STILL-HUNTING, the most scientific of all things pertaining to hunting, has hitherto been almost confined to the backwoodsman or frontiersman, and has been little enjoyed by those born and reared at any distance from facilities for learning practically the ways of the wild woods and plains. Thousands of our best shots with the shot-gun are men born and bred in the city. But of the thousands who enjoy the still-hunt the majority are backwoodsmen. One great reason of this is that the art is one requiring for proficiency more life in the forest than the average city man can spend there. But another great reason has been the almost utter lack of any information or instruction upon the subject. For this, the greatest and most important branch of the whole art of hunting has, I may safely say, been totally neglected by the great body of writers upon field-sports.
Not without hesitation have I undertaken to explore this "dark continent" of the world of field-sports. At this day a writer upon almost any other subject has the roads, paths, blaze-marks, and charts of a dozen or more explorers before him. I have nothing to follow; the only work upon deer, that of Judge Caton, thorough and fine as it is, deals only with the anatomy, physiology, and natural history of deer; all those habits which it is essential for the still-hunter to thoroughly understand being as much beyond the scope of his work as the part he has treated of is beyond the scope of this work.
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