Snakes in Central North Dakota


New member
I'm looking at doing an early season rooster or maybe September sharpie someone in Central ND next fall. I'm looking at a general area between Minot, Parshall, and Garrison. Are there much in the way of rattlesnakes on that sode of the river? Would be looking at a mid September hunt or mid october.
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No need to be concerned at all as long as you are on the east side of the river. I have hunted west of New Town a time or two and my hunting partner I go with and knows that country doesn't ever worry. There are bullsnakes around and those will get your heart beating a little faster. Harmless but look nearly identical to a rattlesnake a first glance minus the rattle.


Active member
I've lived in ND since 81' and hunted west of the Missouri River/in the Badlands just about every year. I moved to the SW corner of the state in 2018. I've never seen a rattler when I've looked for them, and seen very few otherwise. Last summer I saw a grand total of 1, and that was west of Amidon when we were trout fishing Davis Dam. You won't be hunting upland down there.

The first year I bowhunted the Badlands I was worried about snakes so I wore heavy clunky boots and spent more time looking at the ground than I did glassing for mule bucks. Next year I started wearing light boots and just minded where I stepped.

The simple rules out here go like this; Don't reach in holes. Don't step over rocks or logs w/o looking first. Mind yourself around shady, brushy areas on hot sunny days. Pay attention around p-dog towns, as rattlers hunt in them. Same with abandoned building & farmsteads.

My property SW of Dickinson is about as snakey looking piece of land as I've seen, but I've never encountered one around the house. Just the same, when I'm working in the yard I carry one of my S&W revolvers (a good habit in general to get into out here) with the first round in the cylinder being a snake charmer (a round with a load of #9 shot in a plastic capsule rather than a bullet that will flat out ruin a snake's day at 10 feet, particularly effective in 44 Magum).

That being said, every year a couple folks (usually tourists) get bit, as do a couple dogs. Every now & then someone gets bit on the Bully Pulpit Golf Course outside of Medora, why I don't know as you don't have to be a Herpetologist to see that is a mighty snakey piece of ground. If you or your dog gets bit, the hospitals in the bigger cities can treat you and the vets in those bigger cities can treat your dog as well (although it will cost you a mint, antivenin isn't cheap).

Carry liquid Benadryl in your dog first aid kit and if Rover gets bit, give him 1MG per pound (swelling that blocks the airway is the most immediate threat to survival) and get it to a vet in Dickinson, Williston, or Minot as fast as you can. Opinions are mixed as to it's effectiveness for a person who gets bit, but for sure it can't hurt. If I get nailed you can bet I'm downing about half a bottle on the way to town.

Dogs can't seem to resist the smell of a snake, so I recommend you snake proof train your dog, or at the bare minimum it's OB needs to be rock solid so it will leave a snake alone if you call it.
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