The rules governing both the act of hunting rattlesnakes in Oklahoma, as well as participating in the hunting competition during the derby, is now available. Now may be the time for you to refresh both Oklahoma’s requirements and the Derby’s requirements. Neither set of rules are any different than last year. However, we would like to take the time to refresh everyone on some of the basics.
First, hunting rattlesnakes requires a hunting license. There are exemptions to this licensing requirement. However, if you do not fit into a particular exemption, then you MUST have a license. During the hunt, participants may apply for a 5-day rattlesnake permit. Such permit foregoes the need to have a hunting license. However, such license will only help you if you are hunting during the hunt. It is illegal to sell rattlesnakes if you do not have a license.
Second, gassing dens or introducing other toxic substances into a den for the sole purpose of catching rattlesnakes is strictly prohibited. It is ILLEGAL.
Third, remember to get landowner permission prior to hunting on their land. Failure to get permission may expose you to criminal and civil liabilities. In addition, if you do have the landowner’s permission, leave the property as you found it. Do not leave trash or debris, destroy supplements, harass cattle, etc. Such acts can result in the landowner withdrawing his/her permission.
Have a safe and happy hunting experience. Hopefully, you will share our catch at this year’s event.