The Sweetwater Kitten Roundup is an annual Sweetwater tradition that focuses on community, education, corporate sponsorships, and revenue for the Jaycees. The roundup originally began in 1948 as a way to teach children proper hunting practice, as well as provide nutrition for our growing community. One thing that hasn’t changed is the start of the hunt! Every year after Punxsutawney Phil makes his prediction, the focus shifts to Sweetwater, and the hunt is on!
Every year the hunt starts February 3rd. The hunt is open to any Sweetwater resident with a $25 permit, or Jaycees members for $15. Out of town guests must purchase a weekend pass along with a $50 permit to hunt. The methods of hunting vary as much as the people who are on the hunt, so how you catch your animals is really up to you. Please remember, NO FIREARMS OR TRANQUILIZER DARTS ARE PERMITTED DURING HUNTING. Lead-based ammunition and tranquilizer poses a consumption hazard, as well as any metal that is lodged inside the body cavity. The age and sex of the feline is unimportant. Despite the name, juvenile and adult cats are completely fair game.
Common Hunting Practices
Trapping of course is an easy and effective way to catch cats, however you may find other animals in your traps. This is why it’s important to check your traps every four or five days. We can only recommend the use of the safety traps in order to keep the animal alive for killing and skinning it at the event. Standard traps leave too wide of a margin of error for the animal to bleed out over the next few weeks prior to the event.
Another popular way to capture cats is to find where the strays congregate, and flush them out with any sort of noxious chemical. Tear gas, kerosene or gasoline, chlorine, or any similar heavy caustic agent will work. As the animals evacuate their dens, these agents will tend to make the animals disoriented or “woozy”. At this point, they should be relatively easy to catch with a net, box, hunting dog, or can be safely tazed.
And finally, if you have an unwanted cat, please remember to remove any identifying tags prior to bringing your animal to be slaughtered.