As you all know, Chickasaw Country has some pretty unique festivals. Peaches, watermelons, noodling catfish —you name it, we’ve probably got it. One unique festival we are home to is the annual Waurika Rattlesnake Hunt April 11 through 14. Yes, you read that right. This festival is known for its rattlesnakes.
Held every year in the town of Waurika, the Rattlesnake Hunt is a three-day event with everything from live music, carnival rides, food vendors and the guests of honor, rattlesnakes.
To get ready for this year’s event, I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the sport of rattlesnake hunting. That’s where my new friend Stephen D., pictured in the middle, comes in handy.
C: How long have you been hunting rattlesnakes, and by the way, how did you get into it?
S: Actually, I’ve been hunting them my whole life. My dad has hunted them all his life, so you could say it runs in the family.
C: Do you hunt rattlesnakes all year long or during a specific period of time?
S: I only hunt them in preparation for the Waurika Rattlesnake Hunt, which is a two-week period before the festival begins.
C: The one question that’s been weighing on my mind is, have you ever been bitten?
S: Not to disappoint you, but I never have. One thing I pride myself on is how to properly catch rattlesnakes, so the techniques I use keep me safe from getting bit.
C: One last thing I’m curious about is how many rattlesnakes do you catch at one time?
S: It really just depends. Some days you get lucky and catch 30 to 40 and other days aren’t so good and you end up with 5 to 10, it really just depends.
Well, I just learned some new facts about rattlesnake hunting! Make sure you attend this year’s Waurika Rattlesnake Hunt and see some of the pros like Stephen with their catches.
(Originally published on April 6, 2016. Updated on March 29, 2019.)