Jungle By-ways in India
Forest officers in the days of the Raj had the opportunity to indulge in what the author calls ‘first class sport’ while carrying out their official duties. Jungle By-Ways in India is an account of the various incidents and observations made by the author during his sixteen-year spell in the Indian Forest Service.
"It is an experience common to many true sportsmen, I believe, that they soon grow tired of the mere slaughter of the animals they go out to seek.
Gradually the fascination of the jungle lays its hold upon them, and of the jungle-loving denizens. It becomes an ambition to learn from, and strive to emulate the jungle man in his knowledge of all jungle lore, and to strive to pick up some of his marvellous tracking powers." Rough sketches and incidents noted in diaries bring alive the author’s hunting exploits and knowledge of the Indian jungle. The first section ‘Antlers’ covers shooting in the northern Indian jungles for chital, pig, sambar and barasingha and details of a beat.
In the second section ‘Horns’, he writes about bison tracking on foot and his first encounter with a bull bison, gives shooting tips and discusses difficulties faced while stalking blackbuck. Some of the author’s anecdotes are quite hilarious like how he stumbles into a family party mistaking a langur for a deer. In the third section ‘Pelts’, he writes about tiger pugmarks and hunting tigers on elephants. He also details hunts for leopards, bears, hyaenas, jackals and wild dogs. The book also has sketches of the tracks of various animals. His jungle experiences are instructive as well as entertaining. Charming little wildlife sketches and humorous anecdotes add colour to the tales that bring alive the shikar accounts that could add to the knowledge of today’s wildlifers and naturalists.
By E.P. Stebbings, Published by: Natraj Publishers
Hardcover; Price: Rs. 450/-