RUSSELL, Mass. (WWLP) – The Russell Conservation Commission captured a timber rattlesnake on camera by the Bailey Bridge in Woronoco.

The Russell – Montgomery Police Department is reminding residents to keep your distance from timber rattlesnakes and they won’t bother you.

Timber rattlesnakes are usually 35 to 60 inches in length. They have broad, triangularly shaped heads, with a distinct narrowing just behind the head. They also have the signature rattlesnake tail. Although they are venomous, timber rattlesnakes have a tendency to avoid people if left alone.

They emerge from their dens in April and bask frequently near the den entrance until mid-May when they venture further away for food. Then they return to their underground dens in the autumn and spend approximately six months inactive.

If you come across one there is some important advice to keep in mind. When they become disturbed timber rattlesnakes may create a buzzing-like rattle sound. So when you’re hiking you should stay on the trails and keep your pets on a leash.

Timber Rattlesnake populations across Massachusetts had mostly disappeared by the late 19th century as a combined result of habitat loss, purposeful killing and illegal collection, and road mortality. According to MassWildlife, there are only five remaining timber rattlesnake populations in Massachusetts.