Onset of warm weather means rattlesnakes are coming out of hiding

Rattlesnake season has begun along the Front Range with the onset of warmer weather, so hikers are advised to be on the lookout, especially in open spaces in and adjacent to the hogback.

Jeffco Open Space rangers posted warning signs at North Table Mountain recently after receiving several rattler sightings from park visitors, a normal occurrence this time of year.

“In general, this is exactly the time of year when sightings increase, particularly on sunny, warm mornings,” said Mary Ann Bonnell, Jeffco Open Space visitor services and natural resources director. “The snakes are seeking good basking spots, and a sunny exposed trail surface is a great basking surface — until a park visitor comes along.

“We always advise to keep your pets leashed, be aware of your surroundings, keep one ear bud out so you can hear the rattle, wear closed-toe shoes, and stay on authorized trails because it is much easier to spot a snake in the trail than it is to see one sheltering in the grass or next to a rock,” she added.

Rattlesnake bites can be lethal but rarely are. Fatalities tend to occur in people who have allergic reactions and go into anaphylaxis. Bonnell says rattlesnakes usually leave humans and dogs alone unless they are provoked.

Dogs are especially vulnerable because they lead with their nose, making it easier for a rattler to strike in their head or neck. Dogs tend to have very severe reactions to rattlesnake bites and should be taken to a vet as soon as possible.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoors news sent straight to your inbox.

Source: Read Full Article