Oh sure, we live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but there are only 17 species of snakes that call Minnesota home.

For as long as there have been humans walking on the planet -- snakes have been feared, misunderstood, killed, and generally under appreciated. Attitudes are slowly changing. More people are beginning to see snakes not only as fascinating creatures but also as important animals in nature.

Of the seventeen species in our North Star State, just two of them are venomous; the Timber Rattler and the Massasauga, both found in in the extreme southeastern part of the state.

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The bottom line is that even though so many of us find snakes creepy and frightening, poisonous states are not generally found in Minnesota -- unless you are in the Mississippi River bluff region found in the eight or ten southeastern most counties in the state.

And you can be sure that any snake you come across is more afraid of you than you should be of it. Seven of the seventeen snakes found in Minnesota are listed as a threatened species of one type or another, so take it easy on them.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers guidelines for avoiding and treating Timber Rattlesnake bites HERE.

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.