Vote for BP.Net for the 2013 Forum of the Year! Click here for more info.

» Site Navigation

» Home
 > FAQ

» Online Users: 343

4 members and 339 guests
Most users ever online was 3,642, 05-08-2016 at 08:50 AM.


» Today's Birthdays

clownphat (17)

» Stats

Members: 63,730
Threads: 237,617
Posts: 2,467,902
Top Poster: JLC (31,652)
Welcome to our newest member, JDF

View Poll Results: Rattlesnake Roundups

Voters
25. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yay!

    3 12.00%
  • Nay!

    22 88.00%
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Ax01's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-14-2015
    Location
    Emerald City
    Posts
    5,683
    Thanks
    2,380
    Thanked 5,435 Times in 3,052 Posts

    Rattlesnake Roundup Season Starts Now!

    so the world's biggest rattlesnake roundup kicksoff today in Sweetwater, TX. it attracts up to 30,000 peeps throughout the weekend and brings in millions of dollars into the small town's economy where their slogan is "If you're bored here, it's your own fault." so yeah, these are very popular throughout our southern states even w/ declining rattlesnake populations. i've always been fascinated by these but being a herper, i don't think i could attend or support one. what do u think?

    in this thread, imma post 2 opposing views via articles/news stories. first, stories that highlight the benefits of rattlesnake roundups. and second, an opposing view against it.

    Yay! Rattlesnake Roundup

    1) it's tradition
    https://www.lubbockonline.com/news/2...-begins-friday
    Annual Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater begins Friday
    The world’s largest rattlesnake roundup held in Sweetwater each year begins Friday and goes through the weekend.

    The three-day event includes guided hunts, a carnival, knife and coin shows, a cookoff, snake eating contest and many other awards and activities. Other notable awards are given to the person with the longest snake and the most pounds of snakes turned in.

    A complete list of events can be found on the website, rattlesnakeroundup.net

    The Rattlesnake Roundup is held at Sweetwater’s Nolan County Coliseum, located at 220 Coliseum Drive in Sweetwater. Daily passes are $10 for adults and $5 for any kids and active/retired military.
    https://www.wacotrib.com/news/commun...c2d934722.html
    Oglesby Rattlesnake Roundup kicks off 50th year

    The Oglesby Lions Club kicked off its 50th annual Rattlesnake Roundup on Saturday as thousands of people descended on the Coryell County town for a day food, fun, car shows and an up close look at one of the deadliest snakes in Texas.

    The event continues Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Oglesby Community Center, 118 Main. Ogelsby is just south of Highway 84, six miles west of McGregor. Admission is $5 per person, with children under 6 admitted free.

    Event festivities include snakehandler Jackie Bibby, star of Animal Planet’s “Rattlesnake Republic.” Bibby and other snake handlers perform live demonstrations about every hour in the snake pit. They also offer information on what do upon encountering a rattlesnake in the wild.

    The Oglesby Lions Club rattlesnake roundup started as a fundraiser 50 years ago, making it one of the oldest such events in Texas, along with one in Sweetwater. The event usually draws about 3,000 per weekend and raises thousands of dollars for vision services in local schools and a children’s camp in Kerrville.

    “Fifty years ago we had an abundance of rattlesnakes around here,” said Charles Walter, longtime member of the Oglesby Lions Club. “We had people who would milk them for venom and use their skins for belts and billfolds.”

    Though rattlesnakes are less plentiful now, hunters still catch snakes in the months before the roundup, looking under abandoned houses, under rocks and in crevices and storing them in boxes until the roundup, Walter said.

    Event officials keep antivenom around for emergencies, and it is expected that at some time during the annual event it will be needed.
    2) it can raise money for kids
    https://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Wa...506612881.html
    Walnut Springs: Rattlesnake Round-Up raises money for children

    WALNUT SPRINGS, Texas (KWTX) The annual Rattlesnake Round-up event was held this weekend in Walnut Springs.

    The event raises money that goes to Walnut Springs Business for Youth and agriculture organization that buys children's' animals at the livestock show.

    This year the event included a carnival, food vendors, dances, and of course rattlesnakes.
    3) it's used to collect venom
    https://www.timesenterprise.com/news...a27d55fa4.html
    Rattlesnake Roundup wants to tout its benefits

    WHIGHAM — The Whigham Community Club wants the public to know the health and educational benefits of their annual Rattlesnake Roundup on Jan. 26.

    Ken Darnell, who operates a venom production laboratory in Gordon, Alabama said there are numerous public benefits to the roundup of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes.

    “(Snake venom) is used almost daily around the world in hundreds of places,” said Darnell, who will be attending the roundup to answer questions.

    Darnell said major uses of snake venom include the scientific study of chemical enzymes and the development of antivenin and new drugs.

    Part of why Darnell will be attending the event is to allay concerns from individuals who claim the roundup has little beneficial purpose and harms rattlesnake populations.

    Last year the Center for Biological Diversity presented a petition with more than 44,000 signatures to the Community Club asking for the event to come to an end.

    “The eastern diamondback continues to be pushed toward extinction by hunting pressure, habitat loss and road mortality,” the group said in a statement. “Scientific studies over the past decade have documented range-wide population declines and significant range contractions for the eastern diamondback.”

    Darnell said populations of eastern diamondbacks are stable and that the impact of roundups such as Whigham’s are “minuscule and have good purpose.”

    “If I thought for a minute that their activities were diminishing the population of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, which I care a lot about, I wouldn’t have worked with them from the beginning,” Darnell said. “But I know that’s not true.”

    Darnell said he personally invited critics of the roundup to the event to answer their questions.

    “(I even offered) to come to their meetings to explain to them why that’s not true,” Darnell said. “Well, they know it’s not true. They just like to parrot that fallacy.”

    The eastern diamondbacks captured in the roundup are “milked” for their venom, which is primarily used to manufacture two types of antivenins available in the United States and Canada for at least the last 25 years.

    Venom from the eastern diamondbacks, along with additional venoms from western diamondbacks, cottonmouths and Mojave rattlesnakes, gives the antivenins the ability to treat most pit viper bites.

    Darnell said the vast majority of snakebites in the United States are pit viper bites.

    The antivenin is formed by injecting sub-lethal amounts of the four venoms into host animals, often sheep.

    To combat the venoms, the host animals produce antibodies that are extracted from the sheep’s blood.

    The extracted antibodies are then purified and introduced into a patient to neutralize the effects of a venomous snake bite.

    Darnell said venom produced by eastern diamondbacks also has been used to develop new drugs such as Integrilin, used to treat heart attacks and strokes.

    The roundup will begin at 8 a.m. at the Rattlesnake Roundup Grounds in Whigham Saturday, Jan. 26.
    4) it saved a small town and continues to do so (aka we were once overunned by rattlers, now it's our biggest economy)
    https://www.lubbockonline.com/news/2...all-texas-town
    Guest commentary: How rattlesnakes saved a small Texas town

    (Editor’s Note: in the late 1950s, Western Diamondback rattlesnakes were overrunning Sweetwater, a small town of 11,000 residents in West Texas. Here’s how the search to overcome this hardship not only controlled the snake problem, but now brings in about $8.4 million annually.)

    Back when Sweetwater was a cotton, oil and cattle town, rattlesnakes were dreaded by all. Rattlesnakes bit around 50 people yearly. Many ranchers and farmers lost costly livestock to these venomous snakes.

    Today, this diminutive town demonstrates what happens when a community pulls together and faces reality rather than becomes immobilized by adversity.

    Sixty years ago, ranchers banded together to brainstorm about controlling the western diamondback rattlesnake overpopulation. They created the idea of thinning down the rattlesnake population with an annual Rattlesnake Roundup.

    That was back then, and the Rattlesnake Roundup hasn’t changed much over the years. It always had food, merchandise vendors and a carnival, but now the Nolan County Coliseum is bursting with “everything rattlesnake.”

    The weekend Roundup festival hosts a rattlesnake cook-off and a “Miss Snake Charmer” contest in which the winner walks through a snake pit of hissing, angry snakes. Attendees can observe a contest for the longest beard, a knife, gun and coin show, and vendors who sell anything that can be adorned with snakeskin or rattles. Amidst hundreds of wriggly rattlesnakes in display pits, the Junior Chamber of Commerce teaches visitors about snake behavior, safety, and advice on managing unexpected snake encounters. Snakes rounded up in guided hunts are sent to the ‘Milking Pit,’ where visitors learn how venom is milked and sold for research. Visitors to the “Skinning Station” observe snakes being beheaded, skinned and sold. Nothing goes to waste here, with buyers interested in the meat, gall bladders, and skin.

    Yet the Roundup is much, much more than festivities and the removal of potentially lethal rattlesnakes. The millions of dollars, and over 30,000 people who pour into Sweetwater in a single weekend in March each year has influenced a shift in the perspective of how the townspeople view rattlesnakes. Instead of viewing these deadly pit vipers solely as a feared menace, they understand that co-habitating with the rattlesnakes helps produce revenue for the community’s civic needs. Money generated from ticket sales goes to charitable events for the underprivileged, elderly, those who have fallen on hard times, and for leadership training.

    Without the Rattlesnake Roundup, “people would suffer financially,” said Edward Gomez, chairman of the guided snake hunts. “For a lot of people a big chunk of their yearly income is made all in one weekend. It sustains our population. Others, like ranch hands who don’t have a terribly large yearly income will start catching rattlesnakes in December and bring in snakes to be sold at the roundup,” said Gomez.

    Shared experiences with family, schoolmates and neighbors, along with information and advice passed down from parent to child, has instilled a community identity and pride in the residents. “There isn’t a lot to do here,” said Gomez. “People look forward to the Rattlesnake Roundup each year. Waiting around for the second weekend in March each year is like waiting for Christmas, it’s that much fun.”

    The diamondback rattlesnakes continue to present a menacing threat to livestock and people. The same dens are hunted year after year, yet they continue to provide a never-ending supply of next-generation rattlesnakes. “This will continue to occur because after all,” as Karen Hunt, executive director of the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce said, “the goal has always been population control, not eradication.”

    This community has learned how to find the gift in living amidst a deadly threat. It derives comfort in knowing they are not alone when adversity strikes, and that they are fortunate to live in Sweetwater, Texas... snakes and all.
    ^ Look! My new avatar!!

    Wicked ones now on IG & FB!6292

    Seaside Serpents & Exotics (SSEx) clutch one, two and three.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ax01 For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (03-11-2019),Sonny1318 (03-15-2019)

  3. #2
    BPnet Veteran Ax01's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-14-2015
    Location
    Emerald City
    Posts
    5,683
    Thanks
    2,380
    Thanked 5,435 Times in 3,052 Posts
    and now an opposing view...

    Nay! Rattlesnake Roundup

    https://www.popsci.com/rattlesnake-r...cology-gassing
    Rattlesnake roundups are a southern tradition. They're also an ecological disaster.

    It's not just that people kill snakes en masse—it's how they do it.

    Each year, Texas’s Sweetwater Jaycees—“the world’s largest rattlesnake roundup”—begins with a rattlesnake parade. There’s also a Miss Snake Charmer pageant, a snake eating contest, and awards for the most snakes by weight and the longest snake in the show. But the main event, held each year since 1958, is an guided hunt in pursuit of western diamondback rattlesnakes, which can be charmed, judged, killed, and sold.

    In the south, such a pastime is hardly peculiar: rattlesnake hunting dates dates back to the 1700s, when colonists tracked down and killed the reptiles in the hope of protecting human families from its venomous bite. Today, springtime round-ups are still held in many states, including Texas, Alabama, and Georgia. But in the past few decades, a growing body of evidence has shown that round-ups often do more harm than good.

    Hunting for certain species of snakes is a perfectly legal thing to do in most places—if you pay for the proper license and heed the strict bagging limits. In Pennsylvania, for example, residents can pay a $25 fee in exchange for the right to kill one adult copperhead. In the Sunshine State, the South Florida Water Management District will actually pay you for taking the risk of hunting Burmese pythons, an invasive species, in Everglades National Park.

    But rattlesnake roundups are altogether different. In many southern communities, humans seek their scaly prey en masse—and often use gasoline to meet their ends. In Alabama, residents historically gassed eastern diamondback rattlesnakes out of their wintertime hidey-holes by spraying the fuel through a water hose. When a snake smells the substance, it slithers out of its abode where hunters could easily harvest it. In Texas, meanwhile, residents prefer pumping gasoline fumes (and, often, straight liquids) into the critter’s burrow, producing the same escape response.

    The act of gassing has serious consequences for the environment, says John Jensen, senior wildlife biologist for Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources. In Georgia and Alabama, native rattlesnakes have reportedly declined in population and size since the festival-like hunts began in earnest in the 1950s. But they’re not the only animal that’s threatened by roundups.

    “Eastern diamondbacks predominantly use the burrow of the gopher tortoise. Its burrows are known to provide a home for over 350 species, including the Eastern Indian snake, the gopher frog, and the pine snake,” he says. While the rattlesnakes escape gassing—if not for long—“other species that aren’t active in the winter just stay down there and die.”

    In Georgia, the threat to the gopher tortoise, which is the state reptile, allowed Jensen’s department to realize some of its most pressing goals. While hunting rattlesnakes is still legal, gassing is now outlawed, though many people continue to do it and, occasionally, get caught. The threat of federal intervention (the tortoise is under review by the federal for listing as threatened, and potential protection, under the Endangered Species Act) also appears to have helped persuade two of Georgia’s last three roundups to change their event planning strategy.

    Fitzgerald, Georgia was the first to change. As a replacement event, the town chose to host an annual Wild Chicken Festival. (Tagline: “We are strutting our stuff.”) While it may not be PETA-approved, residents now leave native snakes alone, and instead chase after the plentiful descendants of Burmese chickens the state Department of Natural Resources stocked as game birds back in the 1960s.

    Claxton was the other of the two Georgia towns to reimagine itself. For decades, the Evans County Wildlife Club had hosted a typical hunt and sale of rattlesnakes. Now, they run an annual Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival in town instead. Captive snakes are displayed, and it’s an opportunity for families to learn about local animals. There’s also a car show, archery tournament, and, yes, a pageant.

    Only one town holds out: Whigham, Georgia. “We first talked to Claxton and Whigham probably about 10 years before Claxton changed,” Jensen says. “Eventually, Claxton saw that as an opportunity they felt was worth pursuing and made the jump. But Whigham has not done so.” Whigham now gets to bill itself as the last rattlesnake roundup in Georgia, Jensen observes, which is potentially a boon to their bottom line. But the number of rattlesnakes the event collects has declined each year, because Eastern diamondbacks just aren’t as plentiful as they used to be.

    Things are a little bit different in Texas. The western diamondback rattlesnake is not thought to have suffered population-level declines from events like the Sweetwater Jaycees. And due to a lack of political will in the state legislature, gassing remains perfectly legal. But there are people agitating for change.

    John Davis is the director of the wildlife diversity program in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. For six years, he and his team researched rattlesnake roundups and their affect on the environment. On a recent call, he told me, emphatically and repeatedly, that he is not interested in ending the rattlesnake roundups themselves (which he calls “very important in the structure and culture of Texas"), but the damage wrought by gassing. “All of our research, all of our concerns, are wrapped up in this method of take,” he says. The main reason? Rare-karst invertebrates.

    While not nearly as charismatic as Georgia’s gopher tortoises, these spiders, beetles, and other small bugs are exceedingly rare. They live in the subterranean nooks and crannies of Texas’s groundwater system (called a karst), so most people have never seen one. But their extreme ecological niche means one population in one Texas county might well be the only population of that species in the entire world. When gasoline sprayed across the surface of the earth seeps into their underground worlds, they die.

    Despite this and other environmental damage (like the threat of pollution to groundwater supplies), organizers of Sweetwater Jaycees and similar events continue to justify the festivals. Roundups are often touted, for example, as a way to improve public safety. But the evidence just isn’t there. “You can track snake bite data, and there’s no correlation between snake bite data [declining] and round-up data,” Davis says. It might even be the other way around. “The very act of trying to capture and handle snakes artificially increases the number of snake bites that happen."

    Organizers argue these events are important sources of anti-venom, a life-saving medication that’s often in short supply. But, once again, there’s little evidence to support their claims. The major producers of anti-venom don’t accept animals from roundups. Even if roundups were outlawed, the venom milked from captive snakes, bred for this specific purpose, can or already does meet their needs.

    Ultimately, says University of Florida Extension herpetologist Steve Johnson, “these old traditions die hard.” But if we’re to protect these natural ecosystems, something’s got to give.
    ^ Look! My new avatar!!

    Wicked ones now on IG & FB!6292

    Seaside Serpents & Exotics (SSEx) clutch one, two and three.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ax01 For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (03-08-2019),Sonny1318 (03-15-2019)

  5. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,837
    Thanks
    8,113
    Thanked 4,341 Times in 2,771 Posts
    I'd get arrested for sure if I went...this crap makes me go ballistic...I love rattlesnakes & they are SO ABUSED by these jerks, not to mention the atrocities they
    often commit on the environment to capture them for this public torture-fest. It's SO sick...& I hope all the enablers succumb to Hanta virus when the rodents
    multiply....I gotta leave it there for the sake of my blood pressure. ......... How can ppl be so cruel and stupid?

  6. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Ax01 (03-11-2019),FollowTheSun (03-15-2019),MissterDog (03-08-2019),richardhind1972 (03-08-2019),Shayne (03-15-2019),Sonny1318 (03-15-2019)

  7. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,837
    Thanks
    8,113
    Thanked 4,341 Times in 2,771 Posts
    Just food for thought...I've lived for many years (20, actually) sharing my desert house with a number of rattlesnakes, & most of them are pretty nice when you
    don't treat them like trash. They actually have quite a lot of personality & they pick up on yours too...they seem to know who they're safe with. They are not
    stupid OR mean, & they're a valuable part of the ecosystem that deserves to stay. Yes, you might need to leave them a little room...but that's true of most
    wildlife. I don't like to think of a world without them, do you? Is it ever possible to unlearn hostility to wildlife? Not just rattlesnakes...other animals like coyotes
    & wolves get the same horrid treatment. So do birds of prey...shot for no reason. Even harmless opossums get tortured by people...it really depresses me.

  8. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Ax01 (03-11-2019),Crowfingers (03-08-2019),FollowTheSun (03-15-2019),richardhind1972 (03-08-2019),Sonny1318 (03-15-2019)

  9. #5
    Registered User richardhind1972's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-31-2017
    Location
    derbyshire, uk
    Posts
    2,102
    Thanks
    4,734
    Thanked 2,355 Times in 1,324 Posts

    Re: Rattlesnake Roundup Season Starts Now!

    That really is sad,wow and to get such a mass turn out for this cruel massacre

    how can this be right ?
    I can’t understand why some people don’t realise how there houses and farms would be overrun with rats and mice if it wasn’t for our slithery friends keeping them at bay


    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk

  10. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to richardhind1972 For This Useful Post:

    Ax01 (03-11-2019),Bogertophis (03-08-2019),Crowfingers (03-08-2019),MissterDog (03-08-2019),Sonny1318 (03-15-2019)

  11. #6
    BPnet Veteran Crowfingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-27-2015
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    782
    Thanks
    349
    Thanked 499 Times in 313 Posts
    Images: 11

    Re: Rattlesnake Roundup Season Starts Now!

    I can't condone any "round up" or mass killing of native species...I understand the python hunts in the everglades and agree that those species need removed, but not our native snakes. Or alligators...
    Unless you are hunting something for food or it is an invasive species risking the natural balance of an area then there is never a good enough reason to kill it. Humans need to learn that we share the world with potentially "dangerous" animals and we should not kill them because *our* population is encroaching on their lands.
    No cage is too large - nature is the best template - a snoot can't be booped too much


  12. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Crowfingers For This Useful Post:

    Ax01 (03-11-2019),Bogertophis (03-08-2019),Dianne (03-09-2019),MarkL1561 (03-12-2019),MissterDog (03-08-2019)

  13. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,837
    Thanks
    8,113
    Thanked 4,341 Times in 2,771 Posts

    Re: Rattlesnake Roundup Season Starts Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Crowfingers View Post
    I can't condone any "round up" or mass killing of native species...I understand the python hunts in the everglades and agree that those species need removed, but not our native snakes. Or alligators...
    Unless you are hunting something for food or it is an invasive species risking the natural balance of an area then there is never a good enough reason to kill it. Humans need to learn that we share the world with potentially "dangerous" animals and we should not kill them because *our* population is encroaching on their lands.
    Much less make a nauseating "sport" out of killing them. Those running these things claim the local economy depends on the money they make...

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Ax01 (03-11-2019),MissterDog (03-08-2019)

  15. #8
    BPnet Veteran MissterDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-21-2017
    Posts
    1,412
    Thanks
    3,577
    Thanked 1,758 Times in 825 Posts
    A 'tradition' I truly despise and have no respect for. Frankly I want it purged off the planet but unfortunately there are too many ignorant people who support it, and choose to remain ignorant. Very sad is all I can say.
    Last edited by MissterDog; 03-08-2019 at 10:19 PM.
    1.0 Ball Python (Mystic Potion) Tapioca
    0.1 Russian Rat Snake (Melanistic) Kallari

  16. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to MissterDog For This Useful Post:

    Ax01 (03-11-2019),Bogertophis (03-08-2019),MarkL1561 (03-12-2019),richardhind1972 (03-10-2019),Sonny1318 (03-15-2019)

  17. #9
    Registered User Alter-Echo's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-13-2018
    Location
    Albion NY
    Posts
    742
    Thanks
    470
    Thanked 656 Times in 397 Posts
    Only round up I could get behind is an ignorant idiot round up... far from an endangered species, unfortunately.

  18. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Alter-Echo For This Useful Post:

    Ax01 (03-11-2019),Bogertophis (03-11-2019),richardhind1972 (03-10-2019),Sonny1318 (03-15-2019)

  19. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,837
    Thanks
    8,113
    Thanked 4,341 Times in 2,771 Posts

    Re: Rattlesnake Roundup Season Starts Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alter-Echo View Post
    Only round up I could get behind is an ignorant idiot round up... far from an endangered species, unfortunately.
    Well. the round-ups already take place (see above), but it's the "humans", not the snakes, that need containment & mitigation.
    (Ouch! -biting tongue biting tongue biting tongue...)

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    MarkL1561 (03-12-2019)

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.1