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Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup

texas snake hunters population control meat-eating contest

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#1 Hum

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 01:48

An odd event takes place this weekend in Sweetwater, Texas. Or at least it would seem odd to most city folk who have never heard of such a thing. A rattlesnake roundup? What's that?

It's an event whereby rattlesnake hunters round up as many rattlesnakes as they can as a means of population control. At the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup, the largest such event in the world, an average of 5,000 pounds of rattlesnakes are collected and used for meat and various products.

This particular event, ongoing since 1958, attracts about 30,000 people each year and has a reported economic impact of $5 million.

At each event, the snakes are measured, sexed and weighed for the state's wildlife department for management purposes. Once skinned, the meat is cooked and the skins are made into belts, wallets, boots, and other products.

Some might frown on this practice, but Sawyers views the roundup as a management tool to help farmers keep rattlesnakes in check.

"It's like any hunting," he said. "It's needed to control the population. It's more about conservation than it is extermination."

In case you're planning to attend, you might be interested to know the Sweetwater event also features a parade, a Miss Snake Charmer pageant, carnival, flea market, and, if you have the stomach for it, a snake meat-eating contest.

We hear it tastes like chicken. :huh:

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#2 necroxd

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:07

Taste like if a chicken and fish had sex. Actually good if you pit some lime and salt on it.

#3 compl3x

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    Feels good, dunnit?

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:34

I'd try it.

#4 DocM

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:55

Been there, done that while visiting friends in Abilene. Rattler tastes more like frogs legs to me, with a chicken-y texture. Pretty darned good actually. Still have a rattler's head tie here somewhere. .

#5 compl3x

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    Feels good, dunnit?

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:03

Do you get a lot of meat out of a snake? I mean, how many snakes would make a decent meal?

#6 DocM

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:20

Do you get a lot of meat out of a snake? I mean, how many snakes would make a decent meal?


More than you'd think. You cut off the head, slit the belly to the vent & gut it. Next cut it into 1" to 2" chunks for cooking - the larger ones like diamondbacks are quite muscular. Deep fried with an egg wash & corn meal is good, but so is BBQ and smoking them. A friend wraps chunks in foil and buries them in campfire coals.

#7 Torolol

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 04:22

well, the chinese loves snake meats