Glorious Twelfth is a holiday that is celebrated every year on August 12. The day marks the beginning of the shooting season for red grouse and It is considered to be one of the busiest days in the shooting season. On this day, there is usually a large amount of game hunted and shot. The red grouse bird is usually farmed for shooting which results in their unnaturally high population. They are also susceptible to disease outbreaks which causes a fluctuation in their number yearly. Whenever the twelfth day of August falls on a Sunday, the holiday is postponed to August 13 because the English law forbids game bird shooting on Sundays. Different animals have different starts to their open seasons. Most open seasons begin on September 1. The woodcock and pheasant have their open season starting on October 1.
History of Glorious Twelfth
Glorious Twelfth is observed in the United Kingdom every year on the 12th day of August. It is one of the busiest days in the shooting season as it marks the beginning of the shooting season for red grouse. It is dubbed by some to be the ‘New Year’s Day of Hunting’ because it is the start of a 121-day shooting season of red grouse.
As unreal as it may sound, the day was established in England and Wales under the Game Act in 1831 by the current legislation after overthrowing a previous law established in 1773 that forbids the hunting of game between August 12 and December 10. The new Game Act however makes it compulsory for any participant in this hunting season to have a license.
In the mid-19th century, the Victorians built railways that made it easier to get up onto the moors. This was what helped establish the grouse shooting. People were able to travel more easily with all their equipment and luckily it was around the same time that the breech-loading shotgun was invented. It was a shotgun that had a prepared cartridge. These combined advancements are the factors that led to the fun time grouse shooters have come to know and enjoy today.
The holiday can be considered to be a valuable source of local revenue. Research by the G.W.C.T has shown that grouse shooting supports job creation. It is estimated that grouse shooting on 140 “core” grouse estates in Scotland support about 500 jobs. Additionally, it is discovered that it contributes to the economy with about £6.7 million worth of wages and £10.7 million to G.D.P. The holiday and activities, in general, are beneficial to the economy at large.
The Glorious Twelfth is enjoyed by shooters as a fun and challenging sport. It is not quite as fun for the red grouse. Shooting grouse as an activity has been met with a lot of controversy from animal rights activists. Some people consider it to be an unnecessary and antiquated pastime. It is believed that the activity is damaging to the grouse as a species and their surrounding environments.
Glorious Twelfth timeline
The Game Act of 1773 set the shooting law to put restrictions on when animals could and couldn’t be shot.
Game shooting begins in Scotland, becoming a lucrative aspect of the tourist industry.
The construction of railways by the Victorians brings ease to grouse shooting as it was easier to get up onto the moors.
Licenses are required before a game can be killed by the new Game Act.
Grouse shooting becomes popular in the 1850s during the Victorian era.
Glorious Twelfth FAQs
Do they eat grouse?
Red grouse is the most commonly shot and eaten variety.
How much of Scotland is a grouse moor?
Grouse moors cover between 12-18% of the country.
[[Who owns the Moors in England?]]
The National Park Authority owns less than 1% of the North York Moors with some 80% in private ownership.
How many red grouse are shot each year?
Grouse are classed as gamebirds and around half a million are killed every year in Britain for ‘sport’.
Glorious Twelfth Activities
Shoot a grouse
You can take part in the holiday by joining the tradition of shooting grouse. If shooting games for sport is something you enjoy, you’ll love this particular holiday.
Indulge in a game
You can shoot other legal animals such as woodcock or pheasant if you’re not particular about Grouse. Shooting for sport is a fun tradition that is practiced by many.
You can celebrate the holiday by eating meat. It doesn’t matter if you shot it yourself, you can just enjoy the meal.
5 Amazing Facts About Red Grouse
Grouse is mostly found in the U.K.
Red grouse is endemic to the British soil having developed in isolation from its other sub-species.
They are found in moorland
Grouse are known to be found in heather moorland.
Grouse eat heather
The heather on the moorland provides nutrition to grouse.
Grouse have predators
Grouse can be attacked by predators such as foxes, crows, and stoats.
Grouse management creates jobs
In England, grouse moor management creates over 1,500 full-time jobs.
Why We Love Glorious Twelfth
It encourages sport
The holiday encourages more people to take part in gaming activities. It is always good for people to engage in physical activities.
It is traditional
Grouse hunting is an activity that has been around for many years. People can enjoy teaching their children and passing down the knowledge.
It creates awareness
The holiday helps to spread information about grouse and the issues they face. This awareness can lead to solutions that help the species.
Glorious Twelfth dates