Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

Pa­trick Gal­braith ad­mon­ishes him­self for “throw­ing a shot mallard over a fence and into the back of a pickup” (Ed­i­tor’s let­ter, 23 May). He pointed out that, since it was part of the food chain, the bird should have been shown “the ut­most re­spect”. He is quite right but I humbly sug­gest that this is a re­spect that stems from es­teem for all quarry, from the mo­ment it is born and has flown to the time it rests on our plates.

Through­out a long shoot­ing ca­reer — nigh on 80 years — I some­times found my­self in the role of shoot cap­tain. Few things stirred my ire more than a Gun ca­su­ally toss­ing quarry on to the game cart, as though it were noth­ing more than a piece of rub­bish, rather than plac­ing it in a gen­tle and re­spect­ful way.

I once met a keeper who was a stick­ler for shoot­ing eti­quette. We had en­joyed a first-rate driven day and one of my Guns had watched as the keeper moved along the cart en­sur­ing that each bird hung neatly.

“Why are you do­ing that?” he asked. “Be­cause we must of­fer our quarry the re­spect it war­rants, sir,” came the re­ply.

“Just the sort of man I like in my own teams,” was my friend’s con­tri­bu­tion to the con­vivial am­bi­ence near the end of a per­fect day’s shoot­ing. e. miller, lan­cashire

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