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with the downs of England. Of late years, by burning a large tract of heather every year, which greatly encourages the growth of grass for a time, the amount of stock which the moors will carry has been enormously increased; but this gain to the sheep-farmer is a loss to the sportsman, inasmuch as that grouse require a high growth of heather for protection, and plenty of young shoots for food, both of which wants are interfered with by burning; in addition to which, in proportion to the numbers of the sheep, is the disturbance to the grouse increased, not merely from these animals themselves, but from the necessary supervision by the shepherds and their dogs. All these circumstances combined, together with the grouse disease, which seems to increase in proportion to the inroads of the sheep, appear to be gradually interfering with the moors as nurseries for game; but more serious than all is the system of poaching which is carried on, both in the breeding season and also in the autumn. The nests of these birds are now systematically robbed of their eggs, which are sold, partly to stock other moors, and partly to satisfy the appetites of gourmands, who care nothing how they spoil sport so long as their palates are gratified. This subject, however, will be more satisfactorily discussed under Book VI., in which the various devices of poachers will be met with corresponding remedies as far as they are known; and the nature of the grouse disease will also be discussed.

From these remarks it will be obvious that the fatigue of walking the moors is not to be lightly encountered except by those in possession of health and strength. The invalid, or naturally weakly sportsman, should make up his mind either to put up with an inferior bag, or else he must take to a shooting pony, which will enable him to get over nearly as much ground as his more active friends. Furnished with a well-broken animal of this class he may generally keep within reach of his dogs; but it will often happen, nevertheless, that he will be obliged to make slight detours, where an active man on foot could readily go straight to his point. The air of the moors is generally of a very bracing character, and many men can take severe exercise on them who would be incapable of going through a walk of half-a-dozen miles in length after partridges in the south. On some moors the

accommodation is pretty good, but generally speaking the sportsman must be content to rough it; and unless he takes his cook with him, he will find the fare of a very primitive character. Mountain mutton, salmon, and grouse are delicacies of the most delicious kind, but toujours perdrix tires any stomach, and a month of this fare, with no other addition, will generally satisfy the most ardent admirer of such viands, especially if the exercise has been confined to the amount which a shooting pony gives; while, on the contrary, a hard day's walking will make even oat-cakes taste well to the Englishman's palate, and that is no slight test of its good effects.


This is a subject which has been discussed with great animation ever since the sport became general, and it is one which is by no means settled to this day. The preponderance of evidence is, however, in favour of the setter, though latterly, I think, the pointer has been gaining ground, especially with those who use their dogs for partridges as well. There can be no doubt that each has several good qualities more fully developed than the other, but to counterbalance these are nearly as many bad ones, so that it is only by striking a balance that any opinion can be arrived at; and as most people judge from the facts which they themselves have witnessed, so each person who forms an opinion will be a setter or pointer fancier according as he happens to have had a good one, or, perhaps a superior brace, of either of these dogs. That extraordinary animals of each kind are occasionally met with, no one will deny; and it would generally be a toss up in any company whether there would be more votes in favour of the experience of the majority supporting the claims of the pointer or the setter; but still, perhaps, it may be assumed that a slight preponderance as regards grouse (per se) would be found to exist in favour of the latter. The quantity of ground required to be beaten, the extent of the range, the rough nature of the surface, which quickly strips the feet and legs of the delicate pointer, all demand a dog with great power of endurance, considerable speed and range, and legs and feet well clothed with hair. These are all found fully developed in the setter, and his want of steadiness, as compared with that of the pointer, is soon cured by the work which he has to perform. So, also, although the season for grouse is three weeks earlier than that for partridges, yet the air is so cool on the moors that the dogs do not suffer nearly so much in August from heat as they do in September on the low grounds of Norfolk and Suffolk frequented by the partridge shooter. Water is also generally in abundance; and hence it is found by experience that a team of good setters will, in grousing, beat an equally good lot of pointers, each being composed of first-rate animals of their kind. Very many excellent dogs of the latter variety are met with occasionally, but as a class they are deficient in courage, and, partly, from being bred for partridge shooting, their range is too limited, and their feet and legs soon become sore for want of the natural covering of hair peculiar to the setter. A cross between the two, called “the dropper," is sometimes found to produce an excellent dog, combining the good qualities of each; but to breed one good one in a dozen puppies is quite the highest average, the other eleven being generally defective in some respects. Russian setters have also been tried in the north, but their coats are too long and woolly to work well in heather, and they have never been approved of there, nor are they now very common anywhere in this country. My advice, therefore, to those who want dogs for grouse shooting only, is to have a team of setters, taking care that the breed is a good one, and that they are well broken, and worked up to the day before the 12th of August, so as to insure their steadiness. If, however, the same dogs are also to be used in partridge shooting, it is quite a doubtful question; but I should be inclined to prefer a hardy and high-couraged breed of pointers, as they are more readily made to accommodate the nature and extent of their range than are setters, who are naturally more self-willed and headstrong. Indeed, as a rule, it may be said that the setter is never broken; for however steady he may be, if he is allowed to rest for a week, his courage is so high that he will show a little wildness, while a thoroughly broken pointer is to be depended on from season to season, unless he is spoilt by bad shooting or bad management of some kind.


In the very early part of the season long shots do not often occur, but afterwards they are the rule, and unless a gun hits hard it is comparatively useless. Most men, therefore, select a particularly hard-shooting gun for this kind of sport, and if their strength is equal to the attendant weight, they like a large bore, No. 12 being that generally chosen. Whether it (or she as the gunmakers say) should be a breech loader or a muzzle loader must depend upon the comparative shooting of each, which we shall discuss in the fourth book. It must be remarked that scattered grouse are often met with, and consequently quick loading is an essential to a good bag; but unless the gun is also a strong hitter, the good quality is more than counterbalanced by this defect. The question requires a long experience to decide it; but I am persuaded, from the evidence of others who have tried both, and from my own experiments, that on the whole the breech loader will be found to be the more serviceable tool. It would occupy too much space to go into my reasons for this conclusion here, but they will be found at length in the fourth book. The shot most useful in the month of August is No. 6; afterwards, some people employ No. 5, or load one barrel with No. 6 and the other with No. 5.


In choosing the dress for grousing, two things are especially to be considered :- First, what colour will least attract the attention of the grouse ? and, secondly, what material will be most comfortable to the wearer? It is found by experience that a mixed pattern (such as the plainer Scotch plaids), will harmonize with the surrounding scenery, and on that account is found to suit well. The heather pattern is also especially recommended, being partly made up of the exact colour of the blossom of that plant. Such are the best colours, and this being settled, the only other requisite is the texture of which the dress should be composed. I have already remarked that the temperature of the moors is much colder than that of more southerly and less exposed regions,


while from their elevated range they seem to attract the clouds, and hence rain and mist are constantly to be expected. Now, every one of experience knows that woollen materials are the most proper for such changes from dry to wet, and from a warm to a cold temperature, and so woollen plaids and friezes are the only proper articles for the upper garments of the


shooter. In fine weather a thin fabric, but still of wool, may be adopted; but when the air is cold or there is a chance of rain or mist, a stouter kind should be put on, and the chance of a hot sun risked in preference to attacks of rheumatism, which are sure when the skin is not sufficiently protected. Flannel should also be invariably worn next the skin, without which safeguard even the most robust will occasionally contract a severe cold or rheumatic attack. It is true that the lower moors are sometimes extremely hot in August, and in such cases a linen jacket, may be worn over thin flannel; but few sportsmen go through the day without a rest in the middle of it for luncheon, and if they have nothing on but a thin linen jacket, a chill is almost sure to result. The fashion of the day will of course be consulted by those who follow the dictates of this exigéant goddess; but let what will be generally worn, the clothing for grouse shooting should be loose, so as to give the limbs full liberty of action. For the head, a cap or light felt hat is the best protection; the former being of some woollen material rendered waterproof by the preparation which is now used for that purpose, without impeding the evaporation from the skin. As to the feet, they should be invested with lamb's-wool socks, and in case they are inclined to blister, these should be well rubbed, both inside and out, with slightly damped soap. Of boots or shoes every one should wear that particular kind to which his feet are accustomed ; for a change from one to

l; another causes pressure in fresh places, and is often very distressing. Some wear laced ankle boots, others “Balmorals,” and others, again, Wellingtons made on purpose, that is, with nailed soles; but in any case the soles should be stout, and rendered rough by means of nails, while the fit should be insured by previously wearing them. To render them waterproof there are numberless receipts, which must

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