Back For Summer, Wyoming’s Rattlesnakes
With longer days and warmer weather humans and rattlesnakes are coming out to catch some sun. If you are out and about enjoying Wyoming's natural beauty, you need to watch for Wyoming’s two poisonous snakes.
The Prairie Rattlesnake is usually found below 7,000 feet east of the Continental Divide. They're one of the most potentially deadly snakes in the US. They're usually active during the day while hunting for warm-blooded animals like mice, ground squirrels, and rabbits. These predators are usually three to four feet long and can strike up to half their body length. Along with their titular raddle, the Prairie Rattlesnake is identifiable by its large triangular shaped head, a narrow neck, and blotched with white border on their skin.
The Midget Faded Rattlesnake is found in a small area of southwestern Wyoming, in Sweetwater County. They are smaller than the Praire Rattler, with a maximum length of about two feet. They also feed on small animals like lizards and mice. They're recognizable by their triangular shaped head, a narrow neck, and blotches with black border.
While not that aggressive, most rattlesnakes will sound their signature rattle to let you know you’re too close, so maybe leave the headphones at home during your hike. Leave your shorts behind too, wear jeans and boots instead.
Watch for them sunning on rocks, but they also like grassy areas, logs, and leaves. Stay aware. Most snakebites happen while trying to kill a snake. Just give it a wide berth!
Enjoy the warmer weather, but stay aware.