TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - It’s the time of year to be extra vigilant when out and about, as rattlesnakes are also heading outside after a long winter nap.
If you see one around your home, it’s advised to call a professional to help and for many people, Gary Hardy is that professional.
“Nobody is trying to get my job that’s for sure,” he said.
But someone’s got to do it, right? Hardy has dubbed himself the “Rattlesnake Wrangler.”
“I’ve been playing with snakes since I was a little kid,” Hardy said.
He said he spent a lot of his time outdoors.
“Me and Mom went out and got frogs and snakes and polliwogs - all kinds of good stuff. My mom was really a great person," he said.
Just by looking at him, it’s obvious to most he knows a thing or two about snakes. He’s an expert on these venomous creatures.
Hardy channels those skills to run a business in the Green Valley area.
Here in the Sonoran Desert, longtime residents know rattlesnakes are abundant.
“You go out to get your water hose and it’s all coiled up - there’s a rattlesnake,” he said. “You open up your sliding glass door, they feel the warmth coming out.”
Hardy is who people call when they find themselves in these situations. He said one of his key lessons is avoidance.
“Let people know that these things are out here. You just moved here from say - Minnesota - not a lot of rattlesnakes up there," he said.
Unlike the rest of us - he has no fear.
Hardy has been through it all, even being bitten by a snake. He nearly lost his hand as a result.
"It doesn’t work real good, but I have it still,” Hardy said.
He’s thankful to still be here. Now he faces these snakes so others don’t have to.
“If it’s warm out, they’ll be out.”
Because as temperatures rise, there is no shortage of calls for the “Wrangler.”