10 Photos of Snowden Slights’ Giant Punt Gun
Russ Chastain 08.06.18
More than a century ago, wild game was hunted commercially and sold for profit. When such practices began to severely reduce wildlife populations, modern game conservation laws were born. This post features photos of Snowden Slights, reportedly described as “The Last of the Yorkshire Wildfowlers,” wielding his giant punt gun — a tremendously large shotgun used to kill large numbers of birds with each shot — in and out of his favorite bird-killing boat.
A man and his punt gun.
As you can see, this punt gun is huge. These guns got their name due to the practice of mounting or otherwise using them from small boats referred to as ‘punts.’ They are far too big to be fired without support, so a rig of some kind must be arranged. Mr. Slights came up with a setup that clearly worked well for him.
It helps to have a hand when you’re dealing with a gun this big.
The small punt boat is light and slim and can be easily propelled with a pole instead of a paddle. This allows a silent approach with a minimum of movement.
These photos are clearly posed, but they give an excellent view of the positions in which the punt gun was maneuvered and ultimately fired.
If you were a duck — or a flock of ducks, for that matter — you’d be down at water level, the boat would be tucked in among some reeds or some such, and you wouldn’t see much there.
Gives new meaning to “big bore.” This dog probably got a workout at times. I wonder if it was present on the day when Snowden slew 44 ducks with one shot?
Tucked in among some marsh grass, balancing the boat to keep it steady, with a nest of straw or similar material to cradle the butt of the punt gun. Not quite as comfortable as a modern-day duck blind.
Pretty good action photo for 1912. It’s said that he killed more than 5,000 birds in his career.