Colorado Parks & Wildlife remind us that snakes are becoming active again.

Just this week a friend of mine posted a pic on Facebook of a snake on a trail. The recent warm-up has snakes emerging from their winter dens. If you hike regularly you've likely encountered snakes along the trail. For the last several months an encounter with a snake wasn't something be concerned with. Now, suddenly you may encounter one or more. It can be a bit unsettling.

According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife snakes usually, start emerging from their dens anywhere from April through early May. Once they pop out they begin the search for food. Did you know a snake will travel several miles away from their dens to find a meal? All that traveling makes encounters with hikers not just probable, but likely.

Remember too the snakes are cold-blooded creatures. In the spring they seek out warmer surfaces to soak in the sun. In summer, they tend to stay in the shade. So soon you'll likely spot a snake on the sidewalk, pavement, trails, and along rock outcroppings. Once it warms enough too snakes prefer to hunt in the late afternoon or evening, and this is when you'll likely encounter one.

If you come across a snake, don't freak out. First, it's likely not poisonous and you're not on the menu either. In most cases, a snake will only attack if it feels threatened or provoked in some way. CP&W recommends to just stop, take a step back and walk around another way. Don't grab a stick and try to move or harass it. Most people bitten are those that were attempted to handle or kill a snake.

Finally, It's illegal to kill a rattlesnake in Colorado if it's not posing a threat.

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