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it is the only course which can be pursued at this season of the year, it must on no account be neglected. Be sure to have most stringent conditions as to the burning of the heather, as without these your best prospects of sport may be completely destroyed. All shepherds will burn more than they ought to burn, especially if they are the servants of a tenant-farmer, and not of the landlord, and they will always have a ready-made excuse for the excess. Your safety, therefore, as regards this practice, is solely in the responsibility of the landlord; the quantity to be burnt each year must be distinctly stated, and agreed on, in your lease, and a heavy penalty attached to any excess,—as your sport may be destroyed for three or four years by any reckless or extensive burning, as I have known to have been the case. The burning generally takes place in the month of March. If the weather be dry and the wind high, the conflagration proceeds rapidly; and as the shepherds generally select the night for the commencement of their operations, your keepers and watchers must be on the alert. No heather can be legally burnt after the 10th of April; the penalty for each offence subsequent to that period is five pounds. Heather ought only to be burnt in small patches, and not in whole districts, as is frequently done; in which case the grouse are not only driven off the ground, but those bred contiguously to the denuded spots more easily become victims of birds of prey, by their opportunities of sheltering themselves when pursued being decreased. On moors where there are many bare places, coveys bred near them will always be found to be reduced to a very small number by the 12th of August.
A very assiduous and attentive keeper, who had had the charge of extensive moors for many consecutive years, and who was constantly on his ground, told me he had invariably observed this result,—notwithstanding his having been as successful as any man I ever met with, during a long experience, in the destruction of vermin of all sorts. This circumstance is partly explained by the fact, that hawks, coming from any contiguous ground, will return to spots day after day, where they have once been successful in taking game: so that a keeper, however much he may be on the alert, may lose several young birds before he may get a favourable opportunity of destroying the enemy. The keeper to whom I have above alluded I have known remain on his ground all night, in order that he might be in concealment at daybreak, when a falcon or hen harrier was in question. His perseverance was sometimes put to the test, but he seldom failed.
FOEM OF LEASE FOR SHOOTINGS.
It is contracted and agreed between A. B., Esq., of Grouse Hall, Perthshire, on the one part, and C. D., Esq., of Pall Mall, London, on the other part, in manner following (that is to say): the said A. B. hereby lets to the said C. D. and his heirs, but excluding assignees and subtenants, without the special consent of the proprietor in writing (the proprietor not being bound to assign any reason for withholding such consent), and that for the period of five years, from and after the first day of May, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, the exclusive right by himself, or others having his authority, of killing game over the whole of the farms and moors of , in the parish of ,
belonging to the said A. B.; for which causes, on the other part, the said C. D. obliges himself and his heirs, executors, ,and successors, conjunctly and severally, without the benefit of discussion, to pay to the said A. B. or his foresaids, at the Mansion House, Grouse Hall, or at such place as the proprietor may from time to time appoint, the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds sterling of yearly rent; the first year's rent to be payable on the signing of these presents, the second year's rent on the first day of May, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, the third year's rent on the first day of May, one thousand eight hundred and sixtyseven, the fourth year's rent on the first day of May, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, and the fifth year's rent on the first day of May, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, with one-fifth part more of each payment in case of failure, and the legal interest of each year's rent, from and after the time when the same becomes due, during the non-payment thereof; and the said C. B. hereby stipulates and engages that he shall care for and protect the game in a fair and proper manner, encourage the different breeds, and in no event shall he be entitled to extirpate or entirely destroy the same; and that he shall not kill more game during the last year of his possession than, having reference to its judicious management, he has killed or ought to have killed in previous years; and in the event of any difference of opinion arising between landlord and tenant in respect of the mode of the management of the game, the same shall be referred to two neutral persons of skill, to be mutually chosen, or their oversman, whose award shall be final; and failing such appointment within ten days after a request to do so is made in writing by one party to the other, it shall be in the power of either party to apply to the judge ordinary to appoint a skilful person to inspect and report on the premises. And both parties bind and oblige themselves to implement the premises to each
other, under the penalty of three hundred pounds sterling, to be paid by the party failing to the party observing or willing to observe the same over and above performances. In witness whereof these presents, written on this and the preceding page, by W. H. of are subscribed to by
us as follows:—Videlicet, by me, D. G, of Pall Mall, London, at , the first day of June,
1865, before these witnesses, E. F. D., merchant, &c. &c, and W. T., gentleman, , and by me,
A. B., at street, London, this first day of June, 1865, before these witnesses, E. F. D., &c. &c. &c., and T. W., &c. &c. &c.
E. F. D., witness. A. B.
W. T., witness.
E. F. D., witness. C. D.
W. T., witness.
I suggest the adoption of the preceding form of lease, as I believe it to be as good a one as can be drawn up—the conditions being equally fair to both parties; and in the event of any dispute arising, a reference may be resorted to, to come off within fifteen days, each party having the power to select a referee.
I should never recommend any sportsman to take a moor for only one year; but in the event of circumstances inducing him to do so, I strongly advise him to have an agreement in writing of the