THE SNP is to provide all grouse with sidearms and training before the start of shooting season.
More than half a million grouse around the Highlands will be given specially adapted automatic handguns and a crash course in target shooting in the month-and-a-half before the Glorious Twelfth.
Selected grouse will also be given flags bearing the image of their venerated leader, the Famous Grouse, with which they can claim territory if they manage to beat their foe.
Gamekeeper Bill McKay said: “Grouse are very, very stupid, prone to panicking and flapping around wildly and should ordinarily never be given guns.
“On the other hand, they’re facing off against wealthy idiots intoxicated on single malt and the correct wearing of tweed.
“The blood of man and grouse will soak the heather together, but it’s anyone’s guess who will win.”
If the scheme is a success, the Scottish Assembly plans to provide salmon with auto-targeting harpoon guns.