We found this clip of a mishap on a bass boat and suspected it was staged, so we tracked down the guys who posted it. Sure enough, it was a setup, but a funny one that we think is worth sharing.
Turns out the footage is from a DVD by a group called GrabUOne Outfitters. That’s pronounced “grab-you-one,” as in bare-handed snake grabbing, which is what these Mississippi country boys — all in their 30s and 40s and with careers in law enforcement — do to unwind on weekends.
“Everyone thinks we’re crazy, but it’s something we do for fun — some crazy-boy fun,” says Brent Shorter, who produces the DVDs of the group’s adventures on the Mississippi River Delta.
The DVDs — five and counting — are sold online and at local Bass Pro shops, and they show the guys having fun catching snakes and goofing around. Their popularity has spread beyond the Deep South with appearances on Fox News and a new reality show. The first season of “Snake Grabbers” just wrapped production, Shorter says, and will be shown this spring on the CMT channel.
“This all started about 20 years ago, when one of the guys was out on a fishing trip with an uncle who was afraid of snakes,” Shorter explains. “There was a snake in a tree, and the guy grabbed it to show him he didn’t need to be afraid of snakes. The uncle said, ‘Well, you’re no good at catching fish — you should catch snakes,’ and it evolved from that.”
Because snake grabbing is what these guys do naturally as a “stress reliever,” they’re more than happy to let others in on their fun, including hosting an annual Snake Rodeo each June. You can even book a snake hunt with them.
Shorter says they catch hundreds of snakes each year — mostly non-poisonous water snakes — and then let them go. He says they know the dangerous ones and generally let them be.
However, snake bites come with the territory, he says.
“We get bit all the time, and it bleeds, but you clean it out and wrap it up,” Shorter says. “The big ones — 5 or 6 feet long with couple of hundred teeth in them — they can really clamp down, but you get used to it. It’s much more of an adrenaline rush than the feel of pain.”
As for the exploding outboard in the video?
Shorter says they came up with the idea of strapping an old muzzleloader to the back of the outboard and filling it with black powder, but no ammo, for the skit. The “engine starter” spray that one of the boys uses is actually mosquito repellent. At the right moment, the guy at the helm wearing a sombrero pulls a string that triggers the harmless blast.
For now, the best way to follow the GrabUOne boys is on their frequently updated Facebook page.