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Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Area

Rattlesnake Hill WMA locator map


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Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purpose of the Rattlesnake Hill WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is a 5,100 acre upland tract, situated approximately eight miles west of Dansville, New York. Roughly two-thirds of the area lies in southern Livingston County, while the remaining third lies in northern Allegany County. The tract was purchased in the 1930's under the Federal Resettlement Administration and is one of several such areas turned over to DEC for development as a wildlife management area. The area is appropriately named after the Timber Rattlesnake, which historically was found in the more remote sections of the "Hill".

Featured Activities

Hunting & Trapping
The area is inhabited by a variety of game species and is open to public hunting. The white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, grey squirrel, cottontail rabbit, and woodcock are found on the area. An occasional snowshoe hare may be observed adjacent to thick creek bottom brush or conifer plantation habitats. A number of small marsh units have been developed and provide limited hunting for waterfowl. Some of the area's furbearing species such as mink, beaver, and raccoon may be occasionally viewed at these marsh units. Situated adjacent to Rattlesnake Hill WMA on the southeast are two parcels of state forest lands totaling approximately 2,600 acres. The two areas are similar to Rattlesnake Hill in habitat types with the exception of having fewer natural and maintained openings. These areas are also open to public hunting and the same species of upland game are apt to be found. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Rattlesnake Hill WMA is open to fishing; please visit DEC's website for more information about fishing. Several of the deeper water impoundments are stocked annually with trout, while those portions of Sugar Greek, Hovey Brook, and Canaseraga Creek which are on or adjacent to the management area are known trout waters.

Wildlife Viewing
The area offers an interesting blend of upland habitats such as mature woodland, overgrown fields, conifer plantations, old growth apple orchards, and open meadows. Barricaded access roads are closed to unauthorized mechanical vehicles and are available as foot trails throughout the area. Use both the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF 453 KB) and Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.


Approximately 8 miles west of Dansville, New York with two-thirds of the area lying in southern Livingston County and the remaining third lying in northern Allegany County.

Rattlesnake HIll WMA Brown Sign

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Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Rattlesnake Hill WMA:

  • Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • Using metal detectors, searching for or removing historic or cultural artifacts without a permit
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs or other property
  • Overnight storage of boats
  • Cutting, removing or damaging living vegetation
  • Construction of permanent blinds or other structures such as tree stands
  • Littering
  • Storage of personal property

Outdoor Safety Tips

NOTE: Ticks are active whenever temperatures are above freezing but especially so in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases. More information on deer ticks and Lyme disease can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health (Leaves DEC Website). Also, practice Leave No Trace (Leaves DEC website) principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.

How We Manage

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Rattlesnake Hill WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing/photography). Funding to maintain and manage this site is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration or "Pittman-Robertson" Act, which is acquired through excise taxes on sporting arms, ammunition and archery equipment. View the Habitat Management Plan for Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Area (PDF, 2.65 MB), approved in August 2016, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.

In addition to the Habitat Management Plan DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Livingston Unit Management Plan (UMP). The Livingston Unit Management Plan was prepared by a committee of DEC Professionals at the Region 8 DEC office in 2000.

Revision of the UMP is underway. You are encouraged to review the draft UMP and provide comments on the proposed plan. You are invited to attend public information meeting on Feb 15, 2017, at the Dansville High School Cafeteria, 282 Main St. Dansville, NY 14437.

A half-hour presentation on the draft plan will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by a question and answer period. Staff will be available until 8:30 pm to accept comments. The Dansville High School cafeteria is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Linda Vera at (585) 226-5324 for any further specific accommodations by Feb 1, 2017.

It is comprised of three state forests; Canaseraga, Ossian and Sonyea State Forests, and two Wildlife Management Areas; Conesus Inlet and Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Areas. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.