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Sarah Greene, left, and Nichole Johnson corral their delinquent worms back onto the table
at this year’s woolly worm bounty, where youngsters gathered to sell their collected woolly
worms to festival personnel. The worms were resold at the festival so that anyone could
purchase a contestant for the woolly worm races.
Photo by Matthew Hundley

Originally published: 2012-10-25 15:13:06
Last modified: 2012-10-25 15:13:06

Wanted: Alive and wiggling

Matthew Hundley / (

Dozens of young worm hunters gathered at Banner Elk Elementary last Thursday, Oct. 18, to turn in hundreds of worms for a cash reward. A great way for children to earn some money, the bounty also ensures that the Woolly Worm Festival will have plenty of worms for sale in the event that a would-be contestant arrives wormless to the race.

All of the worm hunters were in agreement; the best way to collect as many worms as possible in the least amount of time is to keep an eye on paved areas, where they seem to congregate. Their best advice? Watch out for traffic. 

During the woolly worm bounty, children could sell as many as 50 worms for $1 apiece.