Snipe Hunting LbNA # 36695
|Placed Date||Nov 14 2007|
|Last Update||Jan 19 2015|
The Snipe Hunt is a rite of passage over most all of Texas for teenage boys. Although variations of the activity abound, the end game is essentially the same: abandon a “hunter” alone with his snipe sack (usually a burlap bag, also known as a gunny sack or a tow sack) while the rest of the hunting party laughs at his expense from another location. This good-natured prank is passed down each time it is played and continues to entertain as new members of the snipe fraternity are brought into the fold. The term “left holding the bag” has its origins in The Snipe Hunt. “The Snipe Hunt”, however, has almost nothing to do with “Snipe Hunting”. Believe it or not, real snipes do exist. They winter in Texas and are found in plentiful enough numbers to warrant a hunting season. In fact, real “Snipe Hunters” can pursue the bird (which is classified as a migratory game bird) from November through mid-February each year. A hunting license with state and federal migratory bird stamps are all that’s required to hunt. Well, that and a whole lot of sharpshooting skill. The Common Snipe measures about 10 1/2 inches long and weighs about 4 1/2 ounces. It is most comfortable in shallow, freshwater marshy areas. The snipe’s brown, black and white feathering makes for superb camouflage in brambles and low-growing grasses. The snipe is a wading bird and eats a variety of insects, earthworms, small mollusks and some vegetable matter. When startled, the birds will fly away in a zigzag pattern while emitting a high-pitched call. The thick brush they inhabit and their erratic flight make snipe a challenging wingshooting target. Only the best shooters were given the title “Sniper”.
Huntsville State Park is about 60 miles north of Houston, Texas on I-45. Take Park Road 40 West from the Interstate and proceed to park headquarters where you will pay your entry fee and get a trail map.
To the Box:
Proceed into the park. At the Nature Center, turn left onto Park Road 40A and proceed past all the camping until you reach the farthest parking lot on the right at the very end loop. Starting at the trail sign, take the Chinquapin Trail heading uphill. Shortly, you’ll come to a trail junction to the right, but you should go straight ahead, crossing footbridge No. 16, then a longer, new footbridge which isn’t numbered. Right after crossing this bridge, the trail will intersect Triple C Trail. You’ll see a bench across the trail to the right, but walk ahead to the trail marker post and stand facing it. Look about 32 steps into the woods, slightly to the left, for a large pine tree with a big oak tree growing about a foot in front of it. The Snipe is on the ground between these 2 trees, covered with the usual forest stuff. Please help keep our state parks beautiful by being prepared to pick up trash on your way in and out. It's the responsible thing to do.