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It's almost spring time in Texas and that means there is one more of nature's gifts we have to pleasure of looking forward to: snakes.

Let me be more specific: we don't have look out for just any old snake, we have to worry about rattlesnakes.

Although I'm not a fan of snakes, rattlesnakes are the ones that send a chill down my spine and make me run for the hills (hills that are infested with rattlesnakes I'm sure).

So when I heard someone discovered a 43-inch rattlensnake on their back porch, not too far from my home, well I wasn't happy about that. It would be nice to have some sort of way to repel snakes from my home, but my cat Mango is too busy to be bothered with silly little tasks like chasing after snakes.

With rattlesnakes in mind, you cannot fail to mention the World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup in the small West Texas town of Sweetwater. An event that first started out as a way for ranchers to control the rattlesnake population in the area, it has now grown into a four-day attraction that brings about 30,000 visitors and an economic impact of more than $5 million.

Source: Associated Press
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The event, officially known as the World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup, started as a way to control the poisonous reptiles in the area but has grown into a four-day attraction that brings about 30,000 visitors and an economic impact of more than $5 million.

Besides the roundup, there's a parade, a snake charmer pageant, a snake meat eating contest and snake-handling demonstrations, which are aimed at educating adults and children about the ways of rattlers.

Texas A&M University researchers have said the roundup pulls about 1 percent of the state's Western Diamondback population.

Crazy Courageous and very brave Tommy Woods uses a snake tong to lift one of hundreds of Western Diamondbacks turned in at the World‘s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas.

On the rattlesnake roundup's Web site, there's a mention of a "cook shack that specializes in Deep-fried Western Diamondback Rattlesnake meat which is considered a delicacy all over the world. A snake meat eating contest is held Sunday afternoon."

Too bad I missed it, that's a shame.

Anyone ever tried rattlesnake meat? I bet it tastes like chicken.

Make sure to check out the FAQ section on the Web site as well, you can learn all sorts of things, like how to skin, tan, and cook a snake, or what to do with a dead snake. Of particular interest to me was the response to the question, "How can I keep snakes out of my yard?" That is required reading if you live in South Texas and are as terrified of snakes as I am.