Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/217

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YAK-STALKING.

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legs, and consequently we never once had an opportunity of yak-hunting on horseback.

But even on foot it was fine sport! Armed with our breech-loaders, my companion and I would start from our yurta early in the morning in pursuit of the game. The huge beasts might easily be seen through a field-glass, more than a mile off, but one is very liable to take lumps of rock for so many yaks conchant. They were so plentiful on the Baian-kara-ula and on the banks of the Murui-ussu that we could generally see them grazing within a short distance of our camp.

They are more easily stalked than any other wild animal we know, and so defective are their sight and hearing that you may get within 300 paces of them in the open without difficulty; and single bulls (but not herds) will allow the sportsman to approach nearer still, even though they have noticed him in the distance. Never having been hunted, and confident in their own strength, they show no signs of fear at the approach of a man, but look him steadily in the face, lashing their sides with their bushy tails, or curving them over their backs, to express their anger at being disturbed.

If the hunter continue to advance the yak retires, stopping every now and then to look round in the direction of its pursuer, but when once alarmed by the report of a gun, or wounded, they will run for hours without stopping.

You may occasionally get within fifty paces of