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and returning the instant they picked it up. The setters which were "forced" to bring in this manner I taught subsequently to stand back &c., &c. I had no trouble with them whatever, the application of the spike collar having made them perfectly docile and submissive.
When the dog under instruction will bring the bloquet perfectly at all distances within the length of the cord, the cord is tied loosely round his neck, and the bloquet is thrown to greater distances, and the dog generally obeys; but in case of any resistance, the cord is immediately resumed, and the dog is rewarded by a series of severe jerks, till he finally becomes perfect pour le rapport par terre. Then follows the second course of instruction by water, which is not so easy as might be supposed, as some dogs evince a great indisposition to obedience in this respect, especially smooth-haired pointers ; but there is no failure as to ultimate success with the spike collar, no matter what breed the dog be of, and a dog, when once perfectly taught in this manner, never refuses water in the coldest day.
The trainer generally in the first instance resorts to some piece of shallow water as the field of his preliminary instructions, and he first commences by dropping the bloquet in near the edge; and there is frequently a severe contest between the man and dog, to make the latter faire le premier pas. Having succeeded in this, he throws the bloquet gradually further and further; but as he occasionally meets with determined disobedience when he chances to throw it prematurely too far, he is obliged to take his shoes and stockings off, and walk into the water; hence the selection of a shallow place for these early operations. By dint of perseverance, the dog's education is perfected in about a month. I had several setters broken in this manner, and they never refused water in any weather, nor required in the slightest degree stimulating to fetch their game, but, on the contrary, were eager to do so, and I scarcely ever lost a head of game with them.
Dogs that bring their game, certainly appear to me to enjoy the sport more than those who do not, and are indispensably necessary in a marshy country for snipe and duck shooting. It would be difficult to make dogs used for this purpose and in this manner, " down charge" strictly, as they almost invariably mark down the game that is killed, and like, if not restrained, to go immediately to the spot for it. I have seen a dog on one or two occasions, returning with a snipe in his mouth, point at a live snipe, the dead snipe not having prevented him from winding the living one.
THOSE WHO HAVE MOORS AND OTHER SHOOTINGS TO LET,
WITH ADVICE TO THOSE WHO WISH TO BENT THEM.
Being an advocate for fair-play, I will offer a few suggestions, which I trust may be as beneficial to those who have shootings to let as to those who are desirous of renting them. The interests of the two parties are so intimately blended together, that any suggestion protective of the rights of the former cannot fail to be advantageous and beneficial to the latter. When these interests, which ought to be mutual, are disregarded by the unfair and greedy sportsman, or violated by the dishonest gamekeeper, both parties subsequently suffer, and great vexation and disappointment is the natural result.
Many sportsmen who have taken moors on the good faith of agents, have been terribly disappointed on the 12th of August. Some instances have occurred where the best of hills have been almost entirely cleared of grouse, to the amazement and unutterable vexation of those who have come from a distance, at a great expense, with friends, dogs, and servants, — the rent having been paid in advance: and yet it was partly their own fault, not to have ascertained the exact condition of the ground, through the instrumentality of a competent person, before closing with the agent. The latter may have acted with perfect good faith, and himself have been deceived; for the hills may have been reduced to this state on the last year of the tenancy of the previous occupant by the dishonesty of the gamekeeper, — who, having remained on the ground after the party left, may have availed himself of the opportunity to kill and destroy by every means in his power, both fair and foul, by the gun and springes by day, and with nets at night.
To guard against such foul work, I would recommend the use of the form of lease which follows this chapter, with a few additional clauses. First, if the ground be let in the month of March, that the quantity of game be ascertained by competent persons, and it be agreed that the same amount be left at the end, or expiration of the lease. Secondly, that no lease be granted for a shorter period than three years. Thirdly, that no game be killed except in a fair and sportsmanlike manner. Fourthly, that, on no consideration, any gamekeeper or hired person be allowed to shoot or kill game on the last season-year of the tenancy. In case of infraction of any of these conditions, especially of the last, there should be a heavy penalty, as two years' rent would be an inadequate compensation for the damage which an adept in villany and mischief would occasion in the last year of the tenancy, if left on the ground without restrictions, after the party had removed,— the pretext for his remaining being, that he might occasionally send his master a box of grouse.
There should also be a further condition, making the party renting the moor responsible for the conduct of the keepers; and in the event of any dispute arising at any time respecting the game, that either party be empowered to demand a reference, to come off within fifteen days; and in the event of the referees disagreeing, an umpire to be appointed by them, whose decision shall be final.
If conditions of this stringent, but necessary, character were introduced into all leases of moors, considerable disappointment would be prevented, and the fair and liberal sportsman would neither be sacrificed by foul play or greediness on the one hand, nor by the knavery of dishonest keepers on the other; for there are persons who take moors as well as keepers who ought to protect them, and against whom precautions are equally necessary to be adopted. These are such as think themselves fully justified in the last year of their tenancy, without any grateful feeling for the good sport they have enjoyed, or without the slightest consideration for the landlord, or for those who