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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/115

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BEASTS, BIRDS, FISHES, AND INSECTS

soon after sunrise while it is still in the open, and not among the crops. There will usually be one old buck in each herd. He himself is not watchful, but his does are, and the herd gallops off with great leaps at the first scent of danger, the does leading and their lord and master bringing up the rear. If by dint of careful and patient stalking you get to some point of vantage, say 100 yards from the big buck, it is worth while to shoot. Even if the bullet finds its mark the quarry may gallop 50 yards before it drops. Good heads vary from 20" to 24" or even more.

(b) Small game in Plains.— The cold weather shooting begins with the advent of the quail in the end of September and ends when they reappear among the ripening wheat in April. The duck arrive from the Central Asian lakes in November and duck and snipe shooting lasts till February in districts where there are jhils and swampy land. For a decent shot 30 couple of snipe is a fair bag. To get duck the jhil should be visited at dawn and again in the evening, and it is well to post several guns in favourable positions in the probable line of flight. 40 or 50 birds would be a good morning's bag. In drier tracts the bag will consist of partridges and a hare or two, or, if the country is sandy, some sand-grouse and perhaps a bustard.