It began in the 40s as gathering of area ranchers, who banded together for the purpose of thinning out a threat to their cattle, the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. It has become a tradition and the Waynoka Saddle Club was formed to organise the event annually, in an effort to boost the local economy. As you can see in these pictures, the markings and colouring vary greatly in this species. It was also interesting to see how rarely they would strike, really only attacking when provoked in the pit.
Hundreds are caught over the weekend and the event ends with a ceremony where the snakes are measured and weighed. A prize is given for the longest snake captured (alive), the most pounds caught, and for the most buttons on the end of a rattler. The final event is an auction in which the longer snakes are auctioned off to the highest bidder. Needless to say the snakes are not released at the end, so this is really a mass culling event. Although we have more than enough Rattlesnakes in this area and they do need culling, I do not agree with it being done for the purpose of entertainment in this way.
My British friend Andrew was far braver than the rest of us, and allowed this snake to be laid across his shoulders! The size of some of these snakes is impressive, and now you know why I don't go walking around the beautiful canyons here in snake season. Waynoka is not the only town around here to hold one annually!
This was a more appealing place to visit in Waynoka for a Brit'!!
To join in the fun go to My World Tuesday