Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker

 -   Thus the animals are constantly on
the qui vive, and at the report of a gun every herd within
hearing - Page 100
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Thus The Animals Are Constantly On The "Qui Vive," And At The Report Of A Gun Every Herd Within Hearing Starts Off For The Densest Jungles.

A native can now obtain a gun for thirty shillings; and with two shillings' worth of ammunition, he starts on a hunting trip.

Five elephants, at a reward of seven shillings per tail, more than pay the prime cost of his gun, to say nothing of the deer and other game that he has bagged in the interim.

Some, although very few, of the natives are good sportsmen in a potting way. They get close to their game, and usually bag it. This is a terrible system for destroying, and the more so as it is increasing. There is no rest for the animals; in the day-time they are tracked up, and on moonlight nights the drinking-places are watched, and an unremitting warfare is carried on. This is sweeping both deer and buffalo from the country, and must eventually almost annihilate them.

The Moormen are the best hunters, and they combine sport with trade in such a manner that "all is fish that comes to their net." Five or six good hunters start with twenty or thirty bullocks and packs. Some of these are loaded with common cloths, etc., to exchange with the village people for dried venison; but the intention in taking so many bullocks is to bring borne the spoils of their hunting trip - in fact, to "carry the bag." They take about a dozen leaves of the talipot palm to form a tent, and at night-time, the packs, being taken off the bullocks, are piled like a pillar in the centre, and the talipot leaves are formed in a circular roof above them.

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