The Glorious Twelfth

4th Aug 2023

The Glorious Twelfth

The Glorious Twelfth is  days away and  @ BraeVal it represents a time honored  ancestral  tradition. August, is a special time at BraeVal whose Scottish roots are reflected in the Buffalo Plaid, that my Uncle, Big Jock McClusky brought to America in the 1800s. In Scotland, August 12th is like the New Year's Day of hunting because it marks the 121-day grouse shooting season, which is known as the "Glorious Twelfth." It has a storied history and is a ritual still observed today. In Scotland, the season begins with shooters in their kilts and hunting apparel. The sound of bagpipes resonates as people come to watch the big day begin. The dogs  are ready to go  and excitement is in the heather scented air. Shooters tend to hunt for grouse in groups that are spread out among the moors with beaters beyond. It is always exciting to see who teams up together and wonder who has the sharpest skill in this hunt of luck, patience, and skill. It is a challenge. I like that - and I know you do too.

"Because I  am in the field often with my champion hunting dogs, and I wanted to create a shirt that was as functional in the field as it is comfortable," says owner Gregor McCluskey. In thinking about what I need in the field I think of the  challenge of the Glorious Twelve and I know what it takes to make functional apparel because I try it out myself and test it for comfort and durability. Many of my clients from around the country, come back year after year for my sporting apparel. And that makes me  proud.

Historically, August 12th, aka -- The Glorious Twelfth became a popular event that went into the day books and diaries of Victorian and Edwardian estate owners, royalty, politicians, and sportsmen as the go to celebration and hunt.  It was a date officially set by statute in 1773, for the opening of the grouse shooting season in England and Scotland. This law specified that no one would be allowed to hunt or even buy back games between the 10th of December and the 12th Day of August, making it the first day of the season.

August 1922: M McDonald, a member of Lord Woolavington’s House Party, with a gamekeeper in a hide during a grouse shoot on Mannock Moors. (Photo by W. G. Phillips/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Grouse hunting and visiting the moors of Scotland became so popular in the 1850s, that Parliament was rarely in session after August 12th because many took off to Scotland to hunt. Participating in a grouse shoot honed the reputations of many as a marksman. This was an elite sport par excellence  because of the investment in land and labor that was required to maintain a grouse hunt year after year, which was something that only the wealthiest aristocrat or monarch could aspire to. The coming of the railroad and the advancement of breech-loaded shotguns, made this summer escape to the Highlands the thing to do, for more outdoorsmen and outdoors women, and not just the aristocracy. Things really changed during the WWII years when the food supply was cut off in Scotland and Great Britain, and grouse hunting quickly became a matter of survival.

Today, The Glorious Twelfth is a holiday for everyone that loves the great outdoors and the thrill of  tradition and the hunt. The  red grouse are incredibly fast birds that are difficult to catch and something that makes them a challenging shooting experience. They are only found in the heather moorlands of Scotland and parts of the northern moors of Great Britain and are noted as the king of all game birds. It is easy to see why, they are rare, not easy to spot, and highly prized.

Whether you like  to get out and explore the great outdoors, or experience  the hunt, BraeVal, will  keep you outfitted, organized and comfortable.  And, as an aside, for  foodies, grouse meat has a fantastic flavor. Many Michelin-star restaurants in Scotland join in the festivities and serve fresh grouse that was shot that day.

About BraeVal

BraeVal located in the center of Litchfield on South Street is one of the leading small manufacturers of sporting apparel that is ideal for sportsmen. BaeVal, the Scottish word for the Upland River Valleys that exist between the mountains and the rugged brae of the Scottish Highlands are known for their custom-created tartan and checked shirts that are made from Tiera, a technically advanced proprietary all-natural fabric ring spun of Merino wool and long-staple cotton. This amazing combination offers natural wicking and total comfort. Some shirts even come with quilted treated cotton on the right shoulder patch as well as a vented bi-swing back, large pockets, accessory loops, and even a hidden below-the-waist security pocket.