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A snipe hunt was a catchall term for a practical joke wherein more senior personnel would send newbies to do things such as search for nonexistent items.
In 2366, Data related how William T. Riker had taught him how to hunt snipe (a fictitious animal) while USS Enterprise was at Starbase 12 earlier that year (it involved holding a bag and calling out to the snipe). Riker had apparently also pranked Wesley Crusher in similar manner, and was forced to come clean about the prank when he burst out laughing mid-explanation. (ST novel: Federation)
During her time in the Bajoran Militia, Kanril Eleya was told to go "blow the DCA" by Corporal Hoolud. She commented that "they had some trouble finding his front teeth after the next sparring session." (Bait and Switch: "Shakedown Shenanigans")
- Author StarSword explained in his author's notes that this one is borrowed from the United States Navy. The target of the prank is told that the "DCA" is an air horn that has to be blown when the ship leaves port. However, "DCA" is actually the abbreviation for damage control assistant, a junior officer on the ship.
In 2409 Crewman Apprentice Miq'doh Drohhl was told to perform an "echo check" on USS Bajor's impulse engine when it was test-fired, which consisted of opening an access panel and yelling at it to see if it resonated. He was interrupted by Captain Kanril Eleya, who demanded an explanation, which in turn sent Lieutenant Commander Bynam Ehrob, Lieutenant Kerensky, and a chief petty officer into laughing fits. (Bait and Switch: "Shakedown Shenanigans").