Grant County Field Guide

Western Rattlesnake

Western Rattlesnake

Crotalus oreganus

The rattlesnake takes its name from the rattle found on the end of its tail, which is shaken as a warning when threatened. Rattlesnakes are venomous, and their bite can be fatal to people.

Rattlesnakes can grow up to 5 feet in length. The females give birth to live young.

Habitat: Rattlesnakes may be found throughout Grant County, from river bottoms to the timberline. They are often found in rocky areas, but are present in forested areas, grassy areas and may be found near dwellings and in towns.

Range: From British Columbia to Mexico, and from Oregon to Utah.

Where to see it: Rattlesnakes should not be handled or approached closely! Observe them only from a distance. They are often seen in the South Fork John Day River Valley, and up Murderers Creek. Evening can be a good time to see rattlesnakes as they emerge from their hiding areas as the day cools.

-By Brian and Shiree Walker

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