What Is Snipe Hunting?
Last Updated on April 5, 2023
What Is Snipe Hunting: The snipe (woodcock) is a migratory bird. However, it has different names in different countries of the world. But the most well-known and most used name of this bird is timberdoodle.
North America is one of the vital migration routes of snipe. Compared to hunting birds that take off from the ground, hunting Snipe is the most difficult, the most detailed, and the most experienced hunt.
Since snipe hunting is done in the forest, besides the difficulties such as finding, flying, and shooting, it requires knowing the terrain, understanding from the air, pasture, and especially knowing the life of the snipe.
What is Snipe?
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For Snipe hunting, it is necessary to know its characteristics; the dates when they are seen in our country, weather conditions, where they used to hide and eat. Knowing these will be a significant factor in making an advantageous hunt.
The bird is around 30-40 cm long and possesses a long beak. It is typically solitary and can be located in forested areas among bushes, dry leaves, and under trees. Its diet consists of insects and earthworms, which it procures by inserting its long beak up to 6-7 cm into damp soil.
They have the characteristic of frequently moving according to the weather conditions. It would be more logical to search in places where there is usually no wind in the south and a pit on the terrain.
In very frosty weather, frost is likely to be in the south-facing parts, where the sun first sees. Since they cannot eat in the snow, they prefer areas that do not hold snow.
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When is Snipe Hunting Season?
With the weather’s cooling, they enter North America from the Balkans, Russia, and Northern European countries. At first, they are seen near to the sea coasts places.
Then they continue to spread in the country according to the weather conditions and the availability of the soil. If the rainless, dry and harsh weather prevails, they migrate to the south.
Yet, the reason for this is that earthworms and similar insects are found in moist soils. The legal hunting process of the snipe begins around mid-October and ends around mid-February.
Why Need Snipe Hunting Dog?
One of the crucial things of snipe hunting is a good hunting dog. You should do snipe hunting with a dog. Although there are many debates on dog breeds among hunters, the most suitable breed is the Setter.
It is an energetic breed with its excellent sense of smell, speed, tirelessness, and active state. It is a dog that can adapt to all weather conditions and has long hair, protecting its body from thick bushes and thorns. That’s why the most used breed by snipe hunters in the USA is the Setter.
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Which Tools do You Use for Snipe Hunting?
Apart from this, one of the essential concerns connected to the dog is the beeper collar device. It attaches a leash to the dog’s neck and makes your hunting easier.
As you do not have the opportunity to follow your dog in the forest and oak trees, it will tell you (by beeping) where the dog is walking after each 8-15 seconds (may vary by brand).
Again, when the dog finds the bird, it is also necessary to go there quickly and complete the hunt. In that case, a beeper collar helps you to determine your dog’s location. Nowadays, this collar tracking system comes with GPS as well.
What Types of Rifle do You Need for Snipe Hunting?
Generally, rifles having a 12mm caliber range and 60 to 66 cm. barrel size are preferred for snipe hunting. The cartridges that hunters use in this hunt disintegrate as soon as they come out from the barrel. The most commonly used cartridges for snipe hunting are 30-34 grade 8 and 9 numbered pellets.
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What Kinds of Clothing do You Need for Snipe Hunting?
Snipe hunting is usually done in dense forests and oaks. So it is preferable to wear attention-grabbing clothes during hunting. Wearing an orange dress and hat has great importance for your safety.
Besides, as it is generally a fast and rushed form of hunting, it is not recommended to wear thick clothes. Yet, it is better to choose convenient and comfortable clothes that allow you to walk more and shoot with a rifle.
We would recommend those who are new to hunting to go with someone who knows about this hunt. Even those who have snipe hunting experience in the forest, we recommend that they follow a master who knows the intricacies of this hunt.