A History of Hunting in Tasmania from Colonial Times

“In Tasmania it is surprising to learn that a number of hunt clubs existed in the early days of the settlement – it was a way of life brought to the country with the privileged, wealthy landowners.

Hunting has changed, yet paradoxically it has remained the same in both England and Australia. Formal dress and rules have changed little and are much the same as they were in the sixteenth century.

There are twenty hound pack clubs in Australia. Thirteen of them in Victoria, where they still hunt foxes and follow the early English tradition and customs. There are only two registered hunt clubs remaining in Tasmania, The Midland Hunt Club and Northern Hunt Club.

The key figure in every hunt is the Master/Huntsman. It is the Huntsman who is responsible for housing the hounds, their well-being, their training and hunting. The Huntsman is the only person who carries the hunting horn during the hunt, and he normally has assistants.

A full day of hunting in Tasmania can be up to three hours, after which the Master/Huntsman will ‘blow the hunting horn’ for home. The hounds then lead the field back to camp to enjoy a barbecue, refreshments, and sit to mull over the day’s hunting before packing up and heading home.”

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