Those who live outside of the Southwestern United States may find the idea of a rattlesnake roundup to be a foreign concept. But for Texans and others in the Southwest who live in the rugged terrain that is host to many of these threatening creatures, holding an event each year to hunt down rattlesnakes just makes sense!
History of Rattlesnake Roundup Day
When the first official Rattlesnake Roundup was kicked off in 1958, it took place in Sweetwater, Texas. The idea for the day was highly practical as a vast number of rattlesnakes had begun to wreak havoc on the local livestock and pets in the area. So the local farmers and ranchers got together to organize an event that would cut the population of rattlesnakes significantly, to a manageable number.
Since that time, the idea for a Rattlesnake Roundup Day has become a tradition in many communities throughout Texas and other places where rattlesnakes are prevalent. Moving from just a functional hunt for snakes, the day has turned into a full fledged festival in many towns and communities. So, in addition to controlling the population of rattlesnakes, there are also events and festivities for people to attend.
Although the residents realize that they will never eradicate rattlesnakes and need to learn to live around them, these Rattlesnake Roundup Days offer an opportunity to keep the population limited.
How to Celebrate Rattlesnake Roundup Day
Anyone can get involved in the fun and festivities that surround Rattlesnake Roundup Day! Try out some of these ideas for celebrating the day:
Attend the Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater
One fun way to spend Rattlesnake Roundup Day might be to head over to the place where it all started, in Sweetwater, Texas. The day hosts all sorts of events that bring big revenue to this little town, including a carnival, flea market, gun and knife show, and even a cook-off. A visit is even usually made by Miss Texas, who will go on to compete in the Miss America contest.
On average, approximately 4000 snakes are rounded up each year in the area surrounding this little town. The snakes are weighed, milked, killed and skinned, and those skins are of interest to many buyers. Many times, prizes and trophies are given out to those who gather the longest, heaviest or most snakes.
Consider Getting a Pet Snake
While some people are squeamish and uncomfortable around snakes, others really like the idea of having one of these reptiles as a pet. In fact, many snake collectors have found that Rattlesnake Roundup Day is a great time to buy and sell their snakes.
Of course, it’s necessary to do a great deal of research around snake ownership before considering having one as a pet, as it is obviously a big responsibility. Certainly, snakes can be lower maintenance than owning a dog or a cat. But the equipment and food can still be expensive, including a terrarium, lighting, heat lamps, thermometer, bedding and more.