Rattlesnakes bring a vision of fear and dread in the eyes of many, maybe because they are a venomous woodland viper. However, for the Morris Fire Company, they have a very useful and important function. They are used by the fire company in their annual Rattlesnake Round-Up as a means to raise much-needed funds for the company. The Morris Rattlesnake Round-up has been taking place since 1956.
“The Rattlesnake Round-up is sponsored by the Morris Twp Fire Company. The event is one of several fundraisers for the fire company, which allows us to protect and serve our communities,” Melanie Herb, Secretary of the Morris Township Fire Company, told Webb Weekly. “The event not only helps the fire company but also helps support our local churches. We count on them to serve our chicken barbecue dinners. Local businesses also count on the increase in business (restaurants, campgrounds, cabin rentals, to name a few). “
According to Herb, the hunt itself is governed by state regulations through the Fish and Boat Commission. Hunters are required to have a fishing license and permit to hunt the Timber Rattlesnakes. Hunters are only allowed one snake, which must be at least 42 inches long and possess 21 or more subcaudal scales. Additional information can be located at http://www.fishandboat.com. There you will also find additional information about other native reptiles and amphibians. The fire company does not sponsor the hunt to exterminate the snakes. They like to educate people about the snakes.
There is more to this event than the rounding up of snakes. If you don’t like snakes, you can spend the weekend there and not have to see one! There is a one-pitch softball tournament, a large flea and craft market, a chicken barbecue dinner, and lots of food served up by the volunteers, including burgers, hotdogs, pulled pork, fresh-cut fries, funnel cakes, and Sunset Ice Cream. There’s live entertainment throughout the weekend and fireworks on Saturday night at “dark thirty”!
The fire company sells “Snake Hunt t-shirts,” which are very popular. Get there early if you want one!!
It’s great family fun! So come and enjoy this interesting and unique event.