Frank Lugert’s Story

Lake Altus-Lugert is the official name of the lake nestled in the Wichita Mountains inside Quartz Mountain State park. In recent years, drought has devastated the lake. Though the drought prevents the lake from being used as a fishery, irrigation, or water activities, it has revealed why many in southwest Oklahoma “officially” know the lake as “Lake Lugert.”

Along State Highway 44, foundations of the past can be seen peaking from the sandy, dry lake bed. The foundations once made up a small town founded by Frank Lugert, a Russian immigrant that moved into the area in 1901. From 1901 to 1912, the small rural town grew to 500 people. However, the growth and prosperity of Lugert came to an abrupt halt when a tornado destroyed the entire town in 1901. Many of the residents moved on and the waters of Lake Lugert eventually moved in.

In 1951, the Kiowa County Star-Review interviewed the 80-year-old Frank Lugert. The article is inciteful into the interesting life of a man whose impact on southwestern Oklahoma is still realized today. The complete article can be found here.

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

The time has finally arrived. the 48th Annual Mangum Rattlesnake Derby will kick off this Friday, April 26th, and last three full days of fun. Early weather reports suggest that the weather will be warm and sunny. Granted, weather can change from day-to-day, hour-to-hour, or even minute-to-minute. However, we are optimistic that this weekend will be a huge success.

Today, we are busily getting the sleepy town of Mangum ready to host over 30,000 people. Vendor spaces are being marked. The Snake Pit is being assembled. Plans are being finalized. Luckily, after 48 years, we know that our hard work and effort will come together and present a final product to you that we hope that you enjoy.

Hopefully, this website is useful to you in order for you to find what you are looking for. However, if you have questions about the weekend, you may ask us through this website. In addition, during the weekend, you can find a person in a red vest. Typically, they either know the answer or can point you to where the answer is.

We hope that everyone comes and have a safe, fun weekend.

Rattlesnake Hunt Rules is now Accessible – Time for a Refresher.

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.

Events Schedule is Updated

The Rattlesnake Derby is a little over a month a way. The Association is making last-second preparations. Snake hunters are hauling in their catch. Vendors are taking inventory and stocking up for the show. Its an exciting time around Mangum! All you vendors out there still interested, continue to send us your comments and we will do our best in relaying all the necessary information.

The Event Schedule page has been updated to reflect the most current times of this year’s festivities. The schedule is similar to last year. In addition times and events may change without prior notice.

We hope to see you soon!