Timber Rattlesnake Encounters

  • If you come upon a rattlesnake in the wild, give it lots of room. Chances are, it will remain still while you walk by, or it will move along to avoid you.
  • A rattlesnake will strike only if it feels threatened so keep your distance and leave it alone.
  • A snake will rattle when it's nervous, letting you know if you are too close or threatening in some way, and giving you the chance to move away.
  • If you find a live rattlesnake in the road, do not attempt to move it or run it over. Call the authorities so they can move it out of harm’s way. (Dialing 911 will facilitate contacting those who can respond to this type of call.)
  • If you find a dead snake in the road, DO NOT TOUCH IT OR PICK IT UP. A dead snake can still inject venom. Leave it alone and call the local authorities (Dial 911).

How to Avoid Rattlesnakes

  • If you are in an area where snakes could be present, avoid walking in tall grass and bushes.
  • When hiking, stay on trails, always look ahead of you and watch where you step. Rattlesnakes are large and can be easily seen from a distance on trails or roads.
  • Do not reach into rock or log piles, or up onto ledges without first looking the area over to be sure snakes are not present.

What to do if Bitten by a Rattlesnake

  • Timber Rattlesnake bites are very rare. However, if you are bitten, do not attempt to treat the bite site yourself. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Try to keep the limb elevated.
  • Do NOT panic - stay calm.

In New York State, the 

Timber Rattlesnake

is a threatened species on the Endangered Species List.

There is a fine for killing a snake,

or for handling or possessing a snake without a license.

• • •

To schedule an educational 

Timber Rattlesnake presentation 

for your group or organization,


Polly Smith-Blackwell


All images contained in this site © 2024 Polly Smith-Blackwell

All rights reserved. No reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted material.


All images contained in this site 

© 2022 Polly Smith-Blackwell

All rights reserved. 

No reproduction, distribution or exhibition 

of copyrighted material.