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Travel with Bennett-Watt and discover the Apache Oklahoma annual rattlesnake festival where you can see live rattlesnake ...
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Visit the Apache Oklahoma Rattlesnake Festival
MALE: In the Southern Oklahoma town of Apache, a passion for rattlesnakes is what has put this community on the map for the last 23 years.
Ron Orf: Everybody is curious because most everyone is frightened of snakes so it only works two ways, so curiosity and the pride. We have lots and lots of fun. We’re going to scare lots of this. We’re going to get their hearts beating. As long as I stand still they're not going to pay any attention to me, they might think I’m just an old tree here or something here. one time I move around there going to start paying attention but they will most won't try to get away from me even out in the wall, you come up on a snake and if he’s goit a nervous state, he’ll try to escape. Very, very seldom do they come at you but now once in a while nothing is chiselled in stone when it comes to snakes.
You go slow and nothing, just back right at them. It won’t pay any attention whatsoever. Movement, quick movement of course they're going to strike at. Once they picked up our body heat, they're a pit viper, so they’ll take up your body heat, it’s like a heat seeking missile, you know it’s going to zero in on that airplane or whatever it’s tracking and that’s the same way that rattlesnake works.
And so once in a while we get snake bites, if you play with fire long enough you may get your finger burnt. When you get tired you get relaxed and you raise down you pick one up and you forget it’s a snake and bam! You're snake bitten.
We've had people from everywhere come and go hunting. Of course a lot of them they just want to go out and watch, you know. They don’t actually want the—that’s the fun part. When we get out to the filed we’ll take them to an area that does have snakes that we've got snakes at and we’ll show them where some bins are, I think probably most of the snake have left the bin, this like in year, once the temperature gets hot and as they start tattering out, so they’ll be a little harder to find and—but hopefully we’ll have hunters that get snake.
Now that’s a classic striking post, when he’s backing like that, you if he were just in a round coil he wouldn’t be ready to strike just a round circle. But it can raise his head up, he can't get as far as I can, I’m half the distance probably, won't you step up of at half way? You can see, oftentimes they won’t do anything. We’re too big to—they don’t waste their effort on something they can’t eat. We caught 90 one Saturday this year, three of us so, that’s a lot of snakes. Snakes are cold blooded animals so you got to get them on the—when it is disteacted, you know. They’ll be lying out in the sun and that’s when we can come in. we’ve been done this, this is the 23rd year for the festival and we started hunting snakes about 25 years ago.
Overall, we’re going to have probably most years about 3,000 pounds of snake. Sometimes more, sometimes less and we’re taking maybe 1500 snakes, that’s a lot of snakes, lots of snake. And we’re going to cook about 250 pounds this weekend and serve it, deep fried rattlesnake. And people ask me what it tastes like and I tell you what Kelly, it tastes just like snake.