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A freeper's Observation: For Rattlesnake Hunts

Posted on 04/03/2002 4:49:02 AM PST by E.G.C.


One of the things that my great home state of Oklahoma is best known for is rattlesnake hunts. These events start this month and continue into May. This essay addresses the topic as well as some comments about these events which were made by some outside group eariler this week which made the AP wires on Monday.

Let me first off explain the importance of these events which actully began in the early 1900's. For one thing these events bring money into the local economy of these communities. Secondly, they also bring tourism to these communities. But what is even more important is that these events help keep the rattlesnake population in check.

Now, I'm sure a lot of you have heard about people getting bit by rattlesnakes. There have been stories floating through the newswires. These snakes are not very pleasant animals. Their bites are poisonous and I've heard of some casulties from these bites.

Nonetheless, the Humane society of the United States doesn't seem to think too much about these events and are looking to try to put a stop to them claiming that these animals are released beforehand and then injured with tongs used to catch them.

Organizers of these events say that they follow strict guidelines, including not accepting snakes that have been gassed and only hunting snakes from March to April.

Snakes are not shuttled from one event to another and are not kept for long periods in the pits. And, they don't eat or drink when they are caught so they don't need food or water in the pits.

As I stated before these events are vital not just to the economy of these communities but also to help in the depletion of the rattlesnake population. These snakes are very poisionous. As Paul Johannesmeyer of the Diamondback Club which organizes Okeene's rattlesnake hunt said "I don't think you can ever get rid of them. If they (the society) had to live around them, they might have a different point of view."

My question to the Humane Society is do they have any other ideas about how to bring tourism or money into the local economies of the Oklahoma towns of Okeene, Waynoka, Mangum, Apache & Waurika or helping keep the rattlesnake population in check I don't think they do.

If events like this upset or offend you, don't go to them. I don't think we need outside special interest groups like this telling communities what they can or can't do.

TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
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I'll be back later today to read and respond to replies on this subject.
1 posted on 04/03/2002 4:49:02 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: E.G.C.
Maybe we could ship all of them that are caught to Ramallah and let the Israelies place them inside Arafat's "safe room".
2 posted on 04/03/2002 4:52:49 AM PST by kjam22
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To: E.G.C.
first the rattlesnake hunts and then opening day of trout season - only when the pry the rod from my cold dead hands.
3 posted on 04/03/2002 4:55:42 AM PST by Revelation 911
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To: E.G.C.
do you all cook them. rattlesnake is very good eating.
4 posted on 04/03/2002 4:59:18 AM PST by Rustynailww
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To: E.G.C.
Is this anything like the long time tradition in Springfield, Snake Whacking Day?
5 posted on 04/03/2002 5:04:40 AM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: E.G.C.
Hey, I was raised on deep fried rattlesnake, and look what it did for me. When I was a boy, we called a nest of rattlesnakes, a "Woodward cafeteria." If you don't get it, you were never a poor boy raised in Western Oklahoma.
6 posted on 04/03/2002 5:06:35 AM PST by Whilom
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To: Rustynailww
Cooked Rattlesnake with garlic butter sauce is delicious.
7 posted on 04/03/2002 5:07:55 AM PST by CFW
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To: Whilom
I was raised in central oklahoma... OKC specifically. When I see a snake I don't think of it as food. I think of it as a moving target for my shovel.
8 posted on 04/03/2002 5:11:11 AM PST by kjam22
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To: E.G.C.
FWIW, in Florida we have rattlesnake hunts every year at this time. Check out Clewiston FL in the next three weeks if your event is (for some stupid reason) canceled.

That reminds me, I haven't had rattlesnake in a year. No time like the present, eh?


9 posted on 04/03/2002 5:11:32 AM PST by M Kehoe
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To: E.G.C.
Hunting rattlers? Cool.

I like to drift down a local swampy creek popping cottonmouths with my 22LR HP. Aim for the head...they tend to get quite angry when they're injured.

Shotguns are cheating!

10 posted on 04/03/2002 5:14:21 AM PST by Palmetto
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To: E.G.C.
Not sure how the rattlesnake population is holding up, but overhunting a species can eventually diminish it to a point where its very survival is in jeopardy. Example; alligators in the south east, particularly Florida. Sharks in many parts of the world, in the US, off Long Island and southern New England. Granted, the alligator, after many years of being protected is making a comeback ... but there was serious concern that it had been overhunted to the extent survival of the species in that area was questionable.
11 posted on 04/03/2002 5:15:37 AM PST by BluH2o
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To: All
Thanks to everybody for posting. Rattlesnakes do make very good food. As to cooking them (post #4)you'll have to ask the organizers of these events. Some do and some don't.
12 posted on 04/03/2002 5:16:24 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: kjam22
Interesting you should mention that. We used to say that a man with a shovel and a pocketful of kindling was going on a "Woodward picnic."
13 posted on 04/03/2002 5:17:10 AM PST by Whilom
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To: Palmetto
"Shotguns are cheating!"

Hey, anything goes with a critter that can bite even after it's head's chopped off !

14 posted on 04/03/2002 5:22:41 AM PST by Crowcreek
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To: E.G.C.
I am in favor of rattlesnake hunting. I don't live in rattlesnake country but we do hunt deer there. These creatures are fearsome & I have killed several myself, not during the prescribed months of March & April.
15 posted on 04/03/2002 5:25:02 AM PST by Ditter
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To: Ditter
Thanks, Ditter for the comments. Bumping for more replies.
16 posted on 04/03/2002 5:39:51 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: E.G.C.

A couple of years ago, my husband was walking my son to a precariously located treestand for a late afternoon deer hunt. They saw a six foot rattlesnake in the path ahead. Ol' Brilliant, er, I mean, my husband props his gun up against a tree, walks up to the snake, and picks him up just below his head. In reaction, the snake coils his tail around my husband's upper arm gaining enough traction to start pulling his head out of his grip. As six footers are quite strong, he was succeeding. Having no other choice, my husband grabs his hunting knife with his left hand and cut off the snake's head.

After hearing the story, I asked him why in the world did he do it. His reply: "I wanted to wrap duct tape around his head, put him in the freezer, and take the undamaged snake to the taxidermist." I guess I'll never understand man's obsession with rattlesnakes.

17 posted on 04/03/2002 6:05:43 AM PST by Quilla
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To: E.G.C.
One big change in Texas is that the Texas Parks and Wildlife changed the games laws and made rattlesnakes a game animal.

Now we have to have a Hunting License just to pick them up from the roads in the evenings.

18 posted on 04/03/2002 6:06:53 AM PST by Deguello
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To: E.G.C.
The Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas, is a big deal. It was there that I had my first taste of chicken-fried snake.

I can't say that it compares to filet mignon very well, but it was kinda fun.

19 posted on 04/03/2002 6:11:14 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: BluH2o
But we're talking about rattlesnakes here. Rattlers and mean animals with a serious attitude problem. Most highly venemous snake are pretty mellow and will only strike when they feel threatened. Rattlesnakes are teritorial and will bite you for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I'm a big live and let live guy when it comes to wild animals, not into hunting (not against it, just don't feel a need to do it myself) and will generally give animals a chance to get a way without damage. Not with rattlesnakes though, once you get chased down a winding mountain trail by one of these bugger you learn there's no use appeasing them.

And as for the "threat" of extinction, lots of animals go extinct all the time without humans having anything to do with it. It happens. Maybe if we kill all the mean rattlesnakes we'll force the species to mellow out and become less of a threat.

20 posted on 04/03/2002 6:15:53 AM PST by discostu
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