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the old hunters believe in it. They say it coats each year: a long thick coat, put on looks like a Deer, is a little bigger than a in September and worn till May; this is Jack Rabbit, and has the habits of a Cotton- known as the blue coat. And a short rusty tail, bounding through the brush and coat, appearing in spring as the winter coat squatting as soon as out of sight; they is sbed, worn all summer, and molted in have shot them and found that adults September; this is known as the red coat. with five tines on their horns weigh only The protective value of their blended tints 50 or 60 pounds and are in all respects a and the way in which many animals turn it miniature and graceful Whitetailed Deer. to account raises the question, Are they
Whitetail Buck with remarkable palmations.
Drawn from photographs by Mr. Egbert Bagg, of Utica, N. Y.
The scientists say that these are fawns conscious of their adaptation to surroundof common Whitetail.
ings? The hunters reply that they wear many
Mr. D. Wheeler writes me: “Deer seem tined horns and do not grow bigger; they to realize their color, they come to the water never were abundant and have disappeared to drink and commonly pause to reconfrom most localities in the last fifteen or noitre among dead brush that matches their twenty years.
coat. I am sure that the Northern hare If anyone reading this can forward a does so, for in the spring of the year, when skin or skull for examination, he may do they are still in white and when the snow is good service to science.
in patches, they invariably squat or rest on
the snow.' Many careful observations have given Mr. R. Nicholas of Portland, Ore., mainscientific exactness to the old-established tains that "ptarmigan in white always hunter belief that the Deer has two distinct squat on the snow if the ground be bare in
places.” I have frequently watched Snow- of anatomy that should be noted, and that shoe rabbits and white-jacks which were in is the glands on the outside of the hind leg. full winter livery, though there was no snow These are diagnostic of the species. They at the time; twice I saw a white-jack are sufficiently set forth in the illustration. crouch on a white rock, but I many times But the sportsman is quite sure to devote saw them crouch in brownish grassy places chief attention to the head and antlers. where they were ridiculously conspicuous. Here are two marked types. These repre
On the bare ground they are of course more visible, and here they were very shy; though this might be explained by the absence of cover. I am not yet satisfied that these animals realize their color.
The sportsman hunter, however, pays little heed to the colors and fine distinctions on which the scientist founds his races. He usually lumps the twenty odd species and races of small American Deer as Deer, and carries a generalimpression of a deer-colored animal, paler on the under parts. This is a Typical antlers of Whitetail (1) and of Mule Deer (2). true impression as far as it goes, and I do not know of any color feature on sent average horns of full-grown bucks. In the animal's trunk that will distinguish the general style the Coast Deer horns resemspecies. But nature has added a label to ble those of the Mule Deer, but are more each, and as though by kindly plan, this is slender. A Whitetail buck has spikes the the last part of the animal that the hunter first year, and afterwards adds snags in sees as it disappears in the woods, saying in proportion to his vigor, when normal, but effect: “Well
, good-by; I am so-and-so that antlers are usually abnormal. Mr. J. W. you did not hit.” If every sportsman would Titcomb states that a tame Deer which he bring the tail of his Deer, or failing that, knew, grew on its second autumn antlers (its make a sketch of it, with a note of its length first pair) that were a foot long and had three and the locality, we could tell with fair cer- points on each. A pair with many snags tainty the species he had got. The tail and probably belonged to an old buck, and yet disc of Deer show characteristics as dis- again an old buck may have mere spikes. tinctive as those of the skull.
Thus it will be seen that anyone pretending
to tell the age, by the horns alone, is sure to There is a tendency to albinism among err. Some of the most remarkable variathe Deer in some parts of the country, usu- tions are here shown. ally islands and isolated corners where it The record for points still rests with the seems to be a consequence of inbreeding. pair owned by Mr. Albert Friedrich, of San Albinism is a freak or disease by which the Antonio, Texas. These are of such supercoloring matter is left out of the hair on abundant vigor that 78 points appear. The those parts of the body that are affected, 42-pointer from the Adirondacks and the and the hair there comes white. Sometimes 35-pointer from Minnesota claim second it covers the entire animal, in which case and third places. usually the hoofs are white and its eyes Hariot calls attention to the unique fact pink. It is not by any means certain that that the snags of the horns “look backthe albino of this year will be an albino wards.” Caton adds, “thus enabling the next year also. The affection is sometimes animal by bowing his head in battle, as is his associated with internal worms.
habit, to present the tines to the adversary in There is one other very important detail front. When two meet in the shock of bat
tle thus armed, these antlers form such a cut the living one free. The moment it complete shield that I have never known a felt at liberty it turned its feeble remainpoint to reach an adversary.” (P. 224.) ing strength on its deliverer and he had
much ado to save his own life before he But they have an off-setting disadvan- could regain his rifle and lay the ingrate tage. More in this than in any other Amer- low. I am unable to find the record and ican species do we find fatally interlocked give due credit for the story. antlers. Two bucks struggling for the Audubon and Bachman tell of three pairs mastery have in some way sprung their of antlers that were interlocked, and a sinantlers apart, or forced them together, so gular case is reported from Antigo, Wis., that they are inextricably intertangled, and where Mr. Matt. J. Wahleitner found two death to both com
pairs of antlers batants is the in
locked together evitable finish. It
around a five-inch often comes by
sapling. The phostarvation, and
tograph shows the those antler
horns to be in each bound bucks may
case above averthink themselves lucky if found by
An accident of their natural ene
kindred nature is mies and put to a
illustrated in the merciful death.
drawing made for Mr. Stanley
the specimen in Waterloo writes:
New York State “In November,
Museum. It shows 1895, Mr. F. F.
the antler of a Deer Strong, a well
driven through a known Chicago
tree. (Page 339.) business man, and an ardent sports
The feet are man, was, with a
much less subject small party of
to aberration than friends, hunting
the horns, but Dr. near Indian River, From a Topley Studio photograph supplied by Mr. Norman H. H. Lett.
E. Coues (Bul. U. in Schoolcraft
S. Geo. Surv.) has County, Michigan. One day when the party described a solid-hoofed Virginia Deer that was out, ravens were noticed hovering noisi- was sent him by Mr. Geo. A. Boardman, of ly over a certain spot, and, attracted by Calais, Me. In this freak the two centrai curiosity, the hunters sought the cause. or main hoofs were consolidated as one. A Emerging into a comparatively open space somewhat similar peculiarity has often been in the wood, they made a discovery. For seen in pigs, but never before recorded for the space
of nearly an acre the ground was the Whitetailed Deer. torn and furrowed by the hoofs of two bucks, and near the centre of the open space lay the The hearing and scent of Deer are marbucks themselves, with their horns inextri- vellously acute, but their eyesight is not cably locked. One of the Deer was dead and of the best. the hungry ravens had eaten both his eyes, Audubon and Bachman actually conthough deterred from further feasting by sidered it imperfect. the occasional spasmodic movements of the "As we have often, when standing still, surviving combatant, whose eyes were al- perceived the Deer passing within a few ready glazing.” (Recreation, Sept., 1897.) yards without observing us, but we have
I remember reading an account of a often noticed the affrighted start when we hunter finding two bucks thus locked, moved our position or when they scented one dead, the other nearly dead. He was a us by the wind. On one occasion we had humane man, so went home for a saw and tied our horse for some time at a stand;
The Bonnechere Head.
Spread, 26% inches.
of San Antonio, Texas.
In riding through the woods at night in the vicinity of Deer we have often heard them stamp their feet, the bucks on such occasions giving a loud snort, then bounding off for
a few yards and again repeating the stamping and snorting, which appear to be nocturnal habits. (Aud. and Bach.)
They have also a louder, coarser snort or challenge, as noted later. Mr. Franklin T. Payne describes some Park bucks that he shipped as "bawling with rage when captured.” (Rec., May, 1898.)
"In all our experience, extending over about forty years, we have never but once
heard a Deer make use of the voice when Seventy-eight-point Whitetail killed in Texas. seeking a lost mate. This occurred when
upon one occasion, having shot at and From photograph by their owner, Mr. Albert Friedrich, scattered a band of stags, one of the num
ber, not having seen or scented us, turned on his becoming restless we removed him back, evidently seeking his leader, and to a distance. A Deer pursued by dogs passed close by, making a low, muttering ran near the spot where we were standing, noise like that sometimes uttered by the without having observed us.”
domestic ram.” (A. Y. Walton, F. & S., It seems to class all motionless objects June 15, 1895.) down-wind as mere features of the landscape. The hunters take advantage of The enemies of the Whitetail are, first, this weakness to stalk the animal when the buckshot gun with its unholy confederit is in the open. They run toward it ates, the jacklight and canoe. We hope without concealment as long as it is grazing, and believe that two or three years will but the moment it shows by shaking its see them totally done away with—in Deer tail that it is about to raise its head they sport; classed and scorned with the dyna“freeze"-crouching low and still. The mite of the shameless fish-hog. Next is Deer takes its customary look around the repeating-rifle of the poacher and potand lowers its head to feed again, where- hunter. Third, deep snow.
It is deep upon they repeat the open approach, and thus continue until within easy shot.
I have heard of this trick often and have several times proved it a failure with Antelope. I never tried it on Whitetail Deer, but did it with complete success on a pair of Red Deer in Europe some years ago.
“The Deer is the most silent of animals and scarcely possesses any notes of recognition. The fawn has a gentle bleat that might be heard by the keen ears of its mother at the distance, probably, of a hundred yards. We have never heard the voice of the female beyond a mere murmur when calling her young, except when shot, when she often bleats like a calf in pain. The buck when suddenly started sometimes utters a snort, and we have at night heard him emitling a shrill whistling sound, not unlike that of a Chamois of the Alps, that could be heard the distance of half a mile.”
Thirty-five-point Whitetail from Minnesota. From photograph by K. H. C., Recreation, June, 1897.
snow that hides their food, that robs them Michigan and Wisconsin during the winter of their speed, that brings them easily generally feed along the edge of a swamp within the power of the cougar on his snow- under thick hemlocks where there is plenty shoes; and the human cougar, who, similar- of ground hemlock, and the wolves generly equipped for skimming over the drifts, ally come in on them from two ways and is mentally as sanguinary and improvident. drive them towards the swamp, and they
The wolves rank high in the list of foes. will nearly always kill them within 40 rods They have long played seesaw havoc with of where they start.” This is readily unthe Deer in the north. The Deer came in derstood in country where Deer and other with the settlers on the upper Ottawa. The game animals abound. The wolf knows wolves followed because in the Deer they very well that the Deer is far fleeter than found their winter support. In the summer himself and if he fails in that first dash, it the Deer were safe
is easier for him to among the count
go elsewhere and less lakes, and the
try to surprise or wolves subsisted
trap another Deer. on what small stuff
But when desperthey could pick up
ately hungry in rein the woods. But
gions where Deer winter robbed the
are not so plentiful Deer of the water
the wolves will stick safe-havens, and
to the one they start then the wolves
and follow to a fincould run them
ish, be it never so down by the trick
far. I have heard of relay chasing;
the accounts of thus they wintered
many old Ontario well.
hunters that enBut wintering
tirely support this well meant increas
belief. These views, Forty-two-point Adirondack Buck. ing; the wolves be
it will be seen, do Redrawn from photograph in New York State Fish and Game came so numerous
not oppose those that they destroyed
of Mr. Merrill. their own support, and starvation, followed In my own journal I find an instance in by extinction, was their lot. Again the Deer point, related to me by Mr. Gordon Wright, recovered locally or drifted in from other of Carberry, Manitoba. During the winter regions, and again the wolves increased to of 1865 he was shantying at Sturgeon Lake, repeat their own destruction. This has been Ontario. One Sunday he and some comthe history of the Deer population along most panions strolled out on the ice of the lake of our frontier where winter is accompanied to look at the logs there. They heard the by deep snow. If we could exterminate the hunting cry of wolves, then a Deer (a fegrey wolf we should solve half the question male) darted from the woods to the open of Deer supply; but there is no evidence that ice. Her sides were heaving, her tongue we shall ever succeed in doing so. I find out and her legs cut with the slight crust that Mr. E. T. Merrill, after much experi- on the snow. Evidently she was hardence in Deer and wolf country, discredits pressed and had run for some time. She the stories of wolves running down Deer. was coming toward them, but one of the He says:*
men gave a shout which caused her to sheer "I have not yet seen the race between off. A minute later six timber wolves apwolves and a Deer that lasted over ten peared, galloping on her trail, heads low, minutes. Either the Deer gets to water or tails horizontal, and howling continuously. some clearing or road where the wolves They were uttering their hunting cry, but will not follow, or else he is killed at once. as soon as they saw her they broke into a Very often they drag a Deer down within a louder, different note, left the trail and few jumps of where he starts. Deer in made straight for their prey. Five of the * Sports A field, March, 1900, p. 299.
wolves were abreast and one that seemed