Rattlesnake Roundup in Whigham, GA

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Snake hunters are on the prowl in southwest Georgia Friday. They're out gathering the venomous creatures for Whigham's annual Rattlesnake Roundup set for Saturday.

Preparations are underway for Whigham's Rattlesnake Roundup, but what you won't find the day before the event are the venomous creatures that strike the interest of thousands.

Barry Strickland, snake ring coordinator, says, "Snake hunters are actually out as we speak gathering snakes. A lot of people are fascinated with snakes and this is the largest, poisonous snake in North America, the Eastern Diamondback snake, which is what we feature here."

The deadly snake is primarily found in southwest Georgia, and decades ago farm workers would often get bitten by them. Back then the purpose of the roundup was to capture the snakes to decrease their population.

Dave Ulmer, president of the Whigham Community Club, says, "Right now I don't think our emphasis are on that as much as getting a number of snakes here so that we can demonstrate to the people. I think people love to see that they can experience that adrenaline charge when one shakes his rattles."

Organizers also hope to dispel old myths about the fascinating reptiles.

Strickland says, "Some people think a rattlesnake can actually jump to strike someone. They can't. They can strike about two-thirds of their body length."

Last year the largest snake weighed nearly seven pounds, so how big will they be this year? We'll, that's something you'll have to come see for yourself.

This is the 45th annual roundup sponsored by the Whigham Community Club. Visitors will be able to see up to 300 rattlesnakes Saturday. The gates open at 8:00 in the morning and snake demonstrations begin at 11:45.