View Full Version : Snipe Hunting Myth or Fact

02-14-2011, 04:53 AM
Topic for discussion is the elusive Snipe. For generations in WV children and adults have been told of snipe hunting as a Myth or Fact? Many believing the snipe to be a non existent ground bird resembling a road runner would laughingly send the unexpected victim on a fake hunt. sending the person on a hilltop with a burlap sack they would try to run the bird in the sack. While his buddies would be laughing he would be trying his best to bag the snipe but would more likely catch some wood ticks and mosquito bites. Upon giving up the victim would say there was no snipe in that spot. His buddies would break the news that it was all a joke and that he had been targeted for a great laugh. Poor fellow. So is there a real snipe in WV or is it a pranksters game? Has anyone who reads this ever heard of this old time WV prank?

02-14-2011, 04:57 AM
I could only think of the native Woodcock, or sandpiper.

02-14-2011, 05:10 AM
LOL O yea we would ask people all the time if they wanted to go snipe hunting. I can't recall anyone falling for it however :(

02-14-2011, 11:51 PM
Actually, this is more widespread than you'd imagine. It has been covered in movies and television shows across the country and maybe internationally as well. I don't know whether there really is such a thing as a WV snipe or not but I believe everyone has heard of this. The snipe is a real bird of Asia, Europe, and New Zealand, but as far as I'm aware no species have been found in the Americas.

02-15-2011, 01:15 AM
WOW did not know that.

02-18-2011, 05:52 PM
WOW did not know that.

Here's an example of television including this myth, this of course being Texas and not West Virginia.

Walker Texas Ranger, snipe hunting (http://www.google.com/search?q=walker+texas+ranger+snipe+hunt)

04-04-2011, 01:25 AM
There's a game bird called the Wilson's Snipe. My dad said there used to be some around here , but heavy development and feral cats pretty much destroyed the population. I've haven't seen any and my dad says he hasn't seen any for at least 20 years, but they do exist. Check out this website:http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/wilsons_snipe/lifehistory

04-04-2011, 04:45 PM
Thanks for the info Sasquatch. Now we actually know that there was a species of snipe in the Americas. Most myths are based on some degree of fact, it's just not always easy to tell how much fact is involved. Sorry to hear that they haven't been seen in 20 years. Maybe they'll make a comeback.

06-07-2011, 06:09 PM
Yes, I remember when I was a little boy, I fell into the "pranked" category. This was an initiation by my dad and uncles. Me and my cousins held that burlap sack for quite some time until we both finally agreed that it was a waste of time. I remember that well to this day, and even though it was a prank, it was a nice character builder. I believe I was around 5 or 6 at the time. WOW have times changed.........I don't know if I would send my 5 yr old into the woods these days by himself. hahaha