Saturday, December 10, 2005

New blog

I have merged all of my blogs into one blog under my own domain name. You can find it here:

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Effects of hunting

Here is a link to a page by The Humane Society. It describes the effects on ecosystems of rattlesnakes. It also has information on distribution and other things.

The Humane Society

Here is an excerpt from the site:

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
This species is the most common target of roundups in Oklahoma and Texas. In the United States, its range encompasses western central Arkansas and Texas to southeastern California. It is found in a wide variety of habitats, from lowlands to mountains up to 5,000 feet.
The western diamondback rattlesnake also comprises the bulk of the take for the skin trade and for gallbladders exported to Asia. The states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas do not monitor the trade in this species, beyond one ongoing study at Sweetwater, Texas. Estimates as to the trade in this species run as high as 100,000 individuals for roundups alone, but this estimate may be high because it is based on the existence of 50 roundups; the current number is closer to 20 in Oklahoma and Texas. Confounding the issue is that trade in this species occurs throughout the year, and animals brought in to roundups are probably only about 15 percent of all of those taken for the skin, meat, gallbladder, and curio trade.

Monday, July 04, 2005


I have sent the following email to these email addresses to protest the annual rattlesnake roundup in Waurika, Oklahama:

Hi, Sherri,

I am writing to you to quietly protest the rattlesnake roundup that is held in Waurika each year. I will not bore you with a lot of information that you are probably not interested in, but I will state the reasons that I oppose these roundups. The first reason is that they upset the ecological balance of the area. Rattlesnakes play a critical role in the various ecosystems of Oklahoma and hunting them en masse depletes their numbers dangerously. The second reason that I oppose these roundups is that I consider them to be inhumane. Snakes are flushed and captured under inhumane conditions and are often injured or killed before they even are brought in. The third reason that I oppose them is that they teach an unhealthy attitude toward these creatures to our children.

I would be less opposed to these roundups if the following were implemented:

All roundups should be catch-and-release;
Snakes must be caught under very strict and strictly enforced practices that do not needlessly harm the snakes or endanger the hunters; and,
A class or classes should be offered to the public and targeted toward children, teaching them the role of rattlesnakes in our ecosystems.

If you would be so kind as to pass my protest on to the planners of your roundups, I will be extremely grateful. They may well laugh me into next week, but I have done what I had to do.


R. Lynn Brown
Tulsa, OK

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Harmful Effects of Rattlesnake Roundups

"Rattlesnake roundups are among the most deliberately cruel public events existing today in the United States. Collection methods include spraying gasoline into the snakes' hiding places and using poles tipped with fish hooks to extract snakes. Roundups end with grotesque scenes of public slaughter. In between collection and death, snakes suffer extreme neglect and repeated acts of cruelty. They are typically stockpiled, often for months, without food or water, in unhygienic conditions. The snakes may be kept in crates, trash cans, or other cramped containers in which they crush or bite each other. Some snakes die in these containers from capture-related injuries or from dehydration or starvation. Investigators have seen snakes being dropped onto concrete floors from crates several feet above the ground, "putted" with golf clubs while in a coiled position, and made the object of countless other cruel and unnecessary acts. Some handlers sew snakes' mouths shut with wire or fishing line to use them as photo props.
Unfortunately, cruelty issues are not addressed in statutes governing the use of wildlife in any of the states where roundups take place. Laws that specifically mandate that rattlesnakes are to be classified as "animals" and that anti-cruelty laws apply to their treatment are needed in these states."

Complete Story

The Truth Behind Rattlesnake Roundups

"Rattlesnake roundups promote unhealthy, and potentially dangerous, attitudes toward wildlife. They encourage overexploitation of wildlife, condone cruelty as acceptable behavior, and endorse the attitude that the capture, abuse, and slaughter of potentially dangerous animals are ways to demonstrate courage or skill. Such activities are more accurately described as reckless personal endangerment at the expense of the animal victims, a healthy ecosystem, and the public good.
For many, if not most, rattlesnake roundups, snakes are driven out of their hiding places with gasoline, stored in unhygienic conditions without water or food, and packed tightly into containers for transport to and display at roundups. Many snakes arrive at roundups crushed to death, dehydrated, or starved. Those who survive may be used in cruel public demonstrations and daredevil acts, and are eventually decapitated, an inefficient and cruel method of slaughter for reptiles."

  • Complete Story
  • Rattlesnakes of Oklahoma

    Though this is intended to be an educational website, it is more for my own education than anything else. It will be used in conjunction with my regular website on the rattlesnakes of Oklahoma and will primarily include news and related items. If you have questions, suggestions, news items or corrections, please email me at

    Ric Brown
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    House Approves Special Permits For Rattlesnake Hunts

    (May 23, 2005) -- Acting to preserve festivals that have become a significant tourist draw in rural Oklahoma, state lawmakers voted Monday to authorize the creation of special permits for rattlesnake hunts.

    House Bill 1814, by State Rep. Don Armes, R-Faxon, was originally a measure dealing only with Wildlife Land Stamps.

    However, State Rep. Joe Dorman amended the bill to authorize special, one-time
    permits for rattlesnake hunts.The proposed law came in response to recent problems in Dorman’s district.

    “Authorities were cracking down on hunters at Apache’s rattlesnake hunt, telling them they had to have a permit,” said Dorman, D-Rush Springs. “A lot of the guys attending the hunt were from out of state and didn’t have an Oklahoma hunting permit and the only thing they hunt in Oklahoma is rattlesnakes. This bill just creates a special option whenever there’s a festival to allow a specialty hunt for rattlesnakes.”

    The Apache hunt has been an annual event for more than two decades, but authorities have not objected to the event until recently, Dorman said.

    Apache’s rattlesnake hunt, held each April, is a large festival featuring 300 vendors, a carnival and other attractions. Prizes are given for the most rattlesnakes killed and for the largest rattlesnakes. The event is conducted free of charge.

    House Bill 1814 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 100-0 vote and now proceeds to the state Senate for its final vote. If the bill clears the Senate, it will go to the governor for his signature.

    Contact: State Rep. Joe Dorman
    Capitol: (405) 557-7305
    Rush Springs: (580) 476-3745OKLAHOMA CITY