Simplicity: Can be complicated and dangerous to the herper
Equipment: Vehicle, with working head, tail, and hazard lights | Reflective vest and flashlight/headlamp
Potential Harm to Herps: None, but can be risky for the herper
Special Legal Requirements: Driver's license
Before you hop in a car and go scanning for herps, please think about the following.
1. Pick a road that is not busy -- This is to help you keep safe, and herps will probably get hit on busy roads before you even find them.
2. Cars may not expect you to suddenly stop -- Signals and hazard lights are extremely important.
3. Cars may not expect you to be out on the road -- Stay vigilant. Wear reflective gear.
4. Do not stop in front of houses -- This is typically a respect thing, as it may be uncomfortable for someone to see a stranger stop and get out in front of their house. That said, it is for your safety too. Homeowners can become confrontational, and they may not except your reasoning for stopping. Not to mention, some houses may have aggressive dogs.
5. This is a great way to find venomous snakes -- Please use snake safety.
6. Finally, herping in storms is great, but keep safe -- Trees, flooding, lightning, and lack of visibility are all dangers you must take into account.
Now, lets get into the fun stuff. Sunny mornings can yield snakes, lizards, and turtles. Warm, wet nights though are when this technique shines the brightest. One could find any frog species in the state, terrestrial salamanders and Amphiumas, as well as almost any snake species. Dry nights can be good as well for toads and snakes, but its not as good, though safer.
This technique works well for: Frogs, Salamanders (barring most aquatics), Turtles (barring Sea Turtles), and Snakes.
Herping Virginia encourages all naturalists to practice ethical, safe, and sustainable herping. The use of proper herping methods and techniques is beneficial to both wildlife and herpers. Visit the links below for more information.