WILDLIFE

Like your tulips, rattlesnakes choose spring to re-emerge

Apr 5, 2022, 4:14 PM | Updated: Apr 6, 2022, 9:36 am
rattlesnakes in Utah...
Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

SALT LAKE CITY — As temperatures warm up across Utah there are a few things that are certain; crocuses, daffodils, tulips, and rattlesnakes will all come out of hiding.

But the snakes aren’t necessarily hiding, said the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Rather, they have been dormant and existing in a state of brumation— sluggishness or inactivity– throughout the winter months. The sunshine and rising temperatures of spring are their cues to get moving.

Humans are also getting out and getting moving in the spring. And since a rattlesnake will bite when it’s startled, it’s a good idea for humans in Utah to know where rattlesnakes are typically found and what to do if a rattlesnake bites.

Where rattlesnakes are in Utah

Rattlesnakes are most active at dawn and dusk according to Wild Aware Utah. And while they are generally found in the foothills, they may also be encountered in areas as high as 9,000 feet.

Because of Utah’s ongoing drought, the Deseret News reported that rattlesnakes may be seen in areas that are actively watered.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reported that rattlesnakes will most often be encountered on rocky, high-elevation slopes — in some instances, in the same place where someone might be hiking.

It is likely that they’ll stay in areas of dense grass, but due to their markings, rattlesnakes can easily hide on trails. 

How to be safe if you’re sharing space with rattlesnakes

Enjoying the great outdoors is why many people visit and stay in Utah. So avoiding the outdoors may not be the answer.

Other less drastic measures shared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture include:

  • wearing closed-toe shoes, thick socks, and long pants when hiking,
  • don’t step or put your hands where you can’t see,
  • don’t turn over rocks or logs, if you must move them, move them toward you to give anything living underneath a chance to escape in the opposite direction,
  • don’t grab at sticks or branches while swimming outdoors, rattlesnakes can swim,
  • remain aware of your surroundings — rattlesnakes will rattle to warn you of their presence, but not every time,
  • if you hear them, don’t panic, instead, try to find out where the sound is coming from and move away from the area, then warn others,
  • don’t try to kill a snake, it’s illegal and greatly increases the chance that the snake will bite.

What to do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake

A rattlesnake bite is a serious matter and requires immediate medical attention.

Keep the bitten area below the heart. If bitten on the hand, remove jewelry in case of swelling. If possible wash gently. Keep the bite area immobilized. And get to a medical facility.

According to the USDA, do not:

  • make an incision over the bite wound,
  • apply a tourniquet,
  • ice the wound, or
  • attempt to suck the poison out with your mouth.

Find more information about precautions, snake safety, and first aid here.

Related reading:

 

Wildlife

Photo of Amur Leopard cubs at hogle zoo...
Chandler Holt

Amur leopard cubs at Hogle Zoo make their first appearance

On Christmas day, Hogle Zoo welcomed two Amur leopard cubs. The cubs made their debut Friday morning and will be visible to guests in their exhibit.
4 months ago
hunting permits...
Mark Jones

DWR asking Utahns to keep dogs on a leash while in the outdoors

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are asking those who head outdoors this spring to keep their dogs on a leash.
4 months ago
bald eagles at farmington bay...
Mark Jones

Tracy Aviary taking precautions to protect birds from avian influenza

Tracy Aviary is working to protect its birds from the Avian Influenza, which was announced Monday by the Department of Agriculture and Food, to have arrived in Utah.
4 months ago
why not to gift animals for Easter...
Waverly Golden

Gifting animals for Easter might be a bad idea according to veterinarian

A lot of preparation and education is needed before housing a rabbit, duck, or chick, according to Utah State University's Veterinary school.
4 months ago
Antlers at auction were seized as evidence in poaching investigations...
Waverly Golden

Poached items auctioned off to fund wildlife conservation

The Division of Wildlife Resources will auction off antlers, furs, and other items it seized through poaching investigations.
4 months ago
Utah hunters...
Simone Seikaly

Three new laws impact Utah hunters and landowners

The bills, recently made law by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, affect Utah hunters and their ability to donate meat, use air bows, and kill big game.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Like your tulips, rattlesnakes choose spring to re-emerge