This is a most unusual book from an unusual person, a book of short stories from a person one associates with shooting and wildfowling. Douglas Butler has been a keen sporting shooter all his life and in the last few years has produced two very reputable books on the subject, ‘Rough Shooting in Ireland’ and ‘Wild Duck and their Pursuit’.
A doctor of zoology, Douglas Butler was a distinguished teacher of science at Rockwell College and, since retirement, has been doing some part-time work in the education department at the University of Limerick and acts in an advisory role for the Teaching Council and the State Examinations Commission.
This book contains thirty shooting stories, twenty-two of them by the author himself and the remainder by shooting friends of his or, in the lingo of the shooting fraternity,‘from Douglas’s fellow guns.’
All the stories are taken from the author’s experiences over many years as an inveterate shooter. They tell of the pursuit of pheasant, mallard, geese, hares, mink, even the odd wild goat. They are all modern stories and in many cases tell of the human side of the sport, the very successful days as well as those of great disappointment. They take one over mountain and bog,through grouse moors, smart shoots and estuaries. They also take one abroad to England and Scotland. Some of the stories have unexpected endings and reveal the dramatic experiences one can have when out in the fields, woods and marches, with fellow guns and dogs. As well as giving a good insight into the experiences, attitudes towards animals and environment, of the shooter these stories tell good tales and entertain the reader, which is what all good stories should do. There’s a great companionship among wildfowlers and this comes strongly across in the stories.
There’s a very good cover to this book. It has a picture of the man avidly reading the book in bed while totally ignoring his rather voluptuous companion, who is looking on, none too pleased. All the paraphernalia of shooting are present, the gun, the cartridges, the faithful dog with his head on the bedcover and over the bed hangs a picture of a man with his arms round his dog.
If these short stories have the same effect on the reader, the publisher and the author will be well-pleased.
This publication of 192 pages would make a good gift for the shooting man as it is a very entertaining collection and covers the sport in all its variety.
Published by Merlin Unwin Books of the U.K.,the book retails for £15.99 or approximately E20.