Here is something I found on the Internet. Hope it answers your question (it's a copy and paste):Originally Posted by Unregistered
"The real meaning of beat around the bush is not so much to evade an issue
entirely, but to approach it cautiously and indirectly. The expression
dates back many centuries and comes from the language of the huntsmen. It
was once the custom to hire beaters to beat bushes and arouse game birds for
the hunter to shoot at. So the beater stirred up the action , but the hunter
got to the point".