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Visit iHeartRadio and Southwest Airlines. Our next story comes from a listener named Jamie Scott. Jamie used to be a Boy Scout troop leader. And this story is about an infamous snipe hunt in Georgia.
Take it away, Jamie. I used to be in the Navy. I retired from the Navy in 1996. And I lived in various places up and down the East Coast.
But one of my favorite places I lived was a place called Folkston, Georgia. While I was there, I decided I wanted to get involved in scouting again. I had been an Eagle Scout and I wanted to stay involved in scouting.
So now that I was on shore duty, I thought it would be a great opportunity. I had a lot of boys in my troop. I had Hispanic boys, black boys, white boys. But they were all just boys.
Boys, boys, boys just out to have fun. A couple of them have dads. Most of them didn't. A couple of them had a few dollars to their name.
Most of them didn't. But anyway, I took these boys to summer camp at Camp Tolachee. The boys I took out on the troop, they really wanted to get involved. They wanted to do scouting. They wanted to learn. They wanted to shoot rifles. And they wanted to pull archery. And they wanted to canoe in a canoe and all these different things.
So we were having a wonderful time. But one of the greatest parts of scouting, one of the greatest parts of growing up as a boy in the South, at least at the time that I was a kid and the time that I was a scout leader, was the snipe hunt. Oh, the snipe hunt. The snipe hunt was awesome.
These kids got excited. They were going to go out and capture the elusive snipe. But the thing is, in order to catch a snipe, you have to go out in the night, in the dark, in the woods alone. And you have to sit out there all by yourself alone hoping to catch a snipe. Now, how you say, how would I get a boy to sit out there in the woods alone to catch a snipe?
Ah, boys are not only adventurous, they're greedy. So what we would do is we would tell the boys that the snipes were these small ground running birds, and we would even show them a picture in the Boy Scout handbook of the American snipe. It's a bird that exists in the desert, but we would say that this bird also exists in the marshes of the swamps of Georgia and that this bird came in multiple colors depending upon what it was eating. You know, how a flamingo has a pink color because of the shrimp that it eats. Same thing with the snipes. Their feathers would be certain colors depending upon what they were eating at the time. Some like to eat certain things.
Some like to eat other things that would cause their feathers to change. But you never knew what you were going to run into. So we got these boys and we brought in one of the members of the Order of the Arrow. He was a camp counselor. His name was Indy. That wasn't his real name. I honestly don't know his real name, but he went by the name Indy because Indiana Jones was the big movie at that time, and he had an Indiana Jones hat.
And all the boys in the camp called him Indy. But Indy was in on our little snipe hunting escapade, and he was telling us how the Order of the Arrow liked to make Indian headdresses, and they needed different color feathers in order to make the headdresses. And so what they would do is they would pay for feathers that could be purchased from the boys who were doing the snipe hunts. If they caught a red snipe, well, the red feathers, they were worth about $5 for every 50 feathers. But if they caught a yellow snipe, well, they were worth about $10 for every 50 feathers. But the real elusive prize was the purple snipe, and they were paying $100 for 50 feathers because they were so rare, and everybody wanted the purple snipe feathers. Though the purple ones we wanted to catch were the most elusive and the most expensive, they were also the most dangerous because they could actually bite you, and they had been known to be rabies. Well, we figured that if a kid got bit out in the woods by a snake, because there were poisonous snakes in the area, that at least they would react properly, so we taught them what to do in case you were bitten by the rabid purple snipe.
I know, I think we were crazy, but we just had so much fun with these kids, and they bought it hook, line, and sinker. Well, three particular boys were going to be hunting at this time. There was a boy named John Roy, who was my senior patrol leader, and he had already been through snipe hunts before with his dad, but there were three younger boys, Robert, Greg, and Curtis, and they had never been snipe hunting before. They were all excited about going snipe hunting, and so we told them that we were going to hunt these snipes in these different colors, and Robert, bless his heart, he just told me about the fact that his father hunted snipes all the time, and had caught a whole bunch of them, and that they even had a picture album at home of all the pictures of the snipes that his dad had caught, and he figured if his dad could catch a whole bunch of them, he could catch two.
Now, I don't know what kind of bull his dad had pulled on him. And you're listening to Jamie Scott, and he's telling his story of the Tola Cheese Snipe Hunt. And by the way, we're looking for your stories, and you can tell this is a listener's story. Go to alamericanstories.com, and go to the browser, and up by the navigator bar, you'll see your stories. Click your stories, and you'll see an easy-to-fill-out form, and just click send, and send it to us, and we will look at it. These truly are our favorites, and they don't have to be mind-numbing, and they don't have to be grave or tragic.
They can be light and fun, like this one. And by the way, what you're hearing is all paid for, thanks to the generous donations of folks from around the country. We're a non-profit, Our American Stories, but it's not free to make what we do here. So if you're enjoying what you're listening to, by all means, send us a small donation.
Five dollars, ten dollars, it all makes a difference. When we come back, more of the Tolochee Snipe Hunt, here on Our American Stories. Folks, if you love the stories we tell about this great country, and especially the stories of America's rich past, know that all of our stories about American history, from war to politics to innovation, culture, and faith, are brought to us by the great folks at Hillsdale College, a place where students study all the things that are beautiful in life, and all the things that are good in life. And if you can't get to Hillsdale, Hillsdale will come to you with their free and terrific online courses.
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5G that's ready right now. And we continue with our American stories and Jamie Scott's story of a memorable snipe hunt that occurred when he was a Boy Scout troop leader at Tolachee Camp in Georgia. Here's Jamie with the rest of the story. Now the object is you tell the boy that he's going to catch a snipe. So what you do is you give him a bag. We usually gave him a white plastic bag.
And a lot of people didn't want to give him, but I wanted to give him a flashlight. And what they would do is I would tell them to open the bag up. They had a stick also, so they would take a stick and they would open the front of the bag like a trap and they would put the light behind the bag.
And we would put them down at the end of a trail in a very quiet, dark spot. And then they were supposed to make the call of a snipe. The call of a snipe goes like this. Snipe? Snipe, snipe? Snipe? We, on the other hand, would go back up the trail quite a ways and we would get real quiet and wait. And the object was that snipes would hear the voice of the boy and would come towards the noise of the call of the other snipe.
We would then come running down the trail as fast as we could and hopefully there would be a snipe in the trail who would be scared and he would run. Now, snipes would run right at a light. That was what snipes did. Don't know why, but they did.
That's a proven fact. You could ask any scientist that snipes run at lights. And so the boy would, the object was the snipe would run right at him and then he would run into the bag, he would shut the bag and take the stick and whack the snipe over the head and kill the snipe and boom, that's how you caught a snipe. In reality, we would get up to the end of the trail, we would call snipe, snipe, and he would think that he was hearing another snipe answering him back. So then we would make a run down the trail and usually somebody would get some sort of rock or something like that and we would roll it ahead of us real fast and it would crash through the underbrush right next to the boy. And we said, we saw one in the trail, did you see it, did you see it?
And he would say, yeah, I think so. We would say, I didn't see what color it was, what was it? He says, it was green, it was green snipe.
Oh, or it was a purple snipe, I saw it. One boy told me it ran right between his legs. That's what he told me. But anyway, we'd go back up the trail, maybe run one more time, and then we'd tell him we're going to wait just a little bit longer, give him more time to get set, and then we would just walk away. And we would go sit back at the campsite and wait for this boy to figure it out, come out of the woods, and ha-ha, you've been got. So we went down to, I was doing the one with Greg, and another boy was doing one with Robert, another boy was doing one with Curtis, and we decided to pull a trick and say, when we were running down, I was supposed to rolf into the woods, and I was supposed to say that I was hurt, I was hurt, and I was going to yell that I had been bitten by a rabid snipe and robbery, and I was going to ask Greg to come save me.
So I did. This boy got up and left. He went back to the other boys, and they caught him coming out of the woods, they said, Mr. Scott's in there. He said, he's been bitten by a purple snipe.
I said, well, go in there and get him. I remember Greg, I heard him say it clearly, he said, Mr. Scott's been bitten, he could just die. Oh, that was hilarious.
That was hilarious. We came out, patted him on the back, he said, good job, buddy, you did great. So we came up and we saw the group that was running with Robert. Now, we decided, let's do it again, and Robert said, and then Endy said, hey, that was a great idea you guys did, I want to do it here for Robert. Endy ran down inside there yelling and screaming, trying to run the snipe, and then he goes off to the side and says, oh, help me, Robert, help, Robert, I'm going to hurt. Robert, Robert, again, bless his heart, he wanted to help so bad, he went running and crashing through the underbrush going, Endy, Endy, where are you, Endy? Well, Endy had got out the other side of the thicket that we were in, and he ran around to another angle and said, I'm over here, Robert, I'm over here. And you could hear Robert change direction and come toward him and say, Endy, Endy, where are you, Endy? And Endy ran around to another side and he was saying, I'm over here, Robert, I'm over here.
And Endy, Robert said, Endy, stay still so I can find you. Oh, it was all we could do not to hurt ourselves. And we were right up against another troop's campsite, and the scoutmasters were just looking at us and jaws hanging open, and we were rolling and they were listening to this whole thing, so we decided just to go on down the road and go see what was going on with Curtis and leave Robert thrashing around looking for Endy trying to save him.
I know we sound terrible, but gosh, this was fun. So we go down and we're looking for Curtis, and we're about to do the same thing. Curtis had just come out of the woods and he was done, and his didn't go so well.
We didn't get anything, we didn't see anything. It was kind of a weak snipe hunt, but it wasn't over yet, because as we're standing there talking to the group with Curtis, we hear, Endy, Endy, where are you, Endy? Robert is still searching, and now he's out on a dirt road, and he's heading down the road towards us, and Endy turns around and says, over here, Robert, help me. So he laid down on the ground in the moonlight, and we kind of all snuck into the woods a little bit, and Robert comes down the road and he sees Endy and he comes running to him, and just before he gets there, we jump out and we yell, what did you guys do all at once? Robert just jumped back and he fell back right on his back, and he gets up and he's crying and everything else like this.
Of course, I really felt bad, but he goes, what did you guys do that for? Endy's been bitten, and I'm trying my best to save him. Endy's hurt, he's been bitten. Oh, this is still on, this is still going. He is so wrapped up in what he's doing, he doesn't realize this is still a joke, but what the heck, we'll still play with it.
So, of course, Endy is all into this. He's swooning, oh, oh, so we picked him up, we did a carry, you know, a couple of us, and we carried him to a campsite and we laid him on the table, and we're trying to figure out what to do with him and say, he's been bit by that rabid snipe. We've got to get a doctor, we've got to get a doctor. Well, here goes Curtis. Now, Curtis was the smallest of the scouts at the time, and he was young and he was quick. And Curtis says, I'll get a doctor, and boom, he was gone, running as fast as he could down the dirt road towards the camp office.
I thought, oh, my goodness, he's going to go out there and he's going to have to call 911. So I am running and lugging myself down the road, chasing this little fella, and he runs into the camp office and he comes, goes in there, yells a few things, comes flying out, and I say, go back and help out. And I ran into the office, and there's Robin Ray, who was the camp director, and he slept in the office. He had a bunk in there, and he's standing in his underwear, about half asleep, picking up the phone, looking at me like, what's going on?
I've got an injured scout. What happened? I said, Robin, don't worry about it. Go back to sleep. I'll tell you about it in the morning.
There's no problem. Just go back to sleep. He turned around and crawled back into bed. So I headed back down to the campsite, and Curtis has been there saying, you know, the medical is on the way.
India is playing it up. He's talking deliriously. He's asking for his mother. He sees his dead grandfather. He's doing all sorts of stuff.
And Robert is just dancing around. And Greg, well, Greg knows what's going on by now, but Greg is not saying anything. And finally we said, oh, okay, you know, let's just take a break. I said, guys, we pulled a joke on you. I said, you know, we pulled a joke on you. Curtis pulled a joke on you.
I said, you know, there's no such thing as, you know, this isn't real. There's no purple snipe. He wasn't bitten.
He wasn't hurt. So it's okay. Don't worry about it.
It's not a problem. And everybody kind of ha ha laughs a little bit. Andy sits up, got a big grin. Robert looks at us and straight as an arrow, he says, I knew you guys were goofing the whole time because this is not how you really hunt snipe. I know because my dad has been sniping. He's told me.
And we've got pictures in the album on our table at home. Priceless, priceless. And you've been listening to Jamie Scott tell the story of the Tolachee Snipe Hunt in Camp Tolachee, Georgia.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-23 11:57:05 / 2022-12-23 12:06:56 / 10