The Huachuca Area Herpetological Association--known, to its members' amusement, as HAHA--has been spreading the snake love for 40 years.

The group is based in Cochise County, where dedicated members are committed to public outreach, education and other activities.

Dale Lindner, co-founder of the association, says snakes are fascinating creatures.

“There is a lot more to be learned than what we know,” he points out.

For example, Lindner says Arizona has a lot of tiny snakes that most people never see, simply because of their size.

HAHA's director and co-founder Tom Miscione says many people are very fearful of snakes because they consider them dangerous.

But on average, he says, more people in the U.S. are killed by toppling vending machines than by venomous snakes.

If you see a snake in the wild, he says, your best bet is to simply walk away.

“In Arizona, almost all rattlesnake bites happen by people provoking the animal attempting to capture or kill it,” he says. "We have very few accidental bites."

A simple way to tell the difference between a harmless gopher snake and a similar-looking rattlesnake is to check the tail, according to Miscione.

“If it doesn’t have a rattle it is not dangerous to people,” he said. “If it has a pointy tail, it’s perfectly harmless.”

The Huachuca Area Herpetological Association will be taking part in National Get Outdoors Day, which is being celebrated throughout the country this Saturday, June 8th.

The local event where you can see some of HAHA's snakes and many other groups is at Parker Canyon Lake in Cochise County from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ashley Grove is a journalism student and an intern for Arizona Public Media