Teacher Tea: Chad Prock


Photo by Aparnna Manoj

History teacher, Chad Prock poses in front of his classroom during his conference period.

He uses a hook to grab a snapping snake by its neck, contains it in a bag, and takes it to the rattlesnake roundup in Sweetwater, Texas. Going out to West Texas – a craggy desert, full of rocks and burrows with rattlesnakes – history teacher Chad Prock was no stranger to the creature, having participating in multiple snake roundups with his father.

“When I was young, my dad would take me out to West Texas every year around March on my birthday,” Prock said. “There’s a rattlesnake round-up out there in Sweetwater, Texas and it was a bonding experience between me and my dad that we shared since I was 6 years old.”

Even though Prock does not hunt rattlesnakes as frequently as he did when he was younger, he does go back with his dad once every three or four years.

“I was scared when I first went there,” Prock said, “My dad made it very well known that these things could kill you if you make one false move or get reckless with the equipment.”

Scared of putting himself and others in danger, Prock watched his father hunt the snakes before slowly starting to participate when he was 12 or 13 years old.

“The very first snake I caught, I got it freeze dried to taxidermy,” Prock said. “I take a snake and usually milk [it], because that’s how you get anti-venom. You get some money out of it, but not a lot.”

Since rattlesnakes are overpopulated in West Texas, the hunters go to the area and participate in a round-up, and they give a quarter for each snake. Prock said after bringing the snakes to the round up, he has to measure, weight, milk and skin them before getting into the elimination round.

“This is a tradition in my family because my dad grew up in West, Texas,” Prock said. “If I do have a son, I’ll mention it to him and if he wants to do it, I’ll take him down there to experience it.”