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Wildlife Safety & Information

This page is here to provide information and guidance so as to best prepare anyone recreating in the North Dakota and eastern Montana outdoors about the types of wildlife that call our area home and how best to interact with them and safety information to be aware of.

Western North Dakota & eastern Montana are home to the venomous Prairie Rattlesnake while across the region one may encounter moose, bison (national parks), and mountain lions. It is important to realize and understand the environment one is venturing out into and to be dually aware of the wildlife that is calling the area home.

Please view the information below on each to learn more.

Prairie Rattlesnake

The ONLY venomous snake in North Dakota 

Although they do not typically pose a threat to humans, prairie rattlesnakes are incredibly venomous and should be avoided for safety. However, as long as you respect their boundaries, prairie rattlesnakes are a welcome and harmless part of the local ecosystem.

Prairie rattlesnakes will often rattle as a warning to stay away, but not always. 

When in the outdoors, it is best to walk heavy-footed, avoid tall grass and brush, and in hot temperatures, be sure to check shaded areas before entering. Always look BEFORE stepping or reaching (eyes before hands/feet). 

Snakes will often move away once they detect the presence of a larger animal, but it is important to always be snake aware.

FOR HUMANS BIT BY A RATTLESNAKE:

DIAL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY & FOLLOW THEIR INSTRUCTIONS!

Additional Safety Information on

Prairie Rattlesnakes:

rattlesnake_safety_guide (1).pdf

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North Dakota Veterinarian Information
ANTI-VENIN
Dogs & Horses

Listed to the left are five vet clinics that have anti-venin on hand for dogs or both dog and horse.

It is important to call ahead so as to allow the vet clinic staff time to prepare for your arrival.

FOR HUMANS BIT BY RATTLESNAKE:

DIAL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY & FOLLOW THEIR

INSTRUCTIONS!

Bison

Majestic, big, and faster than they look!

Found in the national park units of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park (and sometimes outside of it when the fence is broken or the river opens up a spot), these large American beasts demand space and distance. They can charge in a split second and are not to be taken as tame or docile. 

Bison Safety Tips: How to Prevent Bison Attacks While Hiking (travel-experience-live.com)

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MOOSE

Moose are becoming more and more abundant in North Dakota and Montana, and even though they are large in size, they can hide or be closer than one thinks in the right terrain. Moose tend to also have short tempers and can be quite prone to charging if they feel threatened.

Moose Safety: What to Do During a Moose Encounter While Hiking (travel-experience-live.com)

Mountain Lion

These ghosts of the hills also call our Badlands and region home. Therefore, it again is worth highlighting the fact that one needs to be aware of what animals they are sharing the trails and backcountry with!

Understanding Mountain Lions When Hiking - HikingGuy.com

Mountain Lion Safety | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (fws.gov)

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Distance is Your Friend

Here are some infographics for the wildlife generally found in our region that need be given ample space to prevent any unwelcome encounters.

These are thanks to the US National Park Service.

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