For those that enjoy hiking and exploring in southern Idaho, it's that time of year you need to be paying particularly close attention to the ground beneath you.

We aren't even a week into April, and I've already had a snake encounter in Twin Falls. Lucky for me, it was only a Garter Snake that slithered up to within a foot of my right shoe while golfing with some friends recently. Golf courses are a common place to see snakes. Personally, I've had numerous run-ins with them while playing.

The snakes you are most likely to encounter in the Gem State are the Gartner Snake, the Western Terrestrial Garter Snake, the Gopher Snake, and the Western Rattlesnake, according to the University of Idaho. Snakes are one of the most feared animals in the wild, and I'm one of those that are terrified by them.

The United States Department of Agriculture says the most common time of year to get bitten begins in April and ends in October. Approximately 8,000 people get bit by venomous snakes in the U.S. every year, resulting in less than a dozen fatalities, according to the USDA.

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Greg Jannetta

I had two personal snake sightings in 2021 while outdoors in Idaho. The first was a rattler that crossed the cart path in front of me at a Twin Falls golf course, and the second sighting was a Gopher Snake that attempted to get into my cooler while picnicking at a river near Ketchum.

Just be aware while you're outside enjoying your favorite Gem State locations that snakes are now out in full force. Most are harmless, but be sure to listen for that rattle.

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