How to Be a Successful Snipe Hunter

How to be a successful Snipe hunter...or huntress.

We all have one in our lives. We've seen them and interacted with them, sometimes on a daily basis. No, I'm not talking about Snipe. Not yet anyway. I'm talking about a gullible friend. That same gullible friend who has never even heard of Snipe, let alone hunted them.

Snipe are "elusive" creatures and certain steps must be done in order to see one up close. Good luck catching one of those fast little bastards. Hell, good luck even spotting one. These "certain steps" that I speak of are not located in the official Snipe Hunting Manual or anything. No, they are those certain steps that can be acclimated to your environment. In other words, whatever you can make up on the fly.

Normally, when someone suggests Snipe hunting, it's a joke -- a made up hunt in order to pull a practical joke on some unsuspecting gullible person.

Oh, yes, Snipe really do exist. In fact, it's a bird referred to as the Common Snipe. It's a migratory bird located in northern Europe and northern Asia. These birds are well-camouflaged and FAST! They are so fast, that if a hunter is able to shoot one, they are referred to as a, "sniper," hence the meaning.

Wilson's Snipe perched on a fencepost near Wal...
Common Snipe perched on a fence . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But, I'm not in Europe. Nope, I'm in Texas and as I just pointed out, Snipe are not in Texas. But gullible friends are <insert evil grin here> and as I have mentioned before, I have a mean streak. See The Wolf Spider post I wrote last year for a refresher.

On the way back from our weekend hiking trip (<-- yeah, that's another funny post too), we had once such gullible friend with us.

Me: It would be fun to go Snipe hunting and this would be the perfect place.

Now, when I mentioned this, I figured it would be funny to rehash our own gullible Snipe hunting stories, but no. Instead, the conversation went like this:

Gullible Friend (GF): What's Snipe hunting?

Ding, ding, ding...we have a winner!

Tammie (pointing): You're right. Look at the open field over there.
GF: Do we need guns or something?
Me: Nah! We aren't going to kill one, but since you've never seen one, let's see if we can make that happen for you.
GF (excited): Okay!

Tammie pulls the car over and we call get out. I point out to the field and say to Gullible Friend (GF):

Me (whispering): Now, listen carefully. You have to follow my directions exactly or it won't work.
GF (listening intently): Okay.
Me: Shhh. Keep your voice down or the Snipe will hear you.
GF (whispering): Okay.
Me: On your way over there, grab a blade of grass and go sit on that log. Once you're there, sit very quietly so the Snipe can get acclimated to your presence. After about 5 minutes, use that blade of grass to whistle for the Snipe. They'll recognize that as a mating call and come out.
GF: How do I use a blade of grass to whistle?
Me (grabbing a blade of grass by the road): You pull each end until the blade of grass is taut. Then, purse your lips and blow. I'll show you how.

I pulled the blade of grass taut and blew on it, creating a light whistle sound.

GF: Okay. I can do that. Aren't y'all going with me?
Me: No, we'll stay here. If there are too many people, the Snipe won't come out and you won't get to see what one looks like.

GF takes off and heads toward the log, grabbing a blade of grass on the way.

Me: Walk slower and crouch down so they don't see you. You have to blend in.

GF actually lays on the ground and Army crawls the rest of the way. I shake my head in disbelief. Tammie is barely able to contain her laughter. GF finally reaches the log, sits on it, and remains still for a few moments before slowly pulling the blade of grass up to her mouth.

GF (loudly whispering): I can't get it to whistle!
Me: Shhh! Keep trying!

She tries again, but doesn't produce a sound. Tammie and I are giggling to ourselves. Suddenly, I hear a faint whistling sound.

GF (loudly whispering): I did it! I got it to whistle.
Me: Shhh! You have to keep quiet. 

Gullible Friend continues to sit as still as she can, but after about 5 minutes of waiting, gets frustrated and walks back to the car.

GF (disappointed): I didn't see anything.
Me (pointing out to the field): Look! There it is!
GF (turning around quickly): Where?
Me: Damn, you missed it. They're just too fast.

Tammie bursts out laughing because she can't contain it any longer.

GF: Are y'all messing with me?

I join in on the laughter and start to wipe the tears from my eyes. GF throws down the blade of grass, gets in the car and before she slams the door, she says:

GF: I hate y'all!

Tammie and I still spurt out giggles here and there on the way home, but GF had been completely quiet, until she finally speaks up:

GF: Y'all didn't really see a Snipe. I must not have whistled good enough.
Me: Um, yeah, that's what it was.

Yep, gullible indeed. It just never ends.

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GK Adams


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