The finest of all American hunting consists, perhaps with out exception, in taking deer, either on the run followed by hounds, by stalking or still hunting, or by hunting the game with packs of well trained hounds regularly maintained and followed by fleet high bred hunters, mounted by the keenest sportsmen. The first method is that which is mostly followed in the West and Northern States. It is in this way that a welcome addition to the larder of the enterprising settler or backwoodsman is procured, while his instinctive love of hunting is gratified. This kind of sport is considered slow by those who have once enjoyed the hunt par excellence in the open fields or free woods of the South, in which horse and hound are pitted against each other in conflict with the game. But it is by no means to be despised, and the hunter who is not able to join the mounted hunt with a regular pack, may well feel satisfied when he bears to his camp the well-earned game, secured after many miles of exciting tramp or patient eager waiting.

The American deer is found more or less abundantly wherever there are large tracts of woodland, from the central and northern part of New York and Maine, to Texas. The mountains of Central New York, the great forests of Pennsylvania and of Western Virginia, with the mountain region of the Carolinas and Alabama, and the hummocks of Florida in the East, and the extensive wooded regions of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canada in the West, furnish the great field for deer hunting of this kind. There the frequent deer paths intersect the woods and fresh scent can always be found upon which to start the dogs. The dogs used are generally cross-bred hounds or deerhounds of impure blood, although the pure, but rarer dachshund, is now being employed in this sport. Speed is not so much a requisite as stanch-ness and excellent scent; the tireless, unerring following up of the trail, with plenty of tongue to signify the whereabouts of the game, being the chief requisites for this sport Some hunters who desire great activity are fond of objecting to this as dull plodding amusement; this may be when a party of "tender feet" are stationed at run ways to spend hour after hour and while away the day in the vain hope of seeing game, or even hearing the music of the hounds.

But when a lone hunter, or a well-mated party, join in the sport, with a couple of good dogs, and shift their places, as the baying of the dogs gives notice of the course the game is taking, and when the hunter, now following the course over logs and rocks, through brush and swamps, cutting off the game as it sweeps around, and with true woodcraft, meets it at a turn, without giving sight or scent of his presence, and with unerring aim speeds his deadly bullet through the head or heart of his prey - then the most thorough sportsman may find sufficient pleasure and excitement in which to forget the sometimes too vigorous and enduring exercise. Deerhounds well trained for this sport will bring the game around to their starting poipt, where a a cover of brush may be provided to screen the hunter from observation until the deer is brought within easy distance for a safe shot.



Deer Stalking

Perhaps the true woodsman will choose to still hunt his game. In this sport there are required: a wonderful acute-ness to distinguish "sign" to follow the trail; excessive stealth, yet swiftness of tread, to cover the ground quickly; a rare keen ness of vision and of hearing, to detect and discover the game; an accurate sight, and rapid yet steady shooting from the shoulder, and, lastly, the capability of dressing the game and packing it to camp or out of the woods.

Deer Licks

A safe and sure method of hunting deer is to make what are known as deer licks. The well known appetite of the deer for salt furnishes an opportunity for this sport. A stump or fallen log is chosen near where deer paths cross or are abundant, and in a somewhat open place, such as a windfall, where fallen trees and roots furnish a good blind, to screen the hunter. The blind is chosen on the windward side of the lick, so as to prevent the game from scenting the hunter. The deer frequent the licks in the early morning and about sun-down. At these times the hunter is at his stand prepared for work, and he is generally rewarded by a successful shot for his patient waiting. The engraving on page 277 represents the usual manner of hunting by means of a "lick."

Deer Licks 84