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hampered by the snow, are not rendered helpless like the deer. I have myself scared a deer out of a yard and seen it flounder helplessly in a great drift before it had gone thirty rods. When I came up close it ploughed its way a very short distance through the drifts, making tremen-5 dous leaps. But as the snow was over six feet deep, so that the deer sank below the level of the surface at each jump, and yet could not get its feet on the solid ground, it became so exhausted that it fell over on its side and bleated in terror as I came up; after looking at it I passed 10 on. Hide hunters and frontier settlers sometimes go out after the deer on snow-shoes when there is a crust, and hence this method of killing is called crusting. It is simply butchery, for the deer cannot, as the moose does, cause its pursuer a chase which may last days. No self-respect- 15 ing man would follow this method of hunting save from the necessity of having meat.

In very wild localities deer sometimes yard on the ice along the edges of lakes, eating off att the twigs and branches, whether of hardwood trees or of conifers, which 20 they can reach.

At the beginning of the rut the does flee from the bucks, which follow them by scent at full speed. The whitetail buck rarely tries to form a herd of does, though he will sometimes gather two or three. The mere fact 25 that his tactics necessitate a long and arduous chase after each individual doe prevents his organizing herds as the wapiti bull does. Sometimes two or three bucks will be found strung out one behind the other, following the same doe. The bucks wage desperate battle among them- 30 selves during this season, coming together with a clash, and then pushing and straining for an hour or two at a

time, with their mouths open, until the weakest gives way. As soon as one abandons the fight he flees with all possible speed, and usually escapes unscathed. While head to head there is no opportunity for a disabling thrust, 5 but if, in the effort to retreat, the beaten buck gets caught, he may be killed. Owing to the character of the antlers whitetail bucks are peculiarly apt to get them interlocked in such a fight, and if the efforts of the two beasts fail to

disentangle them, both ultimately perish by starvation. 10 I have several times come across a pair of skulls with

interlocked antlers. The same thing occurs, though far less frequently, to the mule-deer and even the wapiti.

The whitetail is the most beautiful and graceful of all our game animals when in motion. I have never been 15 able to agree with Judge Caton that the mule-deer is

clumsy and awkward in his gait. I suppose all such terms are relative. Compared to the moose or caribou the mule-deer is light and quick in his movements, and

to me there is something very attractive in the poise and 20 power with which one of the great bucks bounds off, all

four legs striking the earth together and shooting the body upward and forward as if they were steel springs. But there can be no question as to the infinitely superior

grace and beauty of the whitetail when he either trots 25 or runs. The mule-deer and blacktail bound, as already

described. The prongbuck gallops with an even gait, and so does the bighorn, when it happens to be caught on a flat; but the whitetail moves with an indescribable

spring and buoyancy. If surprised close up, and much 30 terrified, it simply runs away as hard as it can, at a gait

not materially different from that of any other game animal under like circumstances, while its head is thrust forward and held down, and the tail is raised perpendicularly. But normally its mode of progression, whether it trots or gallops, is entirely unique. In trotting, the head and tail are both held erect, and the animal throws out its legs with a singularly proud and free motion, bringing the 5 feet well up, while at every step there is an indescribable spring. In the canter or gallop the head and tail are also held erect, the flashing white brush being very conspicuous. Three or four low, long, marvellously springy bounds are taken, and then a great leap is made high in the air, 10 which is succeeded by three or four low bounds, and then by another high leap. A whitetail going through the brush in this manner is a singularly beautiful sight. It has been my experience that they are not usually very much frightened by an ordinary slow trackhound, and 15 I have seen a buck play along in front of one, alternately trotting and cantering, head and flag up, and evidently feeling very little fear.

OBSERVATIONS ON CONCEALING COLORATION

IN AFRICAN ANIMALS I

1

In Africa I was able to study for nearly a year the habits of the teeming myriads of great game, and many of my observations were made with special reference to this question of concealing coloration. The first, and by far 5 the most important, fact brought home to any competent observer is that as regards the great majority of these animals the question of cover infinitely outweighs the question of coloration in the problem of concealment;

this being so true that when there is no adequate cover 10 most of the big animals do not trust to concealment at

all, and concealment, whether of coloration or otherwise, plays no part in making their lives successful. Next comes the fact that there are some animals, chiefly the cats,

whose peculiar physical address in hiding and in stealthy 15 approach and escape is such that their ability in this

respect far outweighs the question of coloration, and even the question of cover, provided the cover is in any way adequate. Finally, there are some animals as to which

it is possible that the coloration does have a concealing 20 effect of some importance.

The game that dwells in thick cover is extremely hard, not merely to shoot, but even to see; and it is the cover, and not the coloration of the animals, that is responsible

for this. Indeed mere size seems to have a far greater 25 effect on visibility than does color; the bigger the animal

, 1 Reprinted by permission from “Revealing and Concealing Coloration in Birds and Mammals” in Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. xxx, p. 119.

the easier it is to see. But sufficiently heavy cover shields even the heaviest game. In the high elephant grass, and in bamboos, as well as in dense forest, elephants disappear so completely that they can only be procured by following on their trail, and even their giant bodies, looming black 5 and large, are not visible to the peering, expectant hunter until but a few yards away. The buffalo, big, black, easily trailed, are, just because smaller, even more difficult to follow and see in thick cover, whether of reeds or jungle. Neither animal gets the slightest advantage from its color; 10 indeed the coloration of both is advertising; but in such cover the coloration is of no consequence, one way or the other. The hunter follows the trail, and if the beast does not hear or wind him, he finally catches a glimpse of it close up—just as the weasel follows the trail of a rabbit 15 or mouse until close enough for the jump. The difference is merely that the hunter follows the trail by sight, and the weasel by scent; doubtless the latter's sharp eyes come in use when the scent warns it that its quarry is close by; and there is no more warrant for supposing that the weasel 20 is misled by the “white stern sky pattern” on such of his victims as happen to possess such a pattern than for supposing that the hunter would be misled if an elephant were similarly ornamented.

Those rhinoceroses that dwell in the bush are hard to 25 see and hunt, whereas in the plains they are, next to the elephant and the giraffe, the most conspicuous animals. In the bush they owe their invisibility solely to the cover; their coloration is of no consequence one way or the other.

The lesser game animals of the thick cover vary so 30 widely in coloration as to render it impossible that the coloration of any one of them can be of real protective

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