The Real Regency Rake: Shooting

A gentleman knows how to shoot.

A rake is a damn fine shot.

According to one eyewitness account, John Mytton was known to take a cork (“not above an inch and a half in diameter”) used in pike fishing and afix a white piece of paper to it. This he placed on top of  a kennel he kept for tame foxes and their cubs. From fifty-five yards or more, he would shoot the cork for the amusement of his guests:

“..this he would do over and over to the amazement of all who witnessed it, and with his rifle to his shoulder, and not on a rest, as might be imagined by some. Talk of Americans, for their precision in shooting, after this! It cannot be surpassed, if equalled.” — Memoirs, Nimrod

Mytton stalking and shooting wild duck on a frozen lake

Mytton stalking and shooting wild duck on a frozen lake

To be compared to the Americans was something rather distinctive, indeed.

To such feats may be added the spectacular exhibit of Mytton shooting rats from atop the roof at Halston.

Halston, his country estate, afforded every kind of game to suit a hunter’s fancy. Twelve hundred brace of pheasants could be harvested there in a year. A brace equals a male and a female.

Multiply Halston’s yield in a year and that would be 2400 birds!