branches of trees en route. When they have been alarmed, however, it is astonishing how noiselessly they can move through thick undergrowth. When near an alarmed elephant one can almost a feel a the spot where it is standing, if the expression may be allowed, and yet in very few instances can it be seen plainly, and it is rarely one obtains a clear long shot. The elephant has usually to be tracked to very close quarters, and it is on this account that one needs a large and heavy weapon. The question as to which is the elephantas most vulnerable point has been scientifically and carefully worked out by more experienced and successful sportsmen than myself. The head shot from the front and sides, to get at the brain, is the most sought after. It has been said that in days gone by, before the annexation of Upper Burma, and when the natives were allowed to shoot elephants, that these natives, opportunity permitting, often fired at the sole of the foot of an elephant, laming and partially disabling it, so that they could follow up and kill at leisure. This is not at all an unlikely story when one takes into account the crude native-made weapons and the equally crude powder and bullets that were used. Elephants are anything but quick sighted or quick of hearing. They are fairly keen scented, but not particularly so. They are noisy feeders, and generally make their meals at night time, when they can be heard breaking bamboos and branches a long way off, whilst the baby elephant may be heard squealing amidst the crash and din. I remember an occasion in March, 1901, when my followers and I were overtaken by darkness and obliged to camp on the way to the hills where I had intended to shoot bison. A rude shelter was cleared and a crude platform, about five feet off the ground, made for me to sleep on. The ground was sandy and full of thorns. Towards midnight there was a bright moon, and about one oaclock my Burmese boy, who was too nervous to sleep, and was squatting on my platform hugging a gun, which he could not have used, awoke me in great alarm. The noise of the breaking of branches and bamboos, and the squealing of a herd of elephants, was distinctly heard at a considerable distance. Every one in camp was astir, fires were put out, and all waited in expectation and silence. Shortly an elephant was heard approaching, and I calculated that the five feet platform was not the place for me. I clutched my gun and with the intention of descending the platform asked for my slippers, but these could not be found, and whilst still trying to find them,
the elephant arrived within forty feet, and could be seen curiously investigating the camp. According to the Burmese, a herd of elephants, besides the males and females and young, also includes what they call the a hans.a The a hans a are young males which have not attained the dignity of leaders, and yet could hardly be termed a babies.a These elephants are the ones which cause trouble and do mischief. They keep on the outskirts of the herd and get into all manner of scrapes. They are also very nervous and generally dangerous. It is a well-known fact that courageous elephants are the quietest and, if I may so term it, the abest behaved.a The double-tusked elephants are called the a swai sone a by the Burmese, the single tuskers a tai,a and the tuskless one a hine.a I call to mind one experience which bears out my contention that elephants
are neither so keen of hearing nor have their sense of smell so highly developed as is sometimes thought. I had obtained a permit to hunt the elephants which had persistently visited the paddy fields of some Burmese, situated close to the Government Reserves. When arriving in the locality I came across innumerable old and fresh tracks on the edge of the jungle, showing that the herd had stayed four or five days in the vicinity. I followed these tracks into the hills for over ten miles and then stopped for breakfast, convinced that they had gone right away into the interior. Imagine my surprise when I returned back on my tracks to find that I had passed an elephant within ten yards and that he was still at the same spot. We did not discover him until we were almost on him, and this so demoralised us that we allowed him to go free. Although it is
unwise to talk or make any kind of noise when on shikar bent, my men were talking and whistling to a companion who had lagged behind, but this apparently had not disturbed the elephant in the least. Wild elephants, when on the prowl after food, destroy more than they actually eat, their ponderous feet laying flat whole fields, whilst to get at bamboo leaves, of which they are very fond, they break the bamboo close to the root, and practically destroy the whole clump. Elephants are fairly plentiful almost all over Burma, and are to be found within a three hoursa journey of Rangoon.
The Gaur.aThe gaur, miscalled bison, can be obtained in fair numbers in Burma. They are coveted for the handsome trophies they carry, and are tracked in the same manner as elephants, and like elephants, again, are usually met at very close quarters. In the dry months
they are found in the interior of the hilly districts, where they may be stalked and bagged in very thick cover only. During the early mornings and evenings they may be found on the banks of dry yet damp streams feeding on the grass and shrubs. Unlike elephants, these animals are exceedingly shy, and it is rarely that they visit paddy fields on the edge of the jungle as elephants are occasionally in the habit of doing. Their sense of sight, scent, and hearing are very keen, and it is seldom that a sportsman can stalk them to their couch during the day and successfully bring them to bag. I have on many occasions stalked them to very close quarters, knowing by a peculiar instinct where they were without being able to see them, and then there has been a sudden commotion and rush and the whole dayas stalk ends in a blank. With the small bore Mauser I very
BURMESE TSAING SHOT IN THE BASSEIN DISTRICT.BURMESE TSAING SHOT IN THE BASSEIN DISTRICT.