Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/702

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

caribou before they could get near enough to shoot it. When attacked by dogs it stands at bay, and then falls an easy victim to the hunters. In the regions far to the north, where the caribou is plentiful, these animals move in herds from ten to a hundred or more. When in good condition the male caribou has a layer of fat on the back and rump two or three inches in thickness. The flesh is an excellent article of food, being tender and of good flavor. The skin when properly

PSM V10 D702 The american reindeer or caribou.jpg
Fig. 2.—The American Reindeer, or Caribou (Rangifer caribou).

dressed forms one of the best articles for clothing to be worn in the cold regions. A suit made of the dressed skins of the caribou is so warm that it is said that the person wearing one of these suits and also provided with a blanket of the same material, may bivouac on the snow not only with safety but with comfort even in the intense cold of an arctic winter's night.

The common deer of Eastern North America, generally known as the Virginia deer (Cervus Virginianus, Fig. 3), is one of the most graceful and one of the most beautiful of all the deer family. It is now so common in parks that almost every one is familiar with it as it appears in this state of semi-domestication. But no one gets the best idea of this splendid animal who does not see it as it appears in the wild state, either in the forest or on the plains. Here when startled it bounds away with the most incredible velocity, and he who would bring it down must have a quick hand and steady nerve. This deer attains a weight of about two hundred pounds. The color is light brown in summer and grayish in winter, the under part of the throat and tail being always white. The food of this animal is exceedingly various. The tender grasses constitute its principal food in