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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.

Page 141

buck of the bigger species of bush deer appeared, a very pretty and graceful creature. It stopped and darted back as soon as it saw us, giving us no chance for a shot; but in another moment we caught glimpses of it running by at full speed, back among the palms. I covered an opening between two tree-trunks. By good luck the buck appeared in the right place, giving me just time to hold well ahead of him and fire. At the report he went down in a heap, the “umbrella-pointed” bullet going in at one shoulder, and ranging forward, breaking the neck. The leaden portion of the bullet, in the proper mushroom or umbrella shape, stopped under the neck skin on the farther side. It is a very effective bullet.
  Miller particularly wished specimens of these various species of bush deer, because their mutual relationships have not yet been satisfactorily worked out. This was an old buck. The antlers were single spikes, five or six inches long; they were old and white and would soon have been shed. In the stomach were the remains of both leaves and grasses, but especially the former; the buck was both a browser and grazer. There were also seeds, but no berries or nuts such as I have sometimes found in deers’ stomachs. This species, which is abundant in this neighborhood, is solitary in its habits, not going in herds. At this time the rut was past, the bucks no longer sought the does, the fawns had not been born, and the yearlings had left their mothers; so that each animal usually went by itself. When chased they were very apt to take to the water. This instinct of taking to the water, by the way, is quite explicable as regards both deer and tapir, for it affords them refuge against their presentday