About Adirondack Explorer

The Adirondack Explorer is a nonprofit magazine covering the Adirondack Park's environment, recreation and communities.

Reader Interactions


  1. Vanessa B says

    Thank you for the informative post! Snakes are super cool and helpful for the environment and local ecosystems. I am glad they’re protected.

  2. Benji Kaghan says

    Hey Bill,
    Great to read this post, and know that you’re still working on rattler conservation over there. I’ve been teaching, guiding, and exploring in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for nearly all of the last 32 years where we have a depauperate herpetofauna, and I miss those beautiful, shy timber rattlers I studied in the Berkshires. Keep up the good work!

  3. Mike j says

    As long as they are not in my yard it’s live and let live,BUT if their in place were people/ kids / pets might get bit its say hello to Mr 12 gauge!

    • John says


      Dear ITG (internet tough guy), as the article clearly states, “The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) forest rangers and game wardens (environmental conservation officers, or ECOs), town animal control personnel or trained biologists may be called to capture and relocate a nuisance rattlesnake.”

      Please evolve.

  4. Johnnyp says

    They are venemous snakes . I wouldn’t go out of my way to harm one but if they are where they are a danger I wouldn’t hesitate . I didn’t know rattlesnakes could be shy. Do they blush too ?

  5. Nancy says

    Mostly a good article. No mention of what one might possibly do if can not get to hospital- for example far from car or in very remote area.

    • Jenn says

      Nancy, I read recently in Outdoor Life’s 2021 Complete Guide to Camping about what to do if you get bitten by a snake in the wilderness and cannot get to a hospital right away. The first thing is to stay calm. Panicking will circulate your blood faster and therefore make the venom move more quickly through your system. Clean the wound lightly, but do not flush with water. For more details, see the magazine issue. There are also snakebite kits you can bring with you. They come with a tiny suction cup apparatus. I bought mine at an Army-Navy store and it weighs less than an ounce, so it’s easy to keep it in your waistpack, pocket, etc. Not sure how well they work, but it may put the mind at ease to simply have one on you while you’re hiking. Also, 50% of snakebites are dry– meaning the snake doesn’t inject venom when it bites you. Of course relying on this statistic for your survival is not wise! Seek medical attention as soon as you can when you are bitten.

    • Jenn says

      Typically, unless you live in the northern-most area of the state, timber rattlesnakes will not be found in Florida. Even in northern Florida, I don’t imagine they’d be very common considering their preferred habitat is in drier, rocky areas. But watch out for cottonmouths! Otherwise known as water moccasins, these pit vipers are a far more aggressive cousin of the timber rattler and they live in the Everglades and in other swamps in the south.

  6. Lisa says

    Thank you for the article. You are obviously full of info about these guys. I have only seen 2 Timber rattlers, but many Diamond backs and Mojave.

    I have a sincere question about Rattlesnakes and I would appreciate your answer. Here it is: Can you pls explain why humans should keep rattlesnakes when many non-venomous snakes provide the same benefits? Is there some role a rattlesnake performs that is unlike any other snake? (I seriously neither know or nor understand)

  7. Michael Green says

    I am a rancher in Wyoming I kill every one I encounter have had horses bitten also family and friends have had dogs bitten that is really bad there are plenty of other snakes that eat the same thing as rattle snakes I don’t think you could kill all of them I have worked with dozer drivers that uncover huge dens of them also I have known people bitten and they always have problems so keep them in your yard I want to know if you feel bad we don’t still have Trex running around the country plus many other thinks that kill or eat you

  8. Stephen Andreski says

    It is illegal to kill a Timber rattlesnake in NYS. Their value includes the same potential inherent in maintains any form of biodiversity- you never know what research may uncover. Moreover, rattlesnake venom may provide treatments or the foundation for new drugs that help people. They also eat rodents that carry ticks that may be infected with Lyme disease or other pathogens. Finally, they are simply part of the the fauna that enriches our environment: they are beautiful and “shy” in the sense that they avoid human contact and either hold still during or try to escape human encounters. They only bite when suddenly surprised, stepped on, or handled.

  9. Eric Hilger says

    Keep up the good work educating people about these beautiful snakes. People need to realize that its just not necessary to destroy them. Thank god for Prof Brown and his numerous studies and articles educating and quashing ignorance

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