return to main index

  mobile - desktop
follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on YouTube link to us on LinkedIn
click here for  Animal Specialties
This Space Available
3 months for $50.00
Locate a business by name: click to list your business
search the classifieds. buy an account
events by zip code list an event
Search the forums             Search in:
News & Events: Herp Photo of the Day: Frog . . . . . . . . . .  Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday! . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting (Milwaukee) - Aug. 10, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting (FoxValley) - Aug. 10, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting - Aug. 12, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  All Maryland Reptile Show - Aug. 13, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Lancaster Herp Society Meeting - Aug. 19, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  DFW Herp Society Meeting - Aug. 20, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Bay Area Herpetological Society Meeting - Aug. 26, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Northern Virginia Reptile Show - Aug. 27, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Central Illinois Herp Society Meeting - Sept. 01, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Greater Cincinnati Herp Society Meeting - Sept. 07, 2022 . . . . . . . . . . 

Chat Week 2000 Transcript
12/14/00 - Bob Mackin
Herping the Trans Pecos

JeffB - ok our next guest chatter tonight is Bob Mackin and his wife Elaine is assisting with the typing
JeffB - Good evening Bob and Elaine
BobMackin - Hi everybody
BobMackin - Good luck to me I've never done this before bear with me

JeffB - Bob after spending 3 years hunting around Shafter, where the heckdo I need to go to catch an alterna there?
BobMackin - Since they've widened the road, it's been more difficult but most of the snakes come from above Shafter
BobMackin - All the way to the top of the hill

Herpo - bob, still taking out the steering chocks for quick turns on the river road?
BobMackin - Yeah I drive fast and overdrive everything
BobMackin - I have to turn around quick, if the snake's not in your headlights, they're hard to catch
Herpo - we got stuck on the RR one night during flash flood
BobMackin - That's always fun lol

JKellar - I have to request vacation months in advance, what is the best time to go to find alterna? without knowing weather conditions?
BobMackin - May and June and pray for some rain
BobMackin - Best weather conditions, are 85 degrees and still

Rhinocheilus - Have you seen any interesting long-nosed snake phases or morphs anywhere down there?
BobMackin - Yes, on Pepper's Hill (Villa de la Mina) in the Boquillas limestone areas

serpentarium1 - what are some of the most dangerous snakes that you would find?
BobMackin - All the rattlesnakes especially the lepidus, they're quick
BobMackin - The lepidus are hard to see if you're climbing around

JeffB - Bob many road cruisers go 30-40 mph however rumors of your 70mph runs through the river are legendary, whats the logic behind this?
BobMackin - Exaggeration! I drive 45-50mph the more road you see, the more snakes you see
BobMackin - However you need good lights and a car that will turn around quick

matt2- Bob whats the worst experience you've had in the field
BobMackin - Falling on cactus and wasting time with the game warden

Herpo - Bob, why don't the old-timers ever fine the neat stuff, like the albinos?
Herpo - are we jinxed?
BobMackin - I've found a lot of neat stuff like patternless blond subocs, a black & white copperhead and a cross between a celanops and alterna and two albino gophers
Herpo - bw copperhead? nice
BobMackin - totally, it had babies for seven years without seeing a male
Herpo - is that the celaenops/alterna that was pictured in Tennant?
BobMackin - No only photos are in my collection it had the head of an alterna and the body of a syspilla

JKellar - what's the farthest west u have found heterodon and the Trimorph there is my favorite ssp. how common
BobMackin - They're very common in Shafter
BobMackin - The farthest west I've seen them has been El Paso

JeffB - Ok Bob what was it like hunting the old 90 before the highway renovations?
BobMackin - Dangerous! I hunted it very little, got tired of seeing run-over snakes
BobMackin - didn't want to become a DOR

matt2- what herp have you yet to find and want the most?
BobMackin - A celanops from west of the Chinatis

AndrewG - Have you collected much in the Chiricahuas?
BobMackin - Only a little
AndrewG - Found anything memorable?
BobMackin - The Celanops/Alterna was pretty special, green blond subocs are pretty neat too

Herpo - bob, are you going to be doing Shafter next year? I might have to swing down for a reunion.
BobMackin - I've been hunting south of Sierra Blanca the last few years
Herpo - me too, and Van Horn any eagle alterna yet?
BobMackin - Nope I've never hunted there though I've seen them from there, They're pretty dark

inlands - gday bob , im in ozz . so the trans pecos may as well be the bermuda triangle to me , anyway , have you noticed a decline in numbers of atrox in that area since the first time you herped there , and , whats the common factor for theyre dwindling numbers you think?
BobMackin - The percentage of different snakes varies a great deal. with the weather history
BobMackin - Years ago there were many many more night snakes

JKellar - what do u think the future holds as far as herping/night driving as far as laws and G&F
BobMackin - It probably won't get better. Though the lawsuits the state has lost the past few years may moderate the situation
TobyH- Yeah, Wash. has tough herp laws

Rhinocheilus - What is the best place to find Hypsiglena or Trimorphs?
BobMackin - Night snakes are everywhere. The best place is Walla Walla WA, There they get 4 feet long!! Go to Shafter for Trimorphs
JeffB - but just take pictures
BobMackin - OF COURSE. I've seen trimorphs on 118 and the top of the Big Hill

JeffB - Bob Where do the prettiest sockhead splendida come from
BobMackin - The prettiest I've seen have come from Sierra Blanca (by far)

AndrewG - Ever seen a bear or cougar in west TX? Do you keep much of a captive collection anymore - If so what?
BobMackin - Yes, I've seen LARGE black bear and cougar in the bend.

JeffB - herpinboy go ahead
herpinboy - what kind of frogs do you have there in Washington
BobMackin - Hyla regila, tailed frogs,red-leg frogs spade-foots
BobMackin - Lots of neat salamanders

JKellar - I only take photos anyway, how common or at all do people find alterna day hunting? or is there even anywhere left to day herp?
BobMackin - Early in the spring try at Amet lake. They're pretty much a nocturnal snake

Rhinocheilus - What is the most snakes you have seen in one night?
BobMackin - Actually several hundred rattlers on Sasabe road one night in AZ
BobMackin - There were always 8 or 10 in the headlights at any given time

JeffB - Bob when did you make your first Trans-Pecos trip
BobMackin - I wound up there in 1969

matt2- what areas have ya found the Mexican milks most common?
BobMackin - Highway 3073 around Hebronville in the valley
BobMackin - They like it cold so don't go in too soon, I've seen them at 62 degrees after everything else has quit crawling

AndrewG - What was your favorite alterna collected?
BobMackin - I found the most beautiful one I called Narrow Bands. She looked like she was laid out on a drawing board
AndrewG - where from?
BobMackin - Absoulutely perfect! The Gap, Unfortunately she became egg-bound

Herpo - bob, what are you looking for in the sierra blanca area? and what are you actually finding there?
BobMackin - Milksnakes and alternas mostly
Herpo - found a milksnake there yet?
BobMackin - No but still trying. I'm sure they're there. The last couple of years it's been dry
Herpo - very, good rains this fall though, and some snows
BobMackin - Cool, that sounds promising. If it rains too much my favorite road washes out

Rhinocheilus - What is the best looking wild phase of Crotalus molossus in your opinion?
BobMackin - High Mountains in AZ They're the gold phase and pretty hard to beat
BobMackin - Try the top of Mt. Hopkins, The green ones in the bend are pretty but not like the golds

JeffB - Bob where do the speckliest alterna come from
BobMackin - Shafter and west, I saw two patternless ones, one by the put-in and one in Shafter. One was in a rainstorm swimming across the road in a flood
BobMackin - An emories was swimming with it

matt2- are there certain time periods more favorable than others for the milks or no?
BobMackin - Absoulutely, when it's raining. Go in May if the dark of the Moon is late in the month otherwise in June
BobMackin - Try the top of the Big Hill or 118
BobMackin - The prettiest ones come from the top of Peppers Hill but they're rare

herpinboy - what kind of skinks do you have there
BobMackin - Northern and Southern Alligator lizards, thats all
BobMackin - Pretty much this is a cold rainforest

Herpo - bob, any see any alligator lizards in the bend?
BobMackin - Sure Texas alligator lizards high in the Christmas Mts. around the Terlingua Ranch and in the Basin

herpster - what do you personally think is the best road to cruise in west texas, in order to see the most snakes in total, and the biggest variety of species?
BobMackin - Anywhere in the valley. In the Big Bend the best road is the river road or Hwy. 1111 north of Sierra Blanca

Rhinocheilus - What's the strangest non-herp you've encountered? Strangest herp?
BobMackin - Probably the black bear we saw in the park one night The strangest herp is a blue bullfrog we saw by Lajitas. The 4' Night Snake was definately wierd
Sponsored Link
Click here for LLL Reptile & Supply
advertise here

New & Updated Business Listings
Looking for a reptile or amphibian related business? A reptile store, breeder, importer, maunfacturer or supplier? Our business directory lists some of the most popluar herp businesses in the world.
Locate a reptile or amphibian business by name:
• Mouse Works LLC
• Zeigler Animal Feeds
• Tampa Snakes - Carpet Pytho...
• The Big Cheese Rodent Facto...
• Florida Iguana & Tortoise B...
• ReptiLinks
• Reptiles at the York Expo
• York County Reptile Show
• LLLReptile and Supply Las V...
• Eublah Exotics
• Florida Iguana & Tortoise B...
• California Zoological Suppl...
• The Bean Farm
• Nature Zone Herp Products
• Animal Specialties
• Magellan Explorer
• Mouse Works LLC
• Zeigler Animal Feeds
• Tampa Snakes - Carpet Pytho...
• ReptiLinks
list your business on

Banner Pool
click here for Rodent Pro
$100.year special flat rate banner! - click for info

Reptile & Amphibian Events
Expos, club meetings, symposiums, and other events are great places to network with other herpers. Check out the detailed or state by state event lists by clicking here!.
Submit a non-profit event - Purchase a commercial listing