While rattlesnakes are found in almost every part of the U.S., they’re especially common in the American Southwest and Mexico.
Have you ever seen a rattlesnake in the wild? Was it near your campsite or were you off hiking or exploring somewhere? If you answer yes, after you vote please leave a comment and tell us your rattlesnake story. We want to hear!
Yes, in a parking lot at a Buffalo jump in Montana. Wife had our small, 9lb, pup on a leash and she was barking and pulling to get to it! My wife looked and saw it. It was a few feet away, but she had alerted her to it! Watched go across the parking lot and go under a rock hear the sign explaining the location!
Had one two days in a row in Southern Wyoming ,under our trailer. They were prairie rattlers. It was mid September and we were the only ones in the campground so I shot them. We then packed up and left.
I’ve gently urged them off of trail with a hiking stick several times.
And once off of a dirt road which had a lot of traffic leaving a Henry Coe Back Country camping event. That one was really big, and really mad when prodded to leave, but eventually it did. I know I saved its life.
When I was a Rogue River guide, we found a large rattler smack in the middle of a beach our group was assigned to camp on for the night. Chasing that one away with a stick, it, turned down to the river and the swam across it rapidly, making someone floating by in a raft very nervous, but it continued on to the other bank. As long as you don’t get too close, and can move away quickly if necessary, there’s nothing to worry about.
The rattlesnakes I’ve seen have all been within about 1000 ft. of a water source–pond, creek, lawn with sprinklers. I worked in a 7000 acre state park for 8 years and saw them frequently, not far from water. My strategies? Wear ankle height boots, as I often stepped over them before I saw them. Their first reaction is to freeze and camouflage. While they do that you can look behind you and back away. If they’re scared (or hungry in the spring) they might rattle to warn you. Again, step away. Don’t poke or prod them. One dark night before the moon rose, we encountered one on a fireroad. We couldn’t see if it was still there, and it wasn’t wide enough to walk by it. We waited about 20 minutes, then threw some rocks in that direction, then listened. With no response we cautiously walked forward, and it was gone.
Sorta kinda in the wild. It was in a private reserve in s Central Fl where some well off people had wilderness cabins and a private pool, cafe, and airstrip. DH was enjoying the nature that had been part of his growing up and his boss had awarded him a long weekend there for good work on a difficult project. We were on an almost-dusk walk along the shellrock road to see the deer, armadillos, bull bats, cottontails and anything else that might be worth seeing. I almost stepped on a 4 footer rattlesnake that had been basking on the warm road. Iwas surprised to see how thick they are thru the middle. Years later we attended a beast feast and had rattlesnake as an appetizer. Delicious- tastes like prime grade beef. We’ve seen coral snakes around our retirement cottage, all we did was stop walking barefooted on the lawn. Coral snakes are mostly crepuscular. Never been really scared of snakes- they have their place in this world. I’ve had to stop people from killing “mutant coral snakes”
(tiny ring neck snakes that eat cockroaches) black snakes, indigo snakes, corn snakes, hognose snakes and my favorite is the flower pot snakes I occasionally find in my planters flowerpot snake | reptile | Britannica
Living in the Southwest I’ve seen many, many, rattlesnakes. One thing nice about rattlers is they usually give you a warning if you are getting too close.
Had a rattler in our backcountry campsite in the Grand Canyon. He just hung on a branch of a bush at night waiting for a mouse or something. Our camping party slept on the picnic tables about 30′ from him. He didn’t bother us.
The eastern massasauga rattlesnake found in Michigan. We found them swimming in a shallow part of a lake near Cheboygan and it was cool but if they touch you you do not have much time to get help. So yes, we found rattlesnakes….in Michigan.
While on a college Botany field trip to the Bergen Swamp, outside Rochester, NY, we saw a coiled Massasauga rattler. I stood behind the professor and when he saw me “hiding” behind him, he explained that it’s bite wouldn’t kill me – maybe make me “deathly ill”. My question to him was, “Is there really a difference?” I’ve been terrified of snakes ever since I was 16 and put my foot in a hole while walking through an Adirondack Park area. I pulled it out covered with small snakes falling off. Needless to say, I ran away.
The venom of a massasauga is more toxic than that of most other rattlesnakes, but the amount it injects is relatively small compared to those snakes. … These venom-less bites, called dry-bites, occur in about 25 percent (and possibly as high as 50 percent) of all rattlesnake bites.
Yes many during hunting while living in New Mexico and Arizona. Some became hat bands and a couple belts. Hate snakes but most survived another day. My brother loves rattle snake meat and it doesn’t taste like chicken. Most were eliminated where I was keeping cattle. And with cattle roaming in the area does not keep them away that’s a myth the same as a lasso in a circle will stop them from coming inside of the circle another myth.
Lots of rattlers on the farm in Nebraska. Caught a baby and took it to Biology class. The teacher pickled it.
My record is 10 in one year. That included two males wrestling for the hand of a fair damsel.
Yes but about 57 years ago in our backyard…I was under 10. A few years after that we woke up to the deck of our houseboat covered in water moccasins and mom sweeping them off.
Lots of times while fishing….Just back off & you will be okay….DO NOT attempt to get it out of your way….
One rattlesnake, one cottonmouth, two copperheads. The copperheads were in a campground, the other two were near my house.
We’ve been f/t Workampers for 10 yrs now, volunteering or working for pay all over the country. AZ gave us the highest number of rattler experiences. I’ve run across rattlers while going to our jobs, while on hikes, and out on picnics. One time, we had our cat outside in her zippered enclosure while we were in our lounge chairs. I got up to get something from inside the RV, startling a 6’ Western Diamondback that had been slithering under the coach toward our cat. The snake balled up & rattled, startling our cat who jumped against the far side of her enclosure, tipping the enclosure on its side, and she speedily ‘hamster caged’ herself away from the snake. Snake curled up defensively under our steps, stopped rattling after a bit; we called the agency’s designated mtnce person who came & removed the snake to safer (for us as well as for the snake) territory.
Most people don’t look close enough to tell a rattlesnake from a bull snake. They look similar and the bull snake can imitate the rattle sound. If you get bitten it’s usually because you stepped on the rattlesnake. Bull snakes are very docile if you know how to pick them up. I would no more kill a rattlesnake than I would a bear, wolf, or a horse. Well… maybe if I was really hungry
Seen quite a few in New York, Georgia, Utah and Colorado. I killed one once and ate the meat….quite tasty.
There are clusters of them in my area so a few times in the past several years I’ve run into one. Never had an issue as when I heard the rattle I just stopped and slowly backed away.
I said yes, but not while hiking or even camping but when we was clearing out a large piece of property, 16 acres, 50+ years ago. We came across and killed at least 6 of them.