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orchidhunter
March 20, 2009, 11:27 AM
Most of us remember someone asking us to go snipe hunting and "hold the bag." Well of course it doesn't work that way, and we went away thinking snipe hunting was only a joke. Well, it isn't. In fact, it is a lot of fun. Not long ago, I had the opportunity to go snipe hunting.

So far, the ground is still not too wet, so rabbits are able to stay in holes in the ground. While rabbit hunting, I noticed a few snipe in the real wet areas. I began pursuing them and had very good luck so I thought I would share the experience.

Although snipe are not the easiest bird to hit, they are easy to locate. When is the best time of year to hunt snipe, you ask? It is during the months of January and February when most of the other seasons are closed.

Snipe like wet, fairly open areas such as pasture or areas of open ground in heavy vegetation, including marsh. They like to be able to view their surroundings to avoid predators. Wet, open areas adjacent to a lake, river or marsh with standing water are ideal habitat. From the Tombigbee River bottom to the Mississippi River bottom to the Gulf Coast marsh, much of this type of habitat occurs throughout Mississippi and Alabama.

Snipe are a lot more available than many think. They are not hard to hunt. Of all the game birds that are flushed (i.e., quail, pheasant, grouse, etc.), snipe are best suited to the hunter without a well-trained bird dog. As a matter of fact, breeds that point (i.e., pointers, setters, etc.) are not desired for hunting snipe since they do not hold well for a dog. Furthermore, they usually will fly out of range when spooked.

A well trained retriever, which my Mt. Cur is not, can be extremely valuable for retrieving downed birds. The natural camouflage of a snipe allows it to "become invisible" on even a closely cut pasture damaged by the drought of 2006. However, if the hunter will mark the downed bird and walk straight to it and ignore other snipe that are flushing, which is easier said than done, he or she will usually find it. Although it is hard to pass up a potential double or triple, the time gained from marking your bird will pay off in the long run.

By far, the simplest and most common technique for hunting snipe is for hunters to walk through good habitat until the bird flushes. In the open areas that they prefer, they're not hard to see and hear when they flush.

If a snipe flushes and flies out of range, watch it carefully and mark the spot where it landed. It will usually be where you spotted it and at times there will be multiple birds at the location.

In addition to snipe bringing back memories of the "good ole bobwhite days," most folks will find their taste is somewhat similar. Also, there is not much difference between the taste of a dove and a snipe. Anyone with a good dove recipe should have no trouble creating a tasty snipe meal.

Snipe may not be as common as quail hunting, but they are very much desired by those who have found the challenge of this late season game bird. orchidhunter

Pahoo
March 20, 2009, 11:52 AM
In addition to snipe bringing back memories of the "good ole bobwhite days,"
You got that right and the last covey we flushed, I did not shoot as they are getting harder to locate and just couldn't shoot. SAP !! ;)
Snipe may not be as common as quail hunting, but they are very much desired by those who have found the challenge of this late season game bird. orchidhunter
Now Snipes are easier to find around here and what you described is right on the money. I actually find that they are harder to hit then Quail or Doves. As far as eating, you just can't beat the Quail but you can't over cook them. I love hunting Snipes. Great wing shooting :)


Be Safe !!!

Dragon55
March 20, 2009, 12:09 PM
In southern Jefferson County I have taken a few snipes. Wasn't setting out for them. I used to walk up 3 different covies of quail that I knew where they would be approximately. Occasionally when I would pursue some singles into the edge of low lying woods I would get a snipe. Not as big as the quail but actually harder to hit. Seemed to fly much lower to the ground.
Moot point now anyway as a corporation has bought and posted all the land where these 3 covies are.

hogdogs
March 20, 2009, 02:09 PM
I think we have snipe in my area but not a hunted critter. I had an argument with my dad cuz he thought they were fictitious sucker game beings... I even showed him a box of #6 or 8 remington shot shells that listed snipe as one critter for that load. He said "Well they are trying to help the rural legend along" I then found in print (pre WWW) that the word sniper for long range military shooter was from the red coats sayin' that us rednecks could hunt snipe with a rifle as we were such good shooters....:D He sucked it up and admitted defeat...
Brent

Pahoo
March 20, 2009, 02:24 PM
Some folks confuse Woodcocks with Snipes and vice versa. Most of the pictures you see, are of Woodcocks. Once you can identify the difference, you won't mistake them again. I have only shot one Woodcock as compared to the snipes. Snipes are more common or at least in my swamps. They love worms and you can often see the little holes they leave.


Be Safe !!!

Gbro
March 25, 2009, 01:57 PM
Woodcock (Timberdoodle) are a beautiful game bird. We are not seeing very many anymore and the seasons and bag limits have been cut way back.
Kind of strong tasting. Some recipe's call for roasting them with natural stuffing;).
I do not shoot woodcock anymore, Its just such a joy to flush one.

publius
March 26, 2009, 04:15 PM
I love snipe hunting, but I rarely find them in great enough numbers to make a real meal. As other posters have said, they love big open wet pastures. They usually flush out of range for me in these situations. I've had the best luck walking the edges of open sloughs and ponds. Great eating, as are woodcock, which prefer wet ground also except they like timber and thicker grassy areas.

snipecatcher
March 26, 2009, 09:15 PM
In TX, there is a season that runs from November 1 - February 15. I've never actively hunted them, but I have shot a couple during duck season, and I've also caught one with my bare hands. :p
-Dan

scorpion_tyr
March 26, 2009, 09:22 PM
Wow... ya learn something new every day :D

troy_mclure
March 27, 2009, 07:53 AM
while i was growing up there were many more woodcock than snipe, we used to get them grouse hunting.
now all 3 are super rare.