're found in and are a rare sight nowadays.

And Joe I might have to take you up on that. I can tell you that the garters and water snakes in Cook County are doing well. Last year I saw at least a dozen water snakes and when we went to flip some debris along the railroad tracks we found one piece of cardboard that had 10 garters under it! It was fun until we picked a big one up and got musked. Nasty stuff right there. There is still plenty of persecution all over when it comes to snakes though. We were by the sanitary and shipping canal years ago and there was an old man with a gun shooting every snake he saw. I wanted to educate him on the benefits of snakes, but a drunk man brandishing a shotgun is not someone I care to reason with. I've heard there's legless lizards in Kankakee but have never seen one myself. Another snake I'd like to see in the wild is a big black rat snake. Those boys and bull snakes sure love their mice.

If anyone's interested here's a list and descriptions of all reptiles and amphibians in Illinois (courtesy of the Chicago Herpetological Society and INHS).
01-23-2014 06:26 AM
Polish Joe The overall population of reptiles and amphibians has been in sharp decline over the past 15 20 years or so. I have some property in limestone that used to harbor numerous snakes. Bull or gopher snakes,eastern hognose, garter, fox, and even legless lizards. However im afraid ha itat loss has severely hurt these cogs of the k3 river valley ecosystem. A 6 foot bull snake will be tough to find. Most that I've seen are 3 or 4. There are too many ignorant people that will kill a big snake if they can. Id be happy to show you some spots that may still have them when the weather warms up a bit.(maybe july brrrrr.) I haven't seen a box turtle since i was very young.I did however see an extremely rare blandings turtle a few years back. Also i remember when virtually every rock and log had a tiger salamander under it.And even though i dont look as hard as when i was younger i haven't seen one in a decade.
01-23-2014 04:49 AM
cheapFisherman Seen a few rattlers up in Lake County near Wadsworth.
01-22-2014 08:35 PM
lost sailor Check out the trail along the I & M Canal just south of Joliet, where I-55 crosses over, It's been a few years but I've seen a couple of big Bull Snakes along that stretch, lots of other critters as well.
01-21-2014 12:35 PM
PowernFinesse I've been around a lot of snakes mops so I have a decent idea of where they are hiding, but with Kankakee an hour and a half away (and gas getting high in price again) I figured maybe someone would have a friend who had a lot of snakes on their property or at least a specific area they knew of. And I might be doing some turkey hunting out at Midewin this spring! If you are collecting snakes though (if anyone is) you can't collect at National Parks unless you have a permit. Like I said before we're not collecting but I'm going to check out that area regardless because of turkey season.

As for my collection I have quite a few small constrictors including sand boas, rosy boas (which are one of only two boas native to the U.S.) and children's python. I also have a painted turtle and a bamboo rat snake. Most of my snakes don't get over 2-3 feet long and are great for educational programs because of their good temperament and small sizes.


Sand boa (a.k.a. Snyder's pretzel)

Bamboo Ratsnake
01-21-2014 12:08 PM

some old bunkers out at midewin out past Wilmington on rte 53
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