Interesting reading from the days of the "Big Shoots" herehttps://docs.google.com/document/d/1x7uk0ii6-lPdWEZj5ctyqr1td19ZcsA5xGGoKBhP9o0/edit
“The Shooter” from Shooting
, Baron Thomas de Grey Walsingham, Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey, Lord Charles Lennox Kerr, Archibald John Stuart-Wortley, Gerald Lascelles, Simon Fraser Lovat, 1886 http://books.google.com/books?id=MT9NF4BnAFIC
He is a man with a wonderful aptitude for observing the habits of wild birds and animals, combined with all the physical qualities requisite for a good marksman and a country life. He possesses great precision of judgment as to the pace and distance of any moving object, with a wonderful command of eye, hand, and nerve, and usually excels more or less in all the athletic and amusements dear to Englishmen…He looks, and is, thoroughly workmanlike from top to toe, and you will find that all details of his equipment…are as perfect as may be for practical use. He can…run and walk as few men can…He is cool and self-possessed, never a jealous shot, and lets everybody get and keep his respective chances at birds or animals, for he is quite content to obtain his own proper share. He is kind and generous to keepers…is devoted to dogs, and is generally popular.
When shooting, though rarely in a hurry, he never idles, nor does he move about in excitement here and there. (He)…is ever on the watch…and his gun is, by the way he grasps it, also available for instant use. The gun comes to his shoulder just at the right moment without any flurry, and down comes the object at the right moment too; and though he never endeavours to overreach a fellow shooter, or takes any evident precautions to obtain an undue proportion of shots, somehow he seems to get more shooting than anybody else, not really (as it appears) from chance, but because he by instinct knows where to look for game and which direction it will take. He never, unless directly questioned, alludes to his own skill, though others do not fail to do so, and rather gives the idea that he does not himself know how well he shoots. Last, not least, a true sportsman rarely wounds…
On the other hand, a bad ‘unsporting’ shot is a man who…is never satisfied with his shooting or the behaviour of the game…and is forever explaining why he does not shoot better- an explanation no one cares one jot about. Such a man, too, is usually careless with his gun, as safety is the last thing in his mind, and getting shots the first, anyhow and anywhere.
A shooter, if he be a sportsman, whoever he be, would delight in a 'small' day, provided his skill were taxed in shooting, and more especially in manoeuvring the game. He would far sooner kill his share of the hundred, if sporting and difficult shots, than join in the five-hundred-head day, if the latter were easy shooting, which is very rarely the case. As to whether a shooter account for a score or a hundred birds in the day, this in no way affects the question. A sportsman ought to be, and usually is, a man who takes a delight in using his gun and brains.
Not always so gentlemanly though
Frederick Oliver Robinson, Earl de Grey, after 1909 the 2nd Marquess of Ripon (1852-1923)
Of his few peers India’s Prince Freddie Duleep Singh, was perhaps the sharpest thorn his side. The two men did not speak to each other, but squared off often. One drive the Prince shot a high bird crossing his front, which fell dead and nearly struck Ripon. Enraged, he stormed the hill, yelling various imprecations, including “bloody [censored].” Singh then proceeded to down only such birds as were flying toward his fellow guest and shot them so that Ripon was bombarded by several pheasant corpses a minute.