What is Snipe Hunting?

What is Snipe Hunting?

According to Wikipedia, snipe hunting is a sort of joke common in North America, mostly among the younger population. This fool’s errand or snipe hunting began in 1840 and is still ongoing to date It involves a group of individuals and a newcomer taken on a wild goose chase on a non-existent creature, the snipe. 

Although the snipe exists and is a real creature, the features given to the unsuspecting person are very different from the actual animal. Characteristics such as its height, color, weight, and even eyes are false, and if you weave them together, it will sum up to an alien. The fun part of the prank is not the prank itself, but the minor tricks you get to play on the target.

How is Snipe Hunting Done?

In this section, we will use young boys in summer camp as an example to explain how snipe hunting works and all there is behind the prank. Most often than not, the stunt is in motion once a new member joins the group and the other members feel the need to give the individual a warm welcome. All the planning and timing are the group’s responsibility and ensure that their target remains unsuspecting.

The Prank

This activity is preferably good at night when light is low enough to set a chilly and scary mood perfect for scaring someone. Other pranks are also strategically placed and each member of the group is well aware of their responsibilities. The success of this joke is directly proportional to the effort and dedication the participants have.

When it’s time, you lure the target into the designated area where they are given specific instructions to catch the creature successfully. To the newcomer’s initial understanding, the mission at hand is to capture the snipe with which he is unfamiliar. Before beginning the task, he receives a brief description of the creature’s external characteristics and a sack or pillowcase to capture it.

The other member will then exclude themselves as they trick the newcomer into helping chase the creature in his direction. After dispersing, the members dive into their roles to scare the target. Scary noises in the dark and mild pranks act as frightening factors that they use to send chills down the snipe hunter’s spine. Those not involved in the latter part of the prank leave the woods and wait for the others.

After a few screams will the target realize that it is a prank and return to his cabin. I am not sure how to win the game, but how you handle yourself in the situation says a lot about your character.

The Secret Behind Snipe Hunting?

While the older population views snipe hunting as a practical joke, youthful generations find more to this activity than the prank itself. Specific characteristics like working in a team and playing together are slowly instilled into the participants of the game. 

After one is led to the woods and passes the challenge, he is eager to welcome the next newcomer through the same process.

When the prank began in the early twentieth century, its participants viewed it as a game. However, as the tradition continued being carried forward each year within the camps and playgrounds, it became a rite of passage. Every individual willing to associate with the said party had to have gone through the prank from his peers to settle correctly. Today, it is an activity that is mandatory for newcomers on every camping trip.

When looking at it from a different perspective, you get that the plan is arranged and executed by the team. It means that they are responsible for picking and planning on the night’s execution and, at the same time, sync everyone to their roles. Also, the target should remain unaware of the plan the whole time, and the team has to ensure it stays that way.

Since I am not sure how one wins the game since the creature is imaginary and cannot be caught, your response counts. How you respond to the dark surroundings and the weird noises coming from the bushes will determine the attitude you receive from your peers. Some may be frightened in such a scenario, while others will remain calm until they discover it was nothing but a joke.

Do Snipes Exist?

According to Nat Geo, there exist bird species known as the snipe, and they live in only a few selected regions across the globe. Although they exist, their appearance dramatically varies from the factual creature involved in the snipe hunt. It is a regular bird that is shy by nature and avoids any human encounter at all costs. It is because of this attribute that not most individuals have come across a snipe, let alone kill one.

The first step into locating one is gathering info on areas they may most likely inhabit. After getting your results from a reliable source, will you head there and start with a ground search. Although they are birds, they maintain a low profile and remain grounded most of the day.

Can You Hunt Snipes?

Hunting of snipes is possible, but only if you are successful in locating their habitat. Getting a fixed radius of their geographical is the most challenging part of hunting down these creatures, and most hunters are unsuccessful with every attempt. Knowing that they prefer remaining grounded over gazing on trees is a piece of vital information that you should carry with you to the hunting field. Confirm if it is legal before beginning your hunting spree.


I luckily got to enjoy snipe hunting when I was a kid. My experience in camp after the activity surpassed my imaginations. However, many parents do not support this prank as it is done at night and in the wild, therefore risking attacks from wild animals. I want to reassure the cautious individuals that it is safe, and rarely will you hear of severe wounding coming from it.