Many see the appeal of hunting and shooting as a setback to our ancient hunter-gatherer instincts, where the prize for tracking down prey successfully means eating well to take home. Even in medieval times, shooting with bows and arrows called perched or sitting birds, was still carried out. Again, this is mainly for food and shows how deeply this activity is rooted in humans.
A Glimpse History of Weapons
Weapons, or firearms, were first discovered in 12th century China, where gunpowder had been available since the 9th century. However, it wasn’t until the late 1400s they arrived in Europe, where smaller, handheld weapons became available. It was during the 1500s that the paper cartridge was developed, and King Henry VIII took an interest in shooting games for fun. It is from this that hunting and shooting became associated with wealth and prestige. As Henry VIII became more involved in the sport, he began managing his own game stocks and banning the public from shooting on his land. Eventually, only those with enough land to breed game birds or deer had the privilege of shooting for fun, whenever they liked.
When the 18th and 19th centuries brought about the invention of the rifle, the Victorian people became fascinated by the romantic vision of the days spent rambling about the Scottish Highlands, and the shooting became firmly entrenched as a popular past in British culture.
Driven Game Shooting
Modern photoshoots now often occur in hunting areas, where people pay a lot of money to shoot at prime locations. As such, the maintenance and management of game animals are being carried out to ensure a profitable photo session. Birds like the grouse and grouse are the most popular, with mallard, pigeons and partridge all brought home. Less common but still popular is stalking deer, where the appeal of the trophy is seen.
There are three main kinds of game shooting practiced today; Driven Game Shooting, Rough Shooting and Wildfowling. Driven Game Shooting takes place on managed estates, and is often a formal affair. People pay per bird and beaters with their dogs drive the game out to be shot. Ideally, the birds will fly high up, allowing a good sporting shot. Once the bird falls, gun dogs retrieve it. Rough Shooting is a more informal shoot which is becoming more and more popular. Dogs run in front of guns and sniff birds to disturb them, but they are not driven out in long lines. There is no guarantee of what bird or game you will find. Finally, wildfowling is an even more informal sport, and people often practice on their own, when night falls. Here, weapons are waiting for birds or rabbits to emerge from their natural habitat, there is no driving them out with dogs or hitters, and that involves a deep understanding of animal habits, the environment, the weather and, most importantly, the identification of the mine itself.
Today, most people shoot with a 12 and 20 bore or a.410 shotgun. … Read More