MONROE TOWNSHIP - By mid-afternoon on Saturday, six timber rattlesnakes had been brought to the pen at the Monroeton Rod & Gun Club.

The two largest timber rattlesnakes in the pen were a 51-inch serpent, caught in Overton Township, and a 49-inch-long specimen, caught in Franklin Township, said James Chestney, the coordinator of the state government's Timber Rattlesnake Project.

Those two snakes are probably 20 to 25 years old, he said.

The snakes can live to be over 30 years old, he said. The largest timber rattlesnake caught in Pennsylvania was 56 inches long, he said.

Male rattlers that are caught at this time of year tend to be on the move to find mates, he said. Sometimes they are found crossing a road, he said.

The 34 people who registered to participate in the hunt this year were only allowed to capture male snakes that are at least 42 inches long. They will be releasing all snakes caught in the hunt at sunset today at the same location they where they were caught.

Also in the pen were two copperheads, which were caught in Wyalusing Township.

The rattlesnake hunt event, which continues all day today at the Monroeton Rod & Gun Club in Monroe Township, also features horseshoe competitions, vendors and food.

Hundreds of people attend the event each year, said Donna Hoiaas, a member of the club's board of directors.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: