Over the past two centuries few field sports have changed as much as game shooting, particularly in recent years. However, although the development of the sporting gun had the greatest influence on game shooting during the 19th century, in the 20th century it has been not so much the weapons that have changed but more the attitude of those who use them - known also, in our sometimes ill-defined English language, as sporting "guns".;Most early paintings of shooting, often portraits of proud sportsmen armed with flintlocks and with spaniels at heel, were completed during the first half of the 19th century, with artists such as Stubbs and Ben Marshall elaborating on the theme. Paintings of driven game, however, were slow to materialize, possibly due to that sport's initial unpopularity, but now shooting scenes by painters of that period - Archibald Thorburn, J.C.Harrison, George Lodge and his pupil Philip Rickman - are in considerable demand. Today's young stars also have a bright future - possibly none more than Andrew Ellis, who, complemented by those great sporting artists of yesterday, has provided Ranulf Rayner with more than 30 paintings of contemporary scenes, each of which was commissioned especially for this book.;The author, who has shot game in many countries, traces the sport from the early development of the shotgun to the way game shooting is practised around the world today. Quoting many anecdotes and facts about the world's principal varieties of game birds, including grouse, pheasant, partridge, woodcock, duck and snipe, he follows the changing pattern of game shooting and game management, the effect on the environment and the future of the sport as a whole.