Opp's Rattlesnake Rodeo is less than two months away, and snake hunters say they are ahead of schedule.
Hunters say they have more than double the number of snakes they usually have by this time of year, and are expecting to have nearly 60 for the Rattlesnake Rodeo.
Rattlesnake wrangling is well underway. Coordinators say they expect to have one of highest snake totals in the past decade for this year's rodeo. They usually have about 15 by this time, but right now, they already have 36 outside of City Hall, "Snake wise we've got a few more than we have had in the past, and that's a product of the weather. It's been cold so the snakes are available," says coordinator, Don Childre.
The snakes are collected for more than just show; hunters say the rodeo is a way to teach kids about the dangers of rattlesnakes, "We lost a child here in Opp back a number of years ago. He was chasing a ball and got bitten in a mailbox; it was growing up around the edges of it. And we try to educate kids what to do, which is leave them alone," says Childre.
Day two of the rodeo will be a bit different than years past, says Mayor John Bartholomew, "We wanted to do something different. We wanted to bring it all day Saturday, and Sunday, have nothing but Christian artists. And we're really excited about that."
The mayor also says they are expecting nearly 30,000 people in Opp for the rodeo.
The rodeo coordinator says the snakes are caught by trained hunters and you should not attempted to catch rattlesnakes on your own.