I was startled to see an article by Ronda Addy in the March 7 issue of The Courier suggesting rattlesnake hunting.
I was startled to see an article by Ronda Addy in the March 7 issue of The Courier suggesting rattlesnake hunting. The article was quite specific regarding methods for killing rattlesnakes and handling the dead reptiles. What the article didn't mention is that timber rattlesnakes have been a threatened species in New York State since June of 1983. Thus these snakes have full protection under the state's environmental conservation laws. So if you want to avoid a fine, it would be wise not to participate in any rattlesnake hunting in this state. Keeping in mind that the timber rattler was an early symbol of our nation, and appears on the historic "Don't Tread on Me" banner, it would make more sense to preserve rattlers than to hunt them. For further information on this often misunderstood creature, take a look at the "Timber Rattlesnake Fact Sheet" on the New York State DEC web site.