Noxen Rattlesnake Roundup brings in a crowd once again


Slithering reptiles stars of annual roundup

By Marcella Kester - For Dallas Post



Zakary Otten, 7, and Sydney Rogers, 4, check out a rattlesnake held by Bill Wheeler at the Noxen Rattlesnake Roundup on Sunday in Noxen.


Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

Bill Wheeler holds a rattlesnake for Ben Bush, 8, and Lisa Risch to see at the Rattlesnake Roundup on Sunday afternoon.


Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

Rex Hrabal, 9, feels the texture of a rattlesnake Sunday.


Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

Staff members try to measure a rattlesnake.


Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

Rattlesnake handlers look over one of the snakes brought in to the roundup.


Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

Lou Carlo takes a photo of the snakes Sunday.


Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

The rattlesnakes are placed in tubes when they are handled so they cannot bite.


Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post


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    NOXEN — Sunny skies and slithering snakes brought a crowd out to the borough’s fairgrounds on Sunday for the final day of the annual Rattlesnake Roundup.

    “It’s been great weather, both for rattle hunting and for families to come out and enjoy the event,” said Lew Hackling, Noxen fire chief and roundup committee member. He added that turnout for this year’s event has been great.

    The annual four-day event, which was first held in 1973, benefits the Noxen Fire Department and other local organizations.

    “I came down because my family comes every year,” said Katelyn Whalen, who traveled to the event from Binghamton, New York. “I guess I wanted to be surrounded by rattlesnakes … and potato pancakes.”

    Whalen said she loves snakes.

    “I can’t believe I was able to touch a rattlesnake,” she gushed.

    Whalen wasn’t the only one wanting to be surrounded by snakes. As a crowd gathered around the area enclosing the snakes, many took photos and raised their children up to take a glimpse of the normally feared reptiles.

    Hackling stood inside the fenced-in area, wrangling, measuring and counting the snakes before they were released back into the wild.

    He said that in order to capture the snakes, hunters must have a valid fishing license and a snake-hunting permit, which can be obtained from the Pennsylvania Fish and Wildlife Commission.

    Throughout the week a total of 39 snakes were captured, including eight copperheads and 20 non-poisonous snakes. The longest snake captured was a black rat snake, measuring 77 1/2 inches.

    There was plenty more to do than see the snakes, however.

    Vendors covered a good portion of the fairgrounds, selling hunting apparel, home goods and handmade crafts. Food stands were also on site, serving up ice cream to combat the heat and humidity along with hot dogs, hamburgers, pierogis and Whalen’s favorite, potato pancakes.

    Children could create their own masterpieces of sand art, and face-paining was also a hit. Rides and bounce houses were also on site.

    Zakary Otten, 7, and Sydney Rogers, 4, check out a rattlesnake held by Bill Wheeler at the Noxen Rattlesnake Roundup on Sunday in Noxen.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_TTL062016rattlesnake1.jpgZakary Otten, 7, and Sydney Rogers, 4, check out a rattlesnake held by Bill Wheeler at the Noxen Rattlesnake Roundup on Sunday in Noxen. Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

    Bill Wheeler holds a rattlesnake for Ben Bush, 8, and Lisa Risch to see at the Rattlesnake Roundup on Sunday afternoon.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_TTL062016rattlesnake2.jpgBill Wheeler holds a rattlesnake for Ben Bush, 8, and Lisa Risch to see at the Rattlesnake Roundup on Sunday afternoon. Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

    Rex Hrabal, 9, feels the texture of a rattlesnake Sunday.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_TTL062016rattlesnake3.jpgRex Hrabal, 9, feels the texture of a rattlesnake Sunday. Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

    Staff members try to measure a rattlesnake.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_TTL062016rattlesnake4.jpgStaff members try to measure a rattlesnake. Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

    Rattlesnake handlers look over one of the snakes brought in to the roundup.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_TTL062016rattlesnake5.jpgRattlesnake handlers look over one of the snakes brought in to the roundup. Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

    Lou Carlo takes a photo of the snakes Sunday.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_TTL062016rattlesnake6.jpgLou Carlo takes a photo of the snakes Sunday. Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post

    The rattlesnakes are placed in tubes when they are handled so they cannot bite.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_TTL062016rattlesnake7.jpgThe rattlesnakes are placed in tubes when they are handled so they cannot bite. Aimee Dilger | Dallas Post
    Slithering reptiles stars of annual roundup

    By Marcella Kester

    For Dallas Post

    Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-675-5211 or by email at [email protected]

    Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-675-5211 or by email at [email protected]

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