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Big Game Shooting1

Nature volume 50, pages 298300 | Download Citation

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Abstract

WHILE partridges and pheasants, and even hares and rabbits (in spite of the Ground Game Bill) continue to increase and multiply, to the delight of the ordinary sportsman, there can be no doubt that the supply of what is termed “big game” is rapidly and seriously diminishing year by year. In North America the bison or “buffalo” is extinct as a wild animal, and the wapiti is hardly to be met with anywhere within reach. In Europe the steinbock has entirely disappeared, and the chamois is found only in certain districts where it has been carefully preserved. Cashmere, formerly the happy hunting-ground of the Indian officer, is now nearly cleared out, and it is very hard work, we are told, to get one decent “head” of barasingha or ibex in a whole season. As for Africa, the whole of the easily accessible country has been swept clean by the host of “big game” shooters, and it is only by penetrating into such distant places as the swamps of the Luapula, or the torrid deserts of Lake Rudolph, that the larger mammals, which formerly populated its whole surface, can be “got at ”in any numbers. Such being the case, it was quite time that an account of what has been for many years one of the great national sports of the British race should be taken in hand. It will help the adventurous spirits of the present generation to share more easily in a pastime that cannot last much longer, and, at the same time, hand down to future ages a record of what were the delights and dangers of slaughtering the extinct mammals of the preceding era.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/050298a0

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