Any time when the weather warms up, rattlesnakes can be found. They can even be seen in urban settings but rural residents should be especially alert. Rattlesnakes can be deadly. In fact, according to biologist James Cornett, only bees cause more deaths each year. He writes at mydesert.com that the creatures bit about 2500 people every year. However, only about 12 of those bites result in death.
Rattlesnakes are most active on warm evenings though they can be out and about anytime the temperature is above 70 degrees. When hiking in rattlesnake area, long pants and boots help minimize danger. However, many rural residents don’t find it practical to wear these all the time.
Remind children and guests to keep an ear out for the distinctive shake of the snake. If they hear the sound, tell them to move in the other direction. Many rattlers will slither off if left alone and others can be shooed off by stamping feet or moved with a shovel. Rattlesnakes are most likely to bite if unable to escape or if they are startled so avoid those situations.
The Northern Pacific rattlesnake seen in these photos was left alone and escaped into the woods as soon as it felt safe.
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake