It's that special time of the year when the air is chilly and different hunting seasons are almost here but there's one hunting season that most think is not real. If you've been alive anytime from the late 1800's to now then you might have heard of a snipe hunt.

Snipe Hunt

First we have to talk about the very popular snipe hunt because it seems to be a right of passage for some people. For those that don't know, a snipe hunt is when you take small children, or someone easily fooled, to a small area with lots of foliage. Then you let them know they will be capturing a snipe, which is sometimes described as a big bird or creature, that's super dangerous. You then give the snipe hunters some kind of box, sack, or container that is so small and will not protect them from the dangerous beast.

This next part is a bit traumatizing but also kind of fun because you take the hunters to a snipe nest and tell them not to come back until they find that snipe or capture it. Once they're far enough away and depending your level of evil you can pretend to drive away or actually leave them behind and make them walk back home. There is some slight trauma in doing this. This was made very popular after an episode of King of the Hill showed a snipe hunt, which did result in a crane getting knocked out.

Real Snipes

Some people would be surprised to learn that there are actually real snipes that exist and their hunting season is from November 4 through February 18, 2024. These real snipes are actually a type of small bird that like to live in wet marshlands and have a random erratic flight pattern. This flight pattern makes them hard to hunt but might have given the term sniper to how difficult it is to shoot.

The snipe most commonly found in Texas are the Wilson's snipes, or common or jacksnipe, but the window to get a snipe is very small. Snipes can only be hunted one-half hour before sunrise or sunset and you are only allowed to bag 8 birds a day with a limit varying on your region, Lubbock is three times the daily bag limit which is 24.

Photo by Julian on Unsplash
Photo by Julian on Unsplash. Wilson Snipe

More detailed information about snipes can be found online at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Departments website.

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