PIGEON SHOOTING AT ITS WORST
[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Srn,—May 1 congratulate you on publishing the ,excellent article on pigeon shooting at Monte Carlo, by Sir W. Beach Thomas? You may be interested in some further details of this sport.
Timing by my watch I find that two pigeons per minute, are fired at, sometimes three. This firing goes on from 10 a.m. till sunset. About one in every three birds is killed dead if the person firing is a good shot ; the remainder can be seen fluttering about the grass till picked up by the dog or the runner. These wounded birds are not killed at once.
About one out of every twenty birds falls wounded outside the enclosure on to the rocks, where it is pounced upon by a mob of men or boys and carried about wounded. Soine fly further and die on the roofs of hoUses and other inaccessible places. I have seen a woman, painted and powdered, and presumably civilized, actually laugh at the struggles of a wounded bird which fell into the sea.
Critics upholding the shooting will say, why go to Monte Carlo ? Answer, because it is one of the prettiest places on the Riviera, and apart from gambling and pigeon shooting, there is more to do there than in most iilaces, and the princi- pality is probably the best-run place for its size in Europe.
Again, what business is it of the English to interfere ? Answer, because the English visitors and residents probably outnumber all other visitors, and certainly English shipping dues must pay more than any other nation. Thirdly, we have our battues, which are only glorified pigeon shoots. True, but two blacks do not make a white. Personally, having made my notes of the slaughter, I never go near the Casino terrace whilst the shooting is on, neither do I go into the place to gamble.
I hope your efforts may succeed in putting a stop to what is a brutal and offensive spectacle as now carried on. I suggest that you send copies of all your correspondence on the subject to the Prince of Monaco and to the Director of the Casino.— I am, Sir, &c., J. B. G. T