With warmer months coming, stay aware of rattlesnakes when hiking

RICHLAND, WA - With temperatures rising above average throughout our area, rattlesnakes are coming out more than usual this time of year.

It's important to be cautious while you're hiking because of this. Now that the climate is warm, experts say rattlesnakes tend to come out of hibernation.

"So in this part of the country, rattlesnakes are more active from April through September," said Jason Fidorra, a biologist with Washington Fish & Wildlife. "Especially on fairly sunny and temperate days in the spring they come out."

Hiker Eric Lukins hikes Badger Mountain often, and says he hasn't seen any rattlesnakes yet but he's come across other types of snakes.

"But this year, I've seen four bull snakes in the last two weeks," Lukins said. "One was about three feet long."

However, last year he saw many rattlesnakes crossing his path as he hiked, and says the best thing to do is give it space. 

And remember; snakes are well camouflaged and can hide in trails, rocks, and brush... making it hard to see them.

"Have you ever encountered a rattlesnake?" asked Cameron Grewl, a hiker. "I've never encountered a rattlesnake. I hate snakes in general."

But when in doubt...

"If you happen to see a snake, try to appreciate the snakes and keep your distance and people can co-exist with them."

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