Hound Hunting – Victoria
I have been undertaking this form of hunting since the early 1990s and have learnt a lot in that time but like most hunters can always learn to hunt better or smarter.
When getting into hunting with hounds the first thing needed is a willingness to learn, just like every other form of hunting. If you are not willing to sit around the fire and listen to the old blokes and their tales of yesterday then you will miss little titbits that will one day come in handy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to make sure you understand exactly who runs the crew, or where or what is expected of you. There is not much worse than walking down the wrong spur or dropping off the opposite side of a spur to where you are expected to go and having to bash back up through the scrub to where you were supposed to be. Don’t worry though because we have all done it. It’s especially hard to find your way, when you are told to go to where someone shot a deer that was a long time ago and you have never been there before.
Any prospective hound hunter (or stalker for that matter) needs to learn to like the bush and to find their way around the bush and to remember which way is out. There is no shame in calling on the radio and letting the rest of the crew know that you are geographically embarrassed. You will probably get a ribbing around the fire at the end of the day, but that is far better than having a search party out looking for you.
It is amazing what the bush can teach you also, when you sit back and listen to the everyday noises that are there; birds calling, branches falling, a 4WD grinding its way up a steep climb, rifle shots off in the distance, the wind in the trees and a river’s murmuring. The bush can go quiet also and that’s when you need to listen hard for breaking sticks and search the scrub for movement.