The Complete Wildfowler

Cover of book The Complete Wildfowler
Categories: Nonfiction

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CHAPTER I WHAT WILDFOWLING REALLY IS Punctually at the beginning of the shooting season of each year, a certain type of journalist permits himself a little printed scorn as to the shooting of "tame pheasants," and so forth. Not knowing a pheasant from an owl, a partridge from a wild duck, or a sporting gun from a service rifle, he nevertheless talks glibly of "alleged sport" with perfect satisfaction to himself, and sighs for the "good old days" when drives were unknown, when "sportsmen -were sportsmen," and other such twaddle. They do not know that the modern reaping machine shears the ground so close that walking up birds becomes impossible in many instances. They do not realise that driven birds come past the sportsmen at such various speeds, heights, and angles that they offer far more difficult?and so more sporting?shots than are ever obtainable when birds rise at one's feet; they are quite unable to appreciate the enormous skill, technical experience, and knowledge of the habits of birds required to organise an ordinary partridge drive. Shooting, which such people so easily imagine to be the easiest of all sports, and indeed hardly worth the name of "sport," is, on the contrary, the most difficult and most engrossing of all. This book is not written for the general public in the first instance, but it is conceivable that it will fall into the hands of some of them?which is one of the reasons for the above remarks. But, it may be asked, whathas this to do with wildfowling? The answer is simple. All gunners, whether wildfowlers or no, lend each other their aid and support against any common enemy. There is a freemasonry among shooters more strong and real than probably exists in any other kind of sport. Last year, for example, I was travelling from P...

The Complete Wildfowler
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