We live and hunt in an area where rattlers are in no short supply. We wear sturdy leather boots, a little over ankle high, and jeans or camo canvas pants over them. In all our tromping through thick brush, we have seen plenty of rattlers and nonpoisonous snakes, but we have never stepped on them. Dove hunting, we aren't moving through brush, but wandering about in a dry arroyo. When quail hunting, we are kicking through the brush to help bust the birds into flying, and the noise and vibration helps the snakes avoid us. I say go ahead and wear snake boots if they make you feel better in the brush, and you don't mind the weight. Just keep your eyes open and watch where you step, whether you are wearing them or not.
I've seen my share of snakes, mostly sunning themselves on trails, or while tromping through the bushes. I also wear the 10" hitech magnum boots that I got at HiTech's outlet store. I wear them more for protection against spikey bushes than for snakes. I'm not sure they would take a hit from a full grown rattler anyway. But I know that I'm pretty safe against the rattle worms, which we see often along the railroads.
Just keep your eyes open, you will see snakes less often than you think in SoCal, but they are there. Take a good look before you settle down into the salt cedars for the morning.
Those rattlers don't always rattle.As kids we used to catch up to 30 a night out at Dixieland, where Centinela State Prison is now.Never had 'em rattle and they were surprisingly close together,usually less than 15 or 20 ft. Every year I see rattlers while quail hunting as late as Jan.
We don't see as many quail much along the railroads, but usually within about 30 yds in the scrub. Occassionally, in the distance you can spot them going up and over, but they're usually hauling a$$ and the ground does not allow for running. I note their positions of a telephone pole or soemthing, go wide and then come up and over on them. Rarely do they fly, but that's a conversation for another forum.
BTW: Remshot . . . what the hell is with the purple lake behind the sugar factory?