I found my first rubber boa Charina bottae in the field near Cherry Lake, north-central California, in May 2002 while flipping rocks on a hillside with my old California pal, who found the actual snake.  It was actually sort of a joint effort as Kathy and I scoured the hills for prizes like this and our first wild Sierra mountain kings Lampropeltis zonata multicincta too.  The scarring on the boa's tail was natural, possibly from a predator nipping the 'fake head'.