With the weather finally beginning to warm up, it's not just bears that you need to be aware of if you're hiking or camping. Rattlesnakes are also beginning to make their appearance.

First People's Buffalo State Park is keeping watch on a den of snakes where one came out this past week after a long winter's nap.  The most likely place that you'll encounter a rattlesnake is around rocks, shrub and brush. Also be aware of nooks where they often hide. On sunny days, you can often see rattlesnakes warming themselves on rocks or pavement.

Rattlesnake bites can be fatal, so if you are bitten remember the following:

  • Remain calm. Faster pumping blood moves the venom inside you faster.
  • Try to remain immobilized and get to a hospital as quick as you can.
  • Keep the bite lower than your heart. You do not want to elevate the bite, as that will increase circulation and spread the venom more rapidly.
  • Wash the bite area.
  • Do Not Try and Suck Out the Venom. This increases the chance of spreading infection.