Shooting Times & Country

A few silver linings

We do not hear much about silver snipe and silver plover, silver larks and silver shanks nowadays. That is because nearly everybody knows the proper names of birds and many good old-fashioned local names are dying out.

My grandfather’s coachman, William Crossthwaite, taught more than one generation of boys to shoot snipe by making his pupils count to five before firing at the quarry when it rose on wing. In this way, a fairly easy shot is frequently obtained and the fault of being in too great a hurry is avoided. If the youngster under Crossthwaite’s tuition ‘snapshotted’, without calling the numbers distinctly, whether the result was a hit or miss old William would take the gun and have the next shot.

I remember when undergoing this instruction on

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