THE woodpigeon is many things to many men. To the farmer, who has some claim to priority of verdict, it is a curse, even as the rabbit in Australia, the lemming in Norway, or the locust in Algeria.... More > The tiller of the soil, whose business brings him in open competition with the natural appetites of such voracious birds, beasts, or insects, regards his rivals from a standpoint which has no room for sentiment; and the woodpigeons are to our farmers, particularly in the well-wooded districts of the West Country, even as Carthage was to Cato the Censor, something to be destroyed.
It is this attitude of the farmer which makes the woodpigeon pre-eminently the bird of February. All through the shooting season just ended, a high pigeon has proved an irresistible temptation to the guns, whether cleaving the sky above the tree-tops, doubling behind a broad elm, or suddenly swinging out of a gaunt fir. Yet it is in February , when other shooting is at an end and the coverts no longer echo the fusillade of the.....< Less