How to hunt snipe



These are to be met with in low marshy grounds. In spring, they disperse themselves to higher and more airy situations. Snipe shooting affords excellent diversion; but those who attempt should be possessed of a strong constitution, and considerable fortitude and energy: wet and dirt must not be cared for, nor must the coldness and severity of the weather be heeded. Snipes are difficult to hit when on the wing, owing to the irregular twistings of their flight; but this difficulty is soon surmounted if the birds are allowed to reach to a certain distance, when their flight becomes steady and easy to traverse with the gun; there is no reason to be apprehensive of their getting out of the range of the shot, as they will fall to the ground if struck but slightly with the smallest grain. Snipes like many other birds always fly against the wind; therefore, the sportsman by keeping the wind at his back, has this advantage of the bird when it rises, that it presents a fairer mark. In severe weather, snipes resort in numbers to warm springs, where the rills continue open and run with a gentle stream; these, on account of their long bills, are then the only places where they can hunt for food. Snipes lie better in windy weather than in any other, and as they then usually make a momentary halt or hanging on, that is the time to fire. When they cross, also, by firing well forward, they seldom escape. Snipes are among the most inconstant of birds; a frosty night will send away the whole of a flight that had been there the day before; and again in two days' time they may return, if open weather and a dry wind succeed. A regular snipe locality should be tried not only every day, but twice a day, so uncertain are snipes in fixing themselves even for a day.





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