They were equipped partly with arms supplied by England, and partly with fowling-pieces, which at that period were superior to the small-arms used by the regular troops, and their intimate knowledge of the country gave them an immense advantage.
The most constant use of curled maple is for the stocks of fowling-pieces and rifles, as it affords toughness and strength combined with lightness and elegance.
Almost every New England boy among my contemporaries shouldered a fowling-piece between the ages of ten and fourteen; and his hunting and fishing grounds were not limited, like the preserves of an English nobleman, but were more boundless even than those of a savage.
I speak of fishing only now, for I had long felt differently about fowling, and sold my gun before I went to the woods.
As for fowling, during the last years that I carried a gun my excuse was that I was studying ornithology, and sought only new or rare birds.
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