How To Identify Oklahoma’s Venomous & Dangerous Snakes
It's amazing how often I still hear people repeat old, stupid anecdotes when it comes to Oklahoma's native snake populations... Things like "The only good snake it a dead snake..." rabble rabble... Simply put, that's not the case. Even the "bad" snakes are good, I'll explain.
While we've been over how Oklahoma's non-venomous snakes provide so many positive benefits to our ecosystem... eating bugs and nuisance animals including venomous snakes, the question then becomes "Why shouldn't I kill a venomous snake?"
To tell you the truth, even I have a hard time coming up with a reason NOT to kill a venomous snake. Living in an urban environment, I'd be hesitant to let a venomous snake pass freely through my yard out of concern for the neighborhood kids and pets.
All the same, these necessary natural villains tend to do more good than harm. They keep rodent and rabbit populations in balance, but they also make good-looking belts and boots.
It's different than if you're out in their world of natural wilds and just stumble across one. Seeing a sunning venomous snake isn't the most uncommon thing you'll see on the trail up Elk Mountain... but determining how lucky you are based on how rare the sighting is should be Oklahoma Outdoors 101.
If you don't know our resident venomous snake crowd, particularly the diverse species of rattlers that call the Sooner State home, here's a quick photo guide.