Growing up in eastern Montana, I am no stranger to rattlesnakes. I have been on archery hunting trips where we would spend the hot part of the day picking off rattlers with .22s or simply decapitating them with a shovel (<-dont try that at home.) But, scientists are saying that parts of Missoula may be experiencing a boom in the rattlesnake population. 

According to our friend Lauren Bradley of KECI TV

Paul Hendricks is the Curator for the Zoological Museum at the University of Montana. Before he worked for the university, he spent 17 years working for Montana's Natural Heritage Program. He wrote a book about amphibians and reptiles in Montana and says while there are rattlesnakes that live around Missoula, they don't often make their way to town. 

"(I’m) not saying that they aren't legit. It's just how many of them there are. We've heard these kinds of things before," said Hendricks.

Hendricks says rattlesnakes can be easily mistaken for bullsnakes.

That’s because bullsnakes mimic rattlesnakes by flattening out their heads into a triangular shape and getting into an upright posture. They can even sound like rattlers by making a sputtering, hissing sound.

The reports are coming mostly from North Missoula, Bonner and East Missoula. Hendricks asks that if you see a snake, and it is safe, snap a photo. The photos may help biologists get to the bottom of what is really going on.

Somebody call Saint Patrick or Sam Jackson

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