CAMERON, LA (KPLC) - The Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival in Cameron, Louisiana lured in hundreds from all over southwest Louisiana.
The annual festival brought out the heart of Cajun Country through various competitions which included skeet shooting, muskrat and nutria skinning, duck and goose calling, as well as carnival rides and food.
The event originated in 1955 when the late Congressman T. A. Thompson arranged the first ever fur and wildlife competition.
"When it first started it was just people bragging on who could skin the rats the fastest," said Ben Welch, the outdoor director the festival.
Through the years the festival escalated into an annual tradition for the residents in Cameron. Now there are different age groups and divisions for the competitions.
"We have the junior skinners, the women skinners, and the men skinners," said Welch. "Today we had a total of 25 muskrats skinned.
Lana Boudreaux, a life long resident of Cameron Parish, said her favorite event is the skeet shooting competition.
"I've won several competitions," said Boudreaux. "It takes practice to and trying again to win."
In addition to practicing their hunting techniques, residents said it is also the perfect opportunity to get back to their Cajun roots.
"When they bought their lands, they'd pay for it by trapping the fur animals," said Welch.
Residents added that they are still practicing many of those same hunting techniques today.
"Everybody has a gun down here and everybody loves to hunt and fish," said Boudreaux. "It's just the way of life here."
Festival organizers said this year brought a much larger turnout than in comparison to last year. Next year's event is slated to be held the second weekend in January.