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.

     Smaller than the Virginian deer; head and back, fawn-colour, mixed with
black; sides and cheeks, paler, white beneath.


     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.


     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.


     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.


    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


     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
     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
     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.