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Every year just before spring hits the Sweetwater Jaycees head out and start hunting rattlesnakes throughout West Texas. What began as a goodwill gesture 65 years ago to help farmers and ranchers has become a money-raising operation for the Sweetwater Jaycees.

More importantly, all the monies raised go right back into the community in Sweetwater and around Nolan County, benefiting lots of children's organizations. The Sweetwater Jaycees have made their annual Rattlesnake Roundup a way for someone to make money hunting snakes.

Now, before you go get your tall boots on and grab your big-ole welding gloves, there are two things you must do before you go looking under those big rocks out in the country. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) says there are two pieces of paper you must have on your person before you pick up your first snake.

First, you will need to get your basic hunting license, and if you are going to collect the snake to sell them you will need a "Wildlife Commercial Nongame Permit" and you will need to have them on you while hunting Rattlesnakes in Texas.

The Wildlife Commercial Nongame Permit/Permits available are: $20.00 – Recreational Controlled Exotic Snakes (RCES) Permit (Item 580): Allows possession and/or transportation of an unlimited number of snakes, but does not allow sale. Sales receipt for purchase of affected snake serves as a 21-day temporary RCES permit for purchaser. Furthermore, the TPWD has established a commercial permit for the sale of regulated and/or venomous snakes and large constrictor snakes.
Source: Texas.Public.Law Texas Parks and Wildlife, Sec. 43.851 Permit

I saved the best news for last. While you will spend about $50 to $75 getting your licenses and permits to hunt rattlesnakes in Texas. The good news is that the Sweetwater Jaycees will be paying $13 a pound for rattlesnakes this year.

Finally, while you can hunt on your own property and on the side of a public road, once that snake gets onto private property you had better get written permission to cross onto private property and if you see a post or tree painted purple, you had better heed the warning and keep out. To learn more about the posting purple watch the video below or click here. Happy Hunting Y'all.

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Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

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