Watch Your Step, More Rattlesnakes Are Emerging From Their Dens Around Idaho
This time of year is typically when we start lacing up our hiking boots and hitting the trail, but we’re not the only ones who will be out there enjoying the warm weather. It’s rattlesnake season here in the Gem State and that means you’ll want to be on the lookout during your upcoming adventures. As much as we love having access to our state’s beautiful natural landscapes, sometimes it means finding ourselves a little
too close to nature for comfort. Here’s all you need to know about avoiding these slithery creatures and what to do if you do come across one.
Late spring is typically when the Western rattlesnake, the only venomous snake in Idaho, starts emerging from its den in search for food. Although you shouldn't let the prospect of coming across a rattlesnake deter you from future adventures, it's definitely important to know what to do if you do come across one.
Although rattlesnakes are typically found in rural areas, urban areas are not off-limits. In fact, it's not uncommon to come across one at your local park or even your own backyard. They tend to come out when it's not too hot or not too cold, usually in the earlier or later hours of the day.
Idaho is home to two different species of rattlesnakes. Physical features you can identify them with is a large head (in proportion to its body), blotchy back, and the presence of a rattle on its tail. Their grey or yellow-brown color can resemble nonpoisonous gopher snakes, so the rattle is the main thing to look out for.
If you do encounter a rattlesnake out in the wild, do your best to stay calm and move slowly. Rattlesnakes typically will not confront humans unless provoked, so stay out of their way and they should retreat. Most rattlesnake bites occur when it is picked up or accidentally touched.
Try to avoid rattlesnake encounters completely by sticking to well-established trails and keeping away from long grass and brushy areas. It's always a good idea to wear sturdy hiking boots and long loose-fitting pants when exploring Idaho's great outdoors, just in case.
In the unlikely event that you or someone you're with is bitten, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. It's rare for a person to die from a rattlesnake bite, but a bite is still dangerous without medical intervention. Do not apply a tourniquet, ice, or suction to the wound.
Rattlesnakes are nothing to be frightened of but it's always good to keep in mind what you should do if you do have an encounter with one. Keep these things in mind and you should be golden!
Have you ever encountered a rattlesnake while exploring Idaho? Tell us about your experience in the comments below, and be safe out there!
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