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Title: Big Game Shooting, volume 2 (of 2)
Author: Phillipps-Wolley, Clive
Language: English
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                         The Badminton Library

                                  OF

                          SPORTS AND PASTIMES

                               EDITED BY

                 HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BEAUFORT, K.G.

                    ASSISTED BY ALFRED E. T. WATSON

                          _BIG GAME SHOOTING_

                                  II.



[Illustration: HAND TO HAND WORK]



                           BIG GAME SHOOTING

                                  BY
                        CLIVE PHILLIPPS-WOLLEY

                         WITH CONTRIBUTIONS BY
              LIEUT.-COLONEL R. HEBER PERCY, ARNOLD PIKE,
         MAJOR ALGERNON C. HEBER PERCY, W. A. BAILLIE-GROHMAN,
      SIR HENRY POTTINGER, BART., EARL OF KILMOREY, ABEL CHAPMAN,
               WALTER J. BUCK, AND ST. GEORGE LITTLEDALE

                            [Illustration]

                               VOL. II.

                _WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHARLES WHYMPER
                         AND FROM PHOTOGRAPHS_

                                LONDON
                       LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
                                 1894



CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME


  CHAPTER                                                           PAGE

       I. ARCTIC HUNTING
            _By Arnold Pike._                                            1

      II. THE CAUCASUS
           _By Clive Phillipps-Wolley._                                 22

     III. MOUNTAIN GAME OF THE CAUCASUS
           _By Clive Phillipps-Wolley._                                 48

      IV. CAUCASIAN AUROCHS
           _By St. G. Littledale._                                      65

       V. OVIS ARGALI OF MONGOLIA
           _By St. G. Littledale._                                      73

      VI. THE CHAMOIS
           _By W. A. Baillie-Grohman._                                  77

     VII. THE STAG OF THE ALPS
           _By W. A. Baillie-Grohman._                                 112

    VIII. THE SCANDINAVIAN ELK
           _By Sir Henry Potlinger, Bart._                             123

      IX. EUROPEAN BIG GAME
           _By Major Algernon Heber Percy, and the Earl of Kilmorey._  154

       X. THE LARGE GAME OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
           _By Abel Chapman and W. J. Buck._                           174

      XI. INDIAN SHOOTING
           _By Lieut.-Col. Reginald Heber Percy._                      182

     XII. THE OVIS POLI OF THE PAMIR
           _By St. G. Littledale._                                     363

    XIII. CAMPS, TRANSPORT, ETC.
           _By Clive Phillipps-Wolley._                                377

     XIV. A FEW NOTES ON RIFLES AND AMMUNITION
           _By H. W. H._                                               394

      XV. HINTS ON TAXIDERMY, ETC.
           _By Clive Phillipps-Wolley._                                413

          A SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY                                         421

  INDEX                                                                425



ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE SECOND VOLUME

(_Reproduced by Messrs. Walker & Boutall_)


                        FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

                                            ARTIST

  HAND TO HAND WORK                       _C. Whymper_   _Frontispiece_

  DEATH OF A POLAR BEAR                       ”         _to face p._ 16

  THE CORPSE ROCKS                        _C. Whymper_         ”     20

  MR. ST. G. LITTLEDALE’S CAUCASIAN }  _From a photograph_     ”     36
  BAG FOR THE SEASON OF 1887        }

  ‘STANDING LIKE STATUES’                 _C. Whymper_         ”     48

  IBEX (_Hircus ægagrus_)                     ”                ”     52

  THE SPECTRE                                 ”                ”     62

  CHAMOIS                           {_From an instantaneous_}  ”     80
                                    {_photograph_           }

  SPANISH IBEX                      {_C. W., after a sketch_}  ”    180
                                    {     _by A. Chapman_   }

  THE FIRST STALK OF THE SEASON              ”                 ”    184

  A FAIR CHANCE AT BLACK BEARS           _C. Whymper_          ”    186

  ‘THE FRONT RANK AND PART OF THE }          ”                 ”    208
      SECOND ALONE STOOD FIRM’    }

  A CHARGING GAUR                                              ”    242

  A SNAP-SHOT IN THE FOREST             _Major H. Jones_       ”    278

  ‘WITH CARTRIDGES HANDY AND STEADY }                          ”    322
  SHOOTING’                         }

  MR. ST. GEORGE LITTLEDALE’S BAG OF  }  _From a photograph_   ”    374
  OVIS POLI, 1888                     }

  THE CAMP                                _C. Whymper_         ”    378

                           WOODCUTS IN TEXT.

                                            ARTIST

  AMONG THE ICE                           _C. Whymper_                1

  A WALRUS’ HEAD                    { _From a photograph_ }           5
                                    { _after Mr. Lamont_  }

  WHERE TO SHOOT A WALRUS                                             7

  WAITING FOR THE DAWN                    _C. Whymper_               27

  THE BOAR’S CHARGE                                                  33

  A GUTTUROSA                                                        45

  DEAD AUROCHS                      {_After a photograph_}           65
                                    {_from Nature_       }

  THE SPY CHAMOIS                                                    79

  EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN I. CHAMOIS }         _After Theuerdank_        110
  HUNTING, A.D. 1500            }

  ANTLERS OF STAGS KILLED AT RADAUC, }
  IN THE PILIS MOUNTAINS AND THE     }                              115
  JOLSVA ESTATES                     }

  SPECIMEN HEADS OF SCANDINAVIAN ELKS     _From a photograph_       129

  STALKING ELK                            _C. Whymper_              152

  ‘THIS TIME HIS SIDE WAS TOWARDS ME’        ”                      158

  GROUP OF AUROCHS                           ”                      168

  AUROCHS’ HEADS                        {_C. W., from a_}           171
                                        {_photograph_   }

  THE LYNX (_Felis pardina_)              _C. Whymper_              174

  SNOW-BEARS                              _Major H. Jones_          187

  A GLORIFIED COMET                 {_C. W., after sketches_}       189
                                    {_by Capt. Rawlinson_   }

  HOWDAH SHOOTING                                                   196

  LANDING A GHAYAL                                                  239

  ‘HE GAVE HIM A TREMENDOUS PUNISHING’                              255

  HOGDEER SHOOTING                                                  262

  RUCERVUS DUVAUCELLI                     _From a photograph_       266

  RUCERVUS SCHOMBURGKII                                             267

  PANOLIA ELDII                                                     269

  A STALK IN THE OPEN               {_C.W., after Major_}           281
                                    {_H. Jones_         }

  SPECIMEN HEADS OF OVIS POLI AND  }      _From photographs_        292
  OVIS KARELINI                    }

  SPECIMEN HEADS OF OVIS AMMON AND }                                293
  OVIS NIVICOLA                    }

  THE ASTOR MARKHOR                 {_C. W., after sketch_}         310
                                    {_by Capt. Rawlinson_ }

  VARIETIES OF MARKHOR                    _From photograph_         312

  IN HIS SUMMER COAT                      _C. Whymper_              318

  SPECIMEN HEADS OF CAPRA SIBIRICA, }     _From photograph_         322
  CAPRA ÆGAGRUS, AND CAPRA SINAITICA}

  A DREAM OF THER SHOOTING          {_C. W., after sketch_}         326
                                    {_by Capt. Rawlinson_ }

  THE SEROW GALLOPS DOWN HILL             _C. Whymper_              333

  BUDORCAS TAXICOLOR                      _From photograph_         335

  SAIGA TARTARICA                                                   345

  TAME DECOYS                             _C. Whymper_              351

  OVIS POLI                                   ”                     363

  OUR CAMP                                                          367

  DEAD OVIS POLI                                                    376

  CINCH HIM UP                                                      381

  KNIFE FASTENING                                                   388

  ‘GOOD-BYE TO THE GROCERIES’                                       391

  SPECIMENS OF 340, 360, 440, AND }     _From a photograph._        395
  460 GRAIN EXPRESS BULLETS       }

  SPECIMENS OF .500 AND .577 BORE EXPRESS BULLETS                   396

  SPECIMENS OF .450 AND .577 BORE EXPRESS BULLETS                   397

  SPECIMENS OF SOFT .577 BULLETS                                    398

  SPECIMENS OF 12-BORE ‘PARADOX’ BULLETS                            400

  DIAGRAM SHOWING SIX SHOTS WITH 10 BORE }
  AND 8-BORE ‘PARADOX’                   }                          400

  DIAGRAM OF 8-BORE ‘PARADOX’ BULLET                                401

  SIR SAMUEL BAKER’S STRENGTHENED STOCK                             406

  RIFLE LOOPS                                                       407

  ‘SHIKARI’ RIFLE CASE                                              408

  BACK SIGHTS                                                       408

  WHEN THE LIGHT WANES                    _C. Whymper._             414

  WAPITI HEAD                                                       419



BIG GAME SHOOTING



CHAPTER I

ARCTIC HUNTING

BY ARNOLD PIKE


[Illustration: Among the ice]

Arctic hunting embraces an enormous field, the extent of which is not
yet realised, and I should begin by remarking that my experience, as
here set forth, is limited to the seas around Spitzbergen, and that I
propose to confine myself to the pursuit of the walrus and the polar
bear.

Although the vast herds of walrus which formerly inhabited the
Spitzbergen and Novaya Zemlya seas have been sadly thinned by
persistent--and often wasteful--hunting, first by the English and Dutch
in the early part of the seventeenth century, then by the Russians,
and at the present day by the Norwegians, yet enough may still be
killed in a season’s hunting to satisfy most sportsmen. The fact that
the expeditions after walrus and polar bear which are made to these
waters are often partially, or wholly, unsuccessful is due not to the
scarcity of game but to the manner in which it is sought. The sportsman
usually sails in a yacht--a vessel totally unfit for the work before
her--and at Tromsö or Hammerfest picks up an ice pilot, who is also
supposed to show where sport is to be obtained, at a season of the year
when all the best men are engaged to, or have already sailed with, the
professional walrus hunters. The consequences are that the voyage is
confined to the open, and therefore easily navigated, waters of the
western coast of Spitzbergen, or else that if good hunting grounds are
visited much of the game is not seen; for no matter how keen a look-out
a man may keep, he is sure to pass over game if he is not used to
hunting, and does not know exactly what to look for and where to look
for it.

The best way, therefore, in the writer’s opinion, is for the sportsman
to hire one of the small vessels engaged in the trade, sailing either
from Hammerfest or Tromsö (preferably from the latter port). He
could hire a walrus sloop of about forty tons burden for the season,
completely fitted out with all the necessary gear and boats, and a
crew of nine men (seven before the mast) for about 450l. This amount
would cover everything except tinned soups, meat, &c., for his own
consumption; and the expenditure is not all dead loss, for if he allows
one boat’s crew to regularly hunt seal, whilst he devotes himself
principally to bear and walrus, he will probably realise a sum by the
sale of skins and blubber, at the conclusion of the voyage, which will
meet the greater portion, if not the whole, of the amount paid for the
hire of the vessel. There is no difficulty in disposing of the ‘catch.’
If, however, a sportsman decides to go in his own yacht, with an
English crew, he should engage during the winter, through the British
vice-consul at Tromsö, a good harpooner and three men used to arctic
work, and buy a hunting boat (fangstbaad), to the use of which they
are accustomed, together with the necessary harpoons, lines, lances,
knives, &c.

In either case he should sail from Tromsö early in May if bound for
Spitzbergen, where he would in ordinary seasons be able to hunt until
the middle of September. In that time, with fair luck, he may expect
to kill from five to ten bears, about twenty walrus, thirty reindeer,
and from three to four hundred seals. If only small attention is
paid to the seals, the number of walrus and bear obtained should be
considerably larger.

No especial personal outfit is necessary.

As most of the shooting will be done from a boat that is seldom
stationary, the rifle to which the sportsman is most accustomed is
the best. A .450 Express, with solid hardened bullet for walrus,
and ‘small-holed’ for bear, is a very good weapon. A fowling-piece
for geese and a small-bore rifle for practice at seals would also
be useful. Whatever weapons are taken, they should be of simple
construction and strongly made, for they are liable to receive hard
knocks in the rough, wet work incidental to walrus hunting.

As regards clothing, a light-coloured stalking suit (the writer prefers
grey), underclothing of the same weight as the sportsman is accustomed
to wear during an English winter, and knee-boots, will answer every
purpose. For hand covering the mittens (‘vanter’) used by the Norwegian
fishermen are most suitable. The sportsman had better lay in his stock
of canned provisions and tea in England, but coffee, sugar, &c., can
be obtained of good quality and equally cheap at his starting point in
Norway.


I. WALRUS (_Rosmarus trichechus_)

The walrus is one of the largest animals still extant, and although the
element of personal danger is not as great in hunting it as in hunting
some beasts of lesser bulk, yet the conditions under which the sport is
pursued, as well as the nature of the sport itself, are such as will
probably tempt one who has once tried this form of sport to return to
it.

An average-sized four-year-old bull walrus will measure 10 ft. in
length and about the same in girth. The weight is, of course, difficult
to determine, but it is probably about 3,000 lbs., of which 350 lbs.
may be reckoned as blubber, and 300 lbs. as hide. A large old bull
will probably weigh and yield half as much again. The blubber, to be
utilised, is mixed with that of the seals which may be obtained, and
the oil which is extracted by heat and pressure sold as ‘seal oil’; the
hide, which is from 1 in. to 1½ in. in thickness, and makes a soft,
spongy leather, is exported principally to Russia and Germany, where it
is used for harness, ammunition-boots, &c.

[Illustration: A walrus’ head]

The walrus is a carnivorous animal, feeding mostly upon shellfish and
worms, and is therefore generally found in the shallow waters along a
coastline, diving for its food on banks which lie at a depth of from
two to twenty fathoms below the surface. Deeper than that the walrus
does not care to go; in fact, it generally feeds in about fifteen
fathoms. The tusks are principally used to plough up the bottom in
search of food, but are also employed as weapons, and in climbing on
to ice. They are composed of hard, white ivory, set for about 6 ins.
of their length in a hard bony mass, about 6 ins. in diameter, which
forms the front part of the head; the breathing passage runs through
this mass, and terminates in two ‘blow-holes’ between the roots of
the tusks. The tusk itself is solid, except that portion which is
embedded in the bone, and this is filled with a cellular structure
containing a whitish oil. Both sexes have tusks, but those of the cow
do not run quite so large as those of the bull. The yearling calf has
no tusks, but at the end of the second year it has a pair about 2 ins.
in length, which grow to about 6 ins. in the third year. The largest
pair I have measure 18½ ins. round the curve of the tusk from skull
to point, and girth 7½ ins. near the base; but I have seen them much
larger, and do not think that anything under 22 ins. can be considered
a good head. Cows’ tusks are generally set much closer together than
bulls’, and sometimes meet at the points. There are some good specimens
illustrating this peculiarity in the Tromsö Museum. The bulls’, on the
contrary, generally diverge, and are often upwards of a foot apart at
the points. I have read and heard that in rare cases the tusks diverge
in curves, but have never seen any. I have one head (I was not in the
boat when the walrus was killed) with three tusks, two of which spring
apparently from the same socket, and there is no doubt that there
are heads with four; but such cases are, of course, very rare. The
comparatively small size of the tusks makes the ivory useless for the
manufacture of billiard balls and other things of considerable size,
and it does not, therefore, command so high a price as elephant ivory,
but it is largely used in the manufacture of small articles.

A walrus killed in the water immediately sinks; even if mortally
wounded, it will in nine cases out of ten escape, and sink to the
bottom. When on the ice, walrus always lie close to the water, and
it is therefore necessary to kill them instantly, or they will reach
the water and be lost before the boat can arrive within harpooning
distance. This can only be done by penetrating the brain, which is no
easy matter. The brain lies in what appears to be the neck; that which
one would naturally suppose to be the head being nothing but the heavy
jaw bones, and mass of bone in which the tusks are set. In reference
to this point, I cannot do better than quote Mr. Lamont, who on this
and everything else connected with walrus hunting is a most accurate
authority. It is with the kind permission of his publishers, Messrs.
Chatto and Windus, that I reproduce his plate ‘How to shoot a Walrus.’
In his ‘Yachting in the Arctic Seas,’ page 69, he says:--

  No one who has not tried it will readily believe how extremely
  difficult it is to shoot an old bull walrus clean dead. The
  front or sides of his head may be knocked all to pieces with
  bullets, and the animal yet have sufficient strength and sense
  left to enable him to swim and dive out of reach. If he is lying
  on his side, with his back turned to his assailant (as in the
  upper figure), it is easy enough, as the brain is then quite
  exposed, and the crown of the head is easily penetrated; but one
  rarely gets the walrus in that position, and when it so happens
  it is generally better policy to harpoon him without shooting.
  By firing at an old bull directly facing you, it is almost
  impossible to kill him, but if half front to you, a shot just
  above the eye may prove fatal. If sideways, he can only be killed
  by aiming about six inches behind the eye, and about one-fourth
  of the apparent depth of his head from the top; but the eye, of
  course, cannot be seen unless the animal is very close to you,
  and the difficulty is enormously increased by the back of the
  head being so imbedded in fat as to appear as if it were part of
  the neck. This will be understood by a reference to the plate. If
  you hit him much below that spot, you strike the jaw-joint, which
  is about the strongest part of the whole cranium. A leaden bullet
  striking there, or on the front of the head, is flattened like
  a piece of putty, without doing much injury to the walrus; and
  even hardened bullets, propelled by six drachms of powder, were
  sometimes broken into little pieces against the rocky crania of
  these animals.

[Illustration: Where to shoot a walrus]

What becomes of the walrus in the winter it is hard to say, but I
have heard them blowing in an open pool of water among the ice on the
north coast of Spitzbergen in the month of December. In the spring,
however, when the ice begins to break up, they collect in herds on
their feeding grounds around the coasts, where they may be found
diving for shellfish, or basking and sleeping, singly or in ‘heaps’
of two or three (often five or six) together. They seem to prefer to
lie on small cakes of flat bay ice; a single walrus will often take
his siesta on a cake only just large enough to float him, and it is
among such ice therefore, rather than among rough old pack and glacier
blocks, that they should be sought, although I have seen them lying on
heavy old water-worn ice, four and five feet above the water. In this
case, however, they had no choice. Later in the year, in August and
during the autumn, particularly in open years, they collect in some
bay (formerly they were found in herds thousands strong), and lie in
a lethargic state on the shore. I suppose that this is their breeding
season, as the young are cast in April and May, and even in June. In
former years, the walrus hunters, if they had experienced a bad season,
would hang around the coasts as long as they dared, visiting the
various places which were known to be favourite spots for the walrus to
‘go ashore,’ and if they found one occupied, a few hours’ work would
compensate them for the bad luck of the whole season.

Massing their forces--if, as customary, several sloops were sailing in
company--the hunters attacked the walrus with the lance, and, killing
those nearest the water first, formed a rampart behind which the rest
of the herd were more or less at their mercy, which quality indeed they
did not appear to possess; for, fired by excitement and greed, they
would slay and slay, until there were far more of the poor beasts lying
dead than they could ever hope to make use of. The remnant of the herd
would escape, never to return; they would seek each year some spot
further towards the north, and therefore more difficult of access to
their enemies. Although, doubtless, the walrus still go ashore late in
the autumn, they probably choose some of the islands in the Hinlopen
Straits, or the coasts of North East Land and Franz Joseph Land, where
the hunters cannot approach them, or would not dare to if they could,
at that season of the year; and thus it is rare to hear of a herd
being found ashore at the present day. This opportunity of having an
inaccessible breeding ground will save the walrus from the fate which
has overtaken the American bison, of being almost wiped from the face
of the earth; and the species will therefore probably continue to exist
in large numbers in the far north, after its scarcity in the more
accessible waters has caused the professional walrus hunter to abandon
his calling. The most likely localities for walrus around Spitzbergen
at present are the coast of North East Land, Cape Leigh Smith (Storö),
Rekis-öerne, Hopenöerne on the east coast, and the Hinlopen Straits.

Although the staple food of the walrus consists of mollusca, it also
preys, to some extent, upon the seal. I remember that, on opening the
stomach of the first walrus I shot, we found it full of long strips
of the skin of a seal, apparently _Phoca hispida_, with the blubber
still attached.[1] As the death of this walrus was fairly typical of
the manner in which they are now captured, I will try to describe it;
but it would be better perhaps to first sketch the boats and implements
which are used in walrus hunting.

The boats, called ‘fangstbaade,’ are strongly, yet lightly, built
of three-quarter-inch Norwegian ‘furru.’ They are carvel built and
bow shaped at both ends; the stem and stern posts are made thick and
strong in order to resist the blows of the ice, and the bow sheathed
with zinc plates to prevent excessive chafing. They are most commonly
20 ft. or 21 ft. in length, and have their greatest beam, viz. 5 ft.,
one-third of their length from the bow. It is most important that they
should be easy and quick in turning, and this quality is obtained by
depressing the keel in the middle. They are painted red inside and
white outside, so that they may not be conspicuous amongst ice, but the
hunters stultify this idea to some extent by dressing themselves in
dark colours. Inside the bow there are small racks guarded by painted
canvas flaps, in which the harpoon-heads are fitted, usually three on
either side of the boat. The harpoon, the point and edges of which are
ground and whetted to a razor-like sharpness, is a simple but very
effective weapon. When thrust into a walrus or seal, a large outer barb
‘takes up’ a loop of the tough hide, whilst a small inner fish-hook
barb prevents it from becoming disengaged, so that when once properly
harpooned, it is very seldom, if ever, that an animal escapes through
the harpoon ‘drawing.’ The harpoon-shafts, which lie along the thwarts,
are made of white pine poles, 12 ft. in length and from 1 in. to 1½ in.
in diameter, tapered at one end to fit the socket of the harpoon-head,
in which the shaft is set fast when required by striking its butt
against one of the ribs of the boat, or a small block fixed in the
after end on the starboard side. The harpoon is used almost entirely
as a thrusting weapon, but a _good_ man can set one fast by _casting_
if the occasion demands it, up to a distance of 20 ft. The harpoon
line, which is ‘grummeted’ round the shank of the head, consists of
sixteen fathoms of two-inch tarred rope, very carefully made of the
finest hemp, ‘soft laid’; each line is neatly coiled in a separate
box placed beneath the forward thwart. When a walrus is ‘fast,’ it is
most important that the line should not slip aft--if allowed to do so
it would probably capsize the boat--and to help to prevent this, deep
retaining notches are cut in two pieces of hardwood fixed one on each
side of the stempost, the top of which is also channelled.

The lance also lies along the thwarts, its broad blade contained in a
box fixed at the starboard end of the forward thwart. The head weighs
about 3½ lbs., and the white pine shafts 5 lbs. to 7 lbs., according
to length. It is generally about 6 ft. and tapered from 2½ ins. at the
socket to 1½ in. at the handle. The head is riveted to the shaft; two
projecting ears run some way up, and are bound to it by a piece of
stout hoop iron, for additional security.

Along the thwarts also lie a mast and sail, and several ‘hakkepiks,’ a
form of boathook, most useful for ice work. Another box, fastened to
the starboard gunwale, holds a telescope. In the bottom of the boat are
twenty-four fathoms of rope, two double-purchase blocks, and an ice
anchor; in addition to its ordinary use, this anchor is employed as a
fulcrum by which, with the aid of the blocks and rope, a boat’s crew
can haul a dead walrus out of the water on to a suitable piece of ice,
to be flensed.

The fore and after peaks are provided with lockers, which should
contain a hammer, pair of pliers, nails, and some sheet lead--for
patching holes which a walrus may make with his tusks--matches, spare
grummets, cartridges, &c., and a small kettle--a small spirit lamp
would also be useful--together with coffee and hard bread sufficient
for two or three days. An axe and one or two rifles, which lean against
the edge of the forward locker, in notches cut to take the barrels,
skinning knives, a whetstone, and a compass, which should be in a box
fitted under the after thwart, and one or two spare oars complete the
list of articles, without which a ‘fangstbaad’ should never touch the
water. Nevertheless, it is usual to find that two most important items,
viz. food and a compass, are missing. This is surprising, for in this
region of ice and fog no one knows better than the walrus hunter when
he quits his vessel’s side how uncertain is the length of time which
must elapse before he can climb on board again, even though he may
merely, as he thinks, be going to ‘pick up’ a seal, lying on an ice
cake a few hundred yards away.

A boat’s crew consists of four or five men, and the quickness with
which they can turn their boat is greatly accelerated by their method
of rowing and steering. Each man rows with a pair of oars, which he
can handle much better than one long one when amongst ice. The oars
are hung in grummets to stout single thole-pins, so that when dropped
they swing alongside, out of the way, yet ready for instant action. The
steersman, called the ‘hammelmand,’ sits facing the bow, and guides the
boat by rowing with a pair of short oars. I think this is preferable
to steering either with a rudder or with a single long oar, as the
whalers do, as it not only enables a crew to turn their boat almost on
her own centre, but economises nearly the whole strength of one man. As
there are six thwarts in the boat the ‘hammelmand’ can, if necessary,
instantly change his position, and row like the others.

The harpooner, who commands the boat’s crew, rows from the bow thwart,
near the weapons and telescope, which he alone uses. It is he who
searches for game, and decides on the method of attack when it is
found. ‘No. 2,’ generally the strongest man in the boat, is called the
‘line man’; it is his duty to tend the line when a walrus is struck and
to assist the harpooner, while ‘stroke’ and the ‘hammelmand’ hang back
on their oars, to prevent the boat from ‘overrunning’ the walrus.

In such a boat, then, one lovely September morning, we are rowing
easily back to the sloop, which is lying off Bird Bay, a small
indentation in the east face of the northernmost point of Spitzbergen.
The skin of an old he-bear, half covering the bottom of the boat,
proves that we have already earned our breakfasts, but no one is in a
hurry. The burnished surface of the sea is unmarked by a ripple save
where broken by the lazy dip of the oars. Northwards, beyond the bold
contour of North Cape, the rugged outlines of the Seven Islands stand
out sharply against the blue sky; behind us the hills of the mainland,
dazzling in their covering of new snow, stretch away to the south.
Bird Bay and Lady Franklin’s Bay are full of fast ice, which must have
lain there all the summer, but the blazing sun makes it difficult to
see where ice ends and water begins. Around us and to the east the sea
is fairly open, except for the flat cakes of ice broken off from the
fast ice, and several old sea-worn lumps, which, from their delicate
blue colour (sea ice is white), we know have fallen from the glaciers
of the east coast, or, perhaps, have travelled from some land, out
there beyond Seven Islands, which no man has yet seen. The harpooner
is balancing himself, one foot on the forward locker and one on the
thwart, examining through a telescope something which appears to be a
lump of dirty ice, about half a mile away. Suddenly he closes his glass
and seizes the oars. ‘Hvalros,’ he says, and without another word the
‘hammelmand’ heads the boat for the black mass which, as we rapidly
approach (for no one is lazily inclined now), the mirage magnifies into
the size of a small house. Now we are within a couple of hundred yards,
and each man crouches in the bottom of the boat, the harpooner still
in the bow, his eyes level with the combing, intently fixed upon the
walrus. The ‘hammelmand’ alone is partly erect on his seat, only his
arms moving, as he guides us from behind one lump to another. Suddenly
the walrus raises his head, and we are motionless. It is intensely
still, and the scraping of a piece of ice along the boat seems like
the roar of a railway train passing overhead on some bridge. Down goes
the head, and we glide forward again. The walrus is uneasy; again and
again he raises his head and looks around with a quick motion, but we
have the sun right at our back and he never notices us. At last we are
within a few feet, and with a shout of ‘Vœk op, gamling!’ (‘Wake up,
old boy!’), which breaks the stillness like a shot, the harpooner is
on his feet, his weapon clasped in both hands above his head. As the
walrus plunges into the sea, the iron is buried in his side, and with a
quick twist to prevent the head from slipping out of the same slit that
it has cut in the thick hide, the handle is withdrawn and thrown into
the boat. No. 2, who, with a turn round the forward thwart, has been
paying out the line, now checks it, as stroke and the ‘hammelmand,’
facing forward, hang back on their oars to check the rush. Bumping and
scraping amongst the ice, we are towed along for about five minutes,
and then stop as the walrus comes to the surface to breathe. In the
old days the lance would finish the business, but now it is the rifle.
He is facing the boat, I sight for one of his eyes, and let him have
both barrels, without much effect apparently, for away we rush for two
or three minutes more, when he is up again, still facing the boat. He
seems to care no more for the solid Express bullets (I am using a .450
Holland & Holland Express) than if they were peas; but he is slow this
time, and, as he turns to dive, exposes the fatal spot at the back of
the head, and dies.

It does not take us long to fix the ice anchor in a suitable cake, and
with the blocks and rope we drag him head-first on to the ice, and skin
him. On examining his head, I find that the whole of the front part has
been broken into small pieces by the first four shots, one tusk blown
clean away, and the other broken. So much for shooting a walrus in the
face!

Of course, the walrus does not always allow the boat to approach within
harpooning distance. If it is very uneasy (which it is more likely to
be in calm weather than when there is a slight breeze blowing), the
beast will begin to move when the boat is, say, fifty yards distant.
Then is the time for a steady wrist and a clear eye, for the creature
must be shot, and shot dead, or, no matter how badly it is wounded, it
will reach the water, and, dying there, sink like a stone to the bottom.

Although the walrus does not often show fight, it is not, on the whole,
a rare thing for him to do so. The harpooners say that three-year-old
bulls are the most liable to attack a boat, especially if it is allowed
to overrun them when fast to a harpoon line. The following incident
illustrates this.

One sunny night, towards the end of May, we were running for Black
Point, Spitzbergen, as the skipper did not like the look of a heavy
black bank of clouds which a freshening breeze was blowing up out
of the south-west. Suddenly, as we were threading our way through
some heavy old ice, we found that we were among the walrus, and we
determined to lie aback for a few hours and take some. They were
lying about in twos and threes on the ice lumps, and in a good mood
to be stalked, so that we soon had the skins of three young bulls in
the bottom of the boat; but the fourth, a three-year-old bull, gave
trouble. He did not like the look of the boat, and a rather long shot
only wounded him. After diving off the ice he rose quite close to the
boat, and when the harpooner gave him the weapon, instead of making
off he immediately charged. It was hand-to-hand work then: lance and
axe, hakkepik and oar, thrust and slashed, struck and shoved, while
the white tusks gleamed again and again through the upper streaks of
the boat; for a walrus can strike downwards, upwards, and sideways,
with much greater quickness than one would imagine possible. After a
while he drew off, and, slipping a cartridge into the Express (which I
had emptied as soon as the struggle began), I put a bullet through his
brain, and he hung dead on the line. We were lucky to escape with no
more damage than a few holes in the boat and a couple of broken oars.
There were many walrus around us, both on the ice and in the water, but
the breeze had freshened into a gale, and snow began to fall heavily,
so that we were glad to get on board again and run for shelter into
Kraus Haven, a little inlet in the mossy plain which stretches from the
foot of Black Point to the sea.

Few men are likely ever to forget the first occasion on which they
found themselves amongst a herd of walrus in the water. Scores of
fierce-looking heads--for the long tusks, small bloodshot eyes, and
moustache on the upper lip (every bristle of which is as thick as a
crow quill) give the walrus an expression of ferocity--gaze, perhaps
in unbroken silence, from all sides upon the boat. See! the sun glints
along a hundred wet backs, and they are gone. Away you row at racing
speed to where experience tells you they will rise again. ‘Here they
are! Take that old one with the long tusks first!’ A couple of quick
thrusts, right and left, and away you go again, fast to two old bulls
that will want a lot of attention before you can cut their tusks out.
Indeed, unless one has served his apprenticeship, he had better not
meddle with the harpoon at all. The old skippers and harpooners can
spin many a yarn of lost crews and boats gone under the ice through a
fatal moment’s delay in cutting free from the diving walrus.


II. THE POLAR BEAR (_Ursus maritimus_)

As a ‘sporting’ animal the polar bear is, to the writer’s mind,
somewhat overrated; the walrus affording more exciting, and in every
sense better, sport than does the bear.

[Illustration: DEATH OF A POLAR BEAR]

Although the history of Arctic exploration and adventure contains
accounts of many a death laid to its charge, yet the ‘polar’ makes
but a poor fight against the accurately sighted breechloaders of
to-day, and it is very rarely that one hears of the loss of a man
in an actual encounter with a bear. And this for several reasons.
Unlike the grizzly, the polar has generally to fight his man at a
disadvantage. Seen first at a long distance, he commonly requires but
little stalking. A boat full of men creeps along the ice edge until
within shooting distance, and if when merely wounded the bear has the
pluck to charge, he has not the opportunity, for his enemies are on the
water, and once he leaves the ice he is completely at their mercy--no
match for a man who can handle even a lance or an axe moderately well.
Should a man happen to encounter a polar on land or ice, however,
the brute’s great size and marvellous vitality naturally make him
a somewhat formidable foe, especially as the soles of his feet are
covered with close-set hairs, which enable him to go on slippery ice
as securely as upon _terra firma_. This characteristic of having the
sole of the foot covered with hair is peculiar to _Ursus maritimus_.
But even when encountered on ice, nine bears out of ten will not fight,
even when they have the chance, unless badly ‘cornered.’ As a rule,
_Ursus maritimus_ is purely carnivorous, preying mostly on seals,
which bask on the ice with their heads always very close to, if not
actually over, the water, a habit of which the bear takes advantage in
approaching to within striking distance, by dropping into the water
some way to leeward and swimming noiselessly along the ice edge. Even
if the seal perceives the white head, the only visible portion of the
swimming bear, it probably takes it for a drifting splinter of ice,
and pays no more attention to it, until a blow from the heavy forepaw
of the bear ends sleep and life together. I am told that the bear
manages to secure seals lying at their holes on large flat expanses
of ‘fast’ or bay ice, but imagine that such cases are rare, as anyone
who has tried to stalk a seal basking at its hole knows how extremely
difficult, if not impossible, it is to approach within rifle-shot
of it. I once, however, killed a large blue seal at the fast ice edge,
along whose back, from ‘stem to stern,’ were five parallel gashes,
freshly cut through hide and blubber, marking the passage of Bruin’s
paw as the seal had slipped beneath it into the water. The walrus is
also attacked, of course on the ice only; for in the water both walrus
and seal can sport around their enemy with impunity; indeed, if the
professional hunters are to be believed, the former sometimes turns the
tables, and under these circumstances it is often the bear which comes
off second best in the encounter.

Although carnivorous, the polar also appears to be able to exist on a
vegetable diet, like other bears. Nordenskjöld observed one browsing
on grass on the northern coast of Siberia (he remarks that it was
probably an old bear whose tusks were much worn), and it is on record
(‘Encyclopædia Britannica,’ ninth edition) that one was fed on bread
only for some years. From its manner of life this bear is naturally
almost amphibious, ‘taking’ the water as a matter of course, and, no
doubt, frequently making long journeys by sea to regain its habitat,
from which it has been carried on some drifting ice-lump. Captain
Sabine found one ‘swimming powerfully, forty miles from the nearest
shore, and with no ice in sight to afford it rest.’ No beast on the
earth leads a harder life than the polar bear. Relying solely on the
chase for its support, it roams continually amongst the ice. Even
during the winter it does not retire from the battle of life, like its
less hardy congeners, but wanders on through the storm and lasting
darkness, for this species does not as a rule hibernate. It is alleged
elsewhere that the female differs in this respect from the male,
hibernating whilst he remains out, and the fact that all the bears
(between sixty and seventy) killed in the winter months during the
Austrian expedition under MM. Weyprecht and Payer were males, supports
this statement; but, on the other hand, the only bears, two in number,
which we killed in midwinter (on December 11 and 19, 1888), while
wintering on Danes Island (north coast of Spitzbergen), were both
females, accompanied on each occasion by a cub. I think it possible,
therefore, that it is only the females which are about to cast their
young in the spring that lie dormant during the winter. Why the rest
are roaming in the darkness, or what they find to eat in that land of
death, I cannot tell; for the seals do not lie on the ice in the dark
time (at that season of the year we could not distinguish day from
night), and, as has been said, the bear is no match for the seal in the
water.

Even if the records of gigantic grizzlies--brutes weighing 2,000 lbs.
and upwards--are trustworthy, the polar must yet be allowed to be,
upon the average, the largest of his tribe. Most Londoners know the
old beast in the Zoological Gardens in Regent’s Park (presented by Mr.
Leigh Smith), which is a good type of a big male; and it is not too
much to say that a large full-grown male bear of this species will
measure from 8 ft. to 8 ft. 6 ins. from snout to tail, and weigh,
probably, 1,500 lbs. The largest I have myself killed measured 8 ft.
(Norwegian measurement) in length _in the flesh_, but I have seen a
skin, now in the possession of Mrs. Dunsmuir, of Victoria, British
Columbia, which measures 9 ft. 10 in. from the snout to root of tail.
This must have belonged to an enormous bear.

The reasons why some of the expeditions after polar bear are
unsuccessful have already been referred to. If the bears are sought
for in the proper places, there is no reason why they may not be found
and killed. Around Spitzbergen the most ‘likely’ places are in Stor
Fjord, along the south-east and east coast (which indeed is but seldom
accessible), and on the north coast east of Wiide Bay, and in the
Hinlopen Straits; the number of bear to be found in these localities
depending, of course, on the state of the ice. In the spring of 1889,
the south-east coast was more or less open, and the bears were so
numerous that the skipper of one of a fleet of seven walrus sloops,
which arrived from Norway during the last week in May, told me that
he had counted upwards of twenty bears on the ice at one time, near
Half-moon Island. In the same spring, one sloop killed or captured
fifty bears in the locality. When a bear is discovered on the ice by
the look-out in the crow’s-nest, a ‘fangstbaad’ is lowered, and the
hunt begins. It is often but a tame affair. If one of the hunters can
manage to show himself between the main body of the ice or land and
his quarry, the bear will generally take to the water, when he may
be pursued and dispatched at leisure, for he is not a fast swimmer,
although a powerful one. The carcase of a bear, unlike that of the
walrus or seal, always floats. Among rough old pack or on ‘hummocky’
fast ice, however, the affair assumes a more sporting turn, as the bear
must then be carefully stalked amid the ice lumps, either by boat or
on foot, great attention being paid to the direction of the wind; for
_Ursus maritimus_ is one of the keenest-scented animals in creation,
and if he once winds the hunter, the chase may be abandoned unless
there is a chance of driving him into the water. The chief danger of
such a hunt is from the ice, which is liable to be ‘working,’ or which,
in the case of bay ice, may be rotten in places at the season of the
year when most of the hunting is done. In many cases a man should not
venture on a floe or big sheet of bay ice to chase or intercept a bear
without a pair of Norwegian snow-shoes and a ‘hakkepik,’ and should
be careful also in stepping on to the ice from a boat, as the edge is
often undermined by the action of the water, and will break beneath his
weight, although to the eye it looks as solid as the rest of the block.

There is another phase of hunting. When the darkness of an Arctic
winter has settled down on the ice fields, wrapping some ice-bound
crew in its pall, then one of the few excitements which is granted to
these men, left out of the light and warmth of the world, is the silent
coming of some old white bear.

Early one December morning, when wintering on Danes Island, we heard
bears about a mile away among the loose ice near Amsterdam Island. The
men judged that the cries were made by a cub which was being punished
by its mother for not being able to keep up with her, and this proved
to be the case; for before noon an old she-bear, and what seemed
to be, from the tracks we afterwards saw, a three-parts-grown cub,
were ‘nosing’ about some old seal carcases which, frozen into stony
hardness, were lying a few yards distant from the snow wall surrounding
the house. I crept up to them, but with an overcast sky and no moon
there was not light enough for a fair aim, even at a few feet distance,
so that the heavy balls from the Paradox gun struck her too far back to
stop her at once, and with a low roar both she and the cub made off.

For some way along the shore there was an open space, a few feet in
width, between the ice and rocks, caused by the rise and fall of the
tides, and we saw the phosphorescent light flash up as the old bear
struck the water in crossing it. The cub kept along the shore-line, and
the skipper and myself followed his trail in deep snow until it ran on
to the ice. As we retraced our steps we saw a spurt of flame apparently
about a quarter of a mile away, near the Corpse Rocks; but the report
of the rifle never reached us, being lost in the rending and groaning
of the ice, which was grinding its way out of the Gat. This shot we
found was fired by the mate, who was out on the ice after the old bear,
with whom he had evidently come up, for we saw his rifle flash again
and again, and had just decided to go to him, dragging our smallest
boat with us, when the ice must have become jammed in the mouth of the
Gat, for it began to close again. We were soon up with him, and did not
stop to skin the bear, but dragged it head first over the ice to the
house. The mate had found her lying down, and in twelve shots, two of
which were miss-fires, had in the darkness put six bullets into her,
the last of which had pierced her heart. She was in fair condition,
although giving suck, but the stomach was quite empty, save for an old
reindeer moccasin which one of the men had thrown away. One of my shots
had almost filled the abdominal cavity with torn entrails and débris,
but, with this terrible wound and a broken hind leg, the bear had
fought her way for more than a quarter of a mile through loose ice,
before lying down on the spot where the mate found her. A few hours
later a south-west gale was cutting the crest off the heavy seas which
were rolling where the trail we made in dragging the dead bear had been.

[Illustration: THE CORPSE ROCKS]

In conclusion, I may mention a ruse we employed during the winter
months to attract any bears which might be roaming in our vicinity. A
small quantity of seal blubber was kept burning and simmering in an
iron pot, placed without our snow wall and replenished every few hours.
Towards the end of February, two days after the reappearance of the
sun, a large old he-bear wandered about within sight, for the greater
portion of two days, apparently sniffing up the fumes from our blubber
pot, without daring to approach within four hundred yards of the house.
At length we killed him, and after taking the skin decided to utilise
the flesh, to the sparing of our blubber stock. With this idea, we
filled the cavity of his chest with shavings and coal oil, and set the
mass on fire. The odour of the dense black vapour which poured from
the carcase may have attractions for bears, but was too pungent and
powerful for human nostrils. The men were quickly of the opinion that
‘bear would not eat bear,’ and the following morning we were compelled
to cut a hole in the ice, and commit the charred body of the last of
our winter visitors to a watery grave.



CHAPTER II

THE CAUCASUS

BY CLIVE PHILLIPPS-WOLLEY


I. INTRODUCTORY

Although the Caucasus is within a week’s journey of Charing Cross, to
the average Englishman it is as little known as Alaska. As a hunting
ground for big game it is infinitely less known than Central Africa.
The men who have shot in Africa and written of their sport in that
country may be counted by the score; but, as far as I know, up to
the present moment no book has been written (except my own)[2] upon
the sport of the Caucasus, and in this chapter I am obliged to rely
upon my own experience and some rough notes sent me by Mr. St. George
Littledale. That being so, it may well be that much has been omitted
which may hereafter become common knowledge; I can only affirm that
the statements made are trustworthy, as being the outcome of actual
personal experience, unvarnished and undiluted.

To me the Caucasus is an enchanted land. The spell of its flower-clad
steppes, of its dense dreamy forests, of its giant wall of snow peaks,
fell upon me whilst I was still a boy, and will be with me all my life
through. It was the first country in which I ever hunted, and it may
be that I am prejudiced in its favour on that account, or it may be
that I am right, that there is no country under heaven so beautiful and
none in which the witchery of sport is so strong. Let my confession of
prejudice be taken into consideration by all who read this chapter, and
with it the verdict of my quondam companion in Svânetia: ‘The Caucasus
is an accursed country to hunt in, a country of ceaseless climbing and
chronic starvation, in which the sport is not nearly worth the candle.’
This was the honest conviction of one who is no mean sportsman, and who
since his Caucasian experiences has done exceptionally well in India.

But men define sport differently. To those whose ambition it is to kill
really wild game in a wild and savage country in which they will get
but little help from any but their own right hands, to them I say, try
the high solitudes round Elbruz and the ironstone ridges of Svânetia.

The best time for sport in the mountains is the end of June, July,
August, and the first week in September, after which another month
may be spent profitably hunting bear and boar in the chestnut forests
on the Black Sea; for aurochs the hunter should be in the sylvan
labyrinths at the head of the Kuban in August.

Taking London as your point of departure, you can reach the Caucasus
by four different routes: either by Paris, Marseilles, and thence
by one of the boats of the Messageries Maritimes (running once a
fortnight) _viâ_ Constantinople to Batoum; or by Calais, Cologne,
Vienna and Odessa, to Batoum; or by the Oriental Express _viâ_ Paris
and Constantinople; or by Wilson’s line of boats from Hull to St.
Petersburg, and thence by rail _viâ_ Moscow and Voroneze to Vladikavkaz.

The first route takes about eleven days, and costs about 16_l._ 16_s._;
the second takes (roughly) nine days, and costs about 20_l._ The third
route is, I believe, the quickest and most expensive, but I have not
tried it.

My own favourite route is the fourth, by adopting which you gain
the advantage of a quiet and untroubled journey, with few vexatious
changes, only one custom-house (and that with a consul-general at
hand to help you through), and the possibility of alighting from the
train within a drive of the outskirts of your hunting ground. The
cost of the journey from London to Vladikavkaz by this route is about
(including food, &c.) 20_l._, or as much more as you like to make it.
From St. Petersburg to the Don the level lands of Russia glide by
your carriage window unbroken by a single hill--I had almost said by
a single tree. After Voroneze you enter the steppe country proper, a
sea of flowers in spring, a perfect hell of dust, or mud, or wind,
for all the rest of the year. From Voroneze these steppes roll right
up to the foot of the main chain of the Caucasus, and standing on the
plains near Naltchik you may see at a _coup d’œil_ some hundreds of
versts of snow-capped mountains rising like a sheer wall drawn from
the north-east to the south-west of the peninsula. These snow-capped
mountains and the ‘black hills’ (as the natives call the densely wooded
foot-hills) constitute the principal game preserve of the country,
and resemble, in their appearance and in the varieties of game with
which they abound, the hill country of India, to such an extent that
an old friend of mine, whose happiest days had been spent in shikar in
the Himalayas, used to allege that all the game beasts found in the
Caucasus were mere varieties of the Indian fauna.

Before dealing with the different districts and the game found in each,
a few general hints to the traveller may not come amiss.

The Caucasus is the arena of the hardest fight Russia ever fought,
and, having partially depopulated the country, she still holds it by
force of arms. That being so, the more unpretentious a traveller is,
the better is his chance of passing unquestioned about the country.
Strong introductions from home and from the Foreign Office are more
likely to hamper than to help, and if you want leave to go to any
little travelled district, the best way is to take it. If you ask for
it you are likely to be refused, but if you go in quietly, with a small
outfit, and devote yourself exclusively to hunting, no one is likely to
interfere with you.

The best outfit in the Caucasus is that which comes nearest to the
hunter’s _beau idéal_, i.e. as much as he can carry himself. This
of course, like all ideals, is unattainable, but you may come very
close to it; and as there are many places in which, when in pursuit
of mountain game, you cannot use horses, your baggage must be such as
one, or at most two, men can pack in a bad place. Now a man should
pack 50 lbs., and if your means are unlimited, your baggage need only
be limited by the number of men you can persuade to accompany you; but
the more men you have with you the less work you will get done per man,
as the chief luxury of the Caucasian is gossip, and with a crowd of
followers the temptation to loaf and talk would prove irresistible.

Two men, one as a guide and gillie, and one to leave in camp (both of
them taking their share of packing whenever camp is moved), should
be sufficient for anyone. Of course, where it is practicable, ponies
should be used, as with them a greater weight can be packed, and packed
too more expeditiously, than with men; and in most cases it will be
found easy enough to take pack ponies to establish your main camp,
proceeding from that on foot for short expeditions of three or four
days. It is as well to remember that 200 lbs. is a good load for a
pony in rough country, more, probably, than he could carry on most of
the Caucasian trails, and from 50 lbs. to 60 lbs. quite enough for a
man, although I have known one of my own men carry nearly double that
weight during an ordinary day’s tramp, arriving at camp towards sundown
brimful of spirits and devilment. I remember that when his load was
off he stood on his head, and ‘larked’ about with the other fellows to
relieve his exuberance of vitality. A _tente d’abri_, to weigh about 15
lbs., is the best tent for Caucasian travel, because it is the lightest
and handiest to carry. My old tent used to weigh about 20 lbs., and
this with an express rifle (about 10 lbs.), cartridges, field glasses,
a revolver and a few sundries, used to constitute my own ‘pack.’[3]

When travelling with Caucasian porters and hunters it is as well to
treat them as comrades and not as servants. Although they work for
hire, they do not understand the relation of master and servant, and,
though perfectly ready to help you when you need help, expect you to
help yourself when you can, whilst in all matters of food and camp
comfort they expect to share and share alike with the head of the
expedition. May I digress here for a moment to say that this is one
of the most important secrets of travel? Never allow yourself any
luxuries in a ‘tight place’ which your men have no share in. If you
have only one pipeful of tobacco, when provisions are short, share it
with your men, and in the Caucasus at any rate you will not lose your
reward. It is a good many years ago now, but the memory of one chilly
night among the mountains is with me still, when I woke at 3 A.M. to
find myself warm and snug under two extra bourkas (native blankets).
The owners of the blankets were squatting on their hams, almost _in_
the fire, and talking to pass the long cold hours until dawn. Having
rated them for their folly and made them take back their blankets and
turn in, I rolled over and slept again. When I next woke--it was 7
A.M. (shamefully late for camp)--the men were still crouching over the
embers, helping to cook breakfast, their bourkas having been replaced
upon my shoulders. I had paid those men off _the day before_ this
happened, and they left me next morning with a hearty ‘God be with
you,’ utterly unconscious that they had done anything more than the
proper thing towards their employer and companion who, ‘poor devil,
could not sleep unless he was warm, and became ill if he did not get a
meal every day in the week.’

A sleeping bag such as Alpine Club men use would be an excellent
substitute for blankets, and with that, a pipeful of tobacco, a little
bread and bacon and a small flask of whiskey, any reasonably keen and
hearty sportsman should be able to hold out for a few nights among the
mountain-tops in August. Indeed, if this is too much hardship for the
would-be ibex hunter, he had better give up ibex hunting.

In all the best districts for mountain game round Elbruz the traveller
will find smoke-blackened lairs amongst the rocks, and round beds
amongst the fallen pine needles at the base of some great tree just
on the timber limit. In these, for generations, the ibex hunters of
Svânetia have rested from their labours and waited for the dawn.

[Illustration: Waiting for the dawn]

As to general camp outfit, any light outfit for a hunter’s camp in a
temperate region (e.g. Europe or North America) will suffice; extreme
portability being the principal thing to aim at, as the trails are
infamously bad in the best game districts.

Eschewing luxuries, let the hunter take with him all the flour he can
carry, as round Elbruz and in all the best mountain districts the only
flour obtainable is of villainous quality, and the bread made from it
will damage the most cast-iron digestion.

As to foot-gear, English hobnailed boots may do excellently well for
mountaineers, and may be the best possible things on ice. I would as
soon wear rings on my fingers and bells on my toes as attempt to hunt
in boots. For still hunting of any kind, whether in the mountains or in
the forest, moccasins of some sort are essential, whether they be soled
with india-rubber like tennis shoes, or simply soled with a double sole
of deer’s hide, like those used in North America. For the ‘tender foot’
old tennis shoes are excellent things, but a pair per diem would not be
too much to allow for ibex shooting in the Caucasus, the rocks cutting
any foot-gear to pieces in the shortest possible time.

The native moccasin is the best after all; a sock of deer skin or some
other soft tanned hide, made large and loose, with a split down the
middle of the sole from toe to heel, which is laced up with raw hide
laces, the laces running across and across each other thus ××××. The
moccasin is stuffed with fine mountain grass, and is then put on damp
and tightly laced. By these means a comfortable fit is ensured, the
tender hollow beneath the instep is protected from sharp rocks, and
a firm grip in slippery places is given by the kind of network made
by the laces. In boots a man has no chance of using his toes to cling
with; even to bend his foot is beyond his powers, and a boot once worn
out cannot be repaired in camp, whereas a moccasin may be patched until
none of the original article remains.

A sling for your rifle is a necessity in all mountain shooting; so,
too, is an alpenstock, which should _never_ be shod with metal, the
ring of which against the rocks would proclaim your approach half a
mile away. Choose a good stout pole of some hard wood for yourself;
harden it (and especially the point) in the fire, and test it carefully
before using it, as it may have to carry your weight in awkward places.

Wages in the Caucasus vary according to the amount of travel in the
district. If the sportsman is unfortunate enough to run across a
district in which foreign tourists are common, the charges made for men
and horses will be excessive, but in remote districts, off the main
lines of travel, you could (in 1888) hire a man and his horse for 5_s._
a day, and a porter to carry your food and blankets in the mountains at
1_s._ a day.

In 1882 I travelled and shot for three months in the Caucasus with a
friend. During the whole of that period I carried the money-bags, and
at the end of the trip, I believe that I was able to return a little
small change to my companion out of the 100_l._ with which he had
entrusted me, as his share of our joint purse. Out of our 200_l._. I
paid railway fares, hotel bills, and all camp expenses; and it is only
fair to add that when in a town the best room in the best hotel, and
its best bottle of wine, was only just good enough for us. Luckily, we
spent very little time in towns.

Those days, I am afraid, have already passed away, but two roubles
a day should still be ample pay for any of the men who accompany a
shooting party, and less than that would probably be taken gratefully.
The chief difficulty of the Caucasus as a shooting ground for
Englishmen lies in the language of the country, which varies in every
district. Either Russian or Georgian would probably be sufficient to
carry a man through the whole country between the Black Sea and the
Caspian, as he would generally find some one who spoke one or other of
these tongues in every village he entered, and even if now and again he
came to a hamlet where no one could understand his speech, the ordinary
Caucasian is wonderfully apt at the language of signs.

An interpreter can be hired at Tiflis or Kutais, but he will be more
trouble than a valet and more fastidious, besides doubling the expense
of the expedition and causing constant trouble with your men. There
may, of course, be good interpreters; if so, I have been unfortunate in
never meeting any. My last word of advice shall be, try to do without
them, pick up a little Russian for yourself, and then trust to luck and
good temper to pull you through.[4]


II. NORTH-WEST CAUCASUS.

The Caucasus includes not only the great range which gives its name to
the isthmus, but also a district as large as France, bounded on the
north by Russia, on the east by the Caspian, on the south by Armenia
and Persia, and on the west by the Black Sea and the Azov.

In any similar area you would expect to find districts varying
considerably in their fauna, but in the Caucasus the districts to
the north and south of the chain vary to such an extent, that the
naturalist Eichwald speaks of the ‘tall peaks of Caucasus,’ as putting
the most distinct limits to the fauna of Asia and Europe.

The northern side of the chain, from what is called the Manitch
depression to the foot-hills of the main chain, is simply a
continuation of the steppes of Russia, a land without trees, and, until
you get near the foot-hills, devoid of all game except feathered game
and wolves.

To the north-west of the mountains, the great game district is that
which lies along the banks of the Kuban, a river rising in the main
chain near Elbruz, and flowing thence due north for a space, after
which it turns sharply westward, and flows parallel to the main chain,
finally emptying itself into the Black Sea. On its road from Elbruz
to the sea it receives the waters of every stream which drains to
the north-west of the chain; and it is here, between the Kuban and
the mountains, and upon the banks and head waters of the Kuban’s
tributaries, that the hunting grounds of Northern Caucasus are to be
found.

Going east from Taman along the line of the Kuban, the country is
broken up by huge beds of a tall reed called kamish by the natives
(_Arundo phragmites_ of the naturalists), which grows to such a height
as to hide a man riding through it. In places these reed beds stretch
for miles, and through them the Kuban runs, a dull sluggish flood, more
like a great canal than a mountain-born river.

Its banks of black mud, however, are interesting enough to the
sportsman, written over as they are with the ‘sign’ of the beasts which
find safe harbour in the adjoining jungles.

Of these beasts the commonest is the wild boar, an animal which I
believe grows to larger proportions, and exists in greater numbers, in
the Caucasus than anywhere else on earth. A pair of tusks, the tracings
of which are before me now (the originals being in the possession of
Colonel Veerubof, Governor of Naltchik), measure round the outside edge
11½ ins. and 11¼ ins. respectively.

Like the European wild boar, the Caucasian beast is of a blackish-grey
colour, covered with a long coat of stiff bristles, which he erects
along his spine when irritated, making him appear some inches taller
than he really is. Professor Radde, of the Tiflis Museum, has been
kind enough to supply me with the following particulars. ‘The largest
solitary boars,’ he says, ‘measured at the shoulder and measured
straight, stand about 105 centimeters, and their total weight not
dressed rarely exceeds 15 puds (600 lbs.).’ These are undoubtedly big
beasts, but in the chestnut forests of Circassia, and in the reed beds
of the Kuban, there are such rich feeding grounds that in them even a
600-lb. boar seems possible. In India, I suppose, to shoot a boar is as
vile a crime as vulpecide in Leicestershire, but, except on the plains
of Kabardah, there is no place in the Caucasus where the boar could
be hunted on horseback, and even there the hunting would be but a very
short scurry at early dawn from the maize fields to the foot-hills, the
shelter of which once gained, the quarry would be absolutely safe from
any mounted enemy.

Enormous as their numbers are, wild boars would be even more numerous
between the Black Sea and the Caspian, were it not for their nocturnal
raids on the maize fields of the natives, most of whom, being
Mahommedans, only hunt the marauders in self-defence, not deigning
to so much as touch them when dead. The Cossacks, of course, have no
such scruples about pork, and the principal object left in life to the
old scouts (‘plastouns’), who were wont to keep the Kuban red with
Tcherkess blood, is the pursuit of the boar.

In the great reed beds in which they used to lurk waiting until the
men of some native ‘aoul’ went out to harvest, that they might give
the village to sword and flame, these same scouts wander to-day, grey
as the boars they hunt, rough, savage, and uncouth as their quarry,
wounded probably in a score of places, but silent-footed, enduring, and
as well acquainted with every game path in the reeds as the very beasts
which made them. These are the men to obtain for guides if you can get
them, but beware of paying them a single kopeck as long as there is a
cabak (whisky shop) within a day’s march of you. As a rule the plastoun
shoots his game at night, waiting by some wallow or by the side of
some swine path leading to water or fruit trees, until he hears a
rustling among the reeds, sounding strangely loud in the moonlit August
night, and growing nearer and nearer until between the watcher and the
skyline comes a great dark bulk. Round the muzzle of his old musket
the plastoun ties a white string with a large knot in it, where the
foresight should be, and aiming low into the middle of the dark mass,
pulls his trigger when the boar is almost on the muzzle of his rifle.
My first experience of boar shooting was connected with such a shot as
this; but on that occasion the victory rested with the boar. Through
a long summer night I waited for my gillie to come back from his
vigil by the Kuban, and at dawn he came, four men carrying him. He had
wounded the old grey beast on a narrow path through the kamish, and had
lain still while the boar gnashed his teeth and glared about for his
foe. But the tall reeds hid the hunter, and the boar turning retraced
his steps, leaving a broad blood trail as he went. Until the grey dawn
the Tcherkess waited, and then, confident that he would find his enemy
cold and stiff not far away, he got up and followed the tracks. Before
he had gone far, there was a crash among the reeds behind him, followed
by a fierce rush along the trail, and as he turned to face his foe, the
keen white tusks ripped him from knee to thigh-joint and across and
across his stomach, until his bowels rushed out and he lay across the
pathway nearer death than the boar.

[Illustration: The boar’s charge]

When his companions found him he had still life enough left to tell
the story, and an examination of the scene of the encounter proved the
extraordinary cunning of the wounded boar, who, failing to ‘locate’ his
enemy when first struck, had retraced his own steps along the trail,
had entered the reeds at a point higher up and on the opposite side to
that from which the shot had come, and, returning by a line parallel to
the trail, had lain in hiding opposite to the ambush of the hunter.

Only once in eighteen years’ wanderings have I seen anything to match
this in cunning, and as it was in the same neighbourhood, I may be
allowed to allude to it here.

In the Red Forest, near Ekaterinodar, the wood is cut up into square
versts, divided by rides. The snow had fallen, and in one of these
squares old Colonel Rubashevsky, the forester, showed me where a pack
of wolves had surrounded a small band of roe deer, having taken up
positions along the four sides of the square, from which, on some
preconcerted signal, they appeared to have converged simultaneously
upon the centre where the deer lay. They had surprised in this manner
four or five roe deer, whose remains we found. But to return to the
boar. If anyone should care to hunt this beast specially, the best
plan to ensure success is to sit up for him at night when the pears
round some Cossack settlement are fresh fallen, or else to hunt him
with a small pack of hounds. Half a dozen curs will suffice, and with
these, in the chestnut forests on the Black Sea, or in the lovely
pheasant-haunted woods near Lenkoran, very good sport may be obtained,
for not only will the boar, shifting rapidly from holt to holt in an
almost impervious tangle of thorns, tax the endurance of the hunter to
the utmost, but should that hunter be tempted to take a snap shot at
the black quarters and crisply curling tail of which he gets a glimpse
as it vanishes into dense covert, it is a thousand to ten that the
next thing which he sees will be the other end of the gallant beast
coming straight for him at something less than a hundred miles an hour.
There is no beast alive for whose uncalculating courage I have so much
admiration as I have for the boar’s. I have seen him scatter a pack of
hounds nearly as big as mastiffs (they were mongrel harlequins) and go
straight for the hunter. I have seen a sow with her back broken trying
to worry with her teeth a hound nearly as big as herself, and fighting
till death stiffened her muscles, and I have also seen an old boar,
with a bullet in his neck, trying for my wind like a pointer trying
for birds, and as angry as a drunken Irishman who can find no one to
fight with. Luckily, he gave me a broadside shot at him before he had
discovered my whereabouts.

As to a locality suited for hunting boar, it is hard to choose in the
Caucasus. Wild swine swarm on the coast of the Caspian; they are the
road-makers and chief denizens of the kamish jungles on the Kuban;
they abound in all the scrub oak districts among the foot-hills, but
perhaps they are most numerous where Circe tended her herds of old, on
the wooded slopes near the Phasis, between Sukhoum and Poti. Like most
beasts, they are more or less nocturnal in their habits, coming out to
feed on the peasants’ crops, wild fruit, oak-mast, chestnuts, or the
roots of the common bracken at dusk, and retiring during the day to the
densest thorn thickets, where neither sun nor man can molest them, and
where the thick black mud is most moist and dank.

A smooth-bore (No. 12), with a round bullet in it, is the handiest
weapon for shooting wild boar over hounds, as with it you can make
better practice snap shooting in the dense jungle than you could
possibly hope to make with a rifle.[5]

But the kamish beds and the foot-hills hold nobler beasts of chase even
than the wild boar. Besides the tracks of the roe and the wild swine,
the hunter’s eye will be gladdened now and again by the big track of
the ollèn, although the proper habitat of this noble beast is in the
foot-hills and the lower ridges of the main chain.

The ollèn is the red deer of the Caucasus, and is found from the Red
Forest (‘Krasnoe Lais’), near Ekaterinodar on the Kuban, to the snows
on the mountains of Daghestan. Naturalists may be able to detect some
points of difference between this deer and the red deer of Europe and
the wapiti of the New World. To the ordinary hunter he is the same
beast, only that in size he more nearly resembles the great stag of
America than our Scotch red deer.

Mr. St. George Littledale puts the ollèn midway in size between the
bara singh of Cashmere and the wapiti, whilst Dr. Radde, curator of
the Tiflis Museum, maintains that the quality of their food makes the
only difference (a difference merely of size) between the wapiti, bara
singh, ollèn and red deer. When I hunted the ollèn I had no notion that
I should ever be called upon to carefully discriminate between them
and their kin in other countries, so that I am obliged to rely upon
my memory for any points of difference, and memory only suggests that
whereas the wapiti rarely (if ever) has ‘cups’ on his antlers, the
ollèn royal has the peculiar cup formation as often as the red deer.
Again, the call of the Caucasian stag in the rutting season (September)
is similar to that of the Scotch stag, and does not resemble the weird
whistle of the wapiti. In size both of body and antler the ollèn comes
very near to the great American stag. The dimensions of four heads,
obtained by Mr. Littledale at one stalk, will give a very fair idea
of the average size of ollèn heads, and a glance at the illustration
taken from a photograph of this gentleman’s bag for 1887 will convey an
idea of the general character of ollèn heads as well as of the sporting
capabilities of the Caucasus. In this photograph, to make it a complete
record of his year, Mr. Littledale should have included trophies of
boar and bear which also fell to his rifle.

On the day upon which Littledale’s four heads were obtained, this
fortunate sportsman, lying on a ridge near the summit of the divide,
looked down at one _coup d’œil_ upon a dozen old male tûr in an
unstalkable position, two bears whose skins (it being in August) were
not worth having, a chamois scorned as small game, and the stags which
he ultimately bagged.

[Illustration: MR. ST. G. LITTLEDALE’S CAUCASIAN BAG FOR THE SEASON OF
1887]

The following are the dimensions of three of the four heads referred
to; the fourth, a 12-point head, had some of the velvet still
clinging to it in shreds, and the dimensions I see are not given.

    +---+------+---------+----------+-----------------+
    |   |Points|Girth of |Length of |Length from skull|
    |   |      |   beam  |   brow   | to tip along the|
    |   |      |         |  antler  | curve of antler |
    +---+------+---------+----------+-----------------+
    |(1)|  14  |6¾ inches| 20 inches|  44½ inches     |
    |(2)|  13  |7    ”   | 16¼  ”   |  46½   ”        |
    |(3)|  13  |7¼   ”   | 13½  ”   |  48    ”        |
    +---+------+---------+----------+-----------------+

Compare these measurements with those of the biggest wapiti exhibited
at the American Exhibition of 1887, belonging to Mr. Frank Cooper, of
which the length along the curve was 62½ ins., the girth of the beam 8
ins., and the number of points 16, and it will be seen that, given as
large a number of _picked_ Caucasian heads to choose from as there were
picked American heads in England in 1887, the probability is that the
ollèn would not be very much surpassed by the wapiti.

Like the latter, the ollèn is daily growing scarcer. In Mingrelia,
before the Russian conquest of that province, this grand red deer
abounded, and for some time after that date the Russian peddlers did
quite a lively trade in antlers, which they obtained by the cartload
for a mere song from the natives. But ill-blood arose between the
Russian officers and the native princes, which led to a wholesale
slaughter of the ollèn, so that to-day it is comparatively scarce
in its old haunts, although on the head-waters of the Kuban and its
tributaries, and in Daghestan (where the natives call it ‘maral’), the
ollèn still exists in sufficient numbers to satisfy any honest hunter.
The worst characteristic of the beast is that, as a general rule, he is
as fond of timber as a wapiti in Oregon.

The Caucasian ollèn has his antlers clean from about the middle of
August, and his rutting season is (in the mountain regions near
Naltchik) about the middle of September.

The only other deer in the Caucasus is the roe (_Cervus capreolus_),
a pretty graceful little beast, which is plentiful on the Black Sea
coast, amongst the foot-hills, and forms the principal item in the
bag made at the big drives in the Imperial and other preserves of the
district. The sharp bark of these little bucks, as they bound away
unseen from some thicket above you, or a glimpse of a group of roes
standing as still as statues, dappled with the shadows of the foliage
above them, are incidents in most days’ still hunting in Circassia.

In the Crimea, round Theodosia and Yalta, men may hunt specially for
roe, as there is no larger game (except, they say, a few red deer
near Yalta), but in the Caucasus he is only looked upon as useful for
filling up the void in one’s larder.

After all, in big game hunting half the charm lies in the mystery of
the dark silent forests and the mist-hidden mountain peaks. Once well
away from the haunts of men, you are in a land of romance, and if you
do not actually believe in the eternal bird who broods upon Elbruz,
at the sound of whose voice the forest songsters become dumb, and the
beasts tremble in their lairs; if you don’t believe, as the natives
do, that the tempests are raised by the flapping of her hoary wings;
if you scout the camp-fire stories of the tiny race seen riding at
night upon the grey steppe hares; you have still some superstitions of
your own--you look for some wonder from every fresh ridge you climb,
in every dim forest that you enter. In America it is the hope of a
2,000-lb. grizzly or a 20-in. ram which buoys up the hunter; on the
head-waters of the Kuban, on the Zelentchuk, on the Urup, on the Laba,
and especially upon the Bielaia river beyond Maikop, in the least known
and most unfathomable wooded ravines from which the Kuban draws his
waters, it is the rumour of a great beast, called zubre by the natives,
which draws the hunter on.

If the zubre differs at all from the aurochs,[6] he is the only beast
left, now that Mr. Littledale has slain the _Ovis poli_, of which no
specimen has fallen to an Englishman’s rifle.

That a beast nearly allied to the great bull of Bielowicza does exist,
and in considerable numbers, in the districts indicated, there can be
no doubt. A fine is imposed by the Russian Government upon anyone who
slays a zubre, and this in itself goes a long way to prove the beast’s
existence; but there is better evidence than this. In 1879 I knew of
two which were killed as they came at night to help themselves in
winter to a peasant’s haystack, and in 1866 a young zubre was caught
alive on the Zelentchuk and sent to the Zoological Gardens of Moscow,
where the savants decided that he was identical with the aurochs of
Bielowicza. Unfortunately the chance of adding the head of a zubre to
the sportsman’s collection is becoming more and more remote, as, in
addition to the law protecting the beast, the districts in which he is
most common are now included in a preserve set apart for the sons of
the Grand Duke, who formerly ruled at Tiflis.


III. SOUTHERN SLOPES OF THE CAUCASUS

The black hills and the pine forests on the northern side of the chain
are the favourite haunts of the red deer and the aurochs, as the reedy
bed of the Kuban is the favourite home of the boar and the pheasant;
but though bears are found on the northern slopes in fair numbers,
occurring sometimes even above the snow-line, the true home of Michael
Michaelovitch (as the peasants call him) is on the sunny slopes of
the southern side of the chain, as for instance in the great wild
fruit districts of Radcha, between the Kodor and the Ingur, or in the
sweet-chestnut forests and deserted orchards of Circassia.

The change from one side of the main chain to the other is as marked
to-day as ancient legend made it It is a change from a northern land
of storm and mist and pine forest to a land of tropical luxuriance,
of rank vegetation, of enervating sunshine. Vines and clematis, and
that accursed thorny creeper which the Russians call ‘wolfs-tooth,’
form impenetrable veils between the trees, while huge flowering weeds,
thickets of rhododendron and azalea, and jungles of the umbelliferous
angelica pour down dew upon you in the morning until every rag of your
clothing is soaked through, or later on in the day impede your progress
and render every footstep noisy.

Through all this wild tangle of forest growth run the brown bears’
paths. Down below are tracts of wild currant bushes; in the gullies
made by the mountain brooks are patches of raspberry canes, and leading
to them, from the cool lairs higher up (which he affects at noontide),
are the broad pathways down which the lazy old gourmand half walks,
half toboggans, just as the sun goes down, when you can hardly tell the
outline of his clumsy bulk from the other great silent shadows which
people the gloaming.

The natives of Radcha and the mountain forests to the north-west of
that province, having but little arable land, clear small patches in
the forests and grow crops of oats amongst the charred stumps. These
are the places in which to wait for Bruin at night, and earn the thanks
of your neighbours, as well as the brown coat of the old thief himself.
I well remember once in Radcha, when the moonlight was so bright that
I could read a letter by it, waiting with my Tcherkess until it grew
so late that we gave up all hope of a bear that night. Suddenly a
bough snapped in the forest above us, and within ten minutes a great
brown shadow was biting at a bullet hole near its shoulder, after
which it galloped off into the rim of gloom which hedged in our little
oat-field. Within half an hour from that time the field seemed full of
bears, four or five of which we could distinguish plainly, their backs
moving about slowly just above the level of the crop, and all of them
as silent as spectres. We got a bear every night we stopped at that
camp, and left feeling sorry for the local agriculturists.

Amongst the chestnuts and old orchards between Tuapsè and Sukhoum bears
are as numerous as in Radcha, and I have frequently seen half a dozen
in a day’s still hunting. Being undisturbed, they feed or wander almost
all day long through the still, shady forests, and though early morning
and evening are the best times to look for them, the man who with
moccasined feet will ‘loaf’ slowly upward, standing still from time to
time to listen and to watch, will rarely go half a day without a shot,
at any rate in late autumn.

Still hunting in October is the best way of obtaining game in the
forests by the Black Sea; but later on in December, when the berries
are over, the fruit rotten and the chestnuts eaten, the bears ‘house
up’ (or hibernate), and the only chance of getting any sport at all
is with hounds; even then pigs and roe deer will be your only quarry,
and nine times out of ten you will waste your day hunting wild cats or
jackals, your pack appearing to prefer these beasts to nobler game.

The common bear of the Caucasus is a small brown bear, like, but not
as large as, his cousin of Russia, although I have once killed a young
specimen (full grown, but with teeth unworn) as light in colour and as
large as the ordinary Russian bear. As a rule the Caucasian bear is
an inoffensive brute, but, like all his race, he will every now and
then turn upon his assailants. I said above ‘the _common_ bear’ of the
Caucasus, and I said it advisedly; for, although I am aware that I
may meet with contradiction from high authorities, I am myself firmly
persuaded that there is another variety of bear found, for the most
part in the highlands of Central Caucasus about Radcha, Svânetia, and
on the uplands of Ossetia, and the head-waters of the Baksan, Tchegem
and Tscherek, tributaries of the Terek.

It may well be that these bears occur elsewhere in the isthmus; but I
have never seen them or their skins in the lowlands by the Black Sea.
The highland bear of the Caucasus, whose tracks I have found over and
over again among the snow and ice far above timber level, is called
‘Mouravitchka’ (the ‘little ant-eater’) by the natives, who allege that
he is as savage as the common bear is pacific; that he preys upon the
flocks and herds, which the ordinary bear never does; that he is much
smaller and more active than his fruit-eating cousin of the lowlands,
and that his skin is greyish in colour, with a broad white collar round
the neck. The coat altogether reminds one rather of the Syrian bear
than of any other variety of the tribe.

Unfortunately, I have never killed one of these bears myself. Every man
who has shot bears anywhere knows that it is a good deal a matter of
chance whether you meet one or not, and with this particular kind of
bear chance has been against me; but I have found their tracks above
the snow-line; and I have had exactly the same story repeated to me
year after year in different villages by the natives. On the Balkar
pastures in 1888 the herdsmen told me that they had suffered very
severe loss from this beast’s depredations, and sold me a fresh skin
of a bear of this kind which they had slain on one of the high passes
between Svânetia and Balkaria, after putting eleven bullets into him.
I have seen some dozens of skins, among them those of bears in every
stage from cubhood to toothless old age, and in all the marking was
like the marking of the skin I bought in Balkaria, a coat of silvery
grey with a broad pure white collar round the neck.

The coats of bears, I know, vary enormously. I have in my own library
at this moment skins of the same variety which differ in hue, from
a brown which is nearly black to a pale straw colour; but amongst
them all the Caucasian mountain bear’s skin looks distinct. The
native hunters all believe as firmly in the existence of two distinct
varieties of bear in their mountains as Western trappers believe in the
grizzly as distinct from the black bear; and I agree with and believe
in the hunters.

In a Western camp the tales told at night are invariably of the
‘grizzly.’ He is the devil of the mountains. In the Caucasus and in
Russia it is otherwise.

The Russian peasant makes Mishka (a pet name for the bear) the comic
character of his stories. The ‘bogey’ of the woods on the Black Sea
coast is the ‘barse,’ of whom all sorts of terrible yarns are spun.
Most of them, I fear, are lies. In nine cases out of ten the barse is
merely a lynx, of which there are very many all along the coast, and in
the foot-hills on the southern slope of the Caucasus. Now and again,
as you come home late with your hounds, you may be lucky enough to tree
one, but you don’t see them often. The tenth time the barse may really
be what he is supposed to be, a leopard, but whether this leopard is
_Felis pardus_ or _Felis panthera_, I don’t know.

Professor Radde mentions both in his list of Caucasian mammals. All the
skins of barse which I have ever seen were similar to the leopard skins
of India and Persia, on the borders of which country, near Lenkoran,
the Caucasian barse is most common.

In spite of the stories told in his honour, I am inclined to think the
Caucasian leopard as great a cur as the panther of the States, which he
resembles a good deal in his habits. My own experience of the beast is,
however, limited. In a district which I used to hunt a certain barse
had his regular beat, appearing even to have a particular day of each
week allotted to each little district in his domains. One moonlight
night I was obliged to sleep by myself in a ruined château, once the
property of General Williameenof, standing where the shore and the
forest met. The old Caucasian fighter had made no use of the land given
him by a grateful government, so the roof had come off the château, the
trees had climbed in through the empty frames of the great low windows,
and I flushed a woodcock in the nettles which grew on the hearth.

At midnight I woke, the moonbeams and the shadows of the boughs making
quaint traceries on floor and ceiling, whilst underneath the window,
a barse was expressing his earnest desire to taste the flesh of an
Englishman, in cries in which a baby’s wail and a wolf’s howl were about
equally represented.

The brush was too thick for me to be able to get a shot at my visitor
that night (though I got a shot on a subsequent occasion), and though I
wandered about among the trees looking for him, and went to sleep again
lulled by his serenade, he never dared to attack me. Hence I fancy that
the Caucasian bogey is as harmless as other bogeys.

Everything on the southern slope of the Caucasus warns you that you
have left Europe behind you. It is not only the jackals’ chorus at
sundown, or the antelopes’ white sterns bobbing away over the skyline,
but now and again a report comes in that somewhere down by the Caspian
a man has killed or been killed by the tiger.

I have even seen the tracks of ‘Master Stripes’ myself, and sat up
for nights over what a native said was his ‘kill,’ not very far from
Lenkoran.

Still tigers are too scarce to take rank amongst the great game of the
Caucasus.


IV. PLAINS OF THE CAUCASUS

I have said that the Caucasus is divided by nature into several
distinct districts: the plains of the North, the deep forests of the
Black Sea coast, the great wild region at the top of the ‘divide,’ and
the arid eastern steppes, deserts such as Kariâs and the Mooghan.

Each district has its typical game. On the barren lands outside
Tiflis, where nothing will flourish without irrigation, except perhaps
brigandage, and on the great wastes through which the Kûr and the
Araxes run, there is a short period, between the stormy misery of
winter and the parching heat of summer, when the steppe is green with
grass and dotted with the flocks of the nomad Tartars.

Later on the sun burns up everything; the Tartars move off to some
upland pastures, and the natives of the steppes have the steppes all to
themselves. These natives are the wolf, the wild dog, and two kinds of
antelope, not to mention the turatch, a sand grouse as fleet-footed as
an old cock pheasant and as hard to flush as a French partridge. The
two antelopes are _Gazella gutturosa_ and _Antilope saiga_, of which
the former is by far the most plentiful; indeed, in stating that _A.
saiga_ is found at all in the Caucasus, I am relying upon the authority
of a Russian author (Kolenati), upon whose authority, too, I have
enumerated the wild dog (_Canis karagan_) as among the denizens of the
steppe.

Wolves, djerân (_Gazella gutturosa_) and turatch I saw daily in
1878, when I crossed the steppes from Tiflis to Lenkoran, before
the Poti-Tiflis line had been extended to Baku. The saiga antelope,
unless misrepresented in drawings and badly stuffed in museums, is
an ill-shaped beast, with a head as ugly as a moose’s, the ‘mouffle’
being, like that of the moose, abnormally large and malformed. But the
djerân is a very different creature, built in Nature’s finest mould,
with annulated, lyre-shaped horns, coat of a bright bay with white
rump, of which the hunter sees more than enough, always on the skyline,
receding as the rifle approaches.

[Illustration: A gutturosa]

In the young djerân the face is beautifully marked in black and tan and
white, but the old lords of the herd get white from muzzle to brow. The
illustration is from a photograph of a full-grown young buck shot at
Kariâs.

There are many beasts in the world which are hard to approach. It is
not easy to creep up to a stand of curlew, or to induce a wood-pigeon
to get out of your side of a beech-tree: it is fairly hopeless to try
to stalk chamois from below when they have once seen you--but all these
feats are easy compared to the stalking of djerân on the steppes of
Kariâs.

Nature has given the pretty beasts every sense necessary for their
safe keeping, and, like wise creatures, they generally stay together
in herds, so as to have the benefit of united intelligence, some one
or other of the herd being always on the look-out while the rest are
feeding. They do not appear to want water often, as no one ever tries
to waylay them at their watering places (indeed, I never met anyone
who knew where they went to drink), and the country they live in is
flatter than the proverbial pancake, and as smooth as a billiard-table.
There is hardly a tree in the whole of it; not a reasonably sized bush
in a mile of it; I almost doubt if there is a tuft of grass big enough
to hold a lark’s nest in an acre of it. I remember once finding cover
behind a bed of thistles on Kariâs, and the incident is indelibly fixed
upon my memory, I suppose, by the rarity of such comparatively rank
vegetation in that country. Add to this scarcity of cover the fact that
a floating population of shepherds, Tartars and outlaws from Tiflis,
hunt the djerân incessantly, and it is easy to imagine that a shot at
anything less than 500 yards is difficult to obtain. The Tartars have
a method of their own for circumventing these shy beasts. Knowing that
under ordinary circumstances even the long-haired Tcherkess greyhound
would have no chance of pulling down _G. gutturosa_, the dog’s master
manages so to handicap the antelope that the greyhound can sometimes
win in the race for life. Choosing a day after a thunderstorm, when
the light earth of the steppe will cake and cling to the feet, half a
dozen Tartars ride out on to the steppe, each with his hound in front
of him on his saddle. Having found a herd of antelope, the hunters ride
quietly in their direction. Long experience has taught the antelope
that at from 500 to 1,000 yards there is no danger to be apprehended
either from man or horse, so that for a little while the herd fronts
round, calmly staring at the intruders, and then quietly trots away,
turning again ere long to have another look. From the moment the herd
is first found the Tartars give it no rest, nor do they hurry its
movements unduly, but are content to keep it moving at a slow trot,
not fast enough to shake the caked mud off the delicate legs and feet
of their quarry. In this way they gradually weary the poor beasts
(who seldom have wit enough to gallop clean out of sight at once),
and then, as the weaker ones begin to lag behind, the Tartar’s time
comes, and, slipping his great hound, man and dog rush in upon the
tired creatures. The antelope of course is half beaten before the race
begins, whereas the dog is fresh and would at any time get over the
sticky soil better than the antelope; so that, thanks to this and to
the aid of other hounds and men who head the devoted beast at every
turn, one djerân at any rate is pretty sure to reward the Tartars for
their pains. To us this always seemed unfair to the antelope, besides
which we had neither hounds nor horses at Kariâs, so that we had to
resort to stalking pure and simple.

Long before the dawn we used to rise, and, with some local Tartar for
our guide, steal out silently across the level lands. Arrived at what
our guide considered a favourable spot, we would lie down and wait for
dawn. As the morning approached, the cold increased; then the sky grew
lighter, and the mists began to roll off the plain. By-and-bye a long
string of laden camels, which must have started from camp by starlight,
would appear upon the horizon, and then the sun came up and it was day.
The Tartar’s idea was that when the sun rolled up the mist-curtain
for the first act, a band of antelope would be seen feeding within
rifle-shot; but, as a matter of fact, we only used to see those
antelopes as usual making their exit over the skyline. One of the two I
killed I shot at over 400 yards, going from me, and the other was found
feeding behind what I think must have been the only ant-heap in Kariâs.
As I had spent some days going as the serpent goes in a vain endeavour
to approach a djerân unseen, I found no difficulty in stalking this
comparatively confiding beast. On the Mooghan steppe the djerân is
less hunted than at Kariâs; there is more cover, and the game is less
shy. It may be worthy of remark that, having tasted game flesh of many
kinds, including bear in America and Russia, deer of all sorts from
Spitzbergen to Elbruz, white whale and a score of other questionable
delicacies, I consider that there is no meat which I have ever tasted
to be at all compared with that of _G. gutturosa_.



CHAPTER III

MOUNTAIN GAME OF THE CAUCASUS

BY CLIVE PHILLIPPS-WOLLEY


Wild and beautiful as they are in their way, it is not in the deep
mountain gorges at the head of the Kuban, nor in its vast reed beds,
neither is it in the rich forests of Circassia, or the dreary steppes
of the Mooghan, that the true spirit of the Caucasus dwells, and the
finest sport of the country makes slaves of natives and aliens alike.

Round the Mamisson Pass, in the wild and beetling precipices of
Svânetia, wherever nature is most cruel and most forbidding, lives a
race of men to whom, not only luxury, but every ordinary comfort of the
most primitive forms of civilisation, is unknown.

Stronger tribes than theirs drove them, in the dark ages, from the rich
plains below into the mist-hidden fastnesses in which they now dwell.

[Illustration: ‘STANDING LIKE STATUES’]

Their villages are perched at heights varying from 6,000 to 9,000
feet; their _pastures_ are such dizzy slopes as lowlanders would
hesitate to climb; their harvests travel down to the villages in rough
log toboggans, the impetus afforded them by their own weight and the
precipitous nature of their descent being their only motive power;
while the houses in which the natives crouch for shelter from the
bitter blast are mere irregular cairns of grey stone, without windows,
smoke-blackened, unfurnished, unmorticed even, and lit only by a
flaring pine knot carried uphill from the nearest straggling group of
stunted trees. A Russian writer says of these men that ‘as children
they learn the lessons of life from the lammergeiers wheeling round
their mountain-tops, until robbery and the chase become for them all
that makes life worth living.’

It is to their hunting-grounds that a true sportsman’s eyes will always
turn from plain or forest; to the region of desolate ironstone peaks by
the snow-line and above it, where, amidst the chaos of an unfinished
world, the tûr and the ibex, the chamois and the mountain goat, share
the solitudes with the vultures and the Ossetes or Lesghians.

If the truest sport is that into which most dangers and most hardships
enter; in which the odds are longest in favour of the quarry and
against the hunter; in which the sportsman hunts for the love of the
chase alone and not as a pot-hunter, still less for any reward of
‘filthy lucre,’ then is the ragged Ossete a prince amongst sportsmen.
Unless Nature has given a man a good head, the mere sight of the
Ossete’s hunting-ground is enough to turn him dizzy.

Starting at midnight from Teeb, or Tlee, or any other of those grim but
shattered citadels of the mountain-men in the Valley of the Mamisson,
you may climb until the stars fade and the dawn comes, and then, having
started at a height close on 9,000 feet above sea-level, you will reach
the ragged ironstone crags amongst which your game lives, just half an
hour too late, although since the moment you started you have had but
one short breathing space, and have plodded bravely on in the steps of
the lean grey hunter who is your guide, by a track which seems to lead
as persistently upwards as the flight of a skylark.

It is almost impossible to give any adequate idea of the weird
desolation which surrounds the home of the Ossete and the tûr. At
Alaghir, a village of the plains, some seventy-three versts from the
summit of the Mamisson, there are good houses and orchards and many of
the comforts of life. A few miles from Alaghir the road enters a gorge
full of the fumes of sulphur, the stream becomes a milky blue, the road
grows steeper and steeper, hour after hour vegetation becomes more
beggarly, until at last there is no timber on the side of the gorge,
only half of which gets the light of the sun at any one time; the
features of man and of nature are pinched as if by the cold and misery;
everything is hard and grey, and the chill of the glaciers seems to
have got hold of the very heart of life.

In old days the Caucasian mountaineer had two pursuits open to
him--brigandage and the chase. The shattered keeps, which no one has
troubled to repair, tell the story of the first of these.

Russian cannon has knocked the eyries of the mountaineers to pieces,
and cut short their career as warriors. It is for sport alone that the
best of them still live, and their one sport is the chase of mountain
game.

With a skin of sour milk over his shoulder, and a few thin cakes in
his bashlik (hood), the Ossete will disappear for days and days among
the crags which overhang his miserable home. To him the ironstone
rocks are as familiar as Piccadilly to a Londoner, and wherever dark
or the mountain mists may catch him, he knows of some lair under
a boulder where he and his predecessors have passed many a night
before. After two or three days of lonely hunting, the man comes back,
if empty-handed, uncomplaining; if successful, just as silent and
undemonstrative as the stones he lies down amongst. By a custom of
his country, the very game he kills is not his own, but must be given
to his fellows, his own share being but the massive horns, which he
hides away among the blackened rafters of his hovel, or hangs on a post
before the door of his tiny church.

There are, as far as I know, four varieties of mountain game between
the Black Sea and the Caspian, but the country has been but very
superficially explored by sportsmen, and the reports of naturalists who
base their theories upon the stories of the natives are not worth much.

On the lower ridges, and on the high grassy shoulders of Svânetia, and
elsewhere, chamois abound, identical in all respects with the common
chamois of Switzerland and the Tyrol. Being less hunted than the
European variety, the Caucasian chamois is generally found fairly low
down, just above timber limit, or in summer round the lower edges of
the glaciers. There is seldom a day in the mountains when the hunter
will not hear that long whistle so strangely human in its note, and,
turning, find that he has been detected by the mountain sentinel. In
Svânetia I have seen chamois in large herds (one herd which I remember
numbered at least fifty head), and every ‘sakli’ has its crevices or
its roof adorned with the little black horns.

But the tûr is the mountain beast, _par excellence_, of the Caucasus.
The chamois is looked upon as comparatively small game.

‘Tûr’ is a native name, and is applied to several different beasts
indiscriminately.

When a Svân, or an Ossete, or any man, native or Russian, talks to you
of tûr in the main chain between Kazbek and Elbruz, he means either
Caucasian ibex or Caucasian burrhel.

Of the two in Svânetia the ibex is the commoner beast, while, judging
by the horns found in the saklis, the burrhel is commoner in the
Mamisson district. I have, however, seen the burrhel in Svânetia, and
any intelligent native hunter will tell you that there are two kinds
of tûr in his country, one with notched and one with smooth horns.
There are now specimens of both in the Natural History Museum at
Kensington, and any one who will take the trouble to compare them will
find abundant points of difference, though their general similarity of
appearance is enough to account for the confusion which exists among
native hunters. The burrhel (_Capra pallasi_ or _cylindricornis_)
stands about 3 feet high at the shoulder (a big ram would stand
higher), and measures from shoulder to rump about 3 inches more than
that. His horns are something like the Indian burrhel’s, not being
indented, and turning out laterally before bending back. The coat of
the burrhel is hard and deer-like, in colour closely resembling that of
the ibex, both beasts being furnished by nature with coats of reddish
brown to match the ironstone rocks amongst which they live. In the
ibex (_Capra caucasica_) the colour and the size vary very little
from the colour and size of the burrhel, but the horns are true ibex
horns, curving back at once from the head towards the quarters, and
deeply indented. A glance at Mr. Littledale’s trophies of 1888 will
give an idea of the head of _C. caucasica_, while the little sketches
of horns in my possession and of the head in the Kensington Museum
will illustrate the difference between _C. cylindricornis_ and _C.
caucasica_. Before dealing with the hunting of any of these mountain
beasts, all of which live in the same kind of country and are hunted
in the same way, let me describe the fourth variety to which I have
alluded.

_C. cylindricornis_ and _C. caucasica_ are found in Central Caucasus,
and from personal knowledge I know that the former, _C. cylindricornis_
or _pallasi_, is found also in Daghestan; but it is only in Daghestan
and the neighbouring mountains, and I believe in Ararat, that that
splendid wild goat, _Hircus ægagrus_, is to be found.

Unfortunately Ararat is an impossible country for the sportsman, as
a gentleman named Kareim was in 1886, and perhaps still is, actively
engaged in the native industry of brigandage; and, moreover, what
few natives there are in the mountains are perpetually at war with
one another, in consequence of which the Russian officials will not
permit sportsmen, with or without an escort, to wander about Ararat.
In Daghestan, in 1878, there were also brigands, and, if you believed
the resident Russians, some of those with whom I associated were
distinctly no better than they ought to have been; but to me they were
the kindest of hosts, and in the part of Daghestan in which I shot,
life was absolutely luxurious compared with the life in the villages of
Central Caucasus, and, indeed, quite as comfortable as any healthy man
need desire. The whole population is composed of shepherds and hunters;
the half of their flocks being of goats, so like _Hircus ægagrus_ in
type that the suspicion that he himself was but a tame goat ‘gone wild’
would force itself upon one. The reverse of this may be the truth; but
undoubtedly there are among the herds which the little Lesghians
drive up to the mountain pastures every morning many old he-goats
which it would be hard to distinguish from those so well set up at
Kensington, or those others which I saw wild in the mountains about the
Christmas of 1878.

[Illustration: IBEX

(_Hircus Ægagrus_)]

_Hircus ægagrus_ is somewhat smaller in size and lighter in build
than either _C. caucasica_ or _C. pallasi_. He is a rich creamy brown
in colour, with a dark stripe along the spine and what a saddler
would call a ‘breast-plate’ of the same colour, and dark knees and
dark markings on the legs. The beast described and figured as _Capra
ægagrus_ by Mr. Sclater in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society
for May 1886 seems to me to represent the animal in question.

There are three ways at least in which the mountain game of the
Caucasus may be hunted. First, there is the royal method practised
by the Prince of Mingrelia, who was good enough to invite me to
participate in a mountain drive with him in 1887. This gentleman owns
a large tract of country between Kutais and Svânetia, in which tûr and
chamois are preserved. Once a year the Prince and his friends assemble
their retainers, of whom every Caucasian chieftain keeps and feeds a
vast number; and, having stationed the guns in the passes and runways
of the mountains, the beaters drive the tûr and chamois past the guns.
On one occasion I am informed that a bag of forty tûr was thus made
in one day’s driving. To those who prefer grouse driving to walking
up the wild old birds later on in the season, this may be fine sport.
For my own part I don’t consider it so. But it is a mere matter of
opinion. Then there is a second method which appeals strongly to those
who care to watch Nature and her wild things closely, when they are
most off their guard. This is the shepherd’s way. Wherever there are
tûr, there are what the natives call springs of bitter water, in some
cases mere yellow licks on almost inaccessible crags, in others big
springs of water very strongly impregnated with iron. The natives are
extremely fond of this water, believing that it cures all ailments and
endows a man with every physical virtue, and the mountain goats are
as fond of it as the men. Wherever there is such a spring or lick,
the tûr will, if possible, come down to it at least once in every
twenty-four hours, and the shepherds, knowing this, lie in wait for
their coming. All day long, at any rate during the warm months of the
year (June, July, and August), the tûr keep well up in the crags above
the snow-line, where neither man nor insects nor the broiling heat of
a Caucasian sun can annoy them. But as night begins to approach, the
listening hunter will hear the rattling of stones upon the moraines
above the glacier. The tûr are coming down to the little patches of
upland pasture to feed. By-and-bye he may catch sight of them as one
by one they come slowly on to a knife-like ridge of rock looking down
upon the patch of sweet grass below. But they are in no hurry, and the
probability is that they will stand there like statues, gazing into
the gulf below, for what seems to the watcher to be half a day, and
really is half an hour, while the chill mist wraps him round, numbing
him with cold and gradually hiding his game from his sight. Later on,
if he has crawled up to his eyrie opposite the bitter-water spring,
where he has just room to curl himself up on a ledge overhanging a
hideously dark profound, he may watch the moon sail up over the peaks,
and towards morning he may hear again that rattling of falling stones
displaced by unseen feet. Peer as he will into the silvery mists on the
other side of the ravine, he can see nothing; but the falling stones
continue to set his heart beating, and at last he hears that shrill
bleat from which the tûr gets its local name, djik-vee. Straining
his eyes to the utmost as cry after cry comes from the ‘lick,’ he at
last makes out shadowy forms moving like flies across the face of the
sheer rock opposite, and, praying to his patron saint, he startles the
solemn night with the sharp ring of his rifle. In nine cases out of
ten, if he kills anything it will be a ewe or a young ram at best; for,
though the young rams and the ewes go in large herds, the old beasts
keep themselves apart, retiring, so say the natives, to inaccessible
fastnesses above the snow-line, and not coming down until later on
in the season. This is to some extent corroborated by a note of Mr.
Littledale’s to the effect that in 1886 he found the old rams in a
certain remote district on the south side of the chain, 13,000 feet and
more above sea-level.

But the only true way to hunt ibex is to follow them to their own
haunts, and if they _will_ go high up, then must you go higher. There
is but one top to a mountain, even tûr cannot get above that; and the
man who, having got to the crest of the ridge, has the hardihood to
sleep there (no great hardship if he has a sleeping bag with him) is
pretty sure of success, even with _Capra cylindricornis_. The first
rule in hunting mountain game is, that if you want to get near them
you must hunt them from above. A few hawks, an occasional eagle, and
the great snow-partridge are the only living things which share the
mountain peaks with the tûr, and from these they have nothing to fear.
But watch them before they lie down for their midday _siesta_, and
you will see how they stand and stare from their dizzy resting-place
down on to the lower slopes of the mountain; notice, too, how the old
solitary rams choose their beds on some narrow ledge commanding every
possible approach from the lowlands. They know that man, their one
enemy, lives below them, and it is for him that they are incessantly
on the watch. The smoke of a camp fire on the edge of the pine forest
in Svânetia, if seen, as it probably will be by some of the sentinels
of the mountain herds, is sufficient to scare every beast from that
side the ridge for days; for, remote as his haunts are, the tûr has
been hunted by the natives for generations, and is alive to every move
in the hunter’s game. But from above the tûr expects no danger, and
is therefore comparatively easy to approach, always provided that no
eddying gust of wind brings the scent of man to his keen nostrils. If
this happens the hunter’s next view of him will be on a skyline which
it would take human feet a couple of hours to reach, and the direct
road to which appears impossible for anything without wings. There is
only one sense in which the tûr is inferior to the lowland beasts, and
that is in his hearing. A broken twig will disturb half a forest; but
stones may go rattling away from under your feet, making a noise like
volley-firing, and the tûr will hardly turn their heads. Presumably
stone slides and the fall of single detached rocks from natural causes
are so common that the ibex become indifferent to the noise.

Having then found a country, about the end of August, in which tûr are
said to be plentiful, make your permanent camp just inside the edge of
the forest where a tiny stream trickles from the glacier through the
pine-trees. It is ten to one that, if the country chosen is really a
good one for game, you will find traces of an old camp near at hand, if
it be but a smooth round nest among the fallen pine-needles.

Leave your supplies and a man to look after them here, and see that
the man left behind understands that if he shows himself outside the
forest, or goes hunting on his own account, he will forfeit his pay.

If you can persuade a Caucasian to submit to such a thing, it would
be safer to leave your man without firearms, and therefore out of the
reach of all temptation to wander. As this is difficult to do, I always
prefer to simply ‘cache’ my supplies and leave them unguarded. Even if
they should happen to be found by some wandering Tcherkess, they will
not be touched. The supplies having been cared for and a central camp
established, take a sleeping bag for yourself (your man very likely
will not even trouble to take his bourka with him if it is only for a
couple of nights), as many flat cakes of bread as you can manage to
pack, some cooked meat in the most portable form you can devise, an
extra pair of moccasins, and a suit of flannel for night. This last
item takes up very little room, and is worth more than all the whisky
you could carry.

Let your clothes be of good stout tweed, as near the colour of the
rocks as possible. Wear knickerbocker breeches, made very loose at
the knee, so as not to stop your stride uphill, and get from your
man a pair of the stout felt gaiters which he himself wears, to save
your shins from the sharp edges of the rocks. I find that a spare
bourka (native blanket) and a tanned skin are useful things to take
into camp with your other stores, for making and repairing gaiters
and moccasins. A pair of loose-fitting deerskin gloves, with (at any
rate in September) another pair of woollen gloves inside them, are
generally worn by the native hunters, and are almost a necessity.
Even with two new pairs of gloves to protect them, I came home, after
my last twenty-four hours in the ironstone rocks of Ossetia, with
my palms badly cut and bleeding. However, that was an exceptionally
rough twenty-four hours in an exceptionally rough bit of country, even
for the Caucasus. Add to the above outfit an alpenstock (the point
fire-hardened, _not_ iron-shod), your rifle, with a sling to carry it
over your shoulders, your stalking glass and your cartridges, with a
small coil of rope, a compass, matches, tobacco, a knife for skinning,
and any other small luxuries which you feel inclined to ‘pack’ on your
own shoulders, or which your man _offers_ to carry. Don’t let him have
a rifle if you can help it. A Caucasian is as keen after game as a
terrier after rats, and if he has a rifle it is quite on the cards that
at the critical moment he may think your movements too slow, outpace
you in getting to your game, or even fire over your shoulder.

I have had this happen once in my life, at the end of a long day of
hard work, and think I know now what is the utmost which a man can be
called upon to endure at the hands of his fellow-man.

Equipped as suggested, a man should be able to stay on the top of the
ridge for three or four days, and in that time it is hard indeed if
he cannot get a shot, at fairly close range, at a really good ‘head.’
In such quarters as he will have to sleep in, there is no fear that
the hunter will lie abed too long; but it is worth remembering that
ibex, especially, are somewhat nocturnal in their habits, and that as
soon as ever it is light you should be on some point of vantage from
which you can see your game returning from their feeding grounds to lie
down for the day. An old tûr, when he has once settled himself for
his _siesta_, is very hard to distinguish from the red rocks amongst
which he lies, and even when you have found one or more of the really
big fellows the probability is that they will be lying in some spot to
which it is impossible to approach unseen.

By sleeping, as suggested, at the top of your ground, or near it, you
avoid the necessity of rising at midnight; of forcing your way in
the dark through thickets of tall weeds, which soak you with rain or
dew; you are sure of being at your look-out station in time; you can
examine several faces of the range at once, and choose that on which
you see game in the most approachable position; you begin your day’s
work fairly fresh, instead of being dead beaten by a stiff climb before
dawn; you get a chance of stalking your game from the only point from
which it can be stalked with any reasonable hope of success, and all at
the price of a somewhat uncomfortable and chilly night’s rest.

There is one other point worth noticing before I tell the story of a
day’s stalk as illustrating tûr-hunting generally, and my last point is
this: Having fired your shot, lie still until you know certainly what
the result of it has been. If you have missed, you may, if you do not
show yourself, get a second shot, and this is especially the case with
mountain beasts like the tûr, which do not seem to ‘locate’ sound as
accurately or quickly as lowland beasts.

If the animals fired at move off at a run, wait a few moments before
firing again, and you will be rewarded by seeing them pull up and stand
at least once more before they are out of range. Unless you are a very
first-class performer, one chance at standing game is worth a dozen
at game ‘on the jump.’ Again, in any case lie still at first, for if
your beast is wounded he may either lie down before going very far, or
even come towards you if he has not seen you. I have had a brown bear
blunder almost over me when wounded, and that not because he meant
mischief, but because he had not seen me and did not know where the
shot came from. Even when badly scared, game will sometimes stop for a
second in full flight if the unseen hunter gives a shrill whistle. But
once a tûr, unhit or wounded, has discovered the hunter, nothing will
induce him to stop travelling for the next quarter of an hour, and no
beasts which I know will take so much lead with them (_uphill_ even) as
rams generally, and more especially Caucasian rams.

Having elsewhere published the story of most of my own best days
amongst the tûr, I have drawn upon some notes of Mr. Littledale (the
most successful hunter, I verily believe, who ever carried a rifle
between the Black Sea and the Caspian) for a story illustrative of tûr
shooting, and have told it almost in his own words.

Being camped at the extreme limit to which it was possible to take
horses, even with half-loads, and having his wife in camp with him, Mr.
Littledale was obliged to rise every day by starlight and do half a
day’s work before getting to his shooting grounds. In order to lighten
the work for his hunters, he had sent them on to a spot higher up, some
four hours’ walk from camp, there to await his coming every morning.

The interpreter he had with him was an untrustworthy sort of fellow,
and the camp was full of half-wild natives, good enough men in their
way, but as troublesome and mischievous as boys. This state of affairs
in the main camp made it essential that, instead of sleeping where he
shot, Littledale should return to camp every evening.

On the first day he rose at 2 A.M., and, guided by a native over
some extremely bad going, reached the hunters’ camp by 6 A.M. Here
Littledale left his guide and went on with the hunters, who were up and
ready for him.

That first day Littledale saw a band of tûr feeding on a slope above
his party, but as the day grew older the band made for the crags, and,
in spite of all the hunters’ efforts, reached their regular haunt on
an inaccessible ledge and lay down there. An attempt to get at them
by making a wide détour only resulted in moving the game, although
the hint of man’s proximity conveyed to them by some eddy of wind was
not sufficiently strong to make them move far or fast. However, it
was enough to render any further attempt useless that day; so that,
after making another détour and killing a chamois on his road home,
Littledale reached his camp and turned in by 8 P.M. Next morning he and
his guide were delayed at starting by the mountain mists, which hid
everything, so that they did not reach the hunters’ camp until 6.30
A.M. Going at once to the spot at which they had seen the tûr the day
before, they hunted high and low without success, and then took a line
along a ridge, which they stuck to until it grew so steep and dangerous
that the guides showed signs of striking and Littledale had to give the
order for ‘home.’ On their way back the party saw their old friends
the tûr far away below them, with such a yawning gulf between them and
the hunters as to render any attempt to reach them that day absolutely
hopeless. That night Littledale reached camp at 9 P.M., and at 2 A.M.
next day was again on foot. But on this third day the tûr were not upon
their usual ground, and, weary with incessant early rising, hard work
and hope deferred, the hunters gave way for a time to disappointment.
But honest hard work generally gets its reward, if there is only
enough of it, and as Littledale’s glass swept slowly over the crags
and snow-fields round the point on which he lay, luck turned, and lo!
there was the herd not half a mile away in a place where they could
apparently be stalked with ease, whilst even the wind for once was in
the right direction.

At first all went well; too well, Littledale thought. Experience had
taught him that such luck could not last. Nor did it. When the stalk
seemed almost at an end and success assured, he came to a sheet of snow
at least 100 yards in width, set between him and the tûr, and within
full view of the latter.

In vain he sought for a way round, or for some covert, however small,
behind which there would be some chance of crawling across; but it was
no use, there was absolutely no way for him except across that glaring
white patch in full view of his game. It seemed, after all his hard
work, too cruelly tantalising even for that sport of which the Russian
says that it is ‘harder than slavery’; but, unfortunately, there
was no help for it, so there the hunters lay, the game almost within
range of them, and yet hopelessly inaccessible. As they lay silently
watching, the heat which exercise had generated in their bodies slowly
oozed away, the wind began to twist and shift dangerously, so that
at any moment they might expect to have their presence betrayed, and
down below the mist-wreaths began to gather. All at once one of these
detached itself from the rest and came floating up towards the peaks.
Nearer and nearer it crept up the mountain-side, until, to Littledale’s
inexpressible delight, it rested for one moment upon that odious
snow-patch.

That was all that was wanted, and in a moment Littledale and his
companions had taken advantage of it, had flitted like ghosts through
the shifting veil before it had time to pass on, and had thrown
themselves, with a sigh of thankfulness, behind a huge boulder on the
other side of the snow-field. They were only just in time, for as they
gained their shelter the little mist floated off the snow, and the tûr,
which were still above the party, began to show unmistakable signs of
uneasiness.

From the boulder Littledale tried to worm himself still nearer to his
quarry, but as he did so, first one and then the whole herd got slowly
up, one big fellow standing, broadside on, upon a little pinnacle above
the rest. Putting up the 150 yards sight, and taking the foresight very
fine, as the shot was uphill, Littledale pressed the trigger, and the
great ram sprang from the rock with a stagger which looked as if he had
got his death-wound.

As the first beast left it, another big ram took his place upon the
rock, and as the left barrel rang out he too vanished on the other side
of the rock.

Uncertain as to the result of his shots, Littledale hurried to the
spot, to find one tûr _in extremis_ and the other gone.

However, the hunter, following at his leisure, pointed out the second
beast, dead, within ten or fifteen yards of the first. The fact that
Mr. Littledale (no novice, mind you) overlooked the second dead beast,
although so close to him, gives some idea of the way in which a tûr’s
rusty hide matches his surroundings.

But the game was not bagged yet, although Littledale had settled down
to skin one beast, and the hunter was preparing to skin the other.

In turning his ram over, on the steep incline upon which it lay, the
hunter lost control of it, and, in spite of his efforts, the dead
beast broke away from him, rolling over and over at first, and then
going in great bounds down the mountain until it lay on a snow-bank
several thousand feet below, upon which it appeared, even through the
field-glass, a mere speck. This misfortune complicated matters, and in
order to save both heads, Littledale was obliged to let both hunters
go down to the fallen tûr and pass the night alongside of it, whilst
he was left to find his way back to camp alone. This generally sounds
much easier than it is, and so Littledale found it upon this occasion.
As evening approaches, the mists begin to sail about among the crags,
first like great ostrich plumes, and then growing larger and more
dense, until they make the smooth places difficult and the difficult
places impossible. I have myself a very vivid memory to this day of
a certain rock to which I had to cling for half an hour until one of
these mist-wreaths floated away, leaving me almost too stiff and tired
to climb down, and far too tired to climb up any higher, though a
wounded ibex was above me. As for Littledale, upon this occasion he put
his best foot forward and made all the speed he could to get off the
ridge, and on to better going. For hours he had to grope his way along
a precipitous ridge, in dense fog, throwing small stones down either
side from time to time to tell by the sound whether he was still upon
the main ridge or not. Only now and again did a gleam of sunshine break
through the mist, and in a few hours the sun would set.

It was a horrible position for a lonely man, uncertain where his camp
lay and tired with three days’ hard work; but Littledale’s cup was not
yet full.

[Illustration: THE SPECTRE]

The Caucasians, like all mountaineers, are full of superstitions. Gods
and devils haunt their mountains now as they did when the ancients only
knew them as a part of misty Turan, the home of storm and evil, or
at least the mountain men so believe. And what wonder? As Littledale
stopped to scrape together a few more fragments with which to sound the
abysses on either side of him, he noticed with a shudder a huge figure
crouching in the mist beside him. As he sprang to his feet the awful
shape reared up, and small blame to a level-headed and cool man if he
did not remember, until his express was pressing against his shoulder,
that there was such a thing as the spectre of the Brocken, and that
this huge shape which followed and mimicked his every action was, after
all, only his own shadow in the clouds.

It was long after this that, lying at the top of a ravine which had
taken him an hour and a half to climb, he struck a light to find a few
more pebbles and get a drink, and found as he bent down his own track
of that morning.

He says the sight of it made him feel years younger, and those who have
been in such tight places and found their way out of them will know
the feeling; but it was 10 P.M. when he got back to his camp, and here
are the last words in his notes: ‘Reached home a little after ten, had
some food in bed, and registered a vow that I had done my last solitary
scramble in the Caucasus.’

I have registered that vow many times, when cold, and starving, and
dead tired, with hands and feet bleeding, and no massive ‘head’ to
compensate me for my toil; but I have never kept my vow, and I venture
to doubt whether my much more successful fellow-sportsman will keep his.

The great peaks are sorcerers whose spells no man may resist, and the
feeling that every manly quality in you has been tried to the utmost,
and has borne the strain, is worth more than all the cruel toil endured.

In conclusion let me say that there is so much confusion as to the
correct classification of the Caucasian goats, that before venturing
to publish this contribution I went for information to the British
Museum, considering that the nomenclature used by that Museum should
be the standard for British sportsmen. At the Museum I learned that on
this particular subject even our savants are in some doubt, whilst in
Russia the leading naturalists of St. Petersburg and Moscow disagree.
However, Mr. Thomas courteously supplied me with the following
definitions, which may be sufficient for present purposes.

_Capra cylindricornis_, or _pallasi_, is the name properly applied
to the Caucasian burrhel, a beast with smooth cylindrical horns;
_C. caucasica_ is applied to the Caucasian ibex, a beast with horns
recurved and modulated as in the true ibex; while _C. ægagrus_ is an
animal with horns of the common goat type, with sharp front edges
_irregularly_ modulated. The best horn measurements of these three
beasts known to me are:

                              Length    Circumference

                           {38¼ inches    12½ inches
    _C. cylindricornis_    {36    ”       15    ”
    _C. caucasica_          40⅛   ”       12⅝   ”
    _C. ægagrus_            48¼   ”        8⅜   ”

These measurements have been kindly supplied by Mr. Rowland Ward from
his notebook.

[Illustration: Dead aurochs]



CHAPTER IV

CAUCASIAN AUROCHS

BY ST. G. LITTLEDALE


Bos bonasus is the scientific name for the aurochs, the great ox that
roamed in bygone ages over the whole of Europe: its remains are found
in Spain and Great Britain on the west. How far east it ranged I cannot
say, but when on the Upper Irtish in Siberia, close to the Mongolian
frontier, I obtained a skull which had been dug up from the river
bank. Like the American bison, it has been driven from the low ground
forests and open plains, and has tried to find refuge in a secluded
mountain range; and thanks to the inaccessibility and impenetrable
nature of its chosen retreat it is still to be found, though in very
limited numbers, in as wild and savage a state as it was in the days of
Cæsar. In the forest district of Bialowicza in Lithuania, belonging
to the Emperor of Russia, there are a number of them living under very
efficient protection; but the Caucasus is the only place where they
are still found absolutely wild. On my first visit to the Caucasus in
1887, the natives told me about the aurochs, and, fired with the idea,
I made several attempts to get one; but we were too late in the year,
and were, so our guides informed us, in imminent danger of being snowed
up in the mountains, so we had to leave without my ever seeing a fresh
track. Mrs. Littledale and I returned the following year, and for three
months not a week passed without my making two or three excursions
after the aurochs. We were camped just about the timber-line at an
elevation of (approximately) 6,000 feet, and we only found their track
in the densely timbered valleys below. There were no means of getting
our camp pitched lower down, for the valleys were quite impassable for
horses, and even if possible it would have been questionable policy,
as such extremely shy and retiring animals would certainly not have
remained within a feasible distance of our tents. The only way we got
into the country at all was by following up a ridge: when the ridge
ceased to be practicable then we had to stop. In the early morning I
used to descend into the timber, sometimes trying the higher ground, on
other days the lower; and I frequently crossed the valley and up the
other side, which entailed a descent of about 3,000 feet, a similar
ascent up the corresponding side, and the whole thing over again on
returning to camp. We rarely saw a fresh track. The aurochs seemed to
love a level piece of ground, perhaps because when the ground was level
there was always a swamp with facilities for wallowing, or because,
being originally a plain animal, some latent hereditary instinct made
them feel more at home there than on the steep hillside. But whenever
we were able through an opening of the trees to look down and see a
level spot, we used to make straight for it, because we found from
experience that if there were any of the animals near at hand we
should find traces of them there, and if there were no tracks then it
was almost useless spending any more time in that neighbourhood. I
had with me Tcherkess hunters--we had not a Russian in the party that
trip--and they worked very hard to get me a shot at a dombey, the
Tcherkess name for the aurochs. We found places where they had stripped
the bark off rowan trees, both the bark and berries evidently being a
favourite food, and where they had grazed on the bracken one afternoon
we thought we heard some below us.

The wind being right, we lay down for a couple of hours in the hope
that they might come towards us. Presently we heard the snapping of
twigs getting nearer and nearer. I made myself a little peep-hole
through the bracken and cocked the rifle; about sixty yards off I saw
some young fir-trees sway about as an animal forced its way through,
and there stood before me, not the aurochs I had hoped for, but a young
stag. He sauntered past within forty yards without getting our wind,
and we then crept in the direction where we imagined the aurochs were,
for the hunters were positive it was not the stag they had heard. The
two men were barefooted and I wore tennis shoes, but the bracken was
dead, and with all our care it was impossible to go through it without
making some little noise. Suddenly there was a disturbance as of an
omnibus crashing through the branches, but we saw nothing; and that
was the nearest I got to an aurochs on that expedition. The same weary
plodding through dense timber brush and bracken, and every evening
the same story, a tired frame and a clean rifle, was continued week
after week till the natives told us that unless we wished to leave our
baggage behind we must get out of the mountains.

The autumn of 1891 saw Mrs. Littledale and myself back in the Caucasus,
and on our arrival we immediately inquired for our old hunter. He had
embraced and kissed me fervently on both cheeks at parting, and we
looked forward to seeing that fine old man again. He had snow-white
hair, but his springy walk and keen eye made me hope that I too, at his
age, might still be able to toddle along with a rifle after big game.
But he had gone, emigrated with some thousands of his tribe to Turkey.
The best of our new hunters was a Lesghian, who spent most of his life
in the mountains, and it would have been better for him if he had spent
it all there, for he only came down to the settlements to get vodky,
and there he would remain till his last rouble had vanished.

We had occasion to pass through a village in changing our shooting
ground, and once in the village it took us three clear days to get
our Russian followers out of it; baking bread, buying sheep, changing
ponies, all in turn were pleaded. At last we were ready, but the
Lesghian did not show. When he arrived he was ridiculously drunk; his
drunkenness taking the form of excessive politeness. If either Mrs.
Littledale or I spoke to him, off went his cap and he bowed nearly to
the ground. Near the village we crossed a river with some difficulty;
directly he saw us well started in the water, back he doubled for the
village. I recrossed at once and captured him. I thought it would keep
him out of mischief if he led a baggage pony. He objected, pointing out
that he was over forty, and that one of the Russians was a younger man,
who ought to lead the pony. I shook my head, and said he was much too
young to be trusted, but that, as I was over forty too, I arranged that
he and I should lead the pony alternate versts.

I agreed, at his earnest desire, to let him have my alpenstock when
he had not the pony; if he said he was tired and sat down I said it
was the very thing I was dying to do; when he wished to carry my field
glasses I took a fancy to pack his rifle, and so the farce went on;
Mrs. Littledale was in fits of laughter at us. But he was worth the
trouble, and knew more about the habits of the game than all the rest
of them put together. Before we camped that night he was himself again,
and he had no other opportunity of breaking out; once or twice he
expressed a wish to go down to look after his bees, and we appealed to
his feelings by telling him he was the only trustworthy person in camp,
and that Mrs. Littledale would not feel safe were he to leave. Little
presents of tea and quinine kept him contented till we broke up our
party. As an instance of a curious custom in the Caucasus, I relate the
following circumstances. I had had bad luck in losing a wounded beast
or two, and the Lesghian told me the rifle wanted washing. I let him
look through the barrels, which were bright as silver, for never under
any circumstance do I go to sleep without first cleaning my rifle. He
said it looked clean, but it wanted washing. After wounding and losing
a stag, the Lesghian insisted on returning to camp. He said I might
fire at all the animals in the whole Caucasus, but until my rifle
was washed we should get nothing. To humour the man we retraced our
steps, and I asked him to cure the rifle; he said we must wait till the
morning, and then get water from different streams before any animal
had drunk, or man had washed in it. The Russian hunters were equally
confident of the necessity, so the following day they brought water
from three different springs, carefully boiled it, and then washed out
the rifle with the hot water. Whether it was owing to their fetish,
or to my having substituted solid for hollow bullets, I express no
opinion, though the hunters were less modest, but from that time forth
I lost no more wounded beasts.

Early one August morning, with my two best hunters, I made another
attempt after zubr (this being the Russian name for aurochs). We struck
right down into the timber, making for a mineral spring, where we
hoped to find tracks. On our way we passed and examined another small
spring and found nothing fresh, but on reaching the lower spring we
came on the track of a bull that had drunk there the previous evening.
We followed his trail as quickly and silently as we could. The tracks
showed that he had gone up the hill and had been browsing about there,
and we found a comfortable bed which he had scraped out for himself
in the pine needles, under a big pine with low spreading branches. We
now redoubled our precaution; the head hunter went first, tracking; I,
with the other man carrying the rifle, kept a sharp look-out ahead.
Several hours passed, and we were still steadily creeping through
dense pine woods, when the aurochs dashed out of a thicket, and down
a watercourse, barely allowing us a glimpse; but soon I saw about a
hundred yards off, ascending the other bank, a great ungainly brown
beast. There he was at last--‘everything comes to him who waits.’ What
struck me most during the moment that I was bringing the rifle up was
not his size, but the extreme shortness between his knee and fetlock.
Bang, bang, went the double Express, the first bullet catching him
through the ribs, as he was sideways on, the other just by his tail
as he disappeared into the brush. I made record time down that hill,
jumping fallen trees, and loading as I went. How I escaped a broken
leg I don’t know, but I got below him, and saw the beast coming down,
evidently very sick. Again, again, and again, I let him have it. I ran
up to within forty yards, and when he saw me he lowered and shook his
head, but he was too far gone to do more. Not wishing to spoil his
skull, I waited till he turned and gave him his quietus behind the
shoulder; he ran twenty yards and fell on his back into a deeply cut
watercourse. As we stood on the bank looking down at his great carcase,
it struck me as strange that such an ungainly beast, without excessive
speed or activity, with eyes and ears small in proportion to those of a
stag, should have managed to survive at all in this thickly populated
Europe of ours, his very existence being only known to comparatively
few people. As he lay I took the following measurements:

                                                ft. in.

    From nose to root of tail                   10    1
    From top of hoof to top of withers           5   11
    Circumference of leg below the knee          0   10
          ”       of the knee                    1    4
          ”       below the hock                 0   10½
          ”       round the hock                 1    7
    Girth of body                                8    4

The last measurement, girth of body, is a little uncertain, as the
beast was lying huddled up, I could not get the tape underneath
him, and therefore had to measure one side and then double it. The
Lesghian and I prepared to sleep out. We gralloched the bull, and a
difficult and dirty business it was, as his carcase had dammed up the
rivulet, and we were working up to our knees in water and blood. We
took some of his rump steak, cut it into little chunks and skewered it
alternately with lumps of fat on a long stick carefully trimmed. When
cooked it looked and smelt so delicious that I would not then have
traded those kabobs for the best dinner Delmonico could turn out. I
was very hungry, and fell to with a will: the will was there but not
the power. One might just as well have tried to chew a stone. Even
the hunter was beaten. He tried again with liver, but as I draw the
line at that, I omitted supper, and looked forward to what the morrow
might bring forth. Early next morning the men came with food, &c. We
cut down some small trees, barked them, and got them partially under
the aurochs, then tying ropes to a horn and to each of his legs, all
hands hauled first at one leg then at another, making fast the slack
gained with each haul, until by degrees we got him out of the stream
on to the bank. We then skinned him and cut the meat roughly off his
skeleton. His bones were all carefully put into sacks. The skin, bones,
and a little meat formed a heavy load for three ponies, which the men
had managed to bring from camp somehow. That afternoon and the two
following days we were busy drying and preparing the skin and skeleton.
Having been successful with the bull, I thought I would try to get a
female, so we pursued the same tactics and I eventually shot a cow,
whose skin and skeleton we also preserved. Some weeks after that, I
found myself face to face with a grand old bull, bigger than my first
victim. We were hidden in the bush and he stood in the open wood, and
grand indeed he looked. I laid my rifle down, for the temptation was
great, and I would not have slain him for 1,000_l._ I took off my cap
to him out of respect for a noble representative of a nearly extinct
species. I had got what I wanted, and mine should not be the hand to
hurry further the extermination of a fading race for mere wanton sport.
I shot the aurochsen for the express purpose of presenting them to the
British Museum, where I have every reason to believe they are extremely
appreciated.

The aurochs of Europe is closely allied to the American bison (_Bos
americanus_), but surpasses it in size. Its legs and tail are larger,
and its hind quarters not so low. The mane is much less developed,
composed of shorter hairs, and not extending so far back as in the New
World species, in which, besides, it is of a black colour.



CHAPTER V

OVIS ARGALI OF MONGOLIA

BY ST. GEORGE LITTLEDALE


The _Ovis argali_ is, thanks to his richly-coloured coat of reddish
grey, an exceedingly handsome beast, but his horns, though more
massive, lack the sweeping character which is the glory of the _Ovis
poli_. So like, however, are these great sheep of the Altai and the
Pamir, that Dr. Günther, to whom I am deeply indebted for much valuable
assistance, says that to distinguish between them ‘is a very hard nut
to crack, and perhaps the only solution will be to find a distinction
(if such exists) in the osteology of the ewes.’ He adds that in the
poli group the horns are less massive at the base than the horns of the
argali; and that the argali has never a ruff or mane.

It was in the summer of 1889 that my wife and myself, accompanied by
Mr. Whitbread and Mr. Cobbold, reached the Tabagatai Mountains in
search of argali. Though anxious to help us, the Russians knew nothing
for certain about the districts in which we were most likely to find
our game, and such hearsay evidence as they had from the Kirghiz I knew
from former experience to be utterly untrustworthy.

Our best chance appeared to be to take a line of our own, and this we
eventually did, guided in our choice of ground by the consideration of
elevation alone, knowing well that as a rule the biggest ‘heads’ are to
be found in the highest mountains or in the largest forests. Nor had we
any cause to regret our course; for, on our return journey, a flying
visit to the mountains originally recommended to us proved that game
in them was scarce and the dimensions of the heads insignificant.

Leaving Zaizau, on the frontier of Russian territory, with a pack train
of ponies, bullocks, and camels, we travelled by an easy road through
the Saiar range, into the desert, with its familiar pests of mosquitoes
and horseflies and its never-to-be-forgotten odour of sage-brush and
horse-sweat.

But on the high ground beyond were the great sheep which we had come
so far to seek, and in the high range of the Saiar Mountains and two
neighbouring ranges we had fair sport, killing not only the beasts we
came especially to find, but also specimens of _Antilope subgutturosa_,
and the ibex (_Capra sibirica_) which shares the ground with the
argali, bears and tigers.

A passport which the natives could not read, in vermilion and yellow,
secured the neutrality of those we met, but a letter of introduction to
the Chinese Governor of the district procured us a typical escort of
natives, excellent horsemen and good fellows, armed, however, somewhat
oddly--to wit, one carrying a Russian Berdan rifle without cartridges;
another provided with an old Tower musket cut off halfway down the
barrel, consequently without a foresight; a third with a matchlock;
and a fourth with a horn arrangement on his finger for archery. With
this little army at our back we naturally threw fear to the winds, and
pressed on into the strongholds of the sheep.

Like all their race we found the argali keen of scent and quick-sighted
to such a degree as to make a successful stalk a feat to be proud of.
Here, as elsewhere, we discovered that separate hills seemed to be
set apart for the ewes and lambs, while the rams sought a dignified
seclusion elsewhere.

The reddish-grey coat of the argali is an additional point in his
favour, since in a country the dominant tone of which is that of a
gravel walk it is extremely hard to pick out the beasts with the
spy-glass. Moreover the Altai does not resemble the Pamir in its
general features. The Pamir being at a much greater elevation and the
ground less broken, the sheep which inhabit it neither feel the heat so
much as the argali do, nor are they able to find such shelter, even if
they should want it, as is afforded by the broken ground of the Altai.
The lower portion of the hills we hunted in 1889 was of sandstone
formation, eaten out into fantastic shapes and curious cavities, in
which the sheep sought shelter from the sun, actually going to ground
under rocks and in holes to such an extent as to make a search for them
during the five or six hottest hours of the day absolutely useless.

The nature of the ground in which each variety of these great sheep
live accounts, I think, for the different character of their horns. The
wide sweep of the poli’s horns is fitting and natural in a beast whose
home is on the broad rolling upland plateaux, and no less natural is it
that the argali’s horns should be more contracted and heavy, since he
lives in a land of rocks, where sharp corners and narrow paths are in
the order of his daily life.

Perhaps it is not as easy to explain the great size of the horns of
the poli, compared with those of the argali, bearing in mind the
cruel climate and scanty herbage to which the former is accustomed.
Added to natural advantages of scent and sight of a very high order,
_Ovis argali_ had a good deal in his favour in the land he inhabited;
for, owing to the immediate neighbourhood of a good deal of snow with
sun-baked rock and shale, unforeseen currents of air were continually
being generated which were fatal to many a stalk, whilst upon stormy
days (which were many) the wind roared and twisted about in the rocky
gorges in the most exasperating manner. In the highest range, indeed,
of those which we tried, which was a regular cloud trap, we were soaked
to the skin nearly every day.

There is still another point in this Central Asian sport against the
shooter: that is, the difficulty of judging distance consequent on the
clearness of the atmosphere and the general absence of objects by which
to test the relative size of your game. As a rule, the shots you get
are fired from the top of one mound at a sheep on the top of another,
and unless you are using a rifle with a very flat trajectory, and have
(as all men should in Central Asia) a rough mental table, to suit your
own eyesight, of the distances at which an eye or an ear would be
visible, you are extremely likely to throw a great many shots away.

Altogether, we were somewhat unlucky in this expedition. The sheep’s
habit of disappearing in cavities and under rocks from 10 A.M.
until evening made the sport less interesting than the pursuit of
_Ovis poli_, who is always ‘on view,’ and even when hard hit the
extraordinary vitality of the beast not infrequently enables him to
escape the hunter. However, in the second range which we tried I had
fair success, bagging six or seven heads varying from thirty-six to
forty inches. The ground here was a range some three thousand feet
above the level of the plains, whose top was reached by occasional
valleys up which it was possible to ride, while the northern face of
the range was steep and rocky, a favourite haunt of _Capra sibirica_.

My biggest ram was killed in ground even lower than this, among the
sandstone hollows of the third range which we tried, at an elevation of
not more than two hundred feet above the plain. This was a nice head of
fifty inches.

Before closing these notes upon the sheep of Asia, may I respectfully
invite the scientific naturalist to come to the assistance of the
unlearned sheep-shooter?--to whom the inconvenient question is often
put, ‘Are your trophies Ovis poli, karelini, or argali?’ for to this he
is constrained in his ignorance to reply ‘I’ll be shot if I know!’

Would it not be well to place on record a revised classification of the
sheep of Asia, before erroneously-applied names attach too firmly by
common usage?

In no contentious or captious spirit I would plead for a new and
distinct classification, in which the sheep of Asia, the _tûr_ of the
Caucasus, and the ibex of the different parts of the world may be
clearly distinguished the one from the other.



CHAPTER VI

THE CHAMOIS

BY W. A. BAILLIE-GROHMAN


Chamois are to be found in all the higher mountain systems of Central
and Southern Europe. They are indigenous to timber-line regions from
the Caucasus to the Pyrenees, and from the Carpathians to the Alps of
the Epirus. Switzerland and the Austrian Alps have, however, always
been their chief home. To the sportsman the latter region, with its
large estates and sport-loving landed aristocracy, offers a much more
inviting field than does Switzerland, where the republican spirit and
peasant proprietorship make the preservation of game by individuals
almost impossible, and the chase in consequence uncertain and
difficult. It is fair, however, to add that the efforts made by several
of the Swiss Cantons in the course of the last ten or twenty years will
presumably prevent the extermination of the chamois in Switzerland,
which but for strictly enforced regulations would at one time have been
only a matter of a few years. That the democratic spirit of republics
is not one favourable to the preservation of game, we can see by the
dire results it has worked in the Great Transatlantic Federation, where
some species of _feræ naturæ_ have practically become extinct.

The experience of those who have killed or tried to kill chamois in
the Pyrenees or in Albania would show that sport in those countries is
somewhat uncertain, and to obtain it lengthy expeditions have to be
undertaken, which in the majority of cases, the writer’s not excepted,
are not successful. It will therefore, we are inclined to think, best
serve the practical purposes of these volumes if prominence is given
to chamois shooting in those regions of the Central Alps which may be
considered the true home of that sport.

In Tyrol, the Bavarian Highlands,[7] Upper Austria, and Styria, the
regions best adapted for chamois shoots are in the hands of the
Austrian nobility, or of the Imperial House, or of foreign potentates,
who in their own countries cannot establish chamois drives. Besides
these large and well-guarded preserves, there are also peasant-shoots
where strangers can with comparative ease procure permission to stalk.
With few exceptions, to one of which more detailed reference will
be made, the sport obtainable in peasant-shoots is poor; for where
it is open to the natives (born mountaineers, and as keen and hardy
sportsmen as can be found anywhere), game is in consequence of constant
molestation more difficult of approach, and less plentiful than in
preserves where, with the exception of a fortnight or two in the
autumn, it is never disturbed. In the peasant-shoots chamois are never
driven but always stalked, and the stranger attempting to do as the
natives do must make up his mind to undergo very hard work, put up with
very rough fare, and must consider himself lucky if he manages to get a
shot the third or fourth day out. Indeed, there can be no better test
of a man’s love for sport or of his woodcraft than to let him attempt
to get a chamois in a peasant’s-shoot unassisted by native hunters. On
the other hand, to stalk chamois in a preserve under the guidance of
a keeper is really a very ordinary matter; good wind, a fairly clear
head, and moderately good eyesight are the chief qualifications beyond
the knack of doing exactly what one is told.

[Illustration: The spy chamois]

The nature of the ground where chamois are found differs vastly.
Thus in the Bavarian Highlands where the shooting rights are almost
entirely in the hands of the Royal House, and where game is very
closely guarded, the mountains frequented by chamois are low, hardly
reaching beyond timber-line, and so easy to ascend as to almost allow
a man on horseback to climb their slopes. Here stalking is sometimes
easier than deer stalking is in Scotland, for there is more cover for
the sportsman. In an easy country such as this, a rigorous day and
night watch has to be kept up, and poaching is made a matter of life
and death; indeed, in the eyes of the Bavarian keeper, his Tyrolese
neighbour used to be regarded much in the same light as the American
frontiersman looks upon redskins, i.e. the only good Indian he knows
is a dead Indian. Chamois poachers are by no means to be placed on the
same low level as Bill Sikes or Tom Stubbs of evil mien, who sneak
about English preserves. The ‘Freeshooters of the Alps,’ as they are
often called, are invariably brave fellows, who literally take their
lives in their hands, and are not moved by mercenary motives, but by
their inborn love of the chase. As a rule, they make the best and most
faithful keepers; experience in hundreds of cases testifying to the
correctness of the old saying, that a good keeper is but a good poacher
turned outside in. No finer specimens of manhood can be discovered
than among such reformed and unreformed poachers, and most of the
great lords take pride in having the most dare-devil fellows and best
cragsmen as keepers. Their whole lives are passed in the great silent
solitudes of timber-line, and for weeks at a time they don’t see a
human being, and undergo hardships of which the ordinary dweller in
civilisation has no conception.

[Illustration: CHAMOIS

(_From an instantaneous Photograph_)]

The shooting season varies triflingly; in some parts of the Alps it
begins in July, and ends in December, in others it begins only in
August. The rutting season is in November, and that is the only time
when old bucks are found constantly mingling with the does. Were it
not for the inclemencies of the Alpine climate, which usually covers
inhospitable timber-line with several feet of snow by the end of
October, the rutting season would be the best for stalking, for chamois
are then less wary, and their coats have by that time got darker in
colour, and hence they are more easily seen than earlier in the season;
but as a rule the chase is made impossible to all but the most hardy
by the deep snow. The interesting instantaneous photograph taken of
chamois during the rutting time shows how dark their coats have got by
that time. September and October are as a rule the months chosen for
driving and stalking. The kids, which are dropped in April, have
by that time attained a sufficient growth to enable them to get their
own living under the care of a foster-mother should their own parent
accidentally fall a victim to the rifle of a tiro who in the excitement
of a stalk has failed to distinguish the doe from the buck; by no means
an easy task, for both have the same sized horns, though triflingly
different in shape and position, those of the buck being a little
thicker at the base and rising more parallel to each other. Speaking of
horns, it may be as well to give the size of the largest of the many
hundred heads of which the writer has kept record. The two largest
pair are in the collections of the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg at
the Hinter Riss, in Tyrol, and in that of Count Arco at Munich, where
over seven thousand horns and antlers form a particularly interesting
collection. They each measure over twelve inches along the curve and
over four inches in circumference at the base; the former are those of
a buck killed by the Duke in Tyrol, the other was bought by the late
Count Arco. Eleven-inch heads are still obtainable, though very rare,
the largest of my own killing being of that length, and four inches in
circumference. A first-rate ordinary buck tapes ten inches. Abnormally
long doe’s horns are also occasionally seen, but the slimness at
the base invariably betrays the sex. In some of the mountain ranges
isolated from other homes of chamois, the heads, in consequence of
constant inbreeding, assume a certain type by which those versed in
antler-lore can recognise their origin. Thus the horns will perhaps be
closer together or be wider apart, or have a more or less developed
crook, or stand at a slightly different angle than they ordinarily
do. The chamois horns of the Epirus, the Carpathians and the Pyrenees
are smaller than those found in the Central Alps, and the animals are
also lighter. The weight of a good buck of the Alps is about 60 lbs.,
though the writer has killed one in the Dolomites weighing 73 lbs., and
Tschuddi mentions an authentic instance of 125 lbs., and another of 92
lbs., the latter buck being killed in 1870 on the Santis. The does are
not as heavy, ordinarily weighing from 45 lbs. to 50 lbs.

A trophy one often sees on the hats of sportsmen on the Continent is
the so-called ‘Gamsbart,’ literally ‘beard of the chamois.’ This name
is misleading, for these bunches are made of the hairs that grow along
the backbone, from the neck to the tail. These hairs are in summer
not much longer than any other part of the coat, but as the rutting
time approaches they grow longer, and in November they are from six to
eight inches, and the longer they are the greater their beauty in the
eyes of the natives, who will pay large prices for particularly long
bunches. A peculiarity little known to naturalists is the fact that
when these hairs are stroked from the roots toward the tips they become
positively, and when rubbed in the opposite direction they become
negatively, electric.


CHAMOIS PRESERVES AND PEASANT-SHOOTS

One of the regions most attractive to the sportsman is North Tyrol,
and more particularly that wide strip of mountain-land skirting the
Bavarian boundary on the one side and the Inn Valley on the other.
Here some of the best preserves in the world are situated, five royal
shoots almost abutting on each other. These mountains, in character
very similar to the better known Dolomites, which range is now, alas!
thanks to tourists and peasant-shoots, pretty well cleared of chamois,
are the _beau idéal_ of what chamois ground should be. Most of this
area consists of vast almost verdureless limestone ranges of jagged
peaks intersected by deep ravines, where even in the hottest weather
snow-fields nestling in shady recesses form the chamois’ favourite
_rendezvous_. Too barren to make the cultivation of those elevated
Alpine pasturages, so common in Tyrol and Switzerland, and which as a
rule are fatal to preserves, a paying industry, this sea of mountains
is practically one chamois preserve. In this tract, containing seven
shoots, the annual bag aggregates between five hundred and eight
hundred chamois, while the total head must be over four thousand.

One is often asked what the cost of a moderately large chamois preserve
amounts to. It is difficult to give any hard and fast rule; one thing,
however, is certain, that a shoot, say of mixed game, i.e. stag and
chamois, can be obtained for a fourth or fifth of the cost of a Scotch
forest. The chief expense are the keepers, whose wages (from 40_l._ to
50_l._ per annum) are, however, low. As a rule, the ground is rented
from the Crown, and if it has been hitherto unpreserved, the rental
is a nominal sum. In three years, if not shot over at all, the game
will have increased probably three or four fold, not only from natural
increase, but, being entirely undisturbed, game from adjoining shoots
will have been attracted. If any Alpine pasture-rights on any part of
the leased land exist, these ‘servitudes,’ as they are called, will
have to be bought up or leased from the individual peasant owners.

The following instance, which may be regarded as authentic, will show
what can be done in this respect. In 1866 four sportsmen rented on long
lease from several Alpine hamlets a number of adjoining ‘servitudes,’
and placed three trustworthy keepers over the shoot, whose sole duty
was to prevent poaching. When they started there were between 100 and
140 chamois on the place. In 1867 they killed fourteen, and from that
on the bag gradually increased until in 1881 they shot 113 head, while
the entire bag from 1867 to 1883 amounted to 766 head, the average
number of shooting days being twelve every year. Their rent and
keepers’ wages came to under 300_l._ per annum, and a separate gratuity
of ten florins for every chamois killed by the owners offered a further
inducement to the keepers to prevent poaching.

Before the year 1848, the Austrian red deer and chamois preserves
carried infinitely more game than they do now, though they still are
probably the best stocked that exist. In that dire year of revolution
the destruction, amounting in only too many instances to complete
extermination by the rebel peasantry, gave the deathblow to the
cherished rights of the chase--relics of the feudal ages--claimed by
all the large landed proprietors. The peasant-shoots as a consequence
of the revolution came into existence in that year; for anterior to
it the peasantry were feudal vassals to whom their seigneur’s game
was almost as sacred as their lives, poaching in the olden days being
an offence punished by loss of limb or life. It may be interesting to
refer briefly to one of the few instances of peasant-shoots dating back
to earlier times than 1848.

In this instance, the rights of the chase date back to the year
1709, when an imperial grant conveyed the sporting privileges to the
peasantry of this particular valley as a reward for their conspicuous
bravery in the defence of their country against overwhelming odds.
Since that time the heirs of the twenty-six peasants who participated
in the war have exercised the sporting rights over a very large area.
By careful management and the adoption of the following rules, it
is made a profitable property. At the commencement of the shooting
season the twenty-six shareholders, as they might be called, meet in
solemn conclave and settle among themselves what number of chamois and
stags are to be killed that season, the severity or mildness of the
preceding winter having, as in all Alpine districts, much to do with
this matter, and they also select three of their number, who for the
ensuing twelve months have to act as keepers to guard against poachers
from the adjoining valleys. During the season, any one member may shoot
as many head as he chooses until the agreed upon total is reached. As
there is a good market for the game within reach, every head is turned
over to the treasurer, who sells it. Half of the proceeds goes to the
man who killed it, while the other goes to a general fund which is
equally divided among the twenty-six members at the end of the season,
so that a man who has not fired a shot draws at the end of the year
what to these simple folk is a considerable sum. In one year, when the
writer was shooting there, the total reached three hundred head of
big game, i.e. chamois, stags, and roe-deer, and one was placed in the
odd position of not only not having to pay for the capital sport one
had enjoyed, but having money offered one in the shape of half of the
proceeds of all one had killed.


CHAMOIS STALKING

At a discussion which once arose at the table of the Prince Consort’s
brother, H.R.H. the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg--a veteran Nimrod, who
for the last fifty years has unquestionably shown himself, next to the
Emperor of Austria, the keenest royal sportsman in Europe--the question
arose whether chamois would share the fate of their kindred the ibex
and become extinct. Somebody made the paradoxical reply: ‘Not so long
as they are only killed by potentates and by peasants.’ While this
cannot of course be taken literally, there is yet some truth in it,
for it indicates the respective methods of shooting chamois--that is,
by driving and by stalking; the one being the pleasure of the highest
in the land, the other infinitely harder and more truly sportsmanlike
method being usually only pursued by the hardy peasant and daring
poacher. In pursuing the argument that arose as to the respective
merits of stalking and driving, the host, whose prowess as a bold
stalker in his younger days was well known to all present, remarked
with sparkling eyes that he would willingly give all the 149 driven
chamois he killed the preceding season for the half-dozen he stalked
half a century before in the first season he visited those mountains, a
sentiment with which every keen sportsman will heartily agree.[8]

Stalking chamois is hard work, often very hard work, but it is
keener sport than any the average sportsman comes across. Amid the
wild grandeur of unfrequented mountain recesses, one’s woodcraft,
one’s endurance, and one’s agility are pitted against the instincts
of what is probably the wariest game that exists, and one, too, which
is protected by the kind offices of nature, who has made its home,
as a rule, inaccessible to all but the most sure-footed. The dangers
besetting the path of the lonely stalker have from time immemorial lent
themselves in a particularly tempting manner to exaggeration, so that
most accounts of the sport are not only given at third hand, but are
overladen with romantic nonsense.

For a narrative of actual stalking experiences which possibly may prove
more useful than mere generalisations, it may be as well to describe a
typical stalk, one of many the writer has enjoyed in the peasant-shoot
already alluded to; for it will give a better idea of the ordinary
incidents of stalking than were one to relate the more everyday events
of a stalk in a preserve where game is plentiful and where one has
simply to follow the directions of the keeper. Under the circumstances
the hope is entertained that the use of the otherwise undesirable ‘ego’
will be permitted.

One of the first things to settle before starting on a chamois stalk is
the question where shelter for the night nearest to the hunting ground
can be obtained. If roughing is not objected to, a light sleeping bag
made of waterproof canvas with fur lining and weighing not more than
ten or twelve pounds is a friend in need. With it and the shelter
of the wide-spreading branches of an arve or pine, the night or two
passed on high need not entail great discomforts; but, as a rule, a
more substantial roof overhead becomes acceptable, particularly if, as
in this instance, the advent of October brings with it a snowstorm.
If there are any Alp-huts at all handy, their shingle roof and loft
filled with fragrant hay offer a more desirable shelter and sleeping
accommodation than a pine-tree and sleeping bag.

A long day’s walk from the main valley, with three or four days’
provisions stowed away in the ‘Rücksack’--of which useful style of
game-bag a word anon--brought me at dusk to the chalet selected on this
occasion. It had been vacated five or six weeks before by its solitary
inmate and his dozen or so of hardy mountain-bred cattle, man and
beast having returned to lower and more hospitable regions after their
three or four weeks’ sojourn in these elevated solitudes. The small
low log hut was about as primitive and isolated a human habitation
as one could imagine. The nearest dwelling was five hours’ walk off,
and as one looked upon the scene familiar to one from stalks of old,
a delightful sense of solitude made itself felt. In front of the hut
the primitive ‘Brunnen,’ made out of a hollowed pine-tree, spouted
forth gaily and merrily a clear stream fed from a rill coming straight
from the nearest snow-field a few hundred feet above the hut. A sound
usually indicative of human presence, it now only heightened the sense
of the utter solitude of the scene upon which the sombre mantle of
night was about to sink. As the door was locked, a few shingles removed
from one corner where the eaves of the slanting roof approached the
ground to within three feet gave ingress to the hayloft, from which
the soot-begrimed interior of the primitively constructed hut could
be gained by a short ladder. The door was easily unfastened from the
inside, and a fire on the open hearth soon sent forth its genial blaze.
From the owner of the hut, whose habitation was one of the last which
I passed that morning on my way up, the hiding-place of a frying-pan
and a small stock of flour was learnt, and with these additions to
what I had brought, a substantial meal of ‘schmarrn’ and tea was soon
prepared and eaten, while a pipe or two before turning into the hay for
the night were enjoyed sitting on a primitive bench in front of the
chalet. From here in the bright moonlight I could see my goal for the
morrow, the declivities of a boldly rising peak which I knew of yore
to be a pretty sure find for chamois at this season of the year, and
where on the occasion of my last visit I had demonstrated to a friend
how easy it was to spoil a stalk and miss a chamois. A sharp frost,
causing a chilly mist to rise from the steaming moorland surrounding
the hut, however, sent me soon indoors and to my night’s quarters
in the dry fragrant hay, where, enfolded in a plaid, sleep after a
twenty-five-mile walk was indeed sound and restful.

The following morning I was up before dawn, and after a breakfast of
a pannikin of steaming tea and some bacon, I reached the first rocks
at the base of the peak, before as much as ‘shooting light’ had chased
away darkness. To be early on the ground is a great advantage, for
the chamois’ day is half over at what most people would consider a
reasonable breakfast hour, and moreover it usually gives the stalker
the two winds, i.e. the one ordinarily blowing down the mountain before
the rays of the rising sun strike the slope, and the one blowing in the
contrary direction after that has occurred. Leading up to the rocks was
an exceedingly steep grassy slope, which the hard frost of the night
had turned into a precipitous field of ice, to ascend which my light
pair of crampons (so useful for rockwork in a limestone formation) came
in very handy. On reaching a good point of outlook a definite plan of
action had to be decided upon. As the wind would be soon drawing up the
slope, it became necessary to gain a point above the proposed stalking
ground, which could be done by climbing the peak from the back. It
was not of great altitude, perhaps some two thousand five hundred or
two thousand six hundred feet over the moor where the Alp-hut stood,
but the back rose in bold proportions and presented a face almost
bare of vegetation, towering up like a huge wall, so that the task of
scaling it from that side was a stiff one. A couloir-like cleft running
almost vertically up the face of the rock offered the only practicable
means of ascending the first ninety or hundred feet, by a free use of
one’s back and knees in chimney-sweeper’s style. One’s progress would
have been more rapid but for the rifle and rücksack hampering one’s
movements. Protected, as the muzzle of the rifle should always be when
real climbing is to be done, by a sheath of sole-leather five or six
inches long drawn over the sight, it often materially assists to take
the rifle apart, and wrap the stock and the barrels separately in the
folds of the game-bag (to prevent chafing). By thus making a compact
parcel of it, and with the assistance of a few fathoms of strong cord,
which should always be carried with one, it can be drawn up after one
at the more difficult places. Three hours’ stiff climbing landed me
at last near the top of the peak, where further progress was rendered
easier by the existence of horizontal ledges running towards the side
of the mountain which I was striving to gain. Wriggling along one
of these bands, now on my hands and knees, then again in an upright
position with my back scraping against the rock, I finally weathered
the corner or shoulder of the mountain, and there at my feet lay the
slope to gain the command of which had entailed such hard work.

The slope I overlooked was perfect stalking ground. Far less
precipitous than the one I had ascended, it fell away from the top in
a series of terrace-like steps, each separated from the next by small
precipices from twenty to fifty feet in height. The uppermost steps
were almost verdureless, while the middle and lower ones broadened into
grassy ledges with thick beds of the dwarf pine (latchen), affording
good grazing and capital shelter. The breeze was drawing briskly
up the slope, and everything, from the nature of the ground to the
glorious autumn weather and crisp atmosphere of high altitudes, seemed
favourable to good sport.

From nine to twelve in the forenoon is the worst time to spy for
chamois, for after their morning graze they invariably, except in
very bad weather, lie down in some sheltered nook where it is almost
impossible to spot them. At noon they rise, if only for a few minutes,
to nibble at the nearest blades of grass and resume their ‘couch.’
An old poacher’s saying that the older the buck the more punctual he
is, emphasises this habit, which, by-the bye, is also observed by red
deer. An hour’s rest, with a bite of lunch and a pull or two at a
flask of genuine kirsch, formed an acceptable interlude and when the
shadow of my alpenstock, planted vertically in a crack (thus forming
a primitive kind of sun-dial), had almost disappeared, I knew it was
about time to commence a sharp look out. But, as is so often the case,
I was looking for something in the distance which, had I but known it,
was right before me. For a quarter of an hour I had been scanning the
different ledges with my glass without discovering anything, and I was
closing the telescope rather impatiently and with unnecessary violence,
thereby making a very audible metallic click, when suddenly, with a
loud whistle of alarm, a fine buck jumped into my line of sight on the
ledge below the one I occupied, not more than thirty-five yards off.
At the moment I was lounging with my back against a rock, my legs,
on account of the narrowness of the ledge, dangling over the brink,
and my rifle, still unjointed, safe in the game-bag. Throwing my body
to one side as the buck jumped into view, I commenced frantically to
fumble for the arm; but the buck was not so easily duped, and by the
time I had put it together, wrenched the protector from the muzzle and
slipped cartridges in, he had time to put a hundred and thirty yards
between himself and that alarming apparition of which he just caught
a glimpse. Though he kept to the same ledge he was only visible for
brief moments, projecting rocks obstructing the line of sight. So old
Reliable, a favourite .500 Express that had done good work in the
Rockies and the Sierras, did not get a fair chance, and the buck made
no sign he was hit, though it certainly seemed to me that I heard the
thud of the ball. Making a détour to gain the lower level, I hurried
to the spot and soon found blood, though only in scanty patches. The
colour was, however, bright red and frothy, so it evidently was a lung
shot. Wounded chamois give no end of trouble, and this one was no
exception, for generally it means tracking a beast which instinctively
resorts to its matchless climbing faculties to outwit its pursuer. As
a rule, it is far wiser not to follow the animal at once, but to seek
a prominent point where a good view of the surroundings can be gained,
and watch where the beast goes to. If it is only slightly wounded the
pursuit will probably be fruitless, and if hard hit it is best to let
the effect of the wound tell upon the vitality of the animal by waiting
an hour or two. If hard hit, it won’t go far so long as it remains
unpursued, and the great thing is to see where it goes to cover. The
temptation to follow the tracks at once is, however, one which in
the excitement of the moment is not so easily resisted, and in this
instance it was doubly unwise to give way to it, for my shot was less
likely to be a fatal one (having been fired at a steep slant downwards)
than had it been delivered on the level. It was noon when I fired; it
was past four when, after a persistent chase, I caught sight of the
buck four hundred yards off, still on his legs, though evidently hard
hit. Probably he had kept me in sight all the time, jumping up from his
blood-bespattered couches whenever I got too near.

At sunset I was no closer to him, and as he was taking me further
and further away from the chalet, a decision whether to sleep out or
whether to return for the night to the hut became imperative. Sleeping
out, quite unprepared as I happened to be, was, at the altitude I
was on and in the chilly October nights, a contingency which if not
really necessary was better avoided, particularly as the weather was
rapidly assuming a threatening look, and the sky became covered with
leaden-hued clouds indicative of coming snow. Taking the shortest
route, it was, however, pitch dark when I finally reached the hut. A
couple of hours later, when I turned in, a strong wind was blowing,
which soon afterwards rose to a fierce gale that made the timbers of
the ramshackle old hut groan and creak. It was still quite dark when I
woke up, an ominous stillness contrasting strangely with the preceding
uproar of the elements. The cause was soon explained, for on going to
the door and trying to open it I found a couple of feet of snow had
drifted against it, and I had to take it off its primitive raw-hide
hinges to get it open at all. The air was thick with big flakes, and
the ground was covered to a depth of four or five inches. It was noon
before it stopped snowing, though the leaden, sunless sky did not look
even then very promising. To search for the wounded buck under such
circumstances seemed almost hopeless, and entirely so if he had died
during the night, but eventually I decided to make an attempt. Making
my way as best I could by the easiest approach to the ledge where I
last saw the buck, I was of course wet to the skin long ere I reached
the spot, for forcing one’s way through the twisted and tangled masses
of the dwarf pine, snow clinging to every twig and branch, is the
reverse of agreeable. However, I was to be rewarded, for I had not
gone far when I heard the whistle emitted by the chamois when suddenly
alarmed. Looking up, I saw him standing on the ledge above me, his
shaggy coat outlined against the sky. It was his last tottering effort
to fly from his pursuer, and I believe I almost could have caught him,
so enfeebled had he become by loss of blood. A bullet placed in a
better place than the last one soon put him out of his misery. It was
a good five or six year old buck, and my first bullet had struck him
rather high between the spine and the lungs, but ranging downwards had
cut a furrow in the one lung on the side of its exit. Overshooting game
when firing downwards should be specially guarded against. For shots
under similar circumstances and at ordinary distances, it is a safe
rule to see daylight between the top of the bead and the body; where
otherwise, if the shot were fired on level ground, one would hold the
bead right on the body.

Cutting a branch or two from the nearest dwarf pine and making use of
the cord in my rücksack, a sort of sleigh was easily improvised, and
seeing a steep and uninterrupted slope near at hand, I bundled the buck
and myself down it in capital time, and in a flying cloud of snow. At
the bottom I brittled the animal, for from there on I had to carry him,
and finally reached the hut just as dusk and snow were simultaneously
commencing to fall upon the landscape. A roaring fire and the fact
that I had brought a change of underclothing with me, and discovered a
pair of discarded old sabots in the adjoining cowshed, together with
the solacing effects of a delicious stew of liver and brain, soon put
a rosier hue upon things generally, and the fact that a good buck was
hanging by the crooks of his horns to the eaves outside had probably
also something to do with it.

       *       *       *       *       *

One more chamois stalking incident may perhaps be permitted to
find space here, as it will illustrate another aspect of the sport
obtainable in a peasant-shoot. The shoot in question skirted for many
miles the boundary between Tyrol and Bavaria; the preserve on the
latter side marching with it, being a favourite hunting ground of the
late King, was hence particularly strictly guarded. Preparing myself
for a three or four days’ absence in the mountains, I left the main
valley one August morning and reached the Alp-hut which I proposed
to make my headquarters late the same afternoon. In the locality
referred to, the duty of herding the cattle driven up to these elevated
pasturages is performed by girls instead of by men. The stout-armed
and stout-hearted lass will often be for weeks quite alone in her hut,
miles of mountain wilds between her and the nearest habitation. On
getting to the hut I found installed in it, instead of buxom Moidl,
her brother Hans, a bold climber, inveterate stalker, and best of
fellows withal. Hans and I were acquaintances of old, and he had no
secrets from me. What that meant will be better understood when it is
mentioned that the Bavarian frontier line was within rifle-shot of the
hut, following the backbone of a steep ridge. Beyond that invisible
line death awaited the poacher; for the Bavarian keepers were well
known to entertain no scruples about reversing the order prescribed
by law, and would shoot first and then only call upon their foe to
surrender, a condition of things which naturally led to retaliation and
sanguinary feuds. Hans and I were sitting in front of the hut smoking
our pipes, and it needed no glasses to see that those black specks on
yonder arête were the game of game, and Hans’ eyes, sparkling with
excitement, involuntarily travelled from the chamois on the far cliff
towards a huge old larch-tree a couple of hundred yards from where
we were sitting, shattered ages ago by lightning, and now affording
in its hollow trunk a safe hiding-place for his rifle and capacious
rücksack, in the folds of which more than one buck had, I suspect,
been ‘extradited’ back to Tyrol. There was really no reason for Hans
to hide his rifle, for he was here on his own ground, but being a wild
and uninhabited stretch of country and only peasants their victims,
the Bavarian keepers would often defy the rules of international
intercourse, and would cross into Tyrol to search Alp-huts they
suspected of harbouring poachers--a proceeding which was all the more
aggravating to the Tyrolese, for in consequence of topographical
reasons the chamois were, if length of residence counted, really more
their own than the Bavarian King’s--the peculiar lay of the country
causing the chamois to leave the Tyrolese mountains, which faced the
south, during the hot summer months to seek the cooler northern aspect
on the Bavarian side of the line, returning to their home-range with
the first September or October snowstorm, after which period the
south aspect of the mountains remained their home for eight or nine
months of the year. The King usually held his big drives in August,
an exceptionally early period, and, as the Tyrolese persisted in
maintaining, they were held so early for the special purpose of getting
their chamois, a pretension which received some colour in their eyes by
the circumstance that the keepers used to take special precautions at
this season to prevent them escaping over the line.

My only hope for sport in that neighbourhood, those hot August days,
lay in the circumstance that at one point the boundary line, instead
of following the watershed, crossed from point to point, leaving the
northern declivities of one of the higher peaks down to its base on
the Tyrolese side. Towards this spot, about two hours’ climb from the
hut, I shaped my course early the next morning after a comfortable
night in the hayloft. It was necessary to get to the spot at sunrise,
for otherwise the chamois, who used the narrow ledges that ran across
the face of the exceedingly precipitous slope only for their night
quarters, would have moved down towards their feeding ground near some
snow patches beyond the base of the rock, where the ground was already
in Bavaria. On getting to the top of the hill, which I did just as the
sun was rising over the great glaciers of the distant Zillerthal, I
found that the wind was still drawing down the slope, so the change in
its direction, which usually occurs about sunrise, had to be patiently
awaited. After shivering for some time in the piercing breeze, the
wind at last began to shift, and five minutes later it was blowing
up the slope. Only now did I venture to creep forward to the edge of
the precipice, and craning over, scan the declivity below me. There,
sure enough, right at the foot of the cliff, about 250 yards off, but
already on Bavarian ground, was a single chamois slowly feeding away
from me. My glass soon told me that it was a prize worthy of every
effort, nay, almost worth turning poacher oneself. How unjust that this
animal, which passed the greater part of the year on Tyrolese soil,
should, because it happened to stray across an invisible boundary line,
become the property of the King, just at the very time when the big
royal chamois drives would, perhaps, cause him to run up to the rifle
barrels of some pampered sportsman sitting on his camp-stool behind a
bush, and anything but deserving the luck of bagging such a rare old
buck, who was worthy of the hardest stalk man ever had! How unlucky,
too, that the wind had not changed five minutes earlier, for I felt
convinced that my lordly old buck had passed the night on some of
the ledges within easy reach of my rifle! But these ruminations were
useless, and as nothing further was to be done that day, I determined
to return to the Alp-hut and repeat the experiment the following
morning, when I hoped the wind would prove more propitious. On reaching
the hut, I found that flaxen-tressed Moidl had returned from her errand
to her distant home, and as both she and her brother knew every inch
of the country I had been over, I talked matters over with them. My
comment that the ‘Hohe Geschnürr’ was a fickle place for wind found
the assent of experience. Moidl was quite a fair cook, and as I had
some time before rendered her lover, who was serving his three years’
military service in the nearest garrison town, the much-prized favour
of obtaining for him an unexpected leave of absence, she was, so far as
the primitive means at her command allowed her, an attentive hostess,
and, as the sequel proved, an energetic strategist. ‘And you are sure
that you will return to the Hohe Geschnürr to-morrow morning?’ queried
the lass as I was settling myself for a comfortable afternoon smoke at
the open hearth. To my affirmative answer she replied with a smile and
a nod, and soon afterwards left the hut, bent, as I supposed, on some
errand connected with the guardianship of the kine in her charge, and
from which she had not returned when I turned in for a second night
in the hay. My start next morning was an early one, and I reached the
top of the cliff in good time. Awaiting sunrise and the wind being
favourable, I was soon creeping with bated breath through the low brush
that grew to the very edge of the cliff, and looked down to renew
my acquaintance, if possible, with the old lord of the manor. But,
alas! the rising morning mist still hid the lower portion of the vast
amphitheatre-shaped declivity. What wonderful effects do not those
fleecy clouds produce as, drifting from pinnacle to pinnacle, assuming
every minute different fantastic shapes, they finally begin to melt
away, disclosing as they do so bit after bit of the details of the
sublime landscape! When the base of the cliff at last became visible,
I saw, somewhat to my surprise, quite a number of chamois congregated
and evidently made uneasy by some sign of danger which was invisible to
me; I could even hear their ‘whistle.’ With my glasses I soon picked
out my buck of yesterday, and near him I saw a second veteran. It was
much too far to shoot, so I awaited with imaginable impatience what the
next move of the game would be. Slowly, with frequent stops to look
back in the direction where their scent detected danger, they at last
commenced an upward course which would bring them, if nothing changed
their bearing, to within fifty yards of where I lay concealed, waiting
till they reached the top of the cliff--in front the leading doe, then
several yearlings and two-year-olds, and last, straggling at some
distance behind, the two fathers of the tribe. The latter’s doom was
sealed, for a minute later a right and left had added two good heads to
my collection. Far over the mountains did the breeze carry the sound of
my shots, and presumably more than one many-jointed German oath came
as echo from the angry keepers, whose ideas respecting the ownership
of those chamois were not exactly the same as those of the proprietors
of the soil where the chamois lived for the greater part of the year.
After brittling the bucks and hiding the larger one under some brush,
I made for home with the other one in my rücksack. On my way down I
stopped at the Alp-hut and sent Hans back for the former, which he was
to take to the main valley the following day, an arrangement which
prevented my hearing the sequel of the story, and the explanation why
those chamois had come my way that morning, until some weeks later. My
artful friend Moidl, it appeared, together with another girl from a
neighbouring Alp-hut, had planned and had executed the following ruse.
Starting long before sunrise from the latter’s hut, the two girls with
large baskets on their backs had penetrated by break of day into the
very heart of the royal preserve, situated on the lower slopes of the
peak, on the top of which they knew I would presently be posted. When
the wind changed, all the chamois above the girls got scent of them,
and the result was soon afterwards communicated to them by my shots.
But, unfortunately for the girls, my shots also put the keepers on
the _qui vive_, and before the girls could get back to the Tyrolese
side a keeper had spied them and promptly arrested them. Their excuse
that they were collecting medicinal roots for their cattle, and had
unwittingly wandered across into Bavaria, did not help them, and they
were taken down in triumph to the nearest forest-master. Fortunately,
however, the judge who heard their case took a more reasonable view,
and found that there were no proofs of poaching or of abetting
poaching, and after a brief confinement they were set at liberty.


RIFLES AND KIT

Tyrolese, Swiss and German sportsmen, as a rule, use only
single-barrelled rifles, and much smaller charges than are used
out of English Expresses; indeed, in some royal shoots the use of
double-barrelled rifles is against local etiquette. Thus the Emperor
of Austria, one of the keenest sportsmen born, never uses other than
single-barrelled arms, and his guests are expected to do the same.
The reason is a good one--namely, to discourage wild shooting at long
ranges, causing numbers of chamois to be wounded, many of whom escape
only to die in places where they never can be got at. To a person who
is accustomed to shoot at long ranges and who knows exactly what the
rifle in his hands can do if held steadily, the shoulder of a chamois
standing at two hundred yards is not, as most German sportsmen will
insist on, an impossible mark; but of course practice and fine sights
on a really accurate weapon with the necessary steadiness of aim are
essential to accomplish it. A hinged peepsight behind the hammers,
which turns down when not required, or a Lyman sight, is a desirable
aid for fine shooting, provided one is accustomed to its use; and the
same might be said of hair triggers. A peepsight of my own invention,
which has been copied by some who have seen it, is constructed so as to
fold down when not in use, fitting into a recess of exactly its shape.
Its chief merit is that when not required it is invisible, and when
required the pressure of the thumb against a tiny knob (the size of a
No. 1 shot) behind the right hammer releases a spring, and the sight
jumps into position, and without requiring any further adjustment is
ready for immediate use. Messrs. Holland & Holland, of New Bond Street,
have built me an excellent rifle with this sight. To the question
which is the best rifle, the reply may safely be given: a light .450
Express, with a sling to carry it in the Continental fashion, which
latter leaves one the free use of the hands and arms for climbing. For
all ordinary purposes in driving and also in stalking chamois the solid
bullet should be used, for the disfiguring effect of the hollow bullet
at short ranges on such comparatively small game as chamois is to be
avoided, and in many shoots there is a standing rule against them. For
stalking, when one is alone, and a wounded chamois is likely to baulk
one’s best efforts to get it, the hollow bullet has certain advantages,
for wounded game succumbs as a rule much sooner, and it is also much
more easily tracked. Considering that the hollow and the solid bullets
have very different trajectories, the promiscuous use of both out of
the same barrel is fatal to good marksmanship.[9]

Good field-glasses, preferably of aluminium, being much lighter than
other metal, are quite indispensable, and are better than telescopes
in the hands of all but the most experienced, for they give a much
larger field and can be used more constantly. Chamois, particularly
early in the season, are, on account of their dun coats, hard to see
against a background of rocks, and, even with some practice in knowing
where to look for them, a close scrutiny is necessary. ‘Steigeisen,’
or crampons, are most useful when once one has become used to them; to
the tiro they are, however, often a source of danger, and in really
bad places when stalking alone bare feet answer the same purpose. The
already mentioned ‘rücksack,’ or Tyrolese game-bag, is the stalker’s
best friend, not only in the Alps, but in any part of the world for
rough work. It is a bag of canvas, with two broad leather straps to
pass the arms through. Its lightness--it weighs only a few ounces--and
extreme simplicity are advantages apparent to everybody who has used
it once. When empty one can put it into one’s coat-pocket, and when
required one can carry in it a roebuck or chamois in the manner least
fatiguing, for the weight is distributed between the shoulders and the
small of the back, leaving the arms and muscles perfectly free play.
The writer has used them for years in the Rockies, and the alacrity
exhibited by the Indians in one’s employ in taking to them in lieu of
headstraps and crossbands showed that there was one improvement that
the old world could show the new one. A well-known writer on sporting
subjects not long ago, when recommending this bag to young shooters,
stated that it was originally introduced by a gentleman in Carlisle.
If so, it must have been a good many years ago; for the Prince Consort
used them in Scotland from the first year he shot in the Highlands,
and the writer’s father used them in the Highlands forty-five or fifty
years ago. In Tyrol it has been in use for at least four hundred years,
for we see it in prints of Maximilian’s day. As for clothing, the best
nether garments for really rough work are dark-coloured chamois leather
breeches, reaching to the knee, leaving it bare, with worsted stockings
long enough to reach well over the knees in snowy weather. Ordinary
woollen knickerbockers will not stand many hard days of chamois
stalking in a limestone formation; in fact, the end of the first stalk
will probably find them seatless.


CHAMOIS DRIVING

What has been said will show that, to become a successful stalker,
practice and early training in mountain work are, if not absolutely
essential, at least very desirable, and even the possessor of these
advantages has cause to pray for perpetual youth. As years roll by,
even the keenest stalker gradually becomes more and more reconciled to
the assistance afforded by beaters and other extraneous aids to outwit
this wary game, and more and more satisfied with the buck carefully
picked from the band as it rushes past one’s post in headlong flight,
or in cutting short the earthly career of a tricky old veteran whose
oft-repeated practice of sneaking through the line of guns unobserved
was attempted once too often.

The following account of a ‘Treibjagd’ in the Duke of Saxe-Coburg’s
famous preserves in the Hinter Riss in Tyrol will give a comprehensive
picture of driving chamois at its very best.

In this vast preserve, consisting of a great strip of mountain
country, a very sea of jagged ranges, stretching from the Inn Valley
to the Isar, driving is made a fine art, the experience of fifty
years assisting to no little extent the efforts of as fine a staff
of keepers as can be found in the Alps. Sport can be obtained there
with a luxurious ease that is in striking contrast to the hard fare
and rough times usually the lot of the stalker. To drive chamois over
an exceedingly rough country in a given direction is a very much
harder task, however, than appears on the face of it. Take a tract
of mountains, the selection for that day’s drive, five or six miles
square, connected with adjoining ranges by numerous passes by which the
wary game can easily escape; take the extreme uncertainty of the wind
in these elevated localities, now blowing in the desired direction,
now suddenly veering round, carrying the alarm for many miles to the
keen-scented game, and undoing in one minute the most carefully planned
manœuvre, and it will be realised how many obstacles and contingencies,
often of the most unforeseen nature, must be provided for to make a
drive successful. Where such large areas have to be surrounded a whole
army of beaters would not suffice to keep chamois in the drive, and the
‘lappen,’ or flags, one of the most important aids on such occasions,
have to be employed. These consist of many miles of strong cord to
which at intervals of every four or five feet bright-coloured pieces
of linen about the size of a pocket-handkerchief are fastened. These
cords, resembling a laundry line hung low, are drawn on two sides of
the tract to be driven, and are kept in position about three feet
from the ground by rods firmly fastened into the rocks. Swayed by the
breeze these flags wave to and fro, and under ordinary circumstances
serve their purpose of preventing the chamois escaping that way. As a
rule they are strung along the knifeback backbone of the mountains to
be enclosed, jagged ridges peculiar to a limestone formation, where
apparently only flies with glue on their feet could find a footing.
Great care has to be taken in stringing these cords, as the ever-busy
breeze makes simultaneous action necessary; and even then, when
everything appears to work like clockwork, some hitherto unknown gap in
an apparently perfectly impassable wall of rock will afford escape, for
where one chamois can get the whole band will follow, and the day prove
a complete failure.

Along the narrow glenlike valleys that intersect the Duke’s vast shoot
he has constructed, so far as the ground permitted it, carriage-roads,
and up the precipitous slopes, where practicable, carefully laid out
bridle-paths wind and twist, enabling elderly sportsmen to reach the
vicinity of their ‘stand’ or post on the backs of sure-footed mules or
mountain-bred ponies. Leaving the central shooting-box, a charmingly
situated little Gothic castle reminding one of a miniature Balmoral,
at the comparatively late hour of 7.30 A.M., the four Hungarians
take the break in good time to the furthest extremity of the valley
which in its higher recesses is to be the scene of the day’s drive.
Quitting the vehicle where the precipitous slopes begin to rise at an
angle that makes the construction of even a bridle-path a matter of
some difficulty, the genial host and his principal guest mount sturdy
cobs, while for some of the more elderly guests mules are provided,
and without loss of time the party, followed by eight or nine of the
keepers, begins the ascent. The latter are fine stalwart Tyrolese,
clad in their picturesque native dress: grey frieze jackets, black
chamois leather knee-breeches, and greenish-grey worsted stocking-like
leggings, leaving bare both the knee and the foot, which, where
visible, are tanned to a mahogany hue; low heavily nailed shoes
protecting the stockingless feet. For two hours we continue to ascend,
presently reaching timber-line and the crest of the ridge, from which
we obtain our first view of the scene of the drive. Here the riders
dismount, for the remaining mile to the posts has to be done on foot,
and as noiselessly as possible. The ground selected for that day’s
drive consists of two vast semicircular ‘Kaare’--amphitheatre-shaped
declivities two miles across, the sides being formed by steep moraines
ending in great cliffs, a thousand or fifteen hundred feet in altitude.
Along the jagged top of these walls one can see with one’s glasses
the string of flags which were put up early that morning. The drive
is to begin sharp at 12 o’clock, and as the beaters, some forty or
fifty in number, are far beyond the furthest limit of the drive on the
other side of the flagged ridge, punctuality is very necessary. Each
of the four guests has allotted to him a keeper, who conducts him to
his ‘stand’ or post, and as we part the German contingent wish each
other the usual ‘Weidmansheil,’ sportsman’s luck, as prescribed by
ancient custom. The drive is one of the longer ones, lasting between
four and five hours, so the softest looking rock is selected for a
seat permitting of a good view of the whole scene, and a layer of pine
branches gives increased comfort. By the time the signal shot, which is
echoed and re-echoed from precipice to precipice, warns the guns of the
beginning of the drive, some luncheon has been disposed of, and if the
wind permits it, even a cigarette can be indulged in without danger.

The result of the day would be very different were the breeze even at
this late hour to chop round, for no power on earth can drive chamois
into the teeth of a danger-tainted breeze; but this fortunately does
not occur, and we can watch the drive from our point of vantage, and
follow the details of it at leisure. On two small snow-fields lying
well under the cliffs we can see small black specks. Closer examination
with the glasses discloses two bands of chamois each some twenty in
number; some are lying on the snow, others, mostly kids, are frisking
about, the whole lot, till they hear the signal shot, being quite
ignorant of the impending ordeal. Very rapidly does the scene change
when the first alarm strikes their ears. The frisky kids, which a
second before were playing about, now press against their respective
mothers’ sides, while the older animals have jumped to their feet
with amazing rapidity. Misled by the echo as to the direction whence
the sound really came, they dart hither and thither, unable to make
up their minds whither to flee. The next minute the bands separate
into several groups, each under the leadership of a doe, who select
different routes, each of which, however, will in the end probably
bring them to the guns, though some sooner than others. The plan of
the drive depends greatly upon the lay of the ground. In many cases
the line of beaters, from twenty to fifty in number, is drawn from
the bottom to the top of the mountain, and then at a given signal the
whole line works along its flank. The crest of the ridge is flagged
off and so is the bottom, if it is at all likely that the chamois will
attempt to break through in that direction. The fourth side is occupied
by the guns, and if there are not enough to stop the gaps and passes,
short lengths of flags are strung between them, or keepers are posted
who, when chamois approach, show themselves and cause the game to turn
back into the drive, and try for some other place of escape till they
finally come to one of the guns. In other drives the two side lines of
flags are curved inwards till the extremities almost meet, and that is
usually the best post; for chamois on getting to the ‘lappen’ turn one
way or another, dashing along the flag-line till they reach an opening.
In other places, again, where the mountains are very steep, and a large
area has only three or four possible outlets by which the game can get
away, flags are almost unnecessary, for the beasts must come by the
passes, or ‘chimneys,’ or ledges, which of course should all be well
known to the keepers, who make the configuration of the ground their
special study. But only too often the amazing climbing powers of the
chamois will at the last moment upset all the well-matured plans, and
the hard-pressed animals effect their escape by some hitherto unknown
ledge, or by a series of leaps down perpendicular heights that make the
onlooker hold his breath with astonishment. Speaking of the wonderful
climbing feats, space may be given to one or two actual measurements.
Tschuddi’s eminently trustworthy figures are the following: a chasm
on the Monte Rosa jumped by a chamois measured 21 feet, while a
perpendicular wall, 14 feet high,[10] was jumped by a semi-tame chamois
frightened by a dog; and the writer has measured a vertical depth of 24
feet, down which a wounded buck cornered by a bloodhound unhesitatingly
ventured to leap without injury to himself. When in their flight
suddenly coming upon the flag-line chamois will not always turn to
one side or leap clean over it, but will sometimes boldly charge the
bunting, and if the cord is not too old and stands the strain, the
result is a chamois violently flung on its back. In a few instances
they have been known to get entangled in the cord and strangled to
death.

A somewhat singular and ludicrous result of such a charge once occurred
to me, and may be worth repeating. It happened at a drive in the Hinter
Authal, Prince Hermann Hohenlohe’s excellent preserve in Tyrol. There
being but three guns present, flags had to be used between the posts. I
was posted on a rock at the bottom of a steep and high slope of loose
stones stretching many hundreds of feet upwards; my range of vision and
of fire being unusually confined in every other direction. Two shots
fired in rapid succession by my host, who was the nearest gun above me,
put me on the _qui vive_, and not needlessly, for there, flying down
the slope, bounded a chamois straight for my post. The Prince’s _coup
double_ had knocked over the companion buck, and the frightened animal
was travelling at a terrific pace. On getting closer I observed, to my
utmost surprise, that to one of its horns was attached what appeared to
be a scarlet handkerchief, which fluttered like a pennant in the air
as the animal pursued its headlong flight. The fluttering rag made it
impossible to determine by its horns whether the animal was a buck, but
its large size, strongly formed neck, and whole appearance confirmed
me in my belief that it was a buck. On it came with the speed of a
ricochetting cannon-ball straight down towards me, and would have
passed me within a couple of yards had my rifle not ended almost _à
bout portant_ the days of what, on going up, turned out to be an old
and unusually large barren doe! It afterwards appeared that several
beaters had seen her in her wild flight dash against the ‘lappen,’
which were new and strong, and after turning a double somersault and
being flung on her back, dash away with one of the red rags, pierced
by one of the horns, fluttering from her head. What made the matter
worse and earned me some chaff, was the fact that it was my hundredth
chamois, and I had only a few hours before expressed the determination
that it should be a buck and not a doe.

Chamois, to return to our drive, pursue different tactics when driven.
Old bucks--and they, of course, are the special object of the ambitious
sportsman--as a rule, try to steal away at the first sign of danger,
after having from some prominent crag thoroughly inspected the whole
ground. These wary old fellows proceed very cautiously: every ravine
is carefully scanned before it is crossed and every couloir narrowly
inspected, lest danger be lurking behind some rock or boulder. If
the guns are posted on exposed points, good cover, and as perfect
immovability as it is possible to maintain during a three or four
hours’ drive, is advisable if nearer acquaintance with these old
stagers is sought. Often has the writer watched old bucks approach
and inspect some restless and fidgety gun, who, because he could not
see any chamois, imagined no chamois could see him, than which no
greater mistake can be made. Bucks will often stand for an hour at
a time perfectly motionless, fixedly regarding some point to which
their attention has been attracted. The does and younger generation
of bucks are more easily startled than the fathers of the tribe, and
they generally approach the guns in full flight, testing the nerve of
the sportsman to a high degree, for it is no easy matter to pick out
males under these circumstances. On the occasion I am endeavouring
to describe, some ninety or a hundred beasts are in the drive, and
soon the easily distinguishable right and left of the Duke’s Express
are awakening the echoes, and as the fleeing band, after leaving two
victims behind, dashes down the flag-line, the turn of the other guns
comes too. About one o’clock another distant signal shot tells one that
the beaters have reached the top of the flagged ridge from the back,
and now we can see them clearly outlined against the sky. They remove
the ‘lappen’ before beginning their exceedingly perilous descent down
the face of the cliffs--a most desperate looking undertaking, which one
watches with bated breath. Some seven or eight chamois trying to escape
by a ledge up the face of the cliff reach the top from one side just as
the beaters do the same from the other, and to see them wheel about on
a band of rock only inches wide and dash down, leaping from projection
to projection, startlingly exhibits their wonderful surefootedness. My
turn comes by-and-bye, when an old stager, whom I have been observing
for some time, makes up his mind to escape by the pass my ‘stand’
commands. Stealthily and carefully winding at every stop he makes, he
slowly comes up towards the only remaining point, whence as yet no
thundering note of warning has issued, and I am glad that I let the
small fry which shortly before dashed past me do so unmolested. It
frequently occurs that a sacrifice like that at the beginning of the
drive is finally thus rewarded. In this instance, a second old buck
an hour later is also fatally misled as to the safety of the route
I am guarding. Soon after four o’clock the drive is over, sixteen
chamois forming the ‘Strecke,’ as a very ancient custom of venery,
i.e. the placing in a row of the day’s bag, is called. A stirring and
picturesque sight it is when all assemble at the meeting-place, usually
some bit of Alpine sward where sportsmen, keepers, and beaters mingle
in eager discussion of the chief events of the day, and every head is
carefully examined. To an active climber, joining the beaters under the
guidance of a keeper is more exciting work than sitting for hours in
one spot and potting driven chamois; but this, like stalking, no tiro
should venture on, and permission to do so is often difficult to obtain.

As some adjoining country is to be driven on the morrow, the night is
passed in one of the many delightful shooting-boxes, simply furnished
chalets with wainscot interiors, dotted about on the timber-line
regions of the Duke’s shoot. The entire month of October is thus
devoted to driving, and never is ground beaten twice the same year, so
that some idea can be formed of the extent of the shoot. Fine weather
does not always, however, attend these occasions, for October in the
Alps can make itself very disagreeable, with snowstorms and fierce
gales that drift the snow in great heaps round one on one’s post,
turning one’s body into an icicle, and cramping the fingers, so that
aim at even the shortest distances, as the mistily outlined game flits
past one in the driving snowstorm, becomes strangely uncertain.

In conclusion, a hint or two to those participating for the first time
in a large drive may be of use. In the first place, if not expressly
told to the contrary, it is wiser not to open the ball by firing the
first shot. Such a premature warning may possibly spoil the whole
laboriously laid out drive by causing the chamois to break back at a
moment when the beaters have not yet been able to reach those points
where their attempt could be frustrated. The writer has known more
than one instance when a big shoot, which otherwise might have been
entirely successful, has been spoilt by a shot fired very soon after
the beginning of the drive by an impatient gun.

Another and last hint is always to find out from the keeper who posts
one, not only the exact position of the next guns--information he
usually volunteers--but also, if they are invisible to one, the limits
of one’s own field of fire. Nothing is more disagreeable than at the
end of the drive to find out that, by shooting perhaps a little further
than was expected, one has shot beasts really belonging by all rules of
venery to one’s neighbour. Such an oversight, arising from ignorance
respecting these limits, once caused the writer on the occasion of a
formal Court _chasse_ very painful embarrassment by tempting him to
fire at and, as bad luck would have it, also hit, at somewhat long
range, four good bucks, which at the time--of course, unknown to
him--were much closer to his neighbour, an exalted English personage,
and which bucks, to make it worse, were the only chamois the latter
saw during a long day’s drive. The consternation of the dumbfounded
officials, when they discovered the result of their negligence in
failing to give the necessary information, was lamentable to behold
till the amiable prince very good-naturedly made light of their awkward
oversight.


HISTORY OF THE CHAMOIS AND ITS CHASE

Marvellous stories of the chamois’s wily artfulness in evading the
hunter have from time immemorial been told. For instance, that when
cornered by its pursuers it would hang itself by the crook of its horns
from ledges overhanging deep precipices to evade the hunter’s ken. As
late as forty years ago, absurd nonsense was still being written about
the chamois. Thus an English author gravely quotes: ‘The chamois hunter
rarely shoots his game, but drives it from crag to crag till further
pursuit becomes impossible, when he draws his knife and puts it to the
side of the chamois, and the animal pushes it into its body of its own
accord!’

To the chamois’ blood valuable medicinal qualities were for many
centuries ascribed, and the healing properties of the famous ‘Bezoar
stone’ (Ægagropilæ) have been vaunted and written about by numerous
authors from Pliny to Lebwald. This ball-shaped secretion, consisting
of resinous fibres and hairs, is occasionally found in the stomach of
very old bucks, and is really the result of the unnatural contraction
of the muscles of the stomach, which in the chamois consists of four
much more distinctly separated divisions than is usual with other
ruminants. Up to fifty years ago these stones (which occasionally reach
the size of a billiard-ball) fetched their weight in gold, and they
were considered specifics for half a dozen deadly ills, among them ‘the
loss of one’s intestines,’ as Pliny calls a malady which it is to be
hoped has since disappeared.

[Illustration: Emperor Maximilian I. chamois hunting A.D. 1500 (from
‘Theuerdank’)]

In the Middle Ages, before the invention of gunpowder, the chase of the
chamois must have been infinitely more arduous than it is to-day. They
were usually stalked, and were killed either with the cross-bow or with
spears thrown like javelins. These were shafts 9 ft. long with thin
tapering lance points, and a skilled man could throw them with fatal
effect a distance of forty steps. The great mediæval sportsman, Emperor
Maximilian, has left us some quaintly worded descriptions and pictorial
representations of chamois stalking and its dangers. He was undoubtedly
the first to use the unwieldy ‘fire-tube’ weighing 20 or 22 lbs., with
its forked prop and fuse which was carried in the hand, and which had
to be lighted with steel and flint before game hove in sight. The only
bit of advice smacking of our own luxury-loving much-beservanted sport
four centuries later, is the quaint remark of the royal sportsman:
‘that it is a convenient thing to have at one’s side a trusty man with
good lungs to keep the fuse alive.’



CHAPTER VII

THE STAG OF THE ALPS

BY W. A. BAILLIE-GROHMAN


The red deer to be found on the Continent of Europe can, broadly
speaking, be divided into two families: those inhabiting the more or
less isolated forests on the great plains of Central and Northern
Europe, and those making the mountainous regions of South-Eastern
Europe, chiefly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, their home. Whilst it
is not always easy to draw a topographical line of demarcation between
plains and mountains, this broad subdivision has a great deal to do
with the explanation of the fact that the mountain stag has, in the
course of the two or three last centuries, deteriorated less than has
the stag of the plains.

The retrogression of the latter has been much greater than is generally
supposed, and it is not till one has investigated the abundant evidence
placed at the disposal of those having the necessary opportunities
for research that the vast decrease in numbers and deterioration in
the size of the animal and of its proud trophy are brought home to
one. Months of interesting study are afforded by the perusal in German
archives of the shooting diaries of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, a period when, as is well known, the love for the noble art
of venery swayed the great territorial lords and potentates of Germany,
France and Austria to an all-absorbing degree of which it is difficult
to form a correct idea in these days of responsible government. Such
study of old diaries, kept as a rule with far greater punctilious care
and method than was bestowed upon the most important papers of state,
brings to light narratives of sport and details about the animals
themselves which make comparison with the puny forms, shrunken number,
and dwarfed antlers of to-day a matter of suggestive interest. To cite
only one instance: is it not startling to read that the Elector of
Saxony killed in forty-five years (1611 to 1656)--during which, we must
not forget, the Thirty Years’ War was ravaging Germany--no fewer than
47,239 head of red deer, of which 24,563 were stags? Amongst them there
were:

    1 stag of thirty       points
    1     ”   twenty-eight   ”
    1     ”   twenty-six     ”
    3     ”   twenty-four    ”
    9     ”   twenty-two     ”
    24    ”   twenty         ”
    131   ”   eighteen       ”
    373   ”   sixteen        ”
    1,192 ”   fourteen       ”

whilst as to weight the following figures tell their own story: the
heaviest stag (killed somewhat early in the season, August 17, 1646),
weighed 61 stone 11 lbs., fifty-nine stags exceeded 56 stone, 651
exceeded 48 stone, 2,679 exceeded 40 stone, and 4,139 exceeded 32
stone. It is interesting to compare with these figures the bag of the
descendant of the above potentate--i.e. the late Duke of Saxe-Coburg,
an equally keen sportsman, with opportunities, in comparison, much the
same as his great ancestor. He, as we find from compilations placed at
the writer’s disposal, killed in forty-nine years (1837 to 1886) 3,283
red deer, of which 2,316 were stags, and of these there were one of
24 points, two of 22, four of 20, eight of 18, and 164 of 16 and 14
points; whilst in respect to weight, the best forests of Germany did
not return a single stag equal to that of the lowest in the Elector
George’s list, i.e. 32 stone. If deterioration continues at the same
rate, the descendants of the Duke of Edinburgh, who has now succeeded
to the throne of this doughty race of Nimrods, will have to be
satisfied with stags of proportions akin to those of the dwarf deer of
other continents, which a strong man can hold out at arm’s length.

Such deterioration as the above has not occurred with the mountain
stag, for we find that in Northern Hungary and adjacent Bukowina giants
of the red deer species, ranging in weight from 35 to 40 stone (clean)
are obtainable to this day, while their heads, if not exhibiting such
an abnormally large number of tines as those to be found in the great
historical collections of antlers of the Continent, where heads up
to 66 points are to be seen, are nevertheless as heavy in the beam
and as wide spreading almost as the best which the sixteenth century
produced. Moreover, one must not forget when examining these famous old
collections that they represent a zeal in sport and, in most instances,
a lavishness almost incomprehensible in these modern utilitarian days;
a lavishness which in many instances wrecked the finances of the ruler
and of his country. History tells us that one enthusiast gave a full
battalion of his tallest grenadiers for a single pair of antlers two
centuries ago, while another offered a sum corresponding to 5,000_l._
for another famous head, and offered it, moreover, in vain. These are
two instances of what perhaps to our remote descendants may possibly
not seem a more extraordinary proceeding than the purchase of a few
square feet of painted canvas for fifteen times that sum.

If we search for the reason why the stag of the plains has lost so much
more ground than his brother from the hills, we come upon the same
factor which has worked so much havoc in Scotland, i.e. inbreeding.
The forests of Central and Northern Europe (often tracts of enormous
extent) were nevertheless much more isolated from other breeding
grounds than is the whole system of the South European Alps, where
nature has always provided fresh blood with far greater regularity than
could possibly be the case in detached forests.

To-day by far the largest heads and heaviest stags are to be found in
the mountainous regions of Northern Hungary, where are situated many
great sporting estates of the Austrian aristocracy, which afford sport
such as is probably to be found nowhere else in the civilised world.

[Illustration: No. 1, No. 2, No. 3]

Confining himself to the bags of the last ten years or so, the writer
can give the following details. The heaviest stags of all are shot at
the famous Munkacs estate of Count Schoenborn, in the Carpathian Alps,
where stags with a clean weight of 40 stone 8 lbs. have been killed in
the last decade. Their heads are, however, so it is generally averred,
not better than those of stags in the adjacent Pilis Mountains and
other regions in the Carpathians. The accompanying sketch (No. 1) is
an accurate representation of the upper part of a pair of antlers
of a stag killed at Radauc in 1882 by Prince Rohan; they are of the
following very remarkable dimensions: length of right antler 49⁶⁄₁₀
ins., of left antler 48⁴⁄₁₀ ins. No. 2 sketch represents antlers of
a stag shot in the Pilis Mountains in 1884 by the present Duke of
Ratibor, the right antler measuring 49 ins., the left 50⁴⁄₁₀ ins.,
while the spread from tip to tip at widest point is 55⁹⁄₁₀ ins. This
is enormous. The remarkable expanse of the crown of a stag shot on the
Jolsva estates (Hungary) in 1884 by Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg Gotha
is shown in sketch No. 3, where the extreme distance between the two
most prominent tines forming the crown _a_ to _b_ tapes 20⁹⁄₁₀ ins.

Frequently, as everybody who has dipped into antler lore well knows,
the largest heads, so far as length and number of tines go, are not the
heaviest in weight; in fact, one might almost quote as a rule that the
heaviest heads are fourteen and sixteen tined ones, when the animal
has begun to set back. Thus neither No. 1, 2, nor 3 reaches, by 4 lbs.
or more, the weight of a 14-pointer killed by Prince Rohan in Radauc,
which, with the small fragment of skull-bone which is usually left
attached to the antlers, exceeds that of many a fair wapiti head--the
giant of the deer species--scaling an ounce or two over 31 lbs.
avoirdupois; whilst another 14-pointer, obtained by the late Austrian
Crown Prince, weighed little less. To find matches for these modern
antlers among old historical heads one has to search among the pick of
the old collections, and of these history does not always tell their
origin. Take, for example, two famous collections embracing between
seven and eight thousand heads, i.e. the historically most interesting
‘Sammlung,’ at the King of Saxony’s castle of Moritzburg, where, in one
of the many halls in which are hung these highly treasured trophies of
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the visitor can see 71 heads,
not one of which carries less than 24 points; and, secondly, Count
Arco’s numerically even finer collection at Munich. The pick of both
collections is in the first named--i.e. a head of the unrivalled spread
of 6 ft. 3⁶⁄₁₀ ins., and of the equally remarkable weight of 41½ lbs.
avoirdupois. The history of most of the lesser heads in this collection
is well known; not so unfortunately the origin of these monster
antlers. In spite of many weeks’ researches in the King’s private
library and in the Royal archives to which the writer obtained access,
it was impossible to trace its history further back than 1586, in which
year the head is enumerated in an inventory of the Elector Augustus’s
heirlooms, without mentioning whence it came.

Returning to modern times, it must, of course, be remembered that in
the localities producing the monster stags of to-day everything is in
their favour. In the oak forests on the lower slopes of the mountains
they find a mild climate and the best horn-producing food during the
winter months, while during the summer they make undisturbed raids upon
the rich agricultural valleys below, where they find the wherewithal
for many a stone of extra weight, the feudal sway exercised by the
great territorial magnates permitting the deer to trespass upon the
crops with impunity, and thus grow to be the lustiest of their race. In
the higher Central Alps, in Styria, Tyrol, and the Bavarian Highlands,
the stags are smaller and their antlers shorter and proportionately
less massive, being about the size of the best Scotch heads. In the
Alps the inclemencies of severe winters, lack of food as well as lack
of shelters, tell upon the growth of the whole race.

In other respects, however, the stag of the true Alps is a grander
beast than his lazier and sleeker brother to be found on the slopes
of the Carpathians. Scarcer, far harder to obtain, amid surroundings
not unsimilar to those which make chamois shooting such keen sport,
stalking the Alpine stag has for those who are fond of real mountain
sport more attractions than the pursuit of the larger and less wily
Hungarian stag.


STALKING THE ALPINE STAG

The home of the Hungarian and of the Alpine stag differs very
materially from that of the Scotch deer. The more or less treeless
‘forest’ of Scotland is replaced in the first named locality by superb
woods of deciduous as well as of coniferous trees; in the latter by
dense pine, fir, and larch woods. These are forests which do not belie
their name, and their owners are never forced to kill off stags in
order to save a few precious trees, an unpleasant alternative by no
means unknown to Scotch lairds.

To the presence of these forests must be ascribed the entirely
different mode of stalking pursued in Austria from that known to the
Scotch deerstalker. The view over great expanses of open hill land,
which is the most typical incident of Scotch sport, is practically
unknown on the Continent. In consequence of this, stalking can
only take place at a season of the year when the stag betrays his
whereabouts by the call or roar he emits at rutting time.

The rutting season of the Alpine stag varies triflingly, but as a
rule it may be said to begin about September 25, and to end on or
about October 10 or 15. Prior to that time, from the moment when the
stag’s antlers are clear of velvet, he is literally unapproachable
in the dense thickets he loves to frequent at this period. Though
necessarily a high feeder at this season, during which he has to lay
up a goodly stock of fat for the exciting and exhausting times of the
rut, he nevertheless comes out to feed only at night-time, and he hears
as well as scents danger afar. So suspicious is he that, as an old
proverb says, ‘he flies from his own shadow.’ To stalk him under such
conditions in a densely timbered country is, of course, hopeless; so
that his chase during August and the first half of September can only
be successfully achieved by driving the forest with beaters (dogs,
except for tracking wounded game, being of course very much out of
place), and this driving is considered but poor sport by those who have
an opportunity of killing the same animal by stalking a few weeks later.

In this stalking, the call of the stag plays a principal part.
Unmelodious as is this hoarse challenge for the virile championship of
the herd, it is a glorious sound to the ear of the sportsman. Whether
heard in timber-line regions of the Alps, or in the tangled depth of
German or Hungarian forests, or in the elevated uplands of the Rocky
Mountains, it has about it as true a ring of sport as the first music
from the pack in covert.

In stalking the Alpine stag during the ‘Brunft,’ as the Austrians
call the rutting time, in forests that are strictly preserved, the
assistance of keepers saves much time which otherwise would have to
be expended by the sportsman in discovering the favourite locality
frequented by the stags. Stags when the instincts of the season are
full upon them are ‘up and doing’ all night, and the concert made by
four or five (and often many more) brave warriors within earshot lasts
all night, only to die away as darkness is replaced by daylight.

On clear nights, favoured by a bright full moon (other conditions being
equally propitious), it is possible for a skilful stalker to get up to
within a score of yards of a calling stag, close enough to fire with a
good chance of hitting the beast. A smooth-bore, to which one is well
accustomed, firing a spherical 13-bore ball, is for such occasions
preferable to a rifle with its fine sights, and as a rule less perfect
‘fit’ for such hazarding. To a novice unaccustomed to this kind of
midnight sport a few practice shots at a dummy should precede actual
trial, for distances on such occasions are sadly deceptive, and it
is remarkable how much of beautiful Nature there is to be hit in the
immediate vicinity of one’s would-be prey.

Ordinarily the sportsman does not begin the stalk (during the rut)
till just before the break of day. He has to be on the spot at the
first signs of dawn, and therefore it is very advisable to pass the
night as close to the scene of the stalk as possible. In most preserves
small log huts of the most primitive kind are built expressly for
this purpose high up on the mountains close to timber-line, and if
possible close to some prominent point of rocks or shoulder of the
mountain whence the slopes below on both sides can be, as the Germans
say, ‘overheard.’ What glorious solos, duets, and trios can the lucky
stalker not hear on such occasions, when nought but those weird sounds
breaks the great solemn silence of night on the elevated Alpine
timber-line regions! And how eagerly does one’s ear follow those sounds
as they draw nearer or grow fainter, as the champions, bent on war and
love, roam hither and thither on the great pine-clad slope lying in
solemn silence at the feet of the midnight watcher!

The rutting stag, ardent with virile passion, is singularly heedless
of danger at this season, and were it not for the hinds, who at this
period appear to redouble their vigilance, he would be comparatively
easy to stalk. In nine out of every ten unsuccessful stalks it is safe
to say the failure is attributable to the watchfulness of the hinds,
an experience which, it is perhaps needless to say, is by no means
confined to the red deer of Europe.

With the exception of a few days at the height of the rut, stags
only ‘call’ or ‘roar’ at night-time, and during the early hours of
the morning. Not every rutting season affords the same chances for
sport. What in the sportsman’s eyes is a good season is marked by
its briefness, say ten days, and by a corresponding intensity of its
peculiarities. In such seasons, the stag that roars one night at
a certain place will, if not disturbed, make himself heard in the
same locality the next night. In bad seasons, usually on account of
unseasonably warm or wet weather, the stags roam further afield, and
‘roar’ far less regularly, the impelling instincts being apparently
less violently aroused. In such cases they will continue the rut fully
ten days longer, but far more intermittently than in the former.

The favourite rutting-places, or ‘Brunftplätze,’ of the Alpine stag do
not appear, so far as surroundings are concerned, to be subject to any
particular rule. They are generally well up on the mountains, not far
from timber-line, and ordinarily on clearings or park-like openings
of a marshy character, such as often are to be found on the small
watersheds separating the head-waters of two glens.

Finally, to speak about the sport itself, it is safe to say that
next to chamois stalking it is the keenest sport obtainable on the
Continent. Being less uncertain and less riskful, for there is no
climbing about it, it is more attractive to the ordinary sportsman, and
it leaves perhaps quite as pleasurable memories in the minds of even
the most ardent of Nimrods.

Given a fairly well-stocked forest in one of the picturesque regions of
Styria, Salzburg, or Tyrol; given clear, frosty, autumn weather, and
as your host a fair representative of the truly hospitable and truly
sport-loving Austrians, no more delightful last week of September or
first week of October can be passed than in the log huts dotted here
and there near well-known favourite ‘Brunftplätze’ on the uppermost
outskirts of the vast pine forests of the Austrian Alps.

Starting out from your hut, which has given you a welcome night’s
shelter, an hour or so before dawn, accompanied if you are a novice
by a keeper, you pursue your way silently and noiselessly towards the
spot where your quarry has been betraying his presence by lusty notes.
Only practised ears can tell exactly where that spot is, for there is
nothing more deceptive than the roar of a stag. At one time it seems
scarce a quarter of a mile off, two or three minutes later it will
sound thrice that distance away, caused by the stag sending forth his
challenge in the opposite direction. Moreover, the sound itself, with
its deep guttural notes, is by no means always of the same strength.

By the time you have reached the vicinity of the deer, the rays of the
rising sun are tipping with a rosy tinge the high snow-clad peaks which
form your horizon overhead, and the time when ‘shooting light’ will
enable you to finger your trigger is near at hand. If the clearing on
which the deer are disporting themselves--as yet only faintly outlined
forms--is a large one, you will have more difficulty in getting close
to your quarry than if it happens to be merely a glade or park-like
opening in the forest.

Now every moment is valuable, for as dawn gives way to broad daylight,
the deer are sure to return to the denser forest, where pursuit is
infinitely more difficult. If the clearing happens to be an old
windfall, or marks the pathway of an avalanche which has laid low the
great pines and arves, fallen trunks scattered here and there, or
little thickets of young saplings, usually afford means of approach. If
you are hardy, and do not mind brushing the rime off the frost-laden
grass with your bare feet, your heavy iron-shod boots will about this
time be slipped off and the last part of the stalk be performed without
them, the best of all precautions against striking stones, or, what is
even more treacherously dangerous, treading upon twigs, which snap
with an alarming noise. Possibly you may have whispered to you hints
similar to the one a keen old keeper once hissed into the ear of an
august but inexperienced sportsman, who, in plain view of a fine stag,
gaped aghast at the idea of baring his feet to the sharp rocks and
frost-coated ground: ‘Don’t be afraid, Highness, of hurting the stones,
or crushing the grass; up here God grows a goodly crop of ’em, but he
doesn’t make any too many stags such as stands yonder.’[11]

And when finally, with palpitating heart, every fibre in your body
set, you have approached your noble quarry, surrounded as you must
ever remember he is by keenly watchful members of his harem, brace
yourself by a supreme effort for a steady aim; a good stag is worthy of
your very best effort. And if you are a true sportsman, and not merely
a slayer, stay for a brief moment or two before you end that life,
the finger pressing the trigger. The call of a distant foe has just
struck the ear of the gallant champion, and with virile impetuosity he
steps forth from the circle of graceful hinds to hoarsely answer the
challenge to mortal combat. His head is thrust well forward, his shaggy
neck distended to twice the natural size, his antlers of noble sweep
are thrown well back, one of his forefeet is angrily pawing the ground,
whilst his hot breath issues from his nostrils and open mouth upon the
frosty air like so much steam; it is a picture which you will never
forget.



CHAPTER VIII

THE SCANDINAVIAN ELK

BY SIR HENRY POTTINGER, BART.


The chase of the elk, one of the few grand wild sports still to
be found in Europe, was thought worthy of mention by very old and
distinguished writers, but their remarks on the subject are perhaps not
likely to be of much practical value to the modern sportsman. The great
Cæsar is our authority for the fact that the elk, having no joints
to its legs and being therefore unable to lie down, is compelled to
take its rest by leaning against a tree. The cunning hunter, continues
the noble Roman, takes advantage of this peculiarity, and by sawing
most of the trees in a wood frequented by the ponderous beast nearly
through, brings about its downfall, when, from inability to rise, it
becomes an easy victim. I have not yet tried this method of hunting,
which is corroborated by Pliny, when writing of the elk ‘in Scandinavia
insula.’ The celebrated naturalist also observes that, owing to the
monstrous protrusion of its upper lip, the animal is compelled to feed
backwards. Other ancient writers concur in the statement that the elk
when pursued is liable to epileptic fits, but that he can occasionally
relieve himself from the malady by opening a vein in his ear with his
hind foot. I am inclined to believe, having never myself seen an elk
in a fit, that now-a-days the remedy is invariably successful; but I
find that the author of a small French book, entitled _Nouveau voyage
vers le Septentrion_, and published in 1708, mentions that whilst
hunting near Christiania in the company of a Norwegian nobleman, he
was fortunate enough to be an eye-witness of the death of the only
two elk they found, both of which succumbed, after a severe run, to
sudden epileptic attacks, otherwise they would certainly never have
been overtaken! He records, moreover, his scornful rejection of one of
the elk’s feet, kindly offered by his host as a sovereign preservative
against this terrible ‘falling sickness,’ on the not unreasonable
ground that the pretended virtue of the foot had been of little use to
its original owner.

We thus see that from the earliest times some degree of mystery and
special interest has been attached to the habits and chase of the elk,
whose obscure existence in the depth of Northern forests, and gigantic
uncouthness of appearance, amounting almost to deformity, still seem
to indicate him as a survivor from the remote age of antediluvian or
primæval monsters.

Owing to the wise protective enactments of the Government, extending
over more than half a century, the Scandinavian elk, which although
formerly abundant was at one time almost in danger of extinction,
has of late years again spread rapidly over a great part of Norway
and Sweden, wherever the country is sufficiently wild and wooded to
suit its habits. It is indeed found even within a comparatively short
distance of the capitals, some of the best elk-ground in Norway being
accessible by a short railway or road journey from Christiania; but
this is principally in the hands of gentlemen resident in that city, by
whom the game in the adjacent forests is often as strictly preserved
as that in our coverts at home. It appears, however, that the elk is
still almost unknown in the extreme north--that is, within the Arctic
Circle. Its range throughout the whole Scandinavian Peninsula, with
the exception of rare stragglers, may be fairly reckoned as lying
between 57° and 66° 30 N. By the published returns of the ‘Norsk Jæger
og Fisker Forening,’ we learn that in 1889, which may be accepted as
an average year, elk were killed in eleven out of the eighteen amts or
provinces of Norway. North Trondhjem, which includes the wild regions
round Stordal, Værdal, Inderöen, and Namdal, was easily first in its
return of 303 elk, of which 207 were bulls and 96 cows. Next, but a
long way behind, came Akershus (containing the capital, Christiania)
with 71 bulls and 47 cows, 118 in all; Hedemarken was third with 109
elk; Christian fourth with 82; Buskerud fifth with 77, and South
Trondhjem sixth with 74. The long stretch of Nordland returned only 9
kills; and Finmarken, the Arctic province, not a single one. Altogether
about 850 elk on the average are killed yearly in Norway, and in Sweden
rather more than double the number. It must be remembered, however,
that on the vast estates belonging to the great landowners in the south
and centre of the latter country elk are preserved as strictly as foxes
or pheasants are in England, and that, at the same time, there is no
legal restriction to prevent the sportsman killing during the season as
many elk, including calves, as he can, upon any property however small;
whereas in Norway he is limited, under penalty of a heavy fine, to one
deer for each registered or ‘matriculated’ division of the land, and
the murder of calves is altogether forbidden.

The period during which it is legal to kill elk in Norway is nominally
from August 1 to September 31, but this general law is subject to
much local modification. Thus, in Nordland the full time of three
months is still granted; in North Trondhjem it is curtailed to forty
days, from September 1 to October 10; whilst in South Trondhjem its
duration is for the month of September only. As by the watchful care of
the authorities the close-time for any game in any given district of
Scandinavia is always liable to extension, it is as well for intending
lessees of sporting rights to ascertain exactly the terms of the local
enactments, and, if possible, the probabilities of fresh legislation.
Some years ago I took a large tract of forest in the province of
Jemtland, in Sweden, and had just succeeded, after the first season,
in making my quarters fairly comfortable, when the Government passed
a law forbidding any elk to be killed in that province for three
years. Unluckily the local authorities neglected to enforce at the same
time proper supervision in the matter of poaching. A Swede, who acted
as hunter for me some years later, coolly confessed that he and his
comrades had never had such good sport as during that long close-time.
Whilst honest law-abiding men stayed at home and the officials pocketed
their salaries and did nothing, the poacher gangs had the immense
forest tracts all to themselves, and with the connivance of some of
the farmers, who of course had their share of the spoil, were easily
able to escape detection. The elk season in Sweden would appear to be
subject to local variations similar to those in Norway; in the province
of Jemtland it is confined to the month of September only.

Knowing nothing of the American moose, except from reading or hearsay,
I am scarcely equal to drawing any comparison between it and the
Scandinavian elk. It is, I understand, generally agreed that while
the two animals are about equal in bulk, the moose, in the matter of
horns at least, has the advantage--_ceteris paribus_--of its European
congener. Nevertheless, the latter, when it has attained its full
honours, is capable of furnishing the sportsman with a trophy of which
he may well be proud.

Whether, as some experienced hunters maintain, the age of an elk can be
fairly determined by the number of points on its antlers, or whether,
as others declare, there is absolutely no test by which it can be
approximately guessed, beyond the fact that the ruggedness and spread
of the coronet and the thickening of the base of the horns and tines
are sure indications of old age, it is not for me, in the teeth of
such conflicting opinions, to decide, although I have for some years
taken especial pains to collect data and ideas on this very obscure
subject. But I would suggest, with all due respect to the theories of
others, that nature is seldom purely capricious, and that, taking as
a basis the normal development of the horns during the first two or
three years, which is, as a rule, regular and easily observable, and
regarding the large number of elk with antlers of almost precisely
the same size and number of points that are annually killed, there
does appear to be some method in the growth of the latter, and that
it does seem only reasonable that some accuracy of calculation may be
attained by those who have constant opportunities, if they will but
take the trouble, of verifying it. I fancy that it is only of late
years and since a small band of English sportsmen has devoted itself
to the regular annual pursuit of the elk in Scandinavia, that the
native hunter, the Norwegian at least, has been induced by example
to exhibit any interest in the question of horns or to regard them
as worthy of special attention: the size of the body and the amount
of meat have always been to him of far greater importance. To this
day I occasionally hear Scandinavian Nimrods express much incredulous
astonishment at the fact that an Englishman has been known to spare
a well-grown bull with an insignificant trophy, or a big cow. Quite
recently, however, Norway has been invaded by a large number of German
sportsmen also bent on the pursuit of the elk, and from all accounts
these gentlemen, keen and energetic as they all undoubtedly are, are
not, as a rule, prone to err on the side of declining chances. May I
then, without polemical design, suggest it as probable that a bull
elk attains its prime between the ages of seven and twelve years,
when, in the natural course of events, the antlers will have from
fourteen to twenty-four points or thereabouts, and that to this general
computation there must be, from various causes, many exceptions? It
is not too common to find the horns a perfect pair, although they may
be symmetrical in their general curves and sweep; one has frequently
a point or two more than its fellow. I have seen a single fine very
massive head that had no palmation whatever, and on each antler only
four tines, but these were of great length and thickness, and strongly
resembled on a smaller scale those of the wapiti. The owner of another
remarkable head, which I have not seen, describes it as being very
powerful, with twenty-three points in all, in _double_ rows on each
horn. I find that among native hunters the belief is prevalent that
there are two kinds of elk, the one being less massive in build than
the other, of lighter colour, and with invariably less palmation; but I
take it that such variation is simply due to local influences, and is
common to many animals, cornigerous and otherwise.

Be all this as it may, we have at least the fact that the horns of all
the elk in Scandinavia do run more or less to points, and that the
majority killed have less than eighteen, which number, my experience
leads me to believe, English sportsmen, whatever may be their opinions
as to growth and age, practically regard much in the light of a
‘royal head’ amongst elk, while with any greater number it might be
analogously classed as ‘imperial,’ although neither these nor any
other terms that I know of are in use. A head with twelve or fourteen
points is reckoned a decent trophy. I have never myself seen one
preserved with more than twenty-six, and this was inferior in sweep
and general measurements to some which had fewer; on the best which
has fallen to my own rifle I count twenty-three. It will be understood
that in reckoning points I recognise the claim of every distinct and
undeniable excrescence, of whatever size. By the kindness of Colonel C.
S. Walker, of Tykillen, Wexford--a keen and successful hunter in India
and elsewhere, and my predecessor in the elk forest which I now hold in
Norway--I have been supplied with excellent and instructive photographs
of some of the best heads he obtained during his four Scandinavian
seasons, which have been admirably set up by Keilick, of 59 Edgware
Road. They are superior to those in my own possession, and as good
all round as any that I have myself seen; but a few have, I believe,
been obtained of slightly larger dimensions by English sportsmen in
Norway. No. 1 is that of a bull in his prime, with eleven points on
each antler. No. 2, that of an old bull described as having light grey
long curly hair on his brow and crest, which gave him a very venerable
appearance; thirteen points on one horn and eleven on the other. Nos.
3 and 4 are different views of the finest specimen, with twelve points
on either side and great development of palmation--a bull also in
his prime with no signs of age. The measurements of the latter head
are as follows: Height of horns from tip of central brow point to tip
of highest back point, 3 ft. 1 in.; height of palmation, exclusive of
said points, 2 ft. 6¼ ins., and 2 ft. 5 ins.; curve of inner edge of
horns from coronet to tip of inside back points, 2 ft. ½ ins.; width
of palmation, centre of horns, 11½ ins. and 10¾ ins.; between tips
of inner back points, 1 ft. 11¾ ins.; between inner brow points, 11½
ins.; between tips of fifth points on either side, following curve and
across brow, 4 ft. 5⅞ ins.; the same measurement, taut, 3 ft. 5¾ ins.;
across skull at brow, 7½ ins.; fifth points, right and left, 6¼ ins.
and 7¾ ins.; round coronet, 10¼ ins.; round base of horn, 6⁷⁄₁₀ ins.
Sixteen is the greatest number of points I have ever seen on a single
horn. This was picked up in the forest, freshly shed, in 1888, and
undoubtedly belonged to an old elk of great size which had been known
to haunt the district for some years. It is, however, an inch smaller
all over, except in width of palmation, than the 12-point horns of
which the measurements have been given. I believe that in 1892 I fired
at (in a wood so densely set with stems that I had great difficulty
in finding a passage for my bullet) and slightly wounded this very
elk. Oddly enough he had been wounded in the nose the year before, and
within a short distance of the same spot, by my predecessor in the
shooting, who was also baulked by the dense growth of the pine-trees.
He was by far the largest elk I have ever met with, and my hunter, a
Lapp of great experience, assured me that he had never seen one bigger.
The conformation of his antlers, so far as it was possible to judge in
the obscurity of the wood, was exactly that of the shed horn, the great
palmation with its fringe of closely set spikes being very remarkable;
but to count the number of the latter during such a brief and exciting
interview was impossible. I trust that some time next season I may
be able to study them at my leisure, and to decide whether the horns
have increased since 1888, or begun to deteriorate. It is certain that
with great age, when the vital and generative powers which undoubtedly
nourish their growth are impaired, they do go back, often becoming
comparatively stunted and distorted. Bad wounds and scarcity of food
will produce the same result. The elk sheds its horns during March and
April, and the new growth begins to sprout early in June.

[Illustration: No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4]

The average bodily measurements of a full-grown Scandinavian elk, let
us say over seven years old, are as follows: Length from tail to crest,
9 ft. 5 ins.; crest to nose, 2 ft. 5 ins.; height at withers, 5 ft. 8
to 9 ins.; at quarters, 5 ft. 5 to 6 ins.; from belly to ground, 3 ft.
4 ins.; greatest girth, 6 ft. 11 ins. to 7 ft.; round thigh, 3 ft.;
round forearm, 1 ft. 11 ins.

The accurate uncleaned weight of so huge an animal it is, of course,
impossible, for obvious reasons, to obtain, but it is reported as
having occasionally exceeded 1,400 lbs. An average deer will yield from
600 to 700 lbs. of good meat, and a heavy haunch turn the scale at 140
lbs.[12] The height of the bull at the shoulders as compared with the
length of his actual body (the two measurements are nearly equal), the
massive shaggy neck (on which, however, there is no very conspicuous
mane), the enormously long head with its bunch of beard, huge hooked
nose and bulbous lip, the rather sloping hind-quarters, and slender
legs terminated by immense hoofs, combine to render him a most awkward
and ungainly animal to look at; but the rapidity of his movements and
his total disregard of the worst obstacles are at times astonishing,
and nothing will strike the sportsman more than the way in which, if
the golden moment for a shot be lost, the great deer will seem to
suddenly and silently melt away like a phantom into the forest.

Another point on which some discussion has arisen is as to what vocal
sounds are produced by the Scandinavian elk of either sex during the
rutting season, and whether such sounds, if any be uttered, are of
habitual occurrence. Personally, during six seasons’ hunting, I have
never heard an elk, either male or female, utter any sound whatever;
but after long and careful inquiry into the subject, which revealed
more antagonism of opinion than even the question of the horns, I have
made out, on the clearest evidence, that the bull during the said
season gives utterance to a kind of cross between a grunt and a snort,
which is often repeated many times in succession, and is audible in
still weather at a considerable distance, such sound being unmistakably
an amorous call. It is known in Scandinavia as the ‘Lokketone,’ or
‘Lokton,’ and may be heard during the day-time. By equally certain
testimony, it is proved that, in moments of rage and defiance, the
bull will also roar or bellow furiously. About the call of the cow
there is no doubt whatever; she can also, on occasion, produce a loud,
harsh roar, intended as an attractive summons to the bull. Colonel
Walker mentions his having for some time watched a cow in the very
act of uttering this call, after the bull had been shot whilst paying
her great attentions. She wholly disregarded the shot herself, and
the approach of the shooter, whom she allowed to come within twenty
yards before she moved quietly off. When about half a mile away she
recommenced her alluring roar, which Colonel Walker describes as ‘like
the noise of a very angry bear when you have him where he cannot escape
you.’ The cow has also, when separated from her calf, a milder call,
nearly similar to that of the domestic animal. The art of calling elk
has, happily, never been practised in Scandinavia, and as all the
hunting takes place during daylight, and as, moreover, the inhabitants
of the interior have a decided objection to being abroad during the
dark hours of either evening or morning, this subject, like that of the
horns, has probably not received from them much attention. You will
find men who have passed all their lives in the wilds of Norway, and
constantly hunted the elk, ready to swear that, with the exception of
the ‘Lokton,’ neither sex utters any cry whatever. It is somewhat hard
to reject altogether the idea that the elk of Scandinavia is, during
the rutting season, habitually more silent than the moose is reported
to be--but here I get out of my depth.

The first signs that the rutting season is beginning usually reveal
themselves about the third week in September, when the hunter will
discover in the forest sundry young fir-trees that have been freshly
barked and cut to pieces by the horns of the bull. This would scarcely
of itself be conclusive evidence, as the bull will occasionally spar
with a tree much earlier in the month, possibly to complete the removal
of the velvet. I have seen the horns of young elk covered with it as
late as the end of the first week. Corroboration will be supplied by
sundry shallow scrapings of the ground, the forerunners of the deeper
pits which the bull scoops out when his frenzy is more advanced. When,
owing to the purpose for which the elk uses them, these pits begin to
be so ammoniacally odoriferous as to become guides to even a human
nose, then it may be accepted as a certainty that a bull accompanied by
a cow is, if not previously disturbed, somewhere in their vicinity.

According to the best authority, the bull only remains with the cow for
about three days, after which she will have nothing more to do with
him, and beats him off, whereupon he resumes his travels in search of
fresh loves. During the whole rutting season, which lasts for about
three weeks or a month, and is therefore included to a great extent
in the present Norwegian elk season, he eats little or nothing except
certain plants of a stimulant character, and becomes, in consequence,
reduced to the worst possible condition. At this time he develops a
very strong but not particularly disagreeable odour, akin to musk, to
such an extent that a hunter might often follow by using his own nose,
without the aid of a dog. All the trees and bushes, and even tall
grasses against which he brushes during his progress through the wood,
are tainted with this peculiar scent. The old bull elks now become very
savage and pugnacious, and, not content with attacking each other, will
occasionally run at any object they see in motion. My Lapp hunter tells
me that when prospecting for elk without a rifle and in the interests
of his late employer, he was several times charged by bulls, and had
to run for his life and conceal himself in a thicket. But on all these
occasions as soon as the elks reached his track and, nosing the ground,
recognised the scent of humanity, they in their turn swung round and
retreated. It would, however, be foolhardy, if unarmed, to stand their
charge, as they might strike the life out of a man with their forefeet,
their most dangerous weapon, before their timidity of or respect for
the human race generally came into play. An English sportsman of my
acquaintance, while returning one evening from an unsuccessful chase,
in crossing a small opening in the forest, was charged by a bull, who
rushed out of the covert and was only checked at thirty yards distance
by a bullet between the eyes.

Both sexes of elk are often seen together by the peasants during the
haymaking season, in the forest and near the mountain dairies, and
small families, consisting of a cow with one or two calves and a single
bull (or possibly a couple), still hold together at the beginning of
the hunting season; but as, at the same time, we constantly find a
certain number of bulls and cows leading solitary lives, or one or two
of the same sex together, the secret of these domestic arrangements is
shrouded in some obscurity, and one can only conclude that, as in the
case of men, there are some male elk who prefer a roving bachelor life,
whilst others have more uxorious and paternal tendencies. I have never
been able to discover that the Scandinavian elk has any prominently
gregarious instincts under ordinary conditions of existence, although
I have heard it stated in Norway that they sometimes unite during the
winter into bands of a dozen or more. In some very highly preserved
districts, such as the royal forests of Sweden, mentioned later, they
are now and then artificially congregated in considerable numbers, and
a Swedish gentleman once told me that on a part of his property, at the
head of the Gulf of Bothnia, there existed on a stretch of land bounded
by two rivers a ‘herd,’ as he termed it, of nearly a hundred elk. But
it appeared that in this district, owing to peculiar circumstances and
local laws, the deer had not been shot for, I think, over twenty years,
and were carefully watched by foresters, so that we have here also
signs of compulsory gregariousness; but it is not safe to be dogmatic
in this direction. What is more to our present purpose is the certain
fact, on which the sportsman may rely, that during the hunting season
he will not be troubled or perplexed by any gregarious tendencies on
the part of the elk, whether because there are not enough of them or
because such is not their habit is of little consequence; he will, I
think, discover that a more unsociable and sporadic race of animals,
averse to neighbours, does not exist on the face of the earth.

In Scandinavia, now that the use of traps, pitfalls and the like is
abolished, there are three legitimate methods of killing elk--namely:
stalking with the ‘bind-hund,’ or, as I may render it in English,
leash-hound; running with the loose hound; and driving. Of these three
methods it may be said that the first is more worthy than the second,
and the second than the third. In Norway, owing to the operation of
the legal enactment ‘one farm one elk,’ driving is practised on so
insignificant a scale as to be scarcely worth noticing. Occasionally,
when elk are known to frequent a precipitous mountain, whence it is
impossible for them to descend except by certain passes where the
guns can be stationed, a few beaters may be employed to move the elk
quietly, with a fair prospect of success; but if it should happen that
two or more of the passes are within the same holding, some care is
necessary to guard against the chance of more elk than the one allowed
being illegally killed. A drive of this kind is in Norway termed a
‘klapjagt,’ from the noise made by the beaters. The term is corrupted
by British sportsmen into ‘slapjack.’ In certain situations where the
ground is favourable, as in a narrow glen or on an isthmus between two
lakes, the single sportsman may attempt something of the same kind by
the aid of his hunter or attendant, who, making a long circuit, comes
upon the elk down wind, and starts them towards the gun in ambush.
Nothing more than the wind of man is necessary to move the elk, and the
more quietly all these driving operations are conducted the better.
The hunter who is wise will always avoid disturbing elk needlessly or
wantonly, as they quickly become suspicious of danger, and are apt
to travel long distances. In Sweden elk driving has been practised
for a great number of years, and sometimes on an immense scale. In
Lloyd’s works, ‘Field Sports of the North of Europe,’ and ‘Scandinavian
Adventures,’ will be found a detailed account of some of the great
‘Dref- and Knäptskalls,’ arranged in former days by the Master of the
Hunt for the delectation of royalty, by which many elk, bears, and
other animals were killed. But, as regards this branch of our subject,
it will be sufficient to notice very briefly two great drives which
have taken place in quite recent times in one of the royal forests near
the town of Wenersborg and the mountains of Hunneberg and Halleberg,
at the southern extremity of Lake Wenern. Both these great functions
were arranged for weeks beforehand, and many hundred beaters employed
in sweeping with a gigantic cordon, which was never relaxed by day
or night, an enormous extent of forest, and moving the elk gradually
to the stations of the guns. The first ‘skall’ took place during the
visit of the Prince of Wales to Sweden in 1885, when forty-nine elk
were killed during the day; the second, in September, 1888, when, so
completely had the stock recovered from the previous slaughter, that
in three drives, also on the same day, there were respectively slain
twenty-four, twenty-eight (in this case bulls only), and fourteen
elk--a total of sixty-six. Great damage had been done by the deer to
the young Scotch firs in the forest, which is some excuse for such a
massacre.

By the Norwegian law, elk-hunting with the loose dog is in reality
forbidden; at the same time, in several districts it is practised to
a considerable extent, and with impunity. But it is in Sweden that
this style of chase is most in vogue. To begin with, the physical
geography of that country lends itself to the sport. The Swedish forest
is for the most part of a rolling character, swelling and sinking
into hill and dale of respectively moderate elevation and depth, and
spreading out into huge morasses and tracts of natural upland meadow
with a degree of uniformity that produces tame and somewhat monotonous
scenery. Sweden lacks the deep, gloomy gorges, the precipitous or
terraced mountain-faces, the boulder-strewn and birch-clad dells of the
higher fjeld, and the barren, stony summits which are characteristic
of Norway, and amongst which, if a courageous and persevering hound be
loosed at elk, there is great danger of his being quickly and entirely
lost to sight and hearing. It is said that an elk can go wherever
a man can, and, although this may be somewhat of an exaggeration,
inasmuch as no elk could climb the Matterhorn, it is nevertheless
astonishing what tremendous ascents and descents his long legs can
accomplish under pressure, and with what rapidity he will travel for
miles over the fjeld, from valley to valley, so that the most active
followers of the loose dog would in such a chase be nowhere.

The elk hound belongs to the breed used by the Esquimaux, a small
species of which is known in England under the name of ‘Spitz.’ There
are two types of this dog, the one being smaller, lighter limbed,
and more finely coated than the other; but they have in common the
characteristics of thick hair with an undergrowth of wool, sharp noses
and ears, and a bushy, tightly-curled tail, like the inner whorls
of a fossil ammonite. Their colour ranges through various shades of
grey, brindled and foxy, is occasionally pure black or white, or
a mixture of the two. A well-bred and thoroughly well-trained elk
hound is a valuable animal and hard to procure: 25_l._ to 30_l._--a
large sum in Scandinavia--or even more, is not too high a price for
a perfect animal, when we consider how much is required of him, how
greatly the enjoyment and success of the sportsman depend upon his
experience, sagacity, nose, speed and courage, and how considerable
is the market value of each animal that by his aid falls to the rifle
of the professional hunter: head, hide and meat included, it may be
set at from 6_l._ to 10_l._ But the leash-hound, to be used only as
a stalking dog, seldom commands anything like so high a price, the
Scandinavian natives being, as a rule, singularly ignorant or impatient
of this style of pursuit. The best leash-hounds are those which are
never loosed. This will be easily understood when we reflect that in
stalking a thoroughly good dog will be mute under all circumstances,
and always temperate, never straining violently at the leader, even
when most eager and excited by the proximity of the elk: whereas it is
essential that the loose dog should give tongue freely when he finds,
overtakes, or bays the deer, in order that the sound may serve as a
guide to the shooter. With the constant expectation of being loosed, he
can hardly be expected to restrain his emotions when his instinct, or
possibly eyesight, tells him that the glorious moment of freedom is, or
ought to be, at hand. Few, if any, dogs can play both _rôles_ equally
well; it will be found that a hound accustomed to being loosed will,
in stalking, invariably strain impetuously at the leader, and that it
is not safe to let him view the elk, as he will in all probability
whine or bark: on the other hand, one that is rarely slipped will only
follow for a few hundred yards, and seldom or never stop a deer. I
do not deny that good useful dogs may now and then be found who will
acquit themselves tolerably in either character, but I am speaking only
of the best of each class. Thoroughly broken and trustworthy dogs are
sometimes allowed to range the forest from the first, but as a rule the
hound is never slipped until, either from his conduct, or from his own
observation of signs,[13] the hunter becomes certain that the elk is
not far off, or until he despairs altogether of finding one, and trusts
to the dog as a last chance. This is but a too common ending to a day
when the forest tract is large and fresh signs of elk not discoverable.
A brace of dogs are frequently allowed to run at the same time, but it
is a safe maxim that when a single dog notifies that he has found and
bayed the elk, a second should not be loosed, as his sudden appearance
on the scene will often start the deer off and render him more
difficult to stop.

In searching for elk with the dog still in hand the hunter works
slowly up and across wind, utilising his knowledge of country to the
utmost advantage. The dog at such a time--and this applies equally
to both styles of hunting--precedes him at a distance of five or six
feet, being restrained by a leader or leash, which is fastened to
the harness. The best form of harness consists of a belly-band and
chest-strap of softest leather sewn together, and further united by a
strap which passes between the dog’s forelegs. The belly-band buckles
just between the shoulders, and at this point the leader is attached
either to a ring or by a simple knot. Some hunters are content to use
an ordinary collar; but this is a wretched plan, as with a dog at all
given to pulling it produces choking and eventually injures the wind.
When the harness is properly made all pressure is on the strap across
the broad of the chest. On catching the wind of elk, or of their fresh
spoor, the dog naturally faces towards it, when the hunter must use
his judgment as to the right moment for loosing. The part of the loose
dog, having once found the elk, is either to bring him to bay, or to
cause him so far to slacken his pace that the shooter may be able to
get up. Whilst the elk is running at speed, the dog is generally mute
in pursuing, but the experienced hunter can tell by his note whether
the quarry is moving at a moderate pace or is actually stationary.
The old bulls, when they have not got wind of man or been otherwise
scared, are often easily brought to bay, and in such a case the
hunter may approach almost at his leisure; but younger elk, and cows
in particular, are much more difficult to stop, and will, as a rule,
travel a considerable, sometimes a great, distance before halting. Deer
of all ages are specially shy if they have been roused when lying down.
Their daily siesta lasts from about noon--or sometimes, according to
weather, an hour or two earlier--until two or three in the afternoon,
and consequently hunters with the loose dog generally halt during
this period, or at least part of it, and bivouac in the forest. It
is said--and, I believe, with some truth--that in those districts of
Sweden where the elk are during the season continually hunted in this
fashion, they are invariably suspicious, when the hound puts in an
appearance, that man is somewhere in the background, and that, even
when at bay, they are straining their senses to detect the presence of
their real enemy, being of course perfectly aware that the dogs, for
all their noise, can do them no harm. It is in any case needful for the
hunter, however recklessly he may have been running before, to make his
final approach as cautiously and noiselessly as possible; and this
is not so easy in a Scandinavian forest, where the ground is usually
cumbered with any number of dead trees armed with spikes as sharp as
rapiers, of rotten trunks half-buried in moss and rank vegetation, and
of dry branches and twigs which crack loudly beneath the over-hasty
and incautious foot. In the rutting season indeed such a noise is now
and then of some slight service to the hunter. I have known several
instances in which, the wind being right, a bull either searching for
the cow or suspicious of a rival has run back out of the thicket to
see what was approaching, and paid the penalty of his curiosity. Such
an incident can of course only occur when the dog is in hand, and the
sportsman will do well not to presume upon its very rare advantage.

I recollect a scared elk running twenty English miles, with the dog
still sticking to him. After giving me a difficult chance, he broke his
bay two or three times during the first hour of the chase, and how many
times subsequently I cannot say, as, finding the pace too hot for my
age and weight, I stopped and let the hunter, who was young and light
and a celebrated runner, go on with my rifle. This happened about 11
A.M., and he shot the elk just before dusk. His dog, dear old Kurrè,
was one of the staunchest loose hounds that ever lived; he was, in
fact, too good, for if he once got up to the elk he would never leave
it until dark, and not always then. On one occasion he held a bull at
bay all night, until his master came early in the morning and killed it.

So keen was this dog to keep the attention of the bayed elk on himself,
that with a kind of demoniacal glee he would actually roll on the
ground just out of reach of his forefeet. When very young he had
been struck by an elk, and was supposed at the time to be seriously
if not mortally injured; but he recovered himself, went on again,
and eventually stopped the bull, which was then shot. With all this
ferocious courage there never was a dog more gentle, good-tempered, and
well-behaved in ordinary life. When an elk hound, as is certainly not
often the case, is possessed of such magnificent staunchness as this,
great care must be taken never to slip him at a scared elk, unless the
shooter is prepared for, and physically equal to, a long stern chase
which may last for some hours. Moreover, others besides the owner of
the dog may profit by his grand qualities. The law of Scandinavia
permits an elk that has been _bonâ fide_ in the flesh roused on and
moved off one property, to be followed at the time on to another and
there killed, although one may not so follow the freshest spoor of an
animal that is simply travelling of his own accord; there is, however,
nothing to prevent the owner of the other property from killing the elk
thus moved on to it. I was once hunting near the great lake Kallsjön in
Sweden, with Kurrè and his master, when the dog, who was running loose,
slipped away unperceived and took up the fresh spoor of elk which
he did not overtake until out of our hearing. Having no clue to the
direction in which he had gone, we were at last, as evening came on,
compelled to go home without him. The next day he was sent back with
many thanks by a farmer who lived some miles off, and had heard the dog
baying the elk close to a tarn where he happened to be fishing. The man
ran home for his rifle, returned to find Kurrè still holding the family
of three--bull, cow, and calf--and killed the lot in three shots! No,
Kurrè was positively too good. Some dogs are cleverly trained never
to cross a large river or a lake in pursuit, which in a land of many
waters like Scandinavia precludes the chance of their getting too far
away. I believe that Kurrè would have swum the Skagerrak after an elk.
But the great majority of elk dogs will give in as soon as the deer
really takes to travelling, and too many of them much sooner. The
hunter must be careful not to let the leader slip out of his hand when
the dog is straining eagerly on spoor, and never to loose him with even
only a collar on. Considering that the elk when tackled by the dog
will, as a rule, make his way through dense covert and over the most
tremendous obstacles in the shape of ‘windfalls,’ where the dog has
to keep him company, it will be understood that any even momentary
check to the latter’s nimble movements, such as might be caused by a
tree-spike catching in the collar, may result in his being disabled or
killed. I once, when stalking, fired from the top of a high steep bank
at an elk which dropped to the shot and lay motionless. The hunter,
who was behind me, thinking the beast stone-dead, foolishly let go the
dog, who, with the harness on and the leader trailing, ran down the
bank, and when within a few yards of the deer was brought up short by
the leader becoming entangled in the branches of a fallen tree. The
elk at this moment revived, and was able to rise so far as to squat on
his haunches, but the hind quarters being paralysed by a shot in the
spine, he could not reach the dog, otherwise he would most certainly
have destroyed him, unless I could have dropped him again with a second
bullet; but one instant and one blow of the forefoot would have been
sufficient for the catastrophe. The hunter, who assured me he had never
done so foolish a thing before, was lucky in having the possible result
of his first folly brought home to him by so forcible and harmless a
lesson.

From what has been said it will be clear that elk hunting with the
loose dog is a manly, noble sport, fitted in reality for those who
have youth, activity, and decided staying powers. At the same time the
race is not always to the swift; experience, cunning, and knowledge
of country will effect a great deal, and under certain conditions the
elderly hunter may achieve some success; but if the elk really means
running, he may as well confess at once that he is not in it, and sit
down and light his pipe. But I strongly recommend him to turn his
attention solely to stalking with the leash-hound. He will find it
scarcely less exciting than the other branch of the sport, and quite
fatiguing enough, although it lacks that species of triumph, so dear
to Englishmen, which results from success attained by very distressing
physical exertion. The serious drawbacks to loose-dog hunting are,
first, the common necessity of killing time in the forest--or, it may
be, in a ‘sæter’ or hay-house--for some hours and in all weathers
whilst the elk are lying down. Secondly, the fact that it is, to a
great extent, blind work, that one is entirely dependent on the dog
and must run to a sound, that there is little or no opportunity for
the science of woodcraft, and none for that study of the object of the
chase which is so dear to the stalker. Thirdly, that you cannot run
a single deer for any distance without disturbing a great extent of
country. Fourthly, that there is the obligation, if not invariably yet
nearly so, to kill whatever beast the hound has succeeded in stopping,
be it a young bull with insignificant honours or a cow with a calf in
tow. The Swedish hunter never gives quarter; his immutable doctrine
may be summed up in the words, ‘Meat for the man, and blood for the
dog.’ He will not risk disappointing his hound and perhaps ruining his
staunchness, nor will he, if he can help it, stultify the whole _raison
d’être_ of the chase, nor forego his hankering after the flesh-pots.
I do not say that the English sportsman is absolutely compelled to
adhere to this merciless creed, but he will find it difficult to
withstand. He is the actor in a drama in which the hound takes the
leading part throughout until the climax, and for that he is himself
responsible; excitement, struggle, endurance, opportunity, these are
the several stages; it rests with him what the final one is to be: if
failure, well, man is prone to err and so is his bullet; after all, he
has done his best and tried to succeed--but refusal! I think he will
become conscious, possibly against his will, that this is, under the
conditions of such a chase, the most miserable _fiasco_ of all: _the_
chance at last, and tamely to forego it! he will feel that he who acts
thus is deserving of that limbo to which Dante consigned the otherwise
blameless man who refused the popedom:

    Che fece per viltate il gran rifiuto.

I find it to be commonly supposed that the chase of the elk is almost
always confined to comparatively low ground, covered with pine wood and
swampy thickets. There was a time when I had this notion myself, and as
regards Sweden it is, no doubt to a great extent, a correct one. But I
have recently had reason to change my mind a good deal on this point,
and I cannot do better than quote the following passage from an article
of mine in the ‘Fortnightly Review’:

  Under the guidance of Elias (my Lapp hunter), who is a master in
  woodcraft, elk hunting was, in a great degree, assimilated to
  deer stalking. He was all for pursuing the chase on the highest
  possible ground. ‘There are, of course, always elk in the low
  pine forest,’ he would say, ‘and in winter it is full of them;
  but at this season of the year the place to find and _kill_ them
  is the high fjeld, or thereabouts.’ That this dictum was in the
  main correct is proved by the fact that last season, during
  thirty-two days’ hunting, we sighted--including all ages and both
  sexes--no fewer than forty-one distinct elk, over two-thirds of
  which were found on the high terraces and slopes just under the
  crest of the mountains, or in the quiet dells and hollows of the
  fjeld itself, where the birch-copse often grew barely high enough
  to conceal them. They were occasionally seen lying out in the
  open, like red deer. The term ‘high’ as applied to the fjeld is,
  of course, relative to the general elevation of the country.

We found the best stalking ground at between 1,500 and 2,000 ft. above
the level of the valleys. I am here, of course, speaking of Norway,
where in the vast desolate districts north of Namsos I have been lucky
enough to secure the sole right to kill elk over a considerable tract,
about equal in size to the county of Surrey.[14]

The ‘bind hund’ or leash-hound should be trained, as I have said, to be
perfectly mute and quiet even when he views elk, and should be taught
also to keep close to heel when not required to lead. This latter point
is often neglected. It is pleasant to observe the clever way in which a
well-broken and steady elk dog will steer his way through covert when
in advance, seldom going the wrong side of a tree or bush, and obeying
instantaneously the slightest hint of the hand which holds the leader;
but I have watched with still greater admiration the extraordinary
accuracy with which my Lapp hunter’s dog, Passop, when kept at heel,
judges the pliability of any ash-plant or other sapling over which the
slack of the leader fastened to his master’s belt is likely to sweep.
If it is sure to bend, the dog simply stiffens his neck until the
slight strain is past; but if it is too rigid or too much branched, he
at once shifts his position from the man’s left knee, close to which he
runs, to the right, thus bringing the loop of the slack directly behind
the Lapp, who of course avoids the obstacle, and in ninety-nine cases
out of a hundred there is no check to the progress of the pair. When
the slack occasionally catches in a projecting root, stone, or dead
branch, he will spring like lightning to one side, or even backwards,
and clear it before it is drawn taut. I notice that if a rare mistake
does occur and the dog goes the wrong side of a tree, the Lapp, even
when holding the leader, will never pass the end round the tree as some
hunters do, but always pitilessly compels the dog to dodge back to the
proper side and free the line himself. The slightest, almost inaudible,
sound with the lips is enough to send Passop to the front full of
subdued eagerness, and a turn of the wrist to bring him to heel. It
is a treat to witness the way in which, when purposely brought to the
brow of a hill, he will calmly squat on his haunches and test the wind
for many minutes together, quite motionless except for the slight
turn of his head and his incessantly working nostrils. By carefully
watching his sagacious countenance, one can almost follow his subtle
appreciation of the various odours that are wafted to those delicate
organs. It may be that he will at length suddenly rise, and without
hesitation begin to lead in a particular direction, in which case it
becomes a certainty that there are elk somewhere in that quarter,
although they may be still a couple of miles or more away. Again, it
may be that this prolonged nasal scrutiny will result in his lying
down, and, with studied carelessness, beginning to nibble his foot
or lick himself, thereby demonstrating that he has temporarily lost
all interest in the wind, whereupon it becomes scarcely less certain
that there are no deer within a reasonable distance ahead, and that
one must strike into fresh country to find them. When there are no elk
about, I have seen this hound very keen, although quiet, on the scent
of fox or marten-cat, which few dogs can resist; but in the vicinity
of the nobler game he always pays the strictest attention to business,
and it is impossible to misunderstand him: quite mute with his mouth,
he speaks eloquently with the whole of his body. Some dogs are very
untrustworthy, and cause infinite trouble and annoyance by working as
impetuously up to the signs of fox or marten, or even capercailzie,
as they will to elk spoor. In approaching elk with the stalking dog,
before they are actually sighted--when his occupation is, of course,
for the moment gone--care should be taken not to advance in too direct
a line up wind; the dog should be pulled off now and then to right or
left, as the case may require, to guard against any lateral movement
on the part of the deer. It will be found that when thus pulled off,
the hound will be always trying to swing round and face the wind again,
and his movements in this way will, if carefully watched, afford a
tolerably sure indication of the actual or quite recent position of
the quarry. Any eminence in the right line should be ascended, and the
ground in front surveyed from just below its crest; and as elk have
a habit of turning abruptly and lying down, or moving to leeward of
their former track, every yard of ground on either side must be made
as safe as is possible under the circumstances. Elk can, of course, be
approached either on the line of their spoor or by the wind alone, in
case they have come from the opposite direction, and have not traversed
the ground over which the advance is made.

When the hunter is sure that he is close upon the elk and is cautiously
ascending a rise for the purpose of examining the country beyond and
at his feet, including the opposite slope of the rise itself, there is
considerable art in making safe each successive inch--which of course
represents according to distance several or many yards--of the fresh
ground as it comes into view. The narrow line revealed should be
carefully examined with concentrated attention, and as far as possible
to right and left. In this way the top of an elk’s horn or the line
of his back may be detected before the whole animal is visible. The
natural tendency of the eye is to search too much space at once, and
to keep on repeating a general gaze, including ground already made
safe, instead of fixing an intense one on a fresh and limited area.
Where there is much forest or brushwood, field-glasses will be found
of the greatest use in searching between the foliage and stems; for in
spite of their size elk are astonishingly difficult to detect, even
in low covert and by the most practised eye. Moreover, in the shadow
of a wood various objects will often bear so strong a resemblance to
a motionless elk, that even eyes as keen as those of my Lapp hunter,
whose quickness and strength of sight are remarkable, are frequently
unable to determine their real nature without reference to the glasses.
He always carries a pair of his own.

The stalker at a considerable elevation will often find that, when
expecting momentarily to view the elk, he is led to the verge of a
very steep slope, forming the side of a ravine or dell, overgrown with
trees and brushwood, and not seldom strewn with much dead lumber. On a
bank of this nature there frequently flourishes a considerable growth
of tall herbage, and of birch and mountain-ash, trees on which the
elk delights to feed; the bark of the latter is his especial dainty:
I have seen copses in which out of some hundreds of stems there was
scarcely one that did not show marks of his destroying teeth. In such
a situation--a very common one--it is almost impossible to approach
the elk from above. If they are not detected by peering over the bank,
the only safe plan is first carefully to examine the farther side of
the ravine, and then by making a long circuit to try to gain some
high point thereon from which, with due observance of the wind, the
hither side may also be inspected. I have known many native hunters,
as hasty and impatient as their dogs, blunder down into such a steep
thicket and effectually scare the elk before they sighted him. In fact,
a judicious use of the many rocky knolls and steep acclivities which
rise above the brushwood in the high-level forest of Norway is one
of the principal features of stalking, for it is in the copses which
clothe the sides of the watered dells and the basins of the mountain
tarns that the deer are oftenest found. The main point is to sight the
elk without disturbing him, after which it becomes a question of time
and patience to get a shot. If he is not at first approachable, you
must watch him until he shifts his position, and then try again; it is
better to spend the whole day in getting up to a beast than to scare
him and have to pass the next two or three days, and possibly more,
in finding another. Stalking has the great advantage over loose-dog
hunting that one need never be idle; elk when lying down may be
frequently approached with great success, and if one is forced to wait
until they move, such compulsory idleness is at all events fairly in
the day’s work; it has in it the elements of excitement and continual
hope, and is far better than merely killing time under a pine-tree or
in a hay-house.

Although the stalker will find the high-level beats best suited to
his work, he will be at times obliged to exchange their freedom and
glorious air for the close monotony of the lower pine wood, especially
for those long sombre stretches of it--half level, half slope--which so
often lie between the margin of a lake and a range of towering cliff.
Here he will find, as a rule, but little undergrowth or brushwood, but
from among the moss-coated boulders many a tall, slender mountain-ash
will be found springing up and flourishing wherever it can gain
sufficient light and air. Such a place is a favourite resort of elk,
who are generally aware of some steep pass among the cliffs by which
they can regain the higher ground. Supposing the hunter to have settled
to his satisfaction that there are deer in such a stretch of wood;
supposing him to have found their fresh signs all over it, the bared
wood of the ash-saplings showing white and the edges of the bark still
bleeding, he has before him a most difficult task in the stalk. This
is best effected by advancing in long zig-zags, working from the edge
of the water to the highest point where the signs are visible, and
_vice versâ_. This must be done at the slowest possible pace, and with
all his senses constantly on the alert. The thickly set stems of the
trees will help to conceal him, but they inconsiderately render the
same service to the elk. In this way half a mile of ground, taken in a
straight line, may perhaps be covered in an hour, and during that time
the intense attention must not be, in the slightest degree, relaxed;
there must be no hurrying of the cat-like step nor careless planting of
the foot, the rifle must be ready and the hand prepared to act on the
instant. In this kind of work there is little more physical exertion
than in sauntering along Piccadilly, nothing that is productive of
muscular fatigue, and yet such is the tension of senses and nerves
that, after a long spell of it, I have caught myself yawning with that
peculiar tense, rigid yawn which has not the faintest connection with
mental boredom, but generally betokens physical exhaustion; and I
have seen my hunter--whose responsibility was of course greater than
mine--lean and wiry as he is, growing visibly paler and wiping from his
brow the dew of anxiety. And then in a moment, when one least expects
it, if that can be said of a man who is always expecting it--but the
apparent paradox is the strict truth--comes the climax: a glimpse of
a huge dark grey mass amongst the dark grey stems of the trees, a
momentary sensation of all the columns of all the temples in Egypt
having risen to baulk one, and in another second one’s whole soul is
concentrated in the effort to find a clear space among that timber
labyrinth for the bright bead at the end of the barrels and the ounce
of lead which it directs.

The Scandinavian elk has, I believe most unjustly, been branded
with the epithet of stupid, probably owing to his uncouth personal
appearance, which is certainly not suggestive of a brilliant intellect,
nor do I deny that the bull frequently owes his safety to the superior
wariness of the cow. But, irrespective of their keen senses of
hearing and smell, the great deer will, when they have been scared and
become, in some mysterious way, aware that they are being tracked,
resort to all kinds of artifices to conceal their huge trail (of the
conspicuousness whereof they seem to be painfully conscious), and to
baffle and confuse the pursuer. A favourite trick, for example, is to
wade or swim for a long distance when the simple route lies along the
edge of a tarn or lake; another, to double sharply back at an acute
angle and travel for a long way to leeward of their original line
before resuming it; a third, to enter a river and work up the bed of it
for several hundred yards before actually crossing; a fourth, to travel
out of their way along a stony ridge where they leave no footing. I
believe myself that these stratagems always originate in the brain
of the cow, especially when she has a calf beside her. If they are
not invariably successful, chiefly owing to our employment of another
animal of equal nose and sagacity, they at least seem to me to exhibit
a considerable share of reasoning faculty incompatible with stupidity.
I find that my hunter is imbued with great respect for the intelligence
of the elk, which he considers as not so far inferior to that of the
bear; but of their eyesight he has not a high opinion. Where the lie
of the land will admit of it, a forced march may sometimes be executed
with great advantage when the elk have turned and are retreating down
wind. On the very last day of last season we were following on low
ground up wind the spoor of a bull and cow which had caught a glimpse
of us, but were not much scared; after trotting for some distance
they subsided, as we saw by the tracks, into a walk. But on reaching
a spur of rock which jutted into the forest, the extremity of a ridge
which ran up to a considerable height, they rounded it and at once
turned down wind, thereby placing us in their rear to windward had
we continued to pursue them. Without hesitation my Lapp hunter faced
about, and after following the back trail for some way under the ridge,
began to ascend the slope of the latter in a slanting direction at
such a pace that I needed all my forty days’ training to keep up with
him. As however I guessed what he was after, there was no need to ask
questions, but simply to ‘keep wiring away.’

[Illustration: Stalking elk.]

In about five-and-twenty minutes we reached the top of the ridge,
which was quite open and mattressed with thick moss, on which we lay
down. We are not given to talking much during the chase, and for ten
minutes did not say a word. My business was to recover my wind for
shooting, and I was content to leave the rest to the Lapp and Passop.
I found that we were on the brink of a little cliff, perhaps eighty
feet high, immediately under which was a fairly level terrace about a
hundred yards broad and covered with birch-trees and brushwood, with
a few Scotch firs at intervals; beyond this the ground dropped rather
suddenly to the distant landscape. I had forgotten all about my rapid
climb when the Lapp gently pressed my elbow and pointed to the left,
and in a few seconds I saw the horns and broad back of a bull elk
surge up amongst the brushwood. He was walking behind a very small cow
who preceded him by five yards or so; we had got well ahead of them,
and they were now approaching us down wind and without the slightest
suspicion. The cow gave the line to the bull just along the edge of the
bank where the terrace ended, and where the trees were thickest; by
watching her I could tell where he would appear a few seconds later.
Fortunately, just in front of us there was a clear space amongst the
branches about as long as an elk’s body, and when the cow filled
this gap I got the rifle up, and as soon as the point of the bull’s
shoulder crossed the sight pressed trigger. He fell over at once and
disappeared, all but one motionless horn, while the little cow danced
in towards the cliff until she was close under us, and then made off.
We found that the bullet had struck the centre of the base of the neck,
and the elk had died so instantaneously that his hind-quarters were
still hoisted up by the stem of a young birch against which he had
fallen under the edge of the bank. Of course in this case, being fired
from above, the bullet penetrated downwards, but in my experience,
confirmed by that of others, the neck-shot is with elk always very
deadly. Even when hit behind the shoulder they will sometimes travel
a considerable distance, but when the lead strikes fairly in the
centre of the broad neck, they usually drop within a few yards at the
outside. In stalking, owing to the utilisation of knolls and other
eminences already mentioned, a large proportion of shots are fired from
above. Every big-game sportsman has his favourite battery, but it is
as well to remember that the elk requires a heavy blow to knock him
over and save the trouble of pursuit, and that the vitality of the
bulls is often very great, especially just before the rutting season.
When hunting in the low forest and with the loose dog, it is seldom
necessary to fire at over a hundred yards, and in every rifle used for
elk the fixed backsight and the bead, taken full and quickly, should
together give this range. But on the higher and more open ground the
shooter must be prepared to accept fair chances at much longer ranges
up to, say, four hundred yards. At this distance or thereabouts, anyhow
with the corresponding sight up, I have myself been several times
successful. Most Englishmen will employ a hunter or attendant, but it
is scarcely needful to say that, with thoroughly trained and steady
dogs, either style of pursuit may be practised alone. In stalking, the
leader may be conveniently fastened round a tree or bush while the shot
is taken. The shooter must not be over-sanguine of sport. If he spares
cows and very young deer, and gets from four to six bulls during his
thirty or forty days’ season, he ought to be more than satisfied.



CHAPTER IX

EUROPEAN BIG GAME

BY MAJOR ALGERNON HEBER PERCY

BROWN BEAR HUNTING IN RUSSIAN LAPLAND


Ursus arctos, the bear of Northern Europe, exists rather plentifully
in the forests to the extreme north of Russian Lapland. This bear is
omnivorous: he feeds on roots, leaves, wild berries such as molte
berries (which grow in large quantities in the Northern swamps), and
is especially fond of the giant angelica, which occurs occasionally in
patches. To salmon or other fish he is extremely partial, and I have
seen places where he has been gorging himself on salmon on the Valasjok
river, where the first fosse is divided into a large and small fall by
an island in the middle of it. Salmon endeavour to go up both falls,
and when the water is low the small fall ceases running and the pool
below it drains out, leaving any fish that may be there imprisoned
to die, a fact immediately taken advantage of by bears in search of
dinner. Bears are carnivorous when they get the chance. The largest
brown bear I shot in Russian Lapland measured 8 ft. from the tip of his
nose to the tip of what we must call in courtesy his tail. Brown bears
have the most extraordinary tenacity of life; no wound is instantly
fatal except in the brain or spine, or incapacitates from attack,
except perhaps if the bullet takes effect in the kidneys. The bear’s
enormous muscular strength is very apparent when he is divested of his
warm fur coat; indeed the Russian Lapps, or ‘Nortalash,’ as they call
themselves, say that a bear has the strength of ten men and the wisdom
of five. Consequently they fear him extremely and with good cause, I
myself having seen a Lapp horribly scarred on the head and face by a
bear. My own experience is that brown bears invariably charge, if they
can, on receiving a bullet.

There are two ways of hunting the Northern brown bear which have proved
successful for the single hunter: either by tracking the animal with
a carefully trained dog, or by discovering the places where he finds
some special delicacy, and waiting at a considerable distance for him
to come to feed, then stalking him and getting a shot. Further south,
in Norway, where there is a larger and settled population, a drive or
‘clap-jaght’ is often organised, but unless extremely well arranged
by a person in authority who thoroughly knows the ground as well as
the men and the habits of the bear, the drive in my perhaps unhappy
experience is seldom successful.

Too often the drivers are armed with guns and rifles, and I have vivid
recollections of spending an animated twenty minutes lying flat on
my stomach with Remington rifle-bullets whistling overhead, and an
excitable brother sportsman dancing to and fro with a double-barrelled
rifle at full cock, jumping to fire at the first thing that stirred. I
prefer less excitement, and less motion in the play. There is another
method of hunting the bear, when he has hibernated in the den he has
found during the autumn, carefully composed of moss and dry leaves,
under some rock or tree root. This style of hunting I have not seen,
but the Earl of Kilmorey has kindly forwarded me an account of it. As
I said before, bears are excessively fond of berries, and nothing is
more amusing than to come up to a bear which has made a really good
meal, and having over-eaten himself with berries has been attacked by
subsequent stomach-ache. His complaints, moans, and attitudes are so
human as to be irresistibly ludicrous.

When I first went to Russian Lapland I walked many miles in the sun-lit
nights of summer, tracking, or endeavouring to track, bear, and I have
also waited by calves and lambs tied up, but all without result; yet
I have invariably been successful when I have found any quantity of
angelica in a suitable country, and have watched it with glasses from a
distance.

On August 1, 1873, my wife and I started from Pechinka Fiord with a
fjeld Lapp, and rowed up a little river which runs into it till we
could not use our oars; we then landed and _tracked_ the boat as far
as possible, and finally carried her bodily half a mile through the
forest of birch, carpeted with quantities of yellow globe flowers, wild
geraniums, red campion, and other flowers, to a large sheet of water,
called by the Lapps St. Trefan’s Lake. We pulled right up this lake to
the extreme end (about seven or eight miles), trolling for trout on
our way. To keep out in the lake as we did, in a small boat composed
of four planks and a bottom sewn together with reindeer thongs, was,
as I afterwards found out, an extremely risky experiment; for on a
subsequent occasion, while crossing in the same boat, we were caught
in the middle of the lake by a thunderstorm, accompanied by very heavy
squalls of wind, which soon raised such waves in the fresh water that
we had to bear up and run before it, the Lapp pulling all he knew, and
my own strength being fully exercised with the steering oar to keep her
dead before the wind, as the slightest coming to on either side must
have inevitably ended in a capsize--no joke with a lady in the boat, in
the icy waters of a lake 3° north of the Arctic Circle. However, I kept
her straight until near the shore, which was rocky, when, seeing the
water had shoaled, and that if we ran on at the pace we were going we
must inevitably smash the boat, I caught hold of my rifle, sang out to
everybody to look out, and turned her broadside on about six yards from
the shore. We were swamped at once, but in water not much above our
knees, so that we managed to catch hold of the boat, and carried her
safely out.

However, on the date I am writing about we had no such adventure; the
day was bright, and the scenery beautiful. At the end of the lake a
huge terrace, covered with grass, extended between two ranges of
mountains, the terrace’s top as level, and its side as accurate, as if
made and turfed by a landscape gardener, the only difference being that
it was about two hundred feet high. Behind it we could see mountain
after mountain, their sides and summits, broken and jagged, extending
far away. The ground between the terrace foot (from which, as from the
bowels of the earth, a little river ran brawling to the lake) and the
margin of the lake was covered with a dense forest of birch. This we
passed through, and making a wide détour down wind, we climbed a hill
behind and overlooking the top of the terrace. When we arrived there
we saw on the top of the terrace some curious circular basins, all
containing water. Their diameter would be about two or three hundred
yards. A strong stream ran into the right-hand basin, but there was no
apparent outlet to any of them. Doubtless the water from these basins
fed the subterranean stream that issued from the foot of the terrace.
All round the basins, and extending for some distance from the margin
of the water, was a rank and luxuriant growth of giant angelica. Far
down below us we could see with the glasses a magnificent reindeer
feeding--a runaway from one of the tame herds, no doubt. We had a
capital place, the wind blowing straight from the basins to us. Keeping
a sharp look-out, we discussed some smoked salmon and bread, and had
hardly finished it when suddenly a bear appeared, waddling with his
quaint, slouching gait to the edge of one of the basins, where he began
to feed greedily on the sweet angelica. I slipped down at the back of
the hill, leaving my little party to watch him from the top. Getting
quickly under cover of some birch-trees, I descended, silently crept
up to the edge of the basin, and, peeping from behind a bush, saw him
about 150 yards away, but his head was towards me; so, wishing for a
better chance, I crawled back, and, making a circuit, got up again
within eighty yards. This time his side was towards me, and I got a
steady shot from behind the bush, aiming behind the shoulder. The bear
sprang up with a loud roar, and, looking round to see ‘who hove that
brick,’ charged straight up the bank, getting my second barrel as he
came. He charged thirty yards without a falter, and then suddenly
collapsed and rolled over stone dead. After loading I walked up to
the bear, first throwing some stones at him to make sure he was not
shamming, and found it was an old, large she bear; that both my shots
had hit her, the first behind the shoulder, having cut right through
the heart, and yet, notwithstanding this and the second shot through
the chest, she had managed to charge thirty yards apparently uninjured.
We had much trouble to convey the head, skin, and some of the meat down
to the boat, which was greatly overloaded; but the weather was dead
calm, so that, keeping close along the shore, with continual bailing,
we arrived safely at the end of the lake, where, leaving the boat, we
carried the trophy down to another boat on the Fjord, and so home about
2 A.M.

[Illustration: ‘This time his side was towards me’]

Next day several Lapps came and looked at the bear, and expressed
themselves well pleased that she was killed. I noticed that when they
saw the skin they invariably crossed themselves, and, if not prevented,
spat at it. A Norwegian told me that the Lapps dread bears very much,
and will not attempt to hunt them except in parties of five or six.

On another occasion a bear let me off in the kindest manner. My wife
and I, our Norwegian servant and a Lapp, had ensconced ourselves in a
good position, overlooking an excellent feeding place, and had hardly
settled ourselves before we saw old Bruin come waddling down for his
dinner. I was then shooting with a double-barrelled Purdey polygroove
muzzle-loading rifle, a most excellent weapon, but requiring a nice
adaptation of the sights for any distance over a hundred yards, and
slow to load, the bullet having to be entered into the grooves of the
muzzle by force. I now quote from my wife’s journal:

  A. then crept down to stalk him, leaving us on the hill holding
  our breath with excitement and lying with our heads over the side
  of the rock in front of us. A. made a good stalk, but was not
  able to get near Bruin on account of the wind, so he lay down in
  the grass and put up the 150-yards sight, took a steady aim, and
  pulled. The bullet, we think, must have hit the ground under the
  bear’s foot, for afterwards, on looking over the ground, we found
  that the distance must have been at least two hundred yards, the
  line being partly over water, and very deceptive to the eye.
  Anyhow, up jumped the bear on his hind legs to look all round
  for the being who had sent that nasty whistling ball, and seeing
  no one, he began to move quickly off in the contrary direction
  to where A. lay hid. A. then let drive the second barrel, which
  turned the bear, who then made straight for him. A. was unable
  to see the bear on account of the scrub (though we could see
  perfectly well from our elevated position), and before he had
  time to reload, old Bruin appeared fifteen yards from him. Both
  were equally surprised at the meeting. A. stopped loading to
  pull out his hunting-knife, putting it into his teeth, expecting
  a charge, and then went on loading, and there they stood, man
  and bear, looking at each other for a full minute; but before
  A. had time to get his muzzle-loader capped, the bear had seen
  enough--had turned, and was off. We watched all his movements
  from the hill. It was so curious seeing him, the whole thing
  seemed all at once to flash on him, and then he was off; the more
  he thought of it the less he liked it and the faster he went,
  until at last he raced _ventre à terre_, jumping the fallen trees
  in his path. Once only, just on the brow of the hill, did he look
  back, and then away he went, faster than ever, and disappeared in
  the birch scrub. We then came down and hunted the birch scrub,
  with no results; but on one of the hills we found a place he was
  accustomed to lie up in, so snug, in between two rocks on the
  brow of the hill, where he could see all round him, and yet the
  rocks sheltered him. He had scratched up the moss and had made a
  soft bed, with a raised pillow at one end. It was a great pity
  that A. did not get him, for he was a very large bear, and must
  have been old, as he had such a white muzzle.

For myself, I confess I was glad that I had not touched him, as during
the time we faced each other it was simply on the balance whether that
inconvenient change was not going to occur when the hunter begins
to be the hunted. I have since invariably shot with a Henry Express
double-barrelled rifle.

Again watching a favourite feeding place in a similar manner, I saw a
very large bear, and managed to get up to within a hundred yards of
him, when he offered me a good side shot. I fired, aiming as usual
behind the shoulder. On receiving my fire he charged straight at me,
whilst I slipped in a cartridge to receive him. He charged fully forty
yards at best pace, and, just as I was about to endeavour to give him a
head shot, he reared straight up his full height, smashing down a young
birch-tree with his weight, stone-dead. This was the largest bear I
have shot. His heart was absolutely shattered by the Express bullet.


BEAR DRIVING IN RUSSIA

BY THE EARL OF KILMOREY

No sportsman passing a winter in Russia should leave the country
without trying his hand at bear shooting.

It is not necessary to go great distances from St. Petersburg to
satisfy every desire, as plenty of bears are to be found in the
enormous forests which still cover innumerable square miles in the
immediate neighbourhood of the principal lines of railway. Moreover,
to simplify matters for residents and foreigners alike, information
concerning the whereabouts of bears is being constantly brought to St.
Petersburg during the season, either by letter, or more often by estate
agents or by the head-men of villages, who come up to the capital for
the purpose.

Personal interviews are to be preferred, at which all the necessary
arrangements can be entered into, prices fixed, contracts for beaters
and sledges made, and a plan of campaign drawn out and agreed
upon. The countrymen accustomed to this business not unfrequently
exhibit considerable intelligence when an amount of organisation
and generalship is required which would much interest and amuse our
keepers and stalkers at home. Old hands always make payment by results
the basis of their contracts, for disappointments are frequent, no
doubt unavoidably so in some cases, though very often the unconscious
sportsman is made to wade through the whole business of the _chasse_,
everyone present, barring his innocent self, knowing full well that Mr.
Bear _nyett doma_--i.e. is not at home.

Russians are beginning to fear that foreigners will soon spoil their
sport, as foreigners usually do, by paying too much per pood for their
bears, too much per diem for their conveyances, too much for their
lodgings, and too much _na tchai_ (tea money) at the close of the
proceedings; but, under the direction of gentlemen who can speak the
language fluently, who understand the people and their peculiarities,
and who are thoroughly ‘posted’ in the whole business, one cannot go
far wrong. After six days’ continuous sledging, we bagged four bears
out of six promised, a fair average considering the market value of
promises. For this sport we paid at the rate of ten roubles per pood,
lodging, beaters and _na tchai_ included, so that our bill only came to
60_l._, which I do not think excessive, considering we covered over 400
versts, or about 260 miles. There is no doubt that the man you contract
with makes a fine profit over the sledges, but I believe the money paid
out is fairly divided among the beaters, and averages about 25 copecks
a head, equivalent to 6½_d._ in English money.

Finding your bear depends mainly on the strict sobriety and untiring
vigilance of the men employed as watchers during December and January.

As soon as the first snow has fallen, the villagers turn out in
search of tracks, and when the animal’s winter quarters have been
approximately discovered, a circle is marked out, within which, unless
fresh tracks indicate a move, the bear is certain to be enclosed. This
is called ‘ringing.’

Bears, unless wantonly disturbed, will scarcely ever move when they
have once comfortably established themselves, though cases are on
record where they have been known to sally forth with extraordinary
caution in search of food; but as a rule they remain at home, content
with the nourishment said to be derived from sucking their own paws.
This being so, it is remarkable to find bears still in excellent
condition after many weeks of somnolent starvation.

Should the watcher get drunk, as is not unfrequently the case in
Russia as in other countries, and let the bear escape unperceived, or
should he develop a desire to rival Ananias or Ah-Sin--a practice not
altogether peculiar to the Russian peasant either--then the sportsman’s
lot is not a happy one.

A very favourable opportunity of securing several bears at no great
distance from St. Petersburg having presented itself to me at the
beginning of March 1889, I gratefully accepted an invitation to
join an expedition into the province of Novgorod, organised by Count
Alexander Münster, son of the distinguished Ambassador of that name so
well known to us from his long residence in England.

Our third ‘gun’ was M. Constantine Dumba, First Secretary to the
Austrian Embassy, whose agreeable companionship added considerably to
the pleasure of the trip.

With these gentlemen I arrived at Malo Vyschera, a station 152
versts down the direct line from St. Petersburg to Moscow, at 7.30
P.M., March 2/14, 1889, had supper, and after packing ourselves, our
trusty henchmen, and our provisions into country sledges which baffle
description, started _à la belle étoile_ at 9.15 P.M. The moon was
nearly at her full, the thermometer at -9° Réaumur (about 9° Fahr.,
or 23 degrees of frost), and not a breath of wind. The sensation of
gliding along through the silent night, comfortably wrapped up and
extended at full length on the hay with which each sledge was amply
provided, was most enjoyable. The weird beauty of the forest scenery by
moonlight, the countless rows of dark firs, the silvery birches, the
sudden clearings, all exciting the imagination, whilst the constant
jolts and dislocation of the body, resulting in curses loud as well
as deep, forbade sleep till the small hours. I had, however, begun to
slumber, when we were tumbled out to change sledges at a small village
called Falkova, at about 1.15 A.M. While fresh horses and drivers
were being collected we had tea in the principal room of the posting
house, which we found very clean, dry and comfortable. I am afraid we
disturbed the family in their beds on the top of the stove, which may
sound strange in English ears; but these stoves, being made of brick
and cement and about the size of a pianoforte van, whole families can,
and do, sleep atop of them without inconvenience. At 2 A.M., or a
little after, we were again _en route_.

I have experienced extreme cold in various quarters of the globe, but
recollections of nocturnal expeditions in Canada at Christmas time,
and of middle watches on the fore bridge rounding Cape Horn in May,
fade into nothing compared with the memory of what the air felt like
in the province of Novgorod in the early morning of March 5/18, 1889.
We were covered with hoar frost, and our coat collars and comforters,
where they crossed over our faces, were frozen as hard as boards. We
calculated that the thermometer stood at -24° to -28° Réaumur that
morning between three and five o’clock.

6 A.M. brought us to a waking village called Zaruchi, 72 versts (or
about 48 miles) from Malo Vyschera, where we were not sorry to make a
light breakfast of the inevitable tea. Here began what turned out to
be our daily disappointments. Three bears, which we had fondly hoped
to have encompassed and slain in that immediate neighbourhood, had
been quietly disposed of during the past week to higher bidders, and
three lynxes, said to have been seen not far off only the day before,
were an hour later reported to have ‘vamosed.’ There was no good
waiting any longer at Zaruchi, so as soon as fresh sledges had been
provided, we started again on a 40-verst stage to Crasova. The rising
sun changed the entire aspect of affairs; gradually the air got warmer,
and very often in sheltered places the heat was almost oppressive. At
Crasova, where we put up at the agent’s house, we lunched and made
arrangements to pass the night, and at 1 P.M. we started once more to
drive 15 versts to our first bear. There is no denying that fatigue
and sleeplessness were now beginning to tell, and that all hands were
dog-tired; but excitement kept us up.

We arrived on our ground about 3 P.M., and, leaving our overcoats in
the sledges, placed ourselves unreservedly under the direction of one
Alexei Nicolaïevitch, as general of the division, his two brothers,
Ivan and Dimitri, acting as brigadiers.

Before us was ranged the army of beaters, collected from the immediate
district, some seventy to eighty persons of all ages, sorts, sizes and
sexes, a goodly show. The beat on this, as on other occasions, was
arranged in the shape of an elongated square, the guns being placed in
line at the end nearest the starting point.

The approximate position of the bear having been indicated in a hoarse
whisper by Alexei Nicolaïevitch, he proceeded to post the guns. Having
drawn lots before starting, as we do at home when grouse or partridge
driving, I was No. 1, M. Dumba No. 2, on my left, and Count Münster
No. 3, still further in the same direction, at, I believe, about fifty
yards apart.

No. 1 has almost always the best of it, Alexei invariably posting him,
as he thinks, right opposite the bear. It is from No. 1 that the army
of beaters silently diverges, making a large circuit right and left,
and meeting again at a point in the forest, perhaps a verst or more
distant, far in the rear of the bear, facing the line of guns. When
the wings of beaters meet, and the cordon is complete, the whole set
up an appalling shout; the far side gradually advances until the area
enclosed is reduced to about half its original size; then the beaters
begin to draw inwards, shouting, screaming, snapping off old guns, and
rattling sticks. After an interval of ten or fifteen minutes, according
to the nature of the ground and the temper of the bear, he or she,
as the case may be, begins to move, though sometimes the creature
positively refuses to stir, actually seeming to prefer to be shot
sitting.

The yelping of a dog who had attached himself to our party--a sort of
stunted, wiry-haired, wolfish-looking collie--very soon gave notice
that the bear was afoot, and she (for it proved afterwards to be a she
bear) appeared suddenly among the trees right in front of me, about
eighty yards off: a poor harmless, distressed-looking object blundering
along in the deep snow. Bears move a great deal faster over the ground
than they seem to do, and having selected a convenient clearing not
twenty yards off as a good place in which to cover her, I had not long
to wait before she tumbled headlong into it over the stump of a big
tree. This sudden and unexpected fall at the moment of firing rather
disturbed my aim, and the bullet struck her somewhat higher than I had
intended, going bang through her, ripping up the muscles of her back,
and bringing her to the heraldic position of ‘_ours couchant_.’ The
novelty of the situation, my inability to see my companions, and my
ignorance in concluding that one shot is ever sufficient, except in a
vital spot (it is not always so then), deterred me from firing again,
as I ought to have done; and in the exuberance of my spirits I was
about to run in and ‘put her in the bag,’ when she got up, and, moving
a pace or two forward, received her quietus through the heart at the
hands of M. Dumba, who was only a few yards off.

Immediately a bear is defunct a curious scene takes place. The
beaters run furiously together, all radiant with joy and streaming
with perspiration. Many of them cross themselves devoutly, and sing
a melancholy ditty descriptive of the death of their enemy. As every
male peasant in Russia carries an axe, and has a long scarf bound round
his greasy sheep-skin coat, in less than no time a young tree is cut
down and fashioned into a convenient pole, and the bear’s legs being
made fast over it with one or more scarves, the triumphal procession
staggers through the snow towards the nearest sledge. This, our first
bear, weighed 5½ poods, i.e. about 15 stone, and was light in colour,
as bears generally are in the province of Novgorod. The heaviest bear
shot during the expedition weighed 6½ poods, or about 260 lbs. (40
Russian pounds go to the pood).

One word of advice in conclusion: when a bear is crossing in front of
you, there is no time to lose if you have--if only for a second or
two--the clear space between you and him, which you ought to try for.
Two seconds before he ‘opens,’ he will be sheltered from your fire in
the thicket to your right, and in two more, if you hesitate, he will
be out of range again in the trees to your left; and if he is coming
straight to you, aiming is not as easy as may be supposed. The poor
brute goes floundering along, with a pitching motion not unlike that
of a waterlogged ship in a heavy sea. At one moment he is crawling
awkwardly over a fallen tree, at the next he is almost lost to sight in
the deep snow. It is on such occasions more than any that the sportsman
must remain cool. More shots have been clean missed at close quarters
than at thirty and forty yards, and though as a rule the animal’s sole
idea is how to escape from the din around him (the idea of attacking
his disturbers rarely occurring to him), still instances have been
known, and not unfrequently, when an old she bear with cubs has stood
up and charged. Poor thing! she has not much chance against two rifles,
a bear spear, a long hunting-knife and a revolver, which generally
constitute the equipment of a _chasseur d’ours_.


AUROCHS HUNTING

BY MAJOR ALGERNON HEBER PERCY

The European bison, or aurochs, _Bison Bonasus_, which used to roam in
large herds over Europe, is now exclusively confined to the forest of
Biolvitskia, in Lithuania, where it is known by the name of zubr.[15]

It has long been protected and preserved here most strictly, and has
been kept solely as a royal quarry, certainly from the time of the
kings of Poland.

Its habits appear much to resemble those of the wood bison of America
now almost extinct; for example it makes itself mud baths like the
well-known buffalo wallows in the plains of North America. Heads of
these magnificent animals being excessively rare, I give the dimensions
of the bull and cow which I killed and have now set up:

                                               Bull      Cow
    Tip of horn to tip of horn                 18½ ins.   6  ins.
    Base of horn to tip round curve outside    17½  ”    15¼  ”
            ”               ”       inside     13½  ”    10   ”
    Circumference of horn at base              10   ”     8   ”
    Across forehead                            13   ”    10   ”

In August 1879, by Lord Dufferin’s great kindness, I received
permission from the then Emperor of Russia, Alexander II., to visit the
forest of Biolvitskia to hunt aurochs, and was directed to call on the
Minister of Domains in St. Petersburg for directions when and where
to go. The Minister, M. Walouieff, was most civil and kind; indeed, I
may say at once that I met nothing but the most extreme kindness and
hospitality from all Russian gentlemen during my visit to their country.

[Illustration: Group of aurochs]

Accompanied by my wife and a courier I arrived at Grodno, where I had
expected to have a keeper put at my disposal to assist me in finding
and stalking the bison; but was rather taken aback at being met at the
station by the Governor-General de Ceumern, the Minister of Domains of
the province, and a posse of gendarmes.

On the night of our arrival, the Governor-General and Madame de Ceumern
entertained us most hospitably, and on the morrow, together with the
Minister of Domains, accompanied us by rail to the station nearest to
the aurochs’ forest. From that station we drove to the house of the
forest ranger, M. Campione, and there supped.

I found that all preparations had most kindly been made for me, and
after supper with the Campiones we drove on through the forest, which
was lovely in the moonlight, the white rays shining through the leaves
here and there, lighting the gnarled trunks of the trees with a touch
of silver, anon bursting through a glade and throwing a weird gleam on
the mist hanging by the little streamlets, and then at a turn of the
road (the moon being brought in front of us) making the most lovely
vistas of interwoven branches and leaves, in black on a silver ground.

We arrived late at the Czar’s shooting palace, a small but most
comfortable house standing in the centre of the forest, where we were
luxuriously put up.

The next morning I carefully unpacked and overhauled my rifle, a
Henry express made especially for me. I have shot with it a good many
years, and believe that a small weight of lead properly placed--but I
will not bore my readers with the old arguments. After breakfast the
Ranger, the General, and Madame de Ceumern accompanied us to one of
the keepers’ houses where we were to wait. It was a small cottage, and
I fear the entrance of our party disconcerted the chasseur’s wife,
who, poor woman, was standing by the swing cradle of her newly-born
child. As the woman bowed repeatedly when we came in, I laid a few
rouble notes on the coverlet, asking Madame de Ceumern to explain that
they were for a christening present. This she kindly did when, to my
horror, the mother prostrated herself before me, and endeavoured to
kiss my shooting-boots. I hopped backwards round the room like a hen,
and the grateful female on hands and knees after me. The rest of the
party seemed to enjoy the incident too keenly to answer quickly to my
frantic appeals to them to tell the good lady to desist; but, as luck
would have it, she never caught me, only very nearly, for she went with
remarkable ease and speed on her hands and knees.

Soon after this M. Campione came in and told us that we must take our
positions, whereupon my wife and I proceeded with M. Campione and a
chasseur to my post, by a large uprooted tree at some distance from
the hut. The forest was here rather open; on my left stretched a small
glade, which gave me a clear view of anything crossing it to a distance
of about two hundred yards. On the right, though the trees were
fairly thick, there was but little underwood. In front the bushes and
undergrowth were much denser, but the ground sloping away from where I
stood gave a view of a small clearing about three hundred yards off.
Between this clearing and my right and left I could see nothing but
underwood.

[Illustration: Aurochs’ heads]

A great many of the large forest trees were magnificent limes which
supported quantities of wild bees, of which there are so many in
the forest that men were employed to rob the nests of the honey. M.
Campione explained to me in a whisper that they were trying to drive
the aurochs past me, the wind being light from the front. We waited in
perfect silence for about half an hour, and then I heard the breaking
of sticks and crashing of branches, as the herd approached at a gallop.
Across the clearing they came, heading to pass me on the left across
the small glade. There were about fifteen of them, all thoroughly
alarmed, and presenting exactly the appearance of a herd of American
bison, the same carriage of the head, and the tail carried in the same
manner. Though I had but one short view of them, one bull immediately
caught my eye as being much larger than the others. As they crossed
the glade almost in file, he was the second, and M. Campione whispered
‘_Le second c’est le vieux, tirez-le!_’ At that moment they disappeared
in the brushwood, but I could hear them coming straight on towards
me, so cocking my rifle, I waited for them to cross the glade to my
left. Louder came the noise of the crashing of branches; and out burst
the leading aurochs across the clearing about eighty yards from me,
closely followed by the second and remainder of the herd. Directly
the second appeared I fired at it, and rolled it over. Reloading
quickly, M. Campione and I ran up, and found I had shot an old female
aurochs, the bull having changed his position while passing through
the underwood. ‘Stand still,’ said M. Campione, ‘they may come by us
again’; and, turned by a hideous din, shouts, noises, and whooping,
the scattered herd reappeared, galloping wildly by us on either side.
‘_Le voilà_,’ said M. Campione, and there could be no mistake this
time; for, facing as I was, the forest was clearer, and I could see him
distinctly, a grand beast, his tail jerking up over his back in anger,
about sixty yards from me, giving me a perfect side shot, of which I
made the most, rolling him over with a bullet behind the shoulder. The
death holloa was given by M. Campione, and by-and-bye appeared quite
an army of chasseurs and beaters. I at once set to work, after all
congratulations, carefully to cut the skin low down on the shoulders so
as to get plenty of neck, the appearance of so many good heads being
entirely ruined by not having sufficient neck to set them up with. This
bull was one which had become well known, and I was told that several
applications had been made to St. Petersburg that the chasseurs might
shoot him, as he was dangerous, and had injured, if not killed, several
people. He was much larger than any American bison I have shot or seen;
his hair was finer, longer, and not so curly; his colour was a shade
lighter, and his horns do not curve at the same angle as those of _B.
americanus_. I noticed a strong aromatic smell about both bull and cow,
which they get from a peculiar grass that grows in the forest called
zubr grass. I was informed the aurochs are very fond of it. I picked
some of it and found that it resembled ribbon grass, but the blade was
all green, and had the same strange aromatic smell which I noticed
in the aurochs. The height of the bull at the shoulder was about six
feet, but he gave me the idea of being a leggier beast than the bison
of America. I saw no difference between him and _B. americanus_ which
could not be accounted for by climate and habitat. The differences
between European reindeer and American barrenland and wood caribou
are certainly greater, and the differences between European elk and
American moose are quite as great. I explained to General de Ceumern
that I had only permission to take the head and skin of the bull, and
that I did not consider myself justified in taking that of the female
as I had not received the Czar’s permission, but some little time after
my arrival at home in England the cow aurochs’ head was by order sent
to me, set up, mounted by a Warsaw taxidermist.

[Illustration: The lynx (_Felis pardina_)]



CHAPTER X

THE LARGE GAME OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

BY ABEL CHAPMAN AND W. J. BUCK


Though comparatively near ‘home,’ Spain is but little known to the
mass of English sportsmen. Its game laws are not such as to deter the
foreigner from visiting its shores, and its game list is a fairly
long and interesting one; but such sport as Spain offers is mostly
‘driving’--a sport exciting enough in itself, but not to be compared
with stalking or still hunting. Besides this, sport in Spain is
expensive. As for the ibex of the Spanish highlands, a competent
authority states that every ibex shot in Spain by our English sportsmen
from Gibraltar costs at the lowest computation 100_l._

In principle, if not in practice, the game laws of Spain resemble our
own, recognising a vested right of chase in the owner or occupier of
the land.

Nominally it is illegal to enter upon any private lands in search of
game without a written permission from the owner; but practically the
sportsman goes wherever he pleases throughout the length and breadth of
this sparsely peopled country, except only in the case of _cotos_ or
preserves.

This is an important exception to the big game hunter, for nearly
all the regions frequented by red deer, at any rate, are strictly
preserved, and wholly forbidden ground to the casual stranger. The
snow-clad Alpine regions where the Spanish ibex and chamois are to be
found, and a few remote haunts of roe deer and pig among the Sierras,
are free to all comers, but the difficulty and expense of arranging
drives and of camping-out in these distant regions are very great.

The Government of Spain is unusually civil to aliens, making no special
stipulations with regard to their sporting rights. Like everyone else
in Spain, the foreigner who wants to shoot must take out a licence to
carry a gun (_uso de escopeta_) and to kill game (_cazar_). The cost of
this is 25 pesetas. In addition to this, each municipality has power
to levy a tax in the form of a licence, giving the holder a right to
shoot over all lands belonging to the municipality the sporting rights
of which have not already been leased. An Englishman furnished with a
letter of introduction from his consul would experience no difficulty
in obtaining such a licence.

The close-time for large game is, as regards certain northern provinces
(Galicia, the Asturias and Santander), from March 1 to September 1, and
for the rest of Spain and her Mediterranean islands from February 15 to
August 15, but it is to be observed that the law as to close time does
not bind game-preservers in their own preserves.

This, in brief, is almost all that an Englishman need know of the game
laws of Spain, although perhaps these two quaint clauses (Arts. 37 and
38 Consolidated and Amended Game Law, January 10, 1879) might affect
him:--

  37. A sportsman who wounds a beast has a right to that beast so
  long as he, either in person or by his dogs, is in pursuit of it.

  38. If one or more beasts are put up by a sportsman or party
  of sportsmen, and these beasts, being neither wounded by them
  nor their dogs, are subsequently killed during their flight by
  another party, those who have killed the game have an equal right
  to it with those who first aroused and pursued it.

But the wandering rifleman has little to fear from the law in Spain;
on the contrary, if an expedition is planned and carried out with due
formality and regard to other people’s feelings, permission to shoot
anywhere is rarely refused, assistance even being offered as often as
not by the proprietor to the invader.

Spanish sportsmen count the varieties of _Caza mayor_, or larger game,
in their peninsula, to wit, red deer (_Cervus elaphus_), roe deer
(_Cervus capreolus_), fallow deer (_Cervus dama_), chamois (_Antilope
rupicapra_), Spanish ibex (_Capra hispanica_), bear (_Ursus arctos_),
wolf, fox, lynx (_Felis pardina_), and wild boar.

Of these lynx and fox are only reckoned as large game when killed by a
rifle ball, while fallow deer can hardly be said to exist in Spain in a
truly wild state, although they come near to it in Aranjuez, where they
live free and unenclosed.

As suggested before, ‘driving’ is the commonest form of sport in Spain,
but there are two or three old forms of national sport still alive in
the country, more picturesque and more in keeping with the popular
ideas of the chivalrous Spaniard.

Of these the _chasse au sanglier_ in Estremadura, and the pursuit of
the bear by the _oseros_ of the Asturias, are worth a passing notice.

When the acorns are falling from the oaks during the stillness of
a moonlit night in the magnificent Estremenian woods, and the ripe
chestnuts cover the ground, the _valientes_ of the district assemble
and wait for the boars to come down from their mountain fastnesses to
feed. As soon as the snapping of some dry twig announces the ‘javato’s’
(boar’s) approach, a hound trained to give tongue to boar only is
slipped, and as soon as his first note proclaims a find, a dozen
strong half-bred mastiffs are despatched to his assistance.

Then for a while the hound-music frightens the shadows and shocks
the silence of the sleeping woods; there is a crashing among the dry
forest scrub, a breakneck scurry of mounted men among the timber; then
the furious baying of the hounds and the noisy rush of the hunters
converge towards one dark point among the shadows, and in the half
light a great grizzly tusker dies beneath the cold steel, but not
before he has written a lasting record of the hunt on the hide of some
luckless hound. Pig-sticking proper, as practised in India, is not
known in Spain, though possibly it might be practicable on the plains
of Andalusia.

The bears of Spain are of two varieties--the large dark-coloured
beast known as ‘carnicero,’ and said to prey upon goats, sheep, pigs,
and even to pull down horned cattle upon occasion, and a smaller,
lighter-coloured bear called ‘hormiguero’ or ant-eater, which is common
in the Asturias, feeding upon roots, ants, and such-like humble fare.

Bear hunting in Spain is confined almost exclusively to the north, to
the Pyrenees and Cantabrian highlands. Among the Asturias a kind of
hunting brotherhood of peasants still survives, whose members face
the bear armed only with pike and knife. These men (_los oseros de
España_), with the assistance of a couple of sturdy dogs, seek out
their quarry amid the recesses of the mountains, and slay or are slain
in single combat. Their equipment is simple. A broad-bladed knife and a
double dagger, each of whose triangular, razor-edged blades fits into
a central handle, suffice them for weapons of offence. For defensive
purposes they wear a thick sleeve composed of many layers of coarse
cloth.

When the bear is brought to bay by the dogs the hunter rushes in; as
the bear rises to grip his new assailant the _osero_ plants his knife
in Bruin’s chest, and then, as the animal lowers his head for a moment
beneath the pain of the blow, the double dagger is driven home to the
heart with all the power of the _osero’s_ right arm.

This kind of bear-hunting is hereditary, the profession of _osero_
passing from father to son with the peasants of the Asturias; but for
the most part the bear is killed like other game in Spain, by means of
large organised ‘drives’ or _batidas_.

Red deer are found locally and irregularly over several provinces of
the Peninsula, differing in type from Scotch red deer in the absence of
the shaggy mane or ruff on the neck, and in some slight modifications
in the horns. Being chiefly forest deer their heads are narrow, and the
animals slim built and game-like. They are found both in the mountains
and among the extensive pine forests and scrub-covered plains; but the
finest heads are obtained in the Sierra Morena, to the west of Cordova,
though the deer are most numerous in the southern wooded plains of
Andalusia, in which part of the Peninsula the writers of this chapter,
forming two of a party of eight or ten guns, have killed from twenty to
thirty stags in a week’s shooting, besides wild boar, lynx, and other
beasts, and between sixty and seventy stags in a season.

Deer shooting usually begins in November and ends in February or early
in March.

The following are measurements of heads that we have had the fortune
to obtain in Andalusia. Though not the largest known, they are good
typical heads:--

_Forest Deer_

    +-------------------------+---------+-------------+---------+
    |                         | Length  |Circumference|  Beam   |
    +-------------------------+---------+-------------+---------+
    |No. 1,  8 points (small) | 17¾ ins.|  3½   ins.  | 16½ ins.|
    | ”  2, 11  ”             | 24¼  ”  |  3¾    ”    | 19½  ”  |
    | ”  3, 12  ”     (royal) | 29   ”  |  5¼    ”    | 25   ”  |
    | ”  4, 13  ”        ”    | 22¾  ”  |  4¹⁄₁₆ ”    | 22½  ”  |
    +-------------------------+---------+-------------+---------+

_Mountain Deer_

    +-------------------------+---------+---------+
    |                         | Length  |  Beam   |
    +-------------------------+---------+---------+
    |No. 1, 12 points         | 34½ ins.|  32 ins.|
    | ”  2, 12   ”            | 36   ”  |  34  ”  |
    | ”  3, 15   ”            | 37½  ”  |  34½ ”  |
    | ”  4, 17   ”            | 40   ”  |  36½ ”  |
    +-------------------------+---------+---------+

Of the Spanish chamois there is little to be said. He is more or less
common in the Pyrenees, where the French call him the ‘izard,’ the
Spaniards ‘rebeco,’ and in the Cantabrian highlands, especially about
the Picos de Europa, where he is ignobly slain by driving.

But the great prize of Spain to men of our craft is the ibex--the
‘Cabra montés’ of Andalusia, the ‘bucardo’ of Aragon. The Spanish
mountaineers do not much affect ibex hunting, though there are a few
hardy souls among them who, donning their _alparagatas_, or hemp-soled
sandals, make a living out of this most fascinating of field sports.

The ibex is found on the highlands of Spain from Biscay to the
Mediterranean, and from the Pyrenees to the Straits of Gibraltar, as
also on the hills round Andorra, on the mountains of Toledo, and along
all the elevated cordillera of central Spain; but its favourite haunt
is the Sierra de Gredos. This lofty sierra is the highest point of the
Carpeto-Vetonico range, extending from Moncayo through Castile and
Estremadura, and forming the watershed of Tagus and Douro. It separates
the two Castiles, and passing the Portuguese frontier is there known as
the Sierra da Estrella, which, with the Cintra hills, extends to the
Atlantic seaboard. Along the whole range of this extensive Cordillera
there is no such favourite ground for the ibex as its highest peak--the
Plaza de Almanzor. During the winter months the ibex are found on the
lower slopes of the range towards Estremadura, but in summer and autumn
herds of them, especially the males, make their homes in the environs
of Almanzor. The best time for ibex shooting in Spain is during the
months of July and August. Heavy snowstorms make sport in the winter
dangerous and uncertain.

With regard to the specific distinction of the Spanish ibex, some
authorities have held that the ibex of the Pyrenees differs from that
of the Sierra Nevada and southern mountains, the former animal agreeing
more with the typical ibex of the Alps.

Sir Victor Brooke, in a note just received, remarks, ‘The Pyrenean ibex
are much larger beasts than those of the southern Spanish Sierras. In
the Pyrenees they are scarce, and live in the worst precipices I ever
saw an animal in--they go into _far_ worse ground than the chamois, and
are very nocturnal, never seen except in the dusk or early dawn unless
disturbed.’

[Illustration: SPANISH IBEX

(_Capra hispanica_)]

We, however, have found no material difference in the form of the horns
of ibex from the Pyrenees and those from Central and Southern Spain.
The following are the maximum dimensions of six ibex heads from these
latter districts, all measured by the writers:--

_Measurements of Six Ibex Heads_

    +--------+----------+----------+----------+-------------+
    |        |  Age     | Length   | Sweep    |Circumference|
    +--------+----------+----------+----------+-------------+
    | No. 1  |  5 years | 18½ ins. | 11½ ins. |  9⅜ ins.    |
    |  ”  2  |  8  ”    | 27½  ”   | 23   ”   |  9   ”      |
    |  ”  3  |  8  ”    | 28¼  ”   | 19   ”   |  8¾  ”      |
    |  ”  4  |  8  ”    | 29   ”   | 18¾  ”   |  9   ”      |
    |  ”  5  |  Aged    | 29   ”   | 22½  ”   |  9¼  ”      |
    |  ”  6  |    ”     | 29¼  ”   | 23¼  ”   |  9½  ”      |
    +--------+----------+----------+----------+-------------+

All these were shot on the Central and South Spanish sierras.

The following are the measurements of Sir Victor Brooke’s three best
Pyrenean ibex heads:--

    +----+---------+-------------+--------+
    |    | Length  |Circumference| Sweep  |
    +----+---------+-------------+--------+
    | A  | 26 ins. |  10 ins.    | 21 ins.|
    | B  | 29  ”   |  10  ”      | 23  ”  |
    | C  | 31  ”   |   8¾ ”      | 26½ ”  |
    +----+---------+-------------+--------+

[It may be added that the writers of this chapter devoted almost the
whole of 1891 to the investigation of the natural history of this
little-known corner of Europe, so that those specially interested may
supplement this sketch by a study of their work, ‘Wild Spain.’--ED.]



CHAPTER XI

INDIAN SHOOTING

BY LIEUT.-COL. REGINALD HEBER PERCY


I. INTRODUCTORY.

In dealing with such a vast tract of country as India it is out of
the question to describe any one class of outfit which will suit the
traveller equally well among the snowy peaks and bitter winds of the
Himalayas and Ladak and in the furnace-like heat of the plains. Snow
is the great obstacle to travel in the former, whilst heat, rain, and
malaria are the evils to be contended with in the latter. Nor is one
class of weapon equally suitable everywhere. For all soft-skinned
animals, such as tigers, and all varieties of sheep, goats, and deer
(except sambur) there is no rifle, in the writer’s opinion, that is so
satisfactory as a .500 Express with a charge of at least 5¾ drachms
of powder. This weapon is sufficiently powerful for any beast to
be met with in the Himalayas. Of course, yak may be found, but the
chance is so remote that it is barely worth while taking a special
rifle for their benefit, and a few cartridges with solid bullets for
the .500 will probably meet all requirements. On the other hand, for
thick-skinned animals, such as elephants, rhinoceros, gaur, buffalo,
and sambur, the smallest bore of any practical use is a 12-bore, and
the powder charge for this should be at least 6 drachms. The light
bullet of an Express is so easily turned by a small twig that it is
absolutely untrustworthy among heavy timber, and it is for this reason
that the writer includes sambur with the larger animals. For the
big dangerous beasts a still heavier weapon, such as an 8-bore with
8 drachms of powder, is desirable, though not absolutely necessary,
as the superior accuracy and handiness of a 12-bore go far to
counterbalance the extra power. For antelope and gazelles the writer
prefers a light single-barrelled .400 Express, taking 3 drachms of
powder, to any other rifle that he has ever used.

So far for rifles. A shot-gun is a necessity everywhere, and one of
the best pot-hunting guns (the chief use of a gun on the trip after
big game) is one of three barrels--two shot, 16-bore, and a .450
rifle underneath--which will meet all requirements on the march and
near camp. As regards tents, the ordinary Cabul tent (part of every
officer’s equipment in India), with a smaller one for the servants,
is ample for the Himalayas and the plains in the cold weather, but
a larger tent is required during the hot weather in the plains.
Manifold are the instructions already published as to outfit--‘Large
Game Shooting,’ by Colonel Kinloch, ‘The Sportsman’s Guide to Kashmir
and Ladak,’ by Major Ward, and ‘The Sportsman’s Vade Mecum,’ by K.
C. A. J., are among the best books to consult, as they are written
by practical men. Among the points that the intending traveller must
bear in mind are: That the unit of transport in the Himalayas is the
coolie, and his load over a snow pass is only 50 lbs., though along
an ordinary road he can carry 60 lbs. Pack animals can certainly be
used over a large portion of the country, but every snow pass forces
the traveller back to the unit, so that his baggage must be capable
of being arranged in 50-lb. loads. Throughout the rest of India carts
can generally travel, and, failing them, camels, oxen, or ponies can
always be procured, so that the unit of transport being greater, the
sportsman can travel with far greater comfort than he can in the
Himalayas. Then, again, if the traveller requires more than sixteen
coolies to carry his baggage in the Himalayas, he will be subjected
to endless delays at every changing station. A dozen men or so can be
collected at short notice almost anywhere, but over sixteen generally
means delay till they can be summoned from outlying villages; and
perpetual detentions of this class when one is racing for ground are
extremely annoying, so that it should be the sportsman’s aim to combine
lightness with efficiency in all articles of his outfit, and to travel
with the smallest amount of state compatible with his standard of
comfort--a standard which, in the writer’s experience, differs with
every individual.

As regards expenses, the following may be taken as a rough guide
throughout the Himalayas:--

Coolie, per march, 4a.

Coolie, monthly, Rs.6 (without rations if employed near his own
village).

Coolie, monthly, Rs.5 (with rations).

Baggage pony, per march, 8a.

Riding pony, per march, R.1.

Baggage yak, per month, Rs.8 to Rs.12 (the drivers bring their own food
and provide carriage for it).

Head shikari, in Cashmere, Rs.20 monthly (with rations).

Assistant shikari, in Cashmere, Rs.10 monthly (with rations).

Luncheon coolie, in Cashmere, Rs.7 monthly (with rations).

Head shikari in Gurwhal, Chumba, Lahoul, &c., being local men, Rs.12 to
Rs.16 monthly (usually without rations).

Assistant shikari, Rs.8 to Rs.10 (without rations).

Luncheon coolie, Rs.7 (without rations).

Rations consist of 4 lbs. daily of flour or rice for head shikari,
assistant shikari, luncheon coolie, and servants brought up from the
plains; baggage coolies get 2 lbs. daily of the same. An estimate of
Rs.300 a month should amply suffice for travelling in any part of
the Himalayas: an old hand will do it for far less, but the Cashmere
shikari so thoroughly understands the art of running up the bill, and
is so plausible withal, that the majority of his employers will find
themselves paying more than its market value for the pleasure of his
company. When the sportsman has sufficient experience and sufficient
knowledge of the language to employ shepherds and local shikaris
to show him the ground near their own homes, he may dispense with
the luxury of having a Cashmeree to rule over him, and find great
advantage accrue both to his sport and to his purse. It is impossible
to give an estimate for big game shooting in the plains, as the rates
for transport and beaters vary in every district. As regards servants
brought up from the plains, two should be enough, and they should be of
the same religion and caste, so as to be able to cook for one another:
the writer prefers Mussulmans, as they will eat meat, which Hindus of
good caste will not do. In any case they will require extra pay in
the hills (an additional Rs.2 or Rs.3 a month should suffice), warm
clothing, an extra blanket apiece, and a waterproof bag to pack their
things in. Also, as their work begins on arrival at camp, they should,
if possible, be mounted for long marches. It is a good plan to hire
milch goats from the village which supplies the coolies, and change
them when one changes the men in the next district.

[Illustration: THE FIRST STALK OF THE SEASON]

The generally accepted rule with regard to shooting grounds in the
Himalayas is that the first comer has the right to any minor stream not
being the main river of a district (except at its source, where it is
considered a minor stream), and to all the land that drains into that
stream; but he must occupy the ground in person, and cannot retain it
by sending servants or tents there before his arrival, or by keeping
servants or tents there during his absence.

In the plains the same rule, though not so accurately laid down, holds
good in spirit, viz. that no sportsman should hunt over ground within
reach of his neighbour’s camp, and in tiger shooting a beat belongs to
the man whose shikaris are tying up for it.

Visitors from home should endeavour to bear in mind that the sport of
India naturally and fairly belongs to those who spend the best years
of their lives in administering and garrisoning it, and that the
assistance they will, as a rule, so freely receive will be given by
good sportsmen from sheer love of sport.

In conclusion, the writer begs to express his grateful thanks for
the kindly assistance afforded him by the authorities of the Natural
History Museum, the Cambridge Museum, and the Senckenburg Museum,
Frankfort, and also to the numerous sportsmen and owners of private
collections for the generous way in which they have, at no slight
trouble to themselves, lightened his labours by contributing records of
sport and measurements of horns and animals.


II. THE BEARS OF INDIA AND BURMAH

There are no fewer than five varieties of bears to be found in our
Eastern Empire. The three most commonly met with are the Himalayan
black bear, _Ursus torquatus_ (native name ‘Kala Bhalu’); the Himalayan
snow bear, _Ursus Isabellinus_ (native names ‘Lal Bhalu’; Cashmere
‘Harput’); and the sloth bear of the plains, _Ursus labiatus_ (native
names ‘Bhalu,’ ‘Reech,’ ‘Adam zad’).

[Illustration: A FAIR CHANCE AT BLACK BEARS]

The Himalayan black bear is common enough on the southern slopes of the
Himalayas, but rarely crosses the main snow-line. Being chiefly a fruit
and corn eater, in contradistinction to the snow bear, whose main food
consists of grass and roots, it likes to live near villages, especially
when the maize crops are ripening. Dense jungle is a necessity to it
for shelter during the day and for the wild fruit and berries it lives
on before the crops are ripe, and this jungle is non-existent on the
northern side of the main range. The snow bear is found on both sides
of the range, but does not extend to Ladak. Both black and snow bears
will kill cattle and sheep if they get the chance, and neither variety
is above eating carrion. The black bear with his short sturdy nails
climbs readily, while the long digging claws of the snow bear prevent
him doing much in that line, though he is said to be able to climb a
little. The villagers in the Himalayas have to keep their bees inside
their houses both for the sake of warmth in winter and also to prevent
the hives being robbed by bears. Both varieties hibernate, but
Colonel Kinloch points out, and all natives agree, that while the snow
bear is never seen abroad in the winter, the black bear periodically
wakes up and makes short excursions for food and water. As regards
their comparative ferocity, the snow bear, being generally found
and shot in the open, rarely has an opportunity of doing mischief,
though he will occasionally show fight. The black bear, on the other
hand, from living near villages has partly lost his fear of man, and
though he rarely if ever goes out of his way to attack, he will charge
freely if cornered, or suddenly disturbed in his midday siesta by
anyone walking almost on to him. This is almost invariably the reason
wood-cutters and herdsmen get mauled.

[Illustration: Snow bears]

One of the best ways to shoot black bears is to have them marked down
into ravines or patches of dense jungle on their return from feeding in
the early morning, and to wait for them to draw out in the evening just
before sunset. As a rule Mr. Bruin is pretty punctual. Shooting bears
by moonlight when they are feeding in the fruit trees is generally
unsatisfactory work, as so many escape wounded, and having the jungle
driven usually ends in disappointment.

The snow bear is easily stalked on the open slopes he frequents, and
provided that the wind is favourable, and that the sportsman remains
absolutely motionless as long as the animal’s head is turned towards
him, he can play almost any trick with a bear, even though standing
in full view; but he must be careful not to let the sun shine on the
barrels of his rifle, for that at once attracts attention. The best
place to find a snow bear is one of those patches of bright green grass
that mark the spots where sheep have been folded the year before. The
writer knows several instances of black bears having been followed into
their caves and shot there under circumstances of intense excitement.
Colonel Howard, whose adventures with sloth bear are narrated below,
had a sparkling time with a Himalayan black bear in a cave; but it is
not everybody’s sport.

Few men, after they have procured a good specimen or two, care to shoot
bears. Their skins require more attention than they are worth, and on
good shooting ground where snow bears are most common, it is rarely
worth the risk of disturbing a good ibex or markhor for the biggest
bear in Asia.

Jerdon remarks of the black bear--and the natives of Chumba at all
events thoroughly believe it--that when one is caught in a rope snare,
if he cannot break it by the first effort he will not try again, but
will remain on the spot moaning and looking at the imprisoned paw
without attempting to bite the rope.

[Illustration: A glorified comet]

The sloth bear is the common black bear of Central and Southern India.
It extends to the base of the Himalayas, but does not ascend them, its
northern limit being about 31° N. Lat. Its long flexible snout and long
claws distinguish it at once from its Himalayan cousin, and though it
delights in a temperature more suggestive of the necessity of punkahs
and ice than of greatcoats, its fur is longer and better. In spite
of its long claws it climbs well, and as, like deer and natives, it
delights in the nasty-tasting flowers of the ‘mhowa’ tree, a moonlight
stroll in March or April, when the blossoms are falling, will often
afford the chance of a shot. The best way of hunting these bears is to
have them marked down in the early morning like _U. torquatus_, and
then either to stalk or have them driven. Should the bears go into
caves, they are easily dislodged by poking sticks or rolling stones
through fissures above, or if the cave is shallow a bundle of rags or
a turban dangled over the entrance and a few shouts will fetch them
out. A firework thrown into or a shot fired down the mouth of the cave
is a very effectual summons. Though _U. labiatus_ is both willing and
able to do a good deal of mischief, if due precautions are taken few
branches of sport afford such a succession of ludicrous episodes. Poor
old ‘Adam zad,’ if he is not witty himself, is a fund of merriment to
others. Forsyth’s and Sanderson’s books teem with comical situations.
The companionship of a fellow-sportsman whose shooting can be relied
upon is necessary if full enjoyment of the sport is desired, as tricks
may then be played which would be a little too risky to attempt
single-handed. Native fireworks, ‘Anar,’ are rather dangerous to use,
as they are apt to explode in the hand. Never will the writer forget
seeing a lot go off in a howdah during a tiger beat: the poor old
elephant went streaking across country like a glorified comet. Two
guns are ample for following up a wounded bear on foot in jungle; if
there are more the party is apt to get separated, and then, if the bear
shows sport, there are too many bullets flying about to be pleasant.
Natives, except perhaps one tracker, are only encumbrances. The way a
cub will ride on its mother’s back and keep its seat under the most
trying circumstances is marvellous. The writer once rolled an old bear
clean over without the cub letting go. Sterndale quotes a capital story
about this. Rusty coloured bears are not uncommon: the writer saw two
in Central India, but as in each case the bear passed under his tree
before the tiger in the beat had been fired at, he had to spare them.
Bears may occasionally be ridden down and speared, but they are not
often found on ground that will admit of this, and the way they ‘_sling
their chat_’ will prevent most horses from going up to them. This bear
does not hibernate.

Colonel Howard gives the following account of his experiences in
Central India in 1884:

  L. and I were at Lulliapoora tying up for a tiger, and hearing
  of some bears’ caves about two miles off, we rode out to look at
  them. On arrival at the ground we dismounted and strolled along,
  accompanied by a couple of villagers. Whenever we found a cave we
  rolled rocks down into it to see whether it was occupied or not,
  and having gone on in this way for some time without result, the
  natives began to get careless and went ahead of us. Presently
  we heard some growls and saw our Aryan brethren scuttling up
  trees. L. and I ran forward and found a large crevice in the
  rocky ground about four feet wide, eight or ten yards long, and
  from fifteen to eighteen feet deep; at either end of this caves
  seemed to run into the ground, and in the centre was a ragged
  archway that formed a staircase for the bears to climb in and
  out. Standing astride of the crevice I saw a bear’s head appear
  at the entrance of one of the caves, and as L. was new to the
  work, I signalled to him to come and shoot, while I stood a foot
  or two back from the edge, ready for whatever might turn up. The
  bear, noticing L., turned, and, on receiving a bullet in his seat
  of honour, ran along the bottom of the crevice to the opposite
  cave, acknowledging the second barrel with that peculiarly
  plaintive moan which a bear so often gives when he has received
  his death wound. L. then jumped aside, saying, ‘Look out’; a
  second bear’s head and shoulders appeared just above the crevice.
  I fired into her ear at about a yard’s distance, and she rolled
  back to the bottom dead. Tying the ponies’ leading ropes together
  I climbed down, put a noose round the bear’s neck, and steadied
  her while the others hauled her out.

  I now told L. that I was perfectly certain that his bear was dead
  too, and that I would go down and see. I did not fancy going
  down the archway, as that seemed to be the bears’ regular run,
  so looked about for another entrance, and soon found one which
  seemed to lead almost perpendicularly down into the back of the
  cave. After removing a stone or two at the top in the vain hope
  of being able to see without actually going down, I started on
  my journey. As it was pitch dark and I had to use both hands in
  climbing down, I left my rifle behind, intending to run and not
  fight if I got into a scrape.

  On reaching the bottom, I found myself on an underground
  continuation of the crevice. On one side was a stone about
  a couple of feet high on which I stood, and as my eyes got
  accustomed to the darkness, I made out an overhanging rock just
  in front of me, and protruding from beneath it, at my feet, a
  mass of hair.

  I did not like to put my hand on it, so climbed up again,
  borrowed a stick from one of the natives, then jogged down again,
  and jammed the end of the stick into the bear. To my horror he
  jumped up with a growl, but luckily, being just as frightened as
  I was, he bolted further up the cave, while I legged it up my
  hole at about the best pace on record.

  I then sent back to camp for a lantern, and with it in my hand
  and my short single rifle slung across my back, journeyed down
  for the third time, after posting L. at the top of the crevice,
  warning him to let any bear that might turn up come well out into
  the open before he fired, and on no account to let a wounded one
  come back into the cave on me.

  Arrived at the bottom, I placed the lantern on the ground,
  unslung the rifle, and stepped on to the stones. There, just
  sticking out from under the overhanging rock, was undoubtedly
  the back of a bear, so I let drive into it. The smoke completely
  concealed everything, then there was a prolonged growl,
  afterwards a succession of short grunts, my lantern was put
  out and sent flying by a bear who charged it, brushing past
  me, probably with the idea that the lantern was the assailant.
  I scuttled up the hole, and L., who, in the excitement of the
  moment had forgotten my warning, fired at the bear and rolled him
  back down into the crevice before I got out.

  It was now evening, and getting very dark, so I lit a bunch of
  grass, and, on throwing it down the crevice, could see a bear
  lying at the bottom. I threw a stone down, at which he did not
  growl, but, probably owing to the flickering light of the burning
  grass, he seemed to move, so we agreed to leave him till next
  morning. As we were starting home, my shikari noticed that the
  dry leaves at the bottom of the crevice were burning, which meant
  that by the morning the bear would have his coat singed off, so
  I hardened my heart, and, taking the rope, climbed down again,
  gave the bear a kick when I got just above him, and as he did not
  move, went up to him, felt for his head, slipped a noose over
  it, and the men above hauled him out. We started early next day,
  taking L.’s lantern, as mine was in the cave, and, on arrival at
  the place, to my infinite disgust, found fresh droppings at the
  entrance. They were probably only those of cubs, but one could
  not tell their size, and it made the idea of going down in cold
  blood much less pleasant.

  I fired a shot down the cave, listened, but could hear no sound,
  so went to my old entrance and tried to lower L.’s lantern by a
  string, which was cut against the rocks, so that the lantern fell
  to the bottom.

  We were now in a fix, for both our lanterns were down below, and
  if we left them there we should have to spend our evenings in
  darkness.

  L., whose figure was not suited to climbing about in narrow
  caves, did not like the idea of my going down again--no more did
  I--but I could not well leave the lanterns there simply because I
  was afraid of fetching them; so taking my double-barrelled rifle
  with me, I started on my fifth journey. The length of the rifle
  made the climbing very awkward; however, I reached the bottom
  without damaging it, found my own lantern none the worse except
  for a few dents and scratches, followed the bottom of the cave
  until I reached the crevice, above which the others were standing
  anxiously awaiting my reappearance. They lowered a rope and
  hauled up the lantern, while I went back, found L.’s lantern in
  two pieces, handed it up, and then proceeded in my search for the
  bear.

  I found him stone-dead under the overhanging ledge, but I could
  hear something moving ahead of me the whole time; the cave was
  pitch dark, was getting much lower and narrower, and turned two
  sharp corners.

  To get at the bear’s head I should have to crawl over him, and we
  had no rope long enough to reach to where I was, besides which
  the cave made so many zig-zags that it would in any case have
  been impossible to haul the bear out without several of the party
  coming down to assist; so pulling out some hair to show that I
  had handled him, I returned, and offered to go on ahead of the
  bear as a guard, with rifle and lantern, if some of the others
  would bring the rope and do the hauling.

  The noise ahead was probably made by cubs, but as I did not know
  their size, and as it might have been a fourth bear, I did not
  care to risk being attacked while I was tying up the quarry in a
  place where I had no elbow-room.

  L., I think wisely, decided that we had been very lucky in
  recovering two bears and our lanterns without accident, and that
  it would be folly to risk an almost certain mauling for the sake
  of a third; so I came out, by no means unwillingly. I never
  fancied the last part of the job--I could not have got the bear
  out alone, and as two or three men on hands and knees in a narrow
  cave must get in each other’s way in a scrimmage, a charge would
  probably have ended badly.

  I only escaped the first time through putting the lantern on one
  side of me instead of at my feet, and through the cave at that
  place being wide enough for the bear to pass by my side; very
  likely also the fact of my standing on the stone, though it was
  at the most two feet high, brought me a little above the level of
  the bear’s eyes, and seeing the lantern he charged it.

  The astonishing part of the whole thing was the rapidity with
  which the bears came up the crevice. It was by no means an easy
  climb for a man, and yet it hardly seemed to delay them at all.

There is a certain delicacy in this branch of sport that requires such
exceptional temperament and nerve that the writer can hardly feel
himself justified in recommending its practice, at all events to a
novice in the art.

The remaining varieties of the bear family found in India are somewhat
more rare than those already described. They are the Burmese bear
(_Ursus malayanus_), the Beluchistan bear (_Ursus gedrosianus_),
called by the natives ‘mamh,’ and a quaint looking piebald bear
(_Ailuropus melanoleucos_), discovered in Eastern Thibet by the Abbé
David. _U. malayanus_ resembles the Himalayan black bear but is
smaller, the white horse-shoe mark upon the chest of the Himalayan bear
being prolonged in a white stripe down the belly of _U. malayanus_. _U.
gedrosianus_ also resembles, but is smaller than, the Himalayan, but in
colour he is brownish instead of black.

_Measurements_

    +------------------+----------+---------+-------+---------+-------+
    |                  |  Height  | Length  |       |         |       |
    |    Authority     |    at    | nose to | Girth | Forearm | Sex   |
    |                  | shoulder |  tail   |       |         |       |
    +------------------+----------+---------+-------+---------+-------|
    |                            URSUS ISABELLINUS                    |
    |                  |   ins.   |  ins.   |  ins. |    ins. |       |
    | Major FitzHerbert|    36    |   65    |   48  |     17  | Male  |
    |         ”        |    ..    |   57    |   ..  |     ..  | Female|
    | Major Ward       |    ..    |   82    |   ..  |     ..  |   ..  |
    |                  |          |         |       |         |       |
    |                            URSUS TORQUATUS                      |
    | Major Ward       |    ..    |   78    |   ..  |     ..  |   ..  |
    | Col. Howard      |    ..    |   76½   |   ..  |     ..  |   ..  |
    +------------------+----------+---------+-------+---------+-------+

    +------------------+-----------+----------------+-----------+
    |  Authority       | Height at |  Length nose   |  Weight   |
    |                  |  shoulder |   to tail      |           |
    +------------------+-----------+----------------+-----------|
    |                          URSUS LABIATUS                   |
    |                  |   ins.    |    ins.        |   lbs.    |
    | Sanderson        |    36     |  about 72      |   280     |
    | Sterndale        | about 36  |  60 to 72      | 210 to 280|
    | Major FitzHerbert|   ..      |    65          |    ..     |
    |                  |           |                |           |
    |                          URSUS MALAYANUS                  |
    | Sterndale        |   ..      |not exceeding 54|    ..     |
    |                  |           |                |           |
    |                       AILUROPUS MELANOLEUCOS              |
    | Sterndale        | about 26  |  about 58      |    ..     |
    +------------------+-----------+----------------+-----------+


III. THE LION (_Felis leo_)

_Native names_: ‘_Sher-babbar_,’ ‘_Singh_,’ ‘_Unthia Bagh_’

The Indian lion differs little in appearance from the African variety,
the males of both being furnished with manes, though a _black_ mane is
unknown in India.

Lions are almost extinct in India, though there are still a few left in
Guzerat and Kutch, and natives occasionally bring in reports of them
in Central India; but the writer has not heard of one being shot in the
last district for many years. The lion is a less active animal than the
tiger, and apparently not so powerful; in every case of a fight between
the two occurring in a menagerie the tiger has invariably killed his
opponent.

Essentially a wanderer, the Indian lion avoids heavy forest as a rule,
preferring sandy hills covered with thin scrub and grass, and may be
tracked and shot on foot in a way that it would be foolhardiness to
attempt with a tiger. There is a capital account of the sport given in
the ‘Oriental Sporting Magazine,’ July 1876. The narrator came across
four males, shot one that charged him brilliantly, wounded and lost a
second, and missed a third.

Native shikaris declare that lions always put up for the day under
the same bushes, and that consequently if there is a lion about he is
generally easily found. It would be curious if African sportsmen could
corroborate this story.

Unlike tigers, there is a large preponderance of males to females among
full-grown lions, which is supposed to be attributable to the mortality
among female cubs in teething.

_Measurements_

  +---------------+--------+----+--------+-----+----------+-------------+
  | Authority     | Total  |Tail|Height  |Girth|  Weight  |             |
  |               | length |    |at      |of   |          |   Remarks   |
  |               |        |    |shoulder|chest|          |             |
  +---------------+--------+----+--------+-----+----------+-------------+
  |               |ft. ins.|ins.|  ins.  |ins. |   lbs.   |             |
  |               |{8  6}  |{30}|        |     |          |             |
  |Sterndale      |{ to }  |{to}|   42   | ..  |    ..    |             |
  |               |{9  6}  |{36}|        |     |          |             |
  |               |        |    |        |     |          |             |
  | ” quoting    }| 8 9½   | .. |   ..   | ..  |{  490[16]|             |
  | Captain      }|        |    |        |     |{(cleaned)|             |
  | Smee         }|        |    |        |     |          |             |
  |               |        |    |        |     |          |             |
  |‘The Delhi    }|        |    |        |     |          |             |
  | Gazette’:    }| 8  7   | 34 |   39   | 46  |    ..    |             |
  | a lion killed}|        |    |        |     |          |             |
  | in Central   }|        |    |        |     |          |             |
  | India        }|        |    |        |     |          |             |
  |               |        |    |        |     |          |             |
  |‘Oriental     }|        |    |        |     |          |             |
  | Sporting     }|        |    |        |     |          |             |
  |  Magazine,’  }| 9  3   | .. |   ..   | ..  |     ..   |             |
  |  July 1876   }|        |    |        |     |          |             |
  |               |        |    |        |     |          |             |
  |               |                  AFRICAN LION                       |
  |Rowland Ward, }|        |    |        |     |        { |F. C.        |
  |‘Horn         }|   ..   | .. |   ..   | ..  |   500  { |Selous, ‘A   |
  |Measurements’ }|        |    |        |     |        { |Hunter’s     |
  |               |        |    |        |     |        { |Wanderings’  |
  |               |        |    |        |     |          |             |
  |  ”         ”  |   ..   | .. |   ..   | ..  |   563  { |‘The Field,’ |
  |               |        |    |        |     |        { |July 13,     |
  |               |        |    |        |     |          |1890         |
  |               |        |    |        |     |          |             |
  |  ”         ”  |   ..   | .. |   ..   | ..  |   385    |J. S. Jameson|
  +---------------+--------+----+--------+-----+----------+-------------+


IV. TIGER (_Felis tigris_)

The tiger is found throughout India wherever there is suitable jungle,
and extends through Burmah to the Malayan Archipelago and China, but is
not found in Ceylon. Sterndale says: ‘It has been found as far north as
the island of Saghalien, which is bisected by N. L. 50°. This is its
extreme north-eastern limit, the Caspian Sea[17] being its westerly
boundary. From parallel 50° downwards it is found in many parts of the
highlands of Central Asia.’

[Illustration: Howdah shooting]

The biggest tigers the writer has heard of are one of 13 ft. that
Sir Charles Reid quotes as having been shot by the late Sir Andrew
Waugh,[18] and one of 12 ft. 4 ins. quoted in a letter by Mr. F.
A. Shillingford to ‘The Asian’ as having been shot by Mr. C. A.
Shillingford of Munshye in 1849; and Williamson, writing about the
year 1805 of a tiger killed by Mr. Paul, the superintendent of the
Elephant Establishment at Daudpore, says: ‘The tiger proved to be the
largest ever killed on the Cossim Bazar island. The circumference of
the joint at his wrist was 26 ins.; he was 13 ft. and a few inches from
the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, and in a right line, taken
as he lay, from the sole of his forepaw to the tip of his withers,
between the shoulders, gave very nearly 4 ft. for his height.’ As
the old gentleman afterwards states that ‘nine in ten do not measure
10 ft.,’ it seems only fair to conclude that the above extraordinary
measurements were honestly taken of the beast as he lay before being
skinned.

Captain Forsyth’s division of tigers into three classes has been
generally accepted by sportsmen as a correct definition of their
habits. They are, as Sanderson writes: ‘Those which habitually prey
upon cattle; those which live upon game alone; and the few dreaded
individuals of their race that frequently prey upon human beings.’
None of these classes absolutely restrict themselves to one diet. The
cattle-lifter will kill game occasionally, the game-killer does not
despise a juicy young buffalo, nor does a man-eater live entirely on
human flesh; but in broad terms the game-killer, who is in reality one
of the villagers’ best friends in that he preys upon the wild pigs
and deer that ravage his crops, is an active wandering beast which
is proportionately hard to bring to bag, being generally met with by
chance.

The cattle-lifter is generally a stay-at-home old gentleman, averse
to travel, who takes two or three villages under his protection, and
lives, as far as they will allow him, on good terms with the people,
simply taking a cow, or a donkey, as his _droit du seigneur_ every
four or five days. Occasionally he may contract the wasteful habit
of knocking over two or three animals at a time out of a herd; but
this, as Sanderson points out, is the result of continual ill-judged
interference on the part of the cowherds. Buffaloes in a herd he is
too wary to meddle with, as he knows they will not hesitate to charge
him, and the small boys who pretend to look after them traverse the
tiger’s domain in perfect safety if mounted on the broad back of one of
their charges. In reality the buffaloes are sent out to look after the
children, and there is no better nursemaid than an old cow buffalo, who
combines perambulator and guardian in one.

Seldom do these tigers attack a man wantonly, and though when they
increase in numbers their system of taxation becomes oppressive, the
damage they do is often overrated. Forsyth gives the alarming figures
of 325_l._ to 650_l._ worth per annum for each tiger, but Sanderson
more justly cuts the estimate down to about 70_l._ He adds, ‘The tiger
might in turn justly present his little account for services rendered
in keeping down wild animals which destroy crops,’ and gives many
excellent arguments in favour of tigers.

The gravest charge against cattle-lifters is that they occasionally
turn man-eaters; the game-killer, according to Sanderson, never does.
As regards man-eaters, the crafty she-devils--they are generally
tigresses--often bring up their cubs to the same way of living. They
roam over a considerable tract of country, rarely staying long enough
in one place to afford a chance of beating them out like ordinary
tigers, killing perhaps on successive days at villages ten miles apart,
rendering the whole district helpless from terror. These are the
hardest brutes of all to destroy. The sportsman can get no help from
the natives, he can gain no knowledge of the brute’s conduct to assist
him in the pursuit; ceaseless hunting at all hours and in every method
available, hoping that luck may favour him at last, is his only chance
of ridding the country of its scourge. Even if he succeeds in killing
every tiger he finds in the district, he can never be sure of having
destroyed the real culprit; he may have driven it away only to return
after his departure. There may be more than one man-eater at work, or
it may very possibly be a panther that is doing the real damage, which
he might refrain from firing at, like Sterndale, for fear of spoiling
his chance of a tiger. Unless the beast is caught red-handed, time
alone will prove its destruction.

Well may the unhappy villagers attribute to it supernatural powers,
declaring that the spirits of its victims ride on its forehead, and
that even, as Forsyth relates, a corpse raises its arm to warn the
tiger of the hidden shikari. Well may they magnify its size, declaring
it has a white moon on its forehead, and its belly sweeps the ground.
Till all killing has ceased for some months no man dare pursue his
usual avocation or travel to the nearest village alone.

Tiger shooting may be broadly divided into three classes, viz.:
shooting from elephants; driving with beaters to guns posted in trees;
sitting up over kills. The first method is that usually employed in
the high grass jungles of the Terai. The ordinary plan, if a tiger is
marked down into a particular patch of grass, is to send one or two
guns ahead to prevent the creature slinking out, and these guns should,
if possible, be posted in trees, as the restless movements of the
elephants will almost invariably head the tiger back, and the elephant
is better employed with the line. Of course, if it is considered
desirable to hem the tiger in till the line gets up, elephants should
be posted ahead, but a man in a tree will as a rule get a better chance
than if he were on an elephant. The forward guns being posted, the line
beats up to them with guns on the flanks and the pad elephants in the
centre; if there are more than two guns with the line, the remainder
distribute themselves along it. The elephants should not, if possible,
be more than twelve yards apart at starting, and if a tiger is wounded
should be closed up till they almost touch one another, as the
elephants and their mahouts will gain confidence, and the formidable
aspect of the close line will prevent most tigers from attempting to
charge home; short half-hearted attacks he may make, but the line will
stand firm, for the mahouts are under too close supervision and have
hardly room to turn their elephants round; the guns on the flanks are
also close enough to protect the whole line.

To hear of tigers making good their charges and springing on to
elephants’ heads sounds very nice and exciting, but nothing is more
demoralising to the elephants, especially at the beginning of a trip,
and every precaution should be taken to save your elephants from
getting mauled; for, if injured, many of them never recover confidence,
and become absolutely worthless for tiger shooting afterwards. Forsyth
mentions an instance of an elephant dying of wounds received from a
tiger. It is all very fine for the sportsman to take a charge, standing
in a howdah perched on the back of a large tusker; but it is a very
different thing for the opium-sodden nerves of an unarmed mahout riding
a small timid pad elephant. Close order is the only safe formation
for pad elephants, and should invariably be adopted. If the tiger is
marked into a particular bush, the line may be halted, and the howdah
elephants alone be taken up to engage him; but until the mahouts have
thorough confidence in the guns a fight is better avoided.

It is a good plan to reward all the mahouts engaged after a successful
hunt, and the douceur should be bestowed on the spot, or at latest
the same evening on return to camp; any mahout misconducting himself
of course forfeits the reward. A wounded tiger rarely goes far before
lying up, and there is really less chance of a close line missing him
than an extended one, as with the latter he may crouch and be passed
over.

Ringing tigers with a large number of elephants, as practised in the
Nepal Terai, is merely a variation of the ordinary method, and is thus
described by Sir E. Durand:

  The usual method is to send men ahead the day before, to tie up
  buffaloes in all the likely places round the place selected for
  camp, then beat up the jungle with a long line of three or four
  hundred elephants. If a kill is found, the flanks of the line
  gradually get forward and wheel inwards, and on a tiger being
  seen the flanks sweep round as rapidly as possible and form a
  ring round the patch of jungle the tiger is supposed to be in.
  If the tiger breaks out, fast elephants are sent in pursuit at
  once to head him and try to detain him till a fresh ring can be
  formed. On one occasion, when a kill had been found, both flanks
  of the line of elephants had gradually been creeping forward till
  they were almost at right angles to the centre, which still kept
  steadily advancing. Suddenly, although apparently no news had
  been passed up, a sort of electric current seemed to run through
  the line; then bugles sounded right and left, and the movement
  became hurried. The Maharajah (Bir Shumshir of Nepal) and I then
  stopped to mount our howdah elephants (as we had hitherto been
  riding pads), and, advancing on them, found ourselves outside
  a ready-formed ring of elephants, some two hundred yards in
  diameter, encircling a lovely glade in the forest, damp and
  cool, with tall green reeds and scattered trees. A tiger had
  been viewed, and the question now was, whether he was inside the
  ring or not. Orders were now given for the ring to close very
  slowly and steadily, till it had contracted to a circle of about
  a hundred yards, and the elephants were in some places standing
  two deep. A halt was now made to complete the formation; gaps had
  to be filled up here and there, and big tuskers sent round to any
  weak points where a number of small elephants had got together,
  to give them confidence in case of a charge. The Maharajah and
  I then entered the ring, and took up a position on our howdah
  elephants, between where we thought the tiger was lying hid and
  the heaviest cover. I have seen several tigers break the ring and
  escape for the time when this precaution has not been observed.
  Three big tuskers, which had accompanied us to rouse the tiger,
  then began moving about very quietly, lifting up a tangle of
  grass here, shaking a bush there; for tigers in these rings lie
  very close, the elephants invariably making a masterly retreat
  immediately pending the result of each special inquiry. Suddenly,
  not fifty paces from us, a lovely tigress with a glitter of
  gold on her flanks appeared, standing listening and motionless.
  As we had detected no movement she must have been crouching in
  the short grass and risen to her feet. We usually took it in
  turn to fire first, and as it was the Maharajah’s shot, and our
  elephants were standing side by side, I leant over my howdah and
  touched his arm. He fired hurriedly, and with a whoop of anger
  the lady answered the shot and sprang into a thick bed of high
  reeds. Thinking she was hit, we went round and posted ourselves
  again between the reeds and the line of elephants on the far
  side. We had hardly settled ourselves when there was a deliberate
  rush, beginning some thirty yards from us, and the charge came
  straight and true. When within three yards of the tusks of the
  Maharajah’s elephant she met her fate, and rolled over and over
  like a rabbit, almost between the lowered tusks of the elephant,
  with a bullet through the head, and never moved again. The
  Maharajah’s elephant, usually impassive and unhysterical, had
  actually been so far shaken by the decided nature of the charge
  that he had moved and forced his rider to sit down just at the
  critical moment. The noise of the charge and the shot roused up
  her mate, a heavy, long tiger, who gave me a chance as he walked
  quietly between two patches of cover about sixty yards off, and
  I dropped him with an Express bullet through the shoulder. Now
  began a performance that I never like, and for which the only
  excuse is the fear--a very real one--that if the howdah elephants
  get mauled they no longer remain absolutely staunch and reliable.
  The game is, that when a tiger is wounded in thick cover, the
  big tuskers are sent in to move him. It is often a very funny
  sight as the tiger goes for them and they find pressing business
  on the other side of the ring, whilst the careful way they hunt
  for him or break down a tree to fall near him and stir him, and
  then clear out, is quite a study. The mischief is that they are
  often caught, and on this occasion three of them were caught by
  the tiger, one after the other. The tiger once was swinging under
  a big tusker’s head and getting his hind leg up; for a moment we
  thought he would pull the elephant down, but the latter managed
  to shake him off. The Maharajah and I then went in and killed the
  tiger before he had time to get in a fair charge at us.

  On some occasions we have had as many as three, four, or even
  five tigers in one ring, and the excitement is of course
  proportionate. Then, though a purist would object that the whole
  thing is not real sport, it is most interesting from beginning
  to end: the careful search for the tiger, always an excitement
  in itself, the ringing, the doubt whether you have him inside
  or not, his break, perhaps, before or after the ring is formed,
  and the mad rush of shouting mahouts and crashing elephants
  to head him and surround him again; the lesser life that goes
  whirling up overhead when the tuskers search the ground--peacock,
  jungle-fowl, partridge--or the blundering gallop round the ring
  of a frightened boar, the rush of terrified hogdeer or chital;
  and perhaps, at last, a circus performance on the part of the
  tiger himself, who will gallop round the ring, his tail whirling
  like that of an angry cat, trying the circle here and there with
  a hoarse, grunting charge, which is met by a volley of abuse and
  cudgels flung by the mahouts, and by shrill trumpetings on the
  part of the elephants, backing with fright. All this tends to
  make a Nepalese tiger ring an interesting and an exciting show,
  even before the tiger charges the howdah elephants, which he
  seems to recognise at once as the real enemies he has to fear.

The second way of hunting tigers by beating them out is that generally
practised in Central India, Bombay, and Madras; here, though a few
elephants may be employed as they are in Central India, their chief use
is for following up wounded animals, and not for obtaining the first
shots. The circumstances of tiger hunting in these two districts are
entirely different.

Instead of the seas of high grass in which tigers are found in the
Terai, the usual beats in Central and Southern India are densely
wooded ravines, often with precipitous banks. The modes of hunting
vary slightly in different districts, but the method perfected by the
Central India Horse parties is the one generally adopted. It is as
follows: a line of country for the party is decided upon, and the camp
is preceded by three or four pairs of shikaris, who practically form a
line of scouts ten or twelve miles ahead of the camp. These men visit
all the known tiger nullahs, and on obtaining information from the
villagers tie up young male buffaloes (the cheapest animals that can
be bought, as they are of little use except to train as pack animals,
and even then are not as good as bullocks for the purpose) as baits in
all the likely spots within reach of the village; the baits are visited
next morning, and reports of kills sent in to headquarters. The head
of the party, after receiving the reports from all the country round,
is then able to decide on his plan of operations, selects one or more
beats for the day’s work, and orders the remainder of the shikaris
to keep on tying up. The shikaris of the beat selected assemble the
beaters, sixty or a hundred men being engaged according to the ground.
Operations begin about noon, when the tigers are pretty sure to be
lying up. The guns, usually four in number, as there is rarely room
for more, draw lots for their trees (this is generally done for each
beat), and take up their positions as quietly as possible. Each gun is
accompanied by his gun-carrier, and is provided with a leather bottle
of water and a stout leather cushion two feet square, with eyelet-holes
at the corners and ropes to sling it.

The cushion is lashed up in the tree so that the sportsman’s left
shoulder is towards the beat; loops of rope are arranged as stirrups
to prevent an attack of pins and needles in his legs, and another loop
should be passed loosely round his body and fastened to the trunk or to
a strong bough, so that he can lean well over without fear of falling;
the small boughs that would interfere with his shooting are cut away as
noiselessly as possible with a green-wood saw. The gun-carrier is sent
to another tree, about a hundred yards in rear; the sportsman takes a
good pull at his water-bottle and sits, slowly frying in the sun, till
the beat strikes up. He will now appreciate the precautions he has
taken of wearing a good big hat, a thick cummerbund round his waist,
and a cotton quilt down his back. In the meantime men have been posted
as stops along the flanks of the beat and in places where the tiger may
break out; these are of course either up trees or on high rocks, and
their orders are merely to clap their hands if the tiger tries to break
out. The slightest noise ahead will suffice to turn a tiger. As a rule
the guns are not allowed to smoke, and this, not so much from fear lest
he should wind the tobacco, as because, if he hears a match struck,
he will perhaps crouch till the beaters come up to him, and then dash
back through them. The beaters form line under the direction of all the
available shikaris (the four or five elephants that may be out being
distributed along the line), and advance towards the guns making all
the noise they can with tomtoms, horns, rattles and their own sweet
voices. If matters go smoothly the tiger will walk with long swinging
strides close past one of the guns, and be either dropped on the spot,
the point of the shoulder being the place to aim at, or will dash on
with a loud ‘wough’ towards the gun-carrier in rear, who should be able
to mark him down. He may, however, particularly if he has been driven
before, creep on just ahead of the beaters, hide before he reaches the
guns till the last moment, and then come out at a gallop. If he has to
cross an open glade, he will almost invariably bound across, pulling up
to a walk in the cover of the far side.

Probably the first things that the sportsman will see will be a herd of
chital trooping quietly past his tree, or he will hear an irresolute
tread among the dry leaves coming closer and closer, till the head of
a peacock peers round a bush, instantly detects him--for no man ever
yet hid from a peacock--and the bird scurries off with a squawk. A bear
may come shambling by, or a panther walk right under his tree, but the
first shot must be reserved for the tiger; when that is fired anyone
may take his choice. The sure signs of either a tiger or panther being
in the beat are when the monkeys begin swearing or peafowl get up with
a peculiar ‘kok-kok.’ Monkeys running along the ground is a bad sign
for sport, but not an absolute guide.

As soon as the first shot is fired the beaters are stopped, and either
sent up trees or collected in masses on rocks or high ground. The
elephants come up to the guns, and the head of the party details one or
two guns to get round the wounded tiger and force him back up to the
other guns, who remain in their trees--this is when the fun begins. The
tiger’s every move will be probably observed by some of the men in the
trees; he can hardly get away, and has every inducement to show fight.

If a tiger is killing near camp, there is a good deal of sport to be
had by going round the baits in the morning oneself. If one of them
is taken, a wide circuit should be made round the cover with a good
tracker to ensure the tiger being at home. An inner circuit may be then
made to determine his approximate position, and to do this well without
disturbing him requires great care and skill; but the knowledge so
gained is invaluable in beating for him afterwards.

In Bombay and Madras elephants are not generally used, and, instead
of the square cushions to sit on, light bamboo ladders are carried
and set up against trees or clumps of bamboo where cushions could
not be slung, the top of the ladder being lashed to the tree or
bush, and the sportsman seating himself on one of the rungs. Many
sportsmen praise these highly, as being easier to erect and giving
more choice of position; but, on the other hand, they entail an extra
man to accompany the sportsman to his tree, and are more conspicuous.
Accidents of course happen equally to both; men have been taken out of
their cushions, and ladders have been upset. The district in which the
sportsman has received his training usually decides his choice of gear.
The want of elephants, however, in Bombay and Madras obliges the guns
to follow up their wounded tigers on foot. The orthodox procedure is
to form a picked force of beaters and shikaris into a solid triangle,
the apex and flanks being formed by the guns. Every man should provide
himself before starting with all the stones he can carry; the wounded
tiger is generally given a considerable time to stiffen--two hours if
they can be spared may well be spent thus. The trail is then followed
at a slow pace, every bush being well stoned before it is approached,
far more passed; at every tree the party is halted and a man sent up
to look, and if a tracker is necessary, he moves close under the guns
of the two sportsmen who form the apex. If the natives can only be
persuaded to keep together, with cool guns and fairly open ground like
the bamboo jungles of Southern India, there is no excessive danger;
but the writer’s experience of the work was that for the first hundred
yards the men kept together pretty well, but would go too fast; then
they became careless, and as the danger really increased began to
straggle. Being single-handed, though there was another party working
parallel to him at about fifty yards distance, the writer was unable
to keep his men in order, and by the time the tiger was found, luckily
dead, by the other party, his followers were all over the place.

The subjoined account by Captain Lamb gives a good idea of what may be
expected to take place without trained men:


  As soon as the beaters came up we [Major Mansel and himself] had
  awful trouble to prevent them scattering about in the jungle.
  We waited about twenty minutes, and then started to follow the
  tiger up. We took twenty men and formed them four deep, close up
  and shoulder to shoulder, M. and I going in front. We impressed
  upon the men that they were on no account to leave the square,
  and sent two men on each flank up trees to examine the ground
  in front. We could easily track the tiger by his blood, and in
  one place found what looked like a piece of his liver. We knew
  he could not go far, especially as he was full of cow. Some of
  the men began to wander a little, and we had to abuse them to
  make them keep their places. The trail led us through dry grass
  up to our knees, but not very thick, and growing under scattered
  young trees. After going about two hundred yards we heard the
  tiger growling, but he must have moved on. We could still follow
  him by his blood. Another hundred yards, and we could hear him
  distinctly. The square began to break, and several men started
  shinning up trees; M. shouted ‘Look out,’ and the words were
  not out of his mouth when the tiger came, his tail up, his mane
  on end, at a gallop, roaring and making straight for us. He was
  about twenty yards off when he first came out, and looked an
  awful devil, being almost black from rolling in the ashes where
  the jungle had been burnt. M. fired at him when he was about
  ten yards off, and he swerved a little to his right, passing M.
  within five yards. I was on M.’s right and could not fire before,
  but as the tiger passed I turned and fired behind M.’s back;
  there was a cloud of dust, and at first we only heard a thud, and
  could not see whether the tiger had gone on or not; as the dust
  cleared, we saw him lying stone-dead. It was a very lucky shot
  through the neck, as by this time the square was in full retreat,
  the men scattering all about and falling over each other. The
  front rank and part of the second alone stood firm, so if the
  tiger had gone on he would certainly have mauled one or two of
  the natives. He measured 9 ft. 9 ins. as he lay.

The worst part of getting a native hurt is, that though it almost
invariably happens through his own wilful disobedience of orders, the
news spreads like wildfire through the district, and makes it very hard
for the party to procure beaters. Rustum Ali, the villagers argue, was
a brave man; he didn’t fear tigers, we have seen him throw stones at
tigers, and he went out with those sahibs and got killed--the said
Rustum having met with his death by getting out of his tree and going
to get a drink of water while the guns were following up a wounded
tiger, or some equally nonsensical breach of orders. Accidents of
course do happen, even when all precautions are observed, but the
majority of them are occasioned by the natives’ own carelessness.

Natives are often very unwilling to give information about tigers,
partly from fear of being turned out to beat, and partly from the
universal idea that the tiger, if he escapes, or his mate, if he is
killed, will take vengeance on them. They often also consider it
unlucky to mention his name, and talk of him as a jackal, precisely as
in Sweden a bear is never talked of as such.

Sitting up for a tiger over a kill or bait is the least amusing and
least certain of any method of hunting him, but often in large forests
which cannot be beaten, or where the sportsman is single-handed and
without elephants, it is the only way to get a shot.

[Illustration: ‘THE FRONT RANK AND PART OF THE SECOND ALONE STOOD FIRM’]

The erection of the platform, or ‘machan,’ too frequently disturbs the
tiger and drives him away. If the sportsman can procure baits, a good
plan is to select a good place for a machan before tying up; tether
lightly so that the tiger may drag the carcase away. Make the machan
when the first bait is taken, tie up again till he kills again in the
same place, and about three days after the second kill tie up again and
sit over it. The best machan is a cot with low rails round the edge,
fitted with ropes to sling it in a tree. The sportsman’s blankets and
pillows can be spread in it, he himself can lie comfortably at full
length watching the bait or kill, there are no sticks to crackle and
make a noise; and when the moon goes down or he has had his shot, he
can turn round and sleep as one only sleeps in the open. The sportsman
should be at his post by four o’clock in the afternoon, as if the tiger
means coming he will probably come early. Sanderson says he enjoys
the sport; it’s pleasant enough if the tiger comes soon, but if he
puts off his visit to 3 A.M., as happened to the writer, who was at
that hour peacefully sleeping and never woke up, the entertainment is
mediocre. Allowing a native to perch on the same tree is ruination to
sport: cough he must; besides, the jungle man is unsavoury, and the
evening air seems to make him smell worse than usual. If a kill is
found in the jungle and the sportsman decides to sit over it, General
Macintyre’s plan is worth trying; i.e. take some men up to the tree,
let them talk loudly, or shout while the machan is being prepared, and
then retire talking or shouting, according as the tiger is supposed to
be bold or timid. He will very likely come at once, as their voices die
away, not to eat, but to see if they have removed the kill. This often
succeeds where professional skinners are in the habit of saving what
they can of the hides of kills. Lieutenant-Colonel Fife Cookson, in his
book ‘Tiger Shooting in the Doon and Ulwar,’ gives a curious account of
a tiger stalking a bait:

  Suddenly there emerged from underneath the trees a
  brownish-yellow object which appeared about the size of a monkey,
  and for a moment, in the failing light, I thought it was one. It
  darted rapidly along the bare ground for about twenty yards at a
  time, moving towards the bullock, and stopping at the end of each
  run behind one of the tufts of grass about two feet high, over
  which it peeped, then sinking down again and gliding forward as
  before. It was now nearer, and by this time I could see that it
  was not one of the monkeys; but still I could not clearly make
  out what it was. It reminded me of a very ugly, large, yellow
  and black mask at a pantomime. I could see no legs or body.
  Now it reached a tuft about forty yards from me, over which it
  also peeped, staring intently at the bullock. By this time I
  was convinced that it was the tiger, though it looked about the
  size and shape of a horse’s head. The curious appearance which
  the tiger had presented at a distance of about seventy yards,
  in shape like the head of a horse with the chin touching the
  ground, was no doubt owing to my seeing his forepaws underneath
  and part of his back foreshortened over the top of his head. What
  most particularly struck me was the small object which the tiger
  appeared during the stalk. It must be remembered that, although I
  perhaps saw a little of the back between his ears, I was looking
  down upon him from a much higher level, and that if I had been
  on the ground I should probably have seen nothing but his head.
  Thus the tiger was evidently able to hide himself behind any tuft
  of grass which was large enough to conceal his head. Another
  remarkable thing was the position in which he held his head.
  It was no longer in the usual attitude, with the nose in the
  air, as when the animal is walking about; but the face was held
  vertically, the chin being drawn in, and the forehead pressed
  forward, thus displaying its black stripes and markings, together
  with the intent stare of the large eyes. This greatly added to
  its sinister appearance.

Williamson describes another variety of sitting up, the sportsman being
enclosed in a strong bamboo cage and playing the part of bait himself,
being armed with two or three spears:

  Being accompanied by a dog, which gives the alarm, or by a goat,
  which by its agitation answers the same purpose, the adventurer
  wraps himself up in his quilt, and very composedly goes to sleep
  in full confidence of his safety. When the tiger comes, and
  perhaps after smelling all round begins to rear against the cage,
  the man stabs him with one of the spears, through the interstices
  of the wickerwork, and rarely fails at destroying the tiger.

The writer heard of an instance of this being tried by a European, with
a cage made of iron. Unfortunately the bars were set too far apart, and
the tiger got his paw through and slew that adventurer.

Williamson also narrates the old story--possibly it was taken from
his book--of tigers being caught by covering leaves with birdlime;
it was told him by a Mahommedan gentleman of the Court of the Nabob
Vizier of Oude. Sanderson gives a capital account of tiger-netting,
as practised in Mysore, and describes the various traps occasionally
used by natives. The late Maharajah of Patiala, about 1872, had a tiger
that had been trapped in the hills turned out on the plain outside
the town, he and his guests being mounted on elephants. Of course the
whole of the populace assembled to see the fun, forming a large circle
round the plain. The tiger, on being released where there was not
sufficient cover for a quail, selected as his point of exit the buggy
of a native gentleman, who sought refuge between the wheels; his groom,
being unfortunately in the way as the tiger cleared the conveyance, was
knocked over, but luckily more frightened than hurt. The tiger then
took refuge in a garden, pursued by the elephants. On their arrival at
the spot the gardener was found placidly pursuing his avocation, and,
on being asked if he had seen the beast, imprudently pointed him out.
The tiger at once sprang on the man, upset him and bolted; but as he
was now heading for the English doctor’s stables he was considered to
be becoming dangerous, and was cleverly shot by the Maharajah.

Sanderson, in describing the way a tiger attacks and kills his prey,
says that in attacking a bison his object is to get the latter to
charge, and then, avoiding the rush, to follow on the instant and
endeavour to emasculate the bull by striking him behind. In killing
cattle he writes:

  The general method is for the tiger to slink up under cover of
  bushes or long grass, ahead of the cattle in the direction they
  are feeding, and to make a rush at the first cow or bullock that
  comes within five or six yards. The tiger does not _spring_
  upon his prey in the manner usually represented. Clutching the
  bullock’s fore-quarters with his paws, one being generally over
  the shoulder, he seizes the throat in his jaws from underneath,
  and turns it upwards and over, sometimes springing to the far
  side in doing so, to throw the bullock over, and give the wrench
  which dislocates its neck.

Sir S. Baker writes that while lions and cheetahs (_Felis jubata_) use
their paws in striking down their prey at the moment of capture, tigers
apparently never do. Sanderson points out that Forsyth, as also Captain
Baldwin in his ‘Large and Small Game of Bengal,’ agree that tigers
seize by the back of the neck, and then give the dislocating wrench.
The writer noticed the fang-marks on a good many kills in Central
India, and certainly they appeared from their position rather low
down, apparently too much so to have been inflicted by a bite on the
back of the neck--a tiger’s jaw is not very long--to entirely support
Sanderson’s description. As regards a tiger’s powers of springing,
Sanderson says he has often measured the bounds of tigers that have
pursued deer, and found 15 ft. to be about the distance they usually
spring.

The writer particularly noticed the way a tiger sprang at an elephant:
he did not bound from a distance at all, but simply galloped up till
he was just under the elephant’s ear-hole, and then sprang vertically
upwards, placing his forepaws on the elephant’s head, and there he
hung till the elephant shook him off. A tiger can with ease get his
forepaws on to an object twelve to fifteen feet from the ground; but he
seems clumsy in getting sufficient hold with his hind paws to enable
him to proceed after his first spring. Sanderson says that tigresses
do not breed at any fixed season. Sterndale states that they go with
young for about fifteen weeks, and produce from two to five at a birth.
Sanderson gives four as an unusually large number; the writer saw six
taken out of a tigress, but probably these would not all have been born
alive. He also saw a tigress with four cubs which must have been nearly
a year old, one of them which was shot measuring 4 ft. 9 ins. Mr.
Shillingford’s memorandum quoted by Sterndale is interesting:

    Cubs one year old measure   {Males   4½ ft. to 5½ ft.
                                {Females 4     ”   5   ”

     ”   two years      ”       {Males   5½    ”   7   ”
                                {Females 5     ”   6½  ”

     ”   three years    ”       {Males   7     ”   8½  ”
                                {Females 6½    ”   7½  ”

When they reach three years of age they lose their ‘milk canines,’
which are replaced by permanent fangs, and at this period the mother
leaves them to cater for themselves, the tigress breeding once in three
years.

Mr. Shillingford also notes that out of 53 cubs (18 mothers) 29 were
males, and 22 females, the sex of two cubs not being given. This tends
to prove that there are an equal number of each sex born,[19] the
marked preponderance of adult tigresses over tigers being accounted
for by most writers by the native story that the male tigers kill the
young male cubs. The writer offers another suggestion: may not the
young male tigers as soon as they leave their mothers avoid the domains
of the heavy old cattle-lifters, and taking to the hills and forest
form the game-killing class, till they are powerful enough to succeed
to the estates of their sires, either by force or by inheritance,
owing to their sire having met with an accident when entertaining a
sahib, and so settle down and take wives? The writer has no proof to
give in support of this suggestion, but merely offers it for sportsmen
to consider. With respect to the common native story that the age of
tigers may be told by the number of lobes in their livers, the writer
made the following observations in Central India: Tigress, 6 lobes;
tiger, 8 lobes; tigress, 7 lobes; cub (male), 6 lobes; male panther, 7
lobes; tigress, 7 lobes; tiger, 8 lobes; tigress, 7 lobes; tigress (a
very old light-coloured one), 7 lobes; tiger, 7 lobes.

Sanderson says he has shot tigers and panthers with from 9 to 15 lobes.
An article on the age of tigers as shown by their length, written by
Mr. F. A. Shillingford for ‘The Asian’ and copied in ‘Land and Water,’
August 30, 1890, appears to be worth quoting:

  It was the opinion of the late Mr. Joe Shillingford that
  in Bengal and the Nepal Terai, at all events, tigers, as
  distinguished from tigresses, did not attain full maturity until
  they attained a length of over 10 ft., measured ‘sportsman’s
  style,’ and that occasionally they attain a length of 11 ft., and
  that the 12 ft. tiger shot by the late Mr. C. A. Shillingford was
  an exceptional monster, like the exceptional tigress, 10 ft. 2
  ins. in length, shot in 1867, and in these opinions I entirely
  concur. I have a collection of over a hundred tiger skulls, and
  in no case are the parietal sutures obliterated from old age of
  skulls of tigers below 10½ ft. in length.

Tigers take to water readily, and swim higher out of the water than
most animals.

Elephants who take matters into their own hands and charge at tigers
are exceedingly dangerous in the field, particularly after a tiger
has been killed and men are dismounting to pad it. All the elephants
in such a case, except the one destined to carry the beast, should be
taken away from near the carcase; they are more or less in an excited
state, and are apt to mistake a man in the grass for another tiger. The
writer remembers being on an elephant that stood perfectly steady for
the shot, but as soon as the tiger was killed--it was within a few feet
of her--it was all the mahout could do to prevent her charging it.

The elephant has a way of playing football with an animal which though
diverting to a spectator is awkward for the man in the howdah. The
elephant performs a kind of war dance over the carcase, kicking it
about between his feet, lifting it with the front of the hindfoot and
returning it from the back of the forefoot till tired, when he places
one ponderous hindfoot upon it and squashes it flat. If an elephant
has been mauled, it is not at all a bad plan to let it play with the
carcase of its enemy; but everything should be taken out of the howdah,
and the skin will not be worth much afterwards.

Two other serious dangers that have to be guarded against in tiger
shooting are bees and red ants. Bees generally hang their hives from
boughs of trees or on the face of rocks, but often they have them in
high grass, and an elephant pushing his way through disturbs them,
rendering them exceedingly aggressive, whilst a shot fired near them
is quite enough to make them attack. Deaths of men and animals from
their stings have often been recorded; they almost always go at the
head, and the best way of escaping is to cover the head with a blanket,
which should invariably be placed in each howdah. The mahouts always
sit on theirs. Oddly enough, if the head is covered the rest of the
body, even of unclad natives, usually escapes their attentions. A nest
of red ants, though not so dangerous, is quite enough to put anyone
to flight, as they bite unmercifully and leave their nippers in. No
one would ever think of climbing a tree with a bee’s nest in it, but
equal care should be taken that red ants, which are hard to detect,
are not in it also; an inspection of the trunk will usually decide the
question, especially if the boughs touch nothing else. In selecting
camping grounds particular attention to these points is also necessary;
most servants do not take the trouble to look up into the trees, and
will light their fires under a bee’s nest till they have been properly
stung once; but their carelessness may result in the loss of ponies’ or
even men’s lives.

Sanderson remarks on the danger of firing at a tiger’s head except at
very close ranges. The writer saw an instance of this in a tigress
hit on the side of the head with an Express bullet; she dropped in
her tracks, lying with her head underneath her for nearly a minute,
when she recovered, went back into the jungle, and gave a good deal
of trouble afterwards, charging the elephants freely. A shot through
the shoulder is far more likely to be effective. A tiger seems rather
a soft beast, and nearly always drops on receiving his first wound,
though he picks himself up pretty quickly. Subsequent wounds have
comparatively little effect on any animal, and another curious thing
that the writer has noticed is that wounded animals nearly always lie
down on their wounded side.

Tigers do not seem to be very particular as to what they eat. Sterndale
records an instance of their eating carrion; Sanderson gives a story
of three tigers killing and eating a fourth, and of their eating
bears; and Colonel Kinloch told the writer of his finding a snow bear
killed by a tiger in Chumba, on barasingh ground. Tigers seem to be
yearly penetrating deeper into the Himalayas; probably they follow the
ever-increasing herds of cattle that come up from the plains in the
summer to graze.

Sterndale gives an ingenious formula for finding the length of a tiger
from its skull. For details the reader is referred to his book.

In the following list of measurements only tigers of 10 ft. or over are
mentioned except where weights are given and of exceptionally large
tigresses. The system of recording tigers’ weights as shot does not
appear satisfactory. Those which scaled over 500 lbs. must surely have
included a good deal of beef.

_Measurements_

  +------------+------+----+------+-----+-----+-----+------+-------+------+
  |Authority   |Total |Tail|Height|Girth|Girth|Girth|Length|Breadth|Weight|
  |            |length|    |at    |of   |of   |of   |of    |of     |as    |
  |            |      |    |shoul-|chest|fore-|upper|skull |skull  |shot  |
  |            |      |    |der   |     |arm  |arm  |      |       |      |
  |            +------+----+------+-----+-----+-----+------+-------+------+
  |            |                         Remarks                          |
  +------------+------+----+------+-----+-----+-----+------+-------+------+
  |            | ft.  |ft. | ins. |ins. |ins. |ins. | ins. | ins.  | lbs. |
  |            | ins. |ins.|      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Gen. Sir C. |12  2 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Reid, K.C.B.|    Sterndale’s ‘Mammalia’ (skin measured 13 ft. 5 in.)   |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Lieut.-Col. |12  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Boileau,    |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |1861        |                   Sterndale                              |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Col. Ramsay |12  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Hon. R.     |11  9 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Drummond,   |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |C.S.        |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Col.        |11  8 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | ..   |
  |Shakespeare |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Gen. Sir C. |11  6 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Reid, K.C.B.|                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Sterndale,  |11  6 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |‘Meade      |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Shell’      |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Mr. F. A.   |11  5 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Shillingford|  Letter to ‘The Asian,’ ‘Land and Water’, Aug. 30, 1890  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |11  1 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |11  0 |3 6¾| 43   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  15¼ |  10½  |  ..  |
  |            | Ditto (skull quoted by Sterndale now in Calcutta Museum) |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |11  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |11  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |11  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Sir G. Yule |11  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                 Sterndale’s ‘Mammalia’                   |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Mr.         |11  0 |3 4 | 43   | 54  | 26  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Shillingford|                    Shot in Purneah                       |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10  2 |3 1 | 45   | 73  | 34  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                   Shot in  S. India                      |
  |            |   Quoted by Sterndale to compare the bulk of tigers in   |
  |            |                  Bengal and S. India                     |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Mr. F. A.   |10 10 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Shillingford|                   Letter to ‘The Asian’                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10 10 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Mr.         |10  9½|3 6½| 43   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Shillingford|                 Sterndale’s ‘Mammalia’                   |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10  8½|3 5½| 44½  | 55  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Sir J.      |10  8 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Fayrer      |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Mr. F. A.   |10  8 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Shillingford|                   Letter to ‘The Asian’                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10  7 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10  7 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10  6 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |   ”   ”    |10  6 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Gen. Sir C. |10  6 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Reid, K.C.B.|                 Sterndale’s ‘Mammalia’                   |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Col. J.     |10  4 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Macdonald   |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Maharajah of|10  2½|3 2½| 39½  | 48½ | 20  | 26½ |  ..  |  ..   | 530  |
  |Kuch Behar  |                   Letter to ‘The Asian’                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10  2½| .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 493  |
  |            |              Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’           |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Mr. F. A.   |10  2 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Shillingford|      ‘The Asian,’ ‘Land and Water’, Aug. 30, 1890        |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Sir E.      |10  2 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Durand,     | [20] |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Bart.       |                  Nepal, Jan. 18, 1891                    |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Maharajah of|10  1½|3 1 | 44¾  | 54  | 21  | 29  |  15¾ |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Kuch Behar  |                      ‘The Asian’                         |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10  1 |3 3½| 41   | 56  | 19½ | 26  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Forsyth,    |10  1 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |‘Highlands  |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Central     |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |India’      |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Maharajah of|10  0 |3 1 | 40   | 52  | 21  | 26  |  ..  |  ..   | 540  |
  |Kuch Behar  |                      ‘The Asian’                         |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    |10  0 |3 2 | 40   | 51  | 18¾ | 29  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9 10 |3 0 | 41½  | 47½ | 18½ | 26½ |  ..  |  ..   | 426  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9  6 |3 1 | 38   | 52  | 19  | 29  |  ..  |  ..   | 481  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9  5 |3 1 | 38¼  | 49  | 18  | 26  |  ..  |  ..   | 420  |
  |            |                  ”          ”                            |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |‘Deccan     | 9 10 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 432½ |
  | Ranger,’   |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |‘Oriental   |                      Tiger                               |
  |Sporting    |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Magazine,’  |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |1876        |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9 10 |3 1 | 46   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 425  |
  |            |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9  6 |2 11| ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 370  |
  |            |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9  6 |3 2 | 45   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 447½ |
  |            |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9  2 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 330  |
  |            |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9  0 |3 0 | 42   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 282  |
  |            |                    Tigress                               |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 8 11 |2 9 | 39   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 245  |
  |            |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 8  8 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 285  |
  |            |                     Tiger                                |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 8  5 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 256  |
  |            |                    Tigress                               |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 8  5 |2 9 | 39   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 253  |
  |            |                       ”                                  |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Mr. H. L.   | 9 10 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Heber Percy | [20] |                ” Nepal, Feb. 12, 1891             |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9  2½| .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            | [20] |                ”   ”    Jan. 31, 1891             |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |   ”   ”    | 9  2 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |      |                ”   ”    Jan. 21, 1891             |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |The Writer  | 9  1 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                       ” Central India, May 23, 1876      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Col. Gordon |}9  1 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Cumming,    |}9  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |‘Wild Men   |                       ”                                  |
  |and Wild    |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Beasts’     |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Capt. Lamb  | 9  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |            |                       ” Central India                    |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Sir E.      | 9  0 | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  |
  |Durand,     | [20] |                ” Nepal, Jan. 17, 1891             |
  |Bart.       |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Sanderson,  |  ..  | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 349½ |
  |‘Thirteen   |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Years among |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |the Wild    |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Beast’      |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Rowland     |  ..  | .. | ..   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  14½ |  10   |  ..  |
  |Ward’s      |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Collection  |              Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’           |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Average of  | 9  6 |3 1 | 42   | 48  | 18  | 26  |  ..  |  ..   | 420  |
  |full-grown  |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |tiger       |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |            |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |Average of  | 8  4 |2 10| 39   | ..  | ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..   | 265  |
  |full-grown  |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  |tigress     |      |    |      |     |     |     |      |       |      |
  +------------+------+----+------+-----+-----+-----+------+-------+------+


V. PANTHER (_Felis Pardus_)

_Native names: generally, ‘Chita’; in the Himalayas, ‘Lagá Bagá’; in
Central India, ‘Téndwá’_

The panther is common all over India, Burmah, and Ceylon, but does not
cross the snow-line of the Himalayas, being replaced beyond the range
by the ounce. Sterndale gives two varieties, the pard and the panther,
describing the pard as being larger, the spots more clearly defined in
rosettes, and the skull longer and more pointed than the panther’s.
Sanderson also gives two varieties with the same distinctions, but
calls Sterndale’s pard the panther, and Sterndale’s panther the leopard.

This is in itself perplexing to the ordinary sportsman, and as the
writer saw two beasts shot in the same beat, the male corresponding
to Sterndale’s pard and the female to Sanderson’s leopard, the only
solution he can offer of the difficulty is that the sportsman may call
the beast he shoots either leopard or panther according to his own
fancy, and not one man in a hundred will be able to contradict him.

The panther is a nuisance wherever he is; he is perpetually prowling
about villages at night picking up unconsidered trifles, such as dogs,
goats, ponies and babies, in short anything. Occasionally panthers
become regular man-eaters, and though far more plentiful than tigers,
they are so cunning that they are far harder to shoot. A wounded
panther is always a dangerous beast to follow up. He can hide, like a
quail, in anything; his attack is always sudden, and being a quick,
active beast, he more frequently makes good his charge than a tiger.
More men get mauled by panthers than by tigers, but on the other hand
fatal results are the exception, and stories are told of men having
strangled panthers with their hands when they have been attacked.

Many a pet dog has been carried off in broad daylight, in the middle
of large hill stations, where the forest comes close up to the roads
and houses. A dog of my own had the narrowest escape in Chamba,
being chased by a panther almost up to my feet. The beast had almost
got hold of him when I drove him off. Ward recommends trapping, and
gives capital directions for making a cage-trap. When the writer was
stationed at Chakrata a few panthers were caught in these traps, but
more were shot over dogs tied up as baits. Panthers are often shot in
this way, or by sitting over a kill. At night a very good plan is to
strew chaff thickly all round the bait, and if it is dark arrange a
lantern so as to throw its light on the bait; neither of these plans
will scare a panther, though it might a tiger.[21] Sterndale recommends
phosphorescent oil (one grain phosphorus to one drachm oil dissolved
in a bath of warm water) for touching the sights at night. There is a
magnesium wire lantern, a Hanoverian invention, which is made to fit
on the sportsman’s shoulder, and on a string being pulled throws a
broad search light down the barrels of the rifle lasting about thirty
seconds; but this, if the sportsman was sitting on the ground, might
lead to complications should the first shot fail to kill outright. If a
panther’s cave is found, it is often worth while watching the entrance
about 4 P.M., when the animal will come out and sun himself before
starting on his evening ramble. In Central India panthers are often
beaten out like tigers, but they are unsatisfactory beasts to try and
drive, as they are so apt to hide and let the beaters pass by them. On
one occasion a panther came within shot of one of the guns, who did
not fire as a tiger was expected. The panther first amused himself by
catching a hare that the beaters had driven up to him, then, as the men
got near, he selected a plump youth and proceeded to stalk him, when
the gunner thought it time to interfere.

Sitting up over a bait at night is the poorest of all amusements. Often
has the writer undergone it, and as often sworn he never would do it
again, till the next absolute certainty has been offered him with the
usual disappointing result.

When a panther is in the habit of attacking flocks on their way home in
the evening, a good plan is to select a place before the flock returns,
and arrange with the shepherd that he shall drive the flock past your
hiding-place and tether a kid as he passes; the apparent absence of
pre-arrangement will probably induce the panther to show at once.

Sanderson gives some stirring accounts of his adventures with panthers
in which the following points are particularly noticeable, viz. the
necessity of posting markers outside the cover beaten to watch the
panther if he leaves it; that panthers will not charge out of caves
even if poked up with bamboos; that, unlike most tigers, a panther
charged home at a large party of men closed up, and used his paws,
cuffing right and left instead of biting. Not that a panther never
bites, as the beast referred to had bitten a man previously, but in
nearly all cases of men being mauled the bulk of their injuries are
claw wounds.

Sterndale relates a curious legend about a well-known man-eating
panther that killed over two hundred people in three years, and was
supposed to be a kind of Wehr-wolf. Panthers have often been ridden
down and speared, but two or three men are required for this amusement,
as on the first horse overtaking it the panther will at once crouch
and endeavour to spring on the horse’s back as he passes. The second
horseman should, therefore, be close up ready to cut in at once; care
should be taken to get the first spear home in a good place, and the
panther should be held down if possible, till despatched by the spears
of the rest of the party. It is foolhardiness for a single man to
attempt it. Panthers climb readily, and many have been shot out of
trees where they have taken refuge, or been found lying asleep on a
branch. Forsyth considers that many panthers escape in drives by taking
to trees, and mentions finding the body of a child, that had been
killed by a panther, lodged in a forked bough.

The troopers of the Central Indian Horse used often to kill panthers
in the rainy season by tracking them into patches of sugar-cane, which
they surrounded with men armed with spears and swords (guns were
naturally not allowed), and then hunted the beast out with a pack of
dogs. When panthers or bears were marked down in jungle too big to be
surrounded, the guns were posted in trees, and the pack laid on to hunt
the beasts up.

Terriers were chiefly used, but it was necessary to employ a greyhound
or two to prevent the beast galloping away from the little dogs; the
greyhounds would not tackle, but by ranging up and snapping would
impede the beast’s movements. Sanderson had great sport with his pack,
hunting bears, bison, and even on one occasion a young elephant. He
gives every instruction for getting together a pack, but does not
mention the use of greyhounds, though they would evidently have saved
his heavy seizers from long tiring runs. Sambur hunting with dogs in
Ceylon is an old-established custom, but there apparently the whole
pack is hunted together, while Sanderson appears to have kept his
seizers up till the quarry came to bay and then slipped them.

Black panthers are occasionally found, but they are merely instances
of melanism, several cases of a single black cub in a litter being
recorded. As a rule, these black specimens are only found in heavy
forests, not in the more open ground, and they are more common in the
south of India than the north. There is a lovely stuffed specimen in
the British Museum, upon which the markings are just discernible in
certain lights.


VI. THE CLOUDED PANTHER (_Felis Diardii_ vel _Macrocelis_)

_Native names: ‘Tungmar’ Lepcha; ‘Zik’ Bhotia; ‘Lamchitta’ of the Khas
tribe (Sterndale)_

This panther seems to be entirely a forest animal. It extends from
Nepal eastwards through Assam.

Kinloch gives an instance of one having been shot, but specimens are
very rarely obtained, though occasionally live cubs have been bought
from natives.

The chief peculiarities of this species are the extreme beauty of the
colouring, and the fact that the upper canines are the longest in
comparison of all living felines.


VII. THE HUNTING LEOPARD (_Felis jubata_)

_Native names: ‘Chita’ generally; ‘Yuz’ of the Chita-catchers
(Sterndale)_

This animal is generally found in Central or Southern India. The writer
has never heard of it in the Punjab or North-West Provinces. According
to Sterndale, it is most common in Jeypur in Upper India and Hyderabad
in Southern India.

In general colour it is like a panther, except that its nose is black
instead of pinkish; it has a mane on the neck and long hair on the
belly; its spots are single and not in rosettes. Its shape is quite
different from that of the panther. Instead of having the muscular
forearm, short legs and rounded body of that beast, it is a tall
greyhound-like animal with thin long legs, and toes like a dog, the
claws being only semi-retractile.

It is not often shot, but most native princes have tame specimens for
hunting antelopes. These have to be caught when nearly full grown, as
cubs cannot be trained for the sport, and chita catching is a regular
profession in certain districts. In Sterndale’s ‘Mammalia of India’
there is an interesting account of catching chitas quoted from ‘The
Asian.’ As regards its habits when wild, the writer says:

  It is said by shikaries to feed only once every third day, when,
  after gorging itself, it retires to its den for the other two.
  On the morning of the third day he visits some particular tree,
  which the animals of his species in the neighbourhood are in the
  habit of frequenting. Such trees are easily to be recognised
  by the scoring of the bark, on which he whets his claws. From
  this meeting place, after having played about with such of his
  comrades as may be there, they go off on a hunting expedition.

Here is evidently the tip for any sportsman wishing to shoot one:
find a tree with tracks three days old, and sit up in it on the fourth
morning.

Sterndale says:

  Chita kittens are quite grey without any spots, but can always
  be recognised by the black stripe down the nose, and on cutting
  off a bit of the soft hair I noticed that the spots are quite
  distinct in the under fur. As a rule the young of all cats, even
  the large one-coloured species, such as the lion and puma, are
  spotted, but the hunting leopard is externally an exception,
  although the spots are there lying hid.

Hunting antelope with chitas has been described _ad nauseam_, and is in
the opinion of the writer very poor sport. It is worth witnessing once,
if only to see how fast a chita can go.


VIII. THE OUNCE, OR SNOW LEOPARD (_Felis Uncia_)

_Generally, ‘Safed Chita’; Thibet, ‘Stian’_

The ounce is fairly common on the higher ranges; there are few ibex
grounds on which its tracks will not occasionally be seen, but owing to
its nocturnal habits it is very rarely met with. It preys chiefly on
ibex and burrel, and rarely, if ever, descends to the forest line. It
will kill sheep and goats. A farm in Lahoul, belonging to the Moravian
missionaries, suffered considerably in 1884 from the depredations of
a pair of ounces that lived in the valley behind Kielang. The male of
this pair was killed by an officer of the Royal Artillery, who saw
the ounce on his return from shooting late in the evening. The next
day he went back up the nullah prepared to spend the night out, shot
a young male ibex and dragged the carcase down to where he had seen
the ounce the day before. Just at dusk the ounce came to the bait and
was missed clean with the first barrel; however, the sportsman, being
highly favoured by the gods, bagged him with a second shot, and next
morning brought him in triumph down to Kielang. The skin was a beauty,
very pale yellowish white with black spots and black rings on the thick
furry tail.

From the amount of slaughter ounces effect among ibex, it is probable
that they hunt in pairs. In 1874 a sportsman in Pangi found a flock
of five or six male ibex lying dead within a few yards of each other,
killed by ounces; he had seen this particular flock some days before,
had either disturbed them or was unable to get at them, and had given
them a few days’ rest to settle down in. When he did go after them he
found that they had all been slaughtered.


IX. THE THIBETAN LYNX (_Felis Isabellina_)

_Thibetan, ‘Ee’_

This beautiful animal is very rarely met with, but as the Tartars know
it well by name, it is possible that it may be more plentiful than is
commonly supposed; its nocturnal habits, as in the case of the ounce,
shielding it from observation. The Tartars aver that it frequently
kills sheep and goats; but though the lynx is quite powerful enough to
do so, it is probable that the natives occasionally confound the lynx
with the ounce. The lynx stands about 17 ins. at the shoulder, and is
of enormously powerful make, with teeth and claws large enough for an
animal of twice its size.

The Thibetan lynx has the orthodox prominent whiskers which are absent
in the red lynx of the plains, but it differs from the European variety
in the pads of its feet being prominent and bare, with short close fur
between them, whereas in the European lynx the long fur completely
conceals the pads.

The red lynx, _Felis caracal_, called by natives ‘Siagosh,’ is
occasionally met with all over India. It is not common anywhere, or
at least, possibly owing to its nocturnal habits, it is not often
shot. A few are known to have been shot in Central India. It preys
chiefly on hares, birds, and small deer. Sterndale gives the following
measurements: Head and body, 26 to 30 ins.: tail, 9 or 10 ins.; height,
16 to 18 ins.

_Measurements_

  +--------------------+------------+----+--------+----------------+
  |                    |            |    | Height |                |
  |   Authority        |    Total   |Tail|   at   |     Remarks    |
  |                    |   length   |    |shoulder|                |
  +--------------------+------------+----+--------+----------------+
  |                    |         FELIS PARDUS     |                |
  |                    |   ft. ins. |ins.|  ins.  |                |
  |Col. Gordon Cumming{|            |    |        |                |
  | (‘Wild Men and    {|    7  10   | .. |   ..   |Male            |
  | Wild Beasts’)     {|    7   8   | .. |   ..   | ”              |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Capt. A. G. Ferguson|    7   8   | .. |   ..   |                |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Col. Howard         |    7   4½  | .. |   ..   |Male            |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Mr. H. L. Heber    }|[22]7   4   | .. |   ..   |Nepal,          |
  | Percy             }|            |    |        | Dec. 9, 1892   |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |   ”        ”       |[22]7   1   | .. |   ..   | ”              |
  |                    |            |    |        |Jan. 30, 1891   |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Sir E. Durand, Bart.|[22]7   1   | .. |   ..   | ”              |
  |                    |            |    |        |Jan. 17, 1891   |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Major FitzHerbert   |    6   8½  | .. |   26½  |Male            |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Col. Kinloch        |    6   4   | .. |   ..   |Female          |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Col. Howard         |    6   0   | .. |   ..   | ”              |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Sterndale’s        }|    7   0   | 30 |        |                |
  | ‘Mammalia’        }|     to     | to |   ..   |Pard            |
  |                    |    8   8   | 38 |        |                |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |     ”          ”   |    5   6   | 30 |   18   |Panther (female)|
  |                    |     to     |    |   to   |                |
  |                    |    6   0   |    |   24   |                |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Sanderson          }|    6   8   |    |        |                |
  | (‘Thirteen Years  }|            | .. |   ..   | ”       ”      |
  | among the Wild    }|            |    |        |                |
  | Beasts’)          }|            |    |        |                |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |     ”         ”    |    6   3½  | .. |   26   | ”       ”      |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |     ”         ”    |    6  10   | .. |   ..   |                |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |     ”         ”    |    5   4   | .. |   ..   |Leopard (male)  |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |     ”         ”    |    5   2   | .. |   ..   | ”    (female)  |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |                    |        FELIS DIARDII     |                |
  |Sterndale           |    6   4   | 36 |   ..   |{Jerdon states  |
  |                    |            |    |        |{that it grows  |
  |                    |            |    |        |{to a larger    |
  |                    |            |    |        |{size           |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |                    |         FELIS JUBATA     |                |
  |Sterndale           |    7   0   | 30 |   30   |                |
  |                    |            |    |   to   |                |
  |                    |            |    |   33   |                |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |                    |         FELIS UNCIA      |                |
  |Sterndale           |    7   4   | 36 |   24   |{Measurements   |
  |                    |            |    |        |{apparently     |
  |                    |            |    |        |{too big        |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Major Ward         }|    6   4   | 36 |   ..   |Male            |
  |(‘Sportsman’s Guide}|    6   0   | 33 |   ..   |Female          |
  |to Kashmir’)       }|            |    |        |                |
  |                    |            |    |        |                |
  |Capt. Dawkins (May }|    5  11½  | 36 |   18   |Male            |
  |24, 1884.)         }|            |    |        |                |
  +--------------------+------------+----+--------+----------------+


X. WOLVES AND WILD DOGS

Space does not permit an exhaustive description of these vermin, and
it must be briefly said that there are three kinds of wolves in India.
First is the ordinary wolf of the plains (_Canis pallipes_) which is
more destructive to children and cattle than to game, and is generally
called ‘Bheria’ by the natives. Authenticated tales of its ravages
among the infant population are only too common, an old bitch wolf with
cubs laid up near a village naturally finding Indian baby the most
easily procured and most succulent diet for her offspring. Wolves have
occasionally been ridden down and speared, but only when found in the
morning, and more or less gorged; a wolf in the evening, when empty,
will lope along just ahead of good greyhounds till the latter lie down
exhausted. They can occasionally be smoked out if their earths are
found. Williamson describes a big bag made in this way near Allahabad
in 1780; the earths were dug out, and at least ten pounds weight of
children’s ornaments found in them. He also narrates a ghastly story of
the way wolves attacked the starving natives during the famine of 1783
in broad daylight; as a rule, however, they seldom attack men.

The next well-known varieties are the grey and black Thibetan wolves
(_Canis laniger_ and _Canis niger_), generally called ‘Chanko.’ These
are very destructive to game as well as to flocks and herds, as they
hunt in small packs. Both grey and black wolves are found together, and
interbreed. The black wolf is said to be rather the larger, but it is
an open question whether the varieties are distinct or not, in spite
of the fact of the black specimens Colonel Kinloch presented to the
Zoological Gardens only producing black cubs.

A third variety of ‘Chanko,’ called the ‘golden wolf,’ has been
mentioned by sportsmen, but this may possibly be the European wolf
(_Canis lupus_), which extends to Turkestan.

The chief points of distinction between the three varieties of wolves,
i.e. European, Thibetan, and Indian, are as follows: in the European
wolf the carnassial tooth is as long as the two molars together, which
is not the case with the others; it has also a dark stripe on the
forelegs, which the others have not; and, lastly, the European and
Indian wolves have black tips to their tails, which the chanko has not.

The remaining species of vermin is the Wild Dog (_Cuon rutilans_),
generally called ‘Jungli-Kutta’: in Cashmere ‘Ram Hun.’ These
veritable pests are found everywhere, and as they hunt in large packs
are most destructive to all kinds of game, absolutely clearing out
whole tracts of country, even being credited occasionally with killing
tigers, which, as Sanderson points out, is by no means impossible if
the tiger attempts to run away, and they get a chance of making their
favourite attack from behind. He narrates two occasions on which he saw
deer eviscerated by one or two snaps from wild dogs. They rarely, if
ever, attack men, and are more like big red jackals than dogs. The cubs
are quite untamable, and are the nastiest, most evil-smelling, vicious
pets that heart could desire.

_Measurements_

    +----------+------------+--------+-------------------+
    |Authority |Total length|  Tail  | Height at shoulder|
    +----------+------------+--------+-------------------+
    |          |    CANIS LUPUS      |                   |
    |          |     ins.   | ins.   |       ins.        |
    |Sterndale |  62 to 68  |   20   |    30 to 32       |
    |          |            |        |                   |
    |          |   CANIS PALLIPES    |                   |
    |Sterndale |     52     |16 to 18|       26          |
    |          |            |        |                   |
    |          |    CANIS LANIGER    |                   |
    |Sterndale |     68     |   20   |       30          |
    |          |            |        |                   |
    |          |     CUON RUTILANS   |                   |
    |Sterndale |  48 to 52  |   16   |    17 to 20       |
    |Major Ward|     60     |   ..   |       ..          |
    +----------+------------+--------+-------------------+


XI. THE STRIPED HYÆNA (_Hyæna striata_)

_Native names: ‘Lakhar baghar’ generally; ‘Rerha,’ Central India_

This is scarcely a sporting beast, but being destructive to dogs is
generally saluted with a shot if found by daylight, a thing which does
not often happen. The striped hyæna is a large brute, with tremendous
power of jaw, which lives principally on carrion, and will pick up a
dog if found alone, though two or three dogs will easily beat it off.
The hyæna has often been ridden down and speared, and shows little
or no fight in spite of its large teeth. Hyænas are found all over
the plains of India, but apparently neither in Burmah nor Ceylon.
There were several which used to prowl about the barracks at Nowgong
in Central India when the writer was quartered there, two or three of
which were shot by the soldiers, and the jackals there paid them all
the honours usually accorded to tigers, following them and uttering
their peculiar note of warning which the natives call ‘kole baloo.’ The
writer has often heard this cry, and as long as it continues no jackal
within earshot will set up his ordinary howl. This hyæna is the common
species that is found throughout Persia, Asia Minor, and North Africa.

Sterndale gives its length as 3½ ft., head and body; tail, about 1½ ft.
The writer never measured one, but estimated the height of an old male
as about 22 ins.


XII. ELEPHANT (_Elephas indicus_)

_Native names: ‘Hati’ generally; ‘Anay,’ Canarese (Sanderson); ‘Allia,’
Singhalese (Sterndale)._

The elephant is found along the foot of the Himalayas, from Deyhra Doon
through Assam and Burmah to Siam; also in some parts of Central and
Southern India and Ceylon.

The difference between the Indian and African elephant is well marked;
the small ears, smooth trunk, and more intelligent head of the former
being very conspicuous. The marks on the grinders are also different,
being in the Indian elephant irregular loops, while in the African they
form a string of decided lozenges joined by the corners. The African
elephant has only three toes on the hind foot, while the Indian has
four. The point of difference, however, which chiefly concerns the
sportsman is that in the Indian elephant there is a cavity in the
skull behind the bump on the top of the trunk which enables a bullet
properly placed to reach the brain, while with the African variety this
cavity is protected by the roots of the tusks, making the front shot
ineffective.

The main points to be considered by the sportsman may be shortly
summarised as follows:

The brain, which at most only presents a mark of about twelve inches
in length by six inches in height, is situated low down and far back
in the skull, the centre of it being nearly in the line between the
two ear-holes. The three chief shots are the front shot, in the centre
of the forehead towards the top of the bump at the base of the trunk,
and about three inches higher than a line drawn between the eyes;
the temple shot, the head of the elephant being at right angles to
the sportsman, through the ear-hole in a line to pass through the
opposite ear; the rear shot, behind the ear in the hollow just over
the large bump at the junction of the jaw and neck. It must be taken
at about an angle of 45° with the elephant’s course from behind. These
are the shots to be tried for; if the elephant’s head is inclined at
an angle, calculation has to be made to determine the line of the
brain. If charging with the head carried high and trunk curled, it is
almost impossible to kill him with a front shot, but heavy rifles will
generally stop him. In head shots an elephant not killed on the spot
generally escapes, so no time should be lost in finishing one that is
floored. For weapon, a 4-smoothbore spherical ball with twelve drachms
of powder is recommended. Indian elephants are seldom shot behind the
shoulder, for as Sanderson says, ‘When an elephant can be approached to
within a few yards, and dropped on the spot, it is hardly sportsmanlike
to take a long shot, and risk wounding the animal uselessly.’ Females
in a herd are always the first to charge. The tuskers are most likely
to be found in the rear guard of a herd, and the animals should not
be approached in cover unless they are feeding. A peculiar short,
shrill trumpet is the sign that the hunter has been discovered; the
herd stands perfectly still for some minutes and then closes up and
moves rapidly off; or, if the elephant that perceives danger discovers
that it is very near, it retires quickly without a sound, followed by
the rest, so that the hunter may find the whole herd gone before he
is aware that he has even been perceived. If a herd is attacked it
stampedes, and if hard pressed the females with calves will charge.

When a herd stampedes in cover, as it is impossible to tell the
direction it will take, the best course the sportsman can adopt is to
stand still against a tree or a bamboo clump, and not attempt to run.
A tree eight inches in diameter is said to be about the largest that
an elephant can overthrow. If circumstances ever occur to make a run
unavoidable, the flight should always be down hill and the steepest
places at hand chosen, as elephants fear to trust themselves on a rapid
descent at any great pace; up hill or on the level a man would be
speedily overtaken on rough ground.

When a herd makes off it goes at a great pace for a short distance
and then settles into a fast walk, which is often kept up for ten or
fifteen miles if there is a wounded elephant and no young calves with
it. The sportsman should pursue at once, as an ordinary runner can
generally keep near for two or three hundred yards.

When elephants are close at hand, standing in indecision, no one should
shout to turn them, as a charge from one or more of them is almost sure
to be the result. A friend of the writer’s told him that once when
stalking an elephant he could not get a fair shot at his head, so he
whistled to make him turn; the elephant simply swung round and charged,
but a shot in the head, though it did not floor, turned him.

The impression of the tusks in soft soil gives a good idea of their
size. A groove that will admit five fingers means that the tusks will
probably weigh over 60 lbs. the pair. Twice round the forefoot gives
the height of the elephant at the shoulder.

In shooting single elephants, after the first rush of a hundred yards
or so all noise often ceases, as the elephant breaks into a walk, and a
novice would suppose that he had stopped when in reality he is rapidly
retreating.

In following wounded elephants it is a good plan to send a couple of
trackers ahead while the sportsman and his gun-carriers follow a
hundred yards in rear, as the trackers, if alone, are not likely to be
taken by surprise. Rogue elephants, though more liable to attack in the
first place, are not more determined than others; a female with a young
calf is much more likely to charge persistently, and the advantage of
having only one animal to deal with is immense.

  The wild elephant’s attack is one of the noblest sights of
  the chase. A grander animated object than a wild elephant in
  full charge can hardly be imagined; the cocked ears and broad
  forehead present an immense frontage; the head is held high,
  with the trunk curled between the tusks to be uncoiled in the
  moment of attack; the massive forelegs come down with the force
  and regularity of ponderous machinery, and the whole figure is
  rapidly foreshortened, and appears to double in size with each
  advancing stride. The trunk being curled and unable to emit any
  sound, the attack is made in silence, after the usual premonitory
  shriek, which adds to its impressiveness. A tiger’s charge is
  an undignified display of arms, legs, and spluttering; the
  bison rushes blunderingly upon his foe; the bear’s attack is
  despicable; but the wild elephant’s onslaught is as dignified
  as it seems overwhelming; and a large tusker’s charge, when he
  has had sufficient distance to get into full swing, can only be
  compared to the steady and rapid advance of an engine on a line
  of rail. With all this, the sportsman who understands his game
  knows that there is a natural timidity in the elephant which
  often plays him tricks at the last moment. It is not difficult to
  turn or stop him with heavy metal, and if knocked down, he never,
  I believe, renews the attack.

Thus Sanderson writes, and in conventional phraseology that is all very
fine; but Sanderson seems to have let his feelings run away with him.
I confess that a tiger charging never appeared undignified to me; his
charge has always struck me as being a particularly neat, business-like
performance, and the coughing roar that accompanied it did not at all
detract from the show--spluttering indeed! Sanderson’s elephant does
not roar because he is afraid of hurting his trunk. Then the poor bison
a blunderer! The way an old bull will charge, dodge behind a bush
till he sees someone following him or hears someone speak, and then
charge back again, shows an amount of systematic ‘cussedness’ which
deserves praise not ridicule. As for the bear, his best friends must
admit that his natural grotesqueness is only enhanced by his efforts at
retaliation; but he does his best.

With a single exception, all those elephants which Sanderson shot
behind the shoulder seem to have given him a long chase before he could
bring them to bay, probably because the position of the heart is much
harder to judge in the Indian than in the African species, the centre
of the outside edge of the latter’s ear when thrown back marking the
spot. It is not so with the Indian elephant, whose ear is smaller.

A fight between two wild tuskers is said frequently to last for a day
or more, a round being fought every now and then. The more powerful
elephant occasionally keeps his foe in view till he perhaps kills him.

Though elephant catching is of old date, shooting wild elephants seems
to have been unheard of at the beginning of the century. Williamson,
who wrote about the year 1805, remarks with reference to M. Vaillant’s
exploits in South Africa:

  Without disparagement to M. Vaillant’s veracity, I should think
  I might with great safety venture a wager that no native of
  Bengal, nor any European resident there, would undertake such
  a piece of rashness as to go out shooting wild elephants; and
  that, in the event of anyone possessing such temerity, the
  sportsman would come off second best. M. Vaillant performed
  his miracles in a wilderness, without anyone to record his
  achievements; consequently he was obliged to be his own
  historian. Persons under such circumstances are in possession of
  one great advantage: namely, that of relating not only the facts
  as they would appear to any common observer, but of describing
  the wondrous coolness and presence of mind which pervades them
  throughout the perils of the enterprise.

Sanderson says the largest elephant he has seen measured 9 ft. 10 ins.
at the shoulder, and declares there is not a 10-ft. elephant in India.
Colonel Kinloch measured one he shot 10 ft. 1 in., and the writer
has seen a foot in Mr. Rowland Ward’s shop that measured 5 ft. in
circumference, which should make the animal 10 ft. at the shoulder.

Sterndale gives 10 ft. 7½ ins. as the largest authentic measurement
on record, and oddly enough quotes Sanderson as authority for the
measurement of this elephant, which belonged to the Sirmoor Rajah.

As regards tusks, Sanderson’s biggest pair measured 4 ft. 11 ins. and
5 ft. respectively, with a girth of 16½ ins. at the gum, the pair
weighing 74½ lbs.

Sir Victor Brooke’s big tusker measured: Right tusk, 8 ft.; 5 ft. 9
ins. outside socket; girth 1 ft. 4⁹⁄₁₀ ins.; weight, 90 lbs. Left tusk,
3 ft. 3 ins.; 1 ft. 2 ins. outside socket; girth, 1 ft. 8 ins.; weight,
49 lbs.

The skeleton of the well-known Arcot rogue elephant, now in the Madras
Museum, measures 10 ft. 6 ins. at the shoulder. Mr. Rowland Ward
considers that when alive it must have stood 10 ft. 10 ins.

‘Jumbo,’ the African elephant in the Zoological Gardens, stood 11 ft.,
and Sir S. Baker says that African elephants measure 12 ft. or more.

The three largest African tusks recorded in ‘Horn Measurements,’ by
Rowland Ward, are:

    +--------+----------------------+------+
    |Length  |Greatest circumference|Weight|
    +--------+----------------------+------+
    |ft. ins.|       ins.           | lbs. |
    |        |                      |      |
    | 9   5  |       22½            | 184  |
    | 9   4  |       20½            | 160  |
    | 9   4  |       18             | 110  |
    +--------+----------------------+------+


XIII. RHINOCEROS

There are no fewer than four different kinds of rhinoceros to be found
in India and Burmah; viz. _Indicus_, _Sondaicus_, _Lasiotis_ and
_Sumatrensis_. The first, which is the most generally known, extends
from the Nepal Terai to Assam. The second is found in the Sunderbuns,
and from Manipur through Burmah to the Malay Peninsula; the third is
found in Arakan and Tenasserim; the fourth, from Tenasserim through
Burmah to Siam and the Malay Peninsula; the two first varieties being
one-horned, the two last two-horned. The Asiatic rhinoceros differs
from the African in three particulars: the skin is divided into shields
by well-marked folds; he has long upper cutting teeth (the African
having none), and the nasal bones of the skull are produced and conical
instead of broad and round (Sterndale).

The chief difference between _R. indicus_ and _R. sondaicus_ is that
the latter has a well-marked fold in front of the shoulders, the line
running over the back of the neck, whilst in _Indicus_ it dies away on
the shoulder-blade; the head of _Sondaicus_ is also somewhat slenderer,
and the female has no horn. In _Indicus_ both sexes have this horn, and
the curious tesselated appearance of the hide in one is very different
from the tuberculated armour of the other.

Though _Sondaicus_ has been described as the lesser Indian rhinoceros,
there is little difference in the size between this and other Indian
varieties.

_R. lasiotis_ and _R. sumatrensis_ have more or less hairy hides
instead of tubercles. _Lasiotis_ is larger, lighter in colour, with
wide-set ears, a short tufted tail, and a long fringe of hair on the
back edge of the ear; _Sumatrensis_ is smaller, darker, with close-set
ears (which are filled with black hair but have no fringe), and tail
long, tapering, and semi-nude.

The native names of all four varieties seem much the same: ‘Gaindá,’
‘Gairá,’ ‘Gonda,’ generally; ‘Gor’ Assam, ‘Khyenhsen’ Burmah, ‘Bodok’
Malay.

The rhinoceros does not extend to Central and Southern India, being
only found in the heavy grass swamps of the Terai, Assam, &c.;
consequently the only way of hunting this beast is with elephants. The
rhinoceros may be either tracked up to his lair on a single elephant,
or the jungle may be beaten as for tigers.

_Measurements_

  +-------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+------+-----+
  |             | Height | Length |        | Girth  | Girth  |Length|Girth|
  | Authority   |   at   |head and|  Tail  | chest  |forearm |  of  |  at |
  |             |shoulder|  body  |        |        |        | horn | base|
  +-------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+------+-----+
  |             |                          Remarks                        |
  +-------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+------+-----+
  |             |        |        |        R. INDICUS        |      |     |
  |             |ft. ins.|ft. ins.|ft. ins.|ft. ins.|ft. ins.| ins. |ins. |
  |Col. Kinloch,|  5  9  | 10  6  |  2  5  |  9  8  |  3  2  |  12  | ..  |
  | ‘Large Game |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  | Shooting’   |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |             |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |British      |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |  19  | 20½ |
  |     Museum  |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |             |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |   ”      ”  |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |  38  | 26½ |
  |             |             Single horns--doubtful specimens            |
  |             |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |   ”      ”  |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |  33½ | 27  |
  |             |             Single horns--doubtful specimens            |
  |             |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |             |        |        |       R. SONDAICUS       |      |     |
  |Sterndale    |  5  6  | 12  3  | 2   4½ |   ..   |   ..   |  ..  | ..  |
  |             |    The length 12 ft. 3 ins. appears to include tail     |
  |             |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |             |        |        |       R. LASIOTIS        |      |     |
  |             |             No measurements procurable                  |
  |             |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |             |        |        |      R. SUMATRENSIS      |      |     |
  |Sterndale    |  3  8  |   ..   |   ..   |    ..  |   ..   |  ..  | ..  |
  |             |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |British      |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |  27  | 17½ |
  |     Museum  |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |             |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |   ”      ”  |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |  32¼ | 17¼ |
  |             |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |Mr. A.       |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   ..   |   8½ | ..  |
  | Manson,     |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  | ‘Oriental   |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  | Sporting    |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  | Magazine,’  |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  | 1876        |        |        |        |        |        |      |     |
  |             |                 Rear horn merely a knob                 |
  +-------------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+------+-----+

In no branch of sport is it more necessary to have trustworthy men in
charge of the mahouts of the pad elephants. A rhinoceros when roused
makes such a noise crashing through the reeds and snorting, that,
though he rarely charges home, and even then only bites instead of
using his horn, he fairly terrifies both mahouts and their animals,
and consequently, unless the line is under good control, the beating
is carried out in a very half-hearted manner. The usual pace of a
rhinoceros is a trot, but he will sometimes break into a gallop and
gets over the ground with surprising speed. When shot they usually sink
down on their knees and rarely roll over on to their sides. The flesh
is said to be as good as, or better than, most Indian beef. The track
is easily distinguished, as the foot has only three toes.

There is a story of a fight having been witnessed between a rhinoceros
and a wild male elephant, in which the latter was worsted. A rhinoceros
is said to have wantonly attacked the camp of two officers from
Dinapore, near Derriapore, in 1788. The brute killed their horses,
which were picketed, treed the officers and their servants, and ‘after
keeping them in dreadful suspense for some time, and using some efforts
to dislodge them, seeing the sun rise, retreated to his haunt.’

Their habit of depositing their dropping on the same spot, which is
shared by many deer and antelopes, has been noted by all writers on the
subject. Native shikaris watch these large heaps and take poor rhino at
a disadvantage.


XIV. THE MALAY TAPIR (_Tapirus malayanus_)

_Native names: ‘Ta-ra-shu,’ Burmese; ‘Kuda-ayer,’ Malayan_

Sterndale says of it:

  Habitat: Tenasserim provinces, as high as 15° N. Lat., Lower
  Siam, the Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. Description:
  General colour glossy black, but with the back, rump, and sides
  of the belly white; the young are beautifully variegated, being
  striped and spotted with yellow fawn on the upper parts of the
  body and with white below. Mr. Mason writes: ‘Though seen so
  rarely, the tapir is by no means uncommon in the interior of
  the Tavoy and Mergui provinces. I have frequently come upon
  its recent footmarks, but it avoids the inhabited parts of the
  country. It has never been heard of north of the valley of the
  Tavoy river.’ The tapir is naturally, all the world over, a very
  shy, retiring animal, but it is capable of being tamed when taken
  young, and of showing great attachment. It is not found in India
  proper, but is occasionally come across in Burmah.

_Measurements_

  +---------------+--------+---------------------+-------------------+
  |  Authority    | Height |Length, head and body|     Remarks       |
  +---------------+--------+---------------------+-------------------+
  |British Museum.|36½ ins.|      75 ins.        |{A skeleton, tail  |
  |               |        |                     |{with some vertebræ|
  |               |        |                     |{wanting           |
  +---------------+--------+---------------------+-------------------+


XV. WILD BOAR (_Sus indicus_)

It is a maxim in India that the only sportsmanlike way of killing
boar is with horse and spear, and therefore as these volumes treat
principally of those beasts which fall or should fall to the rifle,
this pluckiest of all beasts must be dismissed with a very brief notice.

Occasionally there may be some justification for shooting boar, but as
they travel great distances, none ought to be shot within forty miles
of rideable ground.

Several cases are on record in which an old boar has beaten off
a tiger, and some in which the latter has been killed by a boar.
The boar’s extraordinary activity and sharp tusks make him no mean
adversary, and his short neck makes it difficult for a tiger to seize
it and give it that fatal wrench with which he likes to polish off his
victims.


XVI. THE PIGMY HOG (_Porcula salvania_)

_Native names: ‘Sano-banel,’ Nepal; ‘Chota soor,’ Hindi_

This tiny little wild pig is found in the Sál forests of Nepal and
Sikkim. It has the reputation of going in herds like the peccary and
attacking intruders in the same fearless way. In shape it only differs
from the common wild pig in that its snout is comparatively shorter,
and the eye consequently set midway between snout and ear. Its tail,
too, is short and is hidden among the bristles on the rump. It has long
bristles all over its back and sides, but no well-defined mane like an
ordinary boar, whilst its ears are quite hairless and the under parts
of the body and limbs almost so. Some stuffed specimens in the British
Museum of apparently half-grown beasts are deep chestnut, a full-grown
one being nearly black.

_Measurements_

  +--------------+-------------+------------+------------+------------+
  |  Authority   |Length, head |   Height   |  Weight    | Remarks    |
  |              |   and body  |            |            |            |
  +--------------+-------------+------------+------------+------------+
  |Sterndale     |18 to 20 ins.|8 to 10 ins.|7 to 10 lbs.|            |
  |              |             |            |            |            |
  |              |             |            |            |{A stuffed  |
  |British Museum|   28 ins.   |  11½ ins.  |    ..      |{specimen   |
  |              |             |            |            |{tusks 1 in.|
  +--------------+-------------+------------+------------+------------+


XVII. CROCODILES

_Native names: ‘Muggur,’ the snub-nosed variety; ‘Ghayal,’ the
long-nosed variety_

The crocodile is a kind of vermin, of which there are two varieties in
India--the flat-nosed and the long-nosed. Though not perhaps objects
of the highest form of sport, still a good deal of fun may be had
with them; and as they are awful brutes for robbing the sportsman of
any birds that may be dropped on the water--will take down his dog
if he sends it in to retrieve, and in many places will take human
beings--their destruction should invariably be attempted.

A few may be shot with a rifle, but they are uncommonly wary, and
nineteen out of twenty that are hit will get back into the water and be
lost. The most satisfactory way of dealing with them, besides being far
the most sporting, is to bait a good large hook with a bird or small
animal, and fasten it by a chain to a good long rope, the end of which
is firmly picketed, the rope being coiled and the bait laid in shallow
water. There must be lots of slack line, as the crocodile does not
swallow anything at once, but seizes it and takes it into deep water
to gorge. A number of lines may be laid and looked up in the morning
or cool of the evening. When hooked it will take a good many men to
haul a crocodile out, and as he resents the operation and can use his
tail as well as his jaws, one or two sportsmen will find considerable
entertainment in despatching him with spears. Some crocodiles grow to
an enormous size, and their maws always contain round white stones, and
often trinkets, the relics of inside passengers. The writer assisted
at the death of a not extraordinarily large ‘snub-nose,’ which had
six women’s rings in her. This beast was a female, and full of eggs.
Another plan worth trying is to tie up a kid in the evening as a bait,
just sufficiently far from the water to attract the crocodiles by its
bleating on to dry land, so that the sportsman, lying well hidden about
sixty yards off, should be able to make sure of shooting them through
the back of the head.

[Illustration: Landing a ghayal]

_Measurements._--British Museum: a snub-nose, 17 ft. 4 ins.; a
long-nose, 15 ft. 1 in.


XVIII. GAUR (_Gavæus Gaurus_)

_Native names: ‘Gaor,’ ‘Gaori-gai’; generally, ‘Gail,’ Chota Nagpur;
‘Khulga,’ Western Ghauts; ‘Karti,’ Mysore; ‘Mithan,’ Bhootan._

Gaur, or bison,[23] as they are usually called, are found in suitable
localities, from the Terai, through Bhootan, Assam and Burmah, to the
Malayan Peninsula and throughout Central and Southern India, but do
not extend to Ceylon. The 28th degree of North latitude seems their
extreme northern limit, otherwise it would be difficult to account for
their absence in what appears to be such thoroughly suitable ground
as the Sewalik range and the lower slopes of the Himalayas north of
this limit, although elephants, whose food and requirements are almost
identical with those of the gaur, are plentiful there. Hilly country,
covered with extensive tracts of forest and bamboo jungle, is the
likeliest ground for bison, though they occasionally visit the low
ground at the foot of the hills, particularly when driven from the
higher ridges by flies and the want of suitable pasture. Bison vary
much in their habits according to locality; their migrations from high
to low ground being mainly influenced by the rainfall (which regulates
the growth of grass) and the prevalence of flies in their district.
During the latter part of the rainy season, when the grass has grown
high and coarse and flies are most numerous, Sanderson remarks that
bison move into the thinner jungle at the foot of the hills. Forsyth
says that in Central India bison retire to the tops of the hills at
that season.

The general colour of an old bull bison is a dark brown, almost black,
with a light slaty patch on the forehead, a grey muzzle, and the legs,
from above the knees and hocks downwards, a yellowish white, the inside
of the forearms and thighs being chestnut; the head is particularly
handsome, and well-bred-looking, the high frontal which rises above the
base of the horns adding to, rather than detracting from, its beauty;
the pupil of the eye is large, and of a pale blue colour. Jerdon
says the eyes are small. They may be in actual measurement, but they
certainly do not appear so. The muzzle is large, and the ears broad
without being coarse. The ears of an old bull are often torn to ribbons
from fighting. The horns of such animals are rather rugged at the base,
and the points are chipped and worn; but they are massive, have a
beautiful outward curve, and are light coloured. The neck is short and
powerful, the skin rather loose, with curious wrinkles in it that give
the appearance of a small dewlap, which the beast is really destitute
of. Behind the neck the beauty of the bison vanishes. The high dorsal
ridge towering above the insertion of the neck makes the shoulders look
loaded and straight, and the neck itself put on too low; the ridge
running down to the centre of the back and there ending abruptly gives
the quarters a dwarfed and drooping appearance, though this is far from
being really the case. The tail is rather short and fine; the legs are
particularly fine and clean, the hoofs being marvellously small and
neat for so large an animal.

The cows, less heavily built than the bulls, are of a coffee-brown
colour; the dorsal ridge is not so much developed, though it is still
prominent; the legs are white instead of yellow--the writer heard an
old bull described as looking as if he was wearing gaiters. The horns
are thinner and more upright; young bulls are very like cows, and
mistakes are frequently made when stalking herds, except by really
experienced men. Old cows look enormous, they are often darker in
colour than young bulls (in certain lights they look almost black),
and are not unfrequently shot by mistake. Of course if there is an
old bull in the herd to compare with them, there is little chance of
error. The best bulls are those that have been driven from the herds
by younger and more active rivals, and henceforward live alone. These
solitary bulls are always the finest specimens, and are consequently
the chief objects of the sportsman’s ambition. It is a very curious
fact that bison appear to be the only animals which regularly resign,
or are ousted from possession of, a herd when they attain their largest
size and most powerful horns. Old stags will keep their hinds even when
their horns are diminishing from age. Sanderson says solitary elephants
are frequently young males waiting till they can appropriate a herd;
but no sooner does a bison get really at his best to all appearances,
than he at once gives way to a younger animal. The cream of bison
shooting is naturally stalking them on foot. Sanderson describes
hunting them on an elephant, a method which, of course, enabled him to
bring heavy rifles into the field without fatigue, and was of enormous
assistance in thick cover and in carrying the trophies; but his
using the elephant to make the first approach must have considerably
detracted from the sport, although he discarded his mount when
following up a wounded beast.

The writer has had bison driven to him, on ground where stalking
was impracticable owing to the density of the forest, and where the
dryness of the season rendered tracking impossible; but there the fun
only began when a wounded beast had to be followed up, though it was
pleasant listening to the avalanche-like rush of an approaching herd,
and amusing to see cows come through an apparently impenetrable thicket
of bamboos, like harlequin through a trapdoor, only to stand staring
at a few yards distance with their noses poked out, an expression of
puzzled funk in their eyes.

[Illustration: A CHARGING GAUR]

But when the first few showers of the rainy season have moistened the
dry crackling leaves, and softened the ground so that tracks can be
followed, you should start in the early morning so as to catch the
beast before he is down for the day (that is, before the sun gets
hot, about 9 A.M. according to Sanderson), and getting on the fresh
tracks of a solitary bull, follow him up. If your trackers are good,
you should soon begin to find signs that you are getting near him
(the droppings warm, &c.); you can then dismount from your pony which
you have been riding in rear, and close on the trackers with your
gun-carrier till they show you the beast. But whether your trackers
are good or not, it is quite useless for you to interfere with them
unless you have sufficient experience to do the tracking yourself and
let the men follow behind. You must take it for granted they are doing
their best; the fact of their being on a bison’s trail will ensure
their running no undue risk from carelessness, and if you interfere
you only confuse and put them out: therefore take Sanderson’s advice,
unless they wish you to keep close to them, which they probably will
not do, ride your pony comfortably about one hundred yards in rear,
till they signal you up. You should then be either pretty close to or
within sight of your game. It is assumed that you have two rifles, an
8-bore and a 12-bore, with round bullets; conical bullets are not to be
relied on in jungle. Try to approach within sixty yards, and get your
first shot in with the 8-bore. Should the bull bolt, run after him at
once, whether you have fired or not. Very likely he will pull up after
going a short distance and give you a chance. Aim well forward; if you
break his shoulder you are more likely to get him than if you take him
too far back; keep him in sight as long as you can; if he goes out of
sight sit down and smoke a pipe or have breakfast. In any case give him
half an hour, then follow up with your trackers, carrying the 12-bore
yourself and your gun-carrier the 8-bore. If the track lead into thick
stuff, send a man up the first tree you come to, and if he cannot see
the animal, work carefully on to the next tree in the direction the
track leads, though not necessarily on it. Work clean through the thick
patch in this way from tree to tree, till you get to the far side;
never mind the trail inside. Should you get through without seeing
the beast, try to pick up the trail outside, and if you fail in this
go back the way you came to where you lost the track, and try working
through it from tree to tree in another direction. If your lines have
formed a not too broad angle at the point you left the trail, and you
cannot track him outside, the bull should be within the triangle, and
if there are no more trees you must follow the trail. Should the jungle
happen to be ‘Kharwee,’ the stems of which are about as thick as
your finger, growing about six inches apart and eight feet high, you
will find it exciting enough. The bull will probably turn short off
at an angle just before he lies down, and if he means mischief will
be watching his trail; you will then probably get within ten yards of
him before you see him, in which case you will be able to realise the
sensations of a valiant mouse hunting a man in a stubble-field. At
this period in the chase you will naturally have the 8-bore in hand
again. Presently the bull will either start up close to you, or you
will perceive a black mass on the ground. Your only course then is to
fire and lie down on the ground at once; the smoke will prevent your
getting in a second barrel, and if the bull charges the smoke he will
gallop over you without seeing you. It is not a bad plan to leave a
man permanently up the first tree you reach to watch till you have
quite done with the cover, as he will probably be able to see where
the bull goes if he moves. If the bull is wounded again in thick stuff
and again lies down in it, he is probably past doing harm; but still
it is advisable to give him the time of another pipe. A man up a tree
who can watch the exact place he is lying in is invaluable. Natives at
this period of the chase, more particularly the inexperienced ones,
invariably get excited and lose their heads, offering to go in and
pull the bull out by the tail, and looking upon any precaution taken
as a sign of faint-heartedness on the part of the sportsman. If the
sportsman gives way to them and allows them to accompany him in the
final stalk, he will probably get some fool hurt through disobedience
of orders. The last approach to a wounded bull in thick cover should
invariably be made alone, or with one gun-bearer, the rest of the men
being put up trees.

Solitary bulls, Sanderson declares, are not a bit more savage by
disposition than herd bulls, and the instances of their attacking
natives when unwounded are almost invariably due to the bull being
approached unawares within striking distance in the midst of thick
cover.

He narrates a case of a gentleman being killed on the Putney Hills in
1874, but this was through incautiously following a wounded bison into
thick cover. In this case the beast went on at once, after killing his
victim in his rush. ‘Only in one instance that I know of has a wounded
bison turned and gored his victim. I do not even think the solitary
bull is more dangerous when wounded and followed up than a member of
a herd. I have seen both die without resistance, and both give some
trouble.’ An officer on the Head-Quarters Staff at Madras had a very
narrow escape from a wounded bull a few years ago, getting knocked down
and only escaping by kicking the bull in the face as he tried to gore.

Several writers have noticed that a stag sambur or bull nylghao
(apparently it is always a male) occasionally attaches himself to a
herd of bison, and that this follower is invariably the wariest and
most watchful beast in the herd. Forsyth mentions a bull nylghao in
company with a herd of buffaloes. Sanderson states that the bison,
after a sharp hunt, gives out an oily sweat, and in this peculiarity
it differs from domestic cattle, which never sweat under any exertion.
He also says that herd bison retreat at once if intruded upon by
man, and never visit patches of cultivation in the jungle; later on,
however, he enumerates three varieties of cattle disease to which they
are liable, and states that they sometimes contract these diseases by
feeding in jungles used by infected domestic cattle. Of course these
two statements are not necessarily contradictory, but the writer when
shooting in the Western Ghauts found both herd and solitary bison
within a mile or two of villages, saw their tracks on patches of ground
cleared for crops in the jungle, on one occasion found bison on the
side of a hill overhanging a main road on which there was daily a
certain amount of traffic and near enough to it to see and hear the
passers-by; and there was a range of hills, the plateau on the summit
of which was a kind of open down where the village cattle were daily
brought to graze, and there were a good many bison in the densely
wooded ravines and slopes. The writer had been studying Sanderson’s
book before starting, as every sportsman should who desires success
in the pursuit of bison, and was particularly struck by the tolerance
these herds, at all events, showed to the vicinity of natives.

_Measurements_

  +-------------------+----+----+------+------+-------+-------+----------+
  |                   |Nose|Tail|Height|Height|Length,|Height,|Girth     |
  |                   | to |    |at    |at    |dorsal |dorsal |chest     |
  |      Authority    |root|    |shoul-|rump  |ridge  |ridge  |    +-----+
  |                   | of |    |der   |      |       |       |    |Girth|
  |                   |tail|    |      |      |       |       |    |neck |
  +-------------------+----+----+------+------+-------+-------+----+-----+
  |                                   GAVÆUS GAURUS                      |
  |                   |ins.|ins.| ins. | ins. |  ins. | ins.  |ins.|ins. |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Sterndale         }|114½| 34½|  73½ |  63  |   40  |   4½  | .. | ..  |A
  |  (‘Mammalia’)    }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |    ”         ”    |104½| 37¾|  69  |  ..  |   29½ |  ..   |104 | 48½ |B
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |    ”         ”    | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |C
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |    ”         ”    | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |D
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Sanderson         }| .. | .. |  72  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |E
  |  (‘Thirteen Years}|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |  among Wild      }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |  Beasts’)        }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Mr. J. D.         }| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |F
  |  Goldingham,     }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |  Bethnal Green   }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |  Museum          }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Mr. T. W. H.      }| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |G
  |  Greenfield      }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Mr. J. Carr       }| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |H
  |  Saunders        }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume     | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |I
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Bombay Nat. Hist. }| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |J
  |  Soc. Proc.      }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Mr. J. D.         }| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |K
  |  Goldingham,     }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |  Bethnal Green   }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |  Museum          }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Madras Museum      | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |L
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Shot by General Cox| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |M
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |    ”       ”      | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |N
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Lieut.-Col. Sandys | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |O
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Mr. J. Carr       }| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |P
  |  Saunders        }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Sir E. G. Loder,  }| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |Q
  |  Bart.           }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Sir V. Brooke      | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |R
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |   ”    ”          | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |S
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Mr. J. D.         }| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |T
  |  Inverarity      }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |General Hardwicke,}| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |U
  |  British Museum  }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Mr. B. H. Hodgson,}| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |V
  |  Brit. Mus.      }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Mr. O. Shaw        | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |W
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Major Greenaway    | .. | .. |  65  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |X
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |The Writer         | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |Y
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Col. Kinloch       | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |Z
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |     ”             | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |a
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Forsyth            | .. | .. |  71  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |b
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |   ”               | .. | .. |  69  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |c
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |   ”               | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |d
  |                   |    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  |Average of        }| .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |   ..  |  ..   | .. | ..  |e
  |  good head       }|    |    |      |      |       |       |    |     |
  +-------------------+----+----+------+------+-------+-------+----+-----+

   +-------+-------+----+------+------+------+------+------+--------------+
   |Muzzle |Breadth|Ear |Length|Girth |Splay |Tip to|Widest|              |
   |to     |fore-  |    |  of  |of    |at    |tip   |span  |              |
   |frontal|head   |    | horn |horn  |tips  |across|inside|   Remarks    |
   |ridge  |       |    |      |      |      |fore- |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |head  |      |              |
   +-------+-------+----+------+------+------+------+------+--------------+
   |                           GAVÆUS GAURUS                              |
   | ins.  | ins.  |ins.| ins. | ins. | ins. | ins. | ins. |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  A|  25¾  |  15½  | 10½|  ..  |  19½ |  25  |  ..  |  ..  |{Quoting Sir  |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{Walter Elliot|
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  B|  24   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  27¼ |  ..  |  ..  |{Quoting Mr.  |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{Blyth        |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  C|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  17  |  22½ |  83  |  38½ | ? Outside    |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  D|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  19  |  19  |  74  |  33  | ?    ”       |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  E|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  19  |  19  |  74  |  33  | ?    ”       |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  F|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  33¾ |  17¼ |  24  |  ..  |  ..  |{Rowland Ward,|
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{‘Horn        |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{Measurements’|
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  G|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  33½ |  18½ |  25  |  ..  |  33¼ |    ”     ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  H|  ..   |  13   | .. |  32  |  17¼ |  33½ |  79½ |  46  | Outside      |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  I|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  31⅞ |  17⅛ |  21⅜ |  ..  |  32½ |{Rowland Ward,|
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{‘Horn        |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{Measurements’|
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  J|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  31½ |  18  |  29  |  ..  |  43  | Outside  ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  K|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  31¼ |  16⅜ |  12⅝ |  ..  |  27½ |          ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  L|  ..   |  ..   | .. |{ L: }|  20  |  36¼ |  70¾ |  44  |{? Outside.   |
   |       |       |    |{ 30¾}|      |      |      |      |{‘Smoothbore’s|
   |       |       |    |{ R: }|      |      |      |      |{Letter to the|
   |       |       |    |{ 25½}|      |      |      |      |{“Asian”’     |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  M|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |   4  |?  ”  ”  ”    |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  N|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  46  |?  ”  ”  ”    |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  O|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  30½ |  16½ |  13½ |  ..  |  33¼ |{Rowland Ward,|
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{‘Horn        |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{Measurements’|
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  P|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  30⅛ |  17⅞ |  33⅜ |  ..  |  40¼ |Outside ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  Q|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  29⅞ |  18¼ |  30  |  ..  |  34  |        ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  R|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  29¾ |  18⅝ |  25¼ |  ..  |  30⅜ |        ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  S|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  29⅝ |  18½ |  16¼ |  ..  |  26½ |        ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  T|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  29½ |  18  |  ..  |  ..  |  33  |Outside ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  U|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  29¼ |  12⅞ |  ..  |  ..  |  18  |        ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  V|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  29⅛ |  16⅝ |  20⅜ |  ..  |  29¼ |        ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  W|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  29  |  22  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |        ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  X|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  29  |  22  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |        ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  Y|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  27  |19⁹⁄₁₀|19⁴⁄₁₀|69⁹⁄₁₀|  ..  |        ” ”   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  Z|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  69  |  36  |{? Outside.   |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{‘Large Game  |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{Shooting’    |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  a|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  17  |  ..  |  66½ |  ..  |  ”  ”  ”     |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  b|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |{‘Highlands of|
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{Central      |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |{India’       |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  c|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  17  |  ..  |  ..  |  37½ |? Outside ” ” |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  d|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  25½ |  15½ |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |          ” ” |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
  e|  ..   |  ..   | .. |  27  |  18  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |              |
   |       |       |    |      |      |      |      |      |              |
   +-------+-------+----+------+------+------+------+------+--------------+

In Assam, Chittagong and Burmah the natives own large numbers of
domesticated animals called ‘mithun’ or ‘gayal,’ which are very similar
to bison in appearance, but are without the characteristic frontal
ridge, and are said to have a small dewlap. Sterndale distinguishes
these under the name of _Gavæus frontalis_, and quotes Dr. F. Buchanan
Hamilton and Professor Garrod’s account from Mr. Macrae to the effect
that the natives recruit their tame herds by catching and taming
wild animals. But both Sanderson and Kinloch, who have hunted in the
districts where the tame gayal are numerous for the express purpose of
bagging a wild one, declare that such an animal does not exist, that
the wild animals in those parts are the same as bison anywhere else,
and that the peculiarities of the tame ones are due to domestication
and inter-breeding with domestic cattle.

As regards measurements of heads, the same disappointing practice
prevails with bison as with buffalo, viz.: measuring from tip to tip of
the horns across the forehead, in addition to which (with bison) heads
are frequently estimated only as regards the width of splay between the
horns, without any reference to their length and girth. This latter
measurement is the more misleading, as a deformed head with unnatural
lateral sweep is more valued than one with long massive horns which
grow closer together. The fairest measurement is length and girth at
base of horn only.


XIX. BURMESE WILD OX (_Gavæus sondaicus_)

_Native names: ‘Tsoing,’ Burmah; ‘Banteng,’ Java; (Sterndale). Habitat:
Burmah, the Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and Java. Blyth says it
is domesticated in the Island of Bali._

This animal resembles the gaur in many respects, having the distinctive
white stockings, but has no frontal or dorsal ridge. Its horns are
more like those of the gayal, but it has not the dewlap of the latter,
and it appears to be a much smaller and lighter built animal than
either gaur or gayal.

The old bull is black with white stockings and a white patch on each
buttock, the cows and young bulls being bright chestnut. There is a
stuffed specimen in the British Museum which shows the difference very
plainly. The only measurements the writer has been able to obtain are
those of the horns.

_Measurements_

  +--------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+---------------------+
  | Authority    |Length |Girth  |Splay  |Widest |  Remarks            |
  |              |of     |of     |at     |span   |                     |
  |              |horn   |horn   |tips   |inside |                     |
  +--------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+---------------------+
  |              |       |       |       |       |                     |
  |                       GAVÆUS SONDAICUS                             |
  |              | ins.  | ins.  | ins.  | ins.  |                     |
  |British Museum|  24¾  |  12¼  |  15¾  |  24¼  |{From Java, Rowland  |
  |              |       |       |       |       |{Ward, ‘Horn         |
  |              |       |       |       |       |{Measurements’       |
  |              |       |       |       |       |                     |
  |Mr. H. B. Low,|  21⅜  |  12¼  |  13⅛  |  19¼  |From Borneo  ”       |
  |British Museum|       |       |       |       |                     |
  |              |       |       |       |       |                     |
  |Mr. J. Carr   |  21   |  12   |  ..   |  ..   |     ”               |
  |Saunders      |       |       |       |       |                     |
  |              |       |       |       |       |                     |
  |Mr. H. B. Low,|  20⅝  |  12¼  |  18⅛  |  22⅛  |{    ”    Rowland    |
  |British Museum|       |       |       |       |{Ward, ‘Horn         |
  |              |       |       |       |       |{Measurements’       |
  |              |       |       |       |       |                     |
  |British Museum|  20   |  12   |  ..   |  ..   |                     |
  |              |       |       |       |       |                     |
  |Mr. H. B. Low,|  19¼  |  11¼  |  10⅛  |  15¾  |{From Borneo, Rowland|
  |British Museum|       |       |       |       |{Ward, ‘Horn         |
  |              |       |       |       |       |{Measurements’       |
  |              |       |       |       |       |                     |
  |      ”       |  18¼  |  10⅞  |  14½  |  18⅝  |       ”             |
  |              |       |       |       |       |                     |
  |      ”       |  18   |  12¼  |  13⅜  |  16⅝  |       ”             |
  +--------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+---------------------+


XX. YAK (_Poephagus grunniens_)

_Native names_: ‘_Donkh,_’ _‘Dhong_,’ _Ladak_; ‘_Bunchowr_,’ _Hindi_

Wild yak are said to be plentiful throughout Thibet, but at present
the Tartars watch their frontier so jealously that it is almost
impossible for Europeans to cross with any chance of obtaining sport;
particularly as the sportsman’s own Tartar attendants would be the
first to endeavour to frustrate any ambitious schemes of exploration.
It must be remembered that, not only would they be held responsible by
the Leh authorities if anything happened to an Englishman, but, living
on the frontier themselves, they naturally like to be on good terms
with their neighbours. The valley of Chang Chenmo, north of the Pangong
Lake, and the ground between the Niti Pass and the Sutlej, are the only
two easily accessible places where yak may be met with. Beyond Chang
Chenmo there is said to be good ground on the Karakash, but to cross
the Linzinthung plains would require special arrangements, and ponies
would have to be taken instead of the ordinary tame yaks on account of
the scarcity of grass. An old wild bull yak is a magnificent beast; he
is nearly jet black, with a little grey about the muzzle and forehead.
Though fifteen hands in height, his legs are short and sturdy. The long
shaggy hair which droops from his body reaches down to his knees, and
sometimes almost to the ground; and his huge swab of a tail rather adds
to than detracts from his beauty. The white tails which are brought for
sale are those of tame yaks; a wild bull’s tail is such an unwieldy
mass of hair that it is not at all the sort of thing to have flipping
round one’s head on a hot evening. Tame yaks have often a good deal of
white about them. Wild yaks with white patches have occasionally been
shot, but only cows as far as the writer can learn; wild bulls appear
always to be black. The Tartars say that these mottled wild yaks are
hybrids between the tame bulls, which are turned out to graze on the
hills in the summer, and wild cows.

Captain Duff contributes the following interesting account of a
successful stalk after yak:

  I was out one day after a couple of Thibetan antelope, and not
  being able to get near them, was looking about to see if there
  was any game farther up the nullah. Right away up the head of the
  valley we saw a large herd of dhong, about twenty or more, with a
  lot of young ones, and even at that distance we could distinguish
  one much bigger than the rest. The next day, a heavy fall of snow
  prevented my going out; but on the third day, I started to try
  for them. It was a long walk to get anywhere near the herd, and
  of course, just as I was beginning to go a bit carefully, and
  take advantage of cover, I put up three very fair _Oves Ammon_,
  but the dhong did not seem to notice them, and the wind all
  through was in my favour. A bit farther on I came across one of
  those beastly kyang, which would keep running on in front of me
  till I could get across the river at the bottom of the valley.
  When I got up to where I expected to find the dhong, I found
  they had moved a good bit higher up the nullah, and I could not
  possibly get nearer than some three hundred yards from them.
  Leaving my gun-carrier and a Tartar behind with strict orders not
  to stir till I fired, I tried to crawl on with my shikari, but
  had to return before getting any distance, the dhong meanwhile
  feeding farther away and going up the hillside, thus making the
  stalk more and more difficult. I had seen no signs of my big
  friend, and began to think I had been mistaken; but there was a
  fair-sized bull with the herd. I now had to retrace my way for
  some distance, and get down to the river again, so as to creep up
  under cover of the bank till I got a hill between the dhong and
  myself. On reaching this hill, I found I could not possibly get
  within shot, and could do nothing but hide behind a large stone
  and wait.

  I suppose I must have waited at least a couple of hours, when
  there was a bit of a commotion among the herd, the babies all
  running to the big ones, and I heard a funny noise which I could
  not account for. In a few minutes I saw the big bull appear from
  round the side of the hill, walk leisurely towards the herd, and
  lie down. Just then three chankos came past me, and I came to the
  conclusion that they had occasioned the scare, had been driven
  off by the big bull, and had made the noise I heard.

  I waited for another good half-hour, and had almost made up my
  mind to crawl towards the bull in the hope that he would mistake
  me for one of the chankos coming back, and so give me a shot,
  when up he got, but only to walk a few yards, and then go down
  again and roll.

  After a bit of this sort of play he got up again, and taking no
  notice of the rest of the herd, began walking towards me.

  There was a little stream at the foot of the hill I was on, and
  the bull was walking quietly down the opposite bank, coming
  on slowly, looking like a young elephant with his hair nearly
  touching the ground on each side of him.

  I waited and waited for him, till he got almost past me, and
  within about sixty or seventy yards, and then he stopped, looking
  down the nullah, and broadside on to me. I tried to get steady
  on him and fired; but he stood still, and my shikari said I had
  missed. The ground beyond him was softish, and I began to be
  afraid I had, and had not seen the bullet strike, so I fired
  again, and the bull dropped in his tracks. I found my first shot
  had hit him in the neck, and must have paralysed him, as he
  could not move his forelegs, though he could kick with his hind
  ones. My second shot was a wild one, and had only broken a hind
  fetlock. The rest of the herd ran in all directions at the shot,
  and then getting together, made for the top of the valley. As
  soon as I saw that the big bull could not get away, I started
  after them, and managed to get two more bulls.

  The big bull was really a very fine beast, his forehead covered
  with curly grey hair. He measured just over 15 hands 1¼ in. as he
  lay. I put a stick as upright as I could against his withers, and
  measured to his heel.

_Measurements_

  +--------------------+---------+--------+----+--------+-----+---------+
  |   Authority        |Height at|Length, |Tail|Girth   |Girth|Girth    |
  |                    |shoulder |head and|    | at     | at  |at neck  |
  |                    |         |body    |    |shoulder|belly|(thinnest|
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     | part)   |
  +--------------------+---------+--------+----+--------+-----+---------+
  |                    |               BOS GRUNNIENS                    |
  |                    |  ins.   |  ins.  |ins.|  ins.  | ins.|  ins.   |
  |Hume Collection,   }|   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |A
  |  British Museum   }|         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Col. E Smyth,      }|   72    |  130½  | 37 |  121   | 112 |   50    |B
  |  Leeds Museum     }|         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Major FitzHerbert, }|   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |C
  |Cambridge Museum   }|         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Hume Collection,   }|   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |D
  |  British Museum   }|         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Hon. W. Rothschild  |   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |E
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |British Museum      |   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |F
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Mr. H. C. V. Hunter |   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |G
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Major Ward          |   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |H
  |     ”              |   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |I
  |     ” (quotes one) |   70    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |J
  |     ”              |   64    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |K
  |     ”              |   64    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |L
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Sir R. Harvey, Bart.|   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |M
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Capt. Duff          |   61½   |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |N
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Col. Kinloch        |   60   }|   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |O
  |                    |   or   }|        |    |        |     |         |
  |                    |  more  }|        |    |        |     |         |
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Jerdon’s ‘Mammalia’ |   66    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |P
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Major FitzHerbert   |   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |Q
  |                    |         |        |    |        |     |         |
  |Average of good head|   ..    |   ..   | .. |   ..   |  .. |   ..    |R
  +--------------------+---------+--------+----+--------+-----+---------+

   +-------+-----+------+------+---------------------------------+
   |Length,|Girth|Splay,|Widest|    Remarks                      |
   | horns | at  |tip to|span  |                                 |
   |       |base | tip  |inside|                                 |
   +-------+-----+------+------+---------------------------------+
   |                      BOS GRUNNIENS                          |
   |  ins. | ins.| ins. | ins. |                                 |
  A|   38¼ | 17  |  19  |  31½ |Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’|
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  B|   36  | 18  |  ..  |  ..  |Gen. Macintyre, ‘Hindu Koh’      |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  C|   35  | 15  |  ..  |  ..  |                                 |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  D|   34⅞ | 15  |  16  |  27¾ |Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’|
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  E|   34  | 12  |  20½ |  ..  |   ”      ”          ”           |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  F|   32⅜ | 13⅜ |  16½ |  26⅜ |   ”      ”          ”           |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  G|   32  | 13⅞ |  15¼ |  22¼ |   ”      ”          ”           |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  H|   31½ | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |{ ‘Sportsman’s                   |
  I|   31  | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |{ Guide                          |
  J|   ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |{ to                             |
  K|   ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |{ Ladak,                         |
  L|   ..  | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |{ &c.’                           |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  M|   30¾ | 13½ |  10½ |  ..  |Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’|
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  N|       |     |      |      |                                 |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  O| about |about|  ..  |  ..  |‘Large Game Shooting’            |
   |   36  | 14  |      |      |                                 |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  P|   30  | 15  |  ..  |  ..  |                                 |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  Q|   21  |  8  |  ..  |  ..  |(A cow)                          |
   |       |     |      |      |                                 |
  R|   27  | 12  |  ..  |  ..  |                                 |
   +-------+-----+------+------+---------------------------------+

In 1866 another sportsman managed to evade the Tartars, and crossing
the Sutlej beyond Niti, found a herd of eighty yak, out of which he
shot a bull and three cows, one of the latter being piebald.

There is a quaint story from Nepal, that, during the war between the
Nepalese and the Thibetans, Jung Bahadur, finding his army very short
of food, referred the case to the chief priests in Khatmandu, who
decided that yak were deer, and not cattle at all, as their tails
were different, and so might safely be killed and eaten by the pious
Nepalese.


XXI. BUFFALO (_Bubalus arni_)

_Native names generally: ‘Ban Bhains,’ ‘Arná’ the male, ‘Arni’ the
female; in Bengal, ‘Mains’_

The buffalo is found in Nepal, and extends eastward through Assam to
Burmah. It is plentiful in the Sunderbuns, in the Central Provinces,
and in Ceylon, but is not found, according to Sanderson, in Southern
India. Forsyth gives 80° as the extreme western limit of buffaloes in
Central India, and says that they are not found north of the Nerbudda
river.

The wild buffalo only differs from the tame one in being slightly
larger and more uniform in colour (tame ones are of many shades, and
have often a good deal of white about them, in fact albinos are not
uncommon), and in having regular white stockings, which the tame ones
may or may not have. The horns are more symmetrical and larger. In the
high grass jungles of the Terai and Assam, buffaloes are generally shot
off elephants, and Kinloch notices ‘the strong sweet bovine scent’
emitted by a herd. In the Sunderbuns and parts of Lower Bengal they are
occasionally shot out of boats when the country is flooded. The sport
is described as magnificent, but requires a fever-proof constitution.

In the Central Provinces, however, the ground is more open; there
buffaloes can be stalked on foot, and Captain Forsyth gives an account
of a sparkling episode when shooting buffaloes from horseback.

When pursuing them on foot, the best time for sport is in April
and May, when a good deal of the grass has been burnt and water is
comparatively scarce. The best way of finding the animals is to look
for fresh tracks near pools of water, and follow them up. The plan
recommended for bison, of sending the trackers on ahead, should be
adopted if possible.

Captain Lamb gives the following interesting account of a stalk:

  I started up the river bed and found fresh tracks. After
  following the track for a good way we came on a single bull
  feeding on a grassy plain about half a mile in width, studded
  with a few trees. Leaving all the men behind, I crept up on my
  stomach to within about forty yards of him, and got behind a
  small pollard tree without the bull being aware of my presence.
  I fired at his shoulder with the 12-bore, and he fell over
  kicking on his back. Just as I was going to give him another
  shot, a second and larger bull rushed out from the long grass
  and attacked number one, who was still kicking on the ground. He
  gave him a tremendous punishing, bowling him over whenever he
  attempted to rise. I was so astonished at the whole thing, that I
  simply stood and watched. After a little while, number two seemed
  to think there was something wrong, and stopped to look round;
  whereupon, I took the opportunity of giving him a shot, which
  laid him on his back like his fellow. Both bulls then got up
  and went into the long grass. I followed number one, going very
  cautiously, as I was not quite sure of number two’s whereabouts.
  I came up with number one, who was still on his legs, knocked
  him over again and finished him with a shot behind the ear. I
  then went after number two and killed him without any difficulty.
  The fight had been quite knocked out of him.

Buffaloes appear to charge much more readily when hunted with a line of
elephants or from boats than when stalked on foot. In the first case
at all events the buffalo is generally roused from his midday sleep,
and attacked at close quarters, when his temper is ruffled, while when
stalked on foot he gets such a severe wound when feeding (probably
without seeing his enemy) that the fight is knocked out of him to start
with. Still fatal instances have occurred, notably in the case of Mr.
Chatterton, of the police, who was killed by a buffalo in 1886.

[Illustration: ‘He gave him a tremendous punishing’]

_Measurements_

  +-----------+---------+-----+---------+----------+------+--------------+
  |           |Length,  |     |Girth of |          |Tip to|Splay         |
  |           |nose to  |Girth|forearm  |Length    |tip   |at  +---------+
  | Authority |root of  |of   |  +------+of        |across|tips|Widest   |
  |           |tail     |body |  |Height|horn+-----+fore- |    |span     |
  |           |    +----+     |  |at    |    |Girth|head  |    |inside   |
  |           |    |Tail|     |  |shoul-|    |of   |      |    |    +----+
  |           |    |    |     |  |der   |    |horn |      |    |    |Sex |
  |           +----+----+-----+--+------+----+-----+------+----+----+----+
  |           |                      Remarks                             |
  +-----------+----------------------------------------------------------+
  |                               BUBALUS ARNI                           |
  |           |ins.|ins.| ins.|ins.|ins.|ins.|ins. | ins. |ins.|ins.|    |
  |British    |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 78 | 17  |  ..  | .. | .. |Bull|
  |Museum     |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |(?) |
  |           |             Pair of horns without skull                  |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |  ”        | .. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 77⅜| 17⅞ |  ..  | .. | .. |Bull|
  |           |     (Single horn) Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’      |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |  ”        | .. | .. |  .. | .. | .. |R65½| 20¼ | 146¾ | 98 | .. | ”  |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |L68¼|     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Colonel J. |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 65¾| 20¼ |  ..  | .. | .. | ”  |
  |Mathie,    |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |British    |}            Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’            |
  |Museum     |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |British    |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 58⅝| 12⅜ |  ..  | .. | .. |Cow |
  |Museum     |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |(?) |
  |           |                         ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Mrs.       |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 58½| 13¼ |  ..  | .. | .. |Cow |
  |Hannaford  |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |British    |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 58½| 12¾ |  ..  | .. | .. |Cow |
  |Museum     |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |(?) |
  |           |                         ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Bethnal    |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 58¼| 18  |  ..  | 42¼| .. |Bull|
  |Green      |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Museum     |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |British    |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 58¼| 13  |  ..  | .. | .. |Cow |
  |Museum     |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Mr. J. D.  |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 57 | ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |Bull|
  |Inverarity |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Mr. Eyre   |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 56 | 15½ |  ..  | 55½| 58 | ”  |
  |Coote      |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Mr. J. Carr|}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 55½| 18½ | 124  | .. | .. | ”  |
  |Saunders   |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Hume       |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 54½| 18⅛ |  ..  | 38¼| 48⅞| ”  |
  |Collection,|}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |British    |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |Museum     |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Mr. A. O.  |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 53⅞| 12  |  ..  | .. | .. |Cow |
  |Hume       |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |(?) |
  |           |                         ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Baron de   |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 53¼| 21  |  ..  | 26⅞| .. |Bull|
  |Nolde      |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Hume       |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 53¼| 12⅛ |  ..  | .. | .. | ”  |
  |Collection,|}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |British    |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |Museum     |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Mr. B. H.  |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 53⅛| 12½ |  ..  | .. | .. | ”  |
  |Hodgson,   |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |British    |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Museum     |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |British    |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 53 | 12⅛ |  ..  | .. | .. | ”  |
  |Museum     |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Hume       |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 52¾| 18¼ |  ..  | 30½| 44⅛|Bull|
  |Collection,|}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |British    |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Museum     |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |British    |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 52 | 16¾ |  ..  | .. | .. | ”  |
  |Museum     |}                        ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Colonel    |}115| 47 |  99 | 20 | 60 | .. | ..  |  99  | .. | .. | ”  |
  |Kinloch    |}                 ‘Large Game Shooting’                   |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  | ”   ”     | .. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | 122  | .. | .. |Cow |
  |           |                         ”  ”  ”                          |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  | ”   ”     | .. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | 151  | .. | .. |Bull|
  |           |                      Quoted  ”  ”                        |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  | ”   ”     | .. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  |{over}| .. | .. |Cow |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |{156 }|    |    |    |
  |           |                      Quoted  ”  ”                        |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Sterndale’s|}123| .. |  .. | .. | 76 | .. | ..  |  ..  | .. | .. | .. |
  |‘Mammalia’ |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Captain    |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | 64 | 48 | ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |Bull|
  |Lamb       |}   |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |           |    |    |     |    |    |    |     |      |    |    |    |
  |Average of |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 48 | 18  |  ..  | .. | .. |Bull|
  |good head  |}.. | .. |  .. | .. | .. | 50 | 12  |  ..  | .. | .. |Cow |
  +-----------+----+----+-----+----+----+----+-----+------+----+----+----+

Kinloch gives an account of a bull charging elephants both before
and after being wounded. When they have thoroughly made up their
minds to fight, buffaloes will, as a rule, carry out their plans most
resolutely; but wild ones, though in a less degree, have the same
kind of slow-wittedness that is so remarkable in tame buffaloes.
If a European rides past a herd of tame buffaloes in some rather
out-of-the-way district where Europeans are scarce, some of the herd
are sure to begin pondering on the advisability of charging him, but
before they can make up their minds, the object of their attentions has
got beyond reach and they give up the problem. The average size of a
good bull’s horns is about 40 ins. in length by 16 ins. in girth, or
about 8 ft., measuring from the tip of one horn round the curve across
the forehead and up the other horn. It is somewhat unfortunate that
sportsmen should have selected this style of measurement, as it gives a
poor idea of the comparative size of horns.

Forsyth and Kinloch both agree that a front shot is rarely successful
against buffaloes, owing to the angle at which their heads are carried
and the enormous thickness of their chests. Forsyth recommends hardened
bullets, as he found two ounce bullets of soft lead propelled by eight
drachms of powder flattened on their shoulders, pulverising the bone
but not penetrating to the vital parts. Williamson describes shooting
buffaloes out of boats in flood-time, and says that the point to aim at
in this sport is to get the beast into such deep water that he cannot
lower his head to use his horns.

As for using dogs for buffalo, Forsyth’s experience with a wounded
bull was not a happy one; he writes: ‘The dogs were now loosed, and
bayed round him till he began to chase them all round the field; but as
soon as our heads appeared over the fringe of grass, he left them and
charged down at ourselves.’ In spite of one of the dogs pinning him by
the nose, the bull made good his charge, knocking Forsyth’s rifle out
of his hand and upsetting his companion.


XXII. SAMBUR (_Rusa Aristotelis_)

_Generally, ‘Sambur’ or ‘Maha’; in Gurwhal, ‘Jerow’ or ‘Barasingh’_

The sambur is found throughout the lower slopes of the Himalayas
from the eastern bank of the Sutlej river (Kinloch points out that
the Sutlej seems to be its boundary), and extends all over India and
Ceylon to the south, and through Assam and Burmah as far as the Malay
Peninsula to the south-east, wherever there are forest-clad hills.
It does not ascend to any great elevation, being rarely found above
an altitude of 5,000 or 6,000 ft. It seems to delight in heat, not,
indeed, of the sun, as it is as careful of its complexion as a gooral,
but of hot stony hills and stifling ravines covered with thick forest.

Sambur appear to require very little water, drinking, according to
Sterndale, only every third day--a fact which the writer’s experience
entirely confirms.

The general colour of the stag is dark sepia, the chin and inside of
limbs yellowish-white, and an orange-yellow patch on the buttocks.
The dirty yellow patch on the chin is sometimes very striking, and
looks as if the stag had the skin of a pale orange in his mouth. The
tail is large, the hair being coarse and very dark brown; and on the
neck there is a shaggy coarse ruff. The ears are large and coarse,
rounded in shape, nearly black, and almost hairless. Sterndale calls
the sambur a noble creature, but compared with the Cashmere stag, red
deer, or wapiti, he looks an ugly, coarse, underbred brute. The horns
are massive, with a long brow antler and a bifurcated top, and in
good specimens are about 40 ins. in length; longer horns are obtained
occasionally, but not often. As the sambur is almost entirely nocturnal
in its habits, it is most commonly shot in drives, and in many places
it is almost impossible to obtain sambur otherwise; but where it can
be managed, stalking is, of course, far better fun. The sportsman
should be on his ground just before daylight, and work slowly through
the forest at the edge of the feeding grounds, taking the bottom of
the hill if there are crops on the plain below, or, failing these, the
edges of the open glades in the forest. Presently, if there are any
sambur about, he will hear their trumpet-like call, and, creeping on,
see two or three dark forms moving among the trees. In the grey of the
morning it is often very hard to distinguish a stag from a hind, and
the writer has on several occasions had to wait after viewing the herd
till there was light enough to pick his stag. Even in broad daylight
it is difficult to judge the size of a stag’s horns as he stands
motionless in the deep gloom of the forest, and what little can be
seen of them makes them look three times their real size--the beam is
so massive and the tines so long. The stag, too, is such a big beast,
standing nearly a hand taller than a barasingh, that if seen in the
open he looks as big as an Irish elk.

If the sportsman fails to intercept any stags on their return from
their feeding grounds by working along the base of the hill, he should
next ascend the hill and try the cup-like basins which are so often
found near the summits. Sambur are very fond of these spots, but a
first-rate local shikari is necessary to show the way to them, as
there is often no sign of the existence of such places from the foot
of the hill, the trees appearing to grow taller in them on purpose to
hide them from observation from below. The approach to them is often
up a heartbreaking boulder-strewn slope, which apparently continues
to the summit. Up this the sportsman toils, thinking his shikari must
have lost his way, when suddenly he comes upon a dark cool glen, and
in it there is pretty sure to be a herd. The above applies chiefly to
the isolated hills which rise out of the plains in Central India; in
ranges like the Sewaliks the best plan is to walk along the top of
a ridge, examining the ravines below, and in the grass on the crest
of these ridges will often be found places where sambur have been
lying down under the trees, the form being carefully chosen so that
the shade of the tree will be over it during the hottest part of the
day. Many pleasant little incidents may occur during an early morning
stroll in the Sewaliks; kakur, gooral, and chital afford tempting
shots if the sportsman likes to vary his bag, and an occasional bear,
leopard, or tiger may be met with. One sportsman met a tiger almost
face to face just as he gained the crest of a ridge. The man only had
a light single-barrel rifle, so he wisely refrained from attack under
the circumstances, and, the tiger being a well-behaved deer-stalking
beast, the two passed the time of day and parted. Wild elephants,
too, are not uncommon in certain parts, so that altogether there is
always a chance of finding amusement. What fun there must have been
in the Sewaliks in the days of the Ganesa mammoth and the four-horned
moose-like sivatherium! Their remains in the British Museum make one’s
mouth water to think of them.

Among the larger ranges of hills in Southern India, the best way
of hunting is to send men in pairs before daybreak to well-chosen
positions to watch the forest, the sportsman with one attendant taking
a line of his own, and working on or watching his particular beat till
the sun is beginning to get powerful and the animals have lain down
for the day; then he should himself go round the different groups of
watchers and collect their reports. It is important that the sportsman
should go round himself and not depute the work to his shikari, as
a stag or a bear may often have been marked down to an inch by the
watchers and may be stalked forthwith, whilst if a drive be decided
upon the sportsman has an opportunity of studying the ground and
settling all the details with his head shikari on the spot. Having
gone round his sentries and withdrawn the men, he should then return
to camp for breakfast, order beaters for any drives he has decided on,
and about 11 A.M., when the sun is really hot and the animals marked
down are likely to be disinclined to move, and so enable the beaters
and guns to get into position, he should begin operations. All driving
should be done in the heat of the day, when the animals are lying down;
trying to drive when beasts are naturally on the move generally results
in the game leaving the beat before the men are in their places.
Another great point to attend to in driving is for the sportsman, if
possible, to get up into a tree. It may sound ridiculous for a man to
climb up a tree in a sambur drive, but he is far more likely to get
an easy shot in this position, as the deer will neither see nor wind
him, he commands more ground, and he runs no risk of heading back the
wary old hind which often leads the herd; the chances being that if he
is rightly posted the herd will come right under his tree. Another
advantage is that, his fire being plunging, he can shoot all round
without danger to the beaters. If two or three guns are out, it is
more than ever necessary to try to post them well up off the ground.
Having settled himself in his tree, the sportsman should send his
gun-carrier to some tree or rock at least a hundred yards behind him,
so that the course taken by a wounded animal can be observed. Tracking
in jungle is often very difficult work, and a sharp gun-carrier posted
well to the rear will often save a lot of trouble. In some parts of
the Himalayas native shikaris declare that they often shoot sambur by
selecting a likely path and improvising a salt-lick, after the fashion
of Laplanders when they want to catch their tame reindeer. General
Macintyre describes the formation of a ‘kar’ and his adventures in
watching one; he calls it a dirty way of killing ‘jurrow.’

Though sambur occasionally throw out abnormal tines, they usually carry
only three antlers on each horn--a long brow antler and two on top.
The horns are generally shed about the end of March, and are free from
velvet about the beginning of November. Major Ward’s remarks about
shooting small stags are well worth quoting:

  Remember that sambur are not prolific; they seldom have more
  than one fawn, and that it is four years before the young stag
  assumes his complete shape of horn, and that he has still three
  or four years to live before he can have a pair of antlers worth
  preserving. He has quite sufficient chances against his attaining
  an age of seven or eight years, without having to run the risk of
  being shot down by the rifle bullet whilst still in his immature
  state.

Shooting hinds is quite unpardonable, the venison being not worth
eating.


XXIII. HOGDEER (_Axis porcinus_)

_Native name: generally ‘Para’_

Kinloch aptly describes this deer as the rabbit of Indian battues. It
is a long-bodied rather heavily built beast on short legs with horns
like a small sambur, the brow antlers coming straight up from the burr
at an acute angle without the handsome curve of those of the spotted
deer. The stags are reddish brown, their hair coarse and thick, their
tails rather long and exactly of the sambur type, their ears round,
not pointed like a spotted deer. When galloping through the grass the
hogdeer carries its head low, its horns laid back on the neck, and its
rump high. It is found throughout the high grass swamps at the foot
of the Himalayas and on the islands and banks of the big rivers. High
grass and plenty of water are its chief requisites. It expends through
Assam to Burmah, and is also found in Ceylon.

[Illustration: Hogdeer shooting]

It is usually shot when beating the large tracts of grass in the Doon
and Terai with a line of elephants, and affords pretty snap shooting
from a howdah when better game is not expected. The does will squat
in the grass till the elephants almost kick them up, but the way to
get the best stags is to go well ahead of the line on a flank, or,
if possible, post yourself on foot so as to command a nullah leading
from one patch of grass to another, or the dry sandy channel separating
two islands. This, however, is a matter of some risk, as, if hogdeer
are plentiful, the firing from the line becomes fast and furious, and
unless you are on an elephant the guns in the line cannot see where you
are. Shooting from a howdah is an art which requires practice, and many
a good rifle-shot on foot finds himself missing hideously when he first
tries shooting off an elephant. A very sound rule is, never to put your
head down on the stock, but keep it well up, look hard at the beast’s
shoulder and see as much of its body as possible over the muzzle of
the rifle: the range is generally short and nearly all misses go high.
Shooting hogdeer from elephant has been likened, with some confusion of
ideas, to shooting rabbits from a pitching collier in a gale of wind in
the Bay of Biscay.

Hogdeer are often put up when pigsticking in grass, and give capital
runs.

Major FitzHerbert had a quaint bit of sport in 1874. He slipped a brace
of dogs at a stag and rode after them; in his own words:

  The stag made for the river, and as the ground got more and more
  open the bitch caught sight of him, made a rush and soon got up
  to him; she laid hold and pulled him over, but as the dog would
  not help her, the stag shook her off and went away again. When
  she came up to him again, he stood at bay with head down and
  bristles raised like a miniature red deer of Landseer’s, but
  broke away when I came up. Once he charged the bitch and knocked
  her over: he stood at bay two or three times, but I never could
  get a spear into him for fear of hurting the dogs; at last one
  time as he was breaking bay I came up, and he charged me with
  such force as to break one of his horns clean off against the
  spear; however, I stuck him in the spine and rolled him over.

The fawns are always spotted. The stags seem very irregular in shedding
their horns, and deformed heads are not uncommon.


XXIV. SPOTTED DEER (_Axis maculatus_)

_Native names: ‘Chital,’ ‘Chitra’; the Stag ‘Jhank’_

About the beauty of the skin of this beast, the writer heard a story
of a man who was taking such particular pains to preserve the hide of
a stag he had shot that his companion asked him what he wanted it for,
adding, ‘It’s only a chital.’ ‘Yes,’ returned the other, ‘it may be
only a chital on the banks of the Nerbudda, but I am going to send it
home, and it will be a leopard at Northampton.’

The horns are of the rusine type, but the brow antler has a more
graceful forward curve than in the sambur, and the anterior terminal
point is always longer than the posterior. Small false points are also
frequently thrown out at the base of the brow antler.

Chital are often shot off elephants, but the sport is not to be
compared to stalking them; and as chital always seem to select the
loveliest scenery in the forest for their abode, a morning or evening
stroll after them is most enjoyable, or, if the heat is too great
to render a long walk pleasant, a shot may often be obtained in the
evening by watching a glade where the young grass is springing up after
a forest fire. There must, however, be water in the vicinity, as chital
are rarely found at any great distance from it.

The peculiar call of the chital can be heard for a long distance, and
is a common hunting signal among many jungle tribes. If a chital is
heard repeatedly calling in one spot, it is generally a danger signal,
and means that a tiger or panther is on foot.

Unlike hogdeer, chital often go in large herds, each herd being owned
by one big stag, though there may be many smaller stags in it.

The horns are shed annually but very irregularly, stags without horns,
in the velvet, and with matured horns, being often met with in the
same day. This is attributable to the deer breeding all the year
round instead of having a definite rutting season, the shedding of
horns varying with the age of the stag. This is more noticeable in the
forests along the foot of the Himalayas than in Central India, where,
though still irregular, the bulk of the stags have their horns ripe in
January and shed them about July.

Jerdon was of opinion that there were two species of spotted deer, the
smaller of the two being found in Southern India; but Sterndale quotes
McMaster to the effect that the spotted deer found in Orissa are more
than usually large. As far as the writer has been able to judge, the
stags in Central India have finer heads than those in the Doon and
Terai.

When stalking in forest the sportsman should bear in mind that if he
comes suddenly on game his best chance of avoiding detection is to
stand motionless. If he attempts to crouch the movement will draw
attention at once, whereas if he stands still, and his clothes are of
the right colour, he may very likely be mistaken for the stump of a
tree.


XXV. SWAMP DEER (_Rucervus Duvaucelli_)

_Native names: ‘Gōn,’ ‘Gond,’ ‘Barasingha,’ ‘Maha’; in Central India,
‘Goen’ or ‘Goenjak’ (male); ‘Gaoni’ (female) (Sterndale)_

This deer avoids heavy forest and is nearly always found in the swamps
and open grassy plains near rivers. Colonel Erskine, the Commissioner
of Kumaon, writes of it:

  I have shot numbers of these deer, but all in the swampy Terai
  country in the north of Oudh bordering on Nepal, and in that part
  of the Pilibhit district on the same frontier. I have never heard
  of it much to the west of the Pilibhit district. I should think
  Haldwani, at the foot of the Naini Tal hill, was well beyond the
  western limit of the tracts which it frequents; it is found in
  the swamps and high grass on the edges of the swamps and rivers,
  and on the islands in the rivers, along the forest country at
  the foot of the Himalayas, from the places I have mentioned,
  eastwards as far as Assam and Bhotan, and along the Barhamputra
  river down to the Sunderbands of Bengal. It is also known in the
  Central Provinces near Mundla and along the tributaries of the
  Nerbudda.

Kinloch says that it used to be found on the islands in the Indus, but
is now almost extinct there. By all accounts it seems to prefer the
neighbourhood of Sál forest.

[Illustration: Rucervus Duvaucelli]

The antlers of the swamp deer are peculiar. The beam is rather slender,
the brow antler very long, there is no median tine, and at the top
the head becomes almost palmated. The full-grown stag carries three
antlers on the top, two of which (the outside antlers generally) are
bifurcated equally, as if the antler had been split and bent outwards;
each horn having thus six points, including the brow antler. Colonel
Erskine says that he has never seen a head with more than fourteen
tines, but Jerdon speaks of seventeen. In Schomburgk’s deer (an allied
form found in Siam), all three prongs on the top are bifurcated. The
difference between the two varieties is very noticeable in the British
Museum, where the horns are placed side by side. Sterndale says that
in Schomburgk’s deer the très and royal tines are equal, whilst in the
swamp deer the très tine is longer than the royal.

[Illustration: Rucervus Schomburgkii]

In the high grass of the Terai and Assam, swamp deer are generally
shot off elephants, but in some parts of Central India the ground is
open enough to permit of their being stalked. Forsyth gives a capital
account of the sport he enjoyed while hunting them in the Sál forests
of Central India. Swamp deer are gregarious, and Jerdon quotes from an
article in ‘The Indian Sporting Review’ a case of three large herds
being seen on one plain. The general colour of the beast is a light
yellowish red, paler in the winter than in the summer; the under parts
and below the tail are white. The hinds are lighter coloured than the
stags, and the fawns are spotted. The stags appear to shed their horns
about March or April, as, Forsyth says, they lose the velvet at the
close of the rainy season; he also says that they shed their horns more
regularly than the _Rusinæ_. The following quotation from his charming
book gives an excellent account of their habits:

  This animal has been called in North-Eastern India the ‘swamp
  deer,’ but here (Central India) he is not observed to be
  particularly partial to swampy ground. These deer graze in
  the mornings and evenings in the open valley, chiefly along
  the smaller streams, and by springs where the grass is green,
  and rest during the day about the skirts of the Sál forest. A
  favourite midday resort is in the shade of the clumps of Sál
  dotted about the open plain, at some distance from the heavy
  forest. They are not nearly so nocturnal in habits as the sámbar,
  being often found out grazing late in the forenoon, and again
  early in the afternoon; and I do not think they wander about all
  night like the sámbar. Their midday rest is usually of a few
  hours only, but during that time they conceal themselves in the
  grass much after the manner of the sámbar. I have never heard of
  their visiting cultivated tracts like the latter; nor can I learn
  that their apparent adherence to the Sál forest is due to their
  employing any part of that tree as food.


XXVI. BROW-ANTLERED OR ELD’S DEER (_Rucervus_ vel _Panolia Eldii_)

_Native names_: ‘_Thamin_,’ ‘_Sungrai_’

This variety of swamp deer is found chiefly in Burmah, but extends from
Munipur to the Malay Peninsula. Its habits are, as above noted, the
same as those of the swamp deer, but it is rather differently coloured,
being, according to Sterndale, ‘of a light rufous brown with a few
faint indications of white spots, the under parts and insides of the
ears nearly white, the tail short and black above. It is said to become
darker in winter instead of lighter, as in the swamp deer.’

The horns, however, are very unlike the swamp deer’s. The brow antler
and beam, instead of forming an angle, are in one continuous curve,
like the section of a circle, the burr being small and hardly seen.
In rear of the top of the beam there is a short snag, which Sterndale
calls the royal tine, and on the front of the top of the beam, which is
rather flattened, instead of regular tines like those on a swamp deer’s
head, there is a collection of what look like false points. In a head
in the British Museum the left horn has thirteen of these little snags
and the right fourteen.

[Illustration: Panolia Eldii]

In Upper Burmah, Eld’s deer are scarce, and the only way to obtain
them is to drive for them with beaters. In Lower Burmah they are
occasionally shot by lamplight, much in the same manner as that
described in Colonel Rice’s book; the performance is said to be very
interesting. The party (which usually consists of a lamp-bearer, a
man with an arrangement of jingling bells and rings on a stick, the
sportsman and his gun-carriers) having assembled after dark, a fire is
lit, and a kind of incantation gone through, everyone but the speaker
being forbidden to utter a word. When the incantation is over, each
member of the party passes through the smoke of the fire in turn, the
guns are handed through it also, the lamp is then lit, and the party
starts, using the lamp, an earthenware pot with a hole in its side,
as a search light, while the man with the frame of bells keeps up an
incessant jingling. On a deer being discovered, the light is at once
turned full on its eyes and kept steadily there, the jingling kept
going, with the result that the deer is so dazed that it will often
allow the party to go close up to it before the sportsman fires. Both
Eld’s deer and sambur may be shot in this way, and the writer has been
told that hares, and occasionally deer, will allow themselves to be
approached till they can be speared or knocked on the head with sticks.
This, of course, is not a very high class of sport, but in many of the
coast districts stalking in the jungles is almost impossible.

_Measurements_

  +-----------+------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+-----+-----+
  |           |Height|Total |Weight|Length|Length|Girth |Girth|Girth|Girth|
  |Authority  |  at  |length|  as  |  of  |of    |above |above| of  | of  |
  |           |shoul-|      | shot | horn |brow  |brow  |burr |burr |beam |
  |           |der   |      |      |      |antler|antler|     |     |mid- |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |way  |
  |           +------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+-----+-----+
  |           |                         Remarks                           |
  +-----------+-----------------------------------------------------------+
  |           |                  RUSA ARISTOTELIS                         |
  |           | ins. | ins. | lbs. | ins. | ins. | ins. | ins.| ins.|ins. |
  |Mr. A. O. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  46½ |  ..  |   6⅜ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |  Hume    }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                   |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Dr.       }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  45⅛ |  ..  |   6⅝ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  | Falconer,}|                  ”      ”     ”                           |
  | British  }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  | Museum   }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |‘The      }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  45, |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  11 |  7½ |
  | Field,’  }|      |      |      |  44  |      |      |     |     |     |
  | Dec. 22, }|       Weight of horns, without skull, 20 lbs.             |
  | 1866     }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Sir J.    }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  45  |  ..  |   7⅜ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |  Morris, }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                   |
  |  K.C.S.I.}|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Maj.-Gen. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  45  |  ..  |   7¼ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  | A. Ellis,}|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                   |
  | C.S.I.   }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Sterndale’s|} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  45, |  18¼ |  ..  |   9 |  .. |  7¼ |
  | ‘Mammalia’|}     |      |      |  43  |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |       Has an abnormal snag 9 ins. long on right horn      |
  |           |                 below the très tine                       |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Sterndale’s|} 56  |72 to |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  | ‘Mammalia’|}     |  78  |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |British   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  44½ |  ..  |   7  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Museum    }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Col. W. J.}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  44⅛ |  ..  |   7⅞ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Morris    }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                   |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Major Ward |  53  |  ..  |  ..  |  44  |  ..  |   9  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |           |         ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’                 |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Mr. J. D. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  44  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Inverarity}|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                   |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |The Earl  }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |{R 35}|{R 14½|}  7½ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |of Ducie  }|      |      |      |{L 33}|{L 13 |}     |     |     |     |
  |           |  A peculiar head with abnormal snags at the back of each  |
  |           |  beam. Terminal points: R. 11, L. 12½. Abnormal snags:    |
  |           |      R. 9¼, L. 13. Girth of snags: R. 5½, L. 7½.          |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |The       }|  ..  |  ..  | 717  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Maharahjah}|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |of Kooch  }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Behar,    }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Letter to }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |‘The Asian’|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |C.A.S.W., }|  44  |  ..  | 561  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |‘The      }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Field,’   }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Oct. 25,  }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |1890      }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Sir S.    }|  54  |  ..  |about |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Baker,    }|      |      | 600  |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |‘Wild     }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Beasts and}|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |their     }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Ways’     }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Average of}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  38  |  ..  |   7  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |good head }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |                            AXIS PORCINUS                              |
  |Major Ward}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  21  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |quotes    }|         ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’                 |
  |a head    }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Mr. A. O. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  19¼ |  ..  |   3⅛ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |  Hume    }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                   |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Sir V.    }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  19⅛ |  ..  |   3¼ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Brooke    }|                  ”      ”     ”                           |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Mr. H. C. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  19⅛ |  ..  |   3⅜ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |V. Hunter }|                  ”      ”     ”                           |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Major      |} 27  |  48  |  96  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |FitzHerbert|}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |     ”     |  ..  |  ..  |  96  |  16¾ |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |     ”     |  25¾ |  ..  |  98  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |     ”     |  25½ |  51  |  93  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |     ”     |  25  |  52½ |  96  |  12  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Major     }|  28  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Greenaway }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |     ”     |  24½ |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Sterndale’s|}27 to|50 to |  ..  |15 to |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |‘Mammalia’ |} 28  |  52  |      |  16  |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Average of}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  16  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |good head }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |                              AXIS MACULATUS                           |
  |Forsyth,  }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  38  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |‘Highlands}|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |of Central}|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |India’    }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Mr. A. O. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  37½ |  ..  |   4½ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Hume      }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                   |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |     ”     |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  37⅜ |  ..  |   4  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |           |                  ”      ”     ”                           |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Sir V.    }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  37¼ |  ..  |   4¼ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Brooke    }|                  ”      ”     ”                           |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Gen.      }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  37  |  ..  |   4  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Macintyre }|                      ‘Hindu Koh’                          |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Mr. W. C. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  36¾ |  ..  |   4⅜ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Oswell    }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                   |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Mr. C. H. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  36½ |  ..  |   4½ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Seeley    }|                  ”      ”     ”                           |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |British   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  36  |  ..  |   4¼ |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Museum    }|                  ”      ”     ”                           |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Capt. V.  }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  36  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Couper    }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Major      |} 35¾ |  70¼ |  ..  |  32½ |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |FitzHerbert|}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  | ” (a hind)|  28  |  58  |  86  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Major     }|  37  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |Greenaway }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Sterndale’s|36 to |54 to |  ..  Average   ..  |  ..  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |‘Mammalia’ |  38  |  60  |      |  30  |      |      |     |     |     |
  |           |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  |Average of}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  30  |  ..  |   4  |  .. |  .. | ..  |
  |good head }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |     |     |
  +-----------+------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+-----+-----+

  +-------------+------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+---------+
  |             |Height|Total |Weight|Length|Length|Girth |Girth| Points  |
  |Authority    |  at  |length|  as  |  of  |of    |above |above|         |
  |             |shoul-|      | shot | horn |brow  |brow  |burr |         |
  |             |der   |      |      |      |antler|antler|     |         |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |             +------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+---------+
  |             |                         Remarks                         |
  +-------------+---------------------------------------------------------+
  |             |               RUCERVUS DUVAUCELLI                       |
  |             | ins. | ins. | lbs. | ins. | ins. | ins. | ins.|         |
  |Major C. S. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  41  |   5½ |  ..  |  .. |   6×6   |
  |Cumberland  }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                 |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |   ”   ”     |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  39¼ |   5  |  ..  |  .. |   5×6   |
  |             |                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Sir E. G.   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  37⅜ |   5¼ |  ..  |  .. |   7×6   |
  |Loder, Bart.}|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Col. Erskine |about |  ..  |  ..  |  37  |   7  |  14  |  .. |   7×7   |
  |             |  45  |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Major Ward   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  36½ |   5  |  ..  |  .. |   ..    |
  |             |           ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’             |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Mr. B.      }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  36  |   5  |  ..  |  .. |   6×5   |
  |Hodgson     }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                 |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Sir V. Brooke|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  35⅜ |   4⅞ |  ..  |  .. |   ..    |
  |             |                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Mr. H. C. V.}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  35¼ |   5¾ |  ..  |  .. |   7×6   |
  |Hunter      }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Major C. S. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  34¾ |   5⅝ |  ..  |  .. |   5×5   |
  | Cumberland }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |British     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  34  |   5½ |  ..  |  .. |   5×5   |
  |Museum      }|                    Head No. 694 A.                      |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Major C. S. }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  33½ |   4¾ |  ..  |  .. |   5×5   |
  | Cumberland }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                 |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |   ”   ”     |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  33⅛ |   5½ |  ..  |  .. |   5×5   |
  |             |                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Rowland Ward |  ..  |  ..  |about |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |   ..    |
  |             |      |      | 560  |      |      |      |     |         |
  |             |                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Forsyth      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  33½ |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |   6×6   |
  |             |            ‘Highlands of Central India’                 |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Major       }|  49  |  82  |  ..  |  30  |  ..  |  10⅜ |  .. |   ..    |
  |FitzHerbert }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |   ”   ”     |  47  |  81  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |   ..    |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Sterndale’s }|44 to |  ..  |  ..  |about |  ..  |  ..  |  .. |12 to 14 |
  | ‘Mammalia’ }|  46  |      |      |  36  |      |      |     |         |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Average of  }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  30  |   5  |  ..  |  .. |   6×6   |
  |good head   }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |                         RUCERVUS SCHOMBURGKII                         |
  |British     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  30⅛ |   5  |  ..  |  .. |  10×10  |
  |Museum      }|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                 |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |   ”         |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  29⅞ |   5⅛ |  ..  |  .. |   9×8   |
  |             |                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |   ”         |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  29¾ |   4¾ |  ..  |  .. |  10×11  |
  |             |                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |   ”         |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  28¾ |   5½ |  ..  |  .. |   8×8   |
  |             |                  Head No. 1463 A.                       |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Sir V. Brooke|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  28½ |   5¼ |  ..  |  .. |  11×9   |
  |             |       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                 |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |British     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  27⅞ |   5⅜ |  ..  |  .. |   9×8   |
  |Museum      }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |   ”         |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  27¾ |   4⅜ |  ..  |  .. |   7×8   |
  |             |                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |                             PANOLIA ELDII                             |
  |Sir E. G.   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  39⅝ |   5  |  ..  |  .. |   20    |
  |Loder, Bart.}|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’                 |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |British     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  38⅞ |   6¼ |  ..  |  .. |  16×19  |
  |Museum      }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |   ”         |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  37½ |   5⅜ |  ..  |  .. |   5×5   |
  |             |                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Rowland Ward |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  37  |   6⅛ |  10½ | ..  |   ..    |
  |             |                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Mr. A. O.   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  36⅛ |   5½ |  ..  |  .. |   4×3   |
  |Hume        }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |British     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  35¾ |   5⅜ |  ..  |  .. |   4×5   |
  |Museum      }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Hume        }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  34⅞ |   5½ |  ..  |  .. |   6×6   |
  |Collection, }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |British     }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |Museum      }|      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Mr. A. O.   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  34⅝ |   6⅛ |  ..  |  .. |   5×6   |
  |Hume        }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Hon. W.     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  34⅛ |   5  |  ..  |  .. |   6×6   |
  |Rothschild  }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  |Mr. J. Carr }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  34  |   5⅞ |  ..  |  .. |  10×10  |
  |Saunders    }|                ”      ”     ”                           |
  |             |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |         |
  +-------------+------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+---------+

The horns of Eld’s deer are very difficult to measure in the ordinary
way, owing to the extreme smallness of the burr, the back of the beam
in good specimens touching the skull, and because the brow antler does
not form an angle with the beam, but is simply a prolongation of the
curve of the horn.


XXVII. THE CASHMERE STAG (_Cervus cashmirianus_)--STERNDALE, KINLOCH.
(_Cervus Wallichii_)--JERDON, WARD

_Cashmere: Hangal, Barasingh_

This is the stag _par excellence_ of India. A sambur has a fine
head and so has a swamp deer, but neither approaches in beauty to a
barasingh. A good stag’s head is one of the trophies of the Himalayas,
but unfortunately it is getting scarcer year by year. Sheep and cattle
affect this deer but little, as they keep more or less to the open
downs and glades; but the yearly increasing herds of buffaloes that
come up from the plains to graze in Cashmere during the summer, at
the very time that the stags are growing their horns, are the real
mischief-makers. Buffaloes delight in plunging through dense forest,
and they and their attendants will clear the deer out of any valley.
Unfortunately for the sportsman, buffaloes pay for their feeding
in taxes and produce, while deer do not. The best step as regards
preservation that the Cashmere authorities have taken as yet is the
creation of a Royal Preserve between the Sindh and Liddur rivers, and
if they would only exclude buffaloes from this tract entirely it would
form a real sanctuary, which would immensely improve the shooting
all round. At present, by allowing buffaloes to graze on it, they are
depriving it of half its value.

In spite of all drawbacks stags are still to be got, but in no
quantity. Two good heads in a month’s shooting are as many as any
sportsman can reasonably hope to get, and if one of those measures 40
ins., whether with ten or twelve tines, he is to be congratulated.

The general impression about barasingh seems to be that a full-grown
stag always has twelve points, but this the writer believes to be
entirely erroneous. I have hunted over some of the best ground in
Cashmere on different occasions, and am of opinion that the number
of points usually found in full-grown heads depends entirely upon
the locality. The stags which do not leave the Cashmere Valley, i.e.
harbour on the hills overlooking it, and those that live to the
south-east, often run to twelve and sometimes more points; while the
stags which harbour across the Kishengunga rarely run to more than
ten points. These stags appear to develop ten points very early; the
poorest head the writer ever shot was a 10-pointer. I shot a young stag
with only six points once, under circumstances that gave no opportunity
of previously judging its head, and it had far longer and better
horns than the above-mentioned 10-pointer. Crummle and antelope heads
are also rare. I once shot a very heavy old stag with a most curious
antelope head, the horns having not a tine on them, and being twisted
more like a markhor’s than a stag’s. The old fellow was absolute king
of the valley, too, and not another stag dared answer his challenge.
It was very puzzling at the time. While stalking another stag which
had called once among some thick bushes but would not show, the old
antelope head appeared far up the hill, sauntering leisurely down, and
challenging as he came. Every deer within hearing seemed to hide from
him at once. There was a small 6-point stag with a hind cowering behind
some bushes about two hundred yards to my right, while the deer that he
had originally started after were keeping hidden somewhere to his left,
and the old chieftain was coming straight towards him, singing his
war-song. Over and over again were the glasses laid on him, but nothing
could be made out. The body was that of a royal, but the horns were
short, with no antlers visible. Apparently he was a bad three-year-old.
What did it mean? If he were a big royal the respect shown him by the
other stags was intelligible enough; but why should they be afraid of
a beast like that? Fairly puzzled, I crept back to look for the stag I
had originally come down after, which there was every reason to believe
was a 10-pointer. Not a sign of him could be seen, but while pottering
about in some long grass a pair of straight horns suddenly appeared
within forty yards of me. Confound this brocket! he has walked on top
of me; perhaps he may just miss me! No! he comes straight on and looks
me in the face. Now the brute will drive everything away, so here
goes--and he drops in his tracks. A brocket? Not a bit of it; twenty
years old if he’s a day, and his quaint old head is the pick of the bag.

The general colour of barasingh is much the same as that of red deer,
but is rather greyer, and the white patch on the rump appears a little
larger. Sterndale says it has a white circle round the eyes, but the
writer has never seen anything more distinct of this kind than a ring
slightly paler than the rest of the head.

The horns resemble those of the red deer, with the notable exception
that with barasingh the bez antler appears to be the fighting one, and
is always longer and bigger than the brow antler, while with red deer
the reverse is the case. Sir Victor Brooke says its call is just like
that of a wapiti, and quite different from that of a red stag. ‘In the
former it is a loud squeal, ending in a more guttural tone; in the
latter it is a distinct roar, resembling that of a panther.’ According
to the writer’s experience, the full call is seldom heard till the
rutting season is at its height. When the stags first begin roaring the
call is comparatively short. Ward’s remarks on the subject are well
worth quoting: ‘The noise a stag _can_ make when “roaring” is much
louder than would be imagined, and can be heard at a great distance;
but very often, when the animal is lying down, he only utters a
prolonged moaning sound, which is very deceptive, and unless frequently
repeated, it is difficult to find out the exact direction to follow.’

In the winter nearly all the barasingh are congregated in the Cashmere
Valley, but though the smaller stags come down and are pretty easily
found, the big ones will not leave the high ground, where it is
impossible to follow them (unless they are driven down by an early fall
of snow), until the young grass begins to grow in March, which is the
best month to get heads, though of course the deer are then in poor
condition. Ward writes about winter shooting:

  If it could be done, the plan would be not to decide to enter the
  valley (i.e. Cashmere) until information of a really heavy fall
  in December or early in January had been obtained. The late falls
  of snow do not drive the deer down. The hazel buds are swelling,
  and they can graze on them; the sap is rising in various bushes
  and trees, and the deer can eat the smaller twigs, but an early
  fall forces the animals into the valleys.… In the spring, when
  the snow is melting, is, to my idea, far the best time, and I
  would sooner have from February 20 to March 20 after the stags
  than all the rest of the year. They are then down on the young
  green grass, and are busily devouring the crocuses.

By the end of March all the big stags and most of the smaller ones
have shed their horns, and the deer collect into large herds and begin
moving off to their summer quarters, those in the western corner of the
valley going to the banks of the Kishengunga river. The herds which
strike the river at its nearest point below Gurais cross it, and retire
to the range of hills on the southern border of Astor. Only a very few
stags cross this range, the bulk of the deer remaining on the Cashmere
side. The deer on the northern and eastern sides of the valley retire
to the slopes of Haramook and the high ground south of the range which
separates Cashmere from Dras and Sooroo, but do not appear to cross
it. The farther east one goes from Srinugger the less the deer appear
to migrate, merely retiring to the heads of the valleys. The altitude
of the birch copses just above the limit of the pines is what they
seek, and this they can find close at hand on the north and east of
the valley, but they have to travel some distance to it on the west.
About September 1 the horns should be nearly free from velvet, and as
a delicious wild black currant ripens at the same time, the shikaris
associate the two. Up to September 20 the old stags are either alone or
accompanied by a youngster who acts as fag, and they are not easy to
find; in fact, as a rule, shikaris declare that it is useless trying to
find them. But when the sportsman knows, from seeing tracks, that there
are big stags on the ground, and the heads of the valleys (not the
calling grounds) are the places to look for them, then, by carefully
watching some glen where tracks have been seen, particularly just about
8 A.M. when the sun is getting hot, a stag may often be discovered
as he rises from where he had lain down shortly after sunrise. He is
about to move to a more sheltered spot to spend the day--and it is _so_
satisfactory to have a stag or two to one’s credit before they begin
to call. Unfortunately it is not always possible. Some of the best
valleys during the calling season do not hold stags before that season
begins, as the deer move on to them just then, and very often leave
immediately afterwards. Good local information is absolutely necessary,
and a shikari who does not know every soiling pool, every deer-path, or
likely copse for a stag to lie up in is useless.

[Illustration: ‘A SNAP-SHOT IN THE FOREST’]

The calling season generally begins about September 20, and varies
according to the weather, and also according to the moon. Fine hot
weather and a full moon about the 20th mean that every stag in the
place will be calling freely. Wet cold weather and no moon mean the
reverse, the weather having more effect than the moon. The idea of the
stage of the moon having any effect may be considered fanciful, but if
it is taken into consideration that the stags usually begin calling at
night and almost invariably fight their battles for supremacy then,
it follows that the light of the moon is a decided advantage. A good
set-to between two old barasingh stags would be a grand sight. The
writer once came across a battle-field, but too late to witness the
fight, and the way the turf was ploughed up bore testimony to the
severity of the struggle. The rutting season appears to be initiated by
the hinds; at least I have observed that the short bark of the hinds
is usually heard some days before the roar of the stags, and have seen
a stag come best pace out of the forest in answer to a hind’s call in
the early morning, before a stag’s challenge had been heard on the
ground. It is most amusing to watch a young stag calling, the way he
swaggers before his lady-love, tearing up the turf with feet and horns
as if nothing could drive him from her, till his challenge is answered
by a deeper note, when the youngster curls up at once, flees for his
life to the thickest scrub he can find half a mile away and cowers
among the bushes, while his mate in the most matter-of-fact way at once
attaches herself to his lordly rival, who comes swaggering easily along
the hillside with the sunbeams glancing from the burnished points of
his glorious antlers. A small calling stag should never be disturbed,
as he almost invariably draws out a better beast. Great care, too,
should be taken not to frighten away unattached hinds anywhere near a
calling ground. If left alone they will sooner or later be joined by
stags, though occasionally hinds will run from a stag just as if they
had scented a man. The writer on one occasion was watching a hind and
calf feeding, when they suddenly galloped off, and presently an old
stag came trotting down the hill grunting his displeasure and following
their scent like a hound, till, coming within range, he paid the
penalty. Probably owing to the scarcity of hinds, even the best stags
appear never to be able to collect more than two or three, not counting
calves, which seem always to run with their dams for a year.

Old writers talk of stags calling all day long. This may have been so
years ago; now-a-days they rarely call after 9 A.M., and do not begin
again before 3 P.M. at the earliest. I once heard a grand chorus in
the early morning. Five different stags were calling at the same time,
but as they seemed to be more or less afraid of one another and kept
perpetually on the move, I never got a chance at one of them.

To be successful with stags during the calling season, the sportsman
should be on his ground as soon as it is light. The stags are moving
about all night, and soon after sunrise they retire into the forest,
where, unless they keep on calling, it is almost impossible to find
them. This, of course, refers to the open ground at the top of the
hills. Ward prefers the lower ground in the pine forest, from 8,000
to 9,000 ft. above the sea level, as he says the stags there seem to
settle down into certain spots and remain there for days together. The
writer’s own experience is that the upper ground is best when the stags
first begin calling, as they all seem to collect there, and that later
on, about October 1, when there has often been a slight snowfall on
the top of the hills, and the frost at night is beginning to tell, the
stags should be followed down into the forest. But as different valleys
vary so much, according to whether the deer remain in them during the
winter or are merely passing through, no general rule applies to all.
Hunting the upper ground as long as the stags are on it is undoubtedly
far pleasanter than creeping about in the forest down below, and in
the gloom of the pines the chances are very much against the stalker.
Stags may occasionally be shot by waiting for them at some favourite
soiling or drinking pool, and it is by no means a bad thing to try
if the pool is in thick forest and some distance from other water.
The most likely time to see anything is about 4 P.M., when the deer
begin to draw out. Waiting over salt-licks and water at night is an
abomination, like all other night shooting. As a rule, you do more
harm than good by disturbing the ground, and if you do get a shot and
hit (no certain matter even in the brightest moonlight), unless the
stag is dropped on the spot you run a very great risk of losing him.
Barasingh are very tough beasts, and an ill-placed bullet is not much
use. It is very difficult to know what to do when (as often happens)
the stags will not call till just before dark. If this happens among
the pine forests, any attempt at night shooting is almost sure to end
in failure; and even on the high open ground the chances are so much
against the sportsman that it should only be tried if every other plan
fails. Patient tracking and watching over likely glades for a stag to
draw out on are far more effective in bringing eventual success. The
two main points to be remembered during a stalk are, first, to try and
get a clear chance at about sixty yards, and not creep up too close to
the stag before firing; secondly, to avoid going straight downhill on
to a stag. A stone dislodged, a pheasant or musk deer disturbed, will
be sure to start him off. On the other hand, if the stalker is moving
down sixty or seventy yards to one side, any slight contretemps does
not necessarily spoil his chance of a shot. Every native shikari, if
conducting a stalk, will try to land his master between the beast’s
horns if possible. As soon as he sees a stag, he will begin to try to
point him out, with the result that before his master can get his wind
and take any aim to speak of, the beast is at full gallop down the
hill. The second point never enters into a native’s calculations at
all. Ward says that natives can imitate the call, and draw stags, but
systematic calling as practised in the Tyrol is practically unknown in
Cashmere, and a proficient in the art would undoubtedly have success.
The point to aim at in calling is to pitch your note a little weaker
than the answering stag, so as to give him confidence in accepting the
challenge.

[Illustration: A stalk in the open]

The stags generally cease calling towards the end of October (Ward says
20th), and after that there is little chance of getting sport till the
snow drives them down, or, failing an early fall, till the spring.

Major Ward says a well-shaped 10-point head of 40 ins. should not be
despised, but the majority of heads shot, according to the writer’s
experience, do not average more than 37 ins.; 40 ins. and over being
exceptional heads.


XXVIII. THE SIKKIM STAG (_Cervus affinis_ vel _Wallichi_)

_Native name: ‘Shou.’ Habitat: Eastern Himalayas; Thibet, in the
Choombi Valley, on the Sikkim side of Thibet (Sterndale)_

None of the heads of this variety in the British Museum have more than
ten points. Their colour, according to Jerdon, is a fine clear grey
in winter, with a moderately large disc; pale rufous in summer, quite
different from the rich mouse colour of the barasingh. Hodgson’s
description of the horns is most accurate, the flatness of the brow
antlers is very marked, ‘pedicles elevate; burrs rather small;
two basal antlers, nearly straight, so forward in direction as to
overshadow the face to the end of the nasal; larger than the royal
antlers; median or royal antlers directed forwards and upwards; beam
with a terminal fork, the prongs radiating laterally and equally, the
inner one longest and thinnest.’ There is an enormous head in the
British Museum, the two brow antlers of which bend downwards on each
side. As in the case of the barasingh, the second brow antler, or bez,
is always longer than the first.

As regards the allied maral stag of Persia and Turkestan, Major
Cumberland, in his letters published by ‘Land and Water,’ 1891, writes
that the Turkestan name for the stag is ‘bōghè,’ the hind being called
‘maral.’ This deer resembles the red stag, in that the brow antler is
longer than the bez, and the crown is more of the wapiti type.

Another variety, with horns also of the wapiti type, _Cervus
Eustephanus_, was discovered by Mr. W. Blanford in the Thian Shan
mountains. He describes this variety as also having the brow antler
longer than the bez.


XXIX. MUSK DEER (_Moschus moschiferus_)

_Generally ‘Kastura’; Garwhal and Kumaon, ‘Bena,’ ‘Masaknaba’;
Cashmere, ‘Roos,’ ‘Rous’_

This little deer is found all over the hills above an altitude of 7,000
or 8,000 ft., except in Ladak, though it is said to be plentiful in
Thibet, beyond the frontier of Nepal.

Cover of some sort, bushes or timber, seems necessary for it, and the
want of this is probably the reason it does not extend to Ladak. Except
that district, every shooting ground of the right elevation seems to
hold musk deer; and as, particularly in the autumn, they are excellent
eating, a chance with a light rifle is well worth taking advantage of,
unless in too close proximity to better game. The musk deer has no
horns, but the male has two delicate curved tushes, growing down from
the upper jaw, which are often over three inches in length outside
the gums; these tushes being the only distinguishing mark between the
sexes, it is very hard to tell them apart at a distance.

_Measurements_

  +-----------------+------+------+----+-----+------+------+------+------+
  |Authority        |Height|Length|Tail|Girth|Weight|Length|Girth |Girth,|
  |                 |  at  |nose  |    |  of | as   |  of  |above |beam  |
  |                 |shoul-|to tip|    |body |shot  |horns |brow  |midway|
  |                 | der  |of    |    |     |      |      |antler|      |
  |                 |      |tail  |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  +-----------------+------+------+----+-----+------+------+------+------+
  |                 |               CERVUS CASHMIRIANUS                  |
  |                 | ins. | ins. |ins.|ins. | lbs. | ins. | ins. | ins. |
  |Dr. Leith Adams  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  48  |  ..  |  ..  |A
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Major Ward       |  ..  |  ..  |..  | ..  |  ..  |  47  |  7¾  |  ..  |B
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |    ”            |  49½ |  ..  | .. | ..  | 400  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |C
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Sir E. G. Loder, |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  47  |   6¾ |  ..  |D
  |  Bart.          |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Major Ward       |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  46  |   8  |  ..  |E
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |‘Oriental       }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  46  |  ..  |   7  |F
  | Sporting       }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  | Magazine,’ 1870}|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Sir V. Brooke    |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  45⅝ |   6  |  ..  |G
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Hume Collection,}|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  45⅞ |   8  |  ..  |H
  |British Museum  }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Hon. C. Ellis    |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  43⅞ |   5⅞ |  ..  |I
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |   ”             |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  43⅜ |   6½ |  ..  |J
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Hume Collection,}|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  43¼ |   6½ |  ..  |K
  |  British Museum}|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Dr. Falconer,   }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  43  |   5⅞ |  ..  |L
  |  Brit. Mus.    }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Mr. M. Kennard   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  43  |   5⅞ |  ..  |M
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Gen. Macintyre   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  42  |  ..  |   7¼ |N
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |British Museum   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  42  |   5⅞ |  ..  |O
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Major Greenaway  |  52  |  81  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |P
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |The Writer       |  47  |  85  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |Q
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  36¾ |  ..  |  ..  |R
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  35½ |   5½ |  ..  |S
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Sterndale,      }|48 to |84 to |  5 | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |T
  |  ‘Mammalia’    }|  52  |  90  |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Average of      }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  37  |   6  |  ..  |U
  |  good head     }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |                   CERVUS AFFINIS                   |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  55¾ |   6½ |  ..  |V
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |British Museum   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  55¼ |   8½ |   7¼ |W
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Lord Northbrook  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  55  |   9⅛ |  ..  |X
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Dr. Campbell,   }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  54⅜ |   6⅝ |  ..  |Y
  |British Museum  }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Dr. Jerdon      }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  54  |  ..  |  ..  |Z
  |quotes a head   }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Mr. B. H.       }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  53¾ |   6⅞ |  ..  |a
  |Hodgson,        }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |British Museum  }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Hume Collection,}|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  53¼ |   6⅞ |  ..  |b
  |British Museum  }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Col. Tanner      |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  53  |   9  |  ..  |c
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |British Museum   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  52¼ |  10¼ |   6½ |d
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Rowland Ward     |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  52  |   8  |  ..  |e
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |  ”      ”       |about |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |f
  |                 |  60  |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Sterndale,      }|54 to |about | .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |g
  |  ‘Mammalia’    }|  60  |  96  |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |                   CERVUS MARAL              |      |
  |British Museum   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  48⅝ |   6⅛ |  ..  |h
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |  ”       ”      |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  46½ |   8  |   7½ |i
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Mr. E. Buxton    |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  43½ |  ..  |  ..  |j
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Hume Collection,}|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  40¼ |   5½ |  ..  |k
  |British Museum  }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |   ”       ”     |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  35⅛ |   5½ |  ..  |l
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Major Cumberland |  55  |  ..  | .. | 57½ |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |m
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |               CERVUS EUSTEPHANUS            |      |
  |Mr. Blanford,   }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  51  |10⁹⁄₁₀|  ..  |n
  |‘Scientific     }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Results, Second }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Yarkand Mission’}|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |             RED DEER FROM TYROL, &c.               |
  |Lord            }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  68  |  ..  |  ..  |o
  |Powerscourt,    }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |‘Pro. Zoo. Soc.,}|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |1862’           }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Col. Howard      |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  49¾ |  ..  |   7½ |p
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |H.R.H. Duke of  }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  48½ |  ..  |   6  |q
  |  Edinburgh     }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Lord A. Hay,    }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  48⅛ |  ..  |   7¼ |r
  |  British Museum}|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |St. George      }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  47⅝ |  ..  |   5½ |s
  |  Littledale    }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Col. Howard      |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  47¼ |  ..  |   7½ |t
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Sir V. Brooke    |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  47⅛ |  ..  |   7¼ |u
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |St. George      }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  ..  |  47  |  ..  |   7⅛ |v
  |  Littledale    }|      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |Col. Howard      |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 596  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |w
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 564  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |x
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 544  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |y
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 544  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |z
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 540  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |1
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 540  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |2
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 516  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |3
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 508  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |4
  |                 |      |      |    |     |      |      |      |      |
  |     ”           |  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 500  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |5
  +-----------------+------+------+----+-----+------+------+------+------+

_Measurements (continued)_

   +----------+------+------+------+-----+-------+---------+--------------+
   |Length    |Length|Girth |Length|Splay|Widest | Points  |Remarks       |
   |  brow    |bez   |bez   |median|at   |spread |         |              |
   |    antler|antler|antler|antler|tips |    +--+---+     |              |
   +----+     |      |      |      |     |    |Inside|     |              |
   |Burr|     |      |      |      |     |    | span |     |              |
   +----+-----+------+------+------+-----+----+------+-----+--------------+
   |                        CERVUS CASHMIRIANUS                           |
   |ins.|ins. | ins. | ins. | ins. |ins. |ins.| ins. |ins. |              |
  A| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |{Sterndale,   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{‘Mammalia’   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  B| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 29  | 56 |  ..  | 13  |{‘Sportsman’s |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Guide’       |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  C| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  D| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 21¾ | .. |  36⅜ | 5×5 |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  E| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 32  | 50 |  ..  | 12  |{‘Sportsman’s |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Guide’       |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  F| 10 | 18  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  G| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 25¾ | .. |  36  | 8×8 |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  H| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 35  | .. |  41  | 6×6 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  I| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 15⅞ | .. |  32  | 5×5 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  J| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 25⅜ | .. |  36½ | ..  |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  K| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 18⅛ | .. |  34½ | 5×5 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  L| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  6¼ | .. |  27¾ | 5×5 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  M| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 26⅛ | .. |  37⅞ | 6×5 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  N| 10½| ..  |  ..  |   5½ |  ..  | ..  | .. |  33  | 10  |‘Hindu Koh’   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  O| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 29⅜ | .. |  33½ | 6×5 |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  P| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  Q| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | 10  |{Showing      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{normal       |
  R|  8 | 11¼ |  14½ |  ..  |  ..  | 25  | 35 |  ..  | 10  |{difference   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{between brow |
  S|  8 | 10½ |  15½ |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | 35 |  ..  | 10  |{& bez antlers|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  T| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  U| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | 6×6 |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |                      CERVUS AFFINIS                                  |
  V| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 17¼ | .. |  40⅜ | 7×6 |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  W| 11 | 14  |  19¼ |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | 5×5 |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  X| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | 6×7 |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  Y| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 21⅝ | .. |  37¼ | 5×5 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  Z| .. | ..  |  12  |  ..  |   8  | ..  | 47 |  ..  | ..  |{Sterndale,   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{‘Mammalia’   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  a| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 26⅛ | .. |  44  | 5×5 |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  b| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 30  | .. |  45¾ | 4×5 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  c| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  40  | 5×5 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  d| 10⅛| 12  |  13  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | 5×5 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  e| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  f| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  g| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |                         CERVUS MARAL                                 |
  h| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 38¼ | .. |  40⅞ | 6×5 |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  i| 11¼| 15½ |  14½ |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | 5×5 |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  j| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | 38½|  ..  | 14 {|‘Nineteenth   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |    {|Century,’ 1891|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  k| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 23¾ | .. |  31¾ | 5×5 |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  l| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 19¾ | .. |  26  | 5×5 |  ”      ”    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  m| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | 10  |{‘Land &      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Water,’ 1891 |
   |                    CERVUS EUSTEPHANUS                                |
  n| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |{Girth above  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{burr 10½ ins.|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |                  RED DEER FROM TYROL, &c.             |              |
  o| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | 65 |  ..  | 44  |{From         |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Carpathians? |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  p| 11¼| 18¼ |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | 49¾|  ..  | 14  |{Vienna       |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Exhibition   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  q| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 30  | 41½|  ..  | 5×6 |{(Crimea)     |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  r| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | 12  |{Single horn, |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Asia Minor,  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  s| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 38  | .. |  ..  | 6×5 |{Caucasus,    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  t| 10¾| 15  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | 50 |  ..  | 16  |{Vienna       |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Exhibition   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  u| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 34  | .. |  41⅛ | 8×9 |{Germany,     |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  v| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 36  | .. |  37¾ | 6×7 |{Caucasus,    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Rowland      |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |{Measurements’|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  w| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | .. {|Weight of best|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |    {|stags killed  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |    {|in last 8 or  |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |    {|10 years, from|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |    {|Perechinko    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  x| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |” Munkacs     |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  y| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |” Pomerania   |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  z| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |” Bukowina    |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  1| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |” Munkacs     |
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  2| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |” Sieben Bergen
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  3| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |” East Prussia|
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  4| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |” Lower Austria
   |    |     |      |      |      |     |    |      |     |              |
  5| .. | ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ..  | ..  |” Slavonia    |
   +----+-----+------+------+------+-----+----+------+-----+--------------+

The hair of the musk deer seems always loose, and comes out readily. A
musk deer just grazed by a bullet (by no means an uncommon occurrence
with so small a beast) seems to vanish in a cloud of hair. The male
has an abdominal gland containing more or less musk according to the
season, it being fullest during the rutting season in the winter; this
pod is valuable (a good one is worth Rs. 5 in the jungle), and leads to
the musk deer being so mercilessly snared and hunted by natives that
in many districts they are almost extinct. Pine martens, wild dogs,
leopards, eagles, all seem to prey upon the unhappy musk deer, and if
it were not that they breed far more rapidly than other deer (according
to Hodgson being able to procreate before they are a year old), they
would have no chance of existence at all.

When a musk deer has been killed the pod should be cut off in the
presence of the sportsman, and hung up in his tent to dry; if the
shikari is allowed to meddle with it, he will probably extract the
musk, and fill up the pod with rubbish. Another very common trick is
for the shikari to present his master with the buck’s scrotum, and keep
the pod for himself.

Musk deer are generally found alone or in pairs, and as they keep a
great deal to their particular bit of ground, if one has been seen and
not fired at the sportsman may nearly always rely upon finding it again
near the same place. When startled this deer gives a low hiss, and as
it seldom runs far without stopping to gaze, it generally affords an
easy shot. Musk deer are occasionally a nuisance on barasingh ground,
and the writer once lost a shot by putting up one of them just as he
was getting up to a stag which was calling in the forest.

_Measurements._--Sterndale gives length about 36 ins., height about 22
ins. Major Ward, height about 22 ins., weight from 25 lbs. to 30 lbs.
Colonel Kinloch says it does not stand more than 20 ins., Jerdon 22 or
23 ins.

In Garwhal and Kumaon musk deer appear to be bigger and heavier than in
Cashmere.


XXX. BARKING, OR RIB-FACED DEER

(_Cervulus Aureus_, vel _Muntjac_)

_‘Kakur,’ generally throughout the Himalayas; ‘Ratwa,’ in Nepal and
neighbouring states; ‘Jungli Bukra,’ in Central Provinces; ‘Muntjac,’
Sundanese_

This deerlet is found pretty generally throughout India, Burmah, Ceylon
and the Malay Peninsula, wherever there are fairly high hills covered
with forest. Thick cover and plenty of water seem essential to it.

Kakur are not gregarious; they are generally found in pairs, each pair
seeming to keep pretty much to its own particular ravine or patch of
jungle. They will often live close to villages, and feed on the crops
at the edge of the jungle; they rarely venture far into the open, and
invariably live close to water. Their general colour is a bright golden
bay, with the lower parts white; the tail is rather long, and as the
deer when galloping carries his head low and cocks his tail up, he
forcibly reminds one of an old buck rabbit. The buck has horns about
five inches long, set on bony pedicles about three inches high, which
are covered with longish hair. In good specimens there is a small brow
antler of about one inch in length, and the tips of the horns should be
curved back enough to permit of the head being suspended from a cord
by the hooks. The V-shaped creases on the face, from which it derives
its name of rib-faced, are dark brown, and there is a dark line up the
front of each pedicle. The horns appear to be shed annually. The buck
has a pair of sharp stout tushes in the upper jaw, of which he can
make very good use. Ward laments the loss of a valuable terrier which
was killed by a wounded buck, so that it is advisable to be careful in
handling one. The kakur has a peculiar resonant call, like the hoarse
bark of a dog, which can be heard for a long distance; and as the buck
frequently keeps on barking for some time, it will often betray its
locality to the sportsman--its locality certainly, but not much else.
The stalk is enlivened with song till just the critical moment, when
a glimpse of the performer would be so desirable; then usually comes
a dead silence--possibly the buck is waiting for the applause you so
ungraciously withhold--no sign of the songster, look as you will there
is nothing to be seen but bushes and stems of trees! Suddenly out of
emptiness appears a flash of red surmounted with a brilliant white
scut, and a derisive bark, in answer to your snap-shot, proclaims your
defeat. Moreover, it behoves one to be wary when stalking a barking
kakur; he may very possibly be barking at a panther, or even in some
localities at a tiger, and it is as well to be careful that you do
not entertain--not quite an angel unawares. Jungle warnings, such as
monkeys swearing and the alarm notes of peafowl and deer, should never
be lightly disregarded.

Occasionally kakur make a curious clicking noise, probably, as Kinloch
suggests, with the tongue, which is very long. The writer has watched a
kakur walking quietly down a sandy river-bed, clicking all the way at
intervals; here certainly the hoofs could not have made the noise in
sand. That buck was shot, and as the writer saw another single kakur
several times afterwards not far from the same spot, it has struck him
that the clicking noise might possibly be a low call from one of a pair
to its mate.

In Garwhal the natives occasionally call kakur, using a split ringal
cane, and making a call very similar to that used in the Tyrol for roe
deer; but the writer’s experience of this class of sport is that one
may sit and pipe for a long time before anything comes. Having the
covers driven is also poor fun if there is only one gun, as the deer
will rarely come right, almost always breaking back; and by far the
pleasantest and best way of getting kakur is by strolling through the
forest in the early morning and evening when, if there are any about,
the sportsman is pretty sure to see or hear them.

_Measurements_

  +---------------+------+-------+----+------+------+-----+------+
  |               |Height|Length,|    |Weight|Length|Girth|Length|
  |               | at   | head  |    |  as  | of   | of  |  of  |
  | Authority     |shoul-| and   |Tail| shot | horns|horns| brow |
  |               | der  | body  |    |      |      |     |antler|
  +---------------+------+-------+----+------+------+-----+------+
  |               |                    Remarks                   |
  +---------------+----------------------------------------------+
  |                       CERVULUS AUREUS                        |
  |               | ins. | ins.  |ins.| lbs. | ins. |ins. | ins. |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |Major Ward     |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  8  |  ..  |
  |               |      ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’       |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |    ”          |  27  |  ..   | .. |  40  |   7½ | ..  |  ..  |
  |               |                  ”  ”  ”                     |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |    ”          |  26  |  ..   | .. |  37  |   7½ | ..  |  ..  |
  |               |                  ”  ”  ”                     |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |Capt. H. Brooke|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |   6½ |  3  |  ..  |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |Mr. B. H.     }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |   6½ |  2⅝ |  ..  |
  |Hodgson,      }|      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |British Museum}|       Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’      |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |   6½ |  3  |  ..  |
  |               |                  ”  ”  ”                     |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |British Museum |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |   6⅛ | ..  |   1½ |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |The Writer     |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |   6  | ..  |   1  |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |Major Ward     |  27  |  ..   | .. |  44  |   6  | ..  |  ..  |
  |               |      ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’       |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |    ”          |  26  |  ..   | .. |  42  |   5½ | ..  |  ..  |
  |               |                  ”  ”  ”                     |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |    ”          |  26  |  ..   | .. |  37  |   5½ | ..  |  ..  |
  |               |                  ”  ”  ”                     |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |    ”          |  23  |  ..   | .. |  32  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  |
  |               |               A doe ”  ”  ”                  |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |Major         }|  20  |  34   |  4½|  32  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  |
  |FitzHerbert   }|      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |Col. Kinloch   |about |  ..   | .. |  ..  |about | ..  |  ..  |
  |               |  18  |       |    |      |   5  |     |      |
  |               |           ‘Large Game Shooting’              |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |Sterndale’s   }|26 to | about |  7 |  ..  | 2 to | ..  |  ..  |
  |‘Mammalia’    }|  28  |  40   |    |      |   5  |     |      |
  |               |      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  |Average of    }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |   5  | ..  |   1  |
  |good head     }|      |       |    |      |      |     |      |
  +---------------+------+-------+----+------+------+-----+------+


XXXI. THE LARGE WILD SHEEP OF INDIA

(_Oves Poli, Ammon, &c._)

In Central and Northern Asia there were at one time no fewer than
eight recognised varieties of giant wild sheep, viz. _O. Poli_, _O.
Karelini_, _O. Heinsi_, _O. nigrimontana_, _O. Ammon_, _O. Hodgsonii_,
_O. Brookei_, _O. nivicola_.

Mr. W. T. Blanford, however, after inspecting a magnificent collection
of heads, made by Hon. C. Ellis, which exhibit every gradation of curve
between the two extreme types, declared in his paper to the Zoological
Society in 1884 that he considered _O. Poli_ and _O. Karelini_ to be
practically the same species, and the formidable list may be further
reduced from a sportsman’s view by massing the varieties into three
broad types, viz:

1. _O. Poli_ with its little known varieties, _O. Heinsi_, and _O.
nigrimontana_; for though these appear to differ somewhat in size (_O.
nigrimontana_ being a comparatively small animal), their horns are of
the same wide-spreading type.

2. _O. Ammon_, _O. Hodgsonii_ and _O. Brookei_; the difference between
the first two is very trifling, and _O. Brookei_ is considered by some
authorities to be possibly a hybrid between _O. Hodgsonii_ and _O.
Vignei_ (Shapoo).

3. _O. nivicola_, which more nearly resembles _O. montana_ (the Bighorn
of the Rocky Mountains).

The first type is found, according to M. Severtzoff, only in Turkestan,
from the Pamir through the Thian Shan range as far eastwards as Tengri
Khan; its varieties being located as follows: _O. Heinsi_ in the
Tockmack district west of Tengri Khan; _O. nigrimontana_ in Karatan,
near Samarcand.

The second type is not found in Turkestan. Its range is the Altai from
Tengri Khan as far eastward as the sea of Baikal, and then southwards
by the sources of the Hoang-ho and Yang-se-kiang rivers down to Ladak
and the southern frontier of Thibet.

The third type is found in Kamtchatka.

[Illustration: No. 1, extreme type, Ovis Poli]

[Illustration: No. 2, intermediate type]

[Illustration: No. 3, extreme type, Ovis Karelini]

In colour all these sheep are much the same; generally a rather rich
greyish brown fading to greyish white towards the tail and belly,
with, in the ram, a greyish white ruff on the neck. This is the chief
distinguishing mark of a ram _Ovis Ammon_ at a distance, the ewe
having a brown neck; in fact, the ram looks as if his thoughtful
spouse had insisted on his wearing a white comforter for fear of
catching cold. The horns of the ram, large as they are, are of such a
pale colour as to be hardly distinguishable in certain lights at long
distances. The _Ovis Poli_ appears to have little or no ruff, but has a
dark line down the back, which the _Ovis Ammon_ has not, and has also a
more clearly defined white anal disc.

[Illustration: Ovis Ammon]

[Illustration: Ovis Nivicola]

_Measurements_

  +--------------+------+------+----------+----------+-----+--------------+
  |Authority     |Height|Length|Weight    |Girth     |Skull|Remarks       |
  |              |at    |nose  |   +------+ at +-----+     |              |
  |              |shoul-|to tip|   |Length|base|Span |     |              |
  |              |der   |of    |   |of    |    |bet- |     |              |
  |              |      |tail  |   |horns |    |ween |     |              |
  |              |      |      |   |      |    |tips |     |              |
  +--------------+------+------+---+------+----+-----+-----+--------------+
  |              |                    OVIS AMMON                          |
  |              | ins. | ins. |lbs.|ins. |ins.|ins. |ins. |              |
  |Proc. Zoo.   }|  43  |  ..  | .. | 49  | 18½| 32  | 12  |From Siberia? |
  |  Soc., 1875 }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |   ”   ”      |  46  |  ..  | .. | 48½ | 19 | 31  |     |      ”       |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |British Museum|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 48  | 18¾| ..  | ..  |{Specimen, No.|
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{45-4-21-9.   |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{From Siberia |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Mr. O. Shaw   |  ..  |      |    | 47  | .. | ..  | ..  |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 46½ | 19¾| 20  | ..  |{Rowland Ward,|
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Measurements’|
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Sir V. Brooke |  ..  |  ..  | .. | 45½ | 17½| 24  | 14  |{ Proc. Zoo.  |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{ Soc., 1875  |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |H.R.H. Duke  }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 45½ | 16½|about| ..  |{Rowland      |
  |  of Teck    }|      |      |    |     |    | 17  |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Measurements’|
  |Major Ward   }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |(‘Sportsman’s}|  46  |  ..  |250 | ..  | .. | ..  | ..  |              |
  |Guide to     }|  to  |      |to  |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Ladak and    }|  48  |      |280 |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Cashmere’)   }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |  ”      ”    |      |  ..  | .. | 45  | 20 | ..  | ..  |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Proc. Zoo.   }|  44½ |  ..  |    | 45  | 19½| ..  | ..  |              |
  |  Soc., 1875 }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Col. Howard  }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 44  | 18 | ..  | ..  |              |
  |  Brooke     }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Mr. H. C. V. }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 43½ | 16⅝|loose| ..  |{Rowland      |
  |  Hunter     }|      |      |    |     |    |horns|     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Measurements’|
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |British Museum|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 43  | 16¾| ..  | ..  |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Major        }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42½ | 17 | ..  |     |              |
  |  Greenaway  }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42½ | 16½| 19  | ..  |{Rowland      |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Measurements’|
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Hume         }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42½ | 16 |about| ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |Collection,  }|      |      |    |     |    | 18  |     |              |
  |British      }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Museum       }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Rowland Ward  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42½ | 16 | 18  |     |    ”    ”    |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Mr. J. Carr  }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42½?| 15¼| ..  | ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Saunders   }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |H. R. H. Duke}|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42⅝ | 16¼| 20  | ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |of Edinburgh }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Hume         }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42⅛ | 16¾| 14¼ | ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |Collection,  }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |British      }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Museum       }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42⅛ | 16½| 18  | ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Capt.        }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42  | 18 | ..  | ..  |              |
  |  Ballantyne }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Sir V. Brooke |  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42  | 17⅜| 17½ | 15  |{Proc. Zoo.   |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Soc., 1875   |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Hume         }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42  | 16¾|about| ..  |{Rowland      |
  |Collection,  }|      |      |    |     |    | 17¼ |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |British      }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Measurements’|
  |Museum       }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |British Museum|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 42  | 14 | ..  | ..  |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Hon. Walter  }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 41⅞ | 16 | ..  | ..  |{Rowland      |
  |  Rothschild }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Measurements’|
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |British Museum|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 41½ | 16¾| ..  | ..  |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 41¼ | 17½| 16  | ..  |{Rowland      |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Measurements’|
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Major Ward   }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 41  | 18½| ..  | ..  |              |
  |(‘Sportsman’s}|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Guide to     }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Ladak, &c.’) }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |The Writer    |  44  |  ..  | .. | 41  | 17 | ..  | ..  |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |St. George   }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 40½?| 14½|about|     |{Rowland      |
  |  Littledale }|      |      |    |     |    | 26¼ |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |  (British   }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Measurements’|
  |  Museum)    }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Hon. C. Ellis |  ..  |  ..  | .. | 40⅜ | 17⅝| 20⅜ | ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Hume         }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 40¼ | 17¼| 20  | ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |Collection,  }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |British      }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Museum       }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Col. Kinloch }|  48  |  ..  | .. | 40  | 17 | ..  | ..  |              |
  |(‘Large Game }|  to  |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Shooting’)   }|  49  |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Hume         }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | 40  | 16¾| 19½ | ..  |{Rowland      |
  |Collection,  }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |British      }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Measurements’|
  |Museum       }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |  ”     ”     |  ..  |  ..  | .. | 40  | 16 | 18½ | ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Major        }|  45  |  76  |212 | 36  | 15½| ..  | ..  |{Weighed in   |
  |  Greenaway  }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{pieces.      |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{Estimated 240|
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{lbs. as shot |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Gen.         }|  ..  |  ..  |350 |about| 18 | ..  | ..  |{Cleaned,     |
  |Macintyre    }|      |      |    | 40  |    |     |     |{including    |
  |(‘Hindu Koh’)}|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |{head         |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Sterndale     |  40  |  ..  | .. | ..  | .. | ..  | ..  |              |
  |              |  to  |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |  48  |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Mr. K.       }|  48  |  ..  | .. | ..  | .. | ..  | ..  |              |
  |Mackenzie    }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |  ”     ”     |  49  |  ..  | .. | ..  | .. | ..  | ..  |              |
  |              |      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |Jerdon       }|  ..  |  ..  | .. | ..  | 24 | ..  | ..  |              |
  |  quoting    }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |  Colonel    }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  |  Markham    }|      |      |    |     |    |     |     |              |
  +--------------+------+------+----+-----+----+-----+-----+--------------+

_Measurements (continued)_

  +--------------+--------+------+----+------+-----+-------+-----+-----+
  |Authority     |Height  |Length|Tail|Length|Girth|Span   |Skull|Girth|
  |              |at      |nose  |    |of    |at   |between|     |of   |
  |              |shoulder|to tip|    |horns |base |tips   |     |chest|
  |              |        |of    |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |        |tail  |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              +--------+------+----+------+-----+-------+-----+-----+
  |              |                       Remarks                       |
  +--------------+-----------------------------------------------------+
  |                                  OVIS POLI                         |
  |              |  ins.  | ins. |ins.| ins. |ins. | ins.  |ins. |ins. |
  |Gen. Lord    }|   ..   |  ..  | .. |  75  | 16  |  54½  | ..  | ..  |
  |  Roberts    }|          ‘Smoothbore,’ letter to the ‘Asian,’       |
  |              |                   November 13, 1891                 |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Mr. Hume      |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  75  | 14  |  48   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |                        ”     ”                      |
  |Col. Tanner   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  73  | 15  |  48   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |          Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’          |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Sterndale,    |}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  73  | 14  |  48   | ..  | ..  |
  |  ‘Mammalia’  |}               (Possibly the same head)             |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Mr. L. Flower |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  68½ | 15  |  35¾  | ..  | ..  |
  |              |          Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’          |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Col. R. Pole  |}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  68  | 17  |  43   | ..  | ..  |
  |  Carew       |}                       ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Indian Museum,|}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  68  | 16  |  52   | ..  | ..  |
  |the ‘Asian,’  |}                       ”     ”                      |
  |November 13,  |}       |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |1891          |}       |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Col. R. Pole  |}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  67  | 16½ |  42   | ..  | ..  |
  |  Carew       |}                       ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Sterndale,    |}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  67  | 16  |  53   | ..  | ..  |
  |  ‘Mammalia’  |}                       ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Sir E. G.     |}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  66⅞ | 15⅝ |  46   | ..  | ..  |
  |  Loder, Bart.|}         Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’          |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume|   ..   |  ..  | .. |  66⅞ | 13⅞ |  ..   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |                        ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Hume          |}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  66  | 15¼ |  44   | ..  | ..  |
  |  Collection, |}       |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |  British     |}                       ”     ”                      |
  |  Museum      |}       |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  65⅞ | 16  |  48   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |                        ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Col. T. E.    |}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  65½ | 16  |  53   | ..  | ..  |
  |  Gordon,     |}                       ”     ”                      |
  |  Brit. Mus.  |}       |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume|   ..   |  ..  | .. |  65⅜ | 16¼ |  ..   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |                        ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Capt. Blane   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  65  | 16½ |  49½  | ..  | ..  |
  |              |                        ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |St. George    |}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  65  | ..  |  ..   | ..  | ..  |
  |  Littledale  |}                       ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Rowland Ward  |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  65  | ..  |  ..   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |                        ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Hon. C. Ellis,|}  ..   |  ..  | .. |  58  | ..  |  51   | ..  | ..  |
  |  quoted Proc.|}       |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |  Zoo. Soc.,  |}       |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |  1884        |}       |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  58  | 15½ |  50½  | ..  | ..  |
  |              |          No. 1.--Extreme type (_O. Poli_)           |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  57½ | ..  |  47   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  62  | ..  |  47½  | ..  | ..  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  63½ | ..  |  48   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  61½ | ..  |  46½  | ..  | ..  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  59½ | ..  |  43¾  | ..  | ..  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  61  | ..  |  43   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  55  | 17  |  37   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |              No. 2.--Intermediate type              |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  60½ |     |  39½  | ..  | ..  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  63½ | 16  |  39   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |        No. 3.--Extreme type (_O. Karelini_)         |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |M. Severtzoff |   46   |  79  | .. |  57  | ..  |  42   | 14  | ..  |
  |              |              Proc. Zoo. Soc., 1875                  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  | ”     ”      |   42.6 |  71  | .. |  44  | ..  |  32   | 13.3| ..  |
  |              |                ”    ” (_O. Karelini_)               |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Major Biddulph|   41   |  67  |  3½|  48  | 14  |  ..   | 11  | 49½ |
  |              |                 Yarkand Mission                     |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |                      OVIS HEINSI                    |
  |M. Severtzoff |   ..   |  ..  | .. | 33.2 | ..  | 31.4  | 11.4| ..  |
  |              |              Proc. Zoo. Soc., 1875                  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |                    OVIS NIGRIMONTANA                |
  |M. Severtzoff |   34   |  57  | .. |  38  | ..  | 29.6  | 10.8| ..  |
  |              |                        ”     ”                      |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |                     OVIS NIVICOLA                   |
  |Dr.          }|   40   |  66  | .. |  38  | 13½ |  26   |  9¾ | 54  |
  |Guillemard,  }|        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |‘The         }|        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Cruise of    }|        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |the Marchesa’}|        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   41   |  65  | .. |  35½ | 14  |  26½  | 10¾ | ..  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   39   |  67  | .. |  35  | 13¼ |  25½  | ..  | 55  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   39½  |  64  | .. |  35  | 13¾ |  21   | 10½ | 54  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   37   |  64  | .. |  34¾ | 14½ |  25   | 10½ | 55  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |British Museum|   ..   |  ..  | .. |  34½ | 11⅞ |  17¾  | ..  | ..  |
  |              |          Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’          |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |M. Severtzoff |   37   |  ..  | .. |  33  | 12¾ |  ..   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |              Proc. Zoo. Soc., 1875                  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Sir E. G.    }|   ..   |  ..  | .. |  32¾ | 13½ |  23   | ..  | ..  |
  |Loder, Bart. }|          Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’          |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Dr.          }|   ..   |  ..  | .. |  32½ | 13¾ |  22½  | ..  | ..  |
  |Guillemard,  }|        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |‘The         }|        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |Cruise of    }|        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |the Marchesa’}|        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |    ”     ”   |   ..   |  ..  | .. |  32¼ | 14  |  21   | ..  | ..  |
  |              |        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  |              |                        OVIS BROOKEI                 |
  |Sterndale’s  }|   ..   |  ..  | .. |  33½ | 13⅜ |  ..   | 11  | ..  |
  |‘Mammalia’   }|        |      |    |      |     |       |     |     |
  +--------------+--------+------+----+------+-----+-------+-----+-----+

Old rams of the _Ovis Ammon_ are by no means easy to bring to bag. The
bare open downs they live on afford little or no cover for a stalk;
the wind in Ladak, piercingly cold as it is, seems to take a delight
in blowing from all points of the compass in turn, especially if there
are any clouds about; the rams themselves are particularly wary and
keen-scented, and the least suspicion of danger will set them marching
steadily across country for miles without stopping. In the summer,
like most hill animals, the old rams leave the ewes and young ones and
form small flocks by themselves, selecting favourite valleys to which
they repair year after year, and being rarely found on the same ground
as the ewes at that season, i.e. after the middle of June. I have,
however, seen a flock of five rams and ten ewes together as late as
June 11 and secured a big ram out of it. Ward’s remarks about hunting
_Ovis Ammon_ are worth quoting:

  Stalking in Ladak is very often a matter of time. Many of us
  will march for a month to get on to _Ovis Ammon_ ground, and yet
  will not consent to wait a few days after the game is sighted.
  Naturally, in a country where the hills are devoid of cover,
  the game is often seen on spots where it is useless trying to
  approach it; but, if watched for a few hours, it is almost
  certain to graze its way into a more favourable position. Avoid
  going after game on gusty and cloudy days, and exercise patience,
  remembering that you have probably marched some hundreds of miles
  to obtain a few shots, and one or two days’ more or less work can
  make but little difference.

Even supposing the sportsman to have everything in his favour, wind,
cover, and the rest, there are pretty sure to be some kyang about, and
these once disturbed, good-bye to the oves. The writer had once been
watching two fine old rams from early morning till 2 P.M. before the
wind would let him attempt the stalk; he had got within a quarter of
a mile of the rams with absolutely nothing to do but walk straight on
up to them, when suddenly a brute of a kyang jumped up from behind a
rock where he had been lying hid, galloped straight up the valley past
the oves, found seven devils worse than himself, brought them all back
to show them the quaint manners of an infuriated man with a gun, and
concluded the entertainment by galloping round and round him out of
shot. The oves naturally took the hint, and not caring for an asinine
circus, simply marched off to the next county.

Large bags of ram oves are consequently seldom made. Mr. O. Shaw got
nine in 1877, including one of 47 ins.; the rest of the bag was, one
bull yak, eight or ten burrel, one of 27 ins., eleven Thibetan antelope
and one shapoo; this was an exceptional bag by an exceptionally hard
working sportsman.

The native names for _O. Poli_ are ‘Rass,’ ‘Roosh,’ ‘Goolga’ (the
male), and for _O. Ammon_ ‘Nyan.’


XXXII. BURREL (_Ovis Nahura_ vel _Burhel_)

_Native names: ‘Baral,’ ‘Barut’; in Ladak ‘Napo’ the male, ‘Namoo’ the
female; Zanskar, ‘Snapo,’ ‘Snamoo’; on the Sutlej ‘Wa’_

Sterndale appears to have fallen into a curious mistake about this
sheep. He says: ‘The name _Ovis Nahura_ is not a felicitous one, as it
was given under a mistake by Hodgson, the nahoor being quite another
animal. I think Blyth’s name of _Ovis Burhel_ should be adopted.’ On
reference, however, to Blyth’s account in the ‘Proceedings Zoo. Soc.
1840,’ it will be found that he calls the animal generally known as
burrel the ‘nahoor,’ and says of _Ovis Burhel_, ‘It is smaller and more
robust than the nahoor, with shorter ears and very dark horns, having
no white about it; and general colour dark and rich chestnut brown,
with the ordinary black markings upon face, chest, and front of limbs
very distinct.’ The specimen came from the Boorendo Pass, but as no
more specimens have been obtained from that locality or elsewhere, it
appears to be quite possible that Blyth was misled by a native-cured
skin. Discoloration by curing is common.

The burrel has a very extended range, reaching from Ladak on the west
(it apparently does not extend into Baltistan) to East Thibet, as
Père David found it in Moupin. Its southern limit is the line of the
Himalayas; it extends up north to the Kuenluen ranges, and was obtained
by Prejevalski on the Altyn-Tagh. It seems to require an altitude of at
least 10,000 ft., and many of the shooting grounds are quite 17,000
ft. above the sea-level.

Its general colour is a light slaty grey. The ram has black marks on
the chest, side, and legs, and these are the points to look for in a
distant flock to distinguish the sex; the ram’s horns being of a very
pale colour, are often hardly distinguishable.

The old rams in the summer generally live apart from the ewes, and on
some grounds, notably about Chumatung on the Indus, the rams seem to
take themselves off to separate valleys; usually they keep to another
part of the same valley, and occasionally intermix.

Burrel are quite the hardest animals to see on a hillside unless they
are moving; their colour so exactly matches the blue shale of Ladak,
that when they are lying down a flock may be easily overlooked by even
a careful man with glasses. Being pretty plentiful where they are found
at all, and as a rule, where not much shot at, fairly easy to approach,
a visitor to Ladak, if he works at all, must indeed have been behind
the door when the luck was served out if he cannot get a few burrel
heads. Ordinarily they are found on fairly broken ground, and usually
not very far away from rocky cliffs of some sort; they are capital
climbers, no sheep better, and a wounded ram is by no means an easy
beast to recover. If a burrel had only the horns of an ibex he would be
the most charming beast to hunt in the whole of the Himalayas. An old
ibex when he is shot stinks appallingly, and is practically uneatable.
A burrel on the other hand, no matter how old a ram he may be, is
always excellent; his head, pretty trophy as it is, is his weak point.
The writer has seen burrel and ibex on the same ground, though never
actually feeding together; a friend in 1866 saw burrel and ther feeding
together between Joshimath and the Niti Pass, and General Macintyre
also notices this on the same ground.

As with ibex, several shots can generally be obtained at a flock of
burrel before they get out of range, provided the stalker keeps hidden;
but he should take pains to stop his cripples, if he does not want
a stiffish task set him afterwards in recovering them. Major Ward
recommends using Baltistan dogs, and if procurable, good dogs no doubt
would be invaluable; but the mere fact of having dogs out, unless
they are exceptionally good and led by a native of more than ordinary
intelligence, generally so multiplies the chances against a successful
stalk that one is better without them. English dogs, he says, are
useless among rocks and cannot stand the rarefied air.

I remember having a capital day with burrel. I sighted a flock of eight
good rams in the morning, but could not attempt to close with them till
the afternoon on account of four kyang who persistently kept in the
way. At last the kyang fed away, and after a longish détour the burrel,
who were lying down, were approached by my sliding down the hillside
on my back. Having got within fifty yards of one whose horns were just
visible, the expedient of shuffling among the loose stones with the
hand was tried to get him to stand up, but this only brought the tips
of an ear in sight by the base of the horn. Another shuffle and the ram
stood up, but only showed about a couple of inches of the top of his
shoulder. Foolishly firing at this instead of at his neck, the shot
missed, the whole flock bolted at once, and a running shot with the
left barrel also missed. Reloading at once, the chase was carried on
down the hillside, and the burrel were again found, standing looking
at their pursuer about a hundred and fifty yards off. Picking out the
biggest ram, a shot from the shoulder rolled him over, but a snap-shot
at the hind-quarters of another disappearing down the hill missed.
Another run of about three hundred yards afforded another chance, as
when within one hundred and eighty yards of the flock it again halted,
and a second ram fell to the shot. The rest went about three hundred
yards and stood again. I still followed, and at two hundred and fifty
yards broke the forearm of a third ram close to the body. By this time
rest was the first necessity, but after a short pause the wounded ram
was followed up and bagged with another shot. The first was ten years
old, horns 25½ ins. by 14 ins. thick; second eight years, 23 ins. by 12
ins.; third eight years, 22 ins. by 10½ ins. Bad shooting but good fun.

Amongst other varieties of burrel are the Barbary burrel (_Ammotragus
Tragelaphus_), of which there is a skeleton in the British Museum which
stands 33½ ins. at the shoulder, and a pair of horns measuring 26
ins. in length by 11 ins. in girth; also the Caucasian burrel (_Capra
Pallasi_), of which there is a specimen in the same museum, whose horns
are 29 ins. long by 12 ins. in girth; but the animal looks more like a
goat than a sheep, having a rudimentary beard, and the horns are more
like those of _Capra pyrenaica_ than _Ovis Nahura_.


XXXIII. SHAPOO (_Ovis Vignei_)

_Native names: ‘Shapoo’ the male, ‘Shamoo’ the female; in Astor,
‘Oorin’_

Shapoo and oorin, though by some naturalists classed as separate
varieties, may practically be considered identical; the writer has
hunted both, and is unable to distinguish any difference in appearance
or habits. The annual winter migration of oorin to the Boonji Plain is
probably attributable to the snowfall in Astor being heavier than that
of Ladak.

The only other difference (giving the result of individual experience)
is that oorin are not nearly so restless as shapoo, being pretty
regular in their feeding hours, and lying down throughout the heat of
the day. Shapoo, on the other hand, are perpetually on the fidget. In
colour they appear identical, generally a pale reddish grey fading
into white below. The profuse black beard of the _Ovis cycloceros_ is
entirely absent, the shapoo in his winter coat having only a short
stubbly brown beard, and in summer a dark line on the throat. The
different points of _Ovis Vignei_ and _Ovis Cycloceros_ are briefly as
follows, according to Mr. Sclater (‘Pro. Zoo. Soc.’ 1860):

  _Ovis Vignei_                         _Ovis cycloceros_

  Horn rather compressed laterally.      Much compressed laterally.
  Rounded posteriorly.                   Much compressed posteriorly.
  Curving outward and backward.          Curving outward and inward.
  Points divergent.                      Points convergent.
  General colour, brownish grey.         General colour, rufous brown,
                                           with blotch on flanks, and
                                           lateral line blackish.
  Beard short, of stiffish brown hairs.  Beard profuse, reaching to
                                           knees, black intermixed with
                                           white hairs.

The two varieties are much of the same size, but are entirely different
in colour and habits. The horns of the shapoo are generally more
massive than those of _Ovis cycloceros_, but the horns of both so
vary in type and so closely resemble those of _Ovis Gmelini_ from
Asia Minor, that it is almost impossible, except for a highly trained
scientific eye, to decide from this point alone to which of the three
varieties a specimen belongs. Shapoo seem only to be found in the
valley of the Indus, from a few miles above Leh down to the junction
of the Astor river. How far below that they extend the inhabitants
of Chilas only know, and they are not famed for hospitality or for
communicating their knowledge. There appears to be a gap in the
continuity of the species about Shigar and Rondu, which separates the
shapoo from the oorin. The writer has never heard of shapoo being
obtained there, and it would be interesting to know how far below Leh
they are found. Shapoo seem to be very fond of wild thyme, which almost
invariably grows plentifully on the ground they frequent. The venison
is inferior to that of either _Ovis Ammon_ or burrel.

The ram shapoo is a very game-looking beast, and the horns, standing
well out from his head, show off to great advantage; but there is
not an animal in the whole of the Himalayas so vexatious to hunt.
Markhor are bad enough in all conscience, but even markhor are less
heartbreaking to deal with than shapoo.

The writer once met a real typical shapoo, a true son of Belial. The
beast started out of a ravine, galloped as hard as he could lay legs
to the ground for four hundred yards, and then calmly lay down to
think. After about a quarter of an hour he rose, strolled leisurely
over a ridge, and then cantered off to some rocks about three-quarters
of a mile away, where he lay down again. This necessitated a climb to
the top of the hill, whence, wind and cover being perfect, the stalk
would be easy enough. He remained there just long enough to enable the
pursuer to begin the easy part of the stalk, when up he got, cantered
gracefully back across the valley, and lay down on the opposite hill,
in another very tempting position. This move entailed a détour, so as
to cross the valley out of sight, and another climb up the far hill;
half an hour was spent in reaching the desired spot: but though from
there a magnificent view could be had of all the country round, there
was not a sign of the shapoo, and the ground was too dry to show his
tracks. Verily, shapoo are only shot when they give themselves away.

Shapoo are very tough beasts. The writer once regularly raked a ram
galloping straight from him at thirty yards; the bullet, from a .500
Express, caught him on the rump, and the base of it was afterwards cut
out in front of the liver; yet the ram ran some two hundred and fifty
yards, stopped for about a minute to look round, and then started off
again at a gallop, but after going a hundred yards fell over dead. The
writer remembers no other instance of an animal stopping to gaze in its
death gallop.


XXXIV. OORIAL (_Ovis cycloceros_)

_Generally ‘Oorial,’ ‘Kuch,’ in the Suleiman range_

This sheep is found in the Salt range near Jhelum, and wherever there
are any suitable hills on both banks of the Indus from about Peshawur
down to Beloochistan, where it is replaced by the next variety, _Ovis
Blanfordi_. The ram has a long ruff of grizzled black hair which,
flowing from his throat and chest down to his knees, emulates the grand
beard of a markhor; this beard drops off in the summer, but begins
growing again in August, and is at its full length during the rutting
season late in September, which is about the best time for procuring
good heads.

_Measurements_

  +-------------------+------+-------+-------+------+-----+------+
  |                   |Height|Length,|       |Length|Girth|Splay |
  |     Authority     |at    |nose   |Weight |of    |at   |bet-  |
  |                   |shoul-|to tip |       |horns |base |ween  |
  |                   |der   |of tail|       |      |     |tips  |
  +-------------------+------+-------+-------+------+-----+------+
  |                   |                 Remarks                  |
  +-------------------+------------------------------------------+
  |                               OVIS NAHURA                    |
  |                   | ins. | ins.  | lbs.  | ins. | ins.| ins. |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Mr. B. H. Hodgson,}|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  32  | ..  |  ..  |
  |  ‘Proc. Zoo.     }|      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |  Soc., 1840’     }|     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’    |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume     |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  30⅞ | 12¼ |  21⅞ |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |       ”           |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  30  | 12¼ |  22½ |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |H.R.H. Duke of    }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  29½ | 11⅝ |  25½ |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |  Edinburgh       }|      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Major Ward         |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  29  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |      ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’   |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Hume Collection,  }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  28  | 11  |  20¼ |
  |  British Museum  }|     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’    |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Captain G. Campbell|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  27¾ | 10¼ |  10  |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Mr. St. George    }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  27¼ | 11  |  21¼ |
  |  Littledale, 1877}|                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Major Ward         |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  27  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |      ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’   |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |      ”            |  ..  |  ..   | 150   |  ..  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |      ”            |  ..  |  ..   | 119   | ..   | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Mr. O. Shaw        |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  27  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |                ‘Hindu-Koh’               |
  |Gen. Macintyre     |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  27  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Major Greenaway    |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  26½ | 12½ |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |      ”            |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  26½ | 10  |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |      ”            |  ..  |  ..   |  97   |  ..  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |cleaned|      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Sir V. Brooke      |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  26¼ | 11⅞ |  23  |
  |                   |     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’    |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Hon. W. Rothschild |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  26¼ | 12  |  21¼ |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Sir E. G. Loder,  }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  26¼ | 10¾ |  22  |
  |  Bart.           }|                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Hume Collection,  }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  26⅛ | 12⅜ |  25  |
  |  British Museum  }|                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Mr. Rowland Ward   |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  26  | 12  |  20½ |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Col. Kinloch       |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  25½ | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |           ‘Large Game Shooting’          |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |The Writer, June  }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  25½ | 14  |  ..  |
  |  24, 1875        }|      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |    ”       ”      |  34  |  ..   |  ..   |  21  | 11  |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Sterndale,        }| {30} | {54}  |  ..   | {24} |{12} |  ..  |
  |  ‘Mammalia’      }| {to} | {to}  |       | {to} |{to} |      |
  |                   | {36} | {60}  |       | {30} |{13} |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Average (according}|  33  |  52   | 130   |  22  | 11  |  ..  |
  |  to Major Ward)  }|      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |  seems fair      }|      ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’   |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                                     OVIS VIGNEI              |
  |Mr. J. Carr       }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  38⅝ | 12¼ |  11¼ |
  |  Saunders        }|     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’    |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume     |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  37½ | 10¼ |  11  |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |    ”     ”        |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  36⅜ |  9⅛ |about |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |  17  |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |    ”     ”        |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  36¼ | 11¼ |  ..  |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Major Ward         |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  36¼ | 11¾ |  ..  |
  |                   |      ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’   |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Dr. J. Aitchison, }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  35½ | 10½ |  16  |
  |  British Museum  }|     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’    |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Mr. J. Carr       }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  34  | 10  |  ..  |
  |  Saunders        }|      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Major Ward         |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  34  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |      ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’   |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume     |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  33⅝ |  9⅛ |  ..  |
  |                   |     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’    |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Sir E. G. Loder,  }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  33⅛ | 11½ |  10⅝ |
  |  Bart.           }|                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Major Ward         |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  33  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |      ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’   |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Major Greenaway    |  36  |  53   |  65   |  ..  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |cleaned|      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |      ”            |  36  |  52   |  ..   |  ..  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |The Writer         |  38  |  ..   |  ..   |  22  | 10½ |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Captain H. Brooke  |  38  |  ..   |  ..   |  28  | 12  |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Average of        }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  26  | 10  |  ..  |
  |  good head       }|      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                                 OVIS CYCLOCEROS              |
  |R. A. Mess, Attock |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  38½ | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |    Sterndale, ‘Mammalia,’ Appendix C     |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Captain W. Cotton,}|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  35½ | ..  |  ..  |
  |  F.Z.S.          }|                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Sir V. Brooke      |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  32½ | 10  |  11½ |
  |                   |     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’    |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Hume Collection,  }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  31¾ |  9¼ |   5¼ |
  |  British Museum  }|                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |  ”    ”    ”      |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  31¼ |  8½ |  16  |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Col. Kinloch       |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  31  | 10¼ |  ..  |
  |                   |           ‘Large Game Shooting’          |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |      ”            |about |  ..   |  ..   |  ..  |  .. |  ..  |
  |                   |  36  |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Sir V. Brooke      |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  30⅞ |  9⅞ |  20⅛ |
  |                   |     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’    |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Hume Collection,  }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  30  | 10½ |  10  |
  |  British Museum  }|      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Sir V. Brooke      |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  30  |  9⅜ |  11¼ |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Major FitzHerbert  |  36  |  ..   |  ..   |  30  |  9½ |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Capt. H. Brooke    |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  30  |  6  |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Major Greenaway    |  34  |  ..   |  ..   |  ..  | ..  |  ..  |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Sterndale,        }|about |about  |  ..   |  29½ | 10  |  ..  |
  |  ‘Mammalia’      }|  36  |  60   |       |      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |Average of        }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  30  |  9½ |  ..  |
  |  good head       }|      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |                                  OVIS BLANFORDI              |
  |Hume Collection,  }|  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  36½ |  9⅝ |single|
  |  British Museum  }|      |       |       |      |     |horn  |
  |                   |     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’    |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |  ”    ”    ”      |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  31⅝ |  9⅜ |  13¾ |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  |                   |      |       |       |      |     |      |
  |  ”    ”    ”      |  ..  |  ..   |  ..   |  23⅝ |  9½ |  17¾ |
  |                   |                ”  ”  ”  ”                |
  +-------------------+------+-------+-------+------+-----+------+

Oorial, like stags, seem to affect particular spots at that season, and
certain hills which at other times of the year hold nothing but ewes
and young ones will just then invariably have big rams on them. Oorial
ground has hitherto been practically restricted to the Salt range, and
a 30-in. ram there is now a rarity. The country on the right bank of
the Indus is being yearly made more accessible, however, and there are
large tracts of good oorial ground in that direction that are as yet
practically unshot. Oorial shooting, however, is by no means a summer
amusement, and there is little to be gained then except dysentery from
bad water and sunstroke by hunting the deep stifling ravines and almost
red-hot stony hills. In the cooler months it is most enjoyable. As a
rule one gets a fair number of chances, the ground being so broken
that stalking is by no means difficult. An old ram oorial is a fine
game-looking animal, and though not to be compared to burrel, is still
very fair eating. The best way of hunting them is by walking along the
tops of the ridges and carefully examining the ground below; as there
are often a good many bushes on the hillside, oorial are not always
very easy to see, especially if they are lying down, so the pace should
be slow. The natives of the salt range are generally expert trackers,
and as a wounded oorial is by no means an easy beast to recover,
their skill is doubly appreciable when following up a good ram with
a broken leg. The way they will carry the trail through the marks of
a flock of sheep or along stony nullahs and hillsides with perhaps
only an occasional spot of blood to help them, is quite charming after
the bungling attempts at the art one generally sees displayed by the
natives of the Himalayas.

As oorial are perpetually seeing shepherds and other natives they do
not become alarmed at the sight of man at a distance; but as they are
a good deal driven about, especially by the cultivators whose crops at
the foot of the hills they feed on at night, no liberties can be taken
during the stalk, and the sides of the ravines being often excessively
steep, good noiseless stalking shoes are requisite.


XXXV. OVIS BLANFORDI

This variety is found in Khelat, and a few specimens have been procured
near Quetta. Its horns are described as being longer and more slender
than those of _O. cycloceros_ or _O. Vignei_, and as having a second
twist outwards at the ends. It has a white beard, unlike either shapoo
or oorial.


XXXVI. MARKHOR (_Capra megaceros_ vel _Falconeri_)

_Native names: Cashmere, ‘Markhor’; Ladak, ‘Rache’; Aster, ‘Boom’_

Whether this king among goats deserves his name of ‘snake-eater’ or not
is hardly likely to be settled. Shikaris all believe that markhor do
eat snakes, some going as far as to say that they suck the snakes out
of their holes, and swallow them like macaroni; and Colonel Kinloch
supports the theory.

But though some hundreds of markhor have been shot by Europeans, the
fact has hitherto not been proved; and the writer ventures in all
humility to suggest that the tale is derived from some old legend, and
refers, in spite of the Persian name which may have become corrupted,
to the long snake-like horns.

Be this as it may, an old markhor swaggering along a ledge on a
precipitous hillside, with his long black beard and white mane floating
down to his knees, showing off every inch of his beautiful horns--as no
beast knows better how to do, except perhaps a really big stag in the
rutting season--is one of the most glorious sights in the Himalayas.

[Illustration: The Astor markhor]

The beast looks such a gentleman with his lean head and small ears,
his powerful back and quarters, and his dignified carriage. Alas! it
is all looks! His smell is something fearful, and manners he has none.
Ibex and burrel can be trusted, when they are lying down after their
morning feed, at all events not to move far; but markhor, no. You may
watch a flock feeding till late in the morning, and they will lie
down comfortably, apparently for the day; you begin your stalk with
everything in your favour; suddenly there is a clatter of stones and a
cloud of dust, you peep over a spur, and see the whole flock galloping
wildly down the hill. After going half a mile, they probably pull up,
begin feeding again, and again stretch themselves out on the ground as
if nothing had happened. This little manœuvre probably necessitates
your climbing painfully back to the top of the ridge, and starting
your stalk afresh, the intervening ground being impracticable. Once
more you try, leaving a man on the top of the hill to watch and signal
what the beasts do. You stalk carefully on; the watcher makes no
sign; you creep on the last hundred yards, to the exact spot you wish
to reach, and there is nothing. You search the ground as far as you
can get, and there are only a few footprints leading over impassable
ground; you climb back again, probably the only way you can go, vowing
vengeance on the watcher, and he tells you that the markhor lay quiet
till you were beginning your last crawl in--every second he expected to
hear the shot: suddenly they jumped up and disappeared, and owing to
the steepness of the ground he could not tell which way they had gone.
This sort of thing will happen over and over again, particularly in
Astor.

Perseverance combined with good management always brings luck in the
end, but big bags of really fine markhor are not to be expected;
one fair chance for each fortnight on the shooting ground is a good
allowance.

It is always a pretty sight seeing markhor move down to their feeding
ground in the evening from the crags above where they have been lying
during the afternoon. Full gallop they come, sending the stones
whizzing in front of them, over the most breakneck ground as if it
were a level plain; rearing up on their hind legs and butting at
one another, a venerable old fifty-incher probably playing with his
great-grandson, a young spark of only twenty; the whole lot of them
thoroughly enjoying the frolic. Ibex will play, and prettily too, but
no beast appears so thoroughly to enter into the fun of a good skylark
as a markhor. The master buck of the flock, however, seems to keep
the youngsters in pretty good order. The writer was much amused once,
watching a flock coming down a particularly difficult cliff. The best
buck led the way, the flock following in single file soberly enough,
the ground apparently was not safe even for a markhor to frolic on;
turning a corner, the old fellow came to a wall of rock that, after
careful inspection, he did not think good enough to descend, and he
turned back to take another route. Just as he made up his mind, one of
the smaller bucks in rear evidently chaffed him. The old fellow went
for him at once, drove him right up to the edge of the cliff with his
horns, as nearly as possible pushed him over, and then, with an air of
great importance, led the flock round his own way.

[Illustration: 1. Cashmere

2. Astor

3. Trans-Indus

4. Afghanistan

Varieties of markhor]

Hitherto most writers have divided markhor into only two varieties,
viz. the spiral and straight horned; but the type of horn obtained
in Astor is so different from that in Cashmere, and again that in
Afghanistan from that in the lower Trans-Indus ranges, that any
sportsman can distinguish them at a glance.

The writer has consequently adhered to Colonel Kinloch’s theory, that
there are four distinct varieties of this goat, classifying the two
spiral types under the name of _Megaceros_, and the two straight-horned
types under that of _Jerdoni_. In the British Museum the name
_Falconeri_ is applied to all four.

The first variety of _Capra megaceros_ is that found in Cashmere on
the Pir Punjal and Kajnag ranges; its horns make occasionally three
complete spirals, whereas the horns of the second or Astor variety
rarely have more than one; and as the horns are measured along the
curve, it follows that a 40-in. horn from Astor is far bigger than one
of the same length from Cashmere. The Astor markhor is also a larger
animal than the Cashmere one, often measuring a couple of inches higher
at the shoulder.

As regards habits, the Cashmere markhor is a thoroughly forest-loving
beast. He will come out to eat the young grass on the upper slopes of
the hill, but his real home is among precipitous cliffs in the middle
of forest, and well worth watching those cliffs are when the sun first
comes out after heavy rain. If there are any markhor about, they are
pretty sure to appear and sun themselves.

The Astor variety, on the contrary, live almost entirely in the open,
only taking to the strips of forest when driven there by the gadflies
in the summer. In the winter they come down to the cliffs overhanging
the main streams, working up about May, till they join the ibex, who
never seem to leave the higher ground. In June both ibex and markhor
may be seen feeding together. The writer saw a combined flock of nearly
one hundred beasts, male and female, in the amphitheatre at the head
of the Dashkat or Datchnar valley. Stalk them? Of course we tried, in
spite of the long odds against one with a flock of that size. There
was a ravine leading up towards them, which we reached all right by
crawling on hands and knees through some thick low scrub; then we crept
up the ravine till it died away into open ground and found ourselves
planted within three hundred yards of the head of the flock, some
dozen buck markhor and ibex. There we lay for nearly an hour and a
half hoping they would feed towards us, and a capital opportunity we
had of comparing the relative size of the beasts; the markhor with
his superior height and length making the ibex look quite cobby in
comparison. Of course an old buck markhor must needs feed ahead of
the rest, well out of shot, get our wind, and lead the whole lot at a
gallop back to the rocks on the far side of the basin. There the ibex
stayed, but the markhor went clean away over the crest of the hill.

In the evening, while we were watching the ibex in the vain hope
they would come down again, behold on the very line the markhor had
left by in the morning three male ibex and another flock of markhor
appeared descending into the basin. As the markhor were coming down
at a good pace we started to cut them off. On came the markhor, which
we recognised as a flock we had been hunting all the previous week
on another part of the ground. A stiff climb took us near where we
had last seen them, and creeping on the shikari who was in front came
almost face to face with one, upon which the alarm call began to sound
furiously. A run forward only brought the writer within sight of a pair
of horns moving off about eighty yards away, but while pushing on to
get a shot, suddenly the buck that had convinced us as to the identity
of the flock by his upright horns, came into full view broadside on
at fifty yards. He rolled over stone-dead to the shot, and as he was
lying doubled up with his head underneath him a gun-carrier was sent
down to him, while I ran on fast to try for another shot. The rest of
the flock, however, had vanished, and as the chase was abandoned a
noise was heard: looking round, the spectacle presented itself of the
beautiful 50-in. markhor (such was the first impression; in reality
it was not quite forty) slipping from the clumsy Cashmeree’s hands,
rolling down the slope over one precipice, then over another, and
lodging by the greatest luck just on the top of a third; the horns were
sadly scarred and chipped, but were fortunately not broken. Many heads
of both markhor and ibex get utterly spoilt in Astor by the animals
falling over cliffs when shot.

As regards _Capra Jerdoni_, the straight-horned markhor, the first
variety, with a perfectly straight axis to the horn, is found all
over the low ranges that run parallel to the right bank of the Indus
below Attock; it used to be found in fair numbers near Sheikh Budin,
a small station near Dera Ismail Khan, and in the hills, or rather
the steep ravines, in the plateau behind Dera Ghazi Khan. The country
beyond these places belongs to more or less inhospitable tribes and,
for the present at all events, is practically closed against the
sportsman. Near Quetta markhor are reported to be obtainable, and in
Beluchistan there should be a chance of getting _Capra ægagrus_ and
_Ovis Blanfordi_ as well as _Capra Jerdoni_. Hunting straight-horned
markhor is scarcely a summer amusement, as the heat is terrific on the
low hills, and drinkable water is extremely scarce.

The second variety is found in Afghanistan, another practically closed
shooting ground. It appears to be a link between the straight horn and
the spiral, more generally approaching the spiral in size of body and
general appearance. As the Astor variety probably extends some distance
to the west of Gilgit, and this second variety is found in Northern
Afghanistan, it seems possible that its corkscrew bend may be more
pronounced towards its eastern limit and less so as it extends to the
south-west. The illustration on p. 312 gives the four marked types.

Kinloch notes that markhor horns twist the reverse way to those of
domestic goats; and the writer, after looking at many hundreds of tame
goats in India for the express purpose of studying their horns, and
after inspecting the heads in the British Museum and other collections,
is able to confirm the fact that the horns of all wild animals that
twist at all do so outwards, while those of tame animals appear
invariably to twist inwards.

_Measurements_

  +------------+------+----+-----+------+-----+------+----+--------------+
  |            |Height|Weight    |St    |Girth|No. of|Span|              |
  | Authority  |at    |as  |Horns| ra   |at   |spi   |at  |   Remarks    |
  |            |shoul-|shot|round|  ig  |base |  ra  |tips|              |
  |            |der   |    |curve|   ht |     |   ls |    |              |
  +------------+------+----+-----+------+-----+------+----+--------------+
  |                          CAPRA MEGACEROS                             |
  |                          No. 1. _Cashmere_                           |
  |            | ins. |lbs.|ins. | ins. |ins. |      |ins.|              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Col. Cuppage|  ..  | .. | 63  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  | .. | 59  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Guide to     |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |     ”      |  ..  | .. | 56  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Major      }|  ..  | .. | 55½ |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |FitzHerbert}|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Major Ward  |  42  | .. | 53  |  ..  |  9½ |   2½ | 26 |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Guide to     |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |     ”      |  ..  | .. | 48½ |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Col. Kinloch|  44  | .. | 47½ |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{‘Large Game  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{ Shooting’   |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  | .. | 47  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Guide to     |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Capt. H.   }|  ..  | .. | 45  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |Brooke     }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  | .. | 43  |  ..  | 11  |   2½ | 31 |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Guide to     |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Col. Kinloch|  ..  | .. | 41  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{‘Large Game  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{ Shooting’   |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |     ”      |  ..  | .. | 40  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |   ”     ”    |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Average of }|  ..  | .. | 40  |  ..  | 11  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |good head  }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |                             _Not classified_                         |
  |Mr. A. O.  }|  ..  | ..A| 54½ |  ..  | 10½ |  ..  | 26½|{Rowland      |
  |  Hume     }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Measurements’|
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Mr. M.     }|  ..  | ..A| 54  |  ..  | 10⅝ |  ..  | 33¾|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Kennard  }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Sir V.     }|  ..  | ..B| 53¼ |  42½ | 11½ |  ..  | 52 |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Brooke   }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Mr. R. Ward |  ..  | ..B| 53½ |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | 37½|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Mr. A. O.  }|  ..  | ..A| 53  |  24¼ |  9¼ |  ..  | 30¼|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Hume     }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Mr. M.     }|  ..  | ..B| 52¾ |  39¾ | 12⅛ |  ..  | 33¾|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Kennard  }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |                        A, probably Cashmere; B, Astor.               |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |                                 No. 2. _Astor_                       |
  |Major Ward  |  41  |240 | ..  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |     ”      |  ..  | .. | 63  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{Guide        |
  |     ”      |  ..  | .. | 61  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{to           |
  |     ”      |  ..  | .. | 53  |  ..  | 11  |  ..  | 45 |{Ladak,       |
  |     ”      |  ..  | .. | 52  |  ..  | 12½ |  ..  | 43 |{&c.’         |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Capt. H.   }|  ..  | .. | 49  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |Brooke     }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Guide to     |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  | .. | 48  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |The Writer  |  ..  | .. | 39¼ |  ..  | 13  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |     ”      |  ..  | .. | 38  |  ..  | 14  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Average of }|  ..  | .. | 40  |  ..  | 13  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |good head  }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |                                 CAPRA JERDONI                        |
  |                              No. 1. _Trans-Indus_                    |
  |H.R.H.     }|  ..  | .. | ..  |  38½ | 10½ |  ..  | 23⅞|{Rowland      |
  |  Duke of  }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |  Edinburgh}|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Measurements’|
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  36  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Guide to     |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Sir E. G.  }|  ..  | .. | 47⅞ |  33  |  9¼ |  ..  | 19¾|{Rowland      |
  |  Loder,   }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |  Bart.    }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Measurements’|
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Mr. A. O.  }|  ..  | .. | ..  |  32¼ |  9¾ |  ..  | 28 |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Hume     }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Col. Kinloch|  ..  | .. | ..  |  32  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{‘Large Game  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{ Shooting’   |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Sir V.     }|  ..  | .. | 45¼ |  30¾ |  8¾ |  ..  | 21½|{Rowland      |
  |  Brooke   }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Measurements’|
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |British    }|  ..  | .. | ..  |  30½ | 10¾ |  ..  | .. |Skull No. 120 |
  |  Museum   }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Capt. H.   }|  ..  | .. | ..  |  29  | ..  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |Brooke     }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Sir E. G.  }|  ..  | .. | 39  |  27⅛ |  8⅜ |  ..  | 21½|{Rowland      |
  |  Loder,   }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |  Bart.    }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Measurements’|
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Mr. G.     }|  ..  | .. | ..  |  25½ | ..  |  ..  | .. |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Landseer,}|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |  ‘The     }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |  Field,’  }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |  1873     }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Mr. A. O.  }|  ..  | .. | ..  |  25⅜ |  8⅜ |  ..  | 21½|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Hume     }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Average of }|  ..  | .. | ..  |  24  | 10  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |good head  }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |                               No. 2. _Afghanistan_                   |
  |Major      }|  ..  | .. | 48  |  38  | 13  |  ..  | 27 |              |
  |FitzHerbert}|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |British    }|  ..  | .. | 40  |  32½ | 12  |  ..  | .. |Skull No. 121 |
  |  Museum   }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  | .. | ..  |  35  | ..  |  ..  | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Guide to     |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |            |      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  |Average of }|  ..  | .. | 40  |  30  | 12  |  ..  | .. |              |
  |good head  }|      |    |     |      |     |      |    |              |
  +------------+------+----+-----+------+-----+------+----+--------------+


XXXVII. IBEX (_Capra sibirica_)

_Cashmere, ‘Kale’; Ladak, ‘Skeen’; Pangi and Lahoul, ‘Tangrol’_

[Illustration: In his summer coat]

Ibex vary very much in colour according to age, locality and the
season. In their winter coats the old bucks, though looking almost
white at a distance, and showing up conspicuously among the brown young
bucks and females, are really very patchy looking at close quarters,
the head and part of the neck being a sepia brown, the middle of the
body generally yellowish white with a dark stripe on the back, and
the quarters again brown, with legs of dark sepia. In the summer they
are sepia-coloured all over, the head and neck often darker than the
body--in fact, an old buck looks sometimes almost black at a distance;
the beard is thick and very dark brown.

Ibex are to be found pretty nearly everywhere in the higher ranges of
hills from Gilgit to Spiti, though they do not appear to cross the
Sutlej to the eastward of Spiti. To name a particular valley would
be only misleading. Favourite districts soon get shot out as regards
good heads, and the only trustworthy information to work on is that of
the year previous. If you get a good nullah, there is no sport in the
Himalayas more charming. Parts of the ground no doubt will test your
nerve as a cragsman, but it does not entail the perpetual climbing of
markhor and ther ground, and in April, May and June a fair number of
good chances may be relied upon. As Ward says, ‘Patience and steady
shooting are what are necessary; a man does not require to be a
first-rate walker or a really brilliant shot during that season; but he
does require to be enduring, and not too eager about getting up at once
to his game.’ Of course, if the sportsman blazes away at indifferent
heads he will not get the big ones; but if he sees a good head one day
and cannot get it, if he does not disturb the beast, he will see him
again next day somewhere near the same place, and sooner or later be
able to close accounts with him; ten heads, all over thirty inches,
which would probably include two or three over forty inches, would be a
far better bag for two months’ work than twenty heads in the same time,
including a lot of rubbishy little things about twenty-five inches.

If you wish thoroughly to enjoy your stalk, and the ground is not too
difficult, insist upon going first and making your shikari carry your
rifle behind you. He will probably object, but be firm, and listen
to none of his plausible arguments; carry out your own stalk without
asking his advice, simply telling him what you mean to do. When you
are within two hundred yards of where you expect to get your shot,
make him lie down, take the rifle from him and go on alone. Warn him
beforehand that if he moves till you tell him, you’ll fine him. When
you reach your place, get your wind before you look over; you will see
perhaps fifteen or twenty ibex in front of you; don’t be in a hurry;
make sure that you have really selected the best head for your first
shot, and take pains to get it home. When you fire, the smoke will hang
in your eyes, and you will dimly see the flock scatter. Keep your head
now--don’t show yourself; and if you are in about the right place, a
little above, but nearly on a level with the flock, and about eighty
yards off, not closer, you will probably see the flock walking up the
hillside, occasionally turning round to gaze at the 40-incher lying
dead below them. With cartridges handy, and steady shooting, you should
add the next two or three best heads to your score. You have no shikari
at your elbow nudging you, and whispering advice just as you are going
to fire, starting off the flock by showing himself immediately after
your first shot, and finally, when you have got all the heads you care
for out of the flock, imploring you to shoot a worthless little brute
for the coolies to eat. Call him up when you have finished, and let
him cut the throats of the slain to make them lawful eating, low down
the neck, so as not to spoil the skin for stuffing, and if he objects,
tell him he may do without meat. One of the greatest mistakes that all
shikaries make in stalking is trying to get too close to the game. It
stands to reason, in a country infested by leopards or ounces, that if
a beast catches sight of the top of one’s head within five and twenty
yards, he will bolt at once, whereas at eighty yards distance he feels
at all events safe from a sudden rush, and will stop to gaze.

After the end of June it is practically waste of time trying for ibex.
There is grass everywhere, and to escape the gadflies and be out of the
way of the flocks of sheep and goats that are driven up into many of
the best nullahs in summer, the ibex retire to the highest peaks in the
neighbourhood, and rarely descend to ground where there is any chance
of getting near them.


XXXVIII.--THE IBEX OF PERSIA AND SINDH (_Capra ægagrus_)

_Native names: ‘Pasang,’ male; ‘Boz,’ female; generally Boz Pasang in
Persia (Blanford); Kayeek in Asia Minor (Danford)_

This ibex extends from the Taurus mountains in Asia Minor, through the
Caucasus range and Persia, to Afghanistan, Beluchistan and Sindh.

It is a smaller animal than the Himalayan ibex, and does not ascend to
the same altitude, preferring, according to Mr. Danford, elevations of
2,000 to 5,000 ft., while 8,000 ft. is about the lowest limit of the
Himalayan variety. In Beluchistan and Afghanistan these ibex and _O.
Blanfordi_ are found on the same ground, just as _Capra Jerdoni_ and
_Ovis cycloceros_ are in the Suleiman range; and this peculiar trait
of preferring hot low hills is, in the writer’s estimation, the great
point of difference between _Capra ægagrus_, _Capra Jerdoni_ and _Ovis
cycloceros_ on the one side, and _Capra sibirica_, _Capra megaceros_
and _Ovis Vignei_ on the other.

The general colour of the buck _Capra ægagrus_ is brown with a dark
line down the back, and a black beard, but the last is not so profuse
as in _Capra sibirica_. The females are lighter in colour, and have
small horns. The horns are quite different from those of any other
species of ibex; instead of having a flat front and being thinner
behind than in front, as most other ibex horns are, these horns have
the edge in front, a scimitar-like ridge running up the front of the
horn, wavy but unbroken for about one-third above the head, and then
represented by knobs which spring up at some distance apart for about
another third, when the ridge appears again, but rapidly dies away
towards the point. The sides of the horn too are smooth, the outer side
rounded and the inner flat, the knobs not running down the sides as in
other ibex.

In Persia and Afghanistan these ibex are generally shot in drives. The
members of the Afghan Boundary Commission had a great day with them.

In the Sinaitic Peninsula they are replaced by _Capra sinaitica_ vel
_nubiana_, which extends through Egypt. Few people looking at the hills
that run down to Suez harbour would imagine that they hold ibex, but
such is the case nevertheless. The horns of this type are more like
_Capra sibirica_, being quite as long, but thinner and more curved.

  [Illustration:
        Capra sibirica     Capra ægagrus
                 Capra sinaitica]

The European ibex, _Capra Ibex_ of the Tyrol, has also horns like
_Capra sibirica_, and nearly as thick, but shorter. His beard, however,
is only rudimentary.

The Spanish ibex, _Capra pyrenaica_, on the other hand, has a peculiar
upward twist at the end of the horn that makes it look almost like a
markhor. This type is described elsewhere.

[Illustration: ‘WITH CARTRIDGES HANDY AND STEADY SHOOTING’]

_Measurements_

  +------------+------+-------+----+------+------+------+---------------+
  | Authority  |Height|Length,|Tail|Weight|Length|Girth | Remarks       |
  |            |at    |head   |    |as    |of    |of    |               |
  |            |shoul-|and    |    |shot  |horns |horns |               |
  |            |der   |body   |    |      |      |      |               |
  +------------+------+-------+----+------+------+------+---------------+
  |                            CAPRA SIBIRICA                           |
  |            | ins. |  ins. |ins.| lbs. | ins. | ins. |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Col. Kinloch|about |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |{‘Large Game   |
  |            |  40  |       |    |      |      |      |{Shooting’     |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |    ”       |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  54  |  ..  |    ”    ”     |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{‘Sportsman’s  |
  |Major Ward  |  38  |  54   |  8 | 188  |  ..  |  ..  |{Guide to      |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ladak, &c.’   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |    ”       |  ..  |  ..   | .. | 208  |  ..  |  ..  |    ”    ”     |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |    ”       |  32  |  ..   | .. | 104  |  ..  |  ..  |    ”    ”     |
  | (a female) |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |    ”       |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  52  |  ..  |    ”    ”     |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. M.     }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Rowland Ward, |
  |Kennard    }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  51½ |  ..  |{‘Horn         |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Measurements’ |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. Blyth, }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |‘Proc. Zoo.}|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  51¼ |  10½ |    ”    ”     |
  |Soc.,’ 1840}|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Sir V.     }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  51  |   9⅛ |    ”    ”     |
  |Brooke     }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{‘Sportsman’s  |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  51  |  ..  |{Guide to      |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ladak, &c.’   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |   ”        |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  50  |  11  |    ”    ”     |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |   ”        |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  50  |  10  |    ”    ”     |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Capt. J.   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Rowland Ward, |
  |Brickley   }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  50  |   9  |{‘Horn         |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Measurements’ |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Sir E. G. .}|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  49¾ |  10⅜ |    ”    ”     |
  |Loder, Bart}|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. M.     }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Kennard,   }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  49½ |  10⅛ |    ”    ”     |
  |1887       }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{‘Sportsman’s  |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  49  |  11  |{Guide to      |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ladak, &c.’   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. A. O.  }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Rowland Ward, |
  |Hume       }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  48½ |   9⅝ |{‘Horn         |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Measurements’ |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{‘Sportsman’s  |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  48  |  12  |{Guide to      |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ladak, &c.’   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |   ”        |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  48  |  10  |    ”    ”     |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |   ”        |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  48  |  10  |    ”    ”     |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |   ”        |  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  48  |  10  |    ”    ”     |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. A. O.  }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Rowland Ward, |
  |Hume       }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  47⅞ |   9⅛ |{‘Horn         |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Measurements’ |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. Rowland}|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  47½ |  10¼ |    ”    ”     |
  |Ward       }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. C.     }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  47  |  11¾ |    ”    ”     |
  |Hagenback  }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. M.     }|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  47  |  10½ |    ”    ”     |
  |Kennard    }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. Manners}|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  47  |  10  |    ”    ”     |
  |Smith      }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Major      }|  37½ |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |               |
  |Greenaway  }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Major      }|  31  |  50   |  4 |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | (A female)    |
  |FitzHerbert}|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Sterndale, }|about |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |               |
  |‘Mammalia’ }|  44  |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |    Average}|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |    of good}|  ..  |  ..   | .. |  ..  |  40  |  10  |               |
  |    head   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |                              CAPRA ÆGAGRUS                          |
  |Col. F.    }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  53  |  ..  |{Rowland       |
  |  Marston  }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ward, ‘Horn   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Measurements’ |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. A. O.  }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  52⅜ |   7⅞ |   ”    ”      |
  |  Hume     }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |British    }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  48½ |   8½ |{(Skull        |
  |  Museum   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{No. 652       |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ost. Cat.)    |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. Danford |  33½ |   65½ |incl|  ..  |  47½ |   9¾ |{Sterndale’s   |
  |            |      |       |uded|      |      |      |{ ‘Mammalia’   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Capt.      }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  45¼ |   9½ |{Rowland       |
  |  Townley  }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ward, ‘Horn   |
  |  Parker   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Measurements’ |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |British    }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  44½ |   8⅞ |   ”    ”      |
  |  Museum   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Hume       }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  44½ |   8⅝ |   ”    ”      |
  |Collection,}|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |British    }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Museum     }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. J. Carr}|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  43½ |   9  |               |
  |  Saunders }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Mr. A. O.  }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  43⅜ |   8⅝ |{Rowland       |
  |  Hume     }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ward, ‘Horn   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Measurements’ |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Sir E. G.  }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  43  |   9  |   ”    ”      |
  |  Loder,   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |  Bart.    }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |British    }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  43  |   9  |   ”    ”      |
  |  Museum   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |                           CAPRA IBEX (Tyrol)                        |
  |British    }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  43¾,|  10½ |               |
  |  Museum   }|      |       |    |      |  41¼ |      |               |
  | (skull No.}|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  | 650a Ost. }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  | Cat.), a  }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  | doubtful  }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  | specimen  }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Sir E. G.  }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  31¾ |   9⅛ |{Rowland       |
  |  Loder,   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ward, ‘Horn   |
  |  Bart.    }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Measurements’ |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Senckenberg}|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  30¼ |   9  |{(Cord,        |
  |  Museum   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{base to tip,  |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{21¾ inches)   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |British    }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  27½ |   8¼ |               |
  |  Museum   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Senckenberg}|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  24  |   9  |{(Cord,        |
  |  Museum   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{base to tip,  |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{16½ inches)   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |                       CAPRA SINAITICA VEL NUBIANA                   |
  |British    }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  51¼ |   7¼ |{(Skull No.    |
  |  Museum   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{651 Ost. Cat.)|
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |       ”    |  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  46  |   8  |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Capt.      }|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  42¼ |   9¼ |{Rowland       |
  |  Bartelott}|      |       |    |      |      |      |{Ward, ‘Horn   |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{Measurements’ |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |Capt. W. H.}|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  41¾ |   7⅝ |   ”    ”      |
  |  Besant   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |               |
  |                                CAPRA WALI                           |
  |Senckenberg}|  ..  |   ..  | .. |  ..  |  24  |   9¾ |{(Cord,        |
  |  Museum   }|      |       |    |      |      |      |{base to tip,  |
  |            |      |       |    |      |      |      |{17 inches)    |
  +------------+------+-------+----+------+------+------+---------------+

Mr. Sclater gives two other varieties of ibex, _Capra caucasica_
and _Capra Wali_. The Senckenberg Museum of Frankfort is believed
to possess the only known specimens of this last type. Of it Dr. F.
Richters, in charge of the Museum, says: ‘The horns of _Capra Wali_
differ from those of _Capra sibirica_ in the following points: the
outer surface in _Capra Wali_ is curved (smooth?), while in _Capra
sibirica_ it is corrugated. The under side of _Capra Wali_ is sharper
than in _Capra sibirica_. The inner side of _Capra Wali_ has between
every two knobs (on the top of the horn) five or six grooves, which
correspond with a similar number of notches of equal depth on the under
side. _C. sibirica_, on the other hand, has a fairly smooth inner
surface, and on the under side has under every two knobs (on the top of
the horn) a deep notch, and between every two deep notches a shallower
one. The tip of _C. sibirica_ is more curved than that of _C. Wali_.
The horn of our specimen of wali has eight knobs on it, that of _C.
sibirica_ (horns 36¼ ins. in length, girth at base 9½ ins., cord from
base to tip 22 ins.) 17 knobs.’ The specimen came from Abyssinia, and
its photograph shows the peculiar knob at the base of the horn on the
forehead, its absence of beard, and its small size in comparison to _C.
sibirica_, which is photographed with it.


XXXIX. THER (_Capra jemlaica_)

_Gurwhal, ‘Ther,’ female ‘Theri,’ ‘Tahr,’ or ‘Jhula,’ female ‘Tharni’;
Chamba and Pangi, ‘Kart’; Cashmere, ‘Jagla’; Khistwar, ‘Kras’; Nepal,
‘Jharál’_

Ther are found at high elevations, where the forest line begins to give
way to the snow throughout the southern slopes of the Himalayas, from
Cashmere to Bhutan. Its north-west limit appears to be where the Jhelum
river separates the Kajnag from the Pir Punjal ranges; though fairly
common in the latter, it is apparently unknown in the Kajnag, nor is
it found in the ranges to the north of the Cashmere valley; from the
Pir Punjal it extends south-eastwards through Kishtwar and Chamba, then
leaving Lahoul and Spiti to the north on to the upper waters of the
Jumna, Ganges, and Aleknanda rivers, and so by Nepal to Bhutan, being
most plentiful perhaps in Chamba and Gurwhal.

[Illustration: A dream of ther shooting]

An old buck ther is a fine beast in his winter coat; his head is long
and lean, the face being nearly black; the ears are small; a long,
light-coloured mane sweeps down from his neck, chest and shoulders,
reaching below his knees and showing up well against his dark brown
back and quarters, his long shaggy coat half hiding his short sturdy
legs. The horns are his weak point, and the ground he frequents entails
such a lot of climbing and hard work that one is always inclined to
think, ‘If I must risk my neck, I would sooner do it after a 50-inch
markhor than a 15-inch ther.’

Still, ther shooting is very enjoyable in the spring (in the autumn,
when the beasts are in their summer coats, they are hardly better worth
killing than bears at the same season), and a few days ther shooting,
if it can be indulged in before proceeding after markhor or ibex, is
the best possible tonic for one’s nerves. The ground--rocky slopes
covered thinly with pines and bushes--always looks more dangerous than
it really is. The rock is sound limestone, and does not give way under
one’s foot; there is nearly always a friendly bush to hang to, and the
very blades of grass are tough. The writer does not go quite so far as
to confirm the statement of a merry sportsman--that he and two shikaris
all hung on to one blade of grass while crossing a difficult bit;
but it is wonderful how much weight that grass will support if only
subjected to a steady strain.

There is also generally a variety of game to be shot from the same
camp--gooral, kakur, black and brown bears, musk deer, markhor in
the Pir Punjal, and burrel may often, according to the district, be
combined with ther shooting; besides, there is always the 100 to 1
chance of a serow or leopard, and the writer even once came across a
tiger within a walk of ther ground. It had killed a buffalo out of a
herd close by, and actually walked through the camp one night, passing
within a few feet of the tents.

Though ther are often found in large flocks, the big bucks are
generally alone, and these solitary old males are particularly crafty
and by no means easy beasts to come to terms with. Colonel Kinloch
writes unkindly of the ther in respect of his high flavour; all wild
goats smell, and whether it be markhor, ibex or ther, the stink of
the last beast bagged always seems more appalling than any that one
has experienced before, and is only surpassed by the next one. The
‘bouquet’ of ther and markhor, however, appears to fade after the head
has been stuffed, but the scent of the ibex will cling to it still. The
writer has some stuffed ibex heads that were obtained six years ago,
and their aroma on damp days, though pleasing as a reminiscence of past
sport, is hardly suited to the house.

Female ther are smaller than the males, have no mane, insignificant
horns, and vary a good deal in colour, some being reddish-brown, others
a yellowish-drab. They and the bucks in their summer coats have a
conspicuous mark on the back, where the hair of what is the mane in the
buck parts from the hair on the back. This is particularly noticeable
when looking down on the beast from above.


XL. NEILGHERRY IBEX (_Hemitragus hylocrius_)

_Native Names: ‘Warra-adu,’ ‘Warri-atu’; Tamil (Sterndale)
‘Kárd-ardoo’; Canarese (Sanderson)_

This wild goat is found in the Neilgherry range, and most of the higher
hills in the south of India. It is not found in Mysore nor in Ceylon.

The old buck is of a dark sepia colour, with a light, grizzled saddle
mark, lower parts paler brown, legs and face dark, and a short stiff
mane on the neck and withers; the young bucks and females being lighter
in colour. The horns much resemble those of the ther, _Hemitragus
jemlaicus_, except that they are more ringed and sheeplike, and do
not taper so rapidly. There is much the same difference between them
on a small scale as between the horns of _Capra sibirica_ and _Capra
ægagrus_, the Neilgherry goat taking after the former and the ther the
latter. The two beasts are much about the same size, and have, taking
into consideration the different types of forest, much the same habits.
In Madras the Neilgherry ibex, being the sole representative of the
goat family, has an amount of importance attached to his pursuit which
his Himalayan cousin does not enjoy, being crushed by the superior
attractions of his mighty relatives the ibex and markhor. They are to
be sought for in the same way, watching from above the grassy slopes
among the cliffs at an elevation of 5,000 or 6,000 ft., and require the
same careful stalking.


XLI. GOORAL (_Nemorhædus Goral_)

_Generally, ‘Gooral’ or ‘Ban bakri’; Chumba, ‘Pij’; Cashmere, ‘Nain,’
‘Norn’_

This is quite the most sporting of the minor beasts of the chase. It
is pretty generally distributed along the whole of the lower slopes of
the Himalayas from the Indus river to the Kachin hills in Burmah; horns
of both gooral and serow were found by the Phunkan column in 1889. In
Cashmere they are scarce, a few only being found in the Kajnag and Pir
Punjal ranges, but from Kishtwar to the south-east they are pretty
plentiful, especially in Chumba, Gurwhal, the Sewalik range, and the
valleys of the Ganges, Jumna, and Tonse rivers. They seem indifferent
to heat, and abound among the hot precipitous cliffs formed by the
big rivers cutting their way through the hills, the Tonse seeming to
suit their requirements admirably. Wherever a landslip has occurred,
wherever there is a steep rocky slope covered with long grass and
occasional bushes and pines, there gooral are sure to be found. Higher
up the hills, up to about 8,000 ft. above the sea level, they are
often seen on the short turf at the tops of the ridges or in the pine
forests, but rocks they must have close to, and the more precipitous
the cliff the more likely it is to hold them.

Wary as gooral are, they will often live close to villages, and do not
mind the presence of flocks with their attendant shepherds, or hillmen
cutting wood and grass near their haunts. They seem to trust to the
steep broken ground they frequent for protection. Gooral, as a rule,
are fairly easy animals to get a shot at, but they present by no means
a large target, and are very tenacious of life; a wounded one will
often tax the best nerves to follow. Gooral seem to become particularly
attached to certain localities, and will stand a good deal of bullying
and firing at before they leave the ground for good, and as they are to
be found within easy reach from many of the hill-stations, they afford
pretty shooting to sportsmen who are debarred from hunting better game.
Few men go out of their way to hunt gooral, but it is very good fun all
the same, and first-class practice both in climbing and shooting.

Buck gooral are generally found alone or with one other companion; if
four or five are seen together, they are almost invariably does and
young ones. It is nearly impossible to distinguish the sexes at any
distance, one rarely gets a fair view of the beast to begin with; the
horns are well nigh invisible, except against the skyline, and even
if seen are hardly any guide, as both sexes carry them, the buck’s
horns being only longer and thicker; and it requires the experience of
a Tyrolese keeper, accustomed to chamois, to judge the sex from the
shape of a beast half hidden in long grass or bushes. Native shikaris
certainly never know.

Walking along a ridge or a hillside you hear a sharp hiss: up jumps a
brown beast some fifty yards off, gallops twenty yards, and stands for
a second to gaze; you fire, and it rolls down the hill; you climb down
congratulating yourself--a clean kill!--a single beast--surely a real
good head this time--but when you reach it, too often it is another
luckless nanny. In chamois the buck is more heavily built than the doe,
is darker in colour, and has a ruff of long black-brown hair along the
back, but it takes years of practice to tell an old doe from a buck,
especially in winter.

The general colour of gooral is a rich brownish-yellow tipped with
sepia, and there is a conspicuous white patch on the throat which is
more recognisable in the buck than in the doe, and is really, if it can
be seen, the best guide in distinguishing the sexes. General Macintyre
mentions an albino gooral.

Though gooral seem fond of heat, they do not like being out in the sun,
and this fact is a decided convenience to the sportsmen, the shady side
of the hill being both pleasanter and more profitable to work over.

Gooral may occasionally be driven, but far the pleasantest and most
sportsmanlike way of hunting them is to walk slowly along the top of
a ridge, carefully examining every ravine and patch of likely ground.
Where gooral are at all plentiful it is almost impossible to take
too much pains. The beasts often lie down under overhanging boulders
and turn up suddenly in the most unexpected fashion on ground where
you thought you had examined every inch, and as surely as you become
careless so surely will you hear a hiss and see a beast dash down the
hill at whom you might have got an easy shot had you not relaxed your
attention.

The comparative measurements of European chamois are given by Colonel
Howard as follows:

Good bucks weigh from 45 lbs. to 60 lbs. broken up. Extraordinary ones
reach 70 lbs. and over.

    +--------------+-------------+-----+-----+
    |Length of horn|Perpendicular|Girth|Splay|
    |              | measurement |     |     |
    +--------------+-------------+-----+-----+
    |     ins.     |    ins.     | ins.| ins.|
    |     11¼      |    7¾       | 3½  | 6½  |
    |     10⅜      |    ..       | 3½  | 4   |
    +--------------+-------------+-----+-----+

These two heads are exceptionally fine; the two next heads are good,
but not extraordinary.

    +--------------+-------------+-----+-----+
    |Length of horn|Perpendicular|Girth|Splay|
    |              | measurement |     |     |
    +--------------+-------------+-----+-----+
    |     ins.     |    ins.     | ins.| ins.|
    |     9¼       |    ..       | 3¼  | 6¼  |
    |     9¼       |    6½       | 3½  | 4   |
    +--------------+-------------+-----+-----+

There are two more varieties of gooral in the British Museum: the
long-tailed gooral from China, which is about the same size as an
Indian gooral, but rather more yellow in colour. It has a tail of long
brown hair reaching to its hocks, that of the one in the British Museum
measuring 17 ins. to the tips of the hair. The Japanese gooral is a
delightful beast, and exactly what one would expect from such a quaint
country. Its coat is like that of a Langour monkey, long, soft, grey
hair, tipped with brown; it has a white ruff on its throat and cheeks,
a brown face, and rather rounded brown ears--altogether it looks like a
goat-monkey. The horns are the same shape as those of the Indian gooral.


XLII. SEROW (_Nemorhædus bubalinus_)

_Gurwhal, ‘Serow’; Sutlej Valley, ‘Imu’; Cashmere, ‘Ramoo,’ ‘Halj,’
‘Salabhir’; Chamba, ‘Goa,’ ‘Jhangal’_

The serow is a heavily built, awkward looking animal, intensely ugly,
suggesting a cross between a donkey and a cow, with a wild-looking
bristly black mane, large coarse ears, horns like those of a gooral,
only bigger; its general colour is black on the back and head, the
muzzle being dirty white; the sides, forearms and thighs are of bright
red clay colour, the under parts and legs being white; when seen first,
it looks all red and black, and its wild uncanny appearance accords
well with the gloomy tangled precipitous ravines it frequents.

It is found thinly scattered along the whole of the southern slopes of
the Himalayas, from Cashmere down past Sikkim, to the Burmo-Chinese
frontier, but apparently does not cross the snow-line, probably on
account of absence of forest on the northern side. Precipitous rocks
and their accompanying caves it likes, but forest it must have, and
the thicker and more tangled the better. A gloomy damp ravine below
a waterfall, the sides mere walls of rock and the bed choked with
rank vegetation, is the place where its tracks are oftenest found.
The beast itself is rarely seen. It appears to live generally alone;
a female with a three-quarter-grown young one may be found together,
but rarely two full-grown beasts. Major Greenaway saw three serow in
one day, in the Sindh Valley in 1871, two of them together, and one
alone, and got shots at all of them, but only bagged one. But this was
exceptional luck. Most men who have shot for some years in the hills,
have seen one or two serow, but rarely more, and getting a shot at one
is generally looked upon as a lucky fluke. Besides being scarce, serow
are uncommonly wary, and are said by natives to travel for miles if
disturbed.

[Illustration: The serow gallops down hill]

Colonel Kinloch is one of the very few people who have laid themselves
out to hunt serow, and his experiences are scarcely encouraging, though
Ward says that in the winter months serow can be found with comparative
ease in the Sindh Valley, in Cashmere. The serow seems, like sambur, to
be nocturnal in its habits, and its discordant scream is often to be
heard after dark in Gurwhal, where it is comparatively plentiful.

The serow’s chief accomplishment is the way that he can gallop down a
steep hill, and as he invariably takes that course when disturbed, he
can be easily driven, provided the ground is well known. All writers
agree that a wounded one will charge. Kinloch mentions having heard of
an unwounded male charging when its mate was shot, and Ward gives a
graphic account of an adventure he had with one. Mr. O. Shaw shot a
serow with a white mane in Cashmere. There are two more varieties of
this capricorn described in Sterndale’s ‘Natural History of India.’ The
first is the Arakanese capricorn, found in Arakan, Pegu, the Malayan
Peninsula, and Sumatra.

This is a brown beast with a yellow bay throat, black forelegs,
and bay hind ones. The description is rather vague, and Blyth’s
note--‘This species varies much in colour from red to black, and the
black sometimes with a white nape, or the hairs of the nape may be
white at the base only’--does not explain matters very clearly to an
unscientific reader. The second variety is the Thibetan capricorn,
discovered by Abbé David, in Eastern Thibet.

This differs from the Indian serow by the uniform blackish brown of the
upper parts, tending to ferruginous on the thighs, and the red colour
in place of the grey on the lower parts of the legs.


XLIII. TAKIN (_Budorcas taxicolor_)

_Native name: ‘Takin,’ ‘Takhon’_

This curious animal, which is found just outside British limits in the
Mishmi and Akha hills, north of Assam, and in Eastern Thibet, is a kind
of large serow; but its horns, instead of being sharp upright spikes
like those of the serow and gooral, are more of the bovine type, being
rounded, smooth, and with the distinctive wrinkles and longitudinal
marks of genus Nemorhædus faintly defined. Their peculiar twist is best
explained by the accompanying sketch.

An article in Sterndale’s ‘Mammalia of India,’ signed ‘J. C.,’ thus
describes the animal:

  The takin is a large, heavily built ruminant, about 3 ft. 6 ins.
  high at the shoulder, and 6 ft. in total length. The external
  peculiarities of the animal are: first, peculiar angularly curved
  horns in both sexes; second, the enormously arched chevron;
  third, the very great development of the spurious hoofs, which
  are obtusely conical, and about 1½ in. in length in a small
  specimen.

  Old bulls appear to become of an uniform brownish black at times,
  but the colour doubtless depends on the season, as each hair has
  the basal two-thirds yellow, and its apical third black, and the
  young its hair brown with a dark tint.

  The animal would appear to range from about 8,000 ft. to the
  Alpine region, which is stated to be its habitat.

[Illustration: Budorcas taxicolor]

As this animal has been found by the Abbé David in Chinese Thibet,
future explorations to the north of Burmah should furnish skeletons and
details about its habits for the advancement of science.

There are two skulls in the British Museum in which the prominent
chevron is particularly noticeable; and there are also several stuffed
specimens.


XLIV. THIBETAN ANTELOPE (_Pantholops Hodgsonii_--STERNDALE, KINLOCH);
(_Kemas Hodgsonii_--WARD)

_Cashmeree shikaris know it as ‘Heran.’ The Ladak name is ‘Chiru,’ or
‘Choos’_

This rather curious antelope is pretty plentiful in the Changchmeno
Valley, the only easily accessible place for European sportsmen where
it is found. A few are said to have been shot in the neighbourhood of
the Mansarovárá Lake, near the North-Western frontier of Nepal, and
they are also to be met with all over the lofty plateau which has to be
crossed on the way to Yarkand. It appears, however, never to have been
found in the district beyond the Niti Pass as far as Europeans have
been able to penetrate, nor did Colonel Kinloch apparently meet with it
when he crossed the frontier in the direction of Gártope.

_Measurements_

  +---------------+------+------+------+------+-----+------+--------------+
  |Authority      |Height|Total |Weight|Length|Girth| Sex  | Remarks      |
  |               |at    |length|as    |of    |at   |      |              |
  |               |shoul-|      |shot  |horn  |base |      |              |
  |               |der   |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  +---------------+------+------+------+------+-----+------+--------------+
  |                             CAPRA JEMLAICA                            |
  |               | ins. | ins. | lbs. | ins. |ins. |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |14⅛   |8⅞   |  ..  |{Rowland      |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Major Ward     |  ..  |  ..  | 200  |  14  | ..  |  ..  |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Guide to     |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. Gwynne    }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13⅞   |  9  |  ..  |{Rowland      |
  |  Griffiths   }|      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |The Writer,   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13⅞   | ..  |  ..  |              |
  |  1884        }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Hume          }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13¾   |  9  |  ..  |{Rowland      |
  |  Collection, }|      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |  British     }|      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |  Museum      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13¾   |8⅜   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Hume          }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13⅝   |  8  |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Collection, }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  British     }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  Museum      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |British Museum |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13½   |8⅞   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. Rowland   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13½   |8½   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Ward        }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |    ”      ”   |  ..  |  .. {|about |} ..  | ..  |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |     {| 200  |}     |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Hon. W.       }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13⅜   |9⅛   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Rothschild  }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13¼   |9½   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Sir V. Brooke  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13¼   |8⅞   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Sir E. G.     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13¼   |8¼   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Loder,      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  Bart.       }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. J. Carr    |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |13⅛   |8⅞   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Saunders     |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Capt. H. Brooke|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13  | ..  |  ..  |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Major Greenaway|  41  |  52  |  ..  |12½   | ..  |  ..  |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  ”       ”    |  36½ |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Sterndale’s   }|  36  |{about|} ..  |  12  | ..  |  ..  |              |
  |  ‘Mammalia’  }|  to  |{ 54  |}     |  to  |     |      |              |
  |               |  40  |      |      |  14  |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Col. Kinloch   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | about| 10  |  ..  |{‘Large Game  |
  |               |      |      |      |  15  | to  |      |{Shooting’    |
  |               |      |      |      |      | 11  |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Average good  }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  12  |  9  |  ..  |              |
  |  head        }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |                          HEMITRAGUS HYLOCRIUS                         |
  |Gen. McMaster  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  17  |9¾   |  ..  |{Sterndale’s  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{‘Mammalia’   |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |16¾   |8⅞   |  ..  |{Rowland      |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. St. George}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |16½   | ..  |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Littledale  }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Gen. McMaster  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  16  | ..  |  ..  |{Sterndale’s  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{‘Mammalia’   |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Sir E. G.     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |15½   |8⅝   |  ..  |{Rowland      |
  |  Loder,      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |  Bart.       }|      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. M. Kennard |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |15¾   |8¾   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. St. George}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |15¾   |8¼   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Littledale, }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  1875        }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. M. Kennard |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |15⅛   |8⅝   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. St. George}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |15⅛   |8⅝   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Littledale, }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  1871         |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Sterndale’s   }|  41  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  |  ..  |              |
  |  ‘Mammalia’  }|  to  |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |  42  |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Average of     |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  12  |  8  |  ..  |              |
  |  good head    |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |                            NEMORHÆDUS GORAL                           |
  |Major Ward     |  28  |  ..  |  58  | 8½   | ..  |  ..  |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Guide to     |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |     ”         |  28  |  ..  |  63  |   8  | ..  |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Hume          }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 7⅝   |3¾   |  ..  |{Rowland      |
  |  Collection, }|      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |  British     }|      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |  Museum      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Major Ward     |  28  |  ..  |  59  | 7½   | ..  |  ..  |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Guide to     |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |     ”         |  26  |  ..  |  ..  | 7½   | ..  |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Capt. J. A.   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |   7  |3¾   |  ..  |{Rowland      |
  |  Orr Ewing   }|      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. J. M.     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |   7  |3½   |  ..  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Nicolls     }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Col. Kinloch   |about |  ..  |  ..  |up to | ..  |  ..  |{‘Large Game  |
  |               |  26  |      |      |   8  |     |      |{Shooting’    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Sterndale’s   }|  28  | about|  ..  |6 to 9| ..  |  ..  |              |
  |  ‘Mammalia’  }|  to  |  48  |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |  30  |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Major Greenaway|  26½ |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  |Female|              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Average good  }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |   6  | ..  |  ..  |              |
  |  head        }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |                          NEMORHÆDUS BUBALINUS                         |
  |Major Ward     |  37  |  ..  | 190  |  12  | ..  | Male |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Guide to     |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Hon. C. Ellis  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |10½   |5⅜   |  ..  |{Rowland      |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Capt. H. Brooke|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  10  |5½   | Male |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Major Ward     |  38  |  ..  | 190  |  10  | ..  |  ”   |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Guide to     |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |     ”         |  33  |  ..  | 120  |  10  | ..  |Female|    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Sir V. Brooke  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 9⅞   |5⅝   |  ..  |{Rowland      |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. R.        }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 9¾   |5⅛   |  ..  |   ”          |
  |  Lydekker    }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  British     }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  Museum      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Major Greenaway|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 9½   | ..  | Male |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |     ”         |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 7⅛   | ..  |Female|              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Major         }|  42  |  71  |  ..  | 9¼   |5½   | Male |              |
  |  FitzHerbert }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |The Writer     |  40  |  ..  |  ..  |   8  |  5  |Female|              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Sterndale’s   }|about |  60  |about |   9  | ..  |  ..  |              |
  |  ‘Mammalia’  }|  36  |  to  | 200  |  to  |     |      |              |
  |               |      |  66  |      |  14  |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |                           ARAKANESE CAPRICORN                         |
  |British Museum,|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 8¼   |5½   |  ..  |              |
  |sex unknown,   |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |not full grown (the horns are of the ordinary serow type)              |
  +---------------+------+------+------+------+-----+------+--------------+

  +---------------+------+------+------+------+-----+------+--------------+
  |Authority      |Height|Total |Weight|Length|Girth| Span | Remarks      |
  |               |at    |length|as    |of    |at   |  at  |              |
  |               |shoul-|      |shot  |horn  |base | tips |              |
  |               |der   |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  +---------------+------+------+------+------+-----+------+--------------+
  |                               BUDORCAS TAXICOLOR                      |
  |               | ins. | ins. | lbs. | ins. |ins. | ins. |              |
  |British Museum |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  22⅜ | 10⅝ |  14¾ |{Rowland      |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |{Measurements’|
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Hume          }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  20⅞ | 11⅜ |  11⅞ |    ”    ”    |
  |  Collection, }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  British     }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  Museum      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  20¾ | 11⅞ |  12½ |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Hume          }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  20¾ |  9⅝ |  13⅜ |    ”    ”    |
  |  Collection, }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  British     }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  Museum      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. B. H.     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  20½ | 10⅞ |  12⅜ |    ”    ”    |
  |  Hodgson,    }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  British     }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  Museum      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Sir E. G.     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  19⅜ | 11  |  15  |    ”    ”    |
  |  Loder,      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  Bart.       }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |British Museum |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  18  | 10¼ |   8  |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |   ”      ”    |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  16⅛ |  8¾ |  10¾ |    ”    ”    |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Mr. B. H.     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  15¼ |  9⅜ |   5¾ |    ”    ”    |
  |  Hodgson,    }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  British     }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |  Museum      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |               |      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  |Lieut.-Col.   }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  14⅜ |  8¾ |   8⅞ |    ”    ”    |
  |  Graham      }|      |      |      |      |     |      |              |
  +---------------+------+------+------+------+-----+------+--------------+

The bucks vary a good deal in colour; some of them are a beautiful
golden red, some a light fawn, and others a dirty yellowish white. The
colour of the hair seems always to fade after the skin is removed.
As a rule the skins are useless in the summer as the antelope are
changing their coats; the legs and face are dark brown, and the muzzle,
instead of being neat and deer-like, is broad and puffy. The horns are
peculiar, having a considerable bend forward at the tips, as if they
were pliable, and the buck was standing with his back to a gale of wind.

They have two greatly developed inguinal glands, the tubes of which
run right up into the body, and the Tartars are said to believe that
the antelope inflate these with air at will, to enable them to gallop
faster. A curious point about this antelope is that though he can
gallop, and very fast, he generally seems to prefer moving at a sharp
trot.

As they are wary and require careful stalking, and as they often lie up
for the day in holes, which they have a curious habit of scratching for
themselves on the hillsides just deep enough to conceal the whole of
their bodies and necks when lying down, leaving the eyes just peeping
over the top, the best time to hunt them is when they are feeding in
the morning and evening. They are rather soft animals, and succumb to
wounds that most deer would travel miles with; the writer once broke
the foreleg of a buck who after going about half a mile lay down
with his nose on the ground, and let himself be caught. There was a
pretty free fight for a bit when he was laid hold of, his sharp horns
necessitating a certain amount of caution; a judicious wrench towards
his wounded side, however, at length upset him, and a knife-thrust
finished him. A Tartar shikari, who was standing by, absolutely refused
to lend any assistance during the struggle, contenting himself with
applauding the combatants and seeing fair play. The does are smaller
than the bucks, are of a light brown colour, and have no horns.

Unlike other antelope, the bucks separate from the does in the summer,
and walk about in herds together. They are much worried by the grubs
of some fly, which seems to annoy them chiefly when lying down during
the heat of the day, for it is a common thing to see one of a herd get
up, go for a constitutional gallop--they always gallop then--return
to the herd and lie down again with the others. They do not seem to
be troubled so much when moving about feeding. The venison in July is
excellent.


XLV. THE SAIGA ANTELOPE (_Saiga tartarica_)

This extraordinary animal, which hails from Central Asia, is said to
be a relative of the Thibetan antelope, on account of the peculiar
formation of the nose. In the stuffed specimens in the British Museum
there is little or no resemblance between the two; the Thibetan
antelope having there, as in its natural state, a broad puffy muzzle,
while the saiga antelope has, at all events in the Museum, in addition
to a very high chevron, an absurd-looking elongated snout like a tapir,
projecting far beyond its lower lip. The hair is thick and long,
particularly on the cheeks, where it almost resembles a wild boar. The
ears are small and rounded in shape, utterly unlike any deer’s ears.
The general colour is almost white (probably a very pale yellow in
nature), and there is a dark stripe down the quarters and tail. The
horns are annulated and of a very pale colour, the stuffed specimen
having twelve rings; and though of the gazelle type, with a backward
sweep, rising up again at the tips, they have also two curious outward
bends, one near the base of the horn, and another near the tip, though
the tips eventually incline inwards. A skeleton in the Museum measured
58 ins. in length along the spinal cord, and stood 31¾ ins. at the
shoulder. The stuffed specimen stands 30 ins. at the shoulder. Three
pairs of horns measured 13¾ ins., 13½ ins. and 13 ins.

[Illustration: Saiga tartarica]

Sterndale remarks that the inflated nostrils ‘are so much lengthened
as to necessitate the animal’s walking backwards when it feeds.’ The
fortunate sportsman who comes across this rare variety should therefore
remember to post himself astern of a herd should he wish it to feed
up to him--though he may possibly find that nature has provided the
animal with means of twitching its nose out of the way to obviate so
uncomfortable a method of grazing.

_Gazella gutturosa_

This is another little known variety. It is found in Mongolia, and is
the one Ward refers to as the ‘hwang yang, or yellow goat.’ There is
a stuffed specimen in the British Museum, which stands 31 ins. at the
shoulder, is of a pale yellowish white, with coarse hairs, and has
horns 10½ ins. in length, of the regular gazelle type in shape and
ribbing, much resembling those of the _Gazella picticaudata_.

_Gazella subgutturosa_

is a much smaller beast than the last. It is found in Persia,[24]
and extends to Yarkand, where a specimen was shot by Major Biddulph
when with the Yarkand Mission, between Maral Bashi and Kashgar. It is
called by the natives ‘djêrân,’ or ‘jairan.’ Its general colour is
pale red, with dark facial marks, a dark band along the side where the
white of the belly joins the red of the back, and above it a curious
pale streak. The buck has long, annulated, lyrate horns, with the tips
inclining inwards. It measures 27½ ins. in height, and the horns of a
specimen quoted in the ‘Scientific Results, Second Yarkand Mission,’
measured 14 ins. in length by 5 ins. in girth. There is a coloured
plate of one in the same publication.

Major Cumberland, in his journal published by ‘Land and Water,’
mentions hawking these gazelles with trained eagles. He says that the
doe is not much bigger than _Gazella Bennetti_, with short stumpy horns.


XLVI. THE THIBETAN GAZELLE (_Gazella picticaudata_, _Procapra
picticaudata_--WARD)

_Thibetan ‘Goa’_

This lovely little animal is of a creamy fawn colour in its winter
coat. It has a white anal disc of longish hair, and a black tail about
four inches long, which, like the Indian gazelle, it keeps perpetually
wagging. The summer coat is slaty grey. The horns are like those of the
Indian gazelle, but are longer, of finer grain, and have a far bolder
sweep backwards before turning up at the tips. The female has no horns.
It frequents the high plateaux along the Chinese frontier, in Eastern
Ladak, in the neighbourhood of the Tsomoriri Lake, but apparently does
not extend north of the Indus, as far as Ladak is concerned, its limits
in Chinese Thibet being at present unknown.

_Measurements_

  +-----------------+------+------+------+------+-----+----+--------------+
  |                 |Height|Total |Weight|Length|Girth|Span|              |
  |    Authority    |   at |length|  as  |  of  | at  |tip |   Remarks    |
  |                 |shoul-|      | shot |horns | base|to  |              |
  |                 | der  |      |      |      |     |tip |              |
  +-----------------+------+------+------+------+-----+----+--------------+
  |                            PANTHOLOPS HODGSONII                       |
  |                 | ins. | ins. | lbs. | ins. | ins.|ins.|              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Colonel Kinloch }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  28½ | ..  | .. |{‘Large Game  |
  |  quotes a head }|      |      |      |      |     |    |{ Shooting’   |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  27⅞ |  5⅞ | 13⅛|{Rowland      |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Sir R. Harvey,  }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  27⅞ |  5½ | 11¼|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Bart.         }|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  27⅛ |  5½ | 15⅛|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Major Ward       |  36  |  ..  |  85  |  26½ | ..  | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Guide to     |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Hon. C. Ellis    |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  26⅜ |  5⅞ | 13⅝|{Rowland      |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |The Writer       |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  26  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Capt. G. Campbell|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  25½ |  5½ | 12½|{Rowland      |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Hume Collection,}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  25⅜ |  5⅜ | 12½|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  British Museum}|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |   ”      ”      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  25¼ |  5¾ | 12¾|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Major Ward       |  37  |  ..  |  85  |  24  |  .. | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Guide to     |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |   ”      ”      |  37  |  ..  |  90  |  24  |  .. | .. |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |The Writer       |  35  |  ..  |  ..  |  20½ |  .. | .. |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |                                                                       |
  |            Major Ward puts the average length of a full-grown         |
  |             buck’s horns at 22 ins., which seems about right.         |
  |                                                                       |
  |                                 SAIGA TARTARICA                       |
  |Hon. W.          |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  14⅜ |  5¼ |  3½|{Rowland      |
  |  Rothschild     |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Sir E. G. Loder,}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13¾ |  5  | .. |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Bart.         }|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Sir V. Brooke    |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13¾ |  4⅜ |  3½|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |British Museum   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13¾ | ..  | .. |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |   ”      ”      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13½ | ..  | .. |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Hon. W.          |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13⅛ |  5⅜ |  4⅜|{Rowland      |
  |  Rothschild     |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |British Museum   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                               GAZELLA GUTTUROSA                       |
  |Sir E. G. Loder,}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13⅛ |  4⅝ |  6¼|{Rowland      |
  |  Bart.         }|      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. St. George  }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  12¾ |  4⅜ |  3⅜|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Littledale    }|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |   ”    ”    ”   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  12¼ |  4⅜ |  4¾|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. R. Beech     |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  11½ |  4⅞ |  3 |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. Rowland Ward |about |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |  ”   ”   ”   |
  |                 |  30  |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                               GAZELLA SUBGUTTUROSA                    |
  |Scientific      }|  27½ |  ..  |  ..  |  14  |  5  | .. |              |
  | Results, Second}|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  | Yarkand Mission}|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. Rowland Ward |about |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |{‘Horn        |
  |                 |  26  |      |      |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Dr. O. Finsch,  }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13¾ |  4½ |  6 |    ”    ”    |
  |  British Museum}|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Hume Collection,}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13⅜ |  4¾ |  5½|    ”    ”    |
  |  British Museum}|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |   ”      ”      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13  |  4½ |  5 |    ”    ”    |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |   ”      ”      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  12¾ |  4¾ |  4⅜|    ”    ”    |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |   ”      ”      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  12⅝ | 4¾  |  5¼|    ”    ”    |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |   ”      ”      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  11¾ |   5 |  5⅛|    ”    ”    |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                               GAZELLA PICTICAUDATA                    |
  |Major Greenaway  |  ..  |  ..  |  37  |  13½ |  .. | .. |              |
  |                 |      |      cleaned|      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Hume Collection,}|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13½ |  3⅝ |  5¼|{Rowland      |
  |  British Museum}|      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. H. C. V.     |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13⅛ |   4 |  3⅝|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |  Hunter         |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |   ”      ”      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13  |  3¾ |  3½|  ”   ”   ”   |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Colonel Kinloch  |about |  ..  |  ..  |  13  | ..  | .. |{‘Large Game  |
  |                 |  24  |      |      |      |     |    |{Shooting’    |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Major Ward       |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13  | ..  | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Guide to     |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Major Greenaway  |  23½ |  41  |  47  |  13  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |      ”   (a doe)|  23  |  38½ |  40  |  ..  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |      ”          |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Captain K.      }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13  | ..  | .. |              |
  |  Mackenzie     }|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |                 |      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  |Average of      }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13  | ..  | .. |              |
  |  good head     }|      |      |      |      |     |    |              |
  +-----------------+------+------+------+------+-----+----+--------------+

Goa do not appear to lie down much in the middle of the day, and in May
and June, at all events, are constantly on the move. They appear to
resort to particular spots for dropping their dung, and little heaps of
it may be noticed wherever goa are at all plentiful.

As they are generally found on the grass flats that fringe the streams,
or on some almost level plateau, stalking them is by no means easy,
though they are not generally very shy, will occasionally allow
considerable liberties to be taken in approaching them, and will stop
to look after a fallen companion. The Tartars say that they can be
stalked down wind, but they say this also of the Thibetan antelope, and
Major Ward’s advice on this point is sound: ‘Believe it, reader, if you
like, but do not try it often.’


XLVII. INDIAN ANTELOPE (_Antilope Bezoartica_)

_Generally ‘Heran,’ or ‘Mirug,’ from the Sanscrit ‘Mirga’_

This is the well-known black buck, which is found all over India
at intervals from the extreme south to as far north as the Jhelum,
following the southern bank of that river till (joined by the Chenab,
Ravi and Sutlej) it flows into the Indus, which then becomes the
black buck’s northern boundary. Essentially a plains-loving animal,
it avoids hills and heavy forest, but is often found in the long
grass which covers the islands and banks of many of the large rivers.
Though considerable tracts of apparently suitable country do not
seem to hold a single herd, special districts where antelope are
always to be found seem to crop up unexpectedly all over India. In
the North-West Provinces, and along the borders of the Bikanir Desert
between Rajpootana and the Punjab, it appears to be more generally
plentiful than in the rest of India, and the horns in these districts
grow longer. Sanderson says, in ‘Thirteen Years among the Wild Beasts
of India,’ that an 18-in. horn is a decided rarity in Mysore, whilst
in the Bikanir Desert they are frequently obtained 24 ins., and
occasionally 27 ins. or more, in length.

A black buck in his best coat is a very handsome animal, but is too
well known to require description.

The buck usually changes his coat after the rutting season, which is in
the spring, the season varying slightly according to locality. During
the hot months he is generally more or less brown, regaining the black
coat after the rainy season. Many full-grown bucks with good heads do
not seem to turn black at all, but the master buck of a herd is almost
invariably black at the proper season.

[Illustration: Tame decoys]

Major FitzHerbert (a very careful observer of the habits of wild
animals) is of opinion that it is usually the master buck of the herd
who turns brown in the hot weather; he is then used up, and often
leaves the herd to the possession of a younger buck, who has remained
black.

The herds, though more frequently consisting of ten or a dozen animals,
are occasionally of immense size--indeed thousands are mentioned by
some authorities. Antelope in herds are, as a rule, fairly easy to get
within shot of; but a solitary old black buck takes precious good care
of himself, and as there is rarely cover enough to stalk him without
being seen, these wary old gentlemen generally escape. The natives have
many methods of hunting antelope. Pursuing them with trained chitas has
been so often described that any detailed account of it is unnecessary.
It is interesting to see once, the chita’s speed being so amazing,
but considered as sport it is poor fun. Black buck are occasionally
snared by sending tame bucks among them with nooses attached to their
horns. The wild buck attacks the intruder, and gets caught by the horn.
This plan is also adopted for snaring ravine deer, but not often, as
the gazelle is said to be harder to train than the black buck. The
commonest way of snaring antelope is by covering about an acre of
ground thickly with nooses and driving a herd over it. Trained bullocks
are often used by native shikaris to enable them to get within the
close range they love for a shot; and the writer has seen the following
curious method practised in Central India. A trained buck and doe are
taken out, each having a light cord about ten yards long attached to
it, and the pair are led by an attendant, a light screen about three
feet square made of grass and leaves with a small hole in the centre
being carried by the shikari, and the whole party moves under cover of
a third man on horseback to within about three hundred yards of a herd
of antelope. The screen is then planted on a spot commanding a good
view; the men on foot crouch behind it, and the horseman rides slowly
off to a flank. The tame deer are then let out to the full extent of
their lines on one side of the screen, and begin playing round one
another. The master buck of the herd, seeing an impertinent intruder on
his ground, trots out at once to do battle for the doe, but the screen
puzzles him, so before coming close he generally circles round to try
and see behind it. As he moves the screen is shifted round, the men
scrambling round on hands and knees behind it, and if there are two
Englishmen bursting with suppressed laughter in addition to the two
natives, all scuffling round as the screen moves and trying to keep
their legs out of sight, the business is most comical.

Directly the wild buck stops, the screen and the men behind it must
remain motionless. Having failed to discover what is behind the screen,
the buck, though he is still suspicious, probably because he caught
sight of a clumsy English leg, feels that he must try to capture that
enticing doe, but decides on having a look from the other side of the
screen first, so back he gallops to the other flank, and the scrambling
process is repeated. Gradually he comes within range, the rifle is
poked through the hole in the screen and he gets his quietus; after
this the tame deer are given a handful of corn, and the party sets
out to look for another herd. The tame buck employed in this manœuvre
should be a brown one, as if an old powerful-looking black one is used
the wild buck will often decline the contest.

In some districts the antelope are so wild that sportsmen have to
approach them under cover of bullock-carts, and occasionally dress up
as natives to get within range. The antelope are accustomed to see
carts and natives, and will generally allow them to pass within about a
hundred and fifty yards, while the sight of a European will start them
off at once; but in most places in Central and Northern India these
accessories are not needed. The pleasantest way of shooting is to ride
a quiet horse, which will do for stalking if the antelope are wild or
for riding down a wounded buck, taking a few coolies with you to carry
game, luncheon, guns and cartridges.

A shot-gun enables one to vary the bag pleasantly with small game,
without interfering with the chance of getting antelope. If the
sportsman is fond of coursing, greyhounds may be taken, the Rampore
breed suiting the country best; but after many trials the writer has
become unwillingly convinced that dogs do more harm than good. If there
are any crops about they soon get unsighted, get on to fresh deer, and
disturb the whole country.

On the other hand, if the sportsman has dogs he can often enjoy
a course after a fox or a hare to vary the entertainment, and a
good course with a wounded buck is a very pretty sight. The usual
proceeding is as follows: The sportsman rides till a herd is sighted;
he approaches them as far as he thinks safe, probably within about six
hundred yards; he then dismounts, and if he is going to use his horse
for stalking, goes on with the horse and groom, leaving the coolies and
dogs behind, with orders to follow him slowly, keeping as far back as
possible without losing sight of him. If the antelope are feeding or
moving slowly, the sportsman directs his course so as to cross their
path about a hundred yards ahead of them. If the creatures are lying
down or stationary, he must try to pass within a hundred yards of the
flank which is to the leeward of the herd, walking on the far side
of his horse, which is led by the groom on the same side. If he has
no horse with him, he should hold his rifle so that the sun does not
shine on the barrels. If two sportsmen are working together (a most
killing plan with crafty men who play into one another’s hands), they
should each take a flank and go rather wider than they would if hunting
single-handed, so as to keep the herd between them. As long as that can
be managed one or other of the guns is sure to get a chance at the best
buck. The sportsman should show himself to the herd a long way off,
and walk slowly, without any attempt at concealment; he must remember
never to walk straight at them, but always as if he were going to pass
them at about a hundred yards; if he finds he is lying too far out of
his course, he should edge quietly towards them without turning, and he
should never stop until he means to fire. He should never look direct
at the herd; quiet side glances will give him all the information he
requires.

When he has approached to within two hundred yards, if the herd is
lying down some of the does will get up; but the sportsman can go on
safely till the buck he wants begins to stir. The old fellow will rise
leisurely, stretch himself, and then turn to gaze. This is the time
for the shot, and if it can be taken without sitting down or kneeling
it is far more likely to be an easy one. An excellent rest[25] for
firing standing can be made with a light bamboo having an iron crutch
covered with leather on the top to hold the rifle barrels. The crutch
should be the exact height of the top of the sportsman’s shoulder, and
is held, when firing, with the left hand at arm’s length. The bottom
of the stick should be shod, to prevent it wearing away when used as
a walking-stick. The advantages of using this rest are particularly
noticeable when shooting among low bushes, which so often interfere
with a shot when sitting or kneeling.

Frequently, just before the sportsman can get a fair chance at the
buck he wants, the herd begins to move off; two or three does commence
bucking high in the air, and to a novice it would appear that the
whole herd are on the point of galloping away. This, however, by no
means follows. The master buck often takes very little notice of their
pranks, and follows slowly after them, in which case the does calm
down, and though still continuing to move, will lead on slowly. The
sportsman should follow them quietly, still keeping on their flanks,
and heading so as to cut them off, if possible; sooner or later he will
get a chance if he sticks to them quietly, though if he has followed
them for some distance he will probably only get a running shot. Each
herd has its own district as a rule, and sooner than be forced far over
its boundary, it will turn and gallop back past the sportsman, often
within fifty yards. This is even more noticeable with ravine deer,
whose herd districts appear to be smaller than those of antelope, and
who generally require a lot of following up and bullying before they
give a chance. A good buck with a herd of either antelope or of ravine
deer need never be given up as hopeless as long as it can be followed.
In following a wounded buck the main point is just to keep it in sight
without pressing it until it lies down, when it should be left for
about half an hour before being restalked. If it is intended to ride,
or course the buck, the attendants should be signalled up at once, as
the half-hour’s rest will spoil the run, but the sportsman should be
careful that the dogs are not slipped till the buck is well clear of
the herd. The best way is for the sportsman to have the dogs brought up
to him, then ride ahead, the slipper running after him with the dogs in
leash till the buck begins to gallop; then have the dogs slipped and
ride the buck, halloaing on the dogs till they are fairly laid on. If
he has no dogs he will be able to get within three hundred yards of the
buck before the latter really starts, and then he must send him along;
after about half a mile he will find that he can get within twenty
yards, but no nearer. A few hundred yards farther the buck will begin
to falter and then suddenly throw himself down, and the sportsman can
either spear him or dismount and knife him--the buck has run himself
out. With Express rifles, unless a buck is hit in the leg, he will
give no run at all; with a body wound he can’t gallop any distance,
though he may give trouble if pursued on foot. The bucking bounds which
antelope make are very peculiar (no wounded animal ever bucks). The
distance covered may be only a few feet, the animal jumping apparently
to get a good view, but when the deer are galloping, the distance
covered in a bound, apparently made without effort, is extraordinary.
Major FitzHerbert paced three successive bounds of a doe on softish
sand; two measured eight yards and the third seven yards.

A buck slightly wounded in the leg will occasionally give a grand run.
In 1875 Major FitzHerbert shot a buck through the hock without breaking
the bone. Mounted on a fast Arab, he rode this buck for a mile and
a half without being able to get up to him, as the buck led over a
succession of gram fields where he was able to keep along the narrow
headlands while the horse had to plough through the clods. Finding that
he was, if anything, losing ground, the rider pulled up, and the buck
stopped and lay down in a patch of grass. The attendants then came up
with a couple of deerhounds, which were slipped at the buck with a good
start, but could not run into him till he had gone another mile and a
quarter, and only then caught the buck when he dislocated his wounded
hock.

In 1876 the same sportsman had another brilliant gallop on the same
horse after a buck wounded in the fleshy part of the thigh. A brace of
dogs were slipped, but got away on to other deer early in the run, and
the buck was ridden till he dropped and was despatched with a knife.
This run was measured about five miles on the map from point to point,
and must have been seven or eight miles as the buck went. Cases have
been reported of unwounded black buck being run down by dogs in the
Bombay Presidency, but in Northern India, though the writer knows of
two instances of unwounded does being successfully coursed (one of
these at all events was not in young, as it was examined by a medical
officer to decide a bet), the bucks could always gallop away from the
dogs.

The biggest bag of black buck the writer knows of was sixty-four bucks
in 1883, by two guns in five days and a half. Of these, ten bucks,
whose horns were all over 22 in. in length, were shot by one of the
sportsmen in a morning’s work. The biggest mixed bag by one gun in a
day was two nylghai, five ravine deer, and three black buck in 1875.

Black buck in their wild state are very pugnacious, and when two bucks
are fighting they may often be approached without difficulty. I once
walked up to within eighty yards of two who were desperately hard at
it; sat down and watched the fight till they stood with their horns
locked, and then shot the blacker buck of the pair through the lungs.
He threw up his head and bolted, pursued by his antagonist, a brown
buck with good horns, who seemed to have had rather the best of the
battle while it lasted. They ran about one hundred yards, the brown
buck driving and horning the other till the latter dropped dead; then,
after making two or three attacks on the prostrate body, the brown buck
began to swagger round it, head and tail in the air, as proud as could
be. By this time I had again got well within range, and as the brown
buck now apparently saw me for the first time (not having taking any
notice of the shot), I dropped him with another bullet so that he fell
over the carcase of his late rival.

Writing of the height that antelope can jump, Williamson mentions a
black buck leading a herd over a net which was propped up on poles 13
ft. long, and which must have been at least 11 ft. high.


XLVIII. THE NYLGHAO (_Portax pictus_)

_Native names: ‘Nilghao,’ ‘Lilghao’; in the Punjab, ‘Roz’_

This animal is found pretty nearly all over the plains of India. Jerdon
says it is not known in the extreme south of India, but Sanderson
mentions it as occurring in the Madras Presidency on the borders of
Mysore. According to my own experience, it is most plentiful in Central
India, though it is common enough in the North-West Provinces.

An old male, usually called a blue bull, is a large beast with a lean
head, surmounted by short cow-like horns, but with a curious rib along
the base of the horn in front; the neck is long and carried high; the
withers are high, and give him a horse-like appearance, but he falls
away towards the hind-quarters; the tail is like a cow’s, with a tuft
at the end, but only reaches to the hocks. His general colour is a dark
iron grey; the chin, lips, and inside of the ears are white; the ears
are rather large and cow-like; there is a white spot on each cheek, a
large white patch on the throat, below which hangs a tuft of long black
hair; the chest and stomach are white, there are white rings on the
fetlocks, and he has a thin upright black mane.

The female is fawn-coloured, and is without horns.

Scrub jungle, composed of ‘babul’ trees, ‘dhak’ and ‘beyr’ bushes, is
the ground on which to look for nylghai, and if there is a patch of
sugar cane adjoining such a jungle, it is an almost certain find. The
natives often enclose these patches of cane with grass fences nearly
six feet high, but nylghai will always jump them.

As a rule, natives object more or less strongly to nylghai being shot,
regarding them as cattle; and as they afford poor sport with the rifle,
most men spare them after having obtained a few specimens, especially
if the ground is not rideable; but where they can be ridden it is
quite another matter. A wounded bull will give a grand run, and even
an unwounded one can be ridden down if well pressed at first. This is
rather a difficult matter for a single horseman, but parties of three
or four have frequently done it. Kinloch mentions an instance of its
having been done single-handed, and gives some stirring accounts of his
own adventures after nylghai. Cows, he says, it is almost impossible to
catch, the only chance being with heavy old bulls.

Blue bulls have frequently been tamed and trained to carry loads.
Sterndale mentions one he used to ride, but they are as a rule
dangerous in captivity. The writer owned one who would let him sit on
his back when lying down, but he would always charge any pony that came
near him, dropping suddenly on his knees to use his horns. He used to
break loose, and hunt the native gardeners up trees, whilst he enjoyed
the produce. As the bull would not consent to be led, he had to be
left behind when the writer’s battalion left the station, and his last
exploit was to hunt the portly native landlord of the house round and
round the premises when he came to look at his property.

The hide is very thick, especially on the shoulders, and is much prized
by the boatmen on all the rivers for making up into the inflated skins
they use.

Sterndale remarks: ‘He sometimes even devours such quantities of the
intensely acrid berries of the aoula (_Phyllanthus emblica_) that his
flesh becomes saturated with the bitter elements of the fruit. This is
most noticeable in soup, less so in a steak, which is at times not bad.’

The writer has never had the luck to taste any part of a blue bull that
was worth eating except the tongue.


XLIX. INDIAN GAZELLE (_Gazella Bennetti_)

_Commonly called Ravine Deer; native name generally ‘Chikara’_

The gazelle is found in suitable localities pretty nearly all over
India, with the exception of Lower Bengal, the Western Ghauts, and
the Malabar coast. Wherever there is sandy ground, low stony hills,
or the network of ravines which fringes the banks of so many Indian
streams near their sources, or where they cut their way through low
hills, ravine deer are likely to be found. They avoid heavy forest or
swamp covered with high grass, nor do they usually frequent closely
cultivated ground unless there is scrub, jungle, or a ravine near to
which they can retire when disturbed.

They are fidgetty, restless little animals, and, like the Thibetan
gazelles, are incessantly twitching their tails. Even where not
much hunted they are generally pretty wild, but as they do not as a
rule go far when disturbed, the sportsman can usually get a shot by
perseveringly following up a herd. A steady shooting horse is of great
assistance in stalking them, and on the edge of the Bikanir Desert,
where they are very plentiful, the easiest way of approaching them is
under cover of a riding camel. As black buck and ravine deer are often
found on the same ground, the same tactics in the stalk are applicable
to either. The stick-rest recommended for black buck shooting is of the
greatest assistance when shooting ravine deer among bushes. The bucks
are often seen alone, and herds rarely consist of more than a dozen
animals. The does have thin horns, and occasionally, in bad light or
jungle, pay the penalty of being mistaken for bucks.

Ravine deer shooting with a light rifle is very good fun. Straight
shooting is necessary for so small a mark, and as a rule the day’s
amusement can be varied by shots at black buck or small game. Colonel
Howard, in 1883, got one ravine buck, one bustard, two peafowl, one
sand-grouse, one duck, in a day, all shot with a rifle.

A ravine buck with a broken leg will give a good run to dogs if found
in the open, but as a rule the ground these deer frequent is too broken
for coursing.

An unwounded doe was run down by three dogs belonging to officers of
the Rifle Brigade in 1876, but on another occasion the writer saw a
fawn run clean away from a good dog. Kinloch describes how the officers
of the Guides used to hunt ravine deer with dogs and falcons.


L. THE FOUR-HORNED ANTELOPE (_Tetraceros quadricornis_)

_Native names: generally ‘Charsingha,’ ‘Choka,’ ‘Doda’; in Chota Nagpur
‘Cháorang’ (Kinloch)_

Four-horned antelopes are found thinly scattered all over India, but,
according to Sterndale, not in Ceylon or Burmah. They are met with in
Rajputana, but the writer has never heard of them in the Punjab.

They generally live alone or in pairs, and frequent bamboo jungle, or
the long grass and bushes near forests.

Their colouring varies a good deal, but it is generally a
reddish-brown, paler below the forelegs, and fetlocks dark; the latter
being ringed with pale marks. The female is hornless. The male has two
pairs of short, smooth black horns, the front pair, which is shorter
than the other pair, growing almost above the eyes, while the rear pair
rises just in front of the ears. The front pair are often mere knobs,
and good specimen heads, with the four horns complete, are not easy
to get; in fact, this antelope is such a small animal and sticks so
persistently to cover, that the majority of those that are killed are
bagged by lucky snap-shots. Sterndale quotes a letter in the ‘Asian,’
signed ‘Bheel,’ in which the writer remarks: ‘It is found in the thick
jungles at the foot of the hills. It selects some secluded spot,
which it does not desert when disturbed, returning invariably to its
hiding-place when the coast is clear.’ This peculiarity might well be
taken advantage of by any sportsman desirous of obtaining a specimen;
on a four-horn being put up, his hiding-place might be noted, the
attendants sent on a few hundred yards, and the sportsman remain behind
to intercept the animal on its return. The writer has never tried this
plan, but only offers the suggestion for what it is worth.

_Measurements_

  +----------------+------+------+-------+------+-----+----+--------------+
  |                |Height|      |Weight |Length|Girth|Span|              |
  |Authority       |at    |Total |  as   | of   | of  |tip | Remarks      |
  |                |shoul-|length| shot  |horns |horns|to  |              |
  |                |der   |      |       |      |     |tip |              |
  +----------------+------+------+-------+------+-----+----+--------------+
  |                        ANTILOPE BEZOARTICA                            |
  |                | ins. | ins. |  lbs. |ins.  |ins. |ins.|              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  28¼ |  5  | 17¾|{Rowland      |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. Rowland Ward|  ..  |  ..  |Average|  ..  | ..  | .. |   ”          |
  |                |      |      |  85   |      |     |    |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Sterndale       |  32  |  35  |  ..   |  28  | ..  | .. |{‘Triangle’ in|
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{‘The Asian’  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Major Ward      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  27¾ | ..  | .. |{‘Sportsman’s |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Guide to     |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Ladak, &c.’  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Col. Kinloch    |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  27  | ..  | .. |{‘Large Game  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Shooting’    |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |     ”          |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  27  | ..  | .. |    ”         |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Sir V. Brooke   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  27  |  5  | 19½|{Rowland      |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Captain Brooke  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  26¾ | ..  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Col. Kinloch    |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  26¾ | ..  | .. |{‘Large Game  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{ Shooting’   |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  26⅜ |  5  | 17⅞|{Rowland      |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Col. Kinloch    |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  26  | ..  | .. |{‘Large Game  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Shooting’    |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Gordon Cumming  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  26  | ..  | .. |{‘Wild Men and|
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Wild Beasts’ |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |      ”         |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  26  | ..  | .. |(An albino)   |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Captn. Hervey   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  25¾ | ..  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  25⅝ |  4¾ | 20¾|{Rowland      |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Col. Martin     |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  25½ | ..  | 15 |   ”          |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Sir J. Morris,  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  25⅛ |  5⅛ | 21¾|   ”          |
  |        K.C.S.I.|      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Hume Collection,|  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  25⅜ |  5½ | 14½|   ”          |
  |  British Museum|      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |      ”     ”   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  25  |  4⅞ | 19 |   ”          |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Colonel Howard  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  25  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Capt. H. Petre  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  25  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Gordon Cumming  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  25  | ..  | .. |{‘Wild Men and|
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Wild Beasts’ |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Major Greenaway |  33  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |‘Spherical,’   }|  ..  |  ..  |  83.4 |  ..  | ..  | .. |{Average      |
  |‘Oriental      }|      |      |       |      |     |    |{weight of    |
  |Sporting       }|      |      |       |      |     |    |{bucks in     |
  |Magazine,’ 1870}|      |      |       |      |     |    |{Allahabad    |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{district     |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |       ”    ”   |  ..  |  ..  |  70.8 |  ..  | ..  | .. |{Average      |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{weight of    |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{bucks in     |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Bundara      |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{district     |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Average of     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |  20  | ..  | .. |              |
  |  good head    }|      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |                |                   PORTAX PICTUS                      |
  |Major          }|  51  |  ..  |  ..   |   9½ | ..  | .. |              |
  |  FitzHerbert  }|      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |British Museum  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |   9¼ |  6¾ |  4⅞|{Rowland      |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Col. Kinloch   {|about}|  ..  |  ..   |  ..  | ..  | .. |{‘Large Game  |
  |               {|  56 }|      |       |      |     |    |{ Shooting’   |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Mr. A. O. Hume  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |   8⅞ |  6⅝ |  3½|{Rowland      |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Ward, ‘Horn  |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |{Measurements’|
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |The Writer      |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |   8¾ |  7  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |    ”           |  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |   8¾ | 7⅛  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Sterndale’s    }|{ 52 }|{ 96} |  ..   |{  8 }| ..  | .. |              |
  |  ‘Mammalia’   }|{ to }|{ to} |       |{ to }|     |    |              |
  |                |{ 58 }|{106} |       |{ 10 }|     |    |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Major          }|  53  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  | ..  | .. |              |
  |  FitzHerbert  }|      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Major Greenaway |  55  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |       ”        |  53  |  ..  |  ..   |   7½ | ..  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |       ”        |  50  |  ..  |  ..   |  ..  | ..  | .. |              |
  |                |      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  |Average of     }|  ..  |  ..  |  ..   |   8  | ..  | .. |              |
  |  good head    }|      |      |       |      |     |    |              |
  +----------------+------+------+-------+------+-----+----+--------------+

  +------------+------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+----+
  |            |Height|      |Weight|Length|Length|Length|Girth|Span|
  |Authority   |at    |Total | as   |rear  |front | of   |  of |tip |
  |            |shoul-|length|shot  |horns |horns |horns |horns|to  |
  |            |der   |      |      |      |      |      |     |tip |
  |            +------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+----+
  |            |                       Remarks                      |
  +------------+------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+----+
  |            |                   GAZELLA BENNETTI                 |
  |            | ins. | ins. | lbs. | ins. | ins. | ins. |ins. |ins.|
  |Capt. Brooke|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  14¼ |  .. | .. |
  |            |  Both shot the same evening near Ferozepore        |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |    ”       |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  14  | ..  | .. |
  |            |                         ”                          |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Major Ward  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  14  | ..  | .. |
  |            |      ‘Sportsman’s Guide to Ladak, &c.’             |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Sir V. }    |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13¾ |  4½ |  7 |
  |Brooke }    |      Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’             |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Major       |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13½ | ..  | .. |
  |FitzHerbert |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Col. Kinloch|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13¼ | ..  | .. |
  |            |                ‘Large Game Shooting’               |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Major       |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  13  | ..  | .. |
  |FitzHerbert |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Sterndale’s |} 26  |  42  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  12  | ..  | .. |
  |  ‘Mammalia’|}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |‘Spherical,’|} ..  |  ..  |  39½ |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |}
  |‘Oriental   |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |}
  |Sporting    |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |}
  |Magazine,’  |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |}
  |1870        |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |}
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |}
  | ”   ”   ”  |  ..  |  ..  |  38  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |}Bucks
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |}
  | ”   ”   ”  |  ..  |  ..  |  36  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |}
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |}
  | ”   ”   ”  |  ..  |  ..  |  33  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |}
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  | ”   ”   ”  |  ..  |  ..  |  30  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |}
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |}
  | ”   ”   ”  |  ..  |  ..  |  28½ |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |}Does
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |}
  | ”   ”   ”  |  ..  |  ..  |  24  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |}
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Average of  |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  12  | ..  | .. |
  |  good head |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |                              TETRACEROS QUADRICORNUS            |
  |British     |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  4½  |   2⅜ |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |  Museum    |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Sir E. G.   |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  4⅜  |   2½ |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |Loder, Bart.|}     Rowland Ward, ‘Horn Measurements’             |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Col. J.     |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  4   |  2½  |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |  Evans     |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |  (British  |}     |            ”   ”   ”                        |
  |  Museum)   |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Sir R.      |} ..  |  ..  |   .. |  3⅝  |  1¾  |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |  Harvey,   |}     |            ”   ”   ”                        |
  |  Bart.     |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |H.R.H. Duke |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  3½  |  2   |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |of Edinburgh|}     |            ”   ”   ”                        |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Sir E.      |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  3¼  |  1⅞  |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |  Durand,   |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |  Bart.     |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |British     |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  3⅛  |   ½  |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |  Museum    |}     |            ”   ”   ”                        |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Sterndale’s |} 24  |  40  |  .. {| about| about|} ..  | ..  | .. |
  |  ‘Mammalia’|} to  |  to  |     {|  5   |  1½  |}     |     |    |
  |            |  26  |  42  |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Average of  |} ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  3   |  1½  |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |  good head |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |                                 MEMINNA INDICA                  |
  |The Writer  |  11  |21½   |about |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |            |      |      |  10  |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |Other measurements of this buck for stuffing: Height|
  |            |at croup, 11¼; length of neck, 2¼; girth of neck,   |
  |            |7⁸⁄₁₀; girth behind shoulder, 13½; girth middle of  |
  |            |body, 16⁷⁄₂₀; girth in front of stifle, 13½; forearm|
  |            |at elbow, 3⁶⁄₁₀; thigh close to body, 6⁴⁄₁₀ ins.    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Jerdon      |  10  |  22  |   5  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |            |  to  |  to  |  to  |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |  12  |  23  |   6  |      |      |      |     |    |
  |            |      |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Professor   |}  8  |  18  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | ..  | .. |
  |Garrod,     |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |‘Cassells’  |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  |Nat. Hist.’ |}     |      |      |      |      |      |     |    |
  +------------+------+------+------+------+------+------+-----+----+

The four-horn has the stilted action peculiar to _deerlets_, walking on
the tips of its toes. Sterndale remarks that it is higher at the croup
than the withers, and runs with its neck stuck out in a poky sort of
way, making short leaps.


LI. THE MOUSE DEER (_Meminna indica_)

_Native names: ‘Pisora,’ ‘Pisai’_

Habitat, the large forests of India; but it is not known, according to
Jerdon, in the countries eastward of the Bay of Bengal. It is common in
the bamboo forests of the Central Provinces (Sterndale). The writer has
never heard of it in Northern India, nor has he even seen it in Central
India; in the Western Ghauts it is common enough.

In colour it is an olive dun, with lines of pale yellow spots along
the sides; the lower parts are white; the ears small and rounded; the
legs fine and delicate, being scarcely thicker than an ordinary pencil;
the tail is short. The male has delicate little tushes pendant from
the upper jaw, like the Barking deer; the scrotum is hairless, and
instead of being between the legs is behind them, like the ordinary
little Indian ground squirrel, which it very much resembles in colour
and markings. It is commonly found in bamboo jungle, and the writer got
a good specimen in the Western Ghauts. Sterndale writes of some tame
mouse deer which he had: ‘They trip about most daintily on the tips of
their toes, and look as if a puff of wind would blow them away. They
are said to rut in June and July, and bring forth two young about the
end of the rainy season.’


LII. KYANG (_Equus hemionus_)

_Thibet ‘Kyang’_

The kyang was doubtless originally intended by Providence to fulfil
some good purpose, but having turned out a failure was located in
Thibet, where it was probably considered it would not be much in the
way; or else it was designed to take the place of the insect life on
the lower ranges and act as a blister on the temper of the sportsman.
The shapoo, limb of the devil as it is, has some good points in its
favour--e.g. a graceful carriage, fine horns, and it is a desirable
acquisition to the bag. The kyang has nothing to recommend or excuse
it. It is an ugly, donkeyfied, fiddle-headed brute, with straight
shoulders. In colour it is a mealy bay with a dark-brown hog mane,
dorsal stripe and tail. Its head and ears are coarse and large, and
its screeching bray is as unpleasant as its general appearance. Being
absolutely worthless to shoot, it is always trading on that fact, and
on the utterly false pretence that it is deeply interested in the
actions and habits of human beings, particularly Europeans, is for
ever thrusting itself into society where it is not welcome, thereby
spoiling the sportsman’s chance of a quiet interview with the animal
of his choice. The one trait in its character that might be reckoned
as a palliation by an unduly benevolent commentator is that it appears
not to be selfish. As soon as it thinks it has got a sportsman’s temper
well under way, it will scour the country round for all its friends
and relations, and assemble them to enjoy together the interesting
spectacle of an angry man armed with a rifle that he dare not discharge
for fear of alarming something worth firing at. Hints and persuasion
are thrown away, and nothing but a declaration of war has the smallest
effect on kyang. A skilful diplomat may occasionally gain a temporary
advantage by misleading kyang as to his intended route--getting the
kyang, for instance, to believe that he wants to cross a particular
pass, and then, by taking advantage of cover, escaping up a side
ravine; but as a rule the sportsman has only the choice of two
alternatives: either to take the first opportunity of hiding and
remaining hidden till the disturbance is over, or else going to some
other part of the ground.

_Measurements._

  +---------------+-------------------+---------------+
  |   Authority   |Height at shoulder |               |
  +---------------+-------------------+---------------+
  |Col. Kinloch   |  About 14 hands   |               |
  |               |                   |               |
  |Sterndale      |  12 to 14 hands   |               |
  |               |                   |               |
  |Major Greenaway|5 year old female, |5½ inches below|
  |               |     12½ hands     |   the knee    |
  |               |                   |               |
  |     ”         |   male, 13 hands  |               |
  |               |                   |               |
  |The Writer     |old male, 13½ hands|               |
  +---------------+-------------------+---------------+


LIII. THE WILD ASS (_Equus onager_)

_Native names: ‘Ghor khur,’ Hindi; ‘Ghour,’ ‘Kherdecht,’ Persian;
‘Koulan,’ Kirghiz (Sterndale)._

The wild ass is common in Persia and extends through Beluchistan and
Sind to the Bikaneer Desert and Kutch, its southern limit according to
Jerdon being Deesa, and its eastern 75° E. longitude. It is closely
allied to, if not identical with, the wild ass of Assyria, _Equus
hemippus_.

As south of the Indus the wild ass is by no means common, and is very
shy and difficult to stalk in the open desert, comparatively few have
been shot by Europeans. Sterndale, quoting Major Tytler, says that on
the Bikaneer Desert the natives organise a hunt once a year to catch
the foals for sale to native princes, and that a full-grown one has
more than once been run down fairly and speared. The Beluchis also ride
down and catch the foals, and shoot the full-grown ones for food, the
ground there being favourable for stalking. A gallop after a wild ass
should be exciting, but few sportsmen, the writer imagines, would care
to shoot more than one specimen of a beast whose sole trophies are the
hoofs.

Sterndale says they stand eleven or twelve hands at the shoulder, which
is considerably smaller than the kyang.

[Illustration: Ovis Poli]



CHAPTER XII

THE OVIS POLI OF THE PAMIR

BY ST. GEORGE LITTLEDALE


The great Pamir, or ‘roof of the world,’ forms the nucleus of the
whole Central Asiatic highland system, and consists of a vast plateau
formation some 30,000 square miles in extent, with a mean elevation of
at least 15,000 ft.

This, shortly, is what _modern_ geographers have to say of the home of
_Ovis Poli_:

  The plain is called Pamier, and you ride across it for twelve
  days together--finding nothing but a desert without habitations
  or any green thing, so that travellers are obliged to carry with
  them whatever they have need of; North-east, you travel forty
  days over mountains and wilderness, and you find no green thing.
  The people are savage idolaters, clothing themselves in the skins
  of beasts; they are in truth an evil race. There are numbers of
  wild beasts--among others wild sheep of great size, whose horns
  are a good six palms in length. From these horns shepherds make
  great bowls to eat from, and they use the horns also to make
  folds for their cattle at night.

So Marco Polo wrote of the Pamir six hundred years ago, and six
centuries earlier still some Chinese pilgrims, in describing it, said
that ‘it was midway between heaven and earth: the snowdrifts never
cease winter or summer: the whole tract is but a dreary waste without a
trace of human kind.’

These descriptions are nearly as true to-day as they were when they
were first written, and this Pamir is the home of the grandest of all
the sheep tribe, the great _Ovis Poli_.

Until very recently the Pamir was considered one of the most
inaccessible places in Asia; but the Transcaspian Railway, opened in
May, 1888, from the Caspian to Samarkand, has completely altered this
state of affairs, though the Russian Government looks with disfavour on
English travellers wishing to use the line so cheaply and expeditiously
constructed for purely military and strategical purposes.

Had it not been for the untiring efforts of Sir Robert Morier, our
Ambassador at St. Petersburg, continued for several months, I should
never have allayed the natural suspicions of the Russian officials in
the Asiatic and War Department, and obtained the necessary permission
to travel by that route. I entirely owe the success of our expedition
to his efforts, and I can never sufficiently thank him for the trouble
taken.

But had I known as much about Russian Central Asia before as I do now,
I should not have waited for the railway, but have crossed the steppes
to Khokand, and thence south to the Pamir, years ago. There are three
routes by which it is possible to reach the Pamir: the first from Ladak
over the Kara Korum to Shahdula, and then west, either from Yarkand or
from a point before you reach that city. For this route a passport
would be necessary from the Chinese Government, which, though much
easier to obtain now than it was formerly, is still by no means easy to
get, nor, having got it, is there any certainty that there would not be
obstacles thrown in the path of anyone wishing to visit the Pamir from
the Chinese side.

The second is the Gilgit, Yassim, Chitral, and Badakshan route, but the
political difficulties at present put this out of the question.

The third is by the Transcaspian Railway.

I have made two visits to the Pamir, the first in 1888, the second in
1890, and Mrs. Littledale accompanied me upon both occasions. In 1888 I
did not know anything about the country or the chances of sport, beyond
the mere fact that the Pamir was the habitat of the Poli sheep; but as
to which particular district I ought to visit, or what special outfit I
ought to take with me, I could obtain no information either in England
or Russia. However, I had the good fortune to meet the Rev. Dr. H.
Lansdell, who gave me valuable advice as to the route to Khokand.

From the Russian officials we received the greatest civility on all
sides; whatever antagonism there may be between the two countries
politically, it begins and ends with politics; for socially at the
present day there is no nation more popular in Russia than the English,
nor do I know any country wherein a man, furnished with proper letters
of introduction, will be made to feel more at home than in Russia.

Saturday, August 5, 1888, found Mrs. Littledale and myself camped in
a valley, flat as a billiard-table, about two miles wide, which was
one vast river-bed of soft shingle, cut up into countless channels,
which varied day by day, almost minute by minute, one or two hours of
sunshine bringing down a flood like a mill race, which cut new channels
and left old ones dry, making that which was a difficult ford in the
morning almost dry by night, and moving the main stream maybe half a
mile away.

The place was an idyll of desolation; not a shrub, nor a bird, nor
a living soul in sight, while the few blades of grass, here and
there apparent among the débris fallen from the cliffs above, had a
half-hearted air, as if they knew that they were out of place. The
mountains on either side were forbidding to a degree. Down their rugged
sides dashed torrents from the glaciers above. The head of the valley
was blocked by some grand snowpeaks, which reared their proud summits
to a height of 20,000 ft. and more. There they stood (and stand)
unnamed, unmeasured, and unknown, waiting for some one to conquer their
virgin snows.

It had been no easy task to persuade our Kara Kirghiz hunters to come
to this place at all. They asked why I wanted to go? They said that
there was no grass there, that the horses would die of starvation; and
did I think that the ‘Gulcha’ (the Kirghiz name for Poli rams) would
stay in a place where there was nothing to eat! For generations their
fathers had been hunters, and did I, a stranger, know better than they?

However, I pointed out to them that we had everywhere found skulls of
fine old rams from ten to fifteen years old, and yet we had hitherto
seen no ram over five years old in the flesh. How did they account for
that? In reply they said that no Kirghiz had ever seen one of the big
ones alive. ‘Then,’ said I, ‘come with me and I will try to show them
to you,’ for I felt perfectly certain that the Poli were not different
in their habits from the Ammon and the Bighorn, and that it was only a
question of time before we found the old rams in some secluded spot,
away from the females; and the event showed that I was right.

We left camp one morning about 4.30 A.M., and rode up the main valley
for an hour or so. This brought us to the mouth of a side valley, up
which we turned, keeping to the east side of it, so as to be in shadow.
The elder Kirghiz, Dewanna by name, soon detected something about two
miles away on some high undulating ground across the valley. Dewanna
was using binoculars, and though I tried to use my telescope, my
fingers were so numbed with cold that it was quite impossible to hold
it steady. After some little scrutiny we all decided that the beasts
were arkar--i.e. female Poli--and continued on our course for about
another mile, when some extremely likely-looking ground made us pause
again to take a good look ahead. By this time some little warmth had
come back into my fingers, and I was able to use my Ross’s telescope
again. After carefully spying over the ground and finding nothing,
I turned the glass on to our old friends the arkar. The moment the
glass was still, one look was sufficient. Down went the telescope, and
I crept forward dragging my pony out of sight, whilst the Kirghiz,
divining that I had seen something, promptly followed my example. And
what a sight that glass revealed! Twenty-six old Poli rams in a band,
and the smallest of them larger than anything I had yet seen! Lucky for
us that we had kept under the shadow of the rocks, as but for that we
had been in full view of the rams for a quarter of an hour, in spite of
which they were still quietly feeding, unconscious of the deadly peril
to which they were exposed.

[Illustration: Our camp]

Men who are not sportsmen can hardly realise what my feelings were
when I discovered that at last I had in front of me so many splendid
specimens of an animal which for years had been the dream of every
British sportsman in the East. Years ago, when in Kashmir, my wife and
I had discussed every possible and impossible means of getting at the
noble beast, but the more we talked with those most likely to know, the
more we were convinced of the hopelessness of any attempt in the then
state of affairs, and we had to content ourselves with the thought that
when in the Gilgit country we had been within sixty or seventy miles as
the crow flies from the inaccessible Pamir.

I may remark here, in passing, that to the Russians Karelin and
Severtzoff is due the honour of having brought to Europe the first
entire specimens of Poli. I believe the members of the Yarkand
Expedition can claim ‘first blood’ amongst Englishmen.

As I looked at those old rams, some browsing, some lying down, my
thoughts wandered back a dozen years to when on the slopes of that
stupendous Nanga Parbat in Astor on a misty morning in May, three
ibex (the smallest 38 ins.) bit the dust. Again my imagination jumped
forward to an autumn in the ‘Frosty Caucasus’ when three right royal
red deer stags fell in almost as many seconds. On occasions like these
one’s thoughts are always rose-coloured. It is only the red-letter days
which come forward. Pushed into the background are the long trying
stalks, when perhaps for an hour you have stood up to your knees in an
icy stream, not daring to move, for movement meant instant detection:
forgotten, too, is that last critical moment when, as your head rose
higher and higher above the rock which had been your objective point
for hours, your hopes sank lower and lower until the hideous truth
became plain to you that the head which you had almost counted as your
own had gone never to gladden your eyes again; or it may be that there
was even worse luck to forget, when wind, or light, or a tired man’s
laboured breathing had to account for a .500 Express bullet driven by
six drachms of powder _just over_ a big beast’s back!

The rams we had sighted were on the other side of the valley, the
bottom of which was about a mile and a half wide, quite flat and
without any cover. To get at them we must either retrace our steps for
about two miles, when we could cross unseen, or go forward about a
mile. The Kirghiz were both in favour of going forward, whilst I wished
to go back, and it was very much against my will that I let them have
their own way. The rams were on the lee side of the hill and near the
top, which is always a most difficult position; in fact, if the game
is within one hundred or one hundred and fifty yards of the top, and
the hill is pyramidical in shape (which this hill was not), I think
‘it passes the wit of man’ to approach them, for from whichever side
you try you will find them either with the true wind or the shifting
eddy to leeward of you. Try one side or the other, it is a position of
nearly absolute safety for the rams.

By keeping behind the moraine of an old glacier a shoulder of the hill
at length shut our quarry out of view, and we were able to cross the
valley. In the middle of this there was a rapid stream across which
the younger Kirghiz (having stripped) carried Dewanna, coming back
afterwards for me. Unluckily, when nearly over, my carrier slipped and
all but came down, wetting me to the knees in a stream cold as only
ice water fresh from a glacier can be. After a stiff climb of about an
hour, we reached the top of a small ridge from which we expected to
view the rams; but though we ‘spied’ every yard carefully, we could see
nothing of them. All the while I knew that we were stalking on wrong
principles, and when at last, after a most careful climb, we found that
we had run into an eddy of wind, and that the sheep had vanished, it
caused me no surprise.

For several hours after this we walked on slowly, spying every yard as
we went, for tracking on this stony ground was hopeless. On reaching
a spot where the hill broke off sharply, we lay down and examined the
ground, which was very much broken up into little valleys filled with
great boulders, the lee side of any one of which was a likely place for
the rams.

When the Kirghiz first joined us I told the interpreter to explain to
them the use of a field-glass. Then they all laughed at the idea of
finding game with such things; now they were always wanting to borrow
them.

For about half an hour we lay spying both with binoculars and
telescope, and Dewanna had just risen to his feet saying that there was
nothing, when I saw by the younger Kirghiz’s manner that he had seen
something. I was only just in time to drag Dewanna down, when over a
brow below us came a fine Poli, followed by two others, all beasts with
good heads. After a few minutes, the three lay close down together near
the bottom of a small ravine, and we had a good look at them through a
telescope. They were magnificent fellows, possibly out of the big lot
which we had seen in the morning.

Of course the Kirghiz wanted to ‘drive’ the rams, and of course I
promptly vetoed the proposition. Why is it, I wonder, that all over the
world the natives are so desperately keen about driving? I could easily
account for it if the general knowledge of stalking were as limited as
that of the Kirghiz, who spoilt several of my earlier stalks by showing
themselves behind me whilst I was ‘worming’ my way up to game, and who
seemed quite ignorant of the fatal results of showing oneself upon a
skyline. But it is not only the Kirghiz, for in the Caucasus two men
whom I employed, perfect masters of the stalker’s art--quite as good as
the best of the Kashmir Shikaris (who I consider are at the top of the
tree)--were always tempting me to ‘drive.’ I am glad to say that the
only time I was weak enough to yield to their solicitations the drive
ended in a fiasco. Taking the younger Kirghiz with me to carry the
rifle, and leaving Dewanna to watch and to signal to us the direction
of any movement on the part of the rams, I took the precaution to pick
up a good supply of small stones to pelt my man with whenever I found
him going too fast ahead of me. The fellow had most wonderfully quick
sight, so I used to send him on in front, and on previous occasions his
excitement had so far carried him away that I had to be perpetually
running after him to stop him; and as at that altitude (upwards of
16,000 ft. above sea level) I found that I could not shoot unless I
had been walking with the greatest circumspection, it was necessary to
recall him now and again by this simple and easy system of telegraphy.

Keeping well out of sight along the ridge, we found a little
watercourse down which we could descend without being seen, and having
carefully searched every inch of ground to make sure that there was
no other Poli in our path who might spoil our stalk, we crept down to
within three hundred yards of where we had last seen our three rams.
Here the Kirghiz took off his sandals, while I took the Henry double
Express out of its cover, made sure that all was ready, and then handed
it back to him, as every extra pound to carry adds to the difficulty of
keeping your breath.

I was shod in tennis shoes, with red rubber soles three-quarters of an
inch thick, to my mind the very perfection of foot-gear for stalking,
as they are perfectly noiseless, will outwear two ordinary leather
soles among the rocks, and are only dangerous on snow or ice.

Softly as mice we crept up the slope of a little ridge on the further
side of which we had last seen the Poli. Our man on the hill made no
sign, so that all was right so far. A little short of the top, I took
the rifle and crept up the last few yards alone. Peeping over the top,
I could just see the tip of a horn behind a rock about one hundred
yards below. Taking off my cap to place my rifle upon it, for if fired
resting on a rock without a pad the jar would send the bullet wide, I
cocked the weapon and lay there waiting.

The wind was right and the moment they moved they were at my mercy.
Whilst waiting I sent the Kirghiz about ten yards to my right to see if
he could make out in which position the big one was lying, as from my
point of view they were half hidden, and it was difficult to say for
certain which was the big head.

Suddenly up they jumped and stood for one moment looking up the hill.
The big one was end on, facing me, but I had had a good rest, my
heart had ceased to beat wildly and my hand was steady, so squeezing
the trigger gradually and firmly, the report of the rifle was followed
by the loud smack which tells an old hand all he wants to know. Not
wasting a look on the big one, I shifted the sights on to one of the
others and fired just as he bounded off. Another smack told that that
bullet, too, had found its billet, but the beast made off with its
companions. On dashing frantically down the hill and up the other side
of a small ravine, I saw one Poli standing and looking about him two
hundred and fifty yards off. Lying down I tried to take a careful aim,
but I found the rifle was pointing ten feet over his back one second
and the next twenty feet below him. This was no good, so I lay quiet in
the hope that he might be so unsophisticated as to stay there until my
poor panting frame recovered its steadiness; but alas! in a few seconds
he was off.

However, I was satisfied that he was unhurt, and the wounded one
probably lay between us and him, so that I at once took up the search
for the beast, the man on the hill coming in now very handily,
directing us by a prearranged code of signals.

Presently this man (Dewanna) got very excited and kept signalling
‘below, below.’ As we were then at the bottom of the valley we were
at a loss to know how to go any lower, when out from behind a large
boulder came the Poli, very sick indeed; but to make sure I gave him
another barrel and rushed up to gloat over my latest prize, measuring
59 ins. along the left and 58½ ins. along the right horn.

I then started up hill back to where the first one lay. On getting up
to him I was rather disappointed, as I had thought that he was bigger
than his comrade, and I pulled out the tape and began to measure:
‘sixty, sixty-one, two, two and a half’--thank goodness, at last I had
got a trophy that would hold its own in any company, and one that will
still be a comfort, a joy, and a thing of beauty when old Time has so
stiffened my joints as to make this most glorious and exciting of all
sports only a memory for me.[26]

Having skinned our beasts and packed their heads upon one pony, the
younger Kirghiz, careless of the possibility of a fall and consequent
impalement, twisted himself somehow in among the twisted horns on the
pony’s back, and so, he riding and we on foot, we turned towards camp,
warned by the waning glories of the sky, the dark shadows stealthily
creeping across the snows, and the little rills frozen into silence,
that the Night King was coming, and that it was well to hurry. As we
reached camp our interpreter met us, and I think everyone echoed his
‘Vraiment, c’est assez grand!’ as my first big head was scrutinised.

In 1888 we had wandered about until we found the valley in which the
above took place, and then having discovered a good hunting ground sat
down to work, with the satisfactory result of fifteen rams bagged, all
but four being over 50 ins. and several the right side of 60 ins.

In 1890 we decided to try the Southern Pamir, as all the natives agreed
that the further south you went the bigger the heads became. But a
visit to the Southern Pamir meant much more elaborate preparation than
heretofore, and our modest little caravan of twelve horses all told in
1888 swelled to the considerable number of forty in 1890; for it was
not only necessary to take food for ourselves and our men, but also for
the animals, and for each horse carrying a load of baggage we had to
have an extra horse carrying barley to feed him. Besides this we took
four or five horseloads of firewood, for there are long stretches of
the Pamir that are absolutely devoid of vegetation of any kind--places
where even the travellers ‘stand by’ for fuel, ‘Boortsa eurotia,’ is
not to be found. Without boortsa life on the high timberless plateaux
of Central Asia is indeed hard, for that insignificant-looking plant
affords splendid fuel. Green or dry it makes a blazing fire, and
though it wants constant attention and soon burns out, where there is
no dry dung it is a perfect god-send.

We had made up our minds not to return by Turkestan if we could get
across the Hindu Kush, and down into India; but as our chance of
getting through was very uncertain, we were obliged to secure our
retreat by establishing depôts along the return route, of barley,
flour, firewood, &c., all of which entailed extra transport.

We found our tent, though it was lined and had a double fly, so cold
and so troublesome to keep upright during the furious gales which
even in summer sweep over the Pamir, that on our second expedition we
took with us a couple of Kirghiz yourts in addition to this tent, and
although the yourts are not fastened to the ground in any way, yet,
owing to their being dome-shaped, they never showed the slightest
tendency to blow over. Once inside our yourt, a stormy evening had
no fears for us, nor had we ever to rush out in scanty garments on a
bitter night to refasten some yielding tent-peg.

On the Abchur Pamir there were immense quantities of Poli horns, most
of them of very large size, one head which I measured being 69 ins.,
though even this was beaten by one which was shown to me at Simla by
Sir Frederick Roberts, who kindly allowed me to photograph it. The head
was given to Sir Frederick Roberts by the Maharajah of Kashmir, and is
as far as I know the biggest head on record--length, 75 ins.; tip to
tip, 54½ ins.; circumference round the base, 16 ins.

[Illustration: MR. ST. GEORGE LITTLEDALE’S BAG OF OVIS POLI, 1888]

Let me recall one day out of my 1890 expedition, as another sample
of Poli shooting I have done. We had camped at the end of June by
Victoria Lake, which was still three parts frozen, and after a short
and fruitless hunt had recrossed to the Alichur Pamir. The weather
was changeable and the wind shifty, but our sport had been fair. One
stormy evening I spied three rams a long way off. Before we reached
them, a flurry of snow hid them from us, and when the snow cleared
we could not see them. We decided that they must have gone over the
hill for shelter, but on looking for them they unfortunately got
our wind, and bolting out from some rocks dashed across an open piece
of ground. I put the 200 yards sight up and fired at the centre one,
which was a monster, towering above its two companions, and altogether
by far the biggest sheep I had ever seen--its horns, I should fancy,
certainly measuring something over 70 ins. I saw the dust fly beyond
just over its back, and had no time for a second shot before the sheep
disappeared in a dip of the ground. I felt low at missing such a grand
fellow, but it was a running shot at quite two hundred yards, and a hit
would have been more or less of a fluke.

As they were a very long time coming up the other side of the ravine,
we went to see what had kept them, and found that the two smaller sheep
were waiting for the big fellow, who was lagging wearily behind. As
soon as they had got over the ridge we followed them and found their
track, which was very bloody. My bullet, instead of going over my
beast, must have gone through him without expanding, and it was not
long before we found him lying down on a snow bank which was streaked
with his blood. Here I could have stalked and finished him, but for the
excitement of one of the Kirghiz, who showed himself and made the beast
get up again. After this he kept lying down at intervals, travelling a
shorter distance and resting longer each time.

The vitality of _Ovis Poli_ is something extraordinary. Here was a
beast shot through the lungs, as was proved by the frothy blood which
poured from his wounds, and yet he went eight hundred or a thousand
feet up a snow slope. Having allowed him to get out of sight we
followed him, but just as we reached the top of the slope a heavy
storm coming on obliterated everything in six inches of fresh snow. As
soon as the storm was over, numbed and cold though I was, I tried to
follow by kicking the new snow away with my feet till I found blood,
but eventually I lost the ram and had to leave him. It was a terrible
disappointment, for I fear I shall never look upon his like again. My
attention had now to be turned to my Kirghiz companion, who had been
taken violently sick and lay there unable to move. I had no brandy
to give him, and not even a coat to wrap him up in, for we had left
our sheepskins at the bottom of the hill. However, I rubbed his hands
vigorously, and after a time he recovered sufficiently to descend
leaning upon my shoulder. I believe it was nothing but the height which
affected him, and, extraordinary as it may seem, two other Kirghiz
who regularly spent four or five months in every year on the great
Alai, as their forefathers had done before them, had been completely
knocked up a few weeks before this by the two or three thousand feet
additional elevation at which they found themselves with me, and had
been compelled to leave the Pamir. They are a careless happy-go-lucky
race, these Kirghiz, easy to offend as children, but as ready to ‘make
it up,’ and quite harmless if well handled. On life they set but little
store; but the words of one old chief as he handled my rifle are still
in my ears. ‘Ah,’ he said, with a sigh, ‘and even the man who made that
gun must die.’

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XIII

CAMPS, TRANSPORT, ETC.

BY CLIVE PHILLIPPS-WOLLEY


It is not possible to devise a camp outfit which would suffice in all
climates and under every condition of travel, and for that reason a few
notes on the special outfit necessary for each country have been given
where requisite.

But, although different climates require different camp equipment,
there are many things common to camp life all over the globe, and a
brief sketch of the needs and shifts of such a life in temperate,
tropical and arctic countries may at any rate serve as a basis upon
which to found a plan of campaign in any country.

It must be understood from the outset that these notes are for the
hunter and not for the scientific explorer, whose needs are excellently
cared for in the Royal Geographical Society’s ‘Hints to Travellers,’
and that the beau-ideal hunter is he who can accomplish most with
the least assistance from anyone else. The most perfect outfit is
that which, while it contains all things really necessary to success,
includes no superfluities, and is in the highest degree portable.

The cost of hiring help in different countries has of course an immense
effect upon the nature of the camp equipment employed, and what would
be but a beggarly outfit in India where you pay your beaters 3_d._ per
diem would be extravagantly luxurious in British Columbia where you pay
your Indians 1½ dollar a day.

But to succeed all the world over in big game shooting, a man should
be able not only to find his own game and kill it when found, but to
skin it, pack it, pack his own food on his shoulders or his horse’s as
the circumstances require, cook his dinner, choose and pitch his camp;
in fact, he should be able to do everything which he wants done for
himself without aid from anyone else.

It by no means follows that because a man _can_ do these things he will
be obliged to do them, but there are times in every hunter’s life at
which the almighty dollar fails him, and then it is that the beauty of
being able to help himself becomes apparent. It is not a bad plan just
for once (say for a single day) to do entirely without extraneous aid.
At the end of the day you will probably find that a good many things,
from tying a bowline knot to lighting a camp fire, look a good deal
simpler than they are.

We will consider then, first, what are the essentials of camp life
and camp outfit in countries where the temperature ranges during the
shooting season from 80° above to say 10° below zero, a fair sample of
which may be found on the _mainland_ of British Columbia.

One of the first maxims I would lay down is, bring with you all the
most important items of your outfit, rifles, ammunition, tents, &c.,
even though the cost of transport be heavy; but, on the other hand, do
not load yourself with less important items, such as rugs, blankets,
cooking utensils, saddles and smaller things. You can get most of the
ordinary necessaries of life in every country you enter, and in nine
cases out of ten the native manages to evolve the article best suited
to the daily needs of the country he lives in and the life he leads,
e.g. the so-called Mexican saddle or the Indian moccasin. There is
another thing worth considering, and that is that if you must spend
money somewhere upon your outfit, it is as well to spend it where the
spending of it may earn you the goodwill and assistance of the people
amongst whom you are going to hunt.

[Illustration: THE CAMP]

The first matter to be considered upon reaching your starting point,
the point I mean at which the locomotive leaves you, is the question
of transport, a very serious matter to the man who has been ‘dumped’
down for the first time in his life at a frontier station with a huge
pile of belongings and not even a friendly porter to carry them under
shelter for him.

In North America (indeed, in most countries) the commonest method of
transporting freight from one point to another in regions where the
railway does not run is by pack animals, for which reason we will treat
of ‘packing’ with pack ponies first.

In all the countries known to the writer the cheapest way is to buy
your ponies, taking your chances of selling them when you don’t require
them any longer. Hiring your animals is an expensive plan, especially
in America, where the hire of a pack pony is at least one dollar per
diem, whereas his cost would not exceed thirty dollars. Thus even if
you gave your ponies away (and you cannot always do much better) at
the end of a two months’ trip, you would have saved thirty dollars
by purchasing outright. In buying your pack animals don’t leave the
purchase of them until the last moment. If you do, there is no one in
the world who better understands the art of extracting the highest
price from a man who _must_ buy than the ‘untutored savage.’

Choose animals of short cobby build rather than those which are more
‘leggy,’ and in addition to all the ordinary precautions observed in
dealing with horse-flesh, take care to examine your purchases to see
whether they have ever had sore backs. If you find scars, however well
the wound has healed, don’t buy the pony, as backs which have once been
sore are extremely apt to break out again at the first opportunity.

You may estimate the number of ponies wanted for your expedition by the
weight which you require them to carry, allowing from 150 to 200 lbs.
to each pony, and although professional packers will sometimes put as
much as 400 lbs. upon a beast on a road, 200 lbs. is a full load for
such a creature as the ordinary cayuse on such trails as those which
generally lead to game countries.

Having bought your ponies and hired a man as camp cook who can pack and
look after the beasts, take precautions against losing your animals.
Of course your packer ought to do this, but he won’t. Buy picket pegs
and ropes for your saddle-horses, and good leather hobbles for the pack
animals, as well as a bell for the leader of the pack train, and see,
_personally_, that for the first few nights, at any rate, _every_ horse
is hobbled or picketed, including even your hunter’s horse, in spite of
his protestations that ‘that cayuse won’t stray’; and see, too, that
one of the horses has the bell on at night. During the day you can take
the bell off or silence it by shoving a fir cone into it, or some such
simple device, if you hope to see game along the trail; but at night,
insist upon the bell and the hobbles being worn, and in this way even
if your beasts have only poor feed they won’t stray far, whilst if
they do the bell will help you to find them. As I pen these lines I
am as sure that some one of my readers will curse his luck for having
neglected this advice as I am that death and the taxman will arrive in
due season. In passing, I may remark that the man who takes the trouble
to silence his pack train’s bell and his packers’ mouths, whilst he
rides half a mile ahead of his train when on the march, will secure
many a shot which would otherwise never have fallen to his share.

In picketing your horses use a bowline knot, see that the loop made
will run easily round the tree to which each horse is tied if you are
not using a proper picket, and in any case see that there are no bushes
or stumps in his way round which he can get tied up in the night.

Next to your ponies your pack-saddles are the most important part
of your equipment, and though you can no doubt pack either with
ordinary pack-saddles, or with _parfleches_ (mere leathern envelopes
depending from either side of the pony), still the best of all the many
contrivances for packing is, to my mind, the _aparejo_, an arrangement
of Mexican origin obtainable for about twenty-five dollars all over
America.

With good aparejos, sweat-pads and saddle-blankets of stout material,
and a man who knows how to put them all on, there need be no sore
backs, and very few halts to rearrange packs during the longest trip in
the roughest country.

[Illustration: Cinch him up]

Be careful, however, to see that your aparejo is long enough for your
beast, otherwise you will get him so chafed under the tail as to be
unable to work. See, too, that your horses get a rough rub down before
being saddled, and that your blankets are ample and well put on. Just
as there are many kinds of pack-saddles, so are there many ways of
tying on your packs; but one good way is sufficient, and that known
as the diamond hitch has been adopted almost unanimously as the best
by the men who live by packing. Here I might give directions for the
tying of the diamond hitch, but the object of this book is to supply
information useful to the hunter, and written instructions in the
tying of the diamond hitch would not fall into that category. A man
may learn to pack by practical experience and with pack, pony and an
expert before him, but I do not believe anyone could learn from printed
directions. Should anyone care to try, an excellent series of articles
upon the subject, by a thoroughly practical man signing himself ‘Yo,’
may be found in ‘Forest and Stream’ for June 2, 1887, and following
numbers. Let your camp man be a practical packer, would be my first
advice to anyone meditating a shooting expedition in America. To anyone
who had ever made such an expedition such advice would be unnecessary.
There should be no difficulty in finding a man who can both pack and
(in a rough way) cook. I was going to say that any fool could cook
sufficiently well for a hunter’s camp, but the recollection of beans
fried without boiling, a vivid memory of some of the abuses of baking
powder, and a certain black-currant pudding boiled without basin or
pudding-cloths, make me pause.

In addition to the aparejos, sweat-pads, and saddle-blankets before
mentioned, all of which go under your packs, you must provide yourself
with what are known as _manteaux_, i.e. squares of stout waterproofed
canvas which are thrown over the packs to protect them not only from
rain, but also from pointed boughs and such like which would otherwise
tear the packs in passing through a timbered country. With these,
cinches, sling ropes, halter ropes, and a good supply of spare rope of
the kinds known respectively as half-and quarter-inch, the sportsman
should be able to transport all he requires through almost any country.

As to the packs themselves, I would recommend that as far as possible
everything should be put up in stout canvas bags and labelled. This
plan saves infinite trouble in the long run. Some things of course must
be carried in tins, and among these should be your matches, which will
thus be protected from damp, and will have no chance of making dinner
a horror, as the ordinary sulphur matches loose amongst provisions have
a habit of doing. Even for matches a stout well-corked bottle is better
than the best tin.

Packs are generally arranged as two side packs, and one top pack, and
square side packs (in wooden boxes) with blankets, tents, and such like
bundles for top pack seem most convenient. Round side packs are apt to
shift.

Above all things see that your side packs are about equal in weight
and hang about level. The contents of the packs must depend to a great
extent upon the tastes and means of the hunter, but for simple men
travelling in a difficult country the list of necessaries given below
should suffice for two sportsmen, two gillies and a cook during an
expedition of two months’ duration.

I have allowed a gillie or hunter to each sportsman, as well as a
camp cook between them, although my own experience has been that your
greatest happiness and best success begin when you have learned to
hunt alone. That two make more noise than one; that your own eyes (not
another’s) are the best eyes for you to use; and that a white man with
practice is better than any red skin, are articles of faith which will
be approved by experience.

However, of this more in another place. The accompanying list of
stores, &c., has been based upon the lists of things used by the writer
in former expeditions, in none of which (at any rate since 1883) has
there been any running short of supplies.

     _Provisions and other requisites for five men for two months_

                          lbs.
  Flour         6 sacks = 300
  Yeast-powder  18 tins
  Bacon                 = 100
  Dried apples          =  50
  Sugar                 =  50
  Beans                 =  50
  Coffee                =  12
  Tea                   =   8
  (or Cocoa             =  12)
  Pepper                =   1
  Salt                  =  30
  Onions                =  60

  Worcester sauce
  Matches
  Candles (three dozen composite)
  Soap
  Tobacco
  A small can of oil for rifles
  Spare rope
  Two dozen horse-shoes, nails, and a shoeing hammer
  A few yards of linen for dish cloths
  Ten pounds of powdered alum for curing skins
  Two spare deer-skins for patching moccasins; some waxed thread,
        which must serve your turn until you can get some sinews,
        to sew your moccasins with
  A cobbler’s awl and needle
  File
  A housewife containing buttons, thread, needles, darning needle,
        wool, &c.
  A little ingenuity and abundance of good temper

In this list I have only allowed enough bacon for men who know how to
hunt in a country where game is to be had for the hunting. Of course
if game is scarce, more supplies might be needed, whilst equally of
course, if the country is very difficult and the temptation sufficient,
keen men should be able to get along with half a pound of flour and
four rashers of bacon per diem, and even this with tea, blankets,
rifles, cartridges, &c., will be found quite enough to carry in a
mountain country with no one to help you.

I have suggested cocoa as an alternative for tea, for I find that the
latter, as it is generally brewed in camp, is intensely indigestible,
and is apt to keep even a tired man awake at night. Cocoa, on the other
hand, is refreshing, it is almost as effectual a ‘pick-me-up’ as a
whisky and soda, and does very well in its place. For men who do not
stop to lunch, cakes of chocolate or raisins are recommended, as being
very portable and nutritious.

My second list of necessaries consists of kitchen gear, and although
it may easily be reduced to a ‘billy,’ a frying-pan, and your fingers
if needs must, it is as it stands about as small as is compatible with
comfort. Cups, plates, &c., should all be made of what is known as
‘granite iron,’ as this material is very strong, will not crush like
tin, and retains heat a long time, an important point when your meals
are taken in the open air of an October evening in the mountains.

                            _Kitchen gear_

  One nine-inch iron pot with a ‘nest’ of three smaller pots
  inside; these should all be ‘tinned’ or enamelled inside

  Two tin milk-pans for kneading dough in

  Two coffee-cans or ‘billies’

  Two frying-pans to make dampers and fry bacon. Have these made
  with folding handles

  Five soup-plates, five tea-cups (both plates and cups to be made
  of enamelled iron)

  Five knives, five forks, five soup-spoons, five tea-spoons, one
  meat-knife, a big cooking fork, one small meat saw

  Two axes and two spare axe-handles

Almost of more importance than either food or kitchen gear is the
sportsman’s ‘sleeping outfit,’ if I may use the jargon of the camp.

The common A tent is the one most used in America, but probably there
is nothing better than that known as Whymper’s Alpine tent, made
of Willesden canvas, as recommended in ‘Hints to Travellers.’ For
extremely rough work I have used a little ‘tente d’abri’ into which we
had to crawl on our hands and knees, but which held two men, kept them
dry, and weighed with poles, pegs, ropes, and a bag to pack it in, only
nineteen pounds.

I am inclined to think that even this weight might be lessened if
required. But whatever the tent you use, you should in all cases have
a floor to fit it, rather larger than the ground covered by the tent,
and made of some stout waterproof material. This floor may be made to
attach to the sides of the tent if so desired.

A sleeping bag or blankets must be taken for each person, and if
blankets are used, three pairs of four-point Hudson Bay blankets if
properly arranged will suffice to keep a man fairly warm, even with
the thermometer 10° below zero. But they must be properly arranged,
and to do this one pair of blankets should be sewn up at the bottom,
along the whole of one side, and halfway up the other side, the other
half to be fitted with tapes or buttons. This makes a kind of bag
which effectually prevents a man from throwing off his clothes in his
sleep, and keeps out those bitter little draughts which otherwise so
annoyingly creep in and dispel the soundest slumbers. An inflatable
air-cushion is light to pack, and handy either as a pillow or as a
seat in camp. The air-cushion makes a better seat than pillow, for
which the writer always uses a canvas bag packed with spare clothes,
flannels, &c., carried inside the roll of blankets. The sleeping bag
made of blankets, with an outside covering of tarpaulin to lace up over
the blankets, and with a hood or pillow-case of tarpaulin attached to
hold pillow or canvas clothes-bag, is the most convenient outfit of
the kind for America. Before leaving the subject of beds, a subject
of the utmost moment to the hunter, let me point out that one of the
most comfortable and simplest of camp bedsteads may be made thus. Let
your _manteau_ measure 6 ft. 6 ins. by 4 ft., and let it be made of
the strongest waterproof canvas, two pieces of equal size being sewn
together so as to make an endless sack. In this form your _manteau_
will do duty as a cover for the packs by day, and at night you can cut
two thin poles about 7 ft. 6 ins. long, pass them lengthwise through
this endless sack, take two logs about a foot in diameter and 5 ft. or
more in length, and cut notches in them 4 ft. apart; then set one at
your feet and one at your head, stretch out your _manteau_ and rest the
ends of the poles in the notches, and in ten minutes you will have made
yourself a spring mattress above the reach of the damp. If, however,
you are content with a brush bed--and the sweet aromatic balsam boughs
should be good enough for any man--cut only the smaller boughs and
arrange them in rows, the points of each row overlapping and covering
the thick and hard butts of the row above. Hemlock makes the best of
all bedding, and keeps out damp better than any other brush. It is a
good plan before finally arranging your bed to lie down on it, find
out where your hip-bone comes, and dig out a hollow for it to fit into.
Anyone who has slept upon a hard and absolutely level surface will
understand why this is recommended.

Finally, as to clothing, I have ventured to recommend a list of simple
necessaries, more as a hint to those preparing for an expedition than
as a rule for their guidance. In his choice of clothes, every man will
to a certain extent follow his own fancy, but there are some few things
essential to health, and others essential to success. For still hunting
in timber I consider moccasins, or at any rate tennis shoes, essential.
For a tender-footed man tennis shoes with thick red india-rubber soles
are the very best of foot-gear. Except that you cannot cling with them
as you can with the moccasin, they are nearly as good as the latter,
and certainly save your feet as you come down hill, among sharp loose
stones, in the dark; but they are hard to repair, and impossible to
replace in the woods. Flannel is the best thing to wear next to your
skin, and a good supply of dry flannels to put on when you come in at
night is of the utmost importance. A pair of ‘rubber shoes’ to slip
on in camp is well worth carrying, so that if you are obliged to go
out in the snow or slush after you have made yourself comfortable for
the night, you need not wet your feet again. Let your clothes be of
some neutral tint; my own especial weakness is an Indian hunting-shirt
made as plainly as possible of tanned deerskin. The colour of this is
excellent; the material is very light and tough, and when you top a
ridge to which you have painfully climbed for half an hour, the bitter
wind which meets you does not go through a buckskin shirt as easily
as it does through tweed or homespun. In wet weather--i.e. in real
drenching rain--such a shirt is not as good by any means as tweed,
as it then becomes exceedingly cold and unpleasant to wear. A broad
belt of webbing (not of leather, for leather cuts you) to contain your
cartridges may be used over the shirt, if it has not a great brass
fastening in front as most belts have. The object of this fastening
I suppose is to reflect the sun’s rays and make a dazzling spot of
light on the abdomen of the hunter, about as useful in attracting the
attention of every living thing as anything which the ingenuity of the
gentlemen who sell ‘sporting goods’ could contrive. Metal buttons,
metal watch-chains, uncovered rifle barrels, and even the end of your
stalking glass, will reflect the sun’s rays in the same dangerous
manner, so that though you may be otherwise unnoticed, the attention of
your quarry will be drawn to what appears to him to be a little star
amongst the grass on the other side of the ravine. Added to the dangers
of their appearance is the danger that if you wear any metal trappings
about your person, they may ring against one another terribly loud
and clear just at the moment when even the beating of your own heart
seems unwarrantably and absurdly noisy. For these reasons avoid metal
adornments; keep a loose cover over your rifle barrels, be careful not
to catch the sun’s rays with your glass when spying, use a watch-chain
of buckskin, and don’t carry a lot of loose change in your trousers
pocket.

Attached to your belt will probably be a knife for administering a
_coup de grâce_, and for skinning. If you would not lose it, adopt some
such plan for securing it as is suggested by the accompanying woodcut.
None of the ordinary spring fastenings are proof against the rough
usage of the hills.

[Illustration: Knife fastening]

If you wear knickerbockers, have them made loose at the knee, so as not
to hamper you in your stride up hill, or wear them _unfastened_ at the
knee; but though less smart in appearance, ordinary tweed or flannel
trousers, with the bottoms tucked into a stout pair of woollen socks,
are as workmanlike as anything ever made.

Whatever you do, don’t wear canvas overalls, although you may be
strongly advised to do so. I wore a pair once, and in a week they were
so ragged that I had to borrow a _petticoat_ in which to return to
civilisation, and, moreover, they are not only easily torn, but they
emit a strident scraping sound, whenever a twig touches them, which can
be heard very far off.

Loose buckskin gloves sound rather luxurious wear for a hunter, but the
hardest Siwash wears them; and as your hands have often as rough usage
among the rocks as your feet, they are necessary. Below is a list of
clothes, &c., for a two months’ trip in temperate climates.

                       _Clothing for two months_

  Two tweed suits

  One buckskin shirt

  Two tweed caps

  Four flannel shirts

  Four pairs of flannel drawers

  Six pairs of woollen socks or stockings

  Moccasins: the number of these depends entirely upon the nature
  of the shooting. After ibex, I have worn out a pair in a morning,
  but for ordinary work a pair of good thick moccasins should last
  four or five days

  Eight handkerchiefs: not white, but some dull colour which will
  not attract attention from afar, if inadvertently pulled out in
  sight of game

  One pair of short waterproof boots (gum boots)

  One waterproof cape, such as is made by Cording; an armless
  contrivance, very light and portable, used I think by cyclists

  Three pairs of blankets, one waterproof sheet, one air-cushion

  One belt of webbing for cartridges

  One pair of loose buckskin gloves, one pair of woollen mits

  One boating sweater

Having now enumerated most of the essential items of a camp outfit, it
may be as well to sketch roughly the ordinary routine of a day’s march
with pack ponies.

In a well-ordered camp someone should be stirring just as the stars
begin to lose their brilliancy and to fade before the coming of
day. An early start is most important, as it goes a long way towards
ensuring an early camp, and that camp should be made early whilst there
is still plenty of daylight is of vital importance to everyone with the
expedition. The discomforts of camping in the dark only require to be
tried once to be avoided for the future.

Whilst one man lights the fire and gets the breakfast ready, let
another go for the horses, and a third put the beds together and make
the packs ready. Save time whenever you can, for unavoidable delays are
all too frequent with a pack train. A cayuse is not as other horses
are. When you have sought animals sorrowing, in the chill dawn, and
found them _hiding_, in a long line one behind another with their heads
down, behind a bush no bigger than a respectable cabbage, or have
watched your bell-horse roll his bell in the sand, shake himself to see
if it will ring, and then trot away contented, you will know more about
cayuses, and agree that they are the hardiest, most sure-footed, and
‘meanest’ of all created beings. See then that you get them together
early in the day, and have the packs on their backs and ‘all set’
within half an hour of the time at which you finish your breakfast.

When you have the ponies packed, some one of the hunters may ride well
ahead, but the man who ‘leads out,’ i.e. guides the pack train, should
never ride far ahead. If he does, the pack animals will at once begin
to stray. The best pace to travel at is a fairly brisk walk; anything
more than this generally disarranges the packs and necessitates halts
to rearrange them, or causes sore backs. From fifteen to twenty-five
miles a day, according to the character of the country to be ridden
through, is an excellent day’s work for pack ponies, and from two to
three miles an hour a fair pace to travel at.

Keep your temper in driving pack ponies across a side hill, or along
a steep and narrow trail. Pack ponies are as mean as--civilised words
won’t express their ‘meanness’--and when a pony knows that he has
another between himself and the whip, and that the whip cannot reach
him owing to the narrowness of the trail, he will _stop_ and browse.
If you press the pony next you to get at the offender, one of them
will go head over heels down the slope, and at every bump there will
be little puffs, one white, one brown. This means that when that pony
reaches the bottom of that hill he may still be alive, but there will
be no more cocoa and no more baking powder for that expedition.

[Illustration: ‘Good-bye to the groceries’]

Some men remove packs in the middle of the day, and halt for lunch.
This I consider a mistake, and a waste of time. An early camp, say at
four o’clock, is better both for horses and men.

In choosing your camp consider first these points: water, food, fuel,
and shelter from wind and from the sight of such game as may be in
the neighbourhood. As to this last point, it is as well not to allow
fires to be lighted or wood chopped until a careful survey of the
neighbourhood has been made from some adjacent height, especially if
the camp has been pitched in the district which you mean to hunt. Not
long since my friends and myself had the mortification of seeing the
largest band of sheep I ever saw move away while we were stalking them,
not because they detected us, but because they could hear the ringing
strokes of our men’s axes in the valley below. A camp without feed for
the horses is the worst of all camps, and luckily occurs very rarely.
If there is any likelihood of such camps being unavoidable, it may be
necessary to carry grain for the horses, although many ‘cayuses’ will
not at first eat it, and frequently when they do eat it suffer from
lampas and other ailments consequent upon a sudden change of diet.
Lancing the bars of a horse’s mouth with a sharp penknife will procure
relief from lampas, which is probably the commonest complaint amongst
pack ponies. In camping in America, beware of camping near burnt
timber--that is to say, so near as to be in danger from a falling tree,
a constantly recurring risk where huge trunks are burnt almost through,
and high winds are common.

Whatever you do, do not camp on old Indian camping grounds. Indians
rarely leave anything worth having in a camp, but they do leave things
worth avoiding. Again, don’t be tempted to use an old horse-blanket
to put over your feet on a very cold night. Men will tell you that
the insects which infest animals won’t touch men. I remember one
unfortunate party which owned a horse suffering from the third plague
of Egypt, and owing to a careless use of one of that horse’s blankets
the plague passed on to the horse’s rider. The woodticks which infest
the woods in early spring are as omnivorous as the insects before
alluded to. When once these creatures have buried their heads in your
flesh they should be removed with care. If you leave their heads in, an
ugly sore may be the result.

Arrived in camp, let it be your first care to see that the horses are
watered, hobbled and turned into the best ‘feed’ in the neighbourhood;
see that the packs are secured against rain, and that an ample supply
of wood is cut for use during the night. In dealing with Indians don’t
do too much for yourself, however competent and willing you may be. The
majority of Indians are very apt to encourage a man willing to help
himself, by allowing him to do all the work.

Give men and horses a complete rest every Sunday, and utilise part of
the day for looking through and taking stock of your stores.

There is still another list of necessaries to be added to those already
given, but luckily it is only a very short one. As illness may possibly
visit the hunter’s camp, he must be prepared for it, and a few simple
remedies for the ills most likely to befall him are worth providing.

Quinine for low fevers, aperient medicine of some kind (podophyllin
pills for choice), and an ounce of laudanum in case of diarrhœa or
colic, together with a few mustard plaisters, a roll of india-rubber
bandaging, and some diachylon plaister for cuts, have always proved a
sufficient medical outfit for any party to which I have belonged.

The quinine, if employed as a preventive measure, may be taken in
three-grain doses, but in case you are too late to ward fever off
double the dose.

Of laudanum twenty drops in water, when in pain or purged, is a fair
dose.

But with average luck no big game hunter ever gets ill until he returns
to civilisation and high feeding. Then, alas! his troubles begin.



CHAPTER XIV

A FEW NOTES ON RIFLES AND AMMUNITION

BY H. W. H.


_Express Rifles._-These are usually made of five different
calibres--viz. .360, .400, .450, .500, and .577--and are called
‘Expresses’ on account of the high velocity imparted to comparatively
light bullets by the heavy charges of powder used in these rifles.
Many sportsmen are under the impression that all Expresses of the same
bore are practically the same--at any rate, as far as their power,
velocity, &c., are concerned--and look upon, say, a .500 Express as a
fixed quantity. No greater mistake could be made. Take two .500 bores,
apparently alike, and the one may be a powerful and effective rifle,
and the other quite uncertain, at any rate against the larger kinds
of even soft-skinned animals. The reason of this is that the first is
rifled and sighted for, and constructed to carry, a fairly long bullet
weighing about 440 grains, and having a comparatively short hole in
front (see figs. 3 and 4), while the latter fires the ordinary short
bullet, which has a relatively larger hole in front, light walls and a
thin base (see fig. 1), the result being that when it is fired at, say,
the shoulder of a powerful tiger or bear, the whole of the bullet will
probably break up into small pieces, causing a big flesh wound, but
no part of the bullet has sufficient weight and momentum to penetrate
through the bones or powerful muscles of the animal so as to reach any
vital part. Unfortunately, the higher the velocity of the projectile,
the more the bullet breaks up; consequently the short range at which
such game is usually killed tells still more against this type of
bullet for such sport.

The short Express bullet may be considerably improved, and greater
penetration obtained, by having the hollow shorter and tapered (see
fig. 2).

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--340 grains]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--360 grains]

Rifles constructed for these short bullets are decidedly inferior to
those arranged for the longer projectile.

Fig. 3 shows the long .500 bullet with a heavy fuse.

Fig. 4 shows the same bullet with a small taper hole.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--440 grains]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--460 grains]

It is certainly now for the most part acknowledged that rifles
firing this type of bullet are much more trustworthy, giving as they
undoubtedly do increased penetration and a more smashing blow. The
front portion of the projectile generally breaks up in the animal shot,
and the base part, having sufficient energy remaining to pass through
the body, will nearly always be found under the elastic skin upon the
other side. These rifles have the further advantage of giving accurate
shooting at comparatively long ranges where the ordinary Express would
fail.

Figs. 5 to 10 show some specimens of this type of bullet (.500 and .577
bore) taken from under the skins of tigers, after having passed through
the animals, proving the great velocity and killing power of this form
of projectile, and demonstrating that the whole energy of the charge
had been effectually utilised.

[Illustration: Fig. 5]

[Illustration: Fig. 6]

[Illustration: Fig. 7]

[Illustration: Fig. 8]

[Illustration: Fig. 9]

[Illustration: Fig. 10]

A double .500 rifle to carry the lighter bullet may be made to weigh
about 9 lbs., while to carry the longer and heavier bullet the weight
should be nearer 9½ lbs. But when the increased power and penetration
obtained are taken into consideration, probably few sportsmen will
object to this slight extra weight. A crushing blow that may be
_depended upon_ is what is required, and reliance cannot be placed
(except, perhaps, for deer stalking) upon the short, light bullets
so much used. No doubt a good deal of game is killed with the light
bullets, even up to and including tigers, &c.; but much has been lost,
and many accidents have taken place, in consequence of the bullet
breaking up too soon, causing only a flesh wound, and not having
sufficient penetration to reach a vital part of the animal shot. The
above remarks apply both to .450 and .577 rifles, but especially to the
latter, so without going into further details illustrations are here
given of the light .450 and .577 bullets generally used (see fig. 11),
and the longer ones now recommended (see fig. 12).

[Illustration: Fig. 11

      .450            .577
    270 grains      455 grains]

[Illustration: Fig. 12

      .450            .577
    340 grains      625 grains]

Since Sir Samuel Baker has so strongly recommended .577 6-dr. rifles,
they have become much better known, and are now much more used than
formerly. There can be no question that when fired with proper bullets
they are very effective weapons, even against the largest kinds of
game. Of course for use against the latter it is necessary to employ
solid hardened bullets.

The weapon used and recommended by Sir Samuel Baker is somewhat heavier
than the ordinary .577, weighing between 11 and 12 lbs.; it was
specially made for him, and is sighted up to 400 yards.

For soft-skinned animals, Sir Samuel used solid pure lead bullets, and
he always found them deliver the whole power of the charge upon the
animal, being generally forced into the shape of a mushroom, and found
under the skin upon the opposite side of the beast.

Count Teleki, in his successful three years’ expedition in Central
Africa, also used .577 rifles against elephants, buffaloes and
rhinoceros with great effect, although he preferred his 8-bore
(shooting 10 drs., and a short conical bullet) for big game, finding
that at close quarters a knockdown blow was absolutely necessary. The
question of the rival bores for such game as tiger, bear, &c., will
probably never be settled, as so much depends upon the capabilities of
the shooter, the class of country he is in, and the style of shooting,
whether in a howdah or on foot, &c.; but it may be taken generally that
for dangerous game it is always as well to be on the safe side and to
use as powerful a weapon (in moderation) as you can conveniently handle.

[Illustration: Figs. 13 and 14.--Blocks of soft .577 bullets cut out of
tigers by Sir Samuel Baker]

In Africa, where animals of the same species as are met with in India
appear to require much more killing than they do in the latter country,
the .577 firing a solid hardened bullet and 6 drs. of powder must
always be a most useful weapon. For lion, the largest kind of deer,
&c., it is all that is wanted, and even for elephants it is a fairly
effective rifle.

For sport in India, when the sportsman is limited to one rifle, a .500
Express, shooting a charge of 5 drs. of powder and a long bullet, and
capable of also firing, when required, the shorter bullet and 4¼ drs.
for the lighter kinds of game, will probably be found the most useful
all-round weapon.

If, in the first instance, the barrels of a .500 Express are
properly constructed for shooting the two kinds of cartridges, good
shooting may be made with both, with the same sighting; and a most
useful arrangement this will prove to be, the heavy cartridge being
very deadly for all game found in India, with the exception of the
pachydermatous animals, while for the deer tribe and for practice the
lighter charge is all sufficient. Perhaps the most useful battery on a
small scale for India is a .450 Express for deer, and a 12- or 16-bore
Paradox, which does well as a shot-gun, and is also most effective as a
rifle.

_Ball-Guns._--One of the advantages which the ball-gun has over the
ordinary rifle is its lightness and handiness compared with the latter,
but the serious drawback to its wide use was, in the first place,
that it would fire spherical bullets only, and consequently lacked
penetration; and, in the second, that it gave but irregular shooting,
except at very short ranges. This state of things has been completely
reversed by the introduction of the ‘Paradox’ gun, the invention of
Colonel Fosbery, V.C. In the ‘Paradox’ all the advantages connected
with the lightness and handiness of a gun have been retained, while
great accuracy when fired as a rifle with a smashing conical bullet has
been added.

Since Colonel Fosbery’s invention was brought to the notice of
sportsmen, the ‘Colindian’ and other systems of ball-guns have been
introduced.

The result has been quite a revolution in the manufacture of weapons
for use against game of all kinds, from the larger kind of deer up to
elephants.

Take, for example, the 12-bore ‘Paradox.’ This weapon has all the
advantages of quickness and handiness of mounting to the shoulder, so
essential in snap-shooting, and yet fires a conical bullet (see fig.
15), hollow or solid, up to a hundred yards or more with the accuracy
of a good Express. For all practical purposes, and with all game up to
and including tiger or bear, a ‘Paradox’ weighing from 7 to 7½ lbs.
has all the necessary qualities of a 10-lb. rifle, and has, moreover,
the handiness of a 12-bore shot-gun, discharging shot quite as well as
a good cylinder or modified choke. The man who uses a ‘Paradox’ need
not take any other gun, a saving in the size of one’s battery worthy
of consideration; but perhaps the strongest argument in favour of this
weapon is that the man who has much snap-shooting to do (from a howdah,
for instance) is much more likely to be successful when handling the
gun he uses every day and often than he would be if trying to make
snap-shots with an ordinary rifle, used rarely by comparison, and
perhaps firing so heavy a charge as to make practice with it ‘no joke.’

[Illustration: Fig. 15.--12-bore ‘Paradox’ bullets

    Hollow point    Cross cut]

Colonel Fosbery has succeeded in perfecting the ‘Paradox’ system for
large bores, such as 10 and 8, and in 1891 one of the latter weapons
when tested before the editor of ‘The Field,’ with the full charge of
10 drs. of powder, and a hardened conical solid bullet at 50 yards
range, made the extraordinary diagram in six consecutive shots into a
space 1¼ in. by 2½ ins. (shown in fig. 16), beating all the records of
big rifles at the ‘Field’ trials.

[Illustration: Fig. 16]

It should be only a matter of time for weapons made upon this principle
to supersede large-bore rifles for big game shooting. Everything is in
their favour. An 8-bore ‘Paradox’ weighs some 2 to 3 lbs. less than an
8-bore rifle, and mounts to the shoulder with the handiness of a gun.
The accuracy of the ‘Paradox’ is greater than that of an 8-bore rifle,
the recoil less (as the bullet passes freely up the barrel, instead
of having to cut its way through severe rifling, the ‘Paradox’ being
rifled at the muzzle only), and the velocity or striking force is
superior.

[Illustration: Fig. 17.--Diagram of 8-bore ‘Paradox’ bullet]

Several of these weapons (8- and 10-bores) have already been tried upon
elephant, buffalo, &c., in Africa and India, with the most satisfactory
results.

_Small Bores for Elephant Shooting._--No doubt some sportsmen have
been successful in bagging elephants and other big game with .450-bore
rifles, firing a moderate charge of about 3½ drs. of powder and a long
solid bullet, such rifles giving great penetration, but no shock to the
animal unless a vital part is reached. If the game be found in fairly
open country, so that accurate shooting can be made, this weapon may
answer in the hands of a good shot; but in most parts, and in grass
country, particularly where an animal has frequently to be shot at very
close quarters, and where the chances of being able to make a run for
it are very much restricted, one would much prefer to rely upon the
paralysing blow given by an 8- or 10-bore loaded with a heavy charge
of powder and a conical bullet; in fact, even the admirers of the .450
warn sportsmen that such rifles are useful under certain conditions
only, and this warning is absolutely necessary, several fatal accidents
having taken place through sportsmen having misread or not properly
appreciated the accounts of the shooting made with these small weapons
and the circumstances under which they may judiciously be used.

_Systems of Actions for Rifles._--Different kinds of ‘actions’ are
constantly being invented for double-barrelled rifles, but very few,
if any, have the sterling qualities of the old double-grip lever,
especially when used for rifles shooting heavy charges. No doubt
snap-actions of various kinds are made which are sufficiently sound to
stand the strain of the charges fired, especially if the ‘body’ be long
and deep, but none of them have the _binding down power_ of the grip
lever, which is really a kind of screw-grip. Another point in favour
of the grip lever is that, should there be a piece of cap or other
obstruction between the action and the barrels, the grip lever will
have sufficient power to force the action to close and allow the rifle
to be fired; and the same thing applies when a very tight cartridge,
or one with somewhat too thick a rim, requires to be forced home. Now,
under the same circumstances, a rifle with a snap action could not be
closed at all, or, at all events, only with great difficulty and with
unusual force, because all spring bolt systems require that the barrels
should close up freely upon the action before the bolt can move into
its proper position for fastening down the barrel.

For small bores such as are used for deer stalking, &c., the hammerless
system has some advantages; but there are objections to these actions
for weapons intended for foreign sport, and these objections apply more
particularly when big game rifles are in question. Most sportsmen are
fairly well acquainted with the construction of the ordinary hammer
gun fitted with rebounding locks, but very few know anything of the
internal arrangements of the hammerless system, and there is no doubt
that the internal arrangements of the latter are more likely to get
out of order when subjected to the wear and tear and the rough usage
of a shooting expedition than those of the former, to say nothing of
their being more easily affected by sand, rust, &c. They are also less
readily taken to pieces and cleaned.

Too much care cannot be given to the selection of a battery, the
minutest details of the weapons, and the ammunition for them, and yet
it is a curious fact that sportsmen frequently spend much time and
money over their general outfit, and take but little heed about their
weapons, upon which their sport, and possibly their lives, may depend.

In ordering a battery, choose the best rifles you can afford to pay
for. The first expense is likely to appear heavy to those who can see
little difference between the expensive rifle of a high-class maker and
those supplied of a cheaper kind, but very little experience will be
needed to prove that the best is the cheapest in the end.

Few sportsmen know the amount of money, care, and skill that has to be
spent upon a double rifle which is the best of its kind and a really
accurate weapon; that is to say, a double rifle which has its barrels
so perfectly adjusted that even a skilled shot cannot tell the shooting
of one barrel from that of the other. Great care has to be taken in
the manufacture of all the parts, for the failure of a striker or a
spring may mean serious or even fatal results to the shooter when after
dangerous game; and this work has to be paid for.

The workmen employed on best rifle work are skilled men, and can always
command high wages. In some of the cheaper kinds of double-barrelled
rifles one barrel frequently shoots some inches away from the other,
rendering it impossible for the sportsman to make good practice even at
a target, much less at game.

Great strides in the accuracy and adjustment of double rifles have been
made during the last ten years. It is impossible here to say exactly
what diagrams one should be fairly entitled to expect, so much depends
upon the type of rifle required; but perhaps as good a guide as any
is to take the diagrams made by the winning rifles at the trials of
sporting rifles before the editor of the ‘Field.’ For an ordinary
Express it may be accepted that a double .450 firing ten shots, right
and left barrel alternately, making a 4-inch group, viz. all the ten
shots in a 4-inch square, is a very fine shooting weapon, and that one
putting all its ten shots into a 6-inch at a hundred yards is quite up
to the average.

Do not depend upon diagrams shown as the record of the shooting of
a rifle. The only satisfactory plan is to go to the maker’s grounds
and see the rifle fired, to fire it yourself, or, if that is not
convenient, get a competent friend to go and see the diagrams made.
Then, again, it is very desirable to have the sights cut to suit your
own style of shooting, for it is not at all unusual for two good
marksmen firing the same rifle to make a considerable difference in
elevation on the target at, say, 100 yards range.

_Recoil Heelplate._--It is not a bad plan to have recoil heelplates
fitted to all rifles from .450 to 4 bores. They save the shoulder
very much when firing large charges. See that the rubber is properly
smoothed and varnished, so as to get rid of the clinging feeling these
heelplates otherwise have.

_Spare Weapons._--In going for any length of time upon a sporting
expedition, it is always well to have reserve rifles which should be
as nearly as possible duplicates of those in the regular battery in
weight, mount, sighting, &c., so that no difference is noticed by the
sportsman should he have to fall back upon his reserve. You may never
want them, but if, when you are in the game district, hundreds of miles
up country, you smash or injure the rifle you are depending upon, you
will then fully appreciate the advantage of having a reserve. It is a
very easy thing to break the stock of or otherwise damage a rifle, or
it may even be lost, and if you have no others to fall back upon the
sporting trip must be spoiled, or at any rate seriously hampered.

A fair battery for an expedition to Africa would be a pair of 8- or
10-bore rifles or ‘Paradox’ guns, shooting 8 to 10 drs. of powder; a
pair of .500 bore, 5 drs. solid ball rifles, one .577 and a 12-bore
shot or ‘Paradox’ gun. Also a .400 or a .450 single-rifle sighted up to
500 yards would be found very useful in many parts.

Spare limbs should always be taken, viz. extra hammers, mainsprings,
tumbler pins, and foresights, and lessons should be taken from an
experienced gunmaker in taking weapons to pieces and putting them
together again properly. Turnscrews, such as working gunmakers use,
should be specially ordered, and not the slight and nearly useless
tools usually found in rifle and gun cases. These are made by the
gross, and are generally well-nigh worthless. Do not fail to have a
very powerful screw-driver to take out the breech-pin, which is always
very firmly screwed up.

With large bores and all rifles that have very much recoil insist upon
having the front trigger thick and well rounded, to prevent its cutting
the forefinger when firing the left barrel. It is a very good plan to
have the front trigger hinged or hung quite loose, so as to give way
to the finger. Also see that the left trigger pulls at least 6 lbs.,
to prevent both barrels being fired together. There is no objection
to having both locks of such weapons made with a fairly heavy pull
off; the fact being that when a rifle weighing 12 or 13 lbs. is being
handled a 6 or 7 lb. pull does not feel heavier than a 4 lb. pull does
in an ordinary shot gun. See that all your rifle stocks are made of
tough strong wood, and that the grasp or handle is left sufficiently
thick to give a good hold to the right hand. It is also a very good
plan to have the hand of the stock strengthened by having the strap
of the action made so as to extend its full length and come over the
comb. This plan was first suggested by Sir Samuel Baker, and there can
be no doubt but that it very considerably strengthens the stock in its
weakest part.

Try your cartridges in the chambers of your rifle or gun before
starting for the day’s shooting, and carefully discard all that will
not go into the weapon freely and allow the action to be closed with
ease. It is desirable to have cartridge-correctors made the exact size
of the chambers of each weapon.

_Rebounding Locks._--Many sportsmen think that when the hammer is
at the rebound or half-cock it is in a safe position, but sometimes
it is quite the reverse. This is because some rifles and shot-guns
are made with the face of the hammers too close to the end of the
strikers; when this is so, it will be found that, should the hammer
be pulled up nearly to full cock and then let down again (without
touching the trigger), there is sufficient ‘give,’ or ‘spring,’ in the
parts of the lock to allow the hammer to just reach and to ‘flick’ the
striker hard enough to fire the rifle. The danger of this defect must
be obvious. The face of the hammer when pushed forward as far as it
will go (without the trigger being pulled) should be well away from
the end of the striker. If there is any doubt as to whether there is
sufficient space or not, hold a flat piece of metal or card against
the face of the action, lift the hammers nearly to full-cock, and then
release them; if the metal or card be marked by the end of the striker,
it is evidence that the space between the hammer and striker is not
sufficient. This should not be done often, as it has a tendency to
injure the end of the scear of the lock.

[Illustration: Fig. 18.--Illustration of adaptation to Sir Samuel
Baker’s .577 rifle]

_Stocks, Loops, Stops, Cases._--In ordinary rifles do not have the
stocks made the same shape as in your guns. Most sportsmen miss birds
by shooting under them, but with a rifle more game is missed by being
shot over. It is desirable to have the stocks of rifles made a quarter
of an inch more bent than those of guns, and in heavy bores even
half an inch extra will be found an advantage in shooting, to say
nothing of saving the shooter’s face from being punished by the recoil.
Also remember that as you increase the weight of your rifle you must
decrease the length of your stock.

When loops are attached to rifles for the purpose of enabling you to
use slings, it is desirable to have flat ones, thus--

[Illustration: Fig. 19]

and not rings or swivels, which always rattle, and may disturb game.
The above form has the further advantage of being stronger than the
others. Always refuse to allow the gunmaker to fit stops to the hammers
of any weapons intended for use against dangerous game. You may at a
critical moment forget that the locks are bolted, or the bolts may have
got loose and may have slipped into the hammers without your knowledge.

For rough shooting, especially in damp climates, have your rifles
constructed for solid brass cases, or those covered with a thin coating
of brass. These are less likely to stick in the chambers, and are not
so easily damaged as the paper ones. Have your cartridges done up in
small tins, hermetically sealed, packing a few of each kind you are
likely to use in a separate tin, say fifty in each package. In this way
you will be able to keep the bulk of your ammunition weather-proof. The
contents of each tin should be stamped on the outside.

It is a useful plan to have loose-fitting flannel bags made for the
barrels and stock of each weapon.

Perhaps the most convenient form of rifle case is ‘The Shikari’:

[Illustration: Fig. 20.--‘The Shikari’ rifle case]

See that your case is made of strong sole leather, so as to be fairly
rigid and capable of resisting pressure; for real rough work there is
nothing better than oak covered with leather.

_Rifle Sights._--No absolute rule can be laid down as to the best form
of sights for sporting purposes. Generally speaking, the wider and the
shallower the V in the backsight the better for snap-shooting, but
beyond a certain point this shape makes it difficult to ensure taking
the centre of the sight. The silver line or the ivory pyramid with
which the standard is frequently inlaid very much assists in getting
the centre quickly.

[Illustration: Fig. 21.]

[Illustration: Fig. 22.]

A very good form of backsight is a modification of the style frequently
used in German rifles, viz. a wide shallow V having a small rounded
nick and a fine line down the centre (see fig. 21).

A sloping standard has the advantage of showing up the silver line, but
in a bright light this has a tendency to ‘blurr’ and prevent a fine
bead being taken. It is as well under these circumstances to black
the standard, and upon occasions the foresight; this may be done very
simply by smoking them with a wax match. Foresights should be let in
from the front and fixed with a small screw, so that they can easily be
removed and a different form of sight inserted when required.

A spare iron foresight and two or three ivory ones should be fitted to
each rifle.

A very useful and convenient form of night sight is an ordinary iron
one having at the rear end a small disc covered with white enamel or
luminous paint (see fig. 22), and so arranged that this disc can,
when required, be raised in front of the ordinary bead. If properly
constructed and placed at the correct angle, it can be seen well when
the ordinary sight would be quite invisible.

Telescope sights are now made with elevating screws, which enable
the necessary elevations to be quickly obtained. For stalking and
deliberate shots the telescope is most useful, but it is necessary
to have the eye-piece fitted on a spring slide and made sufficiently
large to prevent injury to the shooter’s eye in case of the recoil
being heavy; but these sights for rifles firing heavy charges cannot be
recommended.

Many sportsmen complain that with Express rifles (in particular), and
not infrequently with other rifles, they shoot over their game at short
ranges, an error which they attribute to the ‘high sighting’ of their
rifles. Sometimes this explanation of their shooting over their game
is the correct one; but frequently the error is caused by the shooter,
when firing a snap-shot at an animal moving across him at a short
range, taking a very full foresight, not having sufficient time to get
his eye down to the level of the backsight, and draw as fine a bead as
he would have done had he taken a deliberate shot.

But no doubt some rifles are ‘over-sighted,’ and if so it is partly
the fault of the gunmakers and partly the fault of the sportsmen
themselves, who insist upon gunmakers trying for the impossible. It is
not an uncommon thing to hear a sportsman say, ‘Oh, my rifle has a flat
trajectory up to 200 yards,’ the truth being that the rifle in question
has been sighted to shoot correctly at 200 yards, but the bullet at
the highest point in its trajectory (i.e. at about 110 yards from the
muzzle) will probably have risen from four to eight inches (according
to the velocity of the bullet) above the line of aim.

It is best to have an Express rifle made with the first leaf or
‘standard’ sighted for not over 150 yards, and if this is properly
done, no misses from over-sighting need be made between thirty and 150
yards.

Again, it is within the experience of most rifle-shots that it is
exceedingly difficult to make good shooting when firing at game very
much below the shooter (ibex down hill for instance). This difficulty
is often accounted for by a theory that in shots of this kind the
bullet is less acted upon by the forces of gravity than in ordinary
horizontal shots; but in reality the difference in the fall of the
bullet at 150 yards in downhill shots at an angle of 45 degrees and in
horizontal shots at the same range is very slight.

Still sportsmen find in practice that they have to aim three to six
inches below the part which they wish to hit, to ensure success in
these downhill shots.

In this case the cause of errors in elevation is the great difficulty
there is in getting the head down to the stock so as to properly align
the foresight with the bottom of the notch or V of the backsight.

The sportsman can easily test this theory for himself by putting any
ordinary rifle to his shoulder in a room, aiming first at some object
considerably above his head, and then at some point or object upon
the floor. Anyone who does this will find that in shooting at the
object above him it is easy enough to align the sights upon it, that
by bending the neck and lowering the head the sights can be accurately
aligned upon any object on a level with the shoulder, but that there
is very considerable difficulty in getting the eye down to properly
align the sights when the object aimed at is upon the floor. In fact,
if the stock of the rifle is fairly straight it cannot be done. Both
these cases of over-shooting come from the same cause; in the first
‘hurry’ has induced the shooter to forget to set his head down properly
on to the stock, in the second his own build and his rifle’s make it
very hard for him to do so. The same principle is illustrated in rabbit
shooting with a fowling-piece at short ranges. Unless using a gun with
a good bend to the stock it is difficult to get down low enough to your
rabbit crossing at say fifteen yards, so that a dozen are missed by
shooting over for one that is missed by shooting under at that range.

It is as well, too, to remember that in shooting from a ‘rest’ there is
always an inclination on the part of the barrels to fly upwards, and
this is particularly so where the ‘rest’ is of any hard substance, a
rock or a log for instance. To counteract this tendency to fly upwards,
grip your rifle firmly with your left hand, and put a pad of some soft
material (say, your cap) between your rifle and your rest.

Assuming that any rifle-shot knows the danger of _pulling_ as opposed
to _pressing_ the trigger, that he will be careful to see that his
foresight neither gets bent nor shifted, that he does not get buck
fever, and can judge distance with approximate accuracy, there seems to
be only one other hint worth giving, and that only to those who find a
difficulty in seeing the backsight clearly; those, that is, to whom it
appears blurred and misty.

These sportsmen should have their rifles arranged with the backsight
not less than seven or nine inches from the breech, since the further
off from the eye it is, the more clearly defined it becomes; but of
course there is a limit to the distance at which the backsight can be
put from the eye, since the closer the backsight is to the foresight
the greater the angle of error.

It is sometimes even desirable to have the barrels made of extra length
to allow of the backsight being put further from the breech end, but
long barrels are unhandy on horseback and in thick timber.

NOTE.--It may be added that these notes have been submitted for
criticism and comment to experienced practical sportsmen, including Mr.
F. C. Selous, Col. James Baker, and Mr. Edward Ross.

Mr. Selous wrote, ‘As far as my experience goes, I agree with what he
says.’

Col. James Baker stated that, after perusing the chapter with his
friend Mr. Edward Ross, they both of them fully concurred in the views
expressed, and had nothing to alter or to add.--C. P.-W.



CHAPTER XV

HINTS ON TAXIDERMY, ETC

BY CLIVE PHILLIPPS-WOLLEY


That ‘the reward lies not in the prize but in the race we run’ is
probably more true of sport than of any other pursuit, and yet even in
big game shooting there are prizes to strive after which serve at any
rate to remind the winners of the races they ran to obtain them. To the
man who has won them fairly, the mighty antlers and fierce masks which
hang in his hall or study are treasures beyond price. As to the men
who _buy_ such trophies, they are not of our guild, nor is it easy to
comprehend them or their motives.

When the light is waning and the flames from a wood fire cover the
walls of a hunter’s den with quaint shadows of the _spolia opima_ of
the chase, it is easy to explain to a kindred spirit the value set
upon these hardly-earned treasures. To some they may be mere dry bones
or hideous mummies; but out of them and their shadows the tired man,
dozing by his hearth, can call up pictures from the deep primeval
forest, the sheer snow mountains, or sweet and wild wind-swept upland;
pictures such as no artist ever painted or poet fancied. Each head
is to that dreamer a key to some locker in his memory. He has but to
look at those antlers in the firelight, and the past comes back vivid
and glorious, aglow with the colours of an Indian summer, or bright
with the blossoms of an Alpine spring, mellow with the beauty distance
lends, and painted by the strong happy hand of youth.

If age and feebleness come, shall there be no satisfaction to the old
hunter in remembering the ibex he outclimbed, the stag whose senses
were not keen enough to detect the stealthy approach of those now
clumsy feet tottering to their rest; the grim foe, tiger or grizzly,
upon whom his worn-out eyes once gazed without blenching, measuring the
shot calmly, upon the success of which hung _his_ life or the beast’s?

[Illustration: When the light wanes]

More than all the pleasures which the rich man feels as he surveys his
Murillos or his Raphaels are the hunter’s, as his eyes wander over his
antlered walls. _He_ shot the beasts whose spoils are round him, and
in the doing of it scenes were graven on his memory which can never
be effaced; mental and physical qualities which, but for these silent
witnesses, Age the doubter would persuade him that he never possessed,
were tried and not found wanting.

But what can _bought_ heads be to the buyer? Furniture for his rooms
perhaps, and, even so, misleading; for if a house is to be worth
anything, it should represent the tastes and life of the man who lives
in it. As a rule, it is long odds that the owners of bought trophies
cannot so much as remember the shape of the beasts whose horns they
hang up, much less have they any associations connected with them. At
the best, they are but costly rubbish; unfortunately they are worse
than that. The demand for antlers and sheep’s horns insures a supply
being secured in some way, and so it happens that in Canada to-day
every up-country trader has been supplied with a printed list of
the prices which will be paid for trophies, according to the number
of inches they measure round the base or the length and span of the
antlers.

In one trader’s house which I know there are nearly a hundred
magnificent sheep’s heads waiting for a purchaser, most of which have
been brought in by Stony Indians, whom no law can touch for shooting in
season or out of season.

The damage done by this head-hunting is twofold: first, to the
sportsman, whom it will eventually deprive of his game; secondly,
to the country, as tending to rob it of the attractions which it
possesses for a class which brings a great deal of money into it. A
fair sheep’s head may be bought for twenty-five dollars, but many a
hundred pounds of good English money has before now been distributed
amongst the natives and traders of British Columbia in the attempt to
obtain such a head by fair shooting. No doubt efforts have been made by
the legislature to protect the game; but in those countries to which I
have had access I have found that, though the laws were good enough,
they were rendered useless through lack of men to enforce them.

In Canada no game laws can ever be of much avail as long as the Indian
is allowed the privileges which he at present enjoys.

But the principal business of this chapter is to instruct the hunter
in the best methods of preserving his trophies when fairly won, until
such time as he can hand them over to one of our excellent practical
taxidermists at home. In nine cases out of ten, the head is all that
a man cares to preserve, and those who are wise will not cumber their
houses with too many even of these _with the masks on_. In spite of
infinite pains, moth and dust will corrupt the most carefully guarded
collections. However, if you want to mount the head with skin and all
complete, let your first care be to sketch or photograph it in profile
before the skinner’s knife has touched it, in order that the man who
sets up the trophy may have some idea of what it looked like in life.

If the hunter cannot sketch decently, a kodak is a good substitute for
the pencil, or the proportions and various bumps and inequalities in
the outline may be accurately preserved by laying the head upon a sheet
of paper and tracing its outline with a simple instrument, consisting
of two pieces of metal four or five inches in length, set at right
angles to one another, with a socket at the angle into which a lead
pencil is fixed, so that the point projects just far enough to make a
mark upon the paper, when, with the lower side upon the paper and the
upright side against the head, an outline of the profile is taken.
Outlines or photographs should be made as soon after death as possible,
before the muscles have time to sink and lose their natural prominence.

In skinning a horned head proceed as follows:--

Slit the back of the neck up the middle to a point between the horns,
then make a crosscut from the base of one antler to the base of the
other. This will give you a cut shaped thus, T. Now separate the skin
from the skull round the base of each antler, and be careful not to
cut the coat unnecessarily during the operation. Next turn the head
over and begin at the other end, severing the inner side of the lips
from the gums as high up as you can reach, and skinning the muzzle as
far back as you can. Then peel off the whole mask from the antlers
downwards to the muzzle, being specially careful not to slit the skin,
either at the eyes or at the nostrils, which are the tenderest portions
of it. Be careful to preserve a sufficiently long neck, and do not let
your Indian or Tartar cut the beast’s throat (as he will do if you do
not watch him), as nothing looks worse than a taxidermist’s stitches
showing under the throat of a trophy.

If you have followed these directions, you will have preserved so far
the entire lips of the animal. Now take your knife and slit the lips,
separating the inner from the outer skin, and dress the cut so made
thoroughly well with powdered alum. Having removed the skin from the
skull, you may clean this part of the trophy, either by boiling it if
you have a pot with you large enough for that operation, or if not,
after whittling out the eyes, brains, and any flesh you can readily
detach, you may hang it up in a tree, out of reach of coyotes to dry,
until fit for packing. Before putting your skins and skulls apart
to dry, mark them carefully with corresponding numbers, to prevent
mistakes later on.

Should you wish, however, to skin a beast whole for mounting in some
museum or elsewhere, you must proceed as directed by my friend,
Mr. John Fannin, curator of the Museum of British Columbia, whose
directions I have slightly altered to suit my purpose, and inserted
below.

Turn the beast on to his back and make cut 1, from the point of the
breastbone along the centre of the belly to the root of the tail,
taking care only to cut through the skin, and not into the intestines.
A few pieces of fine brush, laid on the inside of the skin as you peel
it off, serve to protect the skin from any blood which may escape from
the bullet wounds or elsewhere during the operation of skinning.

Next, make a cut from the hoof of each foreleg to the upper end of
cut 1, making the incision down the _hind_ part of each foreleg. Make
a cut from the hoof of each hind leg, along the hinder part of it to
the lower end of cut 1. Now skin round the legs; sever the leg bones at
the knee and hock joints, leaving these bones with the hoofs attached
to the skin, but with the skin freed down to the hoofs. Now skin the
animal in the ordinary manner, using the edge and not the point of your
knife, and on reaching the neck make the T shaped cut described above,
along the top of the neck and between the antlers. This will allow the
skin to be removed entirely from the head; but before proceeding with
the head the skin should be removed from the body as far as the head,
and the head severed at the neck joint.

Having washed any blood off the hair and detached every fragment of
meat or fat which you can get off the skin, stretch it out upon the
ground in some airy spot where it can dry naturally, unaffected by sun
or fire. Dress the skin with powdered alum, or failing that with wood
ashes, and don’t peg it out. When prepared in a solution of soda by the
taxidermist at home, the alum-dried skin will become as pliable as kid
and will resume its natural proportions, and these should satisfy any
honest hunter.

The methods recommended in this chapter are of course only for
preserving trophies in the field. All trophies should be sent home for
final preparation as soon as possible, either prepared with alum and
packed dry, or in a tub of pickle composed of alum and salt in the
proportion of two-thirds of the former to one-third of the latter.

Some men make a practice of carrying a saw with them to divide antlers
and skulls for greater convenience in packing, sawing the skull right
through from crest to nose; but though trophies are undoubtedly
somewhat easier to pack in this way, I do not recommend it, as a very
heavy wapiti head of mine so treated is constantly annoying me now by
breaking away from the rivets which should hold it, to come thundering
upon the ground.

[Illustration: Wapiti head

1, 2, and 3 indicate the brow, bay, and tray antlers respectively; 4,
indicates the line along which a head should be measured for length;
5, the line along which to measure for span; 6, where to measure for
girth.]

In sending skins home from temperate regions I have never found it
necessary to use any preservative against insects other than the
powdered alum with which the skins are dressed; but in hot climates
more elaborate precautions are necessary, and a liberal dose of spirits
of turpentine should be applied externally from time to time.

An application of spirits of turpentine put on with a liberal hand, and
brushed in, the way of the hair, with a dandy brush at spring-time,
will go a long way towards saving trophies from the ravages of moth.

A covering of fine glazed gauze, made like a nosebag, is useful as a
protection to heads left stored in an unused room.

Here it may be convenient to set out the ordinary systems of measuring
game trophies amongst English sportsmen.

Skins are measured from the snout to the tip of the tail, and from side
to side under the forearms.

There is a system of measuring bear skins upon the American continent
which may have given rise to some errors--to wit, measuring from the
‘_heel_ to the snout.’

In measuring the heads of sheep, ibex, and such like, the chief points
are the girth of the horns at the base, and the length of each of them
from base to point measured along the outside edge of the curve.

In measuring stags’ heads the points to note are: (1) the number of
points or tines, (2) the length of the horn measured from the skull
along the outside curve of the beam to the tip of the longest tine,
(3) the greatest width between the horns, and (4) the circumference
of the beam between the bay and the tray points. The diagram on p.
419 illustrates these measurements, indicates the points named, and
displays the normal growth of tines in a wapiti head.



A SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BIG GAME SHOOTING, ETC.


Since it seems impossible that any one man should have a thoroughly
comprehensive knowledge of all forms of sport in any given district,
it has been thought well to give here a short list of the best books
known to the present writer upon most of the topics dealt with in these
pages, in order that those specially interested may see at a glance
where to turn for further information. There are, of course, a vast
number of books written upon sport in different parts of the globe;
but it is hoped that those quoted below will be found to cover most of
the ground. Where opinions vary it is left to the reader to compare
evidence, and judge for himself.

This seems an appropriate opportunity for acknowledging, in as brief
a space as possible, but as heartily as can be conveyed by written
words, the indebtedness of those employed upon these volumes for the
invaluable assistance rendered by a host of friends too numerous for
special mention, for information given, and photographs sent. It is
hoped that the use made of their contributions will be a sufficient
reward for the trouble they have taken.

                    _Books recommended for perusal_

                                AFRICA

  ANDERSON, C. J.                _Notes of Travel in South Africa._
                                 1875.

         ”                       _The Okavango River._ 1861.

  BAKER, SIR SAMUEL W.           _The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia._
                                 1867.

         ”                       _The Albert N’yanza._

         ”                       _Wild Beasts and their Ways._

  BALDWIN, W. C.                 _African Hunting from Natal to the
                                 Zambesi._ 1863.

  BOURKE (LORD MAYO).            _Sport in Abyssinia._

  CUMMING, R. GORDON.            _Five Years of a Hunter’s Life in
                                 South Africa._ 1850.

  HARRIS, CAPT. C.               _Wild Sports of South Africa._ 1844.

  LE VAILLANT.                   _Voyages, Chasses, Excursions en Afrique._
                                 1869.

  SELOUS, F. C.                  _A Hunter’s Wanderings._ 1881.

         ”                       _Travel and Adventure in South-East
                                 Africa._ 1893.

  WILLOUGHBY, SIR JOHN.          _East Africa and its Big Game._

                             NORTH AMERICA

  BAKER, SIR SAMUEL W.           _Wild Beasts and their Ways._ 1890.

  BUXTON, E. N.                  _Short Stalks._

  CATON.                         _Antelope and Deer of America._

  DODGE, COLONEL R. J.           _The Hunting Grounds of the Great
                                 West._

  DUNRAVEN, LORD.                _The Great Divide._

  PIKE, W.                       _Barren Grounds of Northern Canada._

  PHILLIPPS-WOLLEY, C.           _A Sportsman’s Eden._

  ROOSEVELT, THEODORE.           _The Hunting Trips of a Ranchman._

  ROWAN.                         _Emigrant and Sportsman in Canada._

  VAN DYKE.                      _The Still Hunter._

  WILLIAMSON, A.                 _Sport and Photography in the Rocky
                                 Mountains._ 1880.

                             SOUTH AMERICA

  KENNEDY, W. R.                 _Sporting Sketches in South America._
                                 1892.

                          THE ARCTIC REGIONS

  LAMONT, J.                     _Seasons with the Sea-Horses._ 1861.

      ”                          _Yachting in the Arctic Seas._ 1876.

                               CAUCASUS

  PHILLIPPS-WOLLEY, C.           _Sport in the Crimea and Caucasus._

           ”                     _Savage Svânetia._

                                CEYLON

  BAKER, SIR S. W.               _Rifle and Hound in Ceylon._ 1854.

                           INDIA AND THIBET

  BALDWIN, J. H.                 _Large and Small Game of Bengal._ 1876.

  FORSYTH, J.                    _Highlands of Central India._ 1871.

  KINLOCH, COLONEL.              _Large Game Shooting in Thibet, the
                                 Himalayas, and Northern India._

  MCINTYRE, D.                   _Hindu Koh: Wild Sport in the
                                 Himalayas._ 1889.

  RICE.                          _Indian Game._ 1884.

  SANDERSON, G. P.               _Thirteen Years among the Wild Beasts
                                 of India._ 1878.

  STERNDALE, R. A.               _Natural History of the Mammalia of
                                 India and Ceylon._ 1884.

                            NORTHERN EUROPE

  LLOYD.                         _Field Sports of Northern Europe._
                                 1830.

    ”                            _Scandinavian Adventures._ 1854.

                          SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

  CHAPMAN, ABEL, AND BUCK, W. J. _Wild Spain._ 1892.

                               SARDINIA

  BUXTON, E. N.                 _Short Stalks._[27]

                                 TYROL

  BAILLIE-GROHMAN, W. A.        _Tyrol and the Tyrolese._ 1875.

                            TAXIDERMY, &C.

  H. C. A. J.                   _The Sportsman’s Vade Mecum._ (_Field_
                                Office) 1891.

  LORD, W. B., AND BAINES, T.   _Shifts and Expedients of Camp Life._
                                1871.

  WARD, ROWLAND.                _Sportsman’s Handbook to Practical
                                Collecting._ 1882.

        ”                       _Horn Measurements and Weights of the
                                Great Game of the World._ 1892.



FOOTNOTES


[1] The harpooner on this occasion, whose word I have never doubted,
told me that once when he was hunting in King’s Bay, on the west coast
of Spitzbergen, he saw a walrus take a ‘Hav-hest,’ i.e. fulmar petrel,
which was sitting on the water, and was actually engaged in eating it
when struck by the harpoon.

[2] _Sport in the Crimea and Caucasus and Savage Svânetia._ Bentley &
Son.

[3] The revolver was a useless encumbrance, and the tent can be made
many pounds lighter.--C. P.-W.

[4] To deal exhaustively with all subjects connected with mountain
hunting, in the Caucasus or elsewhere, would be to repeat much which
has already been written by experts in the Mountaineering volume of
this series. Rather than do this, I strongly recommend anyone who
meditates a hunt in Alpine regions to procure that volume and read it
carefully.--C. P.-W.

[5] This was written before the author had had experience of the
Paradox, the best of all weapons for bush shooting.--C. P.-W.

[6] Since this was written Mr. St. G. Littledale has killed the aurochs
as he killed the _Ovis poli_.

[7] The term ‘Bavarian Tyrol’ one often hears used is entirely
incorrect. There is but one Tyrol, and for more than five hundred years
it has formed part of the Austrian Empire.

[8] The above was written before the lamented and unexpectedly sudden
death of this singularly versatile and able prince, who, without
question, was also the greatest Nimrod of his time. His demise, in
his seventy-sixth year, was one befitting his sportsman’s career, the
apoplectic attack from which he never rallied overtaking him on his
return from a stalk, in which he had killed two 14-point stags. His
last words, murmured in a semi-conscious condition, were: ‘Let the
drive commence.’

[9] This difficulty the writer, after years of experimentalising, has
overcome by using the hollow exclusively out of the right and the solid
out of the left barrel of a rifle built expressly for this purpose.

[10] The Editor is not responsible for the measurement of this jump.
He assumes that it was measured by the gentleman named, and on his
authority it is printed.--B.

[11] Lawn-tennis shoes, with stout ribbed soles, are capital makeshifts
for stalking purposes.

[12] Under contracts for elk hunting on private ground it is generally
arranged that the shooter shall keep the head, the hide if he pleases,
and one haunch, the rest of the meat going to the proprietor or farmer
of the land, by whom it is salted or smoked for winter consumption. But
on State lands, the rights of which are periodically sold by auction,
the shooter retains the whole carcase.

[13] Knowledge of elk spoor, to be of any practical value, can only be
learnt by experience: I have not therefore attempted any description of
it.

[14] To explain how such a tract, entirely mountainous, may be
conveniently hunted, I may mention that there are eight specially built
huts and four small farmhouses which serve as quarters.

[15] Unless the Caucasian zubr, of which Mr. St. George Littledale had
recently killed a specimen, be (as the Caucasians maintain) identical
with the Lithuanian beast.--C. P.-W.

[16] A tiger of this length would only weigh about 300 lbs. not cleaned.

[17] Tigers have been shot in the Caucasus west of the Caspian.

[18] Note to Appendix C, Sterndale’s _Mammalia_.

[19] Sterndale’s _Mammalia_.

[20] Measured between uprights and not following curves of body

[21] Several good sportsmen even recommend the plan for tigers.

[22] Measured between uprights

[23] There are no true bison in India, both gaur and buffalo having
thirteen pairs of ribs, while the true bison has fourteen pairs.

[24] This antelope is also found in the Caucasus, between Tiflis and
the Caspian, where it is also locally known as djêrân.--C.P.W.

[25] Such a crutch is in general use amongst Caucasians.--C. P.-W.

[26] This head was not destined to grace my walls, but is now reposing
in a palace in St. Petersburg, her Imperial Majesty the Czarevna having
expressed a wish to have one of my trophies.--ST. G. L.

[27] This admirable volume contains much information upon other beasts
besides the Sardinian moufflon, little known and not treated of
elsewhere, e.g. _Capra ægagrus_, _Ovis tragelaphus_ (the Barbary sheep)
and the red deer of Asia Minor.



INDEX TO THE SECOND VOLUME


  ‘A’ tent, the, 395

  Abyssinia, 325

  Adam zad (sloth bear), 186

  Afghan Boundary Commission, 321

  Afghanistan, 312, 315, 321

  Air cushions, 386

  Akershus, Norway, 125

  Alaghir, Caucasus, 49

  Albania, 77

  Aleknanda river, India, 325

  Alexander II. of Russia, 168

  Alichur Pamir, 374

  Allahabad, 226

  Allia (elephant), 228

  Almanzor, Spain, 179

  Alpenstocks, 29, 57

  Alpine stag. _See_ Red deer

  Alpine tent, Whymper’s, 385

  Altai, the, 73, 74, 75, 291

  Altyn-Tagh, the, 299

  American stag, the Great, 36

  Ammunition. _See_ Rifles

  Amsterdam Island, Spitzbergen, 19

  Anar (native fireworks), 189

  Anay (elephant), 228

  Andalusia, 177-179

  Andorra, 179

  Antelope, Caucasian (Antilope saiga), 44, 45

  Antelope, Indian (Antilope Bezoartica), 345;
    native methods of hunting, 347;
    stalking, 349;
    pugnacity of the bucks, 352;
    measurements, 357

  Antelope, Mongolian (Antilope subgutturosa), 74

  Antelope, Saiga (Saiga tartarica), characteristics, 340;
    measurements, 343

  Antelope, Thibetan (Pantholops Hodgsonii), 335;
    characteristics, 339;
    measurements, 343

  Antlers and horns, traffic in, 415

  Ants, red, danger of, in tiger shooting, 214

  Aoula (Phyllanthus emblica), 354

  Aparejo, the Mexican, 381, 382

  Arakan, 234, 334

  Aranjuez, 176

  Ararat, 52

  Araxes, the, 44

  Arco, Count, 81, 116

  Arcot rogue elephant, the, 233

  Arctic regions, sport in the, 11;
    walrus hunting, 3-15;
    bear hunting, 15-21

  Arkar (female poli), 367

  Arná (Arni), buffalo, 253

  Arundo phragmites (Caucasian reed), 31

  Asia Minor, 228, 321

  ‘Asian,’ the, quoted. _See_ Measurements

  Assam, game in, 221, 228, 233, 234, 240, 248, 253,
                  254, 258, 262, 265, 267

  Astor, game in, 277, 302, 303, 311, 312, 313, 315, 368

  Asturias, the, 175-178

  Attock, 315

  Augustus, Elector, 116

  Aurochs (Bos bonasus), Caucasian, 65;
    former range of, 65;
    hunting, 66-71;
    measurements, 70;
    description, 72;
    in Biolvitskia forest, habits, 167;
    measurements, 167;
    a typical drive, 170-172

  Austria, Emperor of, 85, 98

  Austria, the late Crown Prince of, 116

  Austria, Upper, 78;
    red deer in, 112, 117

  Authorities for measurements of game. _See_ Measurements


  Baikal, Sea of, 291

  Baillie-Grohman, W. A., on the chamois, 77-111;
    on the Alpine stag, 112-122

  Baker, Colonel James, on the battery, 412

  Baker, Sir Samuel W., on lions, cheetahs and tigers, 211;
    on African elephants, 233;
    his choice of rifles and bullets, 397, 398, 406

  Baksan, the, Caucasus, 41

  Baku, 45

  Baldwin, Captain, on a tiger’s method of killing, 211

  Balkar pastures, Caucasus, 42

  Balkaria, 42

  Ball-guns, 399-401

  Balsam boughs, for camp bedding, 386

  Baltistan, 299

  Ban bakri (gooral), 329

  Ban Bhains (buffalo), 253

  Banteng (Burmese wild ox), 248

  Baral (Barut), burrel, 299

  Barasingh (Cashmerian deer), 36, 374;
    sambur, 257;
    swamp deer, 265

  Barhamputra, 265

  Barking (rib-faced) deer. _See_ Deer

  Barse (Caucasian lynx), the, 42, 43

  Battery, for arctic sporting, 3;
    for wild boar, 35;
    for red deer, 119;
    for elk, 152;
    for bears, 160;
    rifles and their ammunition, 394;
    the Express, and bullets suited for, 394-399;
    ball-guns, 399;
    the Paradox, 399-401;
    small-bores for elephant shooting, 401;
    systems of actions for rifles, 402-404;
    selection of battery, 403;
    the recoil heelplate, 404;
    spare weapons, 404;
    spare limbs, 405;
    turnscrews, 405;
    triggers and stocks, 405, 406;
    cartridges, 405;
    rebounding locks, 406;
    loops for slings, 407;
    stops to hammers, 407;
    brass cases, 407;
    tins for cartridges, 407;
    the ‘Shikari’ rifle case, 408;
    rifle sights, 408-412

  Bavaria, King of, 94

  Bavarian Highlands, chamois shooting in, 78;
    attitude of poachers and keepers, 80;
    shooting season, 80;
    size of stags in, 117

  Bavarian keepers, 80, 94, 97

  Bear, brown, Caucasian, 40;
    his haunts, 40;
    characteristics, 41;
    Norwegian, 155;
    Russian, 154;
    food, 154;
    size, 154;
    tenacity of life, 154;
    methods of hunting, 155;
    sporting incidents with, 156-160

  Bears, Indian-Beluchistan (Ursus gedrosianus), 193;
    black, Himalayan (Ursus torquatus), 186;
    habitat, 186;
    method of shooting, 187;
    measurements, 194;
    Burmese (Ursus malayanus), 193;
    measurements, 194;
    piebald (Ailuropus melanoleucos), 194;
    measurements, 194;
    sloth (Ursus labiatus), 186;
    habitat, 188;
    method of hunting, 189;
    measurements, 194;
    snow (Ursus Isabellinus), 186;
    habitat, 186;
    method of hunting, 188;
    measurements, 194

  Bear, Polar. _See_ Polar bear

  Bears, Russian, driving, 161;
    arranging for a hunt, 161;
    cost of same, 162;
    ‘ringing,’ 162;
    a typical drive, 164-167

  Bears, Spanish, 176;
    hereditary hunting, 177

  Bedding, hemlock, 386

  Bees, danger of, in tiger shooting, 214

  Bells for pack-horses, 380

  Belts for cartridges, 387

  Beluchistan, 193, 304, 315, 321, 362

  Beluchistan bear. _See_ Bears, Indian

  Bena (musk deer), 283

  Bengal, 213

  Bezoar stone, 109

  Bhalu (sloth bear), 186

  Bheria (Indian wolf), 225

  Bhootan, 240, 265, 325

  Bibliography of big game shooting, 421

  Biddulph, Major, 342

  Bielaia river, Caucasus, 38

  Bielowicza (Biolvitskia), Lithuania, 38, 39, 65, 167, 168

  Bikanir Desert, 345, 346, 355, 362

  Bind-hund (leash hound), the, 135, 144

  Bir Shumshir, Maharajah of Nepal, 201

  Bird Bay, Spitzbergen, 12

  Bison. _See_ Gaur

  Black bear, the Himalayan. _See_ Bears, Indian

  Black Point, Spitzbergen, 14, 15

  Black Sea, coast of the, 32, 34, 41, 42, 44, 50

  Blanford, W. T., 283;
    asserts Ovis Poli and O. Karelini to be the same species, 291

  Blankets, 385

  Blyth, Mr., on the burrel, 299;
    on the colour of the serow, 334

  Boar, wild (Sus indicus), 237

  Boathooks, 10

  Boats used for walrus hunting, 9

  Bodok (rhinoceros), 234

  Bombay (Presidency), tiger hunting in, 203, 205, 206

  Boom (markhor), 309

  Boonji Plain, 302

  Boorendo Pass, 299

  Boortsa eurotia (Pamir shrub), 373

  Boots, 28

  Borneo, 236

  Boz Pasang (ibex), 321

  British Columbia, essentials of a camp outfit in, 378;
    sporting expenses, 415

  British Museum, specimens in, 221, 238, 239, 249, 260, 266, 268,
                                283, 313, 315, 331, 335, 340, 341

  Brooke, Sir Victor, on the ibex, 180;
    his big tusker, 233;
    on the barasingh, 276

  Brow-antlered or Eld’s deer. _See_ Deer

  Brown bear. _See_ Bear, brown

  Bucardo (Aragonese ibex), 179

  Buckskin gloves, 389

  Buffalo, Indian (Bubalus arni), habitat, 253;
    method of shooting, 254;
    measurements, 256

  Bukowina, the, 114

  Bullets. _See_ Rifles

  Bunchowr (yak), 249

  Burmah, game in, 196, 218, 228, 233, 234, 240, 248,
                   253, 258, 262, 268, 269, 288

  Burmese bears. _See_ Bears, Indian

  Burmese wild ox (Gavæus sondaicus), 248

  Burrel (Capra cylindricornis or pallasi), 64, 302;
    Barbary (Ammotragus tragelaphus), 302;
    Ovis Nahura, vel Burhel, 299;
    habitat, 299;
    habits, 300;
    measurements, 305

  Burrhel, Caucasian, 51

  Buskerud, Norway, 125


  Cabra montés (Andalusian ibex), 179

  Cæsar, on the elk, 123

  Cambridge Museum, 186

  Camp:
    the equipage and its transport, 377;
    in British Columbia, 378;
    buying and hiring pack ponies, 379;
    weight each animal should carry, 379;
    horse furniture, 380;
    use of the horse bell, 380;
    hobbling and picketing ponies, 380;
    pack-saddles, 380;
    sweat-pads and saddle-blankets, 381;
    tying on packs, 381;
    the packman and cook, 382;
    manteaux, 382, 386;
    cinches and ropes, 382;
    bags and labels, 382;
    carrying matches, 383;
    arrangement of packs, 383;
    list of stores and requisites for five men for two months, 383, 384;
    kitchen gear, 385;
    ‘sleeping outfit,’ 385;
    tents, 385;
    sleeping bags and blankets, 385;
    air-cushions, 386;
    making a bedstead, 386;
    brush beds, 386;
    character of clothing, 387;
    foot-gear, 387;
    cartridge belts, 387;
    hunting-knife fastening, 388;
    knickerbockers and trousers, 388;
    list of clothing for a two months’ expedition, 389;
    early starting, 389;
    dealing with the pack ponies, 390;
    midday halts, 391;
    choice of site for pitching, 392;
    avoidance of Indian camping grounds, 392;
    use of horse blankets for human night covering, 392;
    duties when camped, 393;
    medicines, 393

  Campione, M. (forest ranger at Biolvitskia), 169-172

  Canada, game laws in, 416

  Cantabrian highlands, Spain, 177

  Cape Leigh Smith (Storö), 9

  Capercailzie, 146

  Capra ægagrus, 64

  Capra caucasica, 52, 53

  Capra cylindricornis, 52, 53, 55

  Capra pallasi, 52, 53

  Capra sibirica, 74

  Carnicero (Spanish bear), 177

  Carpathians, the, chamois in, 77, 81

  Carpeto-Vetonico mountains, (Spain), 179

  Cartridge belts, 387

  Cartridge tins, 407

  Cartridges, 405, 407

  Cashmere, shikaris and coolies in, 184;
    sport in, 274, 275, 277, 312, 313, 325, 332, 333, 334

  Cashmere stag (Cervus cashmirianus; Cervus Wallichii), 274;
    antlers, 275;
    habitat, 277;
    calling season, 278;
    method of stalking, 280;
    measurements, 284

  Caspian Sea, 50, 196, 342

  Castile, 179

  Caucasian brown bears, 40-42, 58

  Caucasus, sport in the, 22;
    modes of reaching, 23;
    outfit for, 24;
    guides, 25;
    conduct towards natives, 26;
    sleeping in the mountains, 26;
    camp necessaries, 28;
    foot gear, 28;
    cost of an expedition, 29;
    language, 29;
    interpreters, 30;
    the north-west, 30;
    hunting the wild boar, 31-35;
    the ollèn, 35-37;
    the roe, 37;
    superstitions in, 38;
    the zubre, 38, 39;
    southern slopes of, 39;
    its vegetation, 39;
    the brown bear, 40-42, 58;
    varieties of bear, 41;
    the barse, 42;
    plains of, 44;
    djerân, 45-47, 342;
    mountaineers of Marmisson, 48, 342;
    mountain game of the, 48;
    home of the Ossete and the tûr, 49;
    chamois, 50;
    tûr, burrhel, 51;
    Hircus ægagrus, 52;
    modes of hunting tûr, 53;
    clothing for, 56;
    mountaineering necessaries in Ossetia, 57;
    stalking tûr, 58;
    a tûr shooting adventure, 59-63;
    mountain mists, 62;
    superstitions of natives, 63;
    the aurochs, 65-72;
    ibex, 321

  Cayuses, 380, 392

  Central Alps, 117

  Central Asia, 363, 373

  Central India, bear in, 188, 190;
    lions, 195;
    method of hunting tigers in, 203;
    notes on game in, 211, 213, 219, 222, 224, 228, 240,
                      253, 254, 259, 265, 267, 353

  Central Indian horse, their method of panther-hunting, 221

  Central Provinces, India, 360

  Ceumern, Governor-General de, 169, 172

  Ceumern, Madame de, 169

  Ceylon, game in, 196, 218, 221, 228, 240, 253, 257, 262, 288, 328

  Chakrata, India, 219

  Chamba, Himalayas, 219, 325

  Chamois, Caucasian, 50, 51

  Chamois, Spanish (Antilope rupicapra), 175, 176, 179

  Chamois, Swiss, 77

  Chamois, Tyrolean, 77;
    sport in peasant shoots, 78;
    poachers and keepers, 80;
    shooting season, 80;
    heads and horns, 81;
    preserves and peasant-shoots, 82;
    cost of a preserve, 83;
    rights of chase, 84;
    stalking, 85;
    a typical stalk, 86-92;
    another stalking incident, 93-97;
    rifles and kit for stalking, 98-100;
    driving, 100-109;
    jumping powers, 105;
    history of, 109

  Changchmeno Valley, 250, 335

  Chanko (Thibetan wolf), 226

  Cháorang (four-horned antelope), 356

  Charsingha (four-horned antelope), 356

  Chatterton, Mr., death of, 255

  Chenab, the, 345

  Chikara (Indian gazelle), 355

  China, 331

  Chiru (Choos), Thibetan antelope, 335

  Chita, or hunting leopard (Felis jubata),
    its method of striking its prey, 211;
    habitat, 222;
    used for hunting antelopes, 222;
    habits, 222;
    measurements, 225

  Chital (Chitra), spotted deer, 264

  Chittagong, 248

  Choka (four-horned antelope), 356

  Chota soor (pigmy hog), 237

  Christian, Norway, 125

  Christiania, 123-125

  Chumatung, on the Indus, 300

  Chumba, Himalayas, 184, 188, 215, 329

  Cinches for packing, 382

  Cintra hills, 179

  Circassia, 31, 38, 39

  Clothing, for arctic sporting, 3;
    for the Caucasus, 56;
    for the Tyrol, 100;
    for North America, 387;
    list of, for a two months’ expedition, 389

  Cobbold, Mr., 73

  Cocoa, advantages of, for sporting expeditions, 384

  Cook and packman, in a sporting expedition, 382, 383

  Cookson, Lieut.-Col. Fife, on a tiger’s method of stalking a bait, 209

  Coolies, Indian, number required in shooting expeditions, 183

  Cooper, Frank, 37

  Corpse Rocks, Spitzbergen, 20

  Cossack boar hunters, 32

  Cossim Bazar Island, 197

  Crampons, 99

  Crasova, Novgorod, 164

  Crimea, 38

  Crocodile, Indian method of catching, 238;
    measurements, 239

  Cumberland, Major, 283, 342


  Daghestan, 35, 37, 52

  Danes Island, Spitzbergen, 18, 19

  Danford, Mr., his estimate of the altitudes preferred
  by the Persian and Sindh ibex, 321

  Dashkat (Datchnar) valley, 313

  Daudpore, 197

  David, Père, discovers a piebald bear, 194;
    and the burrel, 299;
    the Thibetan capricorn, 334;
    the Budorcas taxicolor, 335

  Day’s march with pack ponies, routine of, 389-393

  Deer, barking, or rib-faced. _See_ Deer, rib-faced

  Deer, brow-antlered or Eld’s (Rucervus vel Panolia Eldii), 268;
    method of hunting, 269;
    measurements, 273

  Deer, rib-faced, or barking (Cervulus aureus, vel Muntjac),
    habitat, 288;
    characteristics, 288;
    curious clicking noise emitted by, 289;
    measurements, 290

  Deer, sambur. _See_ Sambur

  Deer, Schomburgk’s (Rucervus Schomburgkii), 266;
    measurements, 273

  Deer, Spanish fallow (Cervus dama), 176

  Deer, spotted (Axis maculatus), 264;
    stalking, 264;
    gregarious, 264;
    measurements, 271

  Deer, swamp (Rucervus Duvaucelli), 265;
    antlers, 266;
    habits, 267;
    measurements, 272

  Deesa, 362

  Dera Ghazi Khan, 315

  Dera Ismail Khan, 315

  Dewanna (Kirghiz hunter), 366, 369-373

  Deyhra Doon, 228, 262, 265

  Diamond-hitch in packing, 381, 382

  Dinapore, 236

  Djerân, Caucasian (Gazella gutturosa), 44, 45

  Djik-vee (tûr), 54

  Doda (four-horned antelope), 356

  Dog, wild, Indian (Cuon rutilans), 226;
    destructive character, 227;
    measurements, 227

  Dogs, for hunting elk, 135-148;
    Russian, 165

  Dolomites, the, chamois in, 81;
    injury done by peasant-shoots in, 82

  Donkh (Dhong), yak, 249

  Dras, India, 277

  Dress. _See_ Clothing

  Duff, Captain, on yak stalking, 250

  Dufferin, Lord, 168

  Dumba, Constantine (Secretary to Austrian Embassy), 163, 165

  Dunsmuir, Mrs., Victoria, B.C., 18

  Durand, Sir E., on tiger hunting, 200


  Edinburgh, Duke of, 113

  Ee (Thibetan lynx), 224

  Egypt, 322

  Eichwald, in the Caucasus, 30

  Ekaterinodar, 34, 35

  Elbruz, 23, 26, 28, 30, 31, 38

  Eld’s deer. _See_ Deer, Brow-antlered

  Elephants, their treatment of dead animals, 214;
    Indian (Elephas indicus), habitat, 228;
    points of difference from African species, 228;
    best mode of shooting, 229;
    charging, 229;
    dimensions, 232;
    measurements, 233;
    small-bores for shooting, 401

  Elias (Lapp hunter), 144

  Elk, Scandinavian, 123;
    ancient writers on, 123;
    Government protection of, 124;
    number killed yearly in Norway, 124, 125;
    period during which it is legal to kill, 125;
    local enactments in Sweden regarding, 125;
    comparison with the moose, 126;
    determining the age, 126;
    antlers, 127-129;
    bodily measurements, 130;
    weight, 131;
    vocal sounds emitted by, 131;
    the rutting season, 132;
    non-gregarious, 134;
    methods of hunting, 135;
    driving, 135;
    hunting with the loose dog, 136;
    with the leash hound, 138;
    disadvantages of hunting with the loose dog, 142;
    best stalking ground, 144;
    Passop, the Lapp dog, at work, 145;
    stalking, 146-150;
    intelligence, 149;
    a hunting incident, 150, 151

  Elk hounds, 137-148

  Ellis, Hon. C., 291

  Epirus, the, chamois in, 77, 81

  Erskine, Colonel, on the habitat of the swamp deer, 265, 266

  Esquimaux dogs, 137

  Estremadura, 176, 179

  Europe, forests of Central and Northern, 114

  European wolf (Canis lupus), 226

  Express bullets, 368

  Express rifle, 98, 394-399, 409, 410.
    _See_ Battery


  Falkova, Novgorod, 163

  Fannin, John (curator of the Museum of British Columbia),
    his directions for skinning beasts whole, 417

  Field-glasses, 99, 147, 370

  ‘Field Sports of the North of Europe,’ 135

  Finmarken, 125

  FitzHerbert, Major, on hogdeer shooting, 263, 346;
    adventures with black buck, 351, 352

  Flannel clothing, 387

  Foot gear, 28, 387, 389

  ‘Forest and Stream,’ Yo’s articles on packing, 382

  Forsyth, Captain,
    his division of tigers into three classes, 197, 199, 200;
    on the damage done by them, 198;
    and their method of killing their prey, 211;
    thinks panthers escape in drives by taking to trees, 220;
    on the habits of the bison in the rainy season, 240;
    on the bull nylghao, 245;
    on the habitat of the buffalo, 253;
    on the use of dogs in buffalo hunting, 257; 267

  ‘Fortnightly Review,’ quoted, on elk hunting, 144

  Fosbery, Colonel, V.C., his invention of the Paradox gun, 399-401

  Four-horned antelope (Tetraceros quadricornis), 356

  Fox, 146;
    Spanish, 176

  Franz Joseph Land, 8

  ‘Freeshooters of the Alps,’ 80


  Gaindá (Gairá, Gonda), rhinoceros, 234

  Galicia, 175

  Gamsbart (beard of the chamois), 82

  Ganges, the, 325, 329

  Garrod, Professor, 248

  Gártope, 339

  Gat, the, Spitzbergen, 20

  Gaur (Gavæus gaurus), habitat, 240;
    characteristics, 240;
    method of hunting, 242;
    measurements, 246

  Gazella gutturosa, 44, 45

  Gazelle, Thibetan (Gazella picticaudata), 342;
    measurements, 344;
    difficult to stalk, 345

  Ghauts, Western, 245

  Ghayal (gayal), or crocodile, 238

  Ghor khur (wild ass), 362

  Ghour (wild ass), 362

  Gilgit, 315, 319, 368

  Gilgit, Yassim, Chitral, and Badakshan route to the Pamir, 365

  Gloves, 57;
    buckskin, 389

  Goa (serow), 332;
    Thibetan gazelle, 342

  Gōn (Gond, Goen, Goenjak, Gaoni), swamp deer, 265

  Goolga (Ovis Poli), 299

  Gooral (Nemorhædus Goral), 329;
    best way of hunting, 331;
    Chinese, 331;
    Japanese, 331;
    measurements, 337

  Gor (rhinoceros), 234

  Greenaway, Major, 332

  Grizzlies, 18, 42

  Grodno, 168

  Gulcha (Poli rams), 366

  Gulf of Bothnia, 134

  Gun cases, 408

  Günther, Dr., 73

  Gurais, India, 277

  Gurwhal, India, 184, 257, 288, 289, 325, 329, 333

  Guzerat, 194


  Hakke-piks (boathooks for ice work), 10

  Haldwani, India, 265

  Half-moon Island, Spitzbergen, 18

  Halj (serow), 332

  Halleberg, the, 136

  Hamilton, Dr. F. Buchanan, 248

  Hammerfest, 2

  Hammerless guns, 402

  Hangal (Cashmere stag), 274

  Hans (Tyrolese stalker), 93-97

  Haramook, India, 277

  Harness for leash hounds, 138

  Harpooners, 12

  Harpoons, 9

  Harput (snow bear), 186

  Hati (elephant), 228

  Hedemarken, 125

  Hemlock for brush bedding, 386

  Henry Express, 160, 169;
    double, 371

  Heran (Thibetan antelope), 335

  Himalayas, the:
    best weapon for hunting in, 182;
    tents, 183;
    transport, 183;
    expenses, 184;
    rule regarding shooting grounds, 185;
    game in, 215, 218, 240, 257, 261, 262, 265, 274,
             299, 303, 309, 319, 325, 329, 332

  Hindu Kush, 374

  Hinlopen Straits, 8, 9, 18

  Hinter Authal, Tyrol, 105

  Hinter Riss, Tyrol, 81, 101

  ‘Hints to Travellers,’ Royal Geographical Society’s, 377, 395

  Hircus ægagrus (ibex), 52, 53

  Hoang-ho river, 292

  Hobbles for horses, 380

  Hodgson, B. H., on the horns of the Sikkim stag, 283;
    on the early breeding of musk deer, 287;
    on the burrel, 299

  Hog, the pigmy (Porcula salvania), habitat, 237;
    measurements, 238

  Hogdeer (Axis porcinus), 261;
    habitat, 262;
    method of shooting, 262;
    measurements, 271

  Hohe Geschnürr, Tyrol, 95, 96

  Hohenlohe, Prince Hermann, 105

  Holland & Holland, gunmakers, 13, 98

  Hopenöerne, 9

  ‘Horn measurements,’ Mr. Rowland Ward’s.
   _See_, largely cited, under Measurements

  Horns, different manner of twisting,
  between wild and domestic animals, 315

  Horse blankets, 392

  Horse furniture, 380

  Howard, Colonel, 188;
    on bear hunting, 190;
    on the comparative measurements of European chamois, 331, 355.
    _See_ Measurements

  Hudson Bay blankets, 385

  Hungary, North, red deer in, 114, 117

  Hunneberg, the, 136

  Hunting-shirts, Indian, 387

  Hyæna, striped (Hyæna striata), 227;
    measurement, 228

  Hyderabad, 222


  Ibex (Capra caucasica), 51, 55, 56, 57, 64

  Ibex (Capra sibirica), 74

  Ibex, European (Capra ibex), 322;
    measurements, 324

  Ibex, Himalayan (Capra sibirica), 318;
    habitat, 319;
    method of stalking, 319;
    measurements, 323

  Ibex, Neilgherry (Hemitragus hylocrius), 328;
    measurements, 336

  Ibex, of Persia and Sindh (Capra ægagrus), 321;
    measurements, 324

  Ibex, Spanish (Capra hispanica), 174, 175, 179;
    dimensions of heads, 180;
    (Capra pyrenaica), 322

  Imu (serow), 332

  Inderöen, 125

  India, shooting in:
    best weapons, 182;
    outfit, 183;
    transport, 183;
    rule regarding shooting grounds, 185;
    bear, 186;
    lion, 194;
    tiger, 196;
    panther, 218;
    leopard, 222;
    lynx, 224;
    wolves and wild dogs, 225;
    hyænas, 227;
    elephant, 228;
    rhinoceros, 233;
    Malay tapir, 236;
    wild boar, 237;
    pigmy hog, 237;
    crocodiles, 238;
    gaur, 240;
    wild ox, 248;
    yak, 249;
    buffalo, 253;
    sambur, 257;
    hogdeer, 261;
    spotted deer, 264;
    swamp, deer, 265;
    Eld’s deer, 268;
    Cashmere stag, 274;
    Sikkim stag, 282;
    musk deer, 283;
    barking or rib-faced deer, 288;
    wild sheep, 291;
    burrel, 299;
    shapoo, 302;
    oorial, 304;
    markhor, 309;
    ibex, 318;
    ther, 325;
    gooral, 329;
    serow, 332;
    takin, 334;
    Thibetan antelope, 335;
    Saiga antelope, 340;
    Thibetan gazelle, 342;
    Indian antelope, 345;
    rifles and bullets suitable for sport in, 398, 399, 401

  Indian gazelle (Gazella Bennetti), 335

  Indian, North American, camping grounds, character of, 392

  Indus, the, 300, 303, 304, 308, 312, 315, 345

  Ingur, the, 39

  Inn Valley, Tyrol, 82, 101

  Interpreters, 30, 369

  Irtish, Upper, Siberia, 65

  Isar, the, 101

  Izard (French chamois), 179


  Jackals, 41

  Jagla (ther), 325

  Javato (Spanish boar), 176, 177

  Jemtland, 125, 126

  Jerdon, Dr., on snaring black bear, 188;
    on the eyes of the gaur, 241;
    on the spotted deer, 265; 266, 288;
    on nylghao, 353;
    on mouse deer, 360

  Jerow (sambur), 257

  Jeypur, 222

  Jhangal (serow), 332

  Jhank (spotted deer), 264

  Jharál (ther), 325

  Jhelum, the, 304, 325, 345

  Jhula (ther), 325

  Jolsva, Hungary, 115

  Joshimath, 300

  Jumbo (the Zoological Gardens elephant), 233

  Jumna, the, 329

  Jung Bahadur, the story of his device to secure food for his army, 253

  Jungli Bukra (rib-faced deer), 288

  Jungli-kutta (wild dog), 226


  Kabardah plains, Caucasus, 31

  Kachin hills, 329

  Kajnag mountains, 313, 325, 329

  Kakur (rib-faced deer), 288

  Kala Bhalu (black bear), 186

  Kale (ibex), 318

  Kamish (Caucasian reed), 31, 33, 35

  Kamtchatka, 292

  Kara Kirghiz hunters, 366-376

  Kara Korum, the, 364

  Karakash, 250

  Karatan, 291

  Kareim (brigand), 52

  Karelin (Russian explorer), 368

  Kariâs, 44, 45, 46, 47

  Kart (ther), 325

  Kashgar, 342

  Kashmir, Maharajah of, presents Sir Frederick Roberts
  with poli head, 374

  Kastura (musk deer), 283

  Kayeek (ibex), 321

  Kharwee (a jungly growth), 243

  Khatmandu, 253

  Khelat, 309

  Kherdecht (wild ass), 362

  Khokand, 364, 365

  Khyenhsen (rhinoceros), 234

  Kielang, India, 223

  Kilmorey, Earl of, 155;
    his account of a bear drive in Russia, 161-167

  King’s Bay, Spitzbergen, 9 note

  Kinloch, Colonel, his ‘Large Game Shooting,’ 183;
    on the snow and black bear, 187-215;
    panther, 221;
    wolves, 226;
    elephant, 232;
    disbelieves in wild gayal, 248, 255;
    thinks the Sutlej the boundary of the sambur, 257;
    describes the hogdeer as the rabbit of Indian battues, 261;
    swamp deer, 266;
    musk deer, 288;
    kakur, 289;
    supports the theory that markhor eat snakes, 309;
    and that there are four varieties of it, 313;
    on the horns of the markhor, 315;
    on ther, 327;
    serow, 333;
    and the Thibetan antelope, 339;
    on nylghao, 354;
    on ravine deer, 356.
    _See_ Measurements

  Kirghiz, the, 73;
    as hunters, 366, 370, 376

  Kirghiz yourts, 374

  Kishengunga river, India, 275, 277

  Kishtwar, 325

  Kitchen gear for a sporting expedition, 395

  Klapjagt (an elk drive), 135

  Knife fastenings, 388

  Knives, 388

  Kodor, the, 39

  Kolenati, cited, 44

  Koulan (wild ass), 362

  Kras (ther), 325

  Kraus Haven, Spitzbergen, 15

  Kuban river, 30, 31, 33, 35, 37, 38, 39

  Kuch (oorial), 304

  Kuda-ayer (Malay tapir), 236

  Kuenluen mountains, 299

  Kumaon, 288

  Kûr, the, 44

  Kurrè (elk hound), 140, 141

  Kutais, 30, 53

  Kutch, 194, 362

  Kyang (Equus hemionus) 361;
    measurements, 362


  Laba, the, 38

  Labels for packs, 382

  Ladak, game in, 283, 292, 293, 298, 299, 300, 302, 342, 345, 364

  Ladak, Kara Korum, Shahdula, and Yarkand route to the Pamir, 364

  Lady Franklin’s Bay, Spitzbergen, 12

  Lagá Bagá (panther), 218

  Lahoul, India, 184, 223, 325

  Lake Kallsjön, Sweden, 141

  Lake Tsomoriri, 342

  Lake Wenern, 136

  Lakhar baghar (striped hyæna), 227

  Lal Bhalu (snow bear), 186

  Lamb, Captain, on tiger hunting, 207;
    on buffalo stalking, 254

  Lamchitta (clouded panther), 221

  Lamont’s ‘Yachting in the Arctic Seas,’ 6

  Lance used in walrus hunting, 10

  Langour, 332

  Lansdell, Rev. Dr. H., 365

  Lapp elk hunters, 130, 133, 144, 145, 147, 150, 151

  Lappen (flags) for chamois driving, 101, 104-106

  ‘Large and Small Game of Bengal,’ Captain Baldwin’s, 211

  ‘Large Game Shooting,’ Colonel Kinloch’s, 183

  Leash hounds for hunting elk, 137-148

  Leh, 249, 303

  Leigh Smith, Mr., 18

  Lenkoran, 34, 43-45

  Leopard, 43;
    or chita (Felis jubata), habitat, 222;
    used for hunting purposes, 222;
    measurement, 225;
    the snow, or ounce (Felis uncia), 223;
    measurements, 225

  Lesghians, the, 49, 52, 68-71

  Licences for shooting in Spain, 175

  Lidder river, 274

  Lilghao (nylghao), 353

  Linzinthung Plains, the, 250

  Lion, Indian (Felis leo), almost extinct, 194;
    habits, 195;
    measurements, 195;
    method of striking prey, 211

  Lithuania, 167

  Littledale, St. George, 22;
    on the ollèn, 36;
    his game trophies, 52;
    tûr shooting, 55, 59-63;
    shooting the Caucasian aurochs, 65-72;
    on the Ovis argali of Mongolia, 73-76;
    stalking the Ovis Poli of the Pamir, 363-376

  Littledale, Mrs., 66, 67, 68, 365, 368

  Lloyd, Mr., on elk driving, 135

  Lokketone, or Lokton (elk’s call), 131, 132

  Lower Bengal, 355

  Lulliapoora, India, a bear hunt at, 190

  Lyman rifle sight, 98

  Lynx, the, 43

  Lynx (Felis pardina), 176

  Lynx, red (Felis caracal), 224

  Lynx, Russian, 164

  Lynx, Thibetan (Felis Isabellina), 224


  Macintyre, General, his plan for sitting up over a tiger, 209; 261,
                                                            300, 330

  McMaster, Mr., cited, 265

  Macrae, Mr., 248

  Madras (Presidency), method of tiger hunting in, 203, 205, 206; 245;
    importance of the Neilgherry ibex in, 328, 353

  Maha (sambur), 257;
    swamp deer, 265

  Mahouts, conduct of, while tiger hunting, 199

  Maikop, 38

  Mains (buffalo), 253

  Malabar coast, 355

  Malay Peninsula, 234, 236, 240, 258, 268, 288, 334

  Malo Vyschera, Novgorod, 163, 164

  Mamisson Pass, 48, 49, 51

  ‘Mammalia of India,’ Sterndale’s, 334.
    _See_ Measurements

  Manipur, 234, 268

  Mansarovárá Lake, 335

  Mansel, Major, adventure with a tiger, 207

  Manteaux (waterproofed canvas pack coverings), 382, 386

  Maral (Daghestan deer), 37

  Maral Bashi, 342

  Marco Polo, on the Ovis Poli, 363, 364

  Markhor (Capra megaceros, vel Falconeri), 309;
    difficult to shoot, 310;
    varieties of, 312;
    habits, 313;
    habitat, 315;
    measurements, 316

  Marten, 146

  Masaknaba (musk deer), 283

  Mason, Mr., on the Malay tapir, 236

  Matches, mode of carrying, 383

  Maximilian, Emperor, 100, 111

  Measurements of game, tables of:
    Ailuropus melanoleucos, 194;
    Antilope Bezoartica, 357;
    Arakanese capricorn, 337;
    Axis porcinus, 271;
    A. maculatus, 271;
    Bos grunniens, 252;
    Bubalus arni, 256;
    Budorcas taxicolor, 338;
    Canis lupus, 227;
    Canis pallipes, 227;
    Canis laniger, 227;
    Capra megaceros, 316;
    Capra Jerdoni, 317;
    Capra sibirica, 323;
    Capra ægagrus, 324;
    Capra ibex (Tyrol), 324;
    Capra sinaitica, vel nubiana, 324;
    Capra wali, 324;
    Capra jemlaica, 336;
    Cervulus aureus, 290;
    Cervus cashmirianus, 284;
    C. affinis, 285;
    C. maral, 285;
    C. Eustephanus, 285;
    Cuon rutilans, 227;
    Elephas indicus, 233;
    Equus hemionus, 362;
    Felis leo, 195;
    F. tigris, 212, 216;
    F. pardus, 225;
    F. diardii, 225;
    F. jubata, 225;
    F. uncia, 225;
    Gavæus gaurus, 246;
    G. sondaicus, 249;
    Gazella gutturosa, 344;
    G. subgutturosa, 344;
    G. picticaudata, 344;
    G. Bennettii, 358;
    Hemitragus hylocrius, 336;
    Hyæna striata, 228;
    Meminna indica, 359;
    Nemorhædus Goral, 337;
    Nemorhædus bubalinus, 337;
    Ovis Ammon, 294;
    O. Poli, 296;
    O. Hiensi, 297;
    O. nigrimontana, 297;
    O. nivicola, 297;
    O. Brookei, 297;
    O. Nahura, 305;
    O. Vignei, 306;
    O. cycloceros, 307;
    O. Blanfordi, 307;
    Panolia Eldii, 273;
    Pantholops Hodgsonii, 343;
    Porcula salvania, 238;
    Portax pictus, 358;
    Red deer from Tyrol, &c., 286;
    Rhinoceros indicus, 235;
    R. sondaicus, 235;
    R. lasiotis, 235;
    R. sumatrensis, 235;
    Rucervus Duvaucelli, 272;
    R. Schomburgkii, 273;
    Rusa Aristotelis, 270;
    Saiga tartarica, 343;
    Tapirus malayanus, 237;
    Tetraceros quadricornis, 359;
    Ursus Isabellinus, 194;
    U. torquatus, 194;
    U. labiatus, 194;
    U. malayanus, 194

  Measurements of game trophies, systems of, 420

  Medicines for sporting expeditions, 393

  Mergui, 237

  Metal adornments, disadvantages of, in sporting, 388

  Mingrelia, 37

  Mingrelia, Prince of, 53

  Mists, mountain, 62

  Moccasins, 28, 378, 384, 387, 389

  Moidl (Tyrolese herd-girl), 93-97

  Mongolia, the yellow goat of, 341

  Monte Rosa, 104

  Mooghan, the, 44, 47, 48

  Moose, American, comparison with the elk, 126

  Moravian missionaries, 223

  Morier, Sir Robert, 364

  Moscow Zoological Gardens, 39

  Mountain spectres, 63

  Moupin, Thibet, 299

  Mouravitchka (Caucasian bear), 41

  Mouse deer (Meminna indica), 360

  Muggar (crocodile), 238

  Mundla, India, 266

  Munkacs, Carpathian Alps, 115

  Münster, Count Alexander, 163, 165

  Muntjac (rib-faced deer), 288

  Musk-deer (Moschus moschiferus), habitat, 283;
    value of the musk-pod, 287;
    measurements, 287

  Mussulmans, as servants in shooting expeditions, 185

  Mysore, 328, 346, 353


  Nain, norn (gooral), 329

  Nain Tal, India, 265

  Naltchik, 24, 31

  Namdal, 125

  Namsos, Norway, 144

  Nanga Parbat, Astor, 368

  Napo (namoo), burrel, 299

  Natural History Museum, Kensington, heads of tûr in, 51-53

  ‘Natural History of India,’ Sterndale’s, 334.
    _See_ Measurements

  Neilgherries, 328

  Nepal, method of hunting the tiger in the Terai, 199;
    ringing tigers, 200; 213, 221, 233, 234, 237, 240, 253,
                    254, 262, 265, 267, 283, 325, 339

  Nepal, Bir Shumshir, Maharajah of, 201

  Nerbudda, the, 253, 266

  Nicolaïevitch, Alexei (Russian bear hunter), 164, 165

  Nicolaïevitch, Dmitri (Russian bear hunter), 164

  Nicolaïevitch, Ivan (Russian bear hunter), 164

  Nilghao (nylghao), 353

  Niti Pass, 250, 253, 300, 339

  Nordenskjöld, on Polar bears, 17

  Nordland, 125

  Nortalash (Russian Lapps), 154

  North Africa, 228

  North America, clothing for, 387;
    method of transporting freight in, 379

  North Cape, Spitzbergen, 12

  North East Land, 8, 9

  North-West Provinces, India, 222, 345, 353

  Norway, elk in, 124, 125, 127, 128, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 144, 148;
    brown bear hunting in, 155

  ‘Nouveau voyage vers le Septentrion,’ quoted, 123

  Novaya Zemlya, 1

  Novgorod, 163

  Nowgong, India, 228

  Nyan (Ovis Ammon), 291

  Nylghao (Portax pictus), 353;
    haunts, 353;
    hunting, 354;
    in captivity, 354


  Ollèn (Caucasian red deer), habitat of the, 35;
    characteristics, 36;
    growing scarcity of, 37

  Oorial (Ovis cycloceros), habitat, 304;
    measurements, 307;
    best mode of hunting, 308

  Oorin (shapoo), 302

  Orissa, 265

  Ossetes, the, 49, 50

  Ossetia, 41, 57

  Oude, Nabob Vizier of, 210

  Oudh, 265

  Ounce, or snow leopard (Felis uncia), 223;
    fierce enemies of ibex, 224;
    measurements, 225

  Overalls, canvas, 388

  Ovis Ammon, 366

  Ovis Argali, the, of Mongolia, 73-76

  Ovis Blanfordi, 309

  Ovis Poli, the, 38, 73-76;
    of the Pamir, 363;
    Marco Polo on its home, 363;
    narrative of a stalk, 366-373;
    Karelin and Severtzoff’s introduction of, to Europe, 368;
    a stalk in the Southern Pamir, 373-376;
    head in the possession of Sir Frederick Roberts, 374;
    vitality, 375

  Ox, Burmese wild (Gavæus sondaicus), 248;
    measurements, 249


  Pack-ponies, routine of a day’s march with, 389

  Pack-saddles, 380

  Pamir, the, 73, 74, 291;
    Marco Polo’s description of, 363;
    Chinese pilgrims’ account, 364;
    routes to, 364, 365;
    Russian opposition to English travellers, 364;
    character of the country, 365;
    stalking the Ovis Poli in, 366-376;
    the Boortsa eurotia, 373;
    Kirghiz yourts, 374

  Pangi, India, 224

  Pangong Lake, 250

  Panther (Felis pardus), habitat, 218;
    a universal nuisance, 218;
    methods of killing, 219;
    measurements, 225

  Panther, clouded (Felis diardii vel macrocelis), 221;
    measurement, 225

  Para (hogdeer), 261

  Paradox, the, 35 note, 399-401, 405

  Parfleches, 380

  Pasang (ibex), 321

  Passop (Lapp dog), 145, 151

  Patiala, Maharajah of, adventure with a trapped tiger, 210

  Paul, Mr., 196

  Peasant-shoots, 78;
    in North Tyrol, 82

  Pechinka Fiord, 156

  Pegu, 334

  Percy, Lieut.-Col. Reginald Heber, on Indian shooting, 182 _et seq._

  Percy, Major Algernon Heber, on brown bear hunting, 154-169;
    shooting aurochs at Biolvitskia, 167-173

  Persia, 228, 283, 321, 342

  Peshawur, 304

  Phasis, the, 35

  Phillipps-Wolley, Clive,
    on shooting bear and tûr in the Caucasus, 22-64;
    on the equipment and transport of a camp, 377-393

  Phoca hispida, 9

  Picket pegs, 380

  Picos de Europa, Cantabrian highlands, 179

  Piebald bear of Eastern Thibet. _See_ Bears

  Pigmy hog. _See_ Hog, pigmy

  Pij (gooral), 329

  Pike, Arnold, on walrus and polar bear hunting, 1-21

  Pilibhit, India, 265

  Pilis Mountains, Carpathians, 115

  Pir Punjal Mountains, 313, 325, 327, 329

  Pisai (mouse deer), 360

  Pisora (mouse deer), 360

  Plains of India, the:
    best weapons for use in, 182;
    tents, 183;
    outfit, 183;
    transport, 183;
    servants, 185;
    shooting-grounds, 185

  Plastouns (Caucasian boar hunters), 32

  Plaza de Almanzor, 179

  Pliny, on the elk, 123

  Poland, 167

  Polar bear, 15;
    food, 16;
    habits, 17;
    size and weight, 18;
    haunts, 18;
    phases of hunting, 19-21

  Ponies, buying and hiring, in North America, 379;
    weight to carry, 379

  Poti, 35

  Pottinger, Sir Henry, Bart., on the Scandinavian elk, 123-153

  Prejevalski, M., 299

  Prince Consort, the, 100

  Provisions for five men for a two months’ expedition, 383

  Punjab, 222, 345

  Purdey muzzle-loading rifle, 159

  Putney Hills, India, 245

  Pyrenees, the chamois in, 77, 81;
    Spanish, 177, 179, 180


  Quetta, 309, 315


  Rache (markhor), 309

  Radauc, 115, 116

  Rabcha, 39, 40

  Radde, Prof., on the wild boar, 31;
    on the ollèn, 36;
    on the barse, 43

  Rajpootana, 345, 356

  Ram Hun (wild dog), 226

  Ramoo (serow), 332

  Rass (Ovis Poli), 291

  Ratibor, Duke of, 115

  Ratwa (rib-faced deer), 288

  Ravi, the, India, 345

  Ravine deer (Indian gazelle), 355

  Rebeco (Spanish chamois), 179

  Recoil heelplates, 404

  Red deer, Austro-Alpine, 83;
    modern compared with mediæval bags, 113;
    in Northern Hungary, 114;
    antlers, 115, 116;
    stalking, 117-122;
    rutting season, 118;
    its call, 118-122

  Red deer, Caucasian, 35-37

  Red deer, Spanish (Cervus elaphus), 176;
    haunts, 178;
    measurements of antlers, 178, 179

  Red Forest (Krasnoe Lais), Ekaterinodar, 34, 35

  Reech (sloth bear), 186

  Reid, Sir Charles, cited, 196

  Rekis-öerne, 9

  Reha (striped hyæna), 227

  Rests, shooting from, 411

  Rhinoceros: R. indicus; R. sondaicus; R. lasiotis; R. sumatrensis,
    habitat of the four varieties, 233;
    points of difference between the Asiatic and African, 234;
    method of hunting, 234;
    measurements, 235

  Rib-faced or barking deer. _See_ Deer

  Rice, Colonel, 269

  Richters, Dr. F., 322

  Roberts, Sir Frederick, poli head in his possession, 374

  Roe-deer (Cervus capreolus), 37;
    Spanish, 175, 176

  Rohan, Prince, 115, 116

  Rondu, 303

  Roos (Rous), musk-deer, 283

  Roosh (Ovis Poli), 291

  Ropes for packing, 382

  Ross, Edward, on the battery, 412

  Ross’s telescope, 367

  Roz (nylghao), 353

  Rubashevsky, Colonel, 34

  Rücksack, the, 87, 94, 99

  Russia, bears in, driving, 161;
    arranging for an expedition in the province of Novgorod, 161;
    sledging, 163;
    cold at night, 163;
    account of the drive, 164-167;
    the dirge descriptive of the death of the bear, 166

  Russia, the Czarevna of, 373 note

  Russian Central Asia, 364

  Russian Lapland, brown bear hunting in, 154

  Russian Lapps, their dread of bears, 154, 156, 159


  Sabine, Captain, on Polar bears, 17

  Saddle-blankets, 381, 382

  Safed chita (snow leopard), 223

  Saghalien, island of, 196

  Saiar Mountains, the, 74

  St. Petersburg, 161, 162, 163, 172

  St. Trefan’s Lake, Lapland, 156

  Saiga antelope. _See_ Antelope

  Sál forest, India, 266, 267, 268

  Salabhir (serow), 332

  Salmon, 154

  Salt range, Jhelum, 308

  Salzburg, 120

  Samarcand, 291

  Sambur (Rusa Aristotelis), habitat, 257;
    characteristics, 258;
    methods of hunting, 258;
    not prolific, 261;
    measurements, 270

  Sammlung, the, castle of Moritzburg, 116

  Sanderson, G. P., quoted, 197, 198;
    on a tiger’s method of killing, 211; 212, 213, 215, 218, 220, 221;
    on elephant shooting, 229;
    and charging, 231; 232, 240, 242, 244, 248, 253, 345;
    on nylghao, 353.
    _See_ Measurements

  Sand-grouse, 44

  Sano-banel (pigmy hog), 237

  Santander, 175

  Saxe-Coburg, Duke of, 81, 113;
    death of, 85 note;
    a ‘treibjagd’ in his preserves, 101

  Saxe-Coburg Gotha, Prince Philipp of, 115

  Saxony, Elector George of (1611-1656), 113

  Saxony, King of, 116

  Scandinavian elk. _See_ Elk, Scandinavian

  Scandinavia, elk hunting in, 123-153

  ‘Scandinavian Adventures,’ 135

  Schoenborn, Count, 115

  Schomburgk’s deer. _See_ Deer

  ‘Scientific Results Second Yarkand Mission,’ 342

  Sclater, Mr., on Capra ægagrus, 53;
    on the shapoo and oorial, 302, 322

  Scotland, 100, 114, 117

  Selous, F. C., on the battery, 412

  Senckenberg Museum, Frankfort, 186, 322

  Serow (Nemorhædus bubalina), characteristics, 332;
    habitat, 332;
    scarce and wary, 333;
    measurements, 337

  Seven Islands, Spitzbergen, 12

  Severtzoff, M., on the habitat of the Ovis Poli, 291;
    first introduces the animal to Europe, 368

  Sewalik Mountains, India, 240, 259, 329

  Shahdula, 364

  Shapoo (Ovis Vignei), characteristics, 302;
    habitat, 303;
    difficult to hunt, 303;
    measurements, 306;
    points in its favour, 361

  Shaw, O., his large bag of wild sheep, 299;
    shoots a serow with a white mane, 334

  Sheep, wild (Oves Poli, Ammon, &c.), habitat, 291;
    characteristics, 292;
    difficulty of shooting, 298;
    measurements, 294-297, 305-307

  Sheikh Budin, 315

  Sher-babbar (lion), 194

  Shigar, 303

  ‘Shikari’ rifle case, 408

  Shikaries, their mistake in stalking, 320

  Shillingford, C. A., of Munshye, 196

  Shillingford, F. A., 196;
    on the measurements of tigers, 212;
    on their age, 213

  Shou (Sikkim stag), 282

  Siagosh (red lynx), 224

  Siam, 228, 234, 236

  Sierra da Estrella, 179

  Sierra de Gredos, 179

  Sierra Morena, the, 178

  Sierra Nevada, 180

  Sights for rifles, 98, 408-412

  Sikkim, 237, 332

  Sikkim stag (Cervus affinis, vel Wallichi, Cervus Eustephanus), 282;
    measurements, 285

  Sinai