VARIETIES OF SAMBUR
THE DEER TRIBE SAMBUR
In Burma I am convinced there are two varieties of this noble stag. Those which inhabit the higher ranges of the hills of the country are identical in appearance, and carry heads as large as those of the Neilgherry hills, but those called a Sapt a a found in the plains of Burma (Lower)a although as bulky as the others, have but poor heads, and are wanting in the mane, so conspicuous in their brethren of the mountains.
We used to hunt them generally during May, but I have shot them at other seasons; they shed their horns during June, and are in hiding till September; the velvet is not worn off till October, which is their rutting season. Another peculiarity I noticed in these animals was that every one we shot had an abrasion of the skin of the neck underneath, of the size of an eight-anna piece, about the same size as a shilling, caused, the Burmese said, by the sambur rubbing the part to get rid of parasites. They are gregarious, living in communities of six or eight, only one being a stag. When passing through a forest, the stag brings up the rear. They are possessed of immense vitality, and will go away with wounds that would stop most animals. Col. Campbell, a the old Forest Ranger,a mentions an instance of a stag going off with thirteen well-placed bullets, and I have myself put eight belted balls out of a io-bore double rifle by old Joseph Lang into a moderatesized sambur before he fell. I also once shot one through the heart, and he ran for 200 yards without showing a sign of having been hit, and then rolled over dead.
The very best stags are the solitaires that lead a hermits life, and are usually in almost inaccessible posts. A really fine stag is a trophy indeed, but out of upwards of a hundred that I shot in the plains of Burma I did not get a single head worth mentioning, nor did I see a good pair of horns on any of the stags shot by others, nor any on the many skulls we came across killed either by tigers or which had died of the rinderpest. The a bell a of a Rusa can be heard a long way off, and