This is a project Scott and I are extremely stoked to be able to say we are involved in. Together with the awesome Todd Autry is the U.S. we have come up with a Western Diamondback range to help the tireless, hardworking guys who are trying to make a difference with the Rattlesnake Roundups. Shirts are $25AUD each + p&h. $10 per shirt will be donated to go towards travel, printing costs, educating, research, interviews etc to help give them much needed funding as it all comes out of their pockets. If you haven't seen a rattlesnake round up please google it - it is something that would not fly here in Australia.
This is the shirt we offer to help raise funds for RARR. The Western Diamondback image was taken by Todd Autry.
We also offer the Western Diamondback design on a tea towel. The tea towel is 100% cotton.
The Western Diamondback Hi-ball tumbler has been very popular.
Organised snake hunts in the United States are documented as far back as the 1800’s in New England where people were paid bounties for rattlesnakes that they killed and turned in. This was done to eradicate the Timber Rattlesnake Crotalus horridus from its native range which was being developed by European settlers. As European settlers moved further west many set up farms and ranches for livestock production. It is impossible to know how many organized snake hunts occurred over the period of early United States history but what is known is the phenomenon of the modern day rattlesnake roundup.
Rattlesnake roundups started in Oklahoma in 1939. Many people proceeding this period would kill snakes on their farms and then bring them into town to show them off. Because many people would show up to view the animals, people decided to start catching them alive and bring them into town. A festival was formed out of the snake hunt and the rattlesnake roundup was born. The idea spread to other cities, mostly in other areas of Oklahoma and Texas, but also as far away as Georgia and Pennsylvania. It was viewed as a way to make a contest out of harvesting an animal that many people claim to be a nuisance.
Rattlesnake roundups are organized hunts where animals are brought in and sold by the pound. Many roundups kill the snakes onsite while others do not. The entire animal is used as there is value found in their meat, skin and internal organs. Today the harvest of these animals is primarily commercial.
Although the modern day rattlesnake roundup was born out of a fear of venomous snakes, today it is much more about making money for the communities that host them. Rattlesnake roundups in the United States were most popular during the 1970’s and 1980’s. During this time, Texas alone had over 40 individual roundups. Today, less than 8 remain in Texas. Georgia also used to have many roundups in which wild snakes were collected and processed for their skin and meat but today only one such hunt remains. The second hunt that operated in Georgia changed from a hunt to a display where the snakes are shown off and education is provided about the benefits they play in the environment where they are important for controlling rodent populations. Today only 4 states remain that harvest and kill the animals: Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas.
The impact of large scale hunting on populations of rattlesnakes is hard to determine. Residential expansion has led to habitat loss, removal of prey items, mortality from roads and other pressures have already placed these amazing snakes into decline across the country. This has led to specific protection for some species. The roundup only adds to the pressures faced the group in its entirety. Less than 20 traditional rattlesnake roundups still occur today with the majority of them operating in Oklahoma and Texas, but that in our opinion is 20 to many.
If you would like to donate to their cause but not purchase something in the range please send us a pm so we can put you in touch with them.
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