Grouse Hunting and Snakes

Mr_Tibbs

Member
Looking for some info on what people have experienced in early season grouse hunting near Thedford/Dunning/Broken Bow with regards to snakes? I’m up in South Dakota and may want to pop down for a September hunt. I’m not looking at going too far north or west from the area mentioned but I’m curious if the density of snakes drops off far enough east in the Sandhills to be less of a concern? There are plenty of them up here in the Fort Pierre Grasslands and west river in general, but I’ve never hunted in Nebraska and have only spent a little time in the area I described. Anyone have anecdotal evidence on how the two areas compare for snakes?

I have a 40 pound Brittany who I plan to snake break this summer and him getting bit is one of my primary concerns. I’m not worried about myself, just having a smaller dog and trying to get him on early season birds without having to be in too many snakes.
 
I think this topic has come up before here. You can get a vaccine but you might have to look around for it. Also, you might want to check the area for a vet that keeps anti-venom on hand. Not all of them do. At least you'll know where to go if an emergency occurs.
 
Will do on all of those fronts. He already gets the vaccine and booster, in addition to the snake breaking. I searched through old threads and didn’t find much information, especially regarding the eastern Sandhills area I’m talking about.
 
Hunted the sandhills hard for three decades, never saw a rattler and don't know of anyone who has. But everyone seems to have heard that there are rattlers in every blowout and bale lot. I have seen rattlers in the canal areas west of Broken Bow. A more realistic caution than snakes, is high temps.
 
I live in the sandhills and most of my hunting takes place right around where you're going. I've never encountered rattlers in the sandhills while hunting on any of the public areas you're probably going to. I've seen 2 in the last 4 years around my house near Arnold. I do have a friend that had 2 dogs bit by the same snake hunting between Arnold and Dunning so they are around. The sand doesn't make for good denning and they don't do well there. That being said, if you're near the rivers or near a dog town I would be much more concerned. Of course always take the proper precautions, but just casting out into the hills looking for grouse it would be a pretty rare event to come across one.
 
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