Field Herping Locations

While SnakeDays is hosted in Sanderson, there are many locations within a few hours drive that offer excellent field herping opportunities with varying habitat, species, experiences, and challenges. The tabs below offer a range of information on laws, equipment, considerations, and guidelines for the field herper.

Langtry Area

Some of the key herping locations in the Langtry area include:

  • Pandale Road/FM 1024
  • Hwy 163/Juno Road
  • Langtry Proper
  • US 90 – this stretch of US 90 is fairly busy with large truck so caution is a must
Sanderson Area

Some of the key herping locations in the Sanderson area include:

  • US 90 (US 285 west to Bullis Gap)
  • FM 2400
  • SH 349
  • US 290 (Sheffield Loop)
  • FM 2886
Marathon & Alpine Area

Some of the key herping locations in the Marfa and Alpine area include:

  • SH 118
  • US 67 North
  • FM 2810 (Pinto Canyon Road)
  • FM 169
Marfa & Fort Davis Area

Some of the key herping locations in the Marfa area include:

  • FM 2810
Presidio Area

Some of the key herping locations in the Presidio area include:

  • West River Road (FM 170) from Presidio to Candelaria
  • Casa Piedra Road
  • Presidio Wetlands
Study/Butte Terlingua

Some of the key herping locations in the Study Butte/Terlingua area include:

  • SH 188
  • East End of River Road (RM 170) – Terlingua to Presidio
Black Gap WMA/Big Bend NP

Some of the key herping locations in the Black Gap WMA/Big Bend NP area include:

  • FM 2627 (Black Gap Road)
  • Persimmon Gap Road
  • Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
  • Green Gulch Road
  • Rio Grande Village Road

Field Herping Information

There are some very important issues to consider when herping in Texas. These include the proper equipment, safety, laws and regulations, and terms that are key to having a great time in the field.

Field Herping by Habitat

Habitat is a key element in finding some species of reptiles and amphibians. One of the challenges of herping at night is an inability to see the surrounding habitat so herping or scouting a location during the day can be extremely helpful for planning and success.

Field Herping Equipment

Field Hook

Tongs

Tweezers

Safety Vest

Flashlight

Headlamp

Map

Walking Road Cuts

Road Cuts

Road Cruising

Road Cruising –

"DOR" Dead on Road

DOR (Dead on Road) – This is a reference to a specimen found dead (or dying) on the road due to being run over by a vehicle. It is still very important to take an image of the specimen for iNaturalist. However, still use caution when dealing with a venomous snake in this situation.

Challenges, Safety, & Planning

Field Herping Laws & Regulations

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has laws and regulations governing the practice of field herping in the state. The information below is provided from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.

Can I capture indigenous reptiles and amphibians on the road if I have the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp?

No. The road is closed to capture of reptiles and amphibians, as well as other wild animals and birds.

Where can I capture indigenous reptiles and amphibians if I buy the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp?

With the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp, and a valid hunting license, you can capture by nonlethal means indigenous reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way.

Is the paved area to the right of a solid white line considered the shoulder of the road?

No. That area is considered an “improved shoulder”. Texas Transportation Code §541.302(15) defines shoulder as the portion of a highway that is:

  • adjacent to the roadway;
  • designed or ordinarily used for parking;
  • distinguished from the roadway by different design, construction, or marking; and
  • not intended for normal vehicular travel.

If I have a valid hunting license and a Reptile and Amphibian Stamp, can I set out traps on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way to catch reptiles and amphibians?

No. The use of any type of trap to capture reptiles and amphibians is prohibited on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way.

Do I need anything else in addition to a valid hunting license and a Reptile and Amphibian Stamp in order to capture by nonlethal means reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way?

Yes. You must wear reflective clothing at all times while capturing reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way. This reflective clothing must have at least 144 square inches of reflective material on both the front and back.

Can I cruise the road in a vehicle at night and look for reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of the road or on the unpaved area of the public right-of-way?

No. It is a violation to use an artificial light from a motor vehicle in locating, capturing or attempting to capture reptiles and amphibians on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way. The vehicle’s headlights are considered artificial lights.

Can I sell any of the reptiles and amphibians that I capture on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way?

No. It is a violation to take or attempt to take reptiles and amphibians on public property for commercial purposes.

Is there a limit on how many reptiles and amphibians I can capture on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way?

Yes. If you possess more than 25 specimens of a species of reptile or amphibian listed in Texas Administrative Code, §65.331(d), or more than 6 specimens of a species of reptile or amphibian listed in Texas Administrative Code, §65.331(e), you will also need a valid Nongame Permit.

If I only want to photograph reptiles and amphibians that I find on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way, do I need a hunting license and a Reptile and Amphibian Stamp?

If you capture, or handle in any way, the reptiles and amphibians that you find on the shoulder of a road or on the unpaved area of a public right-of-way, then you do need a valid hunting license and Reptile and Amphibian Stamp. This includes temporarily capturing, or temporarily handling in order to position a reptile or amphibian for photographs.

What are the penalties for violating the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp Laws?

Violations of the Reptile and Amphibian Stamp laws are Class C Parks and Wildlife Code Misdemeanors. Each violation is punishable by a fine of up to $500 plus court costs.

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