Archive for January 14th, 2010

Snipe Hunting–More than a Practical Joke

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Being invited to participate in a snipe hunt fills young hearts with anticipation and anxiety. In my youth, snipe hunts were cloaked in mystery; and that’s what made them so exciting and terrifying.

Taken at night to a wooded area, and outfitted with a burlap bag…a flashlight with weak batteries…and a whistle to call for help… initiates would enter a wooded area alone in search of dreaded snipes. And how would they recognize them? They were informed they would know them when they saw them.

Well, before long, panicked whistles and screams from deep within the woods pierced the silence, as vivid imaginations got the best of the young snipe hunters. Eventually everyone, including the hunter, had a good laugh.

Today we know snipe are small, long billed, brownish shorebirds in the sandpiper family. Their habitat includes freshwater marshes, ponds and flooded fields. They breed across much of North America, but like to spend their winters in the southern states, including Texas.

Snipe are game birds here, and the season to hunt snipe ends on February 13th. So if you want to go snipe hunting, and not be left holding the bag, time is running out.

That’s our show… made possible by the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…working to increase fishing, hunting, shooting and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.