Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 83 of 368
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upon the clarionet, and so regulate and adjust the instrument by experiment
as to imitate almost precisely the cry of the young fawn. They
use them during the months of June and July, before the does have
weaned their young. Riding along near a copse of trees or brush
where they suppose the deer to be lying, they sound their bleats, which
can be heard for half a mile; and as the doe never remains near her
fawn any longer than is necessary to give it food, (when she retires to
an adjoining thicket and makes her bed alone,) she immediately takes
alarm at what she conceives to be a cry of distress from her helpless
offspring, and, in the intensity of her maternal affection, she rushes at
full speed in the direction of the cry, and frequently comes within a few
yards of the hunter who stands ready to give her a death-wound. This
is an unsportsman-like way of hunting deer, and only admissible when
provisions are scarce
The bear, the wolf, and panther often come at the call of the bleat,
supposing they are to feast upon the tender flesh of the fawn. It might
be supposed that in a country where there are so many carnivorous
animals, the greater portion of the deer would be killed by them while
young; but nature, in the wisdom of its arrangements, has provided the
helpless little quadruped with a means of security against their attacks,
which is truly wonderful. It is a well-known fact among hunters that
the deer deposite a much stronger scent upon their tracks than any other
animal, inasmuch as a dog can without difficulty follow them long after
they have passed at a distance of many yards from the track. Notwithstanding
this, the fawns, until they are sufficiently grown to be able to
make good running, give out no scent whatever upon their tracks, and
a dog of the best nose cannot follow them except by sight. I have often
seen the experiment made, and am perfectly satisfied that such is the
case; this, therefore, must in a' great measure protect them from the
attacks of the wild animals of the country.
July 16.-Our reveille sounded at two, and we were en rout at 3
o'clock this morning. Continuing a northeast course for four miles, we
crossed a fine stream of clear water issuing from the mountains, and
running into the south branch of Cache creek; after travelling three
miles further, we passed another, and made our' encampment upon a
third: all of these were of about equal magnitude, and similar in
character. They take their rise from springs among the granite mountains,
and flow over the detritus and sand at the base; are about twenty
feet wide, with the water dear and rapid. The banks are abrupt, about
ten feet high, and composed of white clay and sandstone. Upon each
of these branches there are large bodies of post-oak timber, much of
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Marcy, Randolph Barnes. Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan., book, 1854; Washington, DC. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6105/m1/83/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .