If you're hiking or backpacking through rattlesnake country, it pays to know how to identify one. In fact, it's always wise to be well aware of all the dangerous animals and predators that live in the environment where you will be. Identifying rattlesnakes seems easy on the surface (loud rattling noise), but rattlesnakes don't always have or use their rattles, so it can be a bit more difficult to accurately identify them. Don't heedlessly approach an unfamiliar snake. If possible, make your observations without unduly stressing the animal.
Tips & Warnings
If you are unsure, assume that the snake is poisonous and dangerous. There's no reason to disturb any snake or other creature anyway.
Rattlesnakes are as afraid of you as you may be of them. Rattling, coiling and eventual striking are all defense mechanisms. If you come up on a rattlesnake, avoid it and it will avoid you.
A very small percentage of people bitten by a rattlesnake die from the bite.
Never attempt to handle or pick up a rattlesnake.
Don't kill a rattlesnake just because you're fearful; it has as much if not more of a right to be there as you do.
Don't walk or reach in places that you can't see, as rattlesnakes could be laying there.
When traveling in rattlesnake country, know exactly what to do in the event of a bite.
Article Written By Joe Fletcher
Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.