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Excerpt: "Be worthy of your game"

    "If I could shoot a game bird and still not hurt it, the way I can take a trout on a fly and release it, I doubt if I would kill another one.  This is a strange statement coming from a man whose life is dedicated to shooting and gun dogs.  For me, there is almost no moment more sublime than when I pull the trigger and see a grouse fall.  Yet, as the bird is retrieved I feel a sense of remorse for taking a courageous life.  About the time I passed fifty I noticed this conflict becoming more pronounced...
    "How then, can you love a bird and kill it and still feel decent?  I think the answer is, to be worthy of your game.  Which boils down to a gentleman's agreement between you and the bird, never forgetting that it is the bird that has everything to lose.  It consists of things you feel and do, not because someone is looking or because the law says you may or must not, but because you feel that this is the honorable way to do it."

Source: George Bird Evans, The Upland Shooting Life (1971).

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