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Oklahoma Town Shows Snakes Who's Boss

Folks in Mangum, Oklahoma, are experts at hunting rattlesnakes.

Folks in Mangum, Oklahoma, are experts at hunting rattlesnakes.

Friday, April 23, 2010 16:15 GMT

Mangum, Okla. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Even though there are as many rattlesnakes as people in Mangum, Oklahoma, the serpents don’t stand a chance.

The 45th Annual Mangum Rattlesnake Derby slithers into the tiny rural town today (Apr. 23) through Sunday (Apr. 25), where groups of hunters hit the land looking for rattlers.

Event president Keith Kendall says snakes are everywhere, so the hunt is a good way to control the pesky population.

In past derbies, one hunter was able to wrangle 1,070 pounds of rattlesnake while another brought back a seven-foot snake that still holds the record for the longest one ever caught.

Kendall says that the rattlers gathered are processed for their meat – considered a delicacy – while their hides are used to make boots and belts.

Since participants are old pros they seldom get bitten, especially if they use their wits.

Kendall advises hunters to “keep their eye on the ground” and always grab rattlesnakes behind their heads so they can’t strike.

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