25 JULY 1840, Page 18


THE approach of the sporting season is indicated by the publica- tioas. Last week we had the lueuhrations of WU:SON and the author of the " Oakleigh Shooting Club" on angling and fowl- ing: this week Mr. CoLounoux presents us with the results of an experience of many years on the moor, the forest, and the moun- tain, the fresh and the salt-water lake. The Maur and the Leek, however, differs from the Rod and the Gun, and many other sporting works we have met, in not being a systematic book of instructions. The author presupposes in his

reader a certain degree of proficiency—that he lets not only got a gun and knows how to load it, but is moreover something of a shot. lie also confines himself to game characteristic of Scotland, if not peculiar to it : grouse, black-game, ptarmigan, and wild-fowl on the Highland lochs, the roe, time mountain-fox, and the alpine

hare, complete his birds and beasts of deice. In what he seems to class as vermin, are included the eagle, time kite, the martin, and the wild eat—not the domestic eat run wild or crossed, but. the genuine wild cat, "standing as high as a good-sized dog," with " great length and power of limbs," and, " most 1ml-idling mark of all, a tail so long and bushy as to strike the most careless observer." The account of li.,hing in the ti.cim-water lakes is somewhat more elementary than the directions fur shooting; the sea-loch fishing is treated methodically. But although The Moor mid the Loch cannot be called a regular instruction-book, it is something better; for besides the deductions of the author's experience, thrown off with the freshness and dis- tinctness which characterize original observations, it contains some rough but interesting accounts of bumf ing-adventures ; it few cha- racteristic traits of scenery or peasant character ; and many striking anecdotes illustrative of the naturalhistory of animals. A regular treatise, it may be noted, is, generally speaking, a regular compila- tion. liuman life is too short to enable any single man to form a system for himself; his only resource is to add something to what others have done ; but Mr. CoLot:noux's,book seems altogether his own so far as it goes. The labour which great authors and great artists bestow upon their works—or rather, the continual toil and study to which they submit in order to acquire the timeulty of producing teem—is well known from the proper prominence which biographers give to their diligence. But a diligence equal in degree is requisite where- ever any nice operation is to be competently performed. What hours must an amateur devote to his instrument ! what art and knowledge, patience and experience, must an angler have before be rank high in his craft ! A similar outlay of time and trouble is necessary to arrive at eminence in shooting. Even a clog, whose nature it is to perform a certain thing, cannot do it well without long training and great care. When a combination of opposite qualities is required, the difficulties of conrse are mul- tiplied. Sec the varied excelle»cies necessary to justify the trouble of even training a retriever, and the numbers that are sacrificed before excellence is attained. The sagacity they do display at last, however, might furnish Lord Buouun Am with an additional example for the reason of brutes.


The best and most efficient kind of dog for this work is a cross between a water-dog and a huge terrier; the terrier gives nose, and the water-dog saga- city. I should say, that before you can procure one which upon trial may prove worth the great trouble of thoroughly training, you may have to destroy half a dozen. You should begin your training, when the dog is very young; and if you find lie is not turning out as you could wish, seal his fate at once. The dog you want must be mute as a badger and cunning as a fox ; he must be of a most docile and bidable disposition—the generality of this breed are so: they are also slow and heavy in their movements, and phlegmatic in their temper-- great requisite!; but when fowl are to be secured, you will find no want either f will or activity on land or water. The accompanying wood-cut may serve to of what sort of dog I mean, being a likeness of the best I ever saw. He never gives a whimper, if ever so keen, and obeys every signal I make with the band. He will watch my motions at a distance, whemerawling after wild-fowl, ready to rush forward the moment I have tired ; and in no one instance has he stalled my shot. 1 may mention a proof of his sagacity. Having a couple of long shots across a pretty broad stream, I stopped a mallard with each barrel, but both were only wounded : I sent him across for I la: birds : he first attempted to bring them both, but one always struggled out of his mouth ; be then laid down one, intending to bring the other, hut whenever he attempted to cross to me, the bird left ;Ito tsTed into the water : he immediately returned again, laid

down the first on the shore, and recovered t he other; the first nowfiuttered sway, but he instmtly secured it, and, standing over thesis both, scented to

cogitate for a moment—then, although on any other occasion he never ruffles a feather deliberately killed one, brought over the other, and then returned for the dead bird.

The sport—wild-fowl-shooting—in which a rarunt animal like this is required, is luckily not fitted for every one. The majority of " gentlemen" bungle it, or more truly know nothing about it.

This is the picture of A "sonar" WILD-FOWL-MOOTING.

I will now suppose the squire the loch-side on a fine winter morning,

dressed perhaps in a flaring green or black velveteen, with a Newthundland re • triever of the same sable hue. Ile sees a flock of fowl well pitched on the shore, which most likely have seen both him and his dog, and arc quite upon their guard. He looks round for a few bushes to screen him when near the birds; and then, with a sort of half-crouching attitude, admirably imitated by

his canine friend, :dunces upon his game. ritless the place is particularly adapted for it shot, the flock have probably 'wen Lim appearing and reap- pearing several times; and whenever he is sufficiently nerr to alarm them, lly

up be ...slier, to his no small chagrin. But should he Sy chance get near enough for a shot, his M:g, not being thoroughly trained, still most likely either

show himself or begin whimpering idiot his master prepares to shoot, or, in short, do something which 'nay spoil the spurt; and even supposiog the better alternative that he should have no dog t and be w bin shot of his game, he will in all probability either puke his head over a Inish. Aviles going to lire, or make a rustling when putting his gun through it, and so lose the sitting shot.

With many men, however, neither knowledge of the sport nor love for it would avail, unless they had a constitution of iron and the patience of Job. Observe the requisites for


The man who engages in this sport int,t be of an athletic frame and hardy habits: he must not mind getting thoroughly wet, nor think of rheumatism while standing or sitting it, clothes well soaked, perhaps, the at hour at a tittle, watching fool. As to waterproof boots, they are totally out of the question : the common diker's boots woidd so impede your walking, and also he such a b-mderance when crawling upon ducks tir running upon divers, as considerably to lessen your chance; and the India.rtiliher lnei!s won!! is no time become so perforated with briers and whin as to So ut ii L. Mote xYyaice than a worsted stocking. The most suitable dress is a light bro,,n dmoling jacket and waistcoat, as near the shade of the ground and te..!cs, in the winter season, as possible—your great object being to avoid the qui,:k si.,211; Of the birds; shoes well studded with nails, like deer-stalker's, to preveat lipping, and a drab. coloured waterprodeap. Should the weather be a cry ce!,!, t sometimes put on two pairs of worsted stockings, but !lever at tempt any protection from the wet. If snow is on the ground, wear a white linen cover to your shooting- jacket, and another to your cap.

To these must be added a pocket-telescope ; for the sportsman must reconnoitre his ground with the science of a tactician, and steal upon his prey with more than the wariness of a Red Indian. Having approached them, or rather the landmarks he has noted in their vicinity, " lie must now is as if treading opal, she lest rustle ()r a hough,

or crack of a piece oh rotten wood under Lis feet, may all, especially if the weather be calm. Having got to about ono hundred yards front where he sup- poses the birds to be, he will tell his retriever to lie down : the dog., ir well Mined, will at once do so, and never move. Ills master will then crawl for - want, until he gets the advantage of a bush or tuft of reeds, and then raise his Lend by inches to look through it for his other marks. Haring seen them, he basset an idea whets: the birds are, and st ill, with the utmost eantion, endeavour to catch sight of them. I will suppose Lim Ihrtnicoe c,..mgh to do so, and that they arc pe&ctly unconscious of his near tippr, set,. Ile must lower his head in the same cautious manner, and look l'or smite refuge a!: a fair dirt tare irons the birds, through which he may lire the dealle >iUiug 91!”!. Alter crawling serpent•like to this, he will again raise Ids head-by' hairbreadths, and, peeping through the hush or tuft, select the greatest manlier of birds in line; then drawing back a little, in order that his gun may be just clear of the bush for the second barrel alter having tired the first through it, will take sure aim at his selected victims. Should he unfortimately not lied an opening to lire through, the only other alterital ire is by almost imperceptible degrees to raise his gun to the right or the hush, and close to it ; lint in doing this the birds are much more likely to see Limn and take wing. Never fire steer the bush, as you are almost certain to be perceived whensver you raise your heal] : more good shots are lost to an experienced hand by it rapid jerk, not keeping a sufficient watch for stragglers, and over-anxiety to fire, than by any other tray. blaring succeeded in getting the sitting shut, the fowl, especially if they have not seen front whence it comes, will rise perpendicularly in the air, and you are not unlikely- to have a eliance of knocking down a couple more with your second barrel ; but if they rise wide, you i»ust select the finest old mallard among them, or whatever suits your faney. Directly upon hearing the report, your retriever will rush to your a-:sistanta., and having secured your cripples, you will reload, and, taking out your glass, reconnoitre again."

The experience of Mr. Cot.ouno;:N in sport Of this kind has naturally rendered him a very close observer of animals; and his volume contains many passages de.:eriptive of their sagacity, or combating notions which attribute to them fitculties they do not pOssess. Hero is an example of the latter in his account of the DurdcA•rn nnAntxo OF WILD-DUCKS. Although I am firmly of opinion that they do not wind you like deer, as some suppose,

that I c• yet their hearing., is most acute. I have seen instances of this could hardl taherwise have credited. One day I got within about sixty yards- three due s asleep upon the shore; the wind was blowing very strong,

direct from me to them, a thick hedge forming my ambuscade. The ground Was quite bare beyond this hedge, so I was obliged to take the distant shot t!nough it : in making the attempt, I rustled one of the twigs—up went the three heads to the full stretch ; but when I had remained quiet fin about five mutes, they again placed their bills under their wings : upon a second trial,

the slight noise was unfortunately repeated; again the birds raised their heads, but this time they were much longer upon the stretch, and seemed more uneasy. Nothing now remained but to try again : my utmost caution, how- ever, was unavailing, and the birds rose like rockets. I never hesitate con- cealing myself to windward of the spot where 1 expect ducks to pitch, feeling confident that unless 1 mote they will not find me out. 1 have often had them swimming within twenty-tire yards of me, when I was waiting for three or four in line, the wind blowing direct from me to them, without perceiving by any signs their COIISCIOILMICSS of an enemy's vicinity.


The roe's sagacity in discovering real from apparent danger is remarkable: the crouching shouter with his deadly gun is instantly detected, while the harmless workman may even blast the rock and cause no alarm. This fact I Lure been assured of by men employed on the highland road, who had often seen the rocs peeping at them from the cliffs above, watching their whole pro- ceediogs without any sign of fear.


When the litter is discovered, "the fox-hunter" is brought into requisition, (who often at this time has more calls than he can answer) : his terriers are sent into the den, and the young massacred: a watch is then set to commands view all around, in order, if possible, to shoot the old ones when they return. I have been told by people thus employed, that they had no idea of the pro- verbial cunning of the fox until they saw it shown upon such occasions. Al- though the place has been perfectly bare, the old tames have come unperceived within ten yards of the party, and were at last only discovered by the straining of the dogs on the leash. 1 have often heard the watchers say, that the ease with which " the rod" avoids their faces, and skulks behind their backs, is most surprising. If the ffixes escape the guns, as they commonly do, "the streakars " are slipped upon them ; and if not then run down, nothing remains to be done but again to set the watch. So long as the old ones are io-evented from entering, they will return morning and evening for several days; but should either of them get meccas, and miss the yantng, they come back no more.

EAGLES counsixo.

When two eagles are in pursuit of a bare, they show great tact : it is exactly if two well-matched greyhounds were turning a bare—as one rises the other descends, until poor puss is tired out : when one of them succeeds in cateltios; her, it fixes a claw in her back, and holds by the ground with the other, stribilig all the time with its beak.

CltArr OF seers.

Kites generally build in the pine forests on the Mills, and select a true with a thin bare stein, often very difficult to climb. I once concealed iny,:elf at the foot of a tree inhere a kite was hatching, in order to shoot it on its return to the nest, fur they generally lly ill' it the most distant approach of an enemy. I was perfectly hid; and, atter waiting nearly sus hour, lent all opportunity of witnes,ing the tact and conning- of the bird. The suit was shining warm upon the nest, or it would, most likely, not hose kept me so long. At last I saw it flying round in very wide circle-, which gradually narrowed ; it then lighted upon a distant tree, and peering round in every direction, chose a nearer ; and so on, until it came within three or four trees of the nest. It was now within. shot ; but 1 hail, unffirtunately, so played myself as only to command the nest - tree, never doubting that it sssauld light on this before it settled upon the nest ; but I was out in my re:clouting : is soon as it had tolerably reassured itself. it rose perpendicularly in the air, and came down upon its nest like a stone. The monies in which [ was concealed prevented by getting a flying shot ; so nothing remained but to .1: e through the nest ; which proved a sufficient de- feere, as the hile IleW away and never returned.

In an appendix, Mr. CoLonnorx briefly discusses several matters, of which the most generally interesting is the sagacity of clogs. This quality he holds to he pretty equally disseminated through all the various families, but restrained in its development by temper and habit, directed into some particular way by train- ing or treatment, or left dormant by non-cultivation. Our old friend the double-duck-retriever, he does not consider more truly sagacious than a pointer ; but what lie does is of a more showy kind.

" To illustrate my meaning, I may mention a feat or two of each. Having wounded a rabbit on the moors when the pointer was behind a knoll, but fancying from the agility with which it made its escape that I had missed it altogether, I was surprised to see hills shortly afterwards bring a rabbit and deliberately lay it down at sny feet. It would have been nothing it' the dog had hoer taught to fetch and carry ; but On the contrary, he is of course broke to drop at the shot and never to lay a tooth upon game. Had he seen me lire and afterwards stumbled upon the rabbit, he would, from his breaking, have thought he had no business to touch it ; but not having seen the shot, he fancied he had a right to bring what he had himself fonn.1 upon the moor. Any person who was no judge tit dogs would have said, NVIty, this is no more than what any retriever puppy would have done.' It is not, however, the mere act abate, but the con- necting circumstances which often slimy the superior instinct of the canine species.

" The performances of ho retriever are more showy ; and the generality of ob- servers would immediately on that account pronounce hint the more sagacious dog. lu taking a walk wilt lion last winter, I met a friend who had dropped a whip : it' this had happened to myself there would have been no ditlidulty, as I had only to send the dog obi upon Iny track ; hut Upon trial he immediately ran back upon that of iny friend, recovered the whip, :mil brought it to me. Another time, when hue was ffillowing an opal caeriage, a shawl was droppd s no one perceived the loss until the dog was ,e,:n carrying it in his mouth behind. Not long alter, the bouquet of flowers was inissed: I immediately looked round for the retriever—and, to be sure, there lie was with the bouquet most jauntily carried in his mouth. I only mention these as explanatory of my theory, viz. that we are apt to overvalue one dog for sagacity, while we overlook its more unpretending neighbour, because, from shyness, surliness, eagerness of temper, or want or practice, all its louWers of instinct and memory are employed in a different add Ines obviwts wry; for there is no doubt, if a dog is eager, shy, or sulky, it niay have superior instinct and yet show less than another of a more phlegmatic, sociable, or cosy disposition. This accounts for the difficulty of procuring it good retriever from a cross hi:Weep the water-dog and terrier, so valuable it' the medium between them is preserved ; because, when the dog par- takes too much of the nature of the terrier, his quick temper unfits him fur the purpose; and when too little, he is generally deficient its nose."

The volume is illustrated by some charaoteristic cuts of dogs and game; which, if by Mr. COLC/U1I0EN, show that lie can handle the pencil us well as the pen and the gull. Altogether, The Moor and Ilw Loch is a book which the sportsman may peruse for its in- struction, and the general reader for its information, reality, and directness.