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Posted by kerry on February 22, 2002 at 00:39:24:
In Reply to: Hey Kerry, had a question about wild gilas for you. posted by Jacob on February 21, 2002 at 22:29:40:
......speaking of Utah, that is. I would encourage anyone that wants to see one in the wild to focus on Arizona, your chances for success are greatly improved there. After that it becomes more a matter of how hard you want to work at finding them, and of when it is you'll have the opportunity to go look. No offense, but I'm not going to draw you a map or get too specific, although I MIGHT be inclined to offer some general suggestion if I knew more about the details of your trip. Timing is everything. There are a couple of excellent books available that tell the story like it is and best for the average "Herp watcher": "GILA MONSTER... The Facts and Folklore About America's Aztec Lizard" by Brown/Carmony and "THE VENOMOUS REPTILES OF ARIZONA" by Lowe/Schwalby/Johnson. You can't go wrong applying either or both of these books, and they're small enough to be easily hauled around with you in the field if necessary. As far as approaching them, as long as you don't try to touch 'em or get within a few inches you're not going to get bitten(by the lizard OR law enforcement!). Waiting for them to stop and pose for a shot can be a very frustrating experience, especially when all of a sudden the animal disappears into the brush, down a burrow, or underneath a boulder. If you DO see one, waste a roll of film on it at high speed if necessary... this way you'll have a better chance of getting a good pic.
If that'll do ya' for now then Good Luck, enjoy yourself, and leave 'em be... for the next guy to see!