The Big Hunt of 1959


What's in that BAG???

Story by Derron Owens('62) - March 2001

The scene was early fall, 1959. It was a Saturday around 8:30pm and we were getting ready to go hunting. Snipe hunting. Hunting for that very rare and very elusive snipe. I had never been snipe hunting before; deer, squirrel, rabbit, or - yes; snipe - no. I was told by the upper classmen that this is a sort of initiation for first year cadets. I loved to hunt and fish, although I had never hunted at night. There were three of us in my group and one upper classman. We were blindfolded and led to a wooded area, I don't know where, and given our instructions and a cloth sack. We would have to catch a lot to fill up that sack! (Oh, there was one sack per team.)

The way it works is you get one guy to get down close to the ground and hold the bag open. The other two guys would go out a ways and hoop 'n holler and drive the snipe into the bag. The way you catch one is by running through the woods yelling, "Here snipe, here snipe," and the snipe would run into a dark hole - the bag. Well, we ran around those woods for two hours. Finally, the guy holding the bag yelled, "We got one! We got one!" Then, we were gathered up and brought back to a central point to see who caught the most snipe. Oh, by the way, the team that caught the most snipe would get to go to Dadeville the next Saturday night to a movie. If I remember correct, there were three teams that night. A cadet named Charlie, a good guy, led our team.

The other teams didn't catch anything but ours did! We all gathered around in a circle to see what a snipe really looked like. When the bag was opened, out came a small brown rat! No snipe that night!

This was my first and last snipe hunt. I'll never be embarrassed to admit I went on a snipe hunt; just think how many snipe we may have caught if that darn rat had not run into our bag! I just know he scared the snipe away.

P. S. - no snipe - no movie. Oh well, maybe the next time....

Derron Owens '62

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