According to The Vicksburg Post, the 3rd anual armadillo hunt was set for this weekend. Teams of men, women and children took to the ditches and fields of rural Warren and Sharkey counties around sundown last night in hopes of catching enough armadillos to be named champion of the 3rd annual Norris Outfitters and Shriners Hospitals for Children Armadillo Roundup.
While the concept may sound strange, the idea is simple: catch as many of the armored animals through out one night as possible by hand or with a net. Armadillos must not be injured in order to be counted in team totals, and all the proceeds benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Alton Norris, owner of Norris Outfitter in Cary, organized the first armadillo roundup in 2007 and raise $630 for Shriners. Between the $10.00 per-team-member entry fee, a raffle and silent auction of items donated by local businesses, the roundup raised about $2,000 for the charity last year.
"It's just a great way to have some fun and benefit Shriners at the same time," said Norris. "We have a blast. It's a family-friendly event, and we encourage anyone to participate."
The event grew from three teams to five in its first two years. Team Oak Ridge Taxidermy of Vicksburg brought in 18 armadillos last year to take first place and defend its title as champ. Teams choose their quickest catches to participate in armadillo races following the awards ceremony this afternoon, with divisions for men, women and children. All the armadillos are released back into the wild following the races.
A catfish fry was on tap for today at Norris' camp in Sharkey County with awards ceremony, armadillo races, raffle and silent auction following. Norris' camp is located on U.S. 61 North and is the first driveway on the left after you cross the Sharkey County line from Warren County.