Path Home Shows 2011 Show Archive July 2011 Show 1129 Apache Rattlesnake Festival

Apache Rattlesnake Festival

We travel to Apache, Oklahoma, for this year's rattlesnake round-up.
Apache Rattlesnake Festival

Rattlesnakes

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Show Dates

Show 1129: Apache Rattlesnake Festival

Air date: July 17, 2011

 

Transcript

ROB MCCLENDON:  WELL OKLAHOMANS LOVE THEIR SPORTS, FROM THE NBA’S OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL SATURDAY, OKLAHOMANS ARE HUGE SPORTS FANS.  AND IN THE CASE OF OUR FIRST TWO STORIES, THEY’RE ALSO PARTICIPANTS.  KALEB SUMMERS STARTS US OFF WITH A TRIP TO APACHE, OKLAHOMA, FOR THIS YEAR’S RATTLESNAKE ROUND-UP.

[RATTLESNAKE TAIL SHAKING]

KALEB SUMMERS:  FOR MOST OF US, THIS IS A LITTLE TOO CLOSE.  BUT IT’S THRILLS LIKE THESE THAT ARE BRINGING TOURISTS FLOCKING TO APACHE, OKLAHOMA’S ANNUAL RATTLESNAKE FESTIVAL.

THE FESTIVAL BEGAN IN 1984 WHEN LOCAL RESIDENTS DISCOVERED A UNIQUE WAY TO CREATE TOURISM IN THEIR TOWN, ALONG WITH CONTROLLING THE SNAKE POPULATION AT THE SAME TIME.

RONNIE ORF:  WE SELL EVERYTHING BUT THE HEAD TO ANYONE THAT WANTS TO COME IN HERE.  A LOT OF PEOPLE, THEY BUY THE MEAT, TAKE IT HOME, FRY IT UP THERE-SELF, KIND OF LIKE CHICKEN.  WE SELL IT FOR $15 A POUND.  THE HIDES, WE SELL A LOT OF HIDES AND RATTLES; IT GOES FOR $2.50 A FOOT FOR BIG SNAKES, $1.50 A FOOT ON THE SMALL SNAKES, AND THE RATTLES VARY BY SIZE ON HOW MUCH THEY ARE.

KALEB:  RONNIE ORF HAS BEEN WORKING THE FESTIVAL FOR 28 YEARS AND IS OFFERING TOURISTS A FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE.

RONNIE:  THEY’LL TAKE ‘EM HOME, TAN ‘EM OUT, MAKE BOOTS, A BELT, OR JUST PUT ‘EM ON A BOARD AND PUT ‘EM ON A WALL.

KALEB:  FOR THE AUDIENCE, EACH PART OF THE PROCESS IS DEMONSTRATED FRONT TO FINISH.

[RATTLESNAKE SOUNDS]

BUT THIS VENOM CAN BE A REMINDER OF THE RELENTLESS DANGERS INVOLVED IN THE CAPTURE OF THESE SNAKES.

RONNIE:  I HAVE BEEN BIT, I WAS BIT 5 YEARS AGO THIS MARCH.  IT WAS A VERY PAINFUL BITE.  I WAS OUT HUNTIN’ THE SNAKES, WE CAUGHT 87 BEFORE I GOT BIT THAT DAY.

KALEB:  BUT DESPITE ALL THE DANGERS, THIS ANNUAL EVENT IS IMPORTANT TO THE TOWN’S ECONOMY.

DANYE VICE:  THIS ONE IS $5, AND THIS IS $6, AND THIS ONE IS $7.

KALEB:  APACHE RESIDENT, DANYE VICE, SAYS THIS EVENT MEANS A LOT TO THEIR COMMUNITY.

DANYE:  THERE’S SEVERAL BUSINESSES IN OUR CITY THAT IT’S THEIR HIGHEST INCOME MONTH FOR THE WHOLE YEAR.

KALEB:  TO ENJOY A WEEKEND THAT’S OKLAHOMA THROUGH AND THROUGH, FROM TRICK ROPING TO TRADITIONAL INDIAN FANCY DANCE; BUT NO MATTER WHAT YOU’RE HERE TO WATCH, JUST REMEMBER, TO WATCH YOUR STEP.

ROB:  NOW WHEN KALEB GOT BACK TO THE OFFICE AFTER THIS YEAR’S HUNT, HE WAS QUICK TO TELL US THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN STICKING A POLE INTO A CREVICE AND PULLING OUT A SNAKE, IS STICKING YOUR HAND INTO AN UNDERWATER CAVE AND PULLING OUT A CATFISH.  WHEN WE RETURN, WE’LL TAKE YOU NOODLING.