Sweetwater’s Record Rattlesnake Roundup Spells Trouble for Next Year

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The World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup takes place in Sweetwater, Texas, every year. This year, however, so many snakes were rounded up that there’s hardly a market for selling.

While 24,262 pounds of rattlesnakes were bought at the expo in Sweetwater, there were still about 75,000 pounds of rattlesnakes left over, as reported by the Abilene Reporter-News. With no buyers, there’s a huge question now on what officials will do with the remaining stock.

Pat McLaughlin told the Abilene Reporter-News that the “excess presents an unfortunate inconvenience to hunters and a dangerous problem, as the 52nd Lone Star State Fair and Expo this weekend will not have its usual rattlesnake roundup for vendors and hunter due to the excess of snakes.”

This excess has also effected the pricing opportunity for snakes. Where Sweetwater could pay $10 per pound of rattlesnakes, the average price per pound now sits between $.50 to $1 per pound due to the high volume.

McLaughlin mentioned how this would detrimental for next year as “hunters keep searching for a buyer, kill the snakes or release them back into the wild, which will be a bigger problem…You’re going to see a lot more livestock getting killed by rattlesnakes just because there’s too many snakes out there.”

The annual rattlesnake roundups are key in protecting livestock and are a huge conservation effort made by Texas hunters. We can only hope a new market will appear soon to avoid problems in the coming year.