Now that the spring has officially made an appearance in Oklahoma, it's time to start preparing for common wildlife to come out of hiding: including snakes. If you're new to Oklahoma, you'll start to hear about a common festival circuit throughout the state that aims to educate people about rattlesnakes, specifically.

According to Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist Dwayne Elmore, "Five species of rattlesnake occur in Oklahoma, including the timber, western diamond-backed, prairie, western massasauga and western pygmy. The prairie rattlesnake can, on occasion, show some temper, but the remainder are typically mild in nature." Although rattlesnakes make up a small amount of the species found in Oklahoma, they're often the ones that come to mind when outdoorsman think of which they may run into.

In order to learn more about rattlesnake safety and gain confidence when encountering a rattlesnake, visit one or all of these different rattlesnake festivals held in springtime in Oklahoma.

Waynoka Snake Hunt - April 5 - 7 (Already passed)

Canva/Waynoka Facebook
Canva/Waynoka Rattlesnake Hunt Facebook

This year was the 78th celebration of the Waynoka Rattlesnake Hunt. Although the event has passed, they've already begun the planning process for next year's event. Take a look at the vendors and contests they had; many of which are similar to the other rattlesnake festivals in the rest of the state. If you've never been before, here is a great place to get an idea of what to expect.

Waurika Rattlesnake Hunt - April 11 - 14

Canva/Waurika Facebook
Canva/Waurika Rattlesnake Hunt Facebook

This year's annual event in Waurika is going on 62 years strong of teaching new and old how to identify a rattler and much more. If you're feeling risky, take a guided snake tour and see if you bring home the longest, the biggest or the smallest rattler. Take a look at their Facebook page for more information on all of their events.

Okeene Rattlesnake Hunt - April 11 - 14

Canva/Okeene Facebook
Canva/Okeene Rattlesnake Hunt Facebook

For those farther north in Oklahoma, the Okeene Rattlesnake hunt is also happening this weekend. This small town has been celebrating their festival the longest out of all five towns, counting this year as their 85th annual event. For those attending the guided hunt, permits are required and should be purchased beforehand. For more information, check out their social media.

Apache Rattlesnake Festival - April 18 - 21

Canva/Apache Rattlesnake Festival Facebook
Canva/Apache Rattlesnake Festival Facebook

Not much happens in Apache, Oklahoma. But you can bet your bottom dollar that southwest Oklahoma gets excited when this event comes every year. This year's 40th Annual Apache Rattlesnake Festival is no different and includes activities for the entire family. It is put on by the Slick Hills Foundation out of Apache and raises funds to help those in their community throughout the year. For more information about this year's event, click here.

Mangum Rattlesnake Derby - April 26 - 28 


Although the town may seem small, it hosts one of the largest rattlesnake derbies in the state, with over one hundred vendors flooding the town. In year's past, they've had travelers from Germany, Canada, and more from across the country. This 58th Annual Rattlesnake Derby is sure to be as grand as, if not even more than, before.

When you visit the derby or festival this year, tell us about your experience. Share your photos with us on our app.

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