Tips for telling the difference between rattlesnakes and bull snakes

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - As the days get longer, more people are getting out on the trails, and so are snakes.

Going for a hike with these guys on the trail may be a little scary, but it doesn't have to be. Chad Tussing with Outdoor Campus West says there is a large population of snakes in western South Dakota, but rattlesnakes are the only truly venomous snakes in KOTA Territory.

Although similar, there are a few ways to spot the differences in rattlesnakes and bull snakes.

Rattlesnakes have a blunt-end tail and diamond-shaped heads while all other snakes have a skinny tail that comes to a sharp point. Most other snakes have heads with a rounder shape and smaller jaw.

Most importantly, Tussing says don't let the fear of snakes keep you from the trail.

"There is no reason to stay inside and avoid going out and enjoying our wonderful state just because there might be a snake around," said Tussing.