Life is an Adventure.....
That sir is a good question, having been invited more than a few times to eat dinner at Kay's table, where a lot of different conversations went on. I never remember this subject coming up. However GBE may have done some driven shoots with his good friend the Doctor, who gifted him his Purdey double gun. IMO GBE probably did not participate in many driven shoots, simply because he liked to hunt with his Ryman/Hemlock Setters all the time.
Dave B - L.C. Smith Man
But, only opinion, no facts to speak of.
If Nash Buckingham ever shot driven, I don’t recall him mentioning doing so in what writings of his I’ve read.
Nash was another man who liked to hunt with dogs, not sure he even did any driven shoots at all. When I was a boy I never heard George Ryman or my Grandfather talk of driven shoots either, dogs took precedence in their way of hunting also.
Dave B - L.C. Smith Man
Two American Beauties, Brook R & Pine Creek Ryman Daisy.
Since driven shooting in the UK only became popularly accessible following WW II, it's not surprising that Buckingham, who would have been in his 70s when travel by air and driven shooting began becoming convenient and available, would have shown little interest, even if he was actually aware of it. Prior to WW II, nearly all driven shooters were invited guests of estate owners, for shooting wild birds primarily, commercially let days and raised birds being scarce on the ground. Owners traded shooting weekend invitations; social and political interests were typically included. There are several interesting books on the market about those days. It was not a plebeian sport or opportunity open to the hoi-polloi.
Rough shooting, or walk-up shooting, similar to your hunting, Dave, with one's dog is also widely popular in the UK, at considerably less expense than driven shooting, of course. Quarry includes pheasants, partridges, woodcock - native or migrant from Europe - and red grouse, a wild species found only in the UK.
With Labor in power after WW II, exercising its ugly anti-large property owners' rights assault, levying punitive death duties and confiscatory income tax rates approaching or reaching 90%, landowners had to look for new sources of income from their properties. It became quickly apparent that let days of driven shooting offered a strong possibility, especially with the support of gun makers, primarily Holland & Holland, who had invested in or had connections with shooting venues. It was no longer an exclusive sporting option for only the guests of property owners, but became open to anyone who could find a venue and had the time and wherewithal to shoot driven birds.
Fifteen years ago, British sporting magazines had numerous advertisements offering driven shooting; nowadays, few are seen. The internet and websites have replaced them, with a number of YouTube videos on driven shooting easily found. A relatively new service, "Guns on Pegs", is a great resource to find driven shooting for those who are interested. See https://www.gunsonpegs.com/
Americans and Europeans who have an interest in such are ubiquitous in the UK from August 12 through February 1 each season. For an American shooter's take on why this occurs, see an article scheduled for publication in the upcoming June issue of Shooting Gazette magazine, a monthly publication focusing on shooting and dogs.
Not sure.....may be the way he wrote and of the times or it may simply be the lack of a connection to his stories. Purely personal, I have read most of his published major works and some old magazine articles....just the way it is. I can't jump on any bandwagon simply because it is passing, artfully shiny or is a writer placed high on some Internet must-read list.
Certainly, his early recognition of need and following contribution to conservation, waterfowl and others, stands him on a mighty high stump...and his swatting of wild gamebirds with...shotguns...is right there alongside him.
Again, not really sure, Moonshine. I re-read most of the big guns of sporting literature every year...maybe one day I will alter my opinion. As it is, the opinion is worth what one pays.
If I follow your initial paragraph - “may be the way he wrote and of the times...” his style and/or content lacks appeal.
I have only read his major opus, “De Shootinest Gent'man,” and am one of those who enjoyed it. Although I’ve never shot ducks in the States, the lifestyle he epitomized was interesting to read about. As a southerner of sorts, perhaps it rang a different chorus for me.
I do agree with you, having spend time in NC, GA & LA I have a decent understand of the sporting life style and Nash definitely puts it into words. If I would not have spent so much time hunting in the south I might look on the books differently myself.
Dave B - L.C. Smith Man
Whew, that's great Moonshine...I was sweating receiving even a grudging acceptance of my opinion.
No, I do not believe it is a "content" issue as waterfowl are not total strangers and the beat and whistle of heavy wings over a blind, or pneumonia pit as Hill coined, is neither unknown nor unappreciated. Finding wide swaths of tiny tracks cut into the snow or stepping into the midst of a covey flush at an oak trees's base also makes quail an understood treat. Enjoying Mathewson's stories of snipe and western settings from afar again implies that content is not an issue. It must be Buckingham's style of presentation that does not work for me...I do not know.
Probably, the issue is nothing more than when first I read Buckingham(and more than a major whatever).....other writer's words made more of an impression when they were at the oars. As with a painting or play of music, one may have to be in a certain place and a certain mind to truly appreciate any talent. Otherwise, high-fiving may be for little more than show. I don't do show.
T - in no way would I debate your taste in hunting literature, but it’s hard for me not to admire this genre of hunting prose, with all its evocative rhythm, even of a long past time...
“We rose long, long before daylight in those autoless times. We drove for hours through star-tented darkness and softly graying, frost quilted dawns. Bubber and I and the dogs huddled for warmth beneath a buffalo robe. What tummy-stuffing breakfasts in some friendly farm house, as lamp and candle light paled when the sun shot his spangled headpiece over our campaign country. Breathless thrills at the first covey find; glowing health unfolding with each moment. Lunches spread upon log tables by creek banks; wagers laid upon each day’s bag. Supreme tenseness when a missed bird meant victory or defeat. Such tired little lads at day’s end, invariably snoozing on the way back to town. Sweetest of all was home-coming. For Mother was always waiting; anxious, blessed Mother, with kisses, sugar-butter biscuits, tea and jam, for all parties concerned. Two bold but tired young gunners rarely ever remembered being tucked into dreamland." Nash Buckingham
Numerous such examples reach out touching me, even though I never had such experiences.
Have you read, and, if so, what are your thoughts on the writings of Jesse Stuart, Kentucky’s Poet Laureate (1954), or David Dick?