How the Wolf Made Friends with the Rattlesnake
Want to see a rattlesnake? The Wolf says an ATV rental tour is your best bet.
Everyone loves the rattlesnake. Maybe “love” is not exactly the right word, but everyone surely wants to see one when they visit the Sonoran Desert. As a wolf living in the desert, I learned long ago these snaky critters aren’t exactly lovable, although they can make pretty good pals if you treat them right.
The first rule of paw, or thumb, is not to mess with them. If you see one hanging around, simply back up slowly and get at least 6 feet away from the thing. Don’t kick it. Don’t poke at it with a stick. And for goodness sake, don’t go trying to pick it up.
A rattlesnake handler once told me that a big chunk of rattlesnake bites happen to guys who get drunk and then think it would be cool to pick up a rattlesnake. It rarely works out nicely. Snakebites can be a real buzz kill.
But if you move back and walk the other way, you should be fine. Even if the snake has his warning rattle going, he’s not going to chase you down across the desert. Besides, with a top speed of about 3 mph, he couldn’t catch you if he tried. While rattlesnakes are slow, they can strike out to great distances, usually about two-thirds their body length.
Don’t let the baby rattlesnakes fool you, either. They’re venomous from the get-go even though they’re born with a little nub that can’t even rattle. They add a segment to the rattle every time they shed their skin, with the rattling noise produced by the segments rubbing together.
Baby rattlesnakes are born live, too, not hatched out of eggs. Get that one wrong and folks around here will ridicule you. But at least you’ll still be higher on the social scale than guys that get drunk and try to pick up rattlesnakes.
When in Phoenix or Scottsdale, come with me on a desert atv rental tour.
I’ll show you some rattlesnakes and other cool stuff. Book online to reserve your spot today.