ground-sluice v phr, hence vbl n ground-sluicing Also ground-sloosh; by folk-etym, ~-sleuth [Appar a humorous transf from the Western mining term ground-sluice to excavate a bank of auriferous gravel with a stream of water] chiefly West Cf sluice v 2, swat v
To shoot (a sitting bird); hence nouns ground-sluicer one who does this, ground-sluice an instance of doing this. Note: Prob restricted in ref by some users to birds on the ground (as implied by the corresponding term water-sluice at sluice v 2), but note that the latter is first attested much later, and many of the quots below refer to birds on the water.
1885 Forest & Stream 25.306 CA, That they [=valley quail] can be shot in vast numbers by the “ground-sluicing” process is true . . ; but our valley bird really lies well to the dog when found where the brush or timber is not too dense. 1899 Pall Mall Mag. 17.116 sCA, Often a stranger would join us, generally a pot-hunter, a ground-sluicer, whom we held in contempt and derision. 1906 Twin Falls News (ID) 26 Oct 4/1, The quail season does not open until November 1, nevertheless the birds have been “ground sluiced” with persistent regularity for weeks. 1929 Billings Gaz. (MT) 8 Oct 11/1, This particular nimrod had the choice of “ground sluicing” several ducks in the water . . or of following the safer and sportier method of inducing the game birds to “flush.” 1953 Reno Eve. Gaz. (NV) 21 Apr 6/2, Usually, the illegal hunter is pictured as ground-sluicing birds with a punt gun like a 37-mm cannon. 1968 DARE FW Addit swNV, Ground-sleuthing—shooting a game bird while it is on the ground or on water. Considered very poor sportsmanship and hated by people who consider themselves real hunters. . . A person who ground-sleuths is a ground-sleuther or, more commonly, a ground-sleuthing son-of-a-bitch. One ground-sleuths and one never talks of a ground sleuth. 1980 Field & Stream Aug 96, One suggestion is that you put a decoy out at 50 yards, so as to tell if ducks are in range. Whoever said that must have been ground-sluicing swimming birds. 2002 DARE File—Internet CA, I don’t think you would call it a ground Sluice when using a Pistol for Blue and Ruffed Grouse! 2004 Ibid nwMN, Try to keep your kids away from snagging if you can. And ground sluicing coots. 2006 DARE File OR, All my adult life I knew the meaning of the verb to ground sluice. It means to shoot (especially a duck), or any other flying fowl, while it is on the water or on the ground. I have never really pondered whether shooting an emu or a turkey on the hoof rated the contempt that attached to ground sluicing a duck. 2011 DARE File—Internet cAR, On quail it’s called ground slooshing!