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Cicada87

Herping At State Parks And Their Silly Rules

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For anyone who lives in Virginia, I was going to take a herping trip at Pocahontas State Park in search for a hatchling Eastern Mud Turtle. This is the time when the baby bottom crawlers are abundant! A lot of herp hobbyiest go there. They allow camping, hunting and fishing(with a fee of course), everything seemed fine. Yet my mother, who doesn't want me to go, had to read all about it on different websites and according to one she went on, it said that you can't take any wild life home with you without contacting Richmond Headquarters - and for educational purpose only. Wtf? The Eastern Mud Turtle is not a protected species nor is threatened at all. Under VA state law, you can keep one of each unprotected/clear status species of turtle, for personal purpose only(like pets) even without a wildlife license, I own wild turtles at home. However, educational use requires a license. How do they allow fishing and hunting, yet I can't take a turtle home? This doesn't make sense. It's not like the turtle is owned by them! The Swift Creek Lake travels far throughout the county, not just the state park.

 

I might be able to get away with it, this info I got may be invalid too. Do they check your bags before you set up on the campgrounds or check them when you leave?

 

BTW, Don't look at me like a thief or smuggler, but I'm pretty upset if that someone can haul a dead deer in their truck or grill some fish at a campfire, yet I can't take a common species of turtle which will be in a loving home with an experienced turtle owner. My stinkpot just turned 10.

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This is most likely because it's a State Park, but the rules are probably barely enforced. I don't think many people would go around finding turtles, so the rangers would have no reason to go around checking everyone.

 

Also, hunting is allowed for a reason; it controls wildlife populations.

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Well, I went for the day. I went far out into tall grass were no one was around and set my trap up but caught nothing. However, I could tell something was in there, cause my bait(baby shad) was torn up, the turtle/fish/whatever happen to get out. <_< Pretty bummed out that day. I really thought I was going to catch something....

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You'll get to go out again! Another day at the park right? Just thinking positive. ;)

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I hope so! But I notice the water has boat activity, and Muds prefer very shallow quite water and some inhabit irrigated ditches(where I found one when I was a child - never caught one since! :( ) However, there are upcoming Reptile Shows in October - I'm not sure if there are going to be any Eastern Muds, but I'm sure there will be Red Ears! And hopefully Razor Back Musks - ok, now I think I might be getting too many turtles. lol I'm going to get a big tank soon(75 gallon), so finally there will be more room for the turts. Unfortunatly, bigger tank means bigger stand, bigger filters, ect.!

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I wouldn't put wild caught animals in with captive bred animals though. Wild caught ones may have parasites or disease the others could pick up.

 

I haven't ever really gotten into turtles though.

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I use to catch turtles all the time with a row boat and a big fish net. My brothers and I caught mostly painters but we also caught snappers, mud turtles, and soft shells this way.

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I wouldn't put wild caught animals in with captive bred animals though. Wild caught ones may have parasites or disease the others could pick up.

 

I haven't ever really gotten into turtles though.

 

That's why you have to quarantine them first. I also put acidophilus tablets whilst doing so, to kill off common worms and other common parasites and to boost the immunity of the turtle. Wild turtles make best pets when caught as hatchlings. They'll become more quickly accustomed to captivity and pellet-based turtle foods. The longer they've been in the wild - the worst pets they'll make.

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That's why you have to quarantine them first. I also put acidophilus tablets whilst doing so, to kill off common worms and other common parasites and to boost the immunity of the turtle. Wild turtles make best pets when caught as hatchlings. They'll become more quickly accustomed to captivity and pellet-based turtle foods. The longer they've been in the wild - the worst pets they'll make.

 

I didn't know you could do that with acidophilus! Thats pretty cool :)

 

I used to keep baby turtles, but never for very long. I caught a half dollar sized soft shelled but it wouldn't eat, and then I had a painted turtle about the size of a half dollar but it got to dirty.

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Acidophilus can get rid of e-coli and has been known to kill internal parasites in cows. Not certian if this applies to the worms turtles get, but my turtles have healthy poops and my captive bred African Mud is fine. Acidophilus is also proven to quickly treat diarrhea. Acidophilus is more successful in mammals than reptiles, so treatment may take longer. My turtles had diarrhea one year when I gave them a piece of hotdog meat, which I didn't know was spoiled until the turtles pooped. It was a mess! But it cleared up with the help of acidophilus. My stinkpot actually eats the tablets!

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Herping is a hobby that includes searching, capturing, and studying of amphibians and reptiles in the wild. The word derives from "Herpetology" which is the study of reptiles and amphibians.

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