Scenes from the nutria and muskrat skinning competitions at last weekend’s Fur & Wildlife Festival in Cameron, Louisiana. The festival, founded in 1955 and a “sister” to the National Outdoor Show in Cambridge, Maryland, celebrates southwest Louisiana’s long history with the fur trade, along with other industries that have helped to sustain communities in the area, including oil and gas, cattle, crabbing, and fishing. Several other competitions were held Saturday—among them, oyster shucking, trap setting, duck calling, skeet shooting, and a gumbo cookoff—all attended by visiting festival queens from throughout the state, and followed by a parade through the center of town. In 2000, Cameron was home to nearly 2,000 people, but since hurricanes Rita and Ike, that’s dropped to just 406 residents.

A nutria carcass next to traps at the Fur & Wildlife Festival
A nutria is shown to the crowd before the skinning competition
A crowd of festival queens reacts to the muskrat skinning competition
The tail and rear feet of a recently killed muskrat
A contestant skins a muskrat on stage at the festival
A nutria hangs over the edge of the skinning table at the Fur & Wildlife Festival
Festival royalty reacts to the nutria skinning competition
A contestant in boots squats in front of a muskrat carcass
Festival queens pose with a recently killed nutria at the Fur & Wildlife Festival