Rattlesnake Roundup Day is held annually on January 28, and we are geared up to go into the wild and do some rattlesnake hunting. Did you know that Rattlesnakes got their name because of their tail tip, which features a segmented rattle that produces a buzzing sound when they vibrate? Rattlesnakes are beautiful creatures, but they can be very poisonous and their toxin fatal.
History of Rattlesnake Roundup Day
Throughout the history of man, snakes have been an avowed enemy of man. Some species of snakes have such powerful venom that can kill a man within minutes, while others can be quite harmless. In ancient Chinese society, they placed tigers and snakes on the same pedestal of being the two most dangerous animals in swamps and mountains. In the same vein, other ancient cultures like Egypt revered and feared snakes, worshiping them in temples and using them as traps.
Conversely, research has found that snakes do not actively prey on humans or pose a major threat, aside from the big constrictors. They would rather run away from humans and would not attack except when startled or injured. But humanity’s fear of this small but deadly animal has led to the hunt and kill on sight that characterizes our relationship with snakes even till today.
Historically, the first rattlesnake Roundup kicked off in 1958, at Sweetwater, Texas, U.S. It arose as a result of a wide influx of rattlesnakes that were killing livestock and pets of inhabitants of the community. The city’s farmers and ranchers rose and banded together to eradicate rattlesnakes. The event soon moved to other communities where rattlesnakes were a bother, and it had since then gone on to become a widely celebrated event.
Rattlesnake Roundup Day over the years has become a fun festival featuring other events like cook-off, carnival, pageant show, guided hunts, and flea market. A large number of the rattlesnakes caught are killed and sold for their meat and skin, while a few are released back to the wild. But over the years, advocates of wildlife preservation have seen the reduction of hunts in some areas, but the fun events still largely remain a permanent culture.
Rattlesnake Roundup Day timeline
Snakes feature largely in Greek mythology, from Medusa with snakes instead of hair, to the serpent Ophion, who was said to rule the world before Cronus cast him down.
According to the “Torah” and the “Bible,” God sends serpents to bite and kill many of the Israelites as punishment, and He then commands Moses to make a metal snake so anyone who looks upon it will be healed.
Farmers and ranchers gather at Sweetwater to hunt rattlesnakes killing livestock and pets.
Research finds that thousands of pythons exist in the Florida wild, killing animals and destroying the ecosystem.
Rattlesnake Roundup Day FAQs
How many hours does it take for rattlesnake venom to kill?
Rattlesnake bites can be very fatal, requesting treatment within 30 minutes of the bite. Death can occur within six to 48 hours.
Where can rattlesnakes be found?
They mostly hide in a humid sheltered place. They can be found under logs, heavy shrubs, or woodpiles, building foundations, or rocks.
Can jeans protect against Rattlesnake bite?
It depends on the thickness and how close the jeans are to the skin. It is better to wear tall leather shoes because snake fangs can rarely penetrate the leather.
Rattlesnake Roundup Day Activities
Join in the hunt
You can choose to join in the hunt just for the fun. Get the proper gear needed for the hunt, and you can also engage the services of guided hunting outfits, which are readily available at the events.
Visit a rattlesnake roundup event
Take a trip to any town or city celebrating the roundup and bask in the fun of the moment. Even if you decide not to hunt, other events like cook-offs, gun, and knife shows, rattlesnake exhibitions, and more can be very interesting. And you can even buy and eat rattlesnake meat on the day.
Buy rattlesnake skin
This is a good opportunity to buy real rattlesnake skin to grace your walls or art collections or to make your custom-made leather bags and shoes. This is a major reason why people go to the events, to buy snakeskin, and they can come in handy because of their aesthetic value.
5 Fun Facts About Snakes
They used to be worshiped
Certain cultures in Africa, Egypt, and India worshipped snakes in ancient times.
There are about 3,000 breeds of snakes, of which 600 are venomous and 200 are deadly to humans
Snakes rely on heat from the sun or other light sources to warm up and regulate their body temperature.
They don’t have eyelids
Snakes do not have eyelids but rather a thin membrane attached to the eye called ‘brille’ to protect them.
They have flexible jaws
Their jaws are flexible and loosely hinged, allowing them to swallow prey bigger than their heads.
Why We Love Rattlesnake Roundup Day
It is rooted in tradition and heritage
In a city such as Sweetwater, the event has gone on to be an integral part of their history and heritage. It binds generations of their people together, increasing internal cohesion.
The event arose as a result of overreaching actions of snakes killing livestock and pets. Although the event has continued for years, there is always a steady amount of rattlesnakes found, highlighting a need to prevent a population explosion of these venomous reptiles.
It is a learning experience
Attending a Rattlesnake Roundup can be an expository event. During the exhibition, you get to learn about the various species of rattlesnakes, which are more venomous, how to catch them, and more.
Rattlesnake Roundup Day dates