I first heard about snipes as a child listening to the tall tales about snipe hunts told by my grandfather and uncles at family gatherings. I don't think the descriptions of their hunts were quite as elaborate as one I found on the web. Ray Stone's description of his first snipe hunt (found here) follows.
"My first hunt was the legendary prank hunt that everyone associates with the word snipe. I was at camp. All of the first year campers, armed with sticks, flashlights, and gunnysacks, were sent to hide in the woods. The older boys explained the hunt to us. They were the beaters. We were the hunters. They would start down by the lake and drive the snipe toward us.
In hushed tones, they apologized to us for the rumors of bears, snakes, and escaped convicts in the woods. It was, they admitted, only a prank meant to scare the more gullible boys. They reassured us that most of the convicts had already been captured. Besides, they knew that we were too smart and brave to be afraid of such nonsense. Soon we would be veteran snipe hunters like they were.
We were told to conceal ourselves and wait until we heard the loud crashing of a ‘bull snipe’ in the underbrush. Next, we were supposed to lure one to us by calling “snipe, snipe, snipe.” When a bird got close enough we should blind it with the powerful beam of our flashlight, subdue it with our stick, and then stuff it into the gunnysack. There was a prize for the first boy who bagged one, so we were persistent. A couple of the most persistent boys fell asleep in the woods and were returned to camp, hours later, stuffed into their own gunnysacks.
I have fond memories of that camp, and it’s been at least forty years since I had nightmares about waking up in a burlap sack."