From the Archives: 'Snakes alive': Annual rattlesnake roundup culls hundreds of rattlers

These three images by staff photographer Bill Varie appeared in the April 15, 1979, Los Angeles Times. The extended caption reported:

Jaycees in Big Spring, Texas, paid citizens $2.75 a pound for rattlesnakes during the annual March roundup to rid the area of snakes. Just coming out of hibernation, 1,000 of the lethargic varmints were collected in the pit (above), where Mike Faulkner, organizer of the roundup, who was clad in leg guards, showed the proper way to handle a diamondback. A plexiglass window in the pit allowed Kimberly Evans, 8, to sneer in safety at one of the rattlers. After being collected, the snakes were milked for their venom for use in antivenin serum and in research. Then some were killed and cooked as part of the menu for the weekend celebration. Others were sold for research.

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