It’s Time to Tell a New Snipe Hunting Story
Mention the word Snipe and undoubtedly memories of the childhood prank that dates back to the 1840s come to mind. You know, being lead into the dark woods with a flashlight in hopes of luring an elusive creature into a paper bag. I, too, fell victim to this rite of passage during my first Boy Scout overnight. There is some truth to this nighttime technique that was once used for catching Wilson’s Snipe, but that’s a story for another time.
Today, and from this day forward it’s time to tell a new story about Snipe. The Marshdoodle story.
The Lead In
My introduction to upland and waterfowl hunting started in college, with Missoula, Montana as my home base, where I quickly made up for lost time. From the first Greenhead to land in the decoys and Ruffed Grouse to flush on the banks of the Clark Fork River, I was hooked. Post college, I eventually made my way down to Florida. Montana to Florida! I know, but what can I say, blame it on a girl. When I first arrived, the newness of the terrain, needing to find new hunting buddies and getting diverted by other passions – mainly sailing and woodworking – I took a bit of an unplanned wingshooting sabbatical. Fortunately, an open spot in the blind on a guided hunt on Lake Okeechobee presented itself and I jumped at the chance. That was all I needed to rekindle my love for being in the field with friends pursuing wild birds and watching the landscape unfold.
While those first few Florida duck hunting trips were invaluable for getting me refocused, last season I made the commitment personally getting to know the vast network of public lands in Florida and taking full ownership of my time in the field – win lose or draw, full or empty bags. This in turn, lead to discovering Wilson’s Snipe as an upland game bird to pursue that had ample cover available on public lands.
I read, took notes in the DeLorme Gazetteer (no hunter should be without their state’s copy), scouted on Google Earth, and networked with some other South Florida Snipe hunters. I owe a huge shout-out to @tonyg87 and @vinyl_tek, I am forever grateful for getting me off on the right foot. Now I can’t say my first day in the field was a ringer. The ground had mostly dried up, but I did flush and harvest a single Snipe in some unlikely cover that afternoon. That one day alone taught me so much…
How hard you work – this is no gentleman’s stroll through a Southern Quail plantation
How addictive this game bird is – long before I heard my first scape of a Snipe I knew this was for me
How unpredictable they are – this bird flushed quite unexpectedly from a dry field I was walking through on my way to some wet ground
How rapid their flush and flight is – be ready for a quick shot, and a follow up shot, and another
How hard they are to find – their camouflage is impeccable and I must have searched for 10 minutes to find the bird
How great they taste – granted that single bird amounted to an amuse bouche, the meat was awesome tasting
Around the same time, I was captivated with the experiences being shared on Instagram by the likes of @fetching_feathers, @upland_lowlife, @Project_Upland, and @thenorthwoodsr. These guys had such storied traditions, a lifetime of memories, and a contagious following of upland hunting enthusiasts. Without a shred of doubt, I knew there was something there. Something I was drawn to like a fly to a light, and something that was missing amongst the Snipe hunting community.
Marshdoodle Was Born
What also stood out was the affectionate nicknames these beloved game birds held like the Timberdoodle, Mudbat, and Drummer. So, I started thinking…
Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) is a close relative to the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor), both belonging to the Sandpiper Family (Scolopacidae Family). Now Woodcock live in thick, new growth timber, are generally hunted in the Northern regions (although they do migrate like Snipe), and are endearingly nicknamed Timberdoodles. Snipe, on the other hand, live in the marsh and low country, are generally hunted in the Southern regions and are affectionately known as, well nothing.
And with that, I hatched the idea that Snipe should logically be nicknamed the Marshdoodle!
I hung onto this idea for a few more months until I had a defining shit or get off the pot moment. Literally. I saw an awesome #uplandlowlife hoodie come up for sale and they flew off the shelves. In minutes, Jason sold out, but not before I was lucky enough to grab the last medium.
Moments later, as if on autopilot, I secured marshdoodle.com and the social media accounts, officially establishing Marshdoodle. Fast-forward to today, I spent the summer growing an engaged and passionate community of Snipe hunting enthusiasts on @marshdoodle, built and launched the website, designed the logo, and put this train in motion.
What’s Ahead for You?
Marshdoodle is here to give you the world’s first lifestyle brand and social community dedicated to the passion and pursuit of hunting Snipe. This fall, I’ll dive into Snipe cover, tactics, dogs, gear, cooking, and more. Even more exciting is bringing the Marshdoodle brand to life, giving the Snipe community its own rally cry to show our love for this upland game bird and proudly wear in the field. Subscribe or follow on Instagram so you can stay in the loop with future blogs and the Marshdoodle store.
I sincerely appreciate each and everyone of you that is showing your support for the Marshdoodle movement.
See you in the marsh!