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Don't shoot until I open the cage
John Underwood
November 20, 1961
The purists claim this should be the motto of most hunting preserves, but for a growing number of outdoorsmen preserves are the answer to limited time—and talent
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November 20, 1961

Don't Shoot Until I Open The Cage

The purists claim this should be the motto of most hunting preserves, but for a growing number of outdoorsmen preserves are the answer to limited time—and talent

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Plant 'em and shoot 'em

There are, of course, serious arguments against preserves, most of them from hunting purists. By nature, the shooting preserve is an alternative. Especially, it is an alternative for the experienced hunter who is proud of his ability to find game, his ability to kill it and his feeling that wild prey is harder to hit since it at least has a working knowledge of its home field. The shooting preserve changes all this: the game is planted and therefore relatively easy to blunder over; an utter novice can and does eventually kill something, if only the patience of the dog; and, finally, though planted pheasants go wild almost immediately, they still barely resemble the wily natives.

Despite the objections, however, it is also impossible to deny the appeal of this kind of controlled shooting. The preserve is the answer for the urbanite who can't keep a dog, whose time is limited and whose skin is thin, making it unsatisfactory for him to come home empty-handed. For the novice it is excellent scrimmage. For the experienced hunter the preserve almost guarantees a bird or two. There are times when even the best hunter with the best gun and best dog spends two days in the field and gets nothing. This is carrying purism too far.

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