Every August 12 marks the start of the shooting season for red grouse. While some may consider this an ancient sport, The Glorious Twelfth is widely celebrated in the U.K. as a show of freedom and one's taste for adventure. This practice supports the livelihoods of local communities as well.

The Glorious Twelfth is considered one of the busiest days in the shooting season and is nicknamed the "New Year's Day of Hunting" because it is the start of the red grouse's 121-day shooting season.

This hunting holiday is a valuable source of local revenue. Research by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust recorded that an estimated grouse shooting on 140 grouse estates in Scotland support around 500 jobs. It was also discovered to contribute to the economy about £6.7 million worth of wages and £10.7 million to gross domestic product.

The Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) is wildly coveted by hunters for its elegant reddish brown plumage and red crest. They are native to Britain and travel very little in their short lives, preferring to find shelter and food in the heather valleys where they reside.

Grouse are classed as gamebirds. Around 500,000 are killed for sport annually in the United Kingdom.

History of the Glorious Twelfth

The Glorious Twelfth was established in England and Wales under the Game Act in 1831, overthrowing the 1773 law that forbade the hunting of game between August 12 and December 10. In the mid-19th century, the Victorians built railways that helped establish the grouse shooting. Thanks to the invention of the breech-loading shotgun, Brits were able to easily travel with all their equipment in a quiet manner, increasing the number of grouse hunters.

Hunting requires a mix of ammunition, preparation and licenses. While The Glorious Twelfth is enjoyed by hunters as a pleasurable and fun, and stimulating sport, adequate preparation is required to ensure the shooters' safety. Always remember to inform your whereabouts to friends or family and only hunt with a hunting license on your person.

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