WILD SPORTS OF BURMA AND ASSAM
go such immense distances, that a stern chase is, with them, the proverbially long one. Although I shot several elephants in Lower Burma, yet, as my colleague will relate his adventures which will be new, whereas mine would be stale, I leave them out.
Elephants are at all times a wandering race ; they consume so much, and waste so much more, that no single forest could long support them, hence their roving propensities. During the rains they are very destructive to the paddy crops; when the harvest has been gathered, they retire to their hill fastnesses ; it is best to follow them there, but somehowa with a few exceptionsa sportsmen now-a-days fear discomforts and fever more than a generation or two back. There is no royal road to sporta risks must be run, if you wish to be successful and are at heart a shikarie. You must first learn to shoot quickly and accurately; then study the habits of the beasts you wish to follow, and the right way to circumvent them, and then to rough it.
Elephants have a very keen sense of smell and of hearing,1 and so they must be approached up wind ; and in the dry season, owing to the number of fallen twigs and leaves, it is almost impossible to come close enough to a herd to be able to kill one. If they hear the slightest noise, off they go, but after the jungles have been burnt and a shower or two has fallen, particularly when they are feeding on bamboos, they are easier to get at. A friend of mine once got so close to a tuskera s quarters, that he gave him a pat to make him turn out, which he did, only to fall dead instantly.
The tree leeches,2 so plentiful in forests inhabited by these beasts in Lower Burma, are a sad drawback to the pleasures of sporta as I never found anything which could keep them out for long. I tried the crude petroleum as obtainable in Burma; that did for a while, but directly it got washed off by the dew, in they got. The besta though by no means an
1 Their sense of hearing or sight is dull, in my opinion, compared with their sense of smell.a W. S. Thom.
2 None in Upper Burma.a \Y. S. Thom.1
1 He has found plenty lately in the Arrakan Yomahs.a F. T. P.