Here in El Paso, we have more than our fair share of rattlesnakes crawling around and not just out in the desert. Some established residential areas have them too!

If you see one, ideally, you should leave it alone and call a pro.  If you must kill it, don't think you're done yet. A Corpus Christi man cut the head off a rattlesnake and when he tried to dispose of it, the severed head gave him a full dose of venom and damn near killed him. Read more here.

I spend a lot of time in the desert shooting, riding dirt bikes, etc and learned at an early age that even dead rattlesnakes need to be respected. Muscle spasms can continue long after the snake has been "killed". Plus, their venom remains toxic, even after it has turned to dust in a long-dead snakes glands.  Dead ones should not be left lying around and when getting rid of one, you should give it the same caution you did when it was alive.

Snake season is in full swing here in the Borderland and the deserts around El Paso are loaded with these things. Some residential areas bordering or near open areas attract rattlesnakes looking for food and water.  For more safety tips, click here.  For tips on how to treat snakebites, click here.