28 WILD SPORTS OF BURMA AND ASSAM
do ita a and putting every beast within hearing on the qui vive. I have then shot them in revenge.
Snipe is, after all, the most pleasant of the small game shooting in Lower Burma, and though plentiful everywhere during the season (which generally lasts from early in August to the end of October, though the birds are found later in certain localities), yet it is not every one who knows the best places to look for them. All paddy fields not too much flooded have them, but these should, in my opinion, be avoided. There is a great deal of knack in knocking the birds over, but more in finding the most suitable places to look for them. I used to go about during the cold season after the paddy had been cut and stored, and noticed places which I thought would be left fallow next season, or I looked up ground slightly inundated and covered lightly with reeds or rushes; and I used to go there and come back in the season with a stick laden with the long-bills when better shots than myself had not a quarter of the birds to show. The Burmese dona t cultivate the same fields every year; they leave some fallow for cattle to graze upon, which get manured by their droppings. The ground is always wet, and as they roam about, the cattle turn up the sods with their hoofs, and the snipea which are never far offa pounce upon the worms, and will not leave such ground if not too much harassed. Some wonderful bags have been made in India, and also in Burma. An officer of the 8oth or 18th regiments, I forget which, killed, near Shoaydoung, in 1852, 80 couple in one day; but I think the record bag has been 130 couple to a single gun somewhere near Madras.
I never shot more than 51^ couple in the day, and the most I ever found on my stick on getting home was 49J couple, the others having been purloined or dropped off. I once thought 1 was going to make an immense bag. I was shooting at Tseben, and before twelve oa clock I had 36 couple on my stick. I then went to the Zyat, where I was putting up, for breakfast, thinking I should double my bag by the evening; but heavy rain set in; the birds got wild, and I only killed 12 couple more, and one hare, which was a rarity on the Sittang side.