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Section 2 focuses on the "Quarry and Their Pursuit". Pheasants, Partridges, Woodcock, Snipe, Rabbits and Hares, Wildfowl and Pigeons are each featured in separate chapters. Each chapter talks about the game and then some of the various manners in which to hunt them. Keep in mind that some of the methods are only suited - or legal - for those in the UK. By the way, the "pigeon" discussed is not the rock dove, columba livia, but is a much larger wood pigeon, columba palumbus, which may be sixteen inches in length.

I found the third section, "Managing the Shoot", the most interesting. Swan discusses the issues of artificially stocking hunting grounds, and talks about Habitat Management. Also discussed are the topics of predator control and winter (post-season) feeding.

"In most people's minds the first choice is a spaniel, of which the English springer is the most popular. The best spaniels are eternal optimists in even the most barren country, hunting the roughest cover all day long, remaining close so that game is flushed in shot and retrieving the spoils to hand beautifully."

The book has some delightful photographs. Of importance to me is the clean typesetting and paper quality - which is among the best I have seen. I get annoyed with books that are hard to read in the evening when my eyes get tired.

As a spaniel fanatic, naturally, I wish the book spent more times on dog topics, but as this column is evidence, there are many books on training and dog work. This is a book about rough shooting - and more specifically, rough shooting in the UK. As such, it is quite an enjoyable read.

Copies of this book are available from:
Spaniel Journal Bookstore

Rough Shooting, second edition
by Mike Swan - Copyright © 2000
hard cover, 176 pgs., 70 b&w photos
Swan Hill Press - Stackpole Books
ISBN 1-84037-188-9

Bill Fawcett resides in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with his wife Cindy and his Springer, Jenna. He is a hunter, field trialer and member of the M-AHSC. He also maintains a public FB ESS pedigree database at

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