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Sport In The Low-Country Of Ceylon | by Alfred Clark



This little book on " Sport in the Low-Country " is submitted to the public by the writer with diffidence, as he feels that there are men in the Island who are more competent than he to write on the subject. He, however, believes himself to be not altogether without qualifications for the undertaking, as he has spent the greater part of twenty-five years in the forests of the low-country, and has thus had, of necessity, many opportunities of observing the habits of wild animals and of learning by experience the best, pleasantest and cheapest ways of obtaining sport. It is not expected that experienced sportsmen will learn anything new from the following pages, but it is hoped that the little book will be found useful by strangers and new-comers going on their first shooting trip to the low-country.

TitleSport In The Low-Country Of Ceylon
AuthorAlfred Clark
PublisherA. M. & J. Ferguson
Year1901
Copyright1901, A. M. & J. Ferguson
AmazonSport in the Low-Country of Ceylon
Sport In The Low Country Of Ceylon

By Alfred Clark, Forest Department. Author Of " The Finding Of Lot's Wife," "A Dark Plaoe Of The Earth," "In A State Of Nature," Etc.

-Preface
This little book on Sport in the Low-Country is submitted to the public by the writer with diffidence, as he feels that there are men in the Island who are more competent than he to write on the s...
-Chapter I. Sport In Former Days
THERE was a time, within the memory of men still living, when Ceylon was a perfect paradise of sport. Sixty or seventy years ago the Island was simply one huge forest from the summits of the central h...
-Chapter II. The Low Country Forests
THE forests of the low-country of Ceylon stretch from the foot of the hills on the North, East and South to the sea coast and cover about 12,000 square miles. From the tops of the hills the low-countr...
-The Low Country Forests. Continued
It is a common but erroneous idea, that when any danger threatens a herd, the bulls or males will attempt to protect the females and young. In the first place bull-elephants, he-buffaloes and wild-boa...
-Chapter III. Ceylon Elephants
OF all animals the elephant is undoubtedly one of the strangest. It seems to belong rather to antediluvian times than to the present age as it possesses many of the peculiarities of structure which di...
-Elephants. Part 2
The average height of full-grown male elephants is about eight feet, and of female elephants about seven feet. Bulls of much greater height are, of course, sometimes found. The late Mr. Varian, of the...
-Elephants. Part 3
Elephants usually sleep twice during the twenty-four hours, viz., in the heat of the day and at midnight. They sleep both lying down and standing. When lying down they like to rest their heads on high...
-Chapter IV. Elephant Shooting
ELEPHANT shooting is a kind of sport which few people can afford to indulge in owing to the expense. Only foreign princes and noblemen and millionaire globe-trotters care as a rule to pay Rs. 100 for ...
-Chapter V. Elephant Catching As Sport
CEYLON is the only place in the world where wild elephants are caught by men on foot with nooses, without the assistance of tame elephants. It is somewhat surprising that so little should be known eve...
-Elephant Catching As Sport. Continued
As the hard hide ropes, if left on too long, will cut the animal's legs to the bone, they are taken off as soon as possible. Ropes are slipped on to all its legs ; those on one side are crossed under ...
-Chapter VI. Leopards In Ceylon
IT is almost unnecessary to say that the animal commonly spoken of in Ceylon as the cheetah is really the leopard, felis pardus, It is known to most men that the two animals are quite distinct, and ...
-Leopards. Continued
Monkeys are such noisy creatures that they are easily found out by their spotted enemy. When a leopard appears under a tree in which monkeys are, there is the wildest excitement. The old males climb t...
-Chapter VII. Leopard Shooting
LEOPARDS are few in number considering the great extent of cover, and they wander about so much in their search for prey that no one ever thinks of going specially after them. They are, however, not i...
-Chapter VIII. Bears
THE Ceylon Bear, Melursus ursinus, is called by the Sinhalese, walaha and by the Tamils, karadi. These uncouth, savage creatures infest all the forests of the low-country but are not found in the wet ...
-Chapter IX. Wild Buffaloes
WILD buffaloes are not numerous and are only found in certain localities which suit their habits. Abundance of water to wallow in is absolutely essential to these ungainly creatures, and they are cons...
-Chapter X. Sambhur
THE Sambhur, cervus unicolor, which is the largest species of deer found in the Island, is almost universally called the elk, the name given to it by the English officers who conquered and administe...
-Chapter XI. Cheetul (Spotted Deer)
THE cheetul, Cervus axis, is the animal which is universally spoken of in Ceylon as the spotted deer, and is so described in the Game Ordinance. It is, however, obviously absurd that Ceylon men shou...
-Chaptee XII. Muntjak (Red Deer)
IN the definition of game given in Section 3 of the Game Ordinance, red deer and 11 barking deer are referred to as if they were two different animals, but as a matter of fact they are both na...
-Chapter XIII. Wild Pigs
WILD pigs, which are called wal-ooru by Sinhalese and k‚tu-pandi by Tamils, are not considered game, and are not protected in any way by the Game Ordinance. Nevertheless, of all the larger wild anim...
-Chapter XIV. Crocodiles
CROCODILES certainly cannot be considered game, but they are so numerous and so much amusement may be obtained in shooting them or fishing for them that some account of them and of their habits and ...
-Chapter XV. Miscellaneous Game
IN addition to the larger game to be found in the low-country of Ceylon there are a number of small animals which the sportsman is likely enough to come across. A few words concerning these would not ...
-Porcupines
Porcupines are extremely numerous in every part of the Island, yet are not often seen, owing to their strictly nocturnal habits. The Sinhalese call them ittaewa, and the Tamils mul-pandi, which means ...
-Mouse Deer
This pretty little creature, tragulus meminna, called by Europeans the mouse-deer, ŁkkŁlam by the Tamils, mi-minna by the Sinhalese, is found everywhere in the Island except on the higher hills. It ...
-Jackals
No one can be long in the low-country without seeing jackals or hearing their unearthly cries. Their scientific name canis aureus, golden dog seems a trifle too grandiloquent for these forest-scaven...
-Pythons And Other Snakes
Pythons are found all through the low-country but are commonest in the bush-covered plains along the coast, in the open glades of the forest and near rivers and tanks. They are called in Sinhalese pim...
-Iguanas, Hares And Flying Foxes
Iguanas Sportsmen, while after game in high forest in the low-country, are often startled by the sudden scurrying away of huge lizard-like creatures commonly called iguanas. The Sinhalese call them...
-Chapter XVI. Peafowl, Jungle-Fowl, Snipe And Partridges
PEAFOWL, pavo cristatus, are only found in any number in the coast-forests, generally within fifteen miles of the sea. They frequent the bush-covered plains which stretch round the Island along the we...
-Jungle Fowl
Any one travelling through the low-country forest is certain to hear frequently the gamey call of the jungle-cock, gallus Lafayettii, George Joyce ! George Joyce ! It is peculiar to Ceylon and i...
-Snipe
Little can be written on the subject of snipe which is not known to every sport-loving man who has been more than a few months in Ceylon, nevertheless a few words as to when and where snipe shooting m...
-Partridges
Partridges are found only in the Jaffna Peninsula and along the north-east coast as far as Mullaittivu, and the north-west coast as far as Calpentyn. They live among the low thorny bushes along the sh...
-Chapter XVII. Tank Birds
THROUGHOUT the year, but especially during the north-east monsoon, from November to March, good shooting may be had at the numerous large irrigation tanks in the interior of the Island, at the great b...
-Tank Birds. Continued
A characteristic feature of jungle scenery is the snowy white egrets standing or stalking about the moist margins of tanks or in swampy paddy-fields, sometimes perched on buffaloes relieving them of t...
-Chapter XVIII. Night-Shooting
NIGHT-SHOOTING is almost the only kind of sport indulged in by natives, many of whom are keen hunters, which, however, does not prevent them from murdering does and fawns or any other animal which t...
-Night-Shooting. Continued
Two kinds of ambush are used by natives according to the disposition of the animal expected, and the nature of the ground. One, called in Tamil a shr‚mbi, is a platform built in a tree or on a high ba...
-Chapter XIX. The Game Laws
THE most important of the Game Laws of Ceylon is Ordinance No. 10 of 1891, which was passed To prevent the wanton destruction of elephants, buffaloes and other game. Under this Ordinance a licens...
-Chapter XX. The Decrease Of Game; Its Causes And Remedies
THE causes of the great decrease in the game of the country during the last twenty years or so, in spite of laws which are so stringent as practically to prohibit natives from shooting, are easy to se...
-The Decrease Of Game; Its Causes And Remedies. Part 2
The number of deer killed annually by leopards is larger than might be supposed. Assuming that there are 1,660 leopards in the Island of all ages and sexes (see page 127), of which half are adults, an...
-The Decrease Of Game; Its Causes And Remedies. Part 3
This estimate will no doubt seem to some people, who have not given the subject full consideration, a very low one. Government officers travelling on duty in the forest in the dry weather, and seeing ...
-Chapter XXI. Lost In The Forest
THE forests of the low-country are so dense and pathless, that it is easy for a sportsman to lose his way when eagerly following game, even though accompanied by a native who has lived all his life in...
-Chapter XXII. Hints For A Shooting Trip
THE first thing to be done by any one proposing to go on a shooting trip to the low-country is, if he is resident in Ceylon, to join the Game Protection Society, if he is not already a member. If he i...
-Hints For A Shooting Trip. Part 2
Where to put up All over the low-country along the numerous roads, at intervals of nine to fifteen miles, are resthouses of different classes, all more or less furnished. Good shooting is not, as a r...
-Hints For A Shooting Trip. Part 3
Camp Furniture Every member of a shooting-party should be provided with a camp bed, a canvas lounge chair and a camp stool. Mosquito curtains for the bed must not on any account be forgotten, nor a b...
-Trackers
The wilder and more unsophisticated the jungle-man who has undertaken to point out game is, the better tracker he will probably prove to be. The old type of tracker who would squat in front of one, an...
-Trackers. Continued
It may be safely asserted that owing to the density of the cover in the low-country, nine out of ten shots obtained are within sixty yards, at which range a well-fitting spherical bullet from a first-...
-Other Sporting Requisites
The carrying of a huge, heavy hunting-knife is usually looked upon as the outward and visible sign of a tyro in sport. Such a knife is of little use on a shooting trip. It is only once in a blue m...
-Precautions to Preserve Health
When a man is attacked during a shooting trip in the low-country, or on his return home, by fever or other disease, he generally attributes it to exposure, to malaria, or to drinking bad water. In nin...
-Insect Pests
So much of the pleasure of shooting in the low-country is spoilt by the attacks of insects of many kinds, that a few words as to how these annoyances may be minimized may be found useful. The two p...
-Chapter XXIII. A Few "Don'ts" For The Benefit Of Inexperienced Sportsmen And Others
DON'T call leopards cheetahs, or sambhur elk, or cheetul spotted deer, or muntjak red-deer. Don't break the game laws, however much you may be tempted, or however small the chance of detect...
-Appendix. A. Number Of Guns Licensed Since The Firearms Ordinance
The Firearms Ordinance No, 19 of 1869 came into operation ; during the years specified. Province. District. Year from which records have been kept up to 31st Dec. ...
-Appendix. B. Number Of Elephants Exported From Ceylon During The Last Thirty-Seven Years
Year Number exported Value. Average value of each. Year. Number exported Value Average value of each. ...
-Appendix. C. Number Of Rogue Elephants, Leopards And Bears Destroyed
Number of Rogue Elephants, Leopards and Bears destroyed, for which rewards were paid since passing of Game Ordinance No. 6 of 1872 ; during years specified, Province. Distric...
-Appendix. D. Number Of Licenses To Shoot Elephants, Buffaloes, And Game
Number of Licenses to shoot Elephants, Buffaloes, and Game issued since passing of the Game Ordinance No. 10 of 1891: - Province. District. To shoot Elepha...
-Appendix. E. Close Seasons
Close Seasons. For Sambhur, Cheetul, and Muntjak. Western Province 1st June to 31st October Central ,, do Northern ,, ...
-Appendix. F. Measurements Of Trophies
The writer made it widely known that he would be glad to get the measurements of any good trophies obtained in Ceylon, to be recorded in this little book, but very few sportsmen responded to his reque...







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