Illustrated Description Of Russia

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Elk-Hunting in Courland

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Elk-Hunting in Courland  "In at the Death."

Elk-Hunting in Courland — "In at the Death."
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The horses, cattle, and sheep, are generally of inferior breeds; but attempts have been made to improve the last by the introduction of tne merino. In all the larger forests, the gigantic elk of the north abounds ; but the German nobles take such delight in hunting it, that it seems likely to disappear in some districts. Elks are most numerous in eastern Courland, on the frontiers of Livonia, where twenty or thirty, and sometimes forty or fifty, are often killed in one day's hunting. The original (or Slavonic) inhabitants of the country, behave more generously to this noble animal; and a female elk is often seen feeding, with her young ones, along with the shepherd and his flock. The elk has never been tamed, and all attempts to turn its gigantic strength to the service of man have been unsuccessful. Its flesh, which is a very frequent dish here, has a taste between that of beef and venison. The skin forms extremely hard and thick leather; it is in many places impenetrable to a musket-ball. An elk is seldom killed by the first or second shot; they sometimes even escape with four musket-bullets in the body.

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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855