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After rowing about a mile down the channell, we hoisted the sail, and with a light breeze rippling the water, we ran across the bay for Tallaghan. Soon it became evident that we were nearing the haunts of the seal, for the crew spoke in lower tones and cast eager looks around for anything in the shape of a seal’s head. Denis Cooney, standing up in the bow, points to a distant rock at the extreme end of a point of land, and says, in a hoarse whisper, “ Rowan ” — Anglice “ a seal.” All that can be seen is a small glistening speck on the top of the rock which shows just above the water’s surface. Much discussion followed. Mickey pronounced it to be merely a white stone; while Paddy was inclined to the opinion that it was a mass of seaweed. Even with the aid of a telescope liitle could be made of it, for as yet we were some distance from the object. Noggins of whisky were freely betted among the crew in support of their individual beliefs in their statements as to the doubtful object, but we must really hope were not fully paid up by the losers, or sundry cases of dreadful intoxication might have resulted. At length, as we were intently gazing at the object, an almost imperceptible sheen shone from it for an instant. Now there was not the slightest doubt as to its being a “ rowan.” The course of the boat was altered so as to bear direct for the rock. As we neared it we could distinctly see the seal with sun glistening upon its sides, which were still wet from its late immersion in the sea. The animal was evidently enjoying its favorite occupation—a siesta on a rock, in the full blaze of the sun. We were now about four hundred yards from it, so we lowered the sail and took to the oars, as being the easier way to approach the seal without alarming it. We rowed to within two hundred yards of this “ oleaginous obesity,” but our quarry now showed s ; gns of uneasiness. Raising its head, it displayed the splendid proportions of its chest. It was a huge specimen of vitulina —a beautifully - marked and powerful bull. “ Arrah ! knock him, yer honor,” whispers the impatient Cooney. But there is room for improvement in the range, and the boat is quickly but quietly moved onward. As the boat approaches it the seal raises itself on its flappers and sways its head from side to side, and is manifestly alarmed; but ere the progress of the boat can be stopped, and a steady aim taken, there is a heavy splash, and the seal has vanished from sight. But we have by no means seen the last of our game. We wail for its re-appearance on the surface to breathe, which it soon does; for the seal being of a curious disposition, usually bobs up to examine the strange object that scared him from his comfortable siesta , thus combining the pleasure of satisfying his curiosity with the profit of a good breath of air for a dive. There he is ! There is his bluff bullet-shaped head, and not a hundred yards from the boat! Bang !! goes the heavy Express rifle, and ere the smoke has cleared away, the howls of the crew assure our hunter of his success. Dramatic News.

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Bibliographic details

SEAL SHOOTING IN ACHILL SOUND., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 542, 24 January 1882

Word Count

SEAL SHOOTING IN ACHILL SOUND. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 542, 24 January 1882

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