118 Long-tailed Deer
CERVUS LEUCURUS.--DOUGLAS. [Odocoileus virginianus columbianus (subspecies)] LONG-TAILED DEER. [White-tailed Deer. ENDANGERED] PLATE CXVIII.--MALE. C. Cervo Virginiano minor, capite atque dorso fulvis nigro mistis, malis lateribusque dilutioribus, gastraeo albo.
CHARACTERS. Smaller than the Virginian deer; head and back, fawn-colour, mixed with black; sides and cheeks, paler, white beneath. SYNONYMES. ROEBUCK. Dobbs, Hudson's Bay, p. 41, Ann. 1744. FALLOW, or VIRGINIAN DEER. Cook's Third Voyage, vol. ii. p. 292, Ann. 1778. LONG-TAILED JUMPING DEER. Umfreville, Hudson's Bay, p. 190, Ann. 1790. DEER WITH SMALL HORNS AND LONG TAIL (?) Gass, Journal, p. 55, Ann. 1808. LONG-TAILED (?) RED DEER. Lewis and Clark, vol. ii. p. 41. SMALL DEER OF THE PACIFIC. Idem, vol. ii. p. 342. JUMPING DEER. Hudson's Bay traders. CHEVREUIL. Canadian Voyagers. MOWITCH. Indians west of the Rocky Mountains. DESCRIPTION. Form, elegant; lachrymal opening, apparently only a small fold in the skin close to the eye; limbs, slender; hoofs, small and pointed; tail, long in proportion to the size of the animal. Fur, dense and long; a pendulous tuft of hairs on the belly between the thighs; the glandular opening on the outside of the hind leg, small and oval in shape, the reversed hairs around it differing very little in colour from the rest of the leg. Hair, coarser than in the Virginian deer, and hoofs more delicate in shape. COLOUR. Head and back, rufous, mixed with black; sides and cheeks, paler; ears, above, dusky brown, inside edges, white; there is a small black spot between the nostrils, and a white ring around the eyes. Chin and throat, yellowish-white; tail, brownish-yellow above, inclining to rusty red near the tip, and cream white underneath and at the tip; neck, brownish-yellow from the throat downwards; under surface of the body, not so white as in the Virginian deer. DIMENSIONS. Young male in the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. Feet. Inches. From point of nose to root of tail, . . . . . . 4 2 Length of head, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 10 1/2 End of nose to eye,. . . . . . . . . . . . 0 5 1/2 Tail to end of hair, . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 1/2 Height of ear posteriorly, . . . . . . . . . 0 5 Horns (two points about 3/4 of an inch long, invisible without moving the surrounding hair). Female presented by the Hudson's Bay Company to the museum of the Zoological Society. Feet. Inches. Length from point of nose to root of tail, . . . . 5 0 Length of head, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 11 Length of tail (including fur),. . . . . . . . 1 1 HABITS. In its general appearance this Deer greatly resembles the European roebuck, and seems to be formed for bounding along in the light and graceful manner of that animal. The species has been considered of doubtful authenticity, owing to the various lengths of tail exhibited by the common deer, many specimens of which we collected near the Rocky Mountains, not differing from C. Virginianus in any other particular, but with long tails, and for some time we did not feel inclined to give it a place in our work; from which we have excluded a great many false species, published by others from young animals or mere varieties, and compared by us with specimens exhibiting all the markings and forms set down as characters by the authors alluded to. At one time we examined the tails of some common deer in Fulton market, New York, and found that the longest exceeded nineteen inches, while the average length does not go beyond nine. The different form of the light, springy animal described by Mr. DOUGLAS will, however, at once separate it from C. Virginianus on comparison. Sir JOHN RICHARDSON says: "This animal, from the general resemblance it has in size, form, and habits, to the Cervus capreolus of Europe, has obtained the name of Chevreuil from the French Canadians, and of Roebuck from the Scottish Highlanders employed by the Hudson's Bay Company. These names occur in the works of several authors who have written on the fur countries, and UMFREVILLE gives a brief, but, as far as it goes, a correct description of it." "This species does not, on the east side of the Rocky Mountains, range farther north than latitude 54 degrees, nor is it found in that parallel to the eastward of the 105th degree of longitude." Mr. DOUGLAS speaks of it as "the most common deer of any in the districts adjoining the river Columbia, more especially in the fertile prairies of the Cowalidske and Multnomah rivers, within one hundred miles of the Pacific Ocean. It is also occasionally met with near the base of the Rocky Mountains on the same side of that ridge. Its favourite haunts are the coppices, composed of Corylus, Rubus, Rosa, and Amelanchir, on the declivities of the low hills or dry undulating grounds. Its gait is two ambling steps and a bound exceeding double the distance of the steps, which mode it does not depart from even when closely pursued. In running, the tail is erect, wagging from side to side, and from its unusual length is the most remarkable feature about the animal. The voice of the male calling the female is like the sound produced by blowing in the muzzle of a gun or in a hollow cane. The voice of the female calling the young is moe, moe, pronounced shortly. This is well imitated by the native tribes, with a stem of Heracleum lanatum, cut at a joint, leaving six inches of a tube: with this, aided by a head and horns of a full grown buck, which the hunter carries with him as a decoy, and which he moves backwards and forwards among the long grass, alternately feigning the voice with the tube, the unsuspecting animal is attracted within a few yards in the hope of finding its partner, when instantly springing up, the hunter plants an arrow in his object. The flesh is excellent when in good order, and remarkably tender and well flavoured." "They go in herds from November to April and May, when the female secretes herself to bring forth. The young are spotted with white until the middle of the first winter, when they change to the same colour as the most aged." LEWIS and CLARK considered it the same animal as the common deer, with the exception of the length of the tail. They found it inhabiting "the Rocky Mountains, in the neighbourhood of the Chopunnish, and about the Columbia, and down the river as low as where the tide-water commences." These travellers in another passage observe that "the common Fallow Deer with long tails (our present species), though very poor, are better than the black-tailed fallow deer of the coast, from which they differ materially." We did not see any Deer of this species on our journey up the Missouri, nor do we think it is to be found east of the Rocky Mountains. The Virginian deer, on the contrary, disappears to the north and west, as RICHARDSON says he has not been able to discover the true Cervus Virginianus within the district to which the Fauna Boreali Americana refers. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. On the east side of the Rocky Mountains this species does not range beyond lat. 54 degrees, nor to the eastward of 105 degrees longitude. DOUGLAS states that it is the most common Deer of any in the districts adjoining the Columbia River, more especially in the fertile prairies of the Cowalidske and Multnomah rivers within one hundred miles of the Pacific Ocean. It is also occasionally met with near the base of the Rocky Mountains on the same side of that chain. GENERAL REMARKS. We have after some hesitation admitted this species, and as much has been said (although but little learned) of the western Long-tailed Deer since the days of LEWIS and CLARK, it is desirable that the species should be carefully investigated. We overlooked the specimen of the Long-tailed Deer in the Zoological Museum, from which the description of RICHARDSON was taken, and for a long time we had no other knowledge of the species than the somewhat loose description of it by DOUGLAS, who, although an enthusiastic collector of plants and something of a botanist, was possessed of a very imperfect knowledge of birds or quadrupeds, and probably had never seen the Cervus Virginianus, our Virginian Deer. We have given what we consider an excellent figure by J. W. AUDUBON, from the original specimen, and there is now in the Academy of Sciences at Philadelphia a young male which was procured some years since by the late Mr. J. K. TOWNSEND on the Columbia River.