The natives consider the death of a tiger cause for general rejoicing, and forming a triumphal procession amid a turmoil such as only Indian beaters can make, they carried the dead tiger to camp.
One morning word was brought to our camp, at a place called Bernara, that a tiger had killed a buffalo, some seven miles away. The natives had built a bamboo platform, called machan, in a tree by the kill, and we stationed ourselves on this in the late afternoon. Contrary to custom, the tiger did not come back to his kill until after the sun had set. The night was cloudy and very dark, and although several times we distinctly heard the tiger eating the buffalo, we could not see it. At about midnight we were extremely stiff, and not hearing any sound, we returned to our temporary camp; but on the advice of an old shikari I returned with him to the machan to wait until daylight. Being tired, I fell asleep, but an hour before dawn the Hindu woke me, as the clouds had cleared away and the moon was shining brightly. I heard a munching sound, and could dimly discern a yellow form by the buffalo, and taking a long aim I fired both barrels of my rifle. I heard nothing except the scuttling off of the hyenas and jackals that had been attracted by the dead buffalo, so I slept again until daylight, when, to my surprise, I saw a dead leopard by the buffalo. He had come to the kill after the tiger had finished his meal.
John H. Prentice.
[Illustration: INDIAN LEOPARD.]
Since the inception of the Boone and Crockett Club its plans and purposes have changed not a little. Originally organized for social purposes, for the encouragement of big-game hunting, and the procuring of the most effective weapons with which to secure the game, it has, little by little, come to be devoted to the broader object of benefiting this and succeeding generations by preserving a stock of large game. It is still made up of enthusiastic riflemen, and their love of the chase has not abated. But, since the Club’s formation, an astonishing change has come over natural conditions in the United States—a change which, fifteen or twenty years ago, could not have been foreseen. The extraordinary development of the whole Western country, with the inevitable contraction of the range of all big game, and the absolute reduction in the numbers of the game consequent on its destruction by skin hunters, head hunters and tooth hunters, has obliged the Boone and Crockett Club, in absolute self-defense, and in the hope that its efforts may save some of the species threatened with extinction, to turn its attention more and more to game protection.