National Geographic : 1900 Mar
120 A HUNTING TRIP TO NORTHERN GREENLAND Brave "Matt" Henson, Peary's colored companion. was also on board, having been picked up at Etah, and on the ship's deck were 10 or 15 Eskimo. For a few days we took part in the hunting, and during that time reached our farthest north, the entrance to Smith Sound, a little above 780 north and something more than one degree south of the ship's farthest north (790 10'); then one glori ous summer day we left the ship and pitched our tents on the rolling shores of Olriks Bay. We knew that th ere reindeer wandered over the moss-covered uplands, and we had corn e to hunt them. We stayed four days at this place, hunting over the country for some 10 miles to the southeast. We got five deer, but we thought there might be better hunting farther up the fiord, so on August 15 we moved camp. Twelve hours later, after a hard fight against wind and tide, we landed beside the red-brown cliffs and black lava masses of Mt Gyrfalco. For eight days we scoured the shore and the mountain plateau above for deer. The country was everywhere open, low ridges and occasional large stones being the only protection afforded us. The stalking was of the most arduous description; when game was seen the hunter must " drop " at once and crawl along over marshy places and sharp stones until near enough to risk a shot. The chances were that in spite of all precautions the deer would note his approach and be off like a flash. Many were the hunts and many the disappoint ments. We soon felt, moreover, that the deer were not nearly as numerous as we had supposed, considering the extensive area over which they wandered: nevertheless, by August 23 nine had been killed, making a total of 14. As the Greenland reindeer makes very good eating, we lived well. On one occasion one of our party while hunting alone discovered a herd of five deer and by skillful ma nceuvering succeeded in killing every one of them. In the intervals between our hunts after larger game we killed birds and small animals. Specimens were obtained of almost every kind of. bird known to frequent those parts of Greenland. Among these were the burgomaster gull, turnstone, black turnstone, parasitic jiger, various shore birds (including snipe), and the hawk-like ger falcon. Eider ducks, both male and female, were seen flying in flocks, and once a flock of geese was discovered sitting on a mud flat. Little auks and guillemots were also plentiful. Arctic hares and rab bits, the latter the smaller of the two and with fur of a bluish tinge often graced our table and were considered by us excellent eating.