Mr. Gordon Boles, a sportsman who has hunted all over the world, has recorded some remarkable leaps taken by deer when pursued. His observations have been chiefly in his native district, Exmoor, the land of "Lorna Doone," in India, and in Northwestern Canada. Uncontrollable fear and partial blindness caused by long pursuit, he gives as reasons for deer taking leaps which usually end in death. Once, while hunting with the Devon and Somerset stag hounds, he saw a hind leap 300 feet from a cliff to the seashore. She was dashed to pieces. In the excitement of the chase one of the hounds followed her.
On another occasion a stag made a bold burst for the open, going straight for the sea. He came to the edge of a cliff, some hundreds of feet above the beach, and then dashed restlessly backward and forward, as if seeking a path to descend.
He either missed his footing or jumped, and when the hunters came up he was seen below, a shattered mass, with the horns broken into small pieces. Mr. Boles is inclined to think that the stag committed suicide deliberately.
Another deer, which made the leap at about the same place, landed safely and swam out to sea. Men pursued him in a boat and killed him.
In India Mr. Boles wounded a sambur, which resembles somewhat the common deer. The sambur showed fight on a narrow path overhanging a precipice. Mr. Boles fired again, but in his excitement aimed too low, the ball passing beneath the deer and striking the ground just back of his hind legs. The deer turned and deliberately leaped over the height.
A fine buck he wounded in Northwestern Canada, when pursued by the dog, jumped from a height of 100 feet into a shallow stream and broke his neck.