any new amazement, but simply with that quiet, habitual

time:2023-12-02 04:19:18 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:system

The first thing that a good sportsmen considers with every animal is the point at which to aim so to bag him as speedily as possible. It is well known that all animals, from the smallest to the largest, sink into instant death when shot through the brain; and that a wound through the lungs or heart is equally fatal, though not so instantaneous. These are accordingly the points for aim, the brain, from its small size, being the most difficult to hit. Nevertheless, in a jungle country, elephants must be shot through the brain, otherwise they would not be bagged, as they would retreat with a mortal wound into such dense jungle that no man could follow. Seeing how easily they are dropped by the brainshot if approached sufficiently near to ensure the correctness of the aim, no one would ever think of firing at the shoulder who had been accustomed to aim at the head.

any new amazement, but simply with that quiet, habitual

A Ceylon sportsman arriving in Africa would naturally examine the skull of the African elephant, and when once certain of the position of the brain he would require no further information. Leave him alone for hitting it if he knew where it was.

any new amazement, but simply with that quiet, habitual

What a sight for a Ceylon elephant-hunter would be the first view of a herd of African elephants - all tuskers! In Ceylon, a "tusker" is a kind of spectre, to be talked of by a few who have had the good luck to see one. And when he is seen by a good sportsman, it is an evil hour for him - he is followed till he gives up his tusks.

any new amazement, but simply with that quiet, habitual

It is a singular thing that Ceylon is the only part of the world where the male elephant has no tusks; they have miserable little grubbers projecting two or three inches from the upper jaw and inclining downward. Thus a man may kill some hundred elephants without having a pair of tusks in his possession. The largest that I have seen in Ceylon were about six feet long, and five inches in diameter in the thickest part. These would be considered rather below the average in Africa, although in Ceylon they were thought magnificent.

Nothing produces either ivory or horn in fine specimens throughout Ceylon. Although some of the buffaloes have tolerably fine heads, they will not bear a comparison with those of other countries. The horns of the native cattle are not above four inches in length. The elk and the spotted deer's antlers are small compared with deer of their size on the continent of India. This is the more singular, as it is evident from the geological formation that at some remote period Ceylon was not an island, but formed a portion of the mainland, from which it is now only separated by a shallow and rocky of some few miles. In India the bull elephants have tusks, and the cattle and buffaloes have very large horns. My opinion is that there are elements wanting in the Ceylon pasturage (which is generally poor) for the formation of both horn and ivory. Thus many years of hunting and shooting are rewarded by few trophies of the chase. So great is the natural inactivity of the natives that no one understands the preparation of the skins; thus all the elk and deer hides are simply dried in the sun, and the hair soon rots and fills off. In India, the skin of the Samber deer (the Ceylon elk) is prized above all others, and is manufactured into gaiters, belts, pouches, coats. breeches, etc.; but in Ceylon, these things are entirety neglected by the miserable and indolent population, whose whole thoughts are concentrated upon their bread, or rather their curry and rice.

At Newera Ellia, the immense number of elk that I have killed would have formed a valuable collection of skins had they been properly prepared, instead of which the hair has been singed from them, and they have been boiled up for dogs' meat.

Boars' hides have shared the same fate. These are far thicker than those of the tame species, and should make excellent saddles. So tough are they upon the live animal that it requires a very sharp-pointed knife to penetrate them, and too much care cannot be bestowed upon the manufacture of a knife for this style of hunting, as the boar is one of the fiercest and dangerous of animals.

Living in the thickest jungles, he rambles out at night in search of roots, fruits, large earthworms, or anything else that he can find, being, like his domesticated brethren, omnivorous. He is a terrible enemy to the pack, and has cost me several good dogs within the last few years. Without first-rate seizers it would be impossible to kill him with the knife without being ripped, as he invariably turns to bay after a short run in the thickest jungle he can find. There is no doubt that a good stout boar-spear, with a broad blade and strong handle, is the proper weapon for the attack; but a spear is very unhandy and even dangerous to carry in such a hilly country as the neighbourhood of Newera Ellia. The forests are full of steep ravines and such tangled underwood that following the hounds is always an arduous task, but with a spear in the hand it is still more difficult, and the point is almost certain to get injured by striking against the numerous rocks, in which case it is perfectly useless when perhaps most required. I never carry a spear for these reasons, but am content with the knife, as in my opinion any animal that can beat off good bounds and a long knife deserves to escape.


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