Dos and Don’ts In Snake Country

What to Know In Rattlesnake Country from California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

First, know that rattlesnakes are not confined to rural areas. They have been found near urban areas, in river or lakeside parks, and at golf courses. Be aware that startled rattlesnakes may not rattle before striking defensively. There are several safety measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of startling a rattlesnake.

• Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through wild areas. Wear hiking boots.

• When hiking, stick to well-used trails and wear over-the-ankle boots and loose-fitting long pants. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.

• Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see, and avoid wandering around in the dark. Step ON logs and rocks, never over them, and be especially careful when climbing rocks or gathering firewood. Check out stumps or logs before sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use.

• Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim.

• Be careful when stepping over the doorstep as well. Snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.

• Never hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.

• Do not handle a freshly killed snake, it can still inject venom.

• Teach children early to respect snakes and to leave them alone. Children are naturally curious and will pick up snakes.

Find more at https://www.wildlife.