Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 509
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MIS    509    MIS

porary suspension of the powers of life, during
which, the animal is easily taken. This is call-
ed
creasing ; and requires for its successful per-
formance, no small degree of skill in the use of
the rifle.

Major LongĀ»remarus, fnat in fine habits of the
wild horse, we find little unlike what is seen in
the domestic animal. He becomes the most tim
orous and watchful of the inhabitants of the wil-
derness. It would appear from the paths that
are seen, that they sometimes perform long
journeys.

Wild horses were once numerous on the Koo-
tanny Lands, near the northern sources of the Co-
lumbia, on the eastern side of the Rocky Moun-
tain Ridge, but of late years they have been al-
most eradicated in that quarter. They are not
known to exist in a wild state to the northward of
the fifty-second or fifty-third parallel of latitude.
The Kootannies are acquainted with the Spanish
and American mode of taking them with the
laso. Major Long mentions that horses are an
object of particular value to the Osages. For the
purpose of obtaining these animals, which in their
wild state preserve all their fleetness, they go in
a large party to the country of the Red Canadian
River, where they are to be found in considerable
numbers. AVhen they discover a gang of the
Uorses. thev distribute themselves into three par-
ties, two of which take their stations at different
and proper distances on their route, which by pre-
vious experience they know the horses will most
probably take when endeavouring to escape.
This arrangement being completed, the first party
commences the pursuit in the direction of their
colleagues, at whose position they at length ar-
rive. The second party then continues the chase
with fresh horses, and pursues the fugitives to
the third party, which generally succeeds in so
far running them down, as to noose and cap-
ture a considerable number of them.

Immense herds of bison, elks, deer, and other
wild animals occupy these vast plains. Of these
the bison is the most remarkable from the incred-
ible numbers in which they feed together. Some-
times 40 sq. m. of territory have been seen com-
pletely covered with them. At the period when
the Europeans began to make settlements in North
America, this animal was occasionally met with
on the Atlantic coast; but even then it appears
to have been rare to the eastward of the Apala-
chian Mountains ; for Lawson has thought it to
be a fact worth recording, that two were killed
in one season on Cape Fear River. As early as
the fir st discovery of Canada it was unknown in
that country. Theodat. whose history of Can-
ada
was nublisbed in 1636, merely says, that he
was inforaed that bulls existed in the remote wes-
em countries. Warden mentions that at no very
distant herds of them existed in the western
part c-f
Pennsylvania, and that as late as the year
lTSSthev w
ere pretty numerous in Kentucky. The
bisons wander constantly from place to place
either from Serag disturbed by hunters, or in quest
of food.
They are much attracted by the soft
tender grass, which springs up after a fire has
spread
over the prairie. In winter they scrape
away the
snow with their feet, to reach the grass.
The
bulls and eows live in separate herds for the
greater part
of the year; but at all seasons, one
or two bulls generally accompany a large herd of
cows. The
bison is"in general ashy animal, and
takes to flight
instantly on winding an enemy,
which the acuteness
of its sense of smell enables
it to do from a great distance. Thev are less va
ry when they are assembled together in num-
bers, and will then often blindly follow their lead-
ers, regardless of, or trampling down the hunters
posted in their way. It is dangerous for the hun
ter to show himself after having wounded one,
for it will pursue him, and although its gait may
be heavy and awkward, it will have no difficulty
in overtaking the fleetest runner. While feed-
ing, they are often scattered over a great extent of
country, but when they move in a mass, they form

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a dense and almost impenetrable column, which
once in motion, is scarcely to be impeded. Their
line of march is seldom interrupted even by con-
siderable rivers, across which they swim without
fear or hesitation, nearly in the order that they
traverse the plains. When flying before their
pursuers, it would be in vain for the foremost to
halt, or attempt to obstruct the progress of the
main body, as the throng in the rear still rushes on-
ward, the leaders must advance, although destruc-
tion awaits the movement. The Indians take ad-
vantage of this circumstance to destroy great quan-
tities of this favourite game, and certainly no
mode could be resorted to more effectually de-
tractive, nor could a mure terrible devastation be
produced, than that of forcing a numerous herd
of these large animals, to leap together from the
brink of a dreadful precipice, upon a rocky and
broken surface, a hundred feet below.

When the Indians determine to destroy bisons
in this way, one of their swiftest footed and most
active young men is selected, who is disguised
in a bison skin, having the head, ears, and horns
adjusted on his own head, so as to make the de-
ception very complete, and thus accoutred, he
stations himself between the bison herd and some
of the precipices that often extend for several miles
along the rivers. The Indians surround the herd
as nearly as possible, when at a given signal, they
show themselves and rush forward with loud
yells. The animals being alarmed, and seeing
no way open but in the direction of the disguised
Indian, runs towards him, and he taking to flight
dashes on to the precipice, where he suddenly
secures himself in some previously ascertained
crevice. The foremost of the herd arrives at the
brinkā€”there is no possibility of retreat, no chance
of escape; the foremost may for an instant shrink
with terror, but the crowd behind, who are terri-
fied by the approaching hunters, rush forward
with increasing impetuosity, and the aggregated
force hurls them successively into the gulf where
certain death awaits them.

The grizzly bear is a native of this territory
and is the most ferocious of all hia tribe. He is twice
as large as the black bear, with enormously large
paws and teeth. He is the monarch of the Rocky
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