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The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox, is common throughout the hunting areas of South Texas and Mexico. They often are large and agressive and account for more human death than any other species of snake in North America. Although these snakes sometimes exceed 7 ft. in length, a 5 ft. snake like the one pictured is considered large.

The Ringtail, Bassariscus astutus, is a cat sized carnivore that is an excellent climber. It can be a bit unnerving to find this hissing creature looking at you eyeball to eyeball when you climb into a box stand at 6 a.m. It sees you as an invader in it's home! In the picture above the ringtail on the left is an adult and it is sitting in the window of a box blind. The one on the right is a very young one that I found alone and it was terrified.

These interesting "cats" are almost entirely nocturnal in nature. Their diet varies with the season. Winter finds them feeding on birds, mammals and the fruits of hackberry and mistletoe; insects and juniper berries are added in the spring; and spiders, scorpions, centipedes and persimmon fruit is added in the summer. They live at the northern and western edges of the country we call "south Texas".

Their ability to get into almost anything does not endear them to the hunter making his preparations for the deer season because he can be almost assured that a family of ringtails has moved into the camp house during the off season and has made a thorough mess of everything inside..!

Additional photos and comments.