[Asarcornis scutulatus), though not uncommon in well-wooded localities in Northern Burma, is rarely shot. Burmese, Karens, and natives of India have a number of different ways for capturing birdsapeacocks, which are called by men and snared ; pheasants are snared by men adrumminga with their lips or having a decoy ; jungle fowl and francolin are snared by pegging down a decoy. These birds are not taken for sale but merely for food. The case, however, is quite different as regards snipe, duck, and teal ; they are taken in large numbers, kept in baskets and sent off to market, where they suffer until they attract a purchaser. Snipe are naturally quite accustomed to buffaloes and cattle, which usually wear wooden clappers called a khalouks,a and when the natives set out to capture the birds they take advantage of this fact. A dark night is selected and then several men go out, each with a basket in which is placed a large biscuit tin containing a bright
light. Every man carries a basket like a creel, wears a khalouk behind him tied fairly loosely, so that when he walks the clapper sounds, and has a bamboo some 8 feet long, at the end of which is fixed a circle of cane with close meshed netting attached. They proceed to the ground and play the lights about and ere long the large eyes and bill of a snipe is seen. The snipe sits quite unconcernedly until the net is placed over him and he is then quickly transferred to the creel. The snipe never try to escape, and fifty or sixty couple can be taken in one evening. The birds, however, get badly scared, and certainly two of the best grounds in Lower Burma have been ruined by netting. Duck and teal are captured in Burma in the same way as in India. A number of earthenware pots are set adrift on waters frequented by ducks, so that they may grow accustomed to them, then when the' men go into the water they
each place a pot, in which there are two or three holes, over the head. They move quietly to the duck, catch them by the legs, drag them under, and fix them to their belts. A volume, however, might easily be written on the various ways and means these people, and particularly the hillmen, have for snaring most kinds of animals and birds.
So far we have noticed only the game birds, but most of the other orders are well represented. There are some eighteen kinds of herons, half a dozen varieties of storks, all fairly common, the more numerous ones in the vicinity of Rangoon are the adjutant [Lcptoptilus dubius), and the painted stork [Pseudotantalus leucocephalus). Three kinds of vultures are to be found. The falcon family is well to the fore, there being some forty-two species, fifteen of which are eagles, the remainder harriers, buzzards, falcons, and c. Among the smaller birds there are many with most brilliant plumage.
Burma, though it cannot be compared with Africa as regards the number of species of big game obtainable, is, nevertheless, a fine country to all lovers of big-game hunting. There is variety enough to please most people ; the following may be found in suitable localities: elephants, rhinoceroses, tapir, buffaloes, gaur, tsaing, several kinds of deer, wild boar, goats, tigers, panthers, bears, not to mention many smaller mammals, which though not included under the head of game, are of great interest to the field naturalist. The Burmese as a nation are not a bit keen on shooting, one reason lies no doubt in the fact that it is against the tenets of their religion to take life ; another may be that the pursuit of heavy game usually means visiting malarious tracts often full of insect and other pests. During the rainy season shooting is attended
with much personal discomfort. There are some Burmese to be found, however, who have strayed from the path of grace, and who are willing to run the risks of eternal punishment hereafter and a bad attack of fever, for the excitement of the chase. Some are good trackers and very plucky ; others are indifferent and unreliable in a tight corner. The hillmen, however, are quite different ; they are all very enthusiastic on shooting and are very plucky, even when unarmed. When they are carrying a dah (sword; they are often foolhardy. In order to obtain good sport it is necessary to have some knowledge of the language ; to know the people and be on good terms with them, and always to keep oneas temper.
Almost all big game hunting in Burma is done on foot, elephants are but rarely used.
Wild elephants (ataw7 hsina) are very plentiful in most of the heavy jungles in all parts of the province. They may be found within forty miles of Rangoon. They roam about in herds of from eight or ten up to sixty or eighty, although of course there are many solitary old bulls. Until quite recent years elephants could be shot without permission ; now, as Government is engaged in capturing them by kheddah operations, permission must be obtained. The fact that in one drive over one hundred elephants have been taken shows how numerous they are in some districts. Elephant shooting is fine sport; to take the head shots one has to approach to within ten or fifteen yards, watching the wind, and taking cover from tree to tree. It is unusual to find an animal out of cover, so it is desirable to get as close as possible to make certain of the aim. While feeding, elephants do not appear to depend much on their sense of sight or hearing, but the sense of smell is very highly developed, the faintest taint in the wind being sufficient to put them on the alert. Wounded elephants are like many other large beasts, unpleasant customers to follow. They will sometimes charge their pursuer. When an elephant charges he may give a scream, and he always coils his trunk up like a watch spring, throws up his head and cocks his ears. Unsophisticated herds, when suspicious or alarmed, strange as it may seem, will often move off so quietly as hardly to make a sound; other herds when they think trouble is at hand rush off, knocking down saplings or anything else which bars their way. These animals are very destructive to crops anywhere in the vicinity of the jungle. They appear to know exactly when the rice is ready to reap, and come out about dark and perhaps remain in the field till three or four a.m. A herd of sixty or seventy will consume a good deal, but the amount is small when compared with what they trample underfoot. These a paddy a raiders take no notice of the night watchmen, who try to drive them off with bamboo clappers and kerosine oil tin drums. A whole village will often turn out with torches, but even this is not always effective. Occasionally a crusty old bull takes to killing people, knocking down houses, and doing damage generally ; he becomes known as a a rogue,a and the Government authorities are only too glad for any sportsman to go out and destroy him. The Burmese consider elephant Hesh excellent.
The late Mr. Clough shot a very fine tusker in Burma, the measurements of which were as follows :a
Right tusk. Left tusk.
feet, inches. feet, inches.
Length outside curve 7 9f 8 5|
a inside a 6 9J 76
Greatest girth 15 1 4$
I. MALAYAN SAMBAR (CERVUS EQUINUS). 2. HOG DEER (CERVUS PORCINUS) 3 RIB-FACED OR BARKING DEER (CERVUS MUNTJAE).I. MALAYAN SAMBAR (CERVUS EQUINUS). 2. HOG DEER (CERVUS PORCINUS) 3 RIB-FACED OR BARKING DEER (CERVUS MUNTJAE).