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vary according to the nature of the leather used. Some men now wear enamelled leather, which for a time is in itself impervious to water, and this must be dressed, as the surface cracks, with a polish sold on purpose, composed partly of india rubber. Calf skin, on the contrary, will not take this kind of varnish, and it should be kept well saturated with a composition made of boiled linseed oil one pint, bees' wax, resin, of each four ounces, melted together and stirred till cold.

The accessories will depend upon the nature of the gun which is used, that is, whether a breech loader or a muzzle loader. If the former, nothing is required but the loaded cartridges, which

may be carried in a case, or loose in the pocket, and in addition, the little instrument which is sometimes required to extract cartridge cases after firing. For the latter, you must take a powder flask, shot pouch, cap holder, wadding, and nipple-wrench. In addition to these, a dog whistle is required, and if you work your own dogs, a whip should never be forgotten. The “gillie” will also carry the essentials for the game which you are to kill, and

any spare ammunition, as well as a gun cover, and if you are not regardless of weather, a waterproof coat for yourself.


This exciting sport is conducted very differently in the early part of the season, and towards the latter end of it. In the former, unless the birds are unusually wild, almost any method of beating, so long as the dogs can work up wind, will enable you to obtain a fair proportion of shots ; but towards the end of September, or, indeed, sometimes much earlier, some precautions will be necessary to secure good sport. A good marker is almost as essential to grouse shooting as a good dog, and among equally good shots, he who is best provided in this particular will show by far the best bag at the end of the season. In grouse shooting, it is a a bad plan to leave any ground unbeaten in the hope of reaching better; these birds are most capricious in their fancies, and they will be found on one day where not a bird, perhaps, was to be seen on the previous one. It will, however, always


be desirable to beat towards the centre of the moor, so as to avoid driving the game off it, and for this purpose the experienced hand begins from the leeward side, so as to beat up wind, and towards the middle of his moor. Having commenced at eight or nine o'clock, by one or two the whole of that side will have been beaten ; for when the grouse are as

; numerous as they ought to be early in the season, it will scarcely answer to follow up each pack, as must be done later on in the year.

At the same time the centre of the moor will have been filled with the disturbed coveys, many of which are more or less scattered. Then, with a careful brace of dogs, he must proceed to beat this ground systematically, which will probably occupy the shooter till the end of the day; but on no account should he work on farther, towards the windward side of his moor, for fear of sending his birds off it and into another. Beyond these simple directions, experience must be the guide in couducting the beat, and on hilly ground no one but a person accustomed to that particular locality can give useful advice. Generally speaking, grouse dislike leaving their own hill, and will fly round and round its sides if they are followed up, just putting the brow between them and their persecutor. Later on in the season they take long flights, either from hill to hill, or from the high ground to the low, but in August they do not often go so far in their flight. Of course, bare ground without covert of any kind will very rarely hold game, and when this occurs it may be left untried, as may freshly burnt heather, which is never the haunt of grouse by any chance. On the other hand, when he falls in with patches of heather of all ages, interspersed with green moss and bogs, with here and there a small pool of water, the sportsman may be in constant expectation of a point. In hot weather, during the middle of the day, grouse lie close, and it requires a good nose in the dog which finds them. In wet weather no sport can be obtained, the birds being in sheltered situations, where they are with difficulty found. So also in very windy weather they are so wild that they rarely suffer an approach, but get up out of shot, and are off to tlie next hill side.

Such is the plan to be pursued early in the season, but later

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on, a very different one must be adopted. It is very seldom after the first month of grouse shooting that a shot can be obtained until the covey or pack is broken, and hence it must be marked and followed up with the greatest care to avoid losing sight of it. At any moderate range—say within fifty or sixty yards—the leading bird should be fired at, as, if it drops, the pack are almost sure to disperse. In such a case, the “ gillie” must carefully mark down as many as he can, and these should at once be followed up, even if the flight is a long one, beating the ground towards them, so as to avoid loss of time. At this season grouse almost always run before the dog, and therefore when he points, unless the shooter is in a line behind him, he should make for a spot considerably in front of the dog, with both barrels of his gun cocked, so as to get a quick right and left.” In this way single birds will be picked up, and sometimes the whole covey will be bagged one after another. Towards evening, grouse lie better, and the scent also improves, so that good sport is often met with at this time after a disappointing day.

The number of dogs required by each party of shooters will vary a good deal according to the nature of the dogs themselves, and to that of their masters, as well as the ground. On the average, however, it is of little use to go to the moors with less than three brace, as there are few dogs which will work longer than half a day, and generally one will be lame or sick. Where two or three guns beat in company, three dogs will generally be required; but for one gun a brace is sufficient, if they are good rangers; sometimes a third dog working close to the sportsman is an advantage, but he is very apt to disturb the equanimity of the ranging dogs, who become jealous of him, and think their master is paying attention to another behind them. Six brace of average dogs will not be at all too large a kennel to take to the north by a party who intend to keep at their work day after day, especially if they consist of pointers, which will not do much more than half what will be accomplished by first-rate setters.

Black-game shooting early in the season is a very easy affair, the hen and the young birds being then found in the high grass or rushes near water, the latter lying very close, and when put up, flying slowly and heavily. The old cocks are not with the young broods, being met with either singly or in twos, threes, or fours together, according to the number of black game on the moor. These last fly strong and fast, and are seldom to be found a second time, if not bagged at once, as their flight will generally be far out of bounds. Later in the season, black game are very wild, and are seldom to be killed on the open moors, small coverts near cultivated ground, where they feed on the corn, being their most likely haunts, especially if there are juniper trees in them. In order to get shots at this time, these plantations must be beaten towards the gun, who should be thirty or forty yards in advance, and on the upper side. The beater should keep outside and below, and sending in a couple of steady spaniels, he should make a slight noise by tapping the bushes, which will drive the game out on the shooter's side.

Both red grouse and black game may be driven as well as stalked. In the former mode the sportsman conceals himself behind a wall, a rock, or other similar covert by or near which his game may be expected to fly; then sending the men round, they begin to beat the ground towards him, the more experienced being very skilful in sending them exactly in the direction of the shooter. This sport, however, requires a quick eye and hand as well as great coolness, for these birds fly with great velocity when fairly on the wing. Some advantage may be gained by the shooter rising suddenly just as the grouse is nearly over head, the abrupt view of his person causing the latter to ascend, and thus stopping the rapidity of flight, an easier shot is obtained. In stalking, the grouse or black game are first discovered with the glass, and then advantage is taken of every inequality of ground to approach within shot, avoiding going down wind with the greatest care.

Retrieving grouse may be effected either by means of the pointers or setters which are employed to find them, or by special retrievers set apart and broken for the purpose. The former plan is strongly advocated by Colonel Hutchinson, and is adopted by a great many grouse shooters; but I am strongly of opinion that in all kinds of shooting where pointers

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and setters are employed, these dogs should not be allowed to retrieve. Nothing is so fertile a source of jealousy among them as the seeing one of their own body sent for the purpose of “ seeking dead,” while the rest are expected to be steady “ down charge.” The same bad effect is not produced when they see a special retriever employed; for even if they are jealous of him, it does not make them unsteady afterwards, because they are not working together with him in their own peculiar department. All the setters cannot retrieve at one time, but one must be selected to do the work and hence the others consider theinselves ill-used, and will either refuse to back the favoured one, or will work in a way to lead to the loss of sport. Great practice, moreover, is essential to success in retrieving, and if this is divided am

amongst three or four instead of being concentrated in one dog, a loss is sustained which will tell greatly against the “bag.” For these reasons, therefore, I should strongly advise that every team of pointers or setters should be strengthened by the addition of a thoroughly well-broken retriever, which may be of any of the following kinds. The LAND RETRIEVER proper is no doubt the small or St. John's Newfoundland, more or less crossed with the setter. This produces the handsome animal shown in the engraving in the second book, and he will be found to do all that is required. He may be used for water as well as land, but he is not capable of so much work as the water spaniel. From his large size also he is sometimes unable to follow the pheasant through the runs of a covert, and in this case he is beaten by the smaller dogs broken to retrieve, such as the cross of the terrier and beagle exhibited in the background. The cross of the rough terrier and pointer, advocated by Mr. Colquhoun, is a very good one, and for general purposes is admirable. A dog of this sort is represented in the coloured engraving in the second book, being intermediate in size between the other two. A little dog, between the beagle or spaniel and the terrier, is sometimes employed for retrieving partridges and even pheasants, but this variety is too small for carrying hares.

One of these also is represented in the same illustration.

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