Rattlesnakes, rattlesnacks
March 11, 2006 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Sweetwater Texas Rattlesnake Roundup! An annual tradition since 1958, people from miles around come to look at the thousands of collected rattlesnakes, join in the hunting, watch them get milked, killed, and skinned, and then eat them. Check out Chris Hamilton's engaging b&w photo essay.
posted by donovan (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I love the sexy slither of a lady snake....
posted by jokeefe at 8:59 PM on March 11, 2006


At least make it fair - naked, into the snakepit, barehanded.
posted by iamck at 9:36 PM on March 11, 2006


Meh. I'm fine with snakes. I'm not fine with vicious scaley death dealers who can kill me in one bite. Non-poisonous, good. Poisonous, bad!

Personal Hero: Riki tiki tavi.
posted by Atreides at 9:47 PM on March 11, 2006


Snakes on a plane, man... snakes on a plane.
posted by SenshiNeko at 10:39 PM on March 11, 2006


photo essay link is directing to "metafilter.com/null"
posted by jonson at 10:50 PM on March 11, 2006


Sweetwater, Texas isn't the only place with a rattlesnake festival. Welcome to Opp, Alabama, home of the Rattlesnake Rodeo (beauty pageant and buck dancing, too!).
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:53 PM on March 11, 2006


It's the Jaycees. They're at the bottom of this.
They're worse than Boy Scouts.
posted by the Real Dan at 11:04 PM on March 11, 2006


We live in an area with 3 species of rattlesnakes. 2 of the species are left alone to do their part in keeping the rodent population under control, but we kill every Mojave Green we come across because of their aggressive behavior and neurotoxic venom. Their favorite spot to spend summer days is under the foliage of the vegetable garden and we've had several close calls.
posted by buggzzee23 at 11:08 PM on March 11, 2006


Oh Whacking Day!
Oh Whacking Day!
Our hallowed snake skull-cracking day!
We'll break their backs
Gouge out their eyes
Their evil hearts we'll pulverize!
Oh Whacking Day!
Oh Whacking Day!
May God bestow His grace on thee.
posted by sour cream at 11:26 PM on March 11, 2006


Unecessary gratuituous killing. Disgusting. Texas? Must be a bible thing, but somehow, I'm not surprised.

Fuck you, jerks.
posted by NewBornHippy at 11:38 PM on March 11, 2006


Rattle snakes' main diet is rats. I read somewhere that rattle snakes eat about 20 lbs. of rats per year. Please correct me when/if I'm wrong. So, for all those thousands of rattlers killed every year at these roundups around the country, there are 20 pounds more of rats slinking around, per snake, per year! Thats a lot of rats. Good thinking, rattle-snake-round-uppers! Not!
posted by wsg at 12:23 AM on March 12, 2006


Photo Essay Link
posted by Navek Rednam at 12:48 AM on March 12, 2006


Unecessary gratuitous killing. Disgusting. Texas? Must be a bible thing, but somehow, I'm not surprised.

As opposed to necessary gratuitous killing.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:15 AM on March 12, 2006


Jaycees = Junior Communists.
posted by wfrgms at 1:27 AM on March 12, 2006


Been there, done that, ate some. And no it does not taste like chicken.......
posted by bjgeiger at 2:59 AM on March 12, 2006


wsg, it says that there are two other species of snake that they leave alone, presumably they would then have less competition and would fill the missing hole in the food chain left by this one particular species.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:21 AM on March 12, 2006


Unecessary gratuituous killing. Disgusting. Texas? Must be a bible thing, but somehow, I'm not surprised.

Fuck you, jerks.


It happens in five other states according to the third link, if people outside of Texas even read.

So fuck you, too?
posted by melt away at 6:14 AM on March 12, 2006


Rattlesnake roundups are pretty common in rural areas where these animals are common. They are more of a chance for a bunch of macho idiots to drink beer and show off than anything else. Much is made of collecting the venom for research, for example, but most of it is unusable because it is not collected in a sterile manner. Additionally, a number of other endangered species such as indigo snakes and gopher tortises are harmed by the method used to drive snakes from their burrows: pouring gasoline down them. Although rattlesnakes will never be the poster child for conservation, many biologists feel these festivals should be abolished.
posted by TedW at 6:19 AM on March 12, 2006


Unecessary gratuituous killing. Disgusting. Texas? Must be a bible thing, but somehow, I'm not surprised.

Fuck you, jerks.


Rattlesnakes. These are rattlesnakes - not fluffy kittens, sweet dolphins, or pretty little birds in the Congo.

Rattlesnakes.

Ever been bitten by one? I have - twice. I would kill and eat every one of them if it were possible.
posted by bradth27 at 7:19 AM on March 12, 2006


Ever been bitten by one? I have - twice.

Sixty-seven percent (20/30) of all bites resulted from intentional exposures to snakes...Forty percent (12/30) of all victims had consumed alcohol before the snakebite.

Not to say any of that applies to you, but the majority of people who are bitten did something to provoke it, and events like these that bring large numbers of snakes and people into proximity are thought by some to contribute to the risk of snake bite, not alleviate it.
posted by TedW at 7:42 AM on March 12, 2006


TedW -

Yes, I provoked both snakes - I stepped on the first one accidentally, and the second one bit me while I beat it to death with a shovel.
posted by bradth27 at 8:12 AM on March 12, 2006


Yep. Sounds like they were out to get you. Kill em all.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:54 AM on March 12, 2006


Yep. Sounds like they were out to get you. Kill em all.

I never said they were out to get me. However, I do agree that we should kill 'em all.
posted by bradth27 at 8:59 AM on March 12, 2006


I would probably bite you if you tried to beat me to death with a shovel.
posted by TedW at 9:19 AM on March 12, 2006


Well, jeez. Stop stepping on them and beating them.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:36 AM on March 12, 2006


Mmmmmmm,sSnakes on a flame.
posted by iamck at 11:11 AM on March 12, 2006


Yeeehaw! Done-round-us-up-some-naminals-you-know-what, den-dat-old-rattla-fuck-with-em-man, rip-up-right-in-their-skin-like-right-dat-off-they-backs, man and-eat-up-in-dat-dere-shit! Heeeeeyah! Goddam-dun-bless-dat-old-'Merica-there-man! You know?
posted by scarabic at 12:03 PM on March 12, 2006


I do agree that we should kill 'em all.

Are these animals raised for this event? Or do y'all go out and gather them up, clearing the land of their pestilence?

Cause you know, it's kinda dumb to breed a whole stockpile of something you think should be wiped off the earth.
posted by scarabic at 12:05 PM on March 12, 2006


I would probably bite you if you tried to beat me to death with a shovel.

If you did, I would probably continue beating you to death, as I did the snake. :)

I do agree that we should kill 'em all.

Are these animals raised for this event? Or do y'all go out and gather them up, clearing the land of their pestilence?

Cause you know, it's kinda dumb to breed a whole stockpile of something you think should be wiped off the earth.


Never been to a roundup. I wouldn't know. The two rattlesnakes that I have killed have been found in my yard.
posted by bradth27 at 12:11 PM on March 12, 2006


By the way - there's an incredible novel out there that centers around a rattlesnake roundup written by Harry Crews ( one of my favorite authors.)
Check it out.
posted by bradth27 at 12:20 PM on March 12, 2006


Disgusting. It's right up there with the seal cull in Canada. Go to hell, you fucking inbred cretins. Yeehaw.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:34 PM on March 12, 2006


Harmful Effects of Rattlesnake Roundups
posted by Rubber Soul at 12:50 PM on March 12, 2006


Nah, no rattlesnakes are raised for these events.

Yes...clubbing cute defenseless seals is up there with killing rattlers.

...

Lets have a moment of silence for Bitey the Friendly Rattler. We shall all missssss him.
posted by Atreides at 2:45 PM on March 12, 2006


People who argue for the forced extinction of an entire species betray their total lack of even elementary earth science comprehension.
posted by Tennyson D'San at 2:56 PM on March 12, 2006


elementary earth science comprehension.

No, remember what the bible interpretation commands. That's really where their science comprehension comes from.

Fucking inbred cretins indeed.
posted by NewBornHippy at 3:34 PM on March 12, 2006


i'd like to see more people bitten by rattlesnakes. and eaten by wolves.

natural selection at its finest.
posted by teishu at 6:50 PM on March 12, 2006


Newsfilter: Rattler Liberation Group bitten en masse. Quote, "We're their friends, man. We were saving them from death, man! I don't see why the @$#$#ing things had to go and bite us with their @$*#ing fangs, man!"

P.S.
Copperheads are stinky.
posted by Atreides at 9:23 PM on March 12, 2006


Wow. That's. So. Funny Atreides. Where are your humoristic references coming from? The Simpsons? Wow, I'm impressed.
posted by NewBornHippy at 4:51 AM on March 13, 2006


We can only shudder at the utter terror the world holds for those with the least developed ethical sense.

A snake bit me. Kill them all. Brilliant.

How do you folks possibly find the time to post on the internet? Aren't there horrible ants that need genociding and scary bees that need their wings pulled off? You know, in "your" fucking yard.

If I come across any rounding up or killing snakes, in "their yards" or not, I'll provide a little intramuscular injection myself, sans fangs, and despite my well-known, sweet-sunny, pacifist disposition.

My boot. Injected up your ass.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 8:49 AM on March 13, 2006


If it's genuine pest mitigation, and these snakes are actually "rounded up" from residential/farm land or open space where they pose a real problem to people, then I am less disgusted by it. It's not substantively worse than spraying or trapping or many other eradication methods, and perhaps more open and honest - though it's certainly not to my taste.
posted by scarabic at 8:42 AM on March 14, 2006


not sure about the "pest mitigation" aspect per say (i looked for the real source of the snakes and couldn't find out), but i think that if it was infact based on pest mitigation, it wouldn't need to be such a specticle or done in such a needlessly cruel fashion.

this is reguardless of any argument about pest mitigation as an ideal. no matter your opinion on that, i think its clear that these roundups have nothing to do with anything beyond making money off cruelty to animals.
posted by teishu at 2:33 PM on March 14, 2006


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