Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Maicy is a 21-year-old senior at Utah State University studying marketing. She grew up in an LDS home in Draper, Utah and lived there her whole life until moving to Logan to go to school where she met her husband. They got married the summer before her sophomore year at USU. She loves to travel. Before she got married she went on a few humanitarian trips to Guatemala and Cambodia. Once she got married, her and her husband traveled all over Asia for a few months where they spent time in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Beijing and Phuket, Thailand then lived in Grand Cayman for a semester. Maicy is a member of LDS faith and attended girls camps every summer from the time she turned 12 until 18.
Maicy and I were at her townhouse looking at all of the Christmas crafts she has for her house while our husbands were playing basketball together at the school gym. I explained to her that I needed to come over and ask her about snipe hunting for a school project, she was a bit confused because she knows snipe hunting is fake and was confused on how I could use it in my class. When I got to her townhouse, I explained a little bit more about how her just talking to me like I had no idea what snipe hunting was (because we did it together for a few years) would help me. I could tell she still thought it was a little weird and tried to be more intelligent about the subject than she needed to be. Snipe hunting is something that most LDS girls who attend girls camp each summer participate in. Girls camp is just a few day long camp where all the girls camp together and learn more about the church and have camp activates. It seems to be a prank that has passed on through all girls who attended girls camp, in Utah at least. This prank is something that is learned from coming to camp and people try not to talk about it outside of camp so that they don’t ruin the prank.
Okay so snipe hunting is a type of practical joke that actually originated back in 1840, I just googled it, [laughing] and basically what we do is when we go to girl’s camp, do I have to explain that I learned it at girl’s camp, anyways the joke is that we make an unsuspecting person do a snipe hunt, which is an imaginary creature. So these girls that come to girls camp their first year don’t usually know about it unless someone was annoying and told them and ruined the fun. Anyways, one night everyone says that we are going to go snipe hunting and everyone knows what is going to happen except for these first year girls. So we tell them they are cute little animals and some people go to the tents and get all of their hair out of their hairbrush to put into a pillowcase, or sometimes people just do a really soft stuffed animal but you really have to be prepared for that, so that the girls who don’t know they are fake will put their hand inside the pillowcase and ‘pet’ the little snipe. Anyways so while people are off doing that we are, what’s even the word, I don’t even know but we’re like smearing so [putting emphasis on the word so] much month toothpaste all over everyone’s face, but extra a lot on the new girls faces, because snipes like the smell of mint so it attracts them. So once everyone is ready to go look for the snipes, some people throw rocks in the bushes so it sounds like animals rustling around and finally one of the older girls goes in the bushes and yells “I’ve got one!” and goes back over to everyone else and makes the girls that don’t know pet this little snipe hair ball thing. Anyways the joke is that when they put their hand in the pillowcase, everyone else screams and the pillowcase is thrown in the air. It doesn’t sound as funny when I’m just describing it but the new girls are legit scared.
Maicy was a little uncomfortable telling the snipe hunting story because she thought she should be more professional than she is just talking to me. She made sure she added all the details because I’ve been there with her organizing the snipe hunts so I would know if she left anything out. She laughed a few times and just made it seem like she was telling me what would happen.
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
Muse, Courtney, "Snipes" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 223.