The HARE in the heart of the South Island

A South Island European hare (Lepus europaeus) running down the middle of the road in December 2010. What speed? That morning, it must of been going pretty fast. At a guess and as we were on a gravel road about 30kmph.  

The European hare (Lepus europaeus) was first liberated in 1851 in Canterbury to provide sport and also, perhaps, to improve the food supply of early settlers. Hares are now widely distributed throughout the North and South Islands, but are absent from the outlying islands. Native or cultivated grasslands from sea level up to about 6,000 ft are the favoured habitats, although hares are also found on open spaces both in native and in exotic forests. Hares travel greater distances than rabbits and thrive in long grass. Their numbers may have increased since the recent drastic reduction of rabbits. They have some value for sport, particularly for hunt clubs and organised hare drives. Skins and meat are exported to Europe, mainly from the South Island. Hares cause damage to saplings, alpine grasslands, orchards, and gardens, and may compete with sheep for grazing. Poisoning and night-shooting by rabbit boards are the most effective methods of control. 'European Hares', from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966.

Sherwood Downs rabbits - HB & Uncle  Stan H.
Farmers curse the day the early settlers imported the rabbit to provide some local game.

Press, 5 May 1894, Page 6 The Rabbit in the South.
It was prophesied long ago that the rabbit from the South and the silver grey from the North would one day meet in Cathedral square, and concoct plans for the utter discomfiture of the squatter and the farmer.

 http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast


Introduction and protection of game 

Timaru Herald, 21 October 1874, Page 1
[From the Timaru Herald, Oct. 7.] The establishment of a game society in Timaru, is decidedly a step in the right direction. There is nothing which new arrivals in this part of the world from England notice more than the entire absence of wild animals, and the uninteresting character of our rural districts, as compared with country sides at home, is mainly attributable to the same defect. No country in the world, perhaps, of equal size and variety of natural features, has so poor a fauna as New Zealand. It has no indigenous quadruped whatever, with the exception of a not too well authenticated rat, and a few small, arid scarce, though interesting batrachians and the birds, though singular and, essentially characteristic, are by no means numerous, and are rather odd than pleasing.... drive ever farther towards the remoter solitudes, the few wild creatures which nature placed here. We still have ducks and a few wading birds, a bittern and a sort of snipe, curlew and the denizens of sea-washed shallows, but every year's addition to the cultivated area thins their numbers and makes them more shy than it is even their habit to be. The quail, the best game bird we know of native to the soil, which used to swarm on the plains and near the rivers, is almost totally extinct; the silver crane, a really handsome bird, and unique of its species, now is seldom seen, though boys have taken its nest in the middle of what now is Christchurch, little more than twenty years ago. There is really nothing now to claim the attention of the naturalist, or occupy the sportsman, and the people seem likely to lose a national taste, through this deficiency of every means of fostering it. We gladly welcome then, the first practical step towards remedying so great a want, and towards furnishing the district by artificial means, with a charm which nature has denied it. The experience of other places shows that the introduction of European and Australian game into New Zealand never fails... North Canterbury has hares and pheasants in considerable numbers, and partridges seem also to be doing well there, while in many parts of Otago, deer, hares, pheasants and partridges are now fairly established. No one, therefore, need have any misgivings as to the possibility of introducing game into any part of New Zealand, it the work is only carried on in a practical way. The several acclimatisation societies have done a good deal, but we cannot help thinking that a game society, composed principally, or even entirely, as far as concerns its active members, of sportsmen, men who understand and have an interest m game, would succeed better and more quickly, than any ordinarily constituted acclimatisation society.

Press, 21 January 1876, Page 2 Canterbury Acclimatisation Society 12th annual report
The annual general meeting of the above society was held last evening, at the Congregational Schoolroom, the Hon J. T. Peacock president, in the chair. There was only a very small attendance of subscribers. Hares have increased in such numbers that they may be said to be successfully established as game. There are now about 130 rangers, and your Council hope that through their efforts, poaching, and the destruction of the imported birds, will be prevented.

Timaru Herald, 19 November 1875, Page 8
The South Canterbury Acclimatisation Society annual report. Mr Luxmoore occupied the chair. Having failed to secure hares from Australia, Mr F. D. Rich, of Palmerston, has kindly consented to allow leverets to be caught in Bushy Park for the society, during harvest time, when they can be secured in the standing corn as it is cut, and as they are extremely numerous in that part of Otago, the society of that province will, no doubt, sanction the matter.

Timaru Herald, 24 February 1876, Page 3
At a meeting of the South Canterbury Acclimatisation  Society, held in Timaru yesterday, the following members; were present Messrs Archer (in the chair), H. Belfield, A. Perry, S. A. Bristol, W. S. Davidson. The Secretary read a letter from Mr Cunningham Smith, stating that although Mr Bills had used every exertion, and received all possible help from Mr Rich and Mr Young, he had returned from Palmerston to catch hares required by the Society. Only four have been secured after a week's work, and he considers it quite useless to try again. The four that were secured are doing well on the Kingsdown property. The failure is owning to the nature of the country and open fences. A letter was also read from the Canterbury Society, requesting the South Canterbury Society to join in a shipment of salmon ova from California. The following resolutions were then passed "That the amount due to the Canterbury Society on account of the purchase of trout be paid forthwith; also the sum due Mr Bills on account of going to Palmerston to catch hares." That in answer to the request of the Canterbury Society to join them in a shipment of salmon ova from California, this Society regrets that the present state of their funds will not permit them to join in the venture." That sixteen pheasants to arrive from Christchurch per first train on Friday next be distributed as follows Holme station, six hens two cocks; Seadown three hens one cock; Levels station, four hens". That the sum of 30s per head be offered for all hares delivered in Timaru alive and in fit condition for liberation."

Timaru Herald, 30 January 1877, Page 3
Promiscuous acclimatisers should take warning by the fate of Mr F. D. Rich, a large proprietor near Waikouaiti in Otago. This gentleman, who we believe has done as much as anybody in the way of acclimatisation, was recently fined it a nominal amount for shooting hares on his own land. He freely admitted the "offence," being apparently desirous of having the matter brought prominently forward. He further stated that the hares on his estate quite equalled in voracity a flock of long-woolled sheep, and that there were sometimes at least a thousand of them at once in a single paddock. His evidence was corroborated by other witnesses, and the Bench, though obliged to inflict a penalty for the sake of the law, appeared to sympathise with the delinquent. It seems that when the Noxious Animals Prevention Bill was before the House last session, Major Atkinson promised that the open season for hares should be extended, the Governor having power to do so. Nothing, however, has been done in the matter, and the consequence is that not only Mr Rich's grass and plantations have been devoured, but also the law has been broken, and to some extent brought into contempt.

In New Zealand with the arrival of Europeans, the whole face of the fauna was changed. Sheep, cattle, horses, and other domestic animals were introduced, some for utility, some for pleasure, such as song birds, and some for sport, such as deer, trout, pheasants, and quail. In the work of acclimatization several great and irretrievable blunders were made. The worst of these was the introduction of rabbits, stoats, and weasels. Rabbits which were formerly imported are now a complete pest and to mitigate this pest a fresh one was introduced. In 1887 Mr Rich of Bushy Park ordered a shipment of stoats and weasels to control the rabbit population. Ferrets were first introduced to NZ in 1879 to help with rabbit control. Thousands were bred locally and released up until 1912. Ferrets have a litter of 4 to 8 in the spring. They are carnivores. Rabbits were actively hunted by ferrets and cats, appeared to provide a buffer to predation on birds nesting in riverbeds. Poisoning of rabbits lead to an increase pressure on these helpless nesting birds by these carnivorous mammals. Predation pressure on birds was lowest during the recovery of rabbit populations.  The weasel families do prey on young hares.

The evil that men do lives after them;
the good is oft interred with their bones.

William Shakespeare

Timaru Herald, 14 December 1877, Page 2
We have not heard very much of the South Canterbury Acclimatisation Society lately, and we are not aware whether they are still making efforts to introduce desirable birds and beasts into the district. The irruption which has just taken place of parroquets and sparrows, and which threatens a total destruction of fruit, and a still more serious consumption of grain, suggests the enquiry whether some other kind of birds might not be obtained which would kill, scare, or otherwise hustle these diminutive peats. There is a bird very common in Wellington, now called the Indian minah. It has somewhat the shape and appearance of a starling, but is much larger, and of quite a different color. It is a bright brown bird with a white bar across the wings, a curved bill, and yellow legs. In all respects it is a welcome guest in such a country as this. It is very pretty, especially in its soft, noiseless flight is what Mr Hursthouse, Member for  Motueka, the larkophobist, calls "insectdevourus" and has a particularly sweet and comical note. The minahs are now to be seen fluttering about every garden in Wellington, or heard chuckling and cooing in every chimney-stack yet they are all the progeny of two brace of birds which Mr Travers, who is an enthusiastic ornithologist, got down from Melbourne some three or four years ago. We have no doubt, therefore, that our Acclimatisation Society could easily obtain a supply of them, or that, if judiciously distributed at the outset - they would soon stock the whole district. We believe there are already a few minahs in South Canterbury for instance at Blue Cliffs and Three Springs but they do not appear to have been introduced in sufficient number to spread over any wider area. The minah is said to include amongst its many amiable qualities, a degree of pugnacity that is almost unparalleled; and it is from its habit of disputing every inch of ground or air with all other birds, that we have been led to hope it might prove an efficacious foe to parroquets and sparrows. We are glad to hear of pheasants and partridges increasing in number m this neighborhood, and also of their being met with in localities where they can only have arrived by natural dispersion. We hardly know what to say about hares. There are people who declare that hares are a greater nuisance than rabbits, because in the last extremity rabbits can be run to earth and dug out, while hares, in a wire-fence country, cannot be caught at all. Certainly puss has already proved anything but an unmixed blessing in the North. In the suburbs of Christchurch, gardeners and tree-planters are complaining bitterly of the devastations which these wily rodents have effected. A few days ago we heard a man who used to have a splendid garden declare that it was useless to take any further pains with it. If he sowed seeds the birds picked them out the moment his back was turned. If he put in plants the hares ate them to the ground before morning. If he planted trees, they were barked in no time. The hares will not touch gums, he said, or wattles, or poplars, or common things like that but they have a special penchant for rare conifers, weeping elms, and choice trees of every kind.  If he put in a number of miscellaneous plants, all the cheap, inferior ones were a spared but any nice fancy ones that cost a pound or two each, were sure to be religiously stripped and nibbled by the hare. We thought these particular hares might be taken with a spoonful of currant jelly, not to say a grain of salt but we suppressed our incredulity, for the poor fellow evidently felt what he said. If hares are so destructive as all this, and we fear their character is irredeemable, is it judicious to introduce them into new districts or encourage them where they have already been established? We should like to see our old friends the rooks down here. They are quite at home now both at Auckland and at Christchurch, where flocks of them may be seen sailing home towards evening, cawing to each other in their own solemn, conversational way. Surely there would be little difficulty in arranging among the Societies for an interchange of different sorts of birds. We believe parroquets are very rare in Auckland. How would it do for us to swop a few millions of them for a score or two of rooks?

Auckland Star, 7 February 1931, Page 7
WHY THE HARE IS "PUSS." In accounting for the application of "Puss" to the hare, we have to go back to a time shortly after the Norman Conquest, when the upper classes in England spoke a mixture of Latin and Norman French. The hare was known by its Latin name "
lepus" to those who spoke pure Latin. This was easily corrupted into "le puss" by those who spoke a jumble of both languages, and the French article was soon dropped, leaving the word "Puss" as a popular name for the hare.

Timaru Herald, 11 June 1878, Page 4
South
Canterbury Acclimatisation Society
A meeting of this Society was held at the Ship Hotel, on Saturday, when the following members were present Messrs P. B, Luxmore (in the chair), F. Archer, Belfield, J. Raine, Granger, A. Turnbull, Bristol, and Davidson. The Secretary (Mr Davidson) laid a financial statement of the affairs of the Society before the meeting, and at the same time tendered his resignation as Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, owing to his intended departure from the colony. The following report on the affairs of the Society during the last two years was adopted by the meeting "The South Canterbury Acclimatisation Society's report for the year 1876 and 1877, up till May, 1878 "In presenting this report the committee have the satisfaction to inform the members of the Society that, notwithstanding the great difficulty experienced in the purchase of game, they have been successful in introducing a considerable number of animals during the last two years, and under the present liberal terms offered by the Society to members who introduce game by their own exertions, they hope that in future still greater numbers will be brought into the district. It was owing to this difficulty in securing animals that the Committee passed a resolution offering to refund any subscribers of £2 or upwards, to the extent of 20s each for 100 hen pheasants 10s each for 25 cock pheasants; £2 per pair for 60 hares 30s per 100 for 3000 trout, and 4s per pair for 200 Californian quail, to be liberated wherever the person introducing them may choose, subject to the locality being approved of by the Committee. The following is the list of animals liberated 630 Californian quail, 75 hares, 320 English larks; 113 pheasants; 14,000 trout 5000 Californian salmon. "The Californian quail have thriven well in most instances, and from the large number introduced they should soon stock the district, and more especially as they increase very rapidly owing to the number of eggs hatched at one sitting. One bird was unfortunately decapitated on her nest when a field of grass was being mown, and it was then discovered that she had no fewer than 25 eggs under her. Although the quail multiply very fast they have many enemies to keep down their numbers, as they are not by any means shy birds, and are always liable to be preyed upon by wild cats and other vermin. The number of hares introduced is sufficient in itself to stock the greater portion of South Canterbury, and they have increased very rapidly wherever they have been liberated. It is anticipated that in the vicinity of Timaru, and at Waimate, and Geraldine, coursing to a limited extent will be possible in another year, and the Society is at present receiving a further supply of hares from the Christchurch, Society in order to hasten this object. The English larks are now common in almost every portion of the district that it is scarcely worthwhile mentioning the success attending their introduction. The number of pheasants liberated, although considerable, is not so large as the Committee would have wished, but they have found it impossible to procure more. Hitherto they have not increased rapidly in many portions of the district, chiefly it is imagined, owing to the want of suitable shelter; but now that so many young plantations are springing up, they are apparently thriving better, and are seen frequently.


Timaru Herald, 12 July 1881, Page 2
Increase of Hares. — Barring sparrows, at which farmers grumble and institute, Sparrow Clubs to destroy, there is hardly a living creature introduced by Acclimatisation Societies which has done more credit to its introducers than the hare. A very few years since a couple or so of hares were regarded as real treasures, and were frequently carefully nursed prior to their being turned out to shift for themselves. Throughout South Canterbury they are now to be found in large numbers, and in many localities they are a perfect nuisance, from their property to bark young trees in plantations. Shooting, coursing, hunting, and, we are sorry to say, wholesale poaching are quite unable to keep them down ; but still we should have thought that at all events on Messrs Walker and Clogstoun's property at Mount Four Peaks the destruction last year of several hundreds would have made them somewhat scarce this season. But this it by no means the case, for since the opening of the season, the 1st of May, to date there have been shot there no less than 770.

Timaru Herald, 6 December 1881, Page 3 MR WAKEFIELD AT RANGITATA. Political address.
Mr Wakefield addressed the Geraldine electors of the Rangitata district at the North Orari schoolhouse on Saturday evening. There was an attendance of about forty, Mr Badham being voted to the chair. Mr Wakefield, who was well received, spoke for about an hour on all the leading political topics, which he explained to his hearers in such a manner as to gain a most attentive and favorable hearing throughout. At the close of his address he made some remarks about his own claims to reelection, urging the electors to make a good use of their political privileges and send the fittest men to Parliament, choosing them on public grounds alone. Mr Wakefield then sat down amid loud cheering. Several electors put questions to the candidate, which he answered apparently to their entire satisfaction. An amusing incident occurred at this stage. Mr Gamack took the chair temporarily to enable Mr Badham to ask Mr Wakefield some questions, and a somewhat animated rally of opinions followed. At length Mr Badham said there was a grievance m that district against Mr Wakefield, which he would like to have cleared up. It was said that Mr Wakefield had introduced hares into the colony. Was that correct or not ? At this moment a hare which had previously been concealed leapt across the room, close to Mr Wakefield. Several dogs which had accompanied their masters to the meeting, immediately gave chase. The hare ran under the benches, the dogs jumped over them, the meeting cheered, the candidate entered warmly into the sport, and for some minutes there was a very exciting coursing match. At length Mr Badham caught the hare and gave it to Mr Wakefield, who after examining it with some care, put it out of the room. He said it was a very practical illustration of a question. (Cheers and laughter.) He had not introduced hares, but as soon as he found they were becoming a nuisance, he had got the protection removed from them so that anyone might kill them all the year round without a license.

Timaru Herald, 7 August 1893, Page 2
The steward of the Timaru hospital desires to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of six hares for patients use from Mr J. T. Smith.

Otago Daily Times 27 November 1893, Page 2
The South Canterbury Refrigerating Company's annual report states that there were put through the works during the year 98,426 sheep, 48,375 lambs, and 11,000 hares.

Marlborough Express, 17 August 1893, Page 3
The s.s. Pakeha took away from Timaru the other day 4,400 frozen hares as part of her loading for the refrigerating works.

Otago Daily Times 29 July 1895, Page 4
Hares reaching Timaru from Fairlie are found to be naturally frozen hard all through. On Monday last Mr A. Hayes sent 100 hares to Waimate from his Normanvale estate, Hakateramea, for distribution, chiefly among charitable institutions. The consignment weighed 6½cwt.

Timaru Herald, 15 April 1898, Page 2
Several parties who visited the Mackenzie Country at Easter time report ducks as scarce and hares very wild. Some rough weather is needed before any heavy bags will be obtained.

Poverty Bay Herald, 22 August 1904, Page 3
A shooting party of twenty-one in two and a half days bagged 408 hares on the properties of Mr George Hartness, Rakaia, and Mr Holland, on the opposite side of the river. An earlier party of three secured 150 hares. On the first day the snow was six inches deep, and on the following day about three inches. The carcases were sent to the Fairfield freezing work. Timaru Herald.

Ashburton Guardian, 16 May 1905, Page 2
A party of ten devotees of the shot gun, hailing from Temuka, had some very good sport at Rangitata, recently, bagging between them no fewer than 106 hares. Very few rabbits were seen.

A patriotic hare drive.

Ashburton Guardian, 18 June 1910, Page 2
A number of Ashburton sportsmen intend making a crusade against hares at an early date in the upper districts. A hare drive, carried out on systematic lines, can be made a profitable pastime, as several thousand of hares are being enquired for to fill an export order.

Press, 14 November 1914, Page 11
Timaru, November 18. At Fairview, a few miles out of Timaru, a shooting party was organised this week to get some hares and rabbits to send to the Home Country and Belgium. There were eight guns, and for the day's shooting the party secured 500 hares and rabbits. These have been frozen, and the shipping companies will carry them Home, free of charge. [What about the shotgun pellets? How did they get them out?]

Press, 22 July 1916, Page 8
The scheme organised by Mr Duncan Rutherford for sending hares to the Red Cross hospitals in England which are dealing with our wounded boys, has been most successful this season owing to the keenness displayed by the different districts. At the present time there are in the various freezing works 10,821 hares and 592 rabbits, as follows :—Pukeuri. 674 hares Fairfield, 1963 hares; Islington, 1542 hares, 132 rabbits: Belfast. 1842 hares, 320 rabbits Pareroa. 1927 hares, 6 rabbits; Smithfield, 2921 hares, 134 rabbits. Two hundred and fifty-two crates have already been shipped to England.

Thames Star, 15 July 1916, Page 4
By the steamer Kia Ora, which left Timaru on Thursday week, the local committee of the Red Cross Society consigned 1200 hares to the hospitals in England for the use of our invalid soldiers.

Ashburton Guardian, 8 June 1918, Page 8
Preparations are being made to hold a patriotic hare-drive at Rakaia towards the end of the month. Letters have recently been received stating how much the hares and rabbits sent Home to the New Zealand hospitals are appreciated. The game are said to be fairly plentiful in the district at moment, especially near the Ashburton Road.

Ashburton Guardian, 28 June 1916, Page 4
A very successful hare drive was held at Rangitata Island on Thursday last, under the direction of Mr Hearn and Mr Joseph Buck. The party this time went up the river instead of, like the former one, down the river, and they had phenomenal sport, securing 350 hares for the day. The hares were railed to Pareora freezing works on Saturday, and will be sent to hospitals at Home for wounded soldiers.  

A skirmish among tussocks - August 1911

A rabbit hole, Nov. 2011, Benmore Pen. Track. 
Hares don't live in holes, they are often found under a tussock. Sherwood Downs from "Glensheil" at 1850' asl, with tussock in the foreground and The Brothers in the background, this is hare country. In the early days men with dog packs and ferrets went out until rabbits boards took over.  In the 1950s-1960s when the rabbit boards were all the go there would be hare drives on Sherwood. Starting from Plantation Rd or the Clayton Rd a couple hundred or so people in a line and all perhaps 10 yards apart and drive the hares and rabbits up the river bed and shoot them as they were spotted. They were always quite good fun, particularly the social hour after. Other hare drives were 10 to 50 people. 

Hare drives were very common during the 1950s as a means for raising funds for various institutions. Rules for hare drives:
They were held during the day time and never at night.
Make sure with the farmer that there was no stock, cattle, sheep or deer in the paddocks.
You must all walk in a designated line and face one particular direction.
Must fire to your front.
Must be over sixteen to walk with a gun
No Sunday hare drives.

As kids we used to go to the Tripp school with our mothers and wait for the men to come back from the annual hare drive. The women cooked lunch. I remember saveloys! The men laid the dead hares on a trailer and counted them. Proceeds went to the school committee to run the school. They were good days. M.T.

I well remember hare drives - hundreds of hares on the ground and also lines of trestle tables out by the garage and laden with food. I gather that the food was the only part that women were allowed to be involved in. A.B. Ashwick Flat

Most within the district (Sherwood Downs) participated in the hare drives on many occasions except HB.

Only went on one hare drive and found it an interesting event and thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part. Vividly envisage seeing a mass of hares as they were herded into an angle of fences. Haldon Stat., 1960s

Spotlighting: Spotlights were ran off the vehicle's battery. The drives in 1974 were held to raise for funds for the alternations of the Sherwood hall. These hare drives were held on hard frosty nights or after snow falls, as the hares would come down from the tussock to the winter feed paddocks of swedes, etc. Groups of men would go in 4 wheel drive vehicles, some to Sherwood range area, others to the Clayton Settlement, Clayton, Opuha Gorge road area to shoot. CR would go out with John, Peter, JL. C would stand in the back of the vehicle, lean on the cab, holding the spot light and directing it onto a hare, who ever picked up the dead hares delighted in throwing them around her legs. Sometimes we would go back to ML or to CR house, for supper, then off again until 2 am to 3am; next morning all the nights shoot would be taken to the hall grounds, counted a sent to be skinned and processed. Over $6,000 was raised from hare drives on Sherwood  in 1970s.

Yes, we do have hares in small numbers, seen occasionally. Same with rabbits, they are about but in small numbers, their scratches seen more than them. I thing the virus has been through the district again this year so that helps keep numbers down. Never been on a hare drive though do go spotlighting for rabbits now and then on the 4 wheeler. I have a great LCD torch spotlight mounted on the shotgun as well as as a handheld one.  Lyalldale, Aug. 2012.  

Hare drives? no never involved but know what they are my experience was with Rabbits trapping and shooting. Got 5 shillings for winter buck skin on one occasion but generally about 1 to 2 shillings. Don Willets from "Dornie" near Burkes Pass and I spent quite a lot of time trapping and shooting on his Dad's property (Johnny Willetts) they were in huge quantities before the killer boards were established. John S. Fairlie 1930s. Jan. 2014.

I did not own a shot gun I never shot on one. I was probably a bit young also they were the domain of the adult farmers as I recall for a bit of sport and to control the numbers of rabbits and hares. Ed. F. Jan. 2014.

Hares introduced by M. Studholme to the Waimate district in 1865.

Michael Studholme went home to England in 1863; during his absence the John Studholme's lived at Waimate. The names of Knottingly Park at Waimate and the horse Knottingly, also Mount Ellen, are reminiscent of their stay, Knottingly being the name of Mrs John Studholme's old home in Yorkshire, and Ellen her Christian name. Returning early in 1865, Michael Studholme brought out the first hares to South Canterbury, John Molloy, a fellow passenger, looking after them. Most of them died in the hot weather, but enough survived to stock the country. For some time they were kept in an enclosure at Waimate. The Early Canterbury Runs: pg188 by L.G. Acland, 1946.

Lyttelton Times
, 24 January 1865, Page 4
Lyttelton. Arrived Jan. 21 -
Glenmark, ship, 953 tons, Thomson, from London. passengers - Mr and Mrs Le Cren and family and servant, Mr and Mrs Studholme, family and servant, Mr and Mrs Lee, Miss A. Hewlings, Miss Ross, Miss Barker, Mrs Carmichael, Mrs Thomson and two children, Capt. Carr. R.E., Messrs H. Brouch, C. Graham, H. Graham, E. Carr, J.L. Carr, H. Cole, Dr. Cooksedge, surgeon superintendant. Mr Studholme imports nine hares in excellent condition.

John Molloy, 32, from Kings, laborer, arrived in the Glenmark in 21 Jan. 1865. He was born in King's County, Ireland in 1832. he was brought up to an outdoor life and farmed on his own account till leaving for Lyttelton. After his arrival he was employed for some time at the Waimate Station by the Messrs Studholme. Afterwards he carried on a butchery business and acquired 168 acres of freehold land at Junction Road. he planted a plantation of ornamental trees grown from seed, planted by his own hand. He died 12 May 1902 at age and is buried in Waimate, RC.

Looks like John Studholme came up to Christchurch to await the arrival of Michael and catch the next ship to the Old Country.
Lyttelton Times
, 14 January 1865, Page 4 Lyttelton. Arrived. Jan. 13.— Maid of the Yarra, s.s., 97 tons, Elmaley, from Timaru. Passengers — Mr. and Mrs. Studholme, Mrs Points, Mr. Stanley, Mrs. Louder and children, Mr. E. W. Collier.

Press, 14 & 16 March 1865, Page 2 Lyttelton
Cleared:
British Empire, ship, 2679 tons, T. B. Callenan, for London. Passengers— cabin: Mrs. Emma Sheath, Miss Lucy Sheath, Mr. John Studholme and Mrs. Studholme, two children and servant. Second cabin: Mr. Benjamin Gibson and Mrs. Gibson, Mr. W.A. and Mrs. Wood and family (Master Wm. Wood, Miss Mary Wood, Master Thomas Wood, Miss Elizabeth Wood), Mrs. Cramb and two children, Messrs. Joseph Harrison and James Kidd, Mr. Thomas  and Mrs. Sarah Faiers.

Timaru Herald, 25 March 1865, Page 4 Waimate Road Board
 A meeting of the above Board was held on the 17th inst. The following members were present Messrs. Buchanan, Manchester and Rodgers. Mr. Buchanan was elected Chairman pro. term. The Clerk having informed the Board that Mr. John Studholme had resigned, it was resolved that Mr. Michael Studholme be elected a member of the Board, and that he should be Chairman.  
 

Warnings

Timaru Herald, 11 March 1884, Page 3 S.C. Acclimatisation Society and Hares.
To the Editor of the Timaru Herald. Sir, I observe in your paper of the 8th that it was proposed on Thursday last by Mr Bristol, and seconded by Mr Ross and carried "That the Governor by respectfully requested to re-establish a close season for hares, from the 1st September next to 31st March, this step being deemed necessary owing to the wholesale destruction of winged game during the close season under the pretence of shooting hares." If the gentlemen comprising the Committee like to recommend the Governor to keep it a close season for the shooting of hares in and around Timaru, say for a radius of ten miles, so that they can enjoy a day's hunting from their offices, well and good, but to declare a close season over the whole of South Canterbury will be doing a great injustice to all settlers. Surely these gentlemen cannot have travelled much in the outlying districts, or they would hear from the small settlers that it is useless to plant apple or other trees in their gardens, as they are continually eaten off at night by the hares. If it were not for the constant killing in every way we can think of now, these animals would soon be worse than rabbits are in Southland. They do not breed here as they do in England, where they hare only two at a time. I know of one instance where thirteen hares were counted from one birth, and often eight and nine in other cases. I am told that one gentleman had about 500 hares killed in his paddocks last year. Another has had nine snared of a night in his fences. During my shearing in December last I lent of an evening, and on wet days, three or four gun to my shearers, and they killed about 100 during the time. You can go into any of my paddocks and often count 20 hares. As to growing turnips, I fear if hares are allowed to increase much more we shall have to give it up, as in the winter I have observed not only my paddocks, but my neighbors', quite white of in, morning with turnips that had been bitten, and any practical farmer knows that turnips so injured get frost-bitten and decay off at once. Will these gentlemen from Timaru say then we must suffer all this, and if we kill a hare from 1st September to March 31st and are convicted of the same, we render ourselves liable to a fine of say £5, or go to prison for a month. The effect will be that Magistrates will refuse to sit on the Bench, and as regards myself, sooner than be obliged to fine a man for killing a hare I would at once resign my J.P.-ship. May I ask the Committee if they have thought what the result will be to all the nurserymen in Timaru and Temuka? It will be utter ruin. They may as well burn their apple trees and other produce, as no farmer will buy it, knowing they are not allowed to destroy the animals that are eating up the product of the land. I am, &c., C. G. Tripp, Orari Gorge, 10th March.

Timaru Herald, 7 May 1883, Page 2 The Rabbit Pest - South Canterbury.
To the Editor of the Timaru Herald. Since I last wrote to you on this subject the Government have introduced a new and more stringent Act, obliging all persons who have rabbits on their properties to destroy them. The country is beginning to awaken at last to the danger we are all in, and I hear that all the stations between Burkes Pass and the Waitaki are employing men to keep them down. It was reported to the Government that 40,000 were killed last year in South Canterbury yet I was told there were no rabbits in the country, for in riding about you see none. Friends of mine there say they think nothing now of this rabbit pest as they find the only safe cure for keeping your country free from them is to erect wire netting, three feet high, not only round your property but subdivide it as well. Truly the cost is about sixty pounds a mile, if you have a fence already erected to which this netting can be attached. ..With one man and a pack of dogs the owner says he can now thoroughly eradicate the rabbits. ...
    I have now three guns regularly employed with about twelve dogs; some weeks I kill 45 rabbits, other weeks 16 and 20. I am now carting up the wire netting, and hope in time to enclose and subdivide the run. Without I do so, the rabbits will get the better of me. I can clearly see the rabbits are coming to my place from my neighbors, who will persist in saying they have none, became they don't see them in riding over their properties. Anyone coming to my place would say I have no rabbits. You might ride for weeks and not see the sign of any, but if you get a good man with a lot of rabbit dogs, you will soon find them. They are scattered everywhere, you find one here and one there, and as a rule they don't burrow, but run up old water courses where dogs can't follow them, and it is only early and late you have a chance of finding them. I hear a considerable number have been killed about the Rangitata Island and river-bed lately we were told a short time since there were none there. One person told me at his place they killed 40 in one day. I am, &c., C. G. Tripp. Orari Gorge, 4th May, 1883.

Timaru Herald, 1 May 1890, Page 4
South Canterbury Rabbit Fence
To the Editor of the Timaru Herald. Sir, — Being one of the parties who spoke to the members of the Mackenzie County Council about the state of the rabbit fence, on the part I had inspected, namely, between Tekapo and Pukaki, and being up with two of our worthy ministers at Pukaki I took them along part of the fence near Pukaki, and one of them sagely remarked the Southlands rabbits, he thought, must be the size of the wild pigs of the district not to go under it, as you could lift a yard by just putting your foot under. At this time, Inspector Foster being in the district on his way to Pukaki, another interested party and myself left a letter at Pukaki for him, which he received, but did not take the trouble to go and inspect the fence for himself. Now this fence having been passed by, I suppose, Inspector Thomson, and paid for, I think it time we brought the matter before the members of our council, who are all largely interested in both the rabbits and the fence. Can Inspector Foster inform me the age of the caretaker between Tekapo and Pukaki, and the distance and how often he goes along the fence, and also if there are not rabbit burrows both sides of the fence? I have written to the Mackenzie County chairman, informing him that I cannot attend next meeting of the council on the 5th inst., but will attend the following one, or a special one to discuss the matter, and give a true statement of the state I found the fence in on the part I was along. I am, &c, J.S. RUTHERFORD. Opawa Station, 28th April, 1890. 

Rabbits and hares not respect boundary fences. 


Don't want to see the hill move with rabbits and hares.

Hunting or coursing as it was once known - the open spaces were ideal for the sport. Dogs were paired off and put in the charge of a 'slipper' who released them when a hare was sighted after being flushed by the line of farmers walking across the paddock. At these meetings the judge gave points to the dog with speed, ability to turn the hare, to trip it over and to kill it.

Timaru Herald, 15 July 1881, Page 3
Canterbury Coursing Club. Christchurch, July 14. There was some grand coursing to-day for the Canterbury Cup and Purse. Both hares and spectators were plentiful. Twenty-four courses were got off, most of them being severe. The weather was lovely.

Timaru Herald, 9 August 1884, Page 2
South Canterbury Coursing club. Judge, Mr W. Hay; Slipper, Mr A. Wyllie; Flag Steward, Mr Robert Stewart; Slip Steward, Mr B. E. Hibbard; Field Steward, Messrs Macpherson, Ross, Lawrie, Jones and Wederell. The South Canterbury Courting Club's, final meeting for the season, commenced at St. Andrews on Thursday, was continued yesterday. There was again a good attendance of coursing men, and the weather being delightful and the sport extremely good, they spent a most pleasant day. It was, in fact, one of the best day's coursing ever had hares were plentiful and strong, the officers, especially those whose duties are of prime importance, the Judge and Slipper, played their part efficiently, and the greatest good feeling prevailed from first to last. At the conclusion of the first day, the record showed the second round of the Cup uncompleted, and the first round of the St. Leger completed and yesterday the former was first taken up, and the round being completed the stakes were as usual taken alternately. A start was made about 10 o'clock in a large paddock on the Otaio Flat, just behind St. Andrews. The first in the slips were Bashful Maid and Secret, who had ran an undecided the last thing the previous evening. Secret led up from a long slip, and kept possession until the hare got into shelter in the riverbed. Sea Foam ran a bye, and this concluded the second round for the Cup...

Pukeko or Swamp hen, Trentham Rd, Ashwick Flat. Nov. 2011 They are still around the district.  Riddle's, wallaby, Geraldine- Fairlie Rd. Nov. 2011

The Hunts

Timaru Herald, 18 July 1885, Page 3
Last Tuesday and Wednesday will long be remembered in connection with the annals of hunting in South Canterbury, and I might with truth say of the whole of New Zealand. In accordance with arrangements made at the kind invitation of Mr Elworthy, the Waimate County harriers and the South Canterbury harriers were to meet at Mr Elworthy's residence at Pareora; the former pack on Tuesday, and the latter on Wednesday. A great many of the regular followers of both hunts, together with their hunters, put up at the Pareora residence, so that they would be fit and fresh for the two days' sport. About ninety, I believe, wore entertained by Mr and Mrs Elworthy in the most cordial and genial manner, and enjoyed all the good cheer and festivities that, are be characteristic of an English country house of the good old sort about Christmas time in England. But to hark to the really brilliant sport that was shown by the two packs. The Waimate hounds met on Tuesday, and punctually to time Mr Armitage, the Master, trotted off towards the Limestone Hut, and threw of in the lower Motukiki creek. The pack spread out immediately to the Master's cheerful “yoick in there” and soon proclaimed that a hare was on foot. Getting quickly together they drove her in short ringing runs, hunting carefully and well, but the scent being very catchy they could not force her away. Leaving this ringing hare, the Master took the pack higher up the creek bed, and tried for another this time with hotter luck, hitting of a good straight-backed one. The scent by now having improved, everyone made up their mind they were in for a good thing and they wore not disappointed. Away the pack streamed led by that first-rate bitch "Bounty," over two large paddocks, over the downs and straight across to the limestone swamp, across the swamp, swinging to the right, as hard as the hounds could race. They recrossed the swamp about half a mile higher up, into another large paddock, known on the estate as No. 6 paddock, then across a beautiful stretch of downs into the higher Motukiki creek bed. The hare, now hard pressed, could not stand up much longer, though she must have been a wonderfully game one, ran into the river-bed, and was rolled over in the upon, after a 30 minutes run with hardly a check. The pace was very fast, and over grass that could not be beaten in Leicestershire, and quite enough fencing for anyone but a real glutton. Horses and hounds having had about enough of it, the Master decided to jog back to the station after having added one more brilliant run to the record for the season. A large number of guests attended the ball in the evening at Pareora House, and the run was eagerly discussed and prophecies indulged in as to what sort of sport there would be on the morrow with the South Canterbury Harriers. The meet of this pack, originally advertised for 10.30 a.m., was put off till noon, giving more time for horses that had been hunted the day before to rest. But before 12, however, sport was indulged in. A match over five flights of hurdles, distance about a mile and a quarter, was run off. between two distinguished sportsmen, one having lately arrived from the Old Country. At 12 punctually the hounds came up with Watson, the huntsman, in charge, who everyone was delighted to see in the pigskin again, after having been laid up through an accident for some time past. The master, Mr John Rutherford, trotted the hounds away up Gordon Valley, followed by a field of about eighty, among whom were many ladies, and the first flight men of both hunts The hounds were thrown off about three miles up the valley, and immediately found. After a short run the hare crossed the creek, and ran up over a steep facing on to the limestone downs, only the two masters and the whip following. After a short spin she was run into. Another hare was found in the same paddock as the first, and hares being very plentiful changes were often rung. As the hounds could not force one away, the master gave orders to try the next paddock higher up, where a good 'un was found, and after running a ring left the paddocks we had been in and crossed down the hill over Gibson's farm into the road. She went along the road some distance, Valour running strongly about fifty yards m front of the rest of the pack crossed into Anderson's farm on the other side of the road, the pack being led by Belivere and Liberty, and, warming to their work, the pace became very fast. Bending slightly to the left over several farms to Mr Hill's farm, across this to the Otaio Road all went, this point being about seven miles, and fairly straight from the find then through a few paddocks, swinging back twice over the Otaio road, then bonding to the left towards Mr Elworthy's homestead, and across to the Pareora river. The pace now became very hot, the hounds fairly racing, when they unfortunately changed hares, and this grand run had not the finish of a kill. Time from the find to when they changed hares one hour and a quarter quite one of the best runs ever seen m this district. Horses and hounds being quite beat, they were taken home, and thus ended two grand days' sport. Both packs were m perfect condition, and the fact of having shown such good sport speaks volumes for the way in which they must be looked after, and for the thorough knowledge of their work that the Masters of the two packs must have.

Harriers - a kind of small hound for hunting hares
Tally-ho-The hunt is on.

Timaru Herald, 11 May 1876, Page 3
"It was a great pleasure to see the Canterbury hounds here [Christchurch based], and many an old cross-country rider felt a peculiar indescribable crumply feeling at the back of the neck, and an all but irrepressible inclination to yell out, when he saw the little dogs trotting along. They are a rummy pack, but still they are ghounds. there is one old dog among 'em, a real good harrier with almost all the points of the breed; but we should not like to risk our reputation on the statement that there is another true harrier in the lot. The rest look like dwindled fox-hounds, or drafts from drafts of a full-sized pack. They are probably none the worse bred for being small; but at the best they are well-breed fox-hounds, not harriers. Two of them are very peculiar hounds; and we were not in the least surprised to hear a yokel, leaning over the half-door of the loose-box at Martelli's, say: "My word, Bill, them two's fine cattle dogs, them is!" On enquiry we found that the chawbacon's favorite couple were the best-bred dogs in the pack; but they were not English harriers. Never mind, - harriers; beagles, or fox hounds, they are welcome; and we hop the hunt on Friday will be only the precursor of many another in the district. We regret to hear that a solitary proprietor in the neighborhood of the Washdyke, threatens to spoil all the sport on Monday by shutting out the hunt from his paddocks. We cannot believe this story, and we strongly recommend the C.H.H. to make arrangements without reference to imaginary obstacles of this kind. Nothing does land more good at this time of year than being hunted over. It cuts up the surface and admits the sweetening frost to the subsoil see Farmers' Journal, Agricultural News, &c, &c. Really, though, this talk about, farmers obstructing the hunt is tremendous 'bosh, and we hope we shall hear no more of it. [They did have a hunt in May on Mr Nicholson, of the Washdyke]

Timaru Herald, 16 May 1876, Page 3 CANTERBURY HUNT CLUB
A bright, almost cloudless day met the hounds yesterday at the Doncaster Hotel, where they were brought out at about eleven o'clock. By half-past, an assemblage of spectators numbering not less than five hundred had collected. (A train had come out from Timaru just before the start.) Shortly afterwards Hedge drew the dogs away to a paddock in the rear of the hotel, whither be was followed by Mr Cardale and a field of eighty or ninety riders. The hounds soon found the scent and went away at a rattling pace back across the main road in the direction of the Levels. At the first fence one or two riders came to earth somewhat unaccountably, but the great majority cleared it in such a style as to show that neither hunting men nor hunting horses are wanting in the district. Another small fence having been taken very successfully the hounds took a turn towards the Point Road, past a very awkward piece of timber, gorse and wire in equal proportions. Here there was a regular scramble, both horses and men coming to grief in all directions. We believe one horse was so much injured that it could not be got away, and had to be destroyed where he lay. The riders, fortunately, all escaped with no worse hurt than a good shaking. The hunt then crossed the road and the railway and met at close quarters a very ugly bit of timber. The huntsmen and one or two hard riders dealt with it in excellent form, but a great deal of crackling followed, and the rest of the field scrambled through or over the debris as they pleased. This brought them on to the hill side where the spectators were ensconced, and it was a rare sight to see the hunt speed past full split along the edge of the downs, taking a light fence in the corner of the paddock without a mishap. They then took another turn northwards, recrossed the road, and went away over the flat towards Seadown, taking six or seven hedges and ditches, till they reached Mr Nicholson's, where they killed in the open. Lunch was hospitably provided here and after a spell which the effect of the hot weather on the hounds rendered necessary, Fred Hedge and Mr Campbell brought the dogs away to an adjoining paddock, where, they presently renewed their acquaintance with the herring, and went off with music in front of a crowded field. ...At about three o'clock the pink coats were seen moving about amongst a crowd of riders away along the road towards Timaru, and presently the sound of the horn was followed by a cry of "Gone away," and the hounds put heads to ground in a straight line for the spinney in front of the Levels station. A couple of good stiff fences lay between, one of which was a real honest piece of woodwork with gorse on top. The horses took it capitally, however, only two appearing on the flat without their riders....

Timaru Herald, 4 July 1884, Page 3 THE SOUTH CANTERBURY HARRIERS.
These bounds met at Mr Howell's, the Point on Wednesday, and had such an exceptionally good day's sport, that I venture to send you an account of it. Arriving at 11.30 at Mr Howell's, we were heartily welcomed by the owner, and to use his own words, "Here's the farm, gentlemen, hunt as you please on it," and having promised to be at hand about 2 o'clock for luncheon, a start was made. The Master was unable to be present till late in the day, so Theyer, who was mounted on Aaron was in charge, and Davie the whip on Darkness. We had a field of about 28 among whom were six ladies, one of whom on a light chestnut was not to be denied by any fences while the horse's condition lasted. A small plantation near the house was first drawn, and the hounds had hardly spread out, when a cry of  ,"There she goes" brought Theyer and his pack of 12½ couple quickly to the spot. Hitting off the line, we had a pipe opener through a small stubble field, and then over a high gorse fence, which gave those who prefer going straight a chance to leave the crowd to take to the road. Along a field of the Levels and then into their large plantation, through which the hounds soon rattled puss, making the trees echo again with their music. A good double across the road, which took some jumping, brought us to the Levels large river paddock, and here the hounds showed how they could work, as they carried the line down the steep terrace, along the river-bed for a mile, and then swinging to the left, forced her to leave the river again for the high ground. It was a lucky turn for the field, as it was impossible to get a horse down the terrace, and we had to be content with riding over some stiff fences on the top, in one of which a well-known rider came to unmitigated grief, but was soon under way again. Puss worked across the large field again, and across the double into the plantation, of which she travelled at a great pace, till, finding the pack pressing her rather closely, she again crossed the road and made for the river-bed. In the large field between the river and plantation she ran through a large mob of sheep, which unfortunately caused a check. The line was soon hit off again by Belevue, who led the pack again down the terrace and over a stiff fence into the road at the foot of the terrace. Across the river Tengawai, at a steady pace, the hounds gallantly carried the line, and getting on the grass on the opposite side, rattled along at a pace that there was little fear of any of the field overriding them had they been there to do so. The line took across several fields, with barbed wire fences, in which the gates were all bound, and needed-jumping, and a good stiff gorse fence, in which the Whip nearly came to grief, but as fortune favors the brave," Davie as usual got safely out of the wire. The hare was here viewed not a chain in front of the hounds, struggling gamely for a large patch of thistles, and unfortunately reached it ere the hounds caught her, and as eight fresh hares jumped up in front of the pack they reluctantly had to be whipped off. The worthy owner of the field remarked ,"You will get lots of hares here, sir," which Theyer did not seem to appreciate. Those up, to their astonishment, found that they were within about 800 yards of Sutherlands railway station, which will give an idea of the distance travelled. Residents say it was fully twelve miles, and those who really followed thought it fifteen. We weore an hour and a quarter front start to finish, and had as much jumping as any cared for (in fact more than most did) over fences all of which required jumping. Those up at the end were Mr Richardson on Don, Master Orton on a grey, and Theyer on Aaron, end it is needless to say, as the latter was there, to also was his shadow, Davie. The rest of the field came up gradually.   

Timaru Herald, 4 July 1884, Page 3 GERALDINE BEAGLES.
The meet on Tuesday morning last wias hold at Raukapuka. The weather was fine and very pleasant for this time of the year. On account of a hard frost the previous night it was not until about noon when hounds threw off, in a paddock in the direction of Stover Farm, on the Raukapuka Estate. A hare was soon found, and after going at a rattling pace, doubled and made for a plantation near, and there she was lost. Hare being numerous at this point, hounds were whipped off. Immediately after, a cast was made, in another part of the same paddock and puss was driven from cover. Hounds pushed her very closely, and good run followed lasting about fifteen minutes. Unfortunately a check occurred when several hares got up and hounds were whipped is off. Again the paddock was drawn, and very it shortly hounds were away in full cry going at a clinking pace. Circling more than once, and passing through several paddocks, puss ran in the direction of Orari Bridge, and apparently was dead beat. Eventually she made for a plantation, and there she got rid of her pursuers, and hounds were again denied the blood they so well deserved. This run lasted over twenty minutes, and was a very exciting one. Mr Postlethwaite entertained the party at Raukapuka, in his usual hospitable manner, to a capital luncheon.  The hounds throw off on Friday next at Arowhenua.

Timaru Herald, 16 June 1894, Page 3
The Waimate County Harriers met at Mr J H Mitchell's, Kenwyn, Studholme, for a bye day on Thursday last, After some refreshment kindly provided by Mr Mitchell, hounds were taken to the furthest paddock, where a hare was soon found, which after making a big curve came back to where she had started, and escaped. Another hare was started, and led across some very rough obstacles in the shape of big gorse fences with wire to the top. Only one fall, however, happened. After a good run puss was lost in a cold scenting spot. The next hare found was a straight traveller, and after running for a good 30 minutes over very stiff country in the direction of Hannaton, and then bending back was about dead beat and hounds running into her, when she escaped, into cover in the nick of time. Cornelius, the huntsman, rode the black Guy Faux colt, who took things very unkindly, but Fox on the grey was always at hand to take up the running when needed. Mr M. C. Studholme, riding Frontier Lad, acted as master. Amongst the field were Miss Studholme, Messrs E C and Carlisle Studholme, Garland, Mitchell, G Gaitt, J Sullivan, A Manchester, Francis, Hazelton, J Frost, Bruce, Fagan, J Dooley, junr., Paterson, Franklin, and others, while in wheels were Dr and Mrs Barclay, and Dr Stack.

Press, 30 June 1894, Page 10
On Thursday last the Waimate Harriers held a meet at Downlands, and punctually at 1.30 p.m. Cornelius and Fox with the spotted beauties started with a good following of sports from the post office and made for "Downlands," where they were received by Mr Price, who kindly placed the paddocks at the disposal of the Hunt Club and advised where the best sport was likely to be obtained. An excellent run of thirty-five minutes was made, puss being eventually killed in the open. After one or two tries another good hare was started, but it persistently stuck to the plantations, keeping close to the house and stable and continually doubling back, until the hounds had to be called off, so ending one of the best hunts of the season. The going was fearfully heavy, and the gorse hedges tried the mettle of the most experienced fencers. The following are the names of most of those who followed :—Mr E. C. Studholme (Frontier Lad) who acted as Master; Cornelius, huntsman (Waihao); Fox, whip, on Quamby colt; field, Miss Studholme (Bismarck), Messrs Carlisle Studholme (Moses), N. Francis (chestnut), Pagan (Pasha), Garland (bay), Taylor (black cob), Green (a grey), Beckett, Skevington, A. Manchester, H. Reid (Whopper), C. J. Ryan (black Guy Faux colt), J. J. Gillespie (roan), E. T. George (Chase), J. Sullivan, James Robinson, W. and J. Patterson, H. Middleton, J. O'Leary, P. Dooley, R. Rickman, E. O'Brien, A. Hayes. J. Matthews, G. Manchester, J. Fox, A. Gann, Bremner, J. Franklin, Potter, Waldon. On wheels — Mr Douthwaite, Mr Robinson, and Mr Sinclair.

Timaru Herald Friday 7 July 1899 Hunting
The meet yesterday afternoon was at Mr J. Sullivan's Levels Valley, about 40 horsemen. A hare was quickly found - killed in the creek bed. Those at the kill were the Huntsman on Dugald, whip on Pareora, Mr Austin on Tommy, Mr B. Elworthy on Darkie, Mr Maze on dandy, Mr Rollinson on a dark cob, Master Orbell on Polly, Master Barker on Nellie, Mr Kernonhan on Bellbird, Mr M. Lindsay on Sergeant-Major; amongst others following were Messrs Davie on Wire In, Robertson on Kilburnie, and several others. Another hare jumped up and after going across Mr Morrison's back to Mr Sullivan's across the hill, doubled back and was lost. The hounds ran remarkably well, and the country hunted over was good, but the ground was rather soft. The meet next week will be at Mr G. Talbot's Kingsdown, at 1 30 p.m.

Timaru Herald Tuesday 11 July 1899
South Canterbury Hunt Club. The meet of the harriers at Mr Talbot's farm, Kingsdown, is postponed owing to the wet weather. C. Ernest Thomas, Hon. Sec.

Press, 25 April 1910, Page 3
The hunting season of the Waimate Hunt opened on April 22nd at Mr Bowker's farm, Lower Hook. Hares were too numerous in the vicinity of the meet, but on Strathnoon Farm, Hook, a start was made, and after a good run ended with a kill. After a three-mile chase a second hare was killed, Miss Dowthwaite receiving the brush. Mr Whitney, jun. (master), Mr T. Hobbs (huntsman), and Mr W. Wilson (whip), and thirty active members of the Hunt, took part. The hunting party were entertained by Mr and Mrs Bowker.

Timaru Herald, 30 June 1888, Page 4
THE SOUTH CANTERBURY HARRIERS. The Kennels.
On the Claremont road, at the northern end of a large group of gums known by the euphonious name of Glengummell, about half an hour's sharp drive from Timaru, is situated a group of buildings known collectively as The Kennels, in which are located the pack of hounds known all over the district as the South Canterbury Harriers, and also the Master's and whip's hunters. A very cordial welcome was extended to me by the Keeper (Mr J. R. Brown). Luncheon over, I was taken in hand by the Master (Mr J. S. Rutherford), and shown all over the place, which, by the bye, is one of the most picturesque in South Canterbury. The area is 37 acres in extent, and is certainly well laid off. There is plenty of grass land enclosed for the hounds to brave a romp when not out hunting, and also abundance of plantation wherein to enjoy a siesta, when now and then during their holidays, the sun gets uncomfortably warm. As the Master makes for the kennels proper, his presence is greeted with a sudden wild burst of music which to timorous people is rather disconcerting. However, one word from him, and all the hounds retire to their benches. The compartments for the hounds are three in number. The first entered is the feeding house, the yard to which is covered with zinc, so that the hounds can all feed comfortably in any weather. Next the dogs' kennel is entered, on the benches of which ten couple were seen, their various attitudes as they keenly took visitors out of line, being comical in the extreme. Next the kennel in which 11 bitches are located was entered, and as first one and then the other jumped down from the bench, it was easily seen that the Master is a great favourite with the matrons and young ladies there. As it was intended to hunt them that afternoon, 14 couples were selected and taken out into the dogs' yard. While this was being done an opportunity was given to have a look round the kennels. The floors are all concreted, that of the yards sloping down to the gully near by, so that the drainage of the place is complete. On the benches clean straw is always spread, and the ventilation is well looked after. In fact the kennels are as cosy as money can make them. As to the hounds they are exceptionally healthy, and in the very pink of condition. No matter how long the run, or how rough the country, they are always working in that beautiful style which is always so marked a characteristic of the Harrier, The hounds being now together conversation is carried back to their very early days. The gentlemen to become first connected with them were Messrs Hamlyn, Ford, and Hamersley, some of the Harriers being imported from Home, others from Australia. To Mr Thomas Hamlyn, of Kingsborough, belongs the more honour, for the first harriers were selected by his brother, Mr Jos. Hamlyn, a prominent member of the Dartvale hounds in Devonshire, from the Dartvale, Netherton, and Modbury kennels. Of the imported hounds the one claimed as grand-sire to many of the present pack was Monarch. He was badger-pied a real good worker every way sure, with plenty of dash, and fast. Thus chatting a trio were picked out as specimens. Rattler, dam Barmaid, sire Monster, from the Modbury kennels, is most highly prized. Having a black back and tan head he is easily picked out when hunting, for he invariably takes the lead. His quality is unexceptionable, and he goes as true as steel. Tempest, sire Monarch, is another dark one, and she also is very conspicuous in the field. Liberty is another beauty, beloved by all, and this trio, added to Belliver, another of the Monarch litter, make up the nucleus of a pack which are not to be beaten in the Australasian colonies. Mr F. Archer was the first Master, and from there the hounds were taken to Mr Thomas Hamlyn's. After his term as Master, Messrs Godby and J.S. Rutherford had the hounds taken to their present quarters. The stables and kennels were faithfully erected, and as was the case last season, Mr J. S. Rutherford is master this year and is hunting them partly on his own account, and partly on that of the S.C. Hunt Club. As Master he certainly takes the cake the hounds cheerfully obey his every command, and when going by road it is a rare trent to notice how closely they keep to him. They again, when in the hunting field, one short blast of the horn is quite sufficient to make them all hurry back to his hunter's heels. The Kennels are the hounds' winter quarters; they summer at Opawa station, the property of the Master, and after hunting a fortnight in the Albury district, are brought to Glengummell, whose situation is central, and therefore commands the whole of the district. Passing now from hounds to hunters, the courteous Master next leads the way to the stables, in which at present eight horses are located. On entering by the end door, the harness room a very picture of neatness, and good order, is passed through, and then I was first of all introduced to Harkness, who with Maud, was being given a spell. As the natty grooms removed the clothing, a good opportunity was given for a glance over them, and passing on, it was seen that each compartment is to all intents and purposes a loose box, being divided by close-shutting doors. Next Otaio was seen, a perfect giant us to height, and the very bean ideal of a hunter. He was ready saddled, and the loin cloth being thrown aside, he presented a perfect picture his clean strong legs, grand quarters and head, and coat like satin, evoking loud admiration. As for jumping his style is faultless. No matter what it is, naked or barbed wire, post and rails, water, ditches, or worse as big as a house, he never hesitates or makes the slightest error. He carries the Master (whose hunting weight is 17 stone) as elegantly as a lady's palfrey would carry a featherweight, and as he is a most careful horse among the hounds, no wonder his master is proud of him, and firmly refuses all offers to purchase him. Next Opawa is seen, who with Herald, the winner of two heavy-weight contests at Timaru, as occupant of the next box, is also enjoying a well-earned holiday. Like their companions they are all splendid fettle. Pairing round to the back to the next row of boxes, Milford, bred by Mr Gordon Wood, is first patted, and passing through the famous lightweight Glenrowan is greeted. He also is in tip top form, and is a very handsome horse, possessing a splendid constitution, plenty of pace, and takes his fences in a style quite equal to that of Otaio. The inspection was wound up by looking over "Bob's favourite," which one of the party remarked was a comical-looking chap to carry 20 stone to hounds on, there being apparently more of the Clyde than the hunter about him. This completed a short and most pleasant visit to the buildings, and chatting over a cup of delicious tea, I ascertained that the farmers in the district support the sport in the most hearty way. The fields generally are large, especially on the Thursday half holidays, and many of the general public could not do better than take a spin out, for hunting is without exception the most royal sport to be got in South Canterbury.
    In the afternoon of Thursday the South Canterbury Harriers met at Mr John Gibson's, Claremont. The weather, after a morning ushered in by a severe frost, was delightful, and augured well for the sport so dearly loved by all men fond of a good burst across country. The meet was timed for 1 o'clock, and some minutes before that, hour "Olympian" and a friend arrived at The Kennels after a delightful drive along the Wai-iti Claremont road, from which the traveller gazes upon some of of the most beautiful scenery in South Canterbury, or for the matter of fact, in the Middle Island.

Star 13 February 1889, Page 3
The new Master of the South Canterbury Harriers, Mr E. T. Rhodes, has leased the kennels at Glengummel and taken over the charge of the hounds from the late Master, Mr John Rutherford.

Auckland Weekly News 21 June 1928. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19280621-39-3

Shooting Parties

 West Coast Times 2 February 1882, Page 2
Christchurch, January 31. At a meeting of the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society to-night, the Council decided to recommend Government that hares be killed all the year round, in places where necessary, and that the season for killing elsewhere, be extended to five months.  

Press, 24 April 1894, Page 4 Hares in South Canterbury
The wholesale slaughter of hares in South Canterbury last season for export to the old country has had an appreciable effect upon the numbers, and in many parts they are now very scarce. In the Geraldine district and on the Downs around Timaru there are very few to be seen. In the Pareora district, where they are comparatively protected, fair sport may be had though they are in nothing like the numbers seen in former years. It would probably be well for the local acclimatisation societies to consider the question of having a close season for, hares, corresponding with that for native game proclaimed in the South Canterbury district, so as to prevent ruthless destruction.

Press,  19 June 1895, Page 5 Hares. The North Otago Times says :—As an evidence of the number of hares in the Hakateramea Valley, we may mention that from one property alone it is estimated that close on 1000 head have been killed by various shooting parties since, the opening of the shooting season. Hares are not so prolific as the rabbit, but they have increased more rapidly in the Hakateramea Valley, and all over South Canterbury, in fact. There is no close season for hares in South Canterbury.

Timaru Herald, 30 July 1895, Page 3 Pleasant Point
Mr Kerslake gave his annual shooting party last Friday week. Hares were very scarce, only 16 kills being effected, against 50 kills last year. Mr Alfred Kerslake, 15 years old, was top scorer with six hares. The day- was a very enjoyable one, A heavy, day's march caused a grand appetite for the excellent spread at dinner, after which a social evening was spent with drafts and cards and songs.

Timaru Herald, 11 March 1884, Page 2
There is a great difference of opinion, we hear, as to the wisdom of the action of the South Canterbury Acclimatisation Society in applying to the Governor to declare once more a close season for hares. It will be remembered that until 1881 hares were treated as game and were strictly protected for eight months in the year. By that time, however they had become so exceedingly numerous that there appeared to be not the slightest fear of their being exterminated, but a very considerable fear of their growing into a serious nuisance. There was also another reason why it was deemed desirable to remove the protection from hares; at least as far as killing with dogs was concerned. This was that the open season was altogether too short for hunting, particularly for training the young hounds and the hares were so abundant that it was next to impossible to obtain a good run. On the whole, therefore, all arguments seamed to combine in favor of removing hares from the game list in South Canterbury and removed they were accordingly, on the recommendation of the then Member for Geraldine. ...
But admitting that the hares have actually diminished in numbers, we would ask whether that diminution is not to be attributed more to snaring than to shooting or coursing. As a fact, we are inclined to think it is not at all a common practice, though quite lawful, to shoot hares out of season but snaring goes on every night, all the year round, and heaven only knows how many hares are disposed of in that way. The restoration of the close season would not make much difference in this for snaring is a secret business, and very difficult of detection. The weapons are simple and cheap. They are to be got any in hero for nothing. A foot or two of wire and a gorse hedge are all that are necessary to snare more hares than the average pot hunter would shoot in a month. But the Acclimatisation Society say they do not care about saving the hares. What they are anxious for is to save the birds, wild duck and so forth, which are ruthlessly destroyed out of season by men who are ostensibly after hares. It seems rather a roundabout way of doing the thing, and we are not at all sure that it will be effectual. But it may be worth trying, if the farmers do not object to run the risk of a plague of hares. While the Acclimatisation Society were on the subject of protection, we wonder they did not think of that worthy creature, the pukaki [sic]. Not very long ago these beautiful, curious, and delicious birds were extremely numerous, and every effort was made to get rid of them. Now they are becoming quite rare, and at the present rate of destruction, there will be none left in this district in a few years. We commend the "blue kaki," as we once heard an Irish cook call it, to the fostering care of the Society.

Timaru Herald, 29 August 1896, Page 2
Mr W. J. Tonkin, who is well known as a buyer of hares in this district for export, informs us that hares have been very plentiful this season, he having purchased several hundred more than in any past season— about 10,000 in all. Mr Tonkin informs us that he has purchased 30,000 during the past four years. This season he has also been buying rabbits at Oamaru and Mataura for shipping, with satisfactory results, having purchased about 60,000. It is Mr Tonkin's intention to leave for England early next month with the object of making contracts for the supply of rabbits to the English markets, and he hopes to buy large numbers next season.

Star 17 July 1899, Page 2 Export of hares.
The "Temuka Leader." says :— It is stated that the quantity of hares intended for export is less than last year. In this district hares are certainly not so plentiful, as formerly. Several shooting parties have had but poor sport. During the week three Natives shooting two days secured seventy one head, and on Thursday a party of eight guns shot thirty-seven hares and five rabbits. 

Press, 30 August 1910, Page 8
In South Canterbury, the grass has made noticeable growth, and with warmer night there will soon be plenty of feed in the paddocks, while some farmers have been so saving of their swedes that they now have more than sufficient. Hares are very numerous, and a shooting party near Mount Peel on Monday bagged something over a hundred. From a sportsman's point of new, it is a pity that there is not a close time, for hares, for many of them are now useless when they are shot. The autumn sown crops have made good progress, and the gardens are beginning to look bright with spring flowers. 

Ashburton Guardian, 16 July 1913, Page 4
A shooting party at Beautiful Valley the other day shot 300 hares, which they sold in Geraldine the same day at 8d each.

Tuapeka Times, 17 April 1889, Page 2
As an illustration of the voracious habits of hawks, the "Timaru Mail " states that, on Mr Rhodes' Hadlow Estate recently a couple of hawks' nests were found, and a further examination of the spot revealed the skulls of no less than 56 hares, the bones bearing the appearance of having been newly dissected.

Danger

Timaru Herald, 5 June 1869, Page 5
Distressing Accident. We regret to learn of a very serious accident which happened on Monday last to a man named Peter Toomie, a shepherd employed on the station of Messrs Teschemaker and LeCren. We are not in possession of full particulars, but it appears that Toomie and a lad named Wallace, son of Mrs Wallace, dressmaker in Timaru were out duck shooting, when by some mischance the lad's gun went off and its contents were lodged in Tommie's back. The boy at once came into Timaru for medical assistance, but not being able to find a medical man, returned to the station./ Mr Teschemaker early yesterday morning rode into Timaru and took back with him Dr McLean.

Timaru Herald, 11 September 1891, Page 2
Dr Hayes, of Temuka, has just had two accident cases brought under his care. An Orari lad named Greenaway, while shooting hares with a revolver, managed to put a bullet through his thigh, fortunately making a simple flesh wound. Mr Hide, farmer of Winchester, is the other patient, and a more serious case. He was harrowing, and was doing something in front of the harrows when the horses set off and dragged the ugly implement over him. Mr Hide's injuries are very severe.

Timaru Herald, 15 July 1897, Page 2
An inquest was held at Eairlie on Saturday last, before Mr F. R. Gillingham, J.P., acting-Coroner, and a jury of six, on the body of Thomas McKie, who was found dead m a paddock on his own farm on the 8th inst. Evidence was given by T. J. Leemory, W. D. McKay, Dr Dryden, Constable Mullany, and William McKie (brother of deceased). It appeared from the evidence that deceased left home on Thursday morning with his gun, saying he was going for a shot, and not returning that evening search was made for him with the result that the body was found dead beside a fence. On the body being examined by Constable Mullany and Dr Dryden a gunshot wound was found in the stomach. The gun had evidently caught m the fence and went off accidentally. A verdict was returned accordingly, That deceased came by his death accidentally through his gun having caught in the fence. Deceased was in comfortable circumstances, a very steady man, 54 years of age, and leaves a wife and family of small children.

Taranaki Herald, 10 July 1897, Page 2
Timaru, July 9 — A farmer named Thomas McKie, near Fairlie, was found dead last night from a gunshot wound. He was out after hares, and the gun evidently went off when being dragged through a wire fence.

Press, 18 April 1901, Page 6
Timaru, April 17. At the inquest on the body of Mr Robert Drysdale this morning, it was shown that he had intended to shoot hares, and the body being found at a gap in the fence, the jury concluded that death [on the 16th] was accidental through the trigger catching in the gorse, and not due to suicide. He was a well-known threshing mill proprietor. His body was found four miles from Timaru.

Otago Witness 8 May 1901, Page 56
An accident of a serious nature occurred on Sunday to a son of Mr W. Hay, blacksmith, Pleasant Point. A party of youths were out shooting hares, when the lad happened to get into the filing line, and received nearly the whole contents of one of the gun in the head. He was at once conveyed to the Timaru Hospital, where at latest advices he was progressing favourably.

Evening Post, 11 July 1901, Page 2
A peculiar gun accident occurred at Orari on Saturday afternoon. Mr. George Loach, with two friends, were (says the Timaru Herald) having a day's sport amongst hares, when an argument ensued as to the weight of guns. Mr. Loach had a spring balance with him, and proceeded, to weigh the guns. Probably the hook of the balance was hung to a trigger instead of the guard, and the result was that the gun discharged, and the shot shattered his left foot. Amputation was found to be necessary.

Ashburton Guardian, 27 January 1906, Page 2
Waimate, Jan 26. Henry Sides, farmer, Waihao Downs, wag found shot in a paddock about half a mile from his house yesterday morning. He went to bring in the horses, taking a gun with him, and not returning for breakfast, Mrs Sides sent her boy to look for his father. The lad found him lying dead, with the gun beside him. It is supposed that the deceased must bare tripped and fallen on the gun, one barrel of which went off, the charge lodging in deceased's chest. An inquiry will be held to-morrow morning.

Otago Daily Times 27 May 1913, Page 6
Mr William Thomas, farmer, of Geraldine, was found dead on Saturday. He went out hare shooting, and his gun was found in a fence with the triggers caught in the wire. It is supposed that he was dragging the gun through the fence, when it went off, and the charges entered his head. At the inquest a verdict of "Accidental death" was returned, Mr Thomas was 56 years of age, and was a native of Lincoln, Canterbury.

New Zealand Herald, 13 October 1914, Page 9
Monday. An inquest was held to-day into the circumstances of the death of Ernest Shaw, aged 19, a son of a Woodbury farmer and a member of the Territorials. Deceased went out with a pea-rifle on Sunday morning, and to-day his body was found in some scrub with a shot through the heart. The position of the body indicated that deceased had probably slipped down a steep bank, some 12ft high. The coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.

New Zealand Herald, 10 August 1921, Page 7
Tuesday. The death of a rabbiter formed the subject of an inquest at Temuka to-day. The medical evidence was to the effect that in mixing strychnine poison once a week without precaution the deceased absorbed enough in small doses to result in death. A verdict to this effect was returned.


David, boy of the High Country, 1964, photos by George and Gay Kohlap. George went to Auckland where he specialised in children's portraiture from a studio in Parnell. Sadly David died 11 September 1979 at Taieri Airport. He was a fantastic intelligent child full of the joy of living. We did go to the Fairlie Show as the children, David and Rose, competed in horse events. Love the Mackenzie and enjoyed my time there as one of my most precious periods. Only went on one hare drive and found it an interesting event and thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part. Vividly envisage the seething mass of hares as they were herded into an angle of fences. J.W. Aug. 2012. Towards the end of winter is the best time for a hare shoot. Early in the morning the men arrive with their guns. They arrive from all parts of the district, including my Uncle Jack H. from Sherwood Downs. He is in the photo, bottom left. They arrived by car, truck and even small aeroplane. The men are spread out driving the hares ahead of them towards a netting fence or a river. 

Trespassing in pursuit of game.

Timaru Herald, 24 April 1886, Page 3 Resident Magistrate's Court. Temuka — Wednesday, April, 21st. (Before J. S. Beswick, Esq., R.M.)
Robert Lavery was charged on the information of A. M. Clark with having on Sunday, the 18th instant, trespassed with dog and gun on the lands of the said A. M. Clark, at Arowhenua, in pursuit of game. Mr Aspinall appeared for the complainant, and Mr Lynch for the accused, who pleaded not guilty. After briefly stating the nature of the case, Mr Aspinall called A. M. Clark, the complainant, who said on Sunday last, while driving through his property at Arowhenua, he heard someone shooting on it, and spoke about it to the overseer. Three shots were fired, and he saw two men with guns. The overseer went to see who they were, and told witness. Witness had advertised that trespassers on his property in pursuit of game would be prosecuted. There were haves and pheasants on the property. Lavery and Hornbrook, a shepherd, were together. Mr Lynch said that the defence was that accused had leave and license to trespass through Hornbrook being complainant's shepherd. To Mr Lynch witness said Hornbrook had been his shepherd since August last, but he had never received permission to shoot on the property. They had a dog with them, but witness did not know whether it was Hornbrook's. John McColl, overseer to the last witness, said when he heard the shots fired on Sunday ho went to the paddock m which they had been fired. Accused and Hornbrook had three hares and a swamp-hen in their possession. Witness did not see them fire. Shooting was forbidden on the properly, but he had never told Hornbrook not to shoot. Hornbrook had one of his sheep dogs with him. That closed the complainant's case. Thomas Hornbrook, shepherd, said he had permission to shoot on Cole's land, and was there with Lavery. As he was going to Temuka he asked Lavery to go across the paddock with him as he wanted to catch his horse. Witness was not aware that an advertisement had been inserted about trespassing till last night, and thought that as he was a servant there was no harm m his shooting on his master's land. He had never received any instructions about it. He had often shot at night after work, and no objection was ever made. To Mr Aspinall witness said he did not take the sheep dog to hunt hares. He took it with him to round up any sheep that might have got through the fence into the road. Robert Lavery, the accused, said Hornbrook asked him to go with him as he wanted to catch his mare. He did not go with the intention of shooting. Never had permission of Clark to go on the property. Some shots were fired. The Bench said it was a clear case of trespass, and that it must be distinctly understood that servants had no right to shoot on their muster's property without permission The accused would be fined 10s and costs. Thomas Hornbrook was also charged with the same offence and pleaded not guilty. Accused, in answer to a question, said it would spoil a good sheep dog if he were allowed to go after hares. The Bench intimated that it would reserve its decision in this case so for a fortnight, as to whether it was a trespass on the part of the servant.

Timaru Herald, 19 April 1871, Page 2
Waimate — Wednesday, April 12. [Before B. Woollcombe, Esq., R.M.] Trespassing in pursuit of Game. Henry Soyer was charged by John Molloy with having trespassed in pursuit of game on land, the property of Messrs Studholme Bros., which land is in the charge of plaintiff. Prosecutor stated that he saw defendant in a paddock belonging to Messrs Studholme Bros., with a gun, and a dead wild duck on his shoulder.  Defendant did not deny plaintiff's statement, but in defence alleged that he went into the paddock to see a Mr Wellwood, and stopped m his hut some time. Richard Wellwood, fanner, Waiho Flat, corroborated this statement. Defendant was fined 10s and costs 11s 6d.

Waikato Times 4 Nov. 1882 page 2
A female rabbit can produce 25-40 young per year and young become sexually mature at 3-4 months.

Moeraki Campgrounds 
Early one morning, at sunrise, in Nov. 2011 I was driving past the Moeraki Campgrounds, and counted twenty rabbits, a couple of them were black and white. The previous afternoon had driven into Trotters Gorge (On Horse Range Rd, between Palmerston and Moeraki) and there were six rabbits on the road. Saw hares in the river bed on the Fox's Peak Ski Rd and around the Lake Alexandria. They are back in force. Rabbit numbers are up due to increasing  immunity to the RHD virus, irrigation and good levels of pasture in South Canterbury..

White Hares

Ashburton Guardian, 9 March 1899, Page 2
 A man from Tripp's station called at the Geraldine Guardian office on Wednesday with a white hare, killed by dogs at Orari Gorge. The hare was a beautiful specimen, all who saw it saying "What a beauty. What a beauty" The man in charge of the hare was taking it on to the Christchurch museum.

Timaru Herald 28 July 2012
Shooting rabbits and hares is a regular activity for the Conservation Department's pest control team - but this was not any ordinary hare. When the rangers went out on one of their night hunts near the Ahuriri Conservation Park this week, one of them managed to shoot a european white hare. Biodiversity manager Dean Nelson said it was the first he had seen in the area for several years. "I may have spotted one near Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park. They're quite a distinctive sort of hare," he said. To protect biodiversity values the department regularly undertakes rabbit and hare control work over approximately 18,000 hectares of rabbit-prone public conservation land. "The european hare is an unwanted pest regardless of colour," Mr Nelson said.  

 THE NATURALISATION OF ANIMALS & PLANTS New Zealand By Hon. Geo. M. THOMSON, Cambridge at the University Press 1922
In some parts of New Zealand hares tend to become white in the winter season, just as in parts of the old country, following the same seasonal variation as occurs in ferrets, stoats and some other sub-arctic animals. Mr Stead informs me that this is a familiar phenomenon in Canterbury; and Mr E. H. Burn states that they are not uncommon in the Mackenzie Country.
    In no part of New Zealand have they increased to such an extent as in South Canterbury, where they became so abundant that a considerable export trade sprang up, mostly from the port of Timaru. Thus the total number of frozen hares exported from New Zealand in 1910 was declared at 10,744 and in 1912, 7240. I have been told, and it is highly probable, that many more were exported as rabbits.
    The Otago Society liberated three in 1867, which they obtained from Geelong, Victoria; one in 1869, and three in 1875.
    The Canterbury Society got one from Dr Macdonald of the 'Blue Jacket,' and one from Captain Rose of the 'Mermaid' in 1868; and four in 1873 from Messrs Wood Bros.

Acclimatising the hare

Press, 1 October 1867, Page 2
The hare lately brought out by Dr Macdonald, of the Blue Jacket, and by him to the society, has been turned out in the spacious enclosure erected in the domain, where it forms a valuable acquisition to the rapidly increasing happy family, and proves doubly acceptable as being the first ever received by the society, ill success having attended many previous attempts. A grotesque looking king penguin attracts: great attention in the gardens. The bird has become quite tame, and follows its keeper like a dog. A small variety also, presented by Mr Day, of Sumner, made his escape, and was stoned to death in the river. The deer which was supposed to have escaped had made himself a snug retreat under some grass tussocks.

Press, 18 January 1868, Page 2
The ship Mermaid, which generally arrives with a consignment of bird, this time started from London with an unusually large number, including skylarks, blackbirds, thrushes, sparrows, &c., but in consequence of the very stormy weather experienced during the voyage, comparatively few have been landed alive. Out of forty-five partridges shipped one only survived, which, together with an English jackdaw, have been presented to the society by the purser, Mr M'Quade. The only surviving hare bas also been presented to the society by Captain Rose.

Daily Southern Cross, 15 July 1868, Page 3
Doubtless many of the settlers of the province remember following, on horse or pony, poor pussy with the harriers, or on foot with the little dogs or the making up and joining a party, and going out for a day's coursing. I for one do not wish to deprive the rising generation of such pleasures, and relaxation in the least. Still the object of the Society clearly was that before mentioned. Whether the introduction of game falls within the province of that institution the public and the bulk of the subscribers should determine. If funds are subscribed and augmented by the license fees imposed under the Act and if spent in simply introducing birds and animals for sporting purposes, the gentlemen will fail in carrying out the objects or wishes of the community at large. Whatever difference of opinion there may be with reference to importing the hare into the province, it would seem necessary first to endeavour to repeal or amend the Protection of Animals Act. If this could be accomplished, and it were the wish of the Society, then I would say "catch your hare," which, if properly cooked, is palatable and good, whether as soup, roasted, or jugged.— Yours, &c, Ere-hare.

Nick, the fox terrier. There are three breeds of rabbits in South Canterbury. The common English, the most prolific, it is grey or brown with short ears and was introduced in Southland, the Kiakoura silver-grey rabbit (said to be the only one with true rabbit fur) introduced in 1865, and the common long eared rabbit. 
In the 1930s the rabbit was a menace as little trapping and poisoning was done owning to the fall off in the price of skins. "Every night it would seem that the hares attend a 'social gathering' on the nearest crop, with supper of swedes provided."

Timaru Herald, 27 July 1895, Page 2
A resident on a central part of Stafford Street writes to complain of the unsuitable hour at which what he calls dog-concerts' are held in the street. He asks that the management should change the time from midnight to midday, when people would be able to express their pleasure or otherwise in a suitable manner. It is a fact that there are more dogs about the streets just now than usual. Has the cold driven all the rabbiters' packs down to the coast?

Rabbits are on the up and up

South Canterbury has good rabbit and hare habitat, they flourished. The first legislation against rabbits was the Rabbit Nuisance Act 1876. Rabbit skins were exported from late 1800s. In 1887 one million skins and in 1945 17, 670,078 million skins (i.e. close to 18 million) were exported. In 1930 drastic action was taken, the rabbit industry was deliberately run down, to ensure no-one benefitted from the rabbit population. District by district Rabbit Boards were set up that set about reducing the rabbit population. There was a time when people on unemployment were employed to rid the area of rabbits and hares. In 1955 the Rabbit Act was amended to allow the six South Canterbury Rabbit Boards to control wallabies. Wallabies were introduced about 1870 in Waimate. Possums were added to all Rabbit Boards' responsibilities in 1964. Local districts had a Rabbiter's Cottage, that is where the rabbiter and his family lived and his dogs. The one on Sherwood Downs was on the Clayton Road, on the left about a 1200ft past the Domain Corner. In 1962 there was a 1080 poison factory in Waimate. Myxomatosis. Immunity is increasing to the RHD (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease) virus which was illegally introduced in July 1997 so it is a different ball game now in 2012. Old standard for rabbit and hare control were night shooting and fumigating (gassing rabbit warrens). Most farmers are aware what the rabbits are doing to their properties, they are losing grass, and without the grass they are not raising stock.   

Auckland Star, 9 September 1936, Page 10 RABBIT DISEASE VIRUS.
QUESTION IN THE HOUSE. Wellington, Tuesday, Mr. T. D. Burnett (National, Temuka) gave notice in the House of Representatives to-day to ask the Minister of Agriculture (the Hon. W. Lee Martin) whether the research, work into rabbit disease virus, conducted by Sir Charles Martin at Cambridge, England, had been brought under his notice, and, if so, would he consider the advisibility of instructing his Department to continue similar experiments on an out-lying island, such as Mayor's Island. After two years' experimentation for the Australian Scientific and Industrial Research Council, said Mr. Burnett, Sir Charles Martin had proved conclusively that all other animals were immune from the virus inoculation.

In 1948 there were 47 boards in the South Island and 61 in the North Island covering 18 million acres. By 1959 there were 146 South Island and 62 North Island boards covering 35 million acres. Rabbit board rates paid by some 30,000 farms were subsidized by the Government, which also made grants to rabbit boards. In 1958-59 were 23 houses built in 20 different localities for occupancy by casual farm labourers and by employees of rabbit boards. There were loyalty issues in those days. Farmers wouldn't tell the rabbit board and the rabbit board would tell the council. Four Peaks was lousy with rabbits. AE caught the rabbiters driving the rabbits up the river bed to the boundary of our farm. Mum, OB, saw them and couldn't believe you could drive rabbits like sheep. The rabbit board was taken to court for three years until the rates were reduced and in the meantime the council lost all the rates all the way up to Mt Cook for three years. When the rabbit board was formed the rangers were no longer employed. Many had fun with the rangers. The locals would see them coming. JG, AE and HB and wives were out one night poaching salmon and at Galwey's Bridge J. left a candle burning on a rock and it burned for hours and the rangers stalked this light for hours, they were not pleased. 

Ten rabbits eat as much feed as a 55-kilogram ewe.  

Rabbit and hares are a problem for the runholders.  In the old days many stations employed permanent rabbiters and kids used ferrets to catch rabbits. Hare drives were held at night as hares only roamed at night. Communities or clubs use to hold hare drives to raise money. Many farmers and their children would gather at a homestead and spread out in a straight line walking across paddocks shooting hares and rabbits as they popped up in front of the line.  The Rabbit Board commenced in 1950. Each farmer paid a levy into the Rabbit Board fund. Threepence or sixpence an acre later reduced to ha'penny per acre. Some communities had a Rabbit Board Cottage where the rabbiter, his family and dogs stayed. Today the locals go out spotlighting. Rabbits dig burrows and have multiple births and hares sleep under tussocks and have one live birth per year. Hares liked certain county around 1500 to 2000' , they were not found all over the county. The RHD virus was spread in South Canterbury in 1997. RHD causes blood clots in major organs such as lungs, heart and kidneys when there were eight rabbits per km in 1997 worked for about 15 years now in 2010 it is likely that farmers would have to go back to 1080 poisoning. Killing rabbits is a negative activity, it takes away from time that could be spent on fencing and development of land and is costly.

Otago Witness, 17 August 1893, Page 7 RABBITS IN SOUTH CANTERBURY.
The serious increase of rabbits in South Canterbury, if not speedily checked, means that central Central will soon be overrun with rabbits. Once let the hill country and gorse-covered river-beds of Canterbury become infested with real wild rabbits, those living near will very soon find what ruin a constant influx of rabbits on their properties will cause. Population can never cope with the evil on hill country that only carries a sheep to three or four acres, yet this high country is the rabbits' home. Some years ago it was predicted that before long the Southland rabbit and the Kaikoura silver grey would be shaking paws in cathedral square; unless some decided action is taken I shall back the southern rabbit to be there first. Fortunately when South Canterbury was threatened with a rabbit invasion Mr J.D. Lance came to the front and, in the face of strong opposition, obtained from the Government the money for the South Canterbury rabbit fences which I erected, Mr Reginald Foster.
    At the same time that South Canterbury was threatened with the rabbit invasion North Canterbury was in equal danger from the Kaikoura silver gray. But in Amuri a large proportion of the land was freehold, the leases had some 10 years to run, and many contained a purchasing clause. A rabbit board was formed, and with the assistance of Mr J. D. Lance a loan of 6000 pounds was obtained from Government. A rate on the sheep was struck amounting to about 2400 per annum; on which the Government paid a pound for pound subsidy. A rate of Id per head on sheep over 500, with a pound for pound subsidy, would provide sufficient funds for the erection and maintenance of several main lines of fencing, with which no doubt many private lines would be connected. An excellent fine could be erected from the Teschemaker or Haldon saddle across the Hakateramea. through the watershed of the Waihao and over Blue Cliffs. Another from Lake Tekapo through the Mackenzie Pass to Albury, and from Gray's Hills to join this fence. But whatever fencing is erected should be properly supervised. When I gave up charge of the South Canterbury rabbit fence it was in my opinion if anything undermanned. I am sure that rabbits should not be allowed to locate themselves and breed close to a fence, for they are sure to find a way past it if they are short of food. The caretaker's first duty is to see that his fence is right, and his next to keep rabbits away from it. To do this it requires a man to every 10 miles. I am, &c, Reginald Foster. Christchurch August 10, 1893.

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1893 Inspectors of Stock.
South Canterbury—H. S. Thomson (in charge), Timaru; E. A. Field, Lake Tekapo; C. C. Empson, Kurow

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1896
South Canterbury—H. S. Thomson (in charge), Timaru; J. W. Deem, Fairlie; R. H. Hassall, Kurow

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1897 Inspectors of Stock.
South Canterbury—G. H. Jenkinson, Timaru; J. W. Deem, Fairlie; R. H. Hassall, Kurow

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1898 Inspectors of Stock.
South Canterbury—G. H. Jenkinson, Timaru; J. W. Deem, Fairlie

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1899 Inspectors of Stock.
South Canterbury—C. C. Empson, Timaru; J. W. Deem, Fairlie; F. H. Brittain, Kurow

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1901 Inspectors of Stock.
South Canterbury—E. A. Field, Timaru; W. Black, Fairlie; W. Wills, Kurow

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1903
Rabbit Agents Temuka, W. R. Taylor; Timaru, D. Elliott; Waimate, E. F. Sullivan;
Inspector's of Stock. Timaru, J. C. Huddleston; Fairlie, W. Black

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1904
Rabbit Agents. Fairlie, W. Johnston; Timaru. D. Elliott; Waimate, E. F. Sullivan;
Inspectors of Stock. Timaru, J. C. Huddleston; Fairlie, W. Black

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1905
The Inspectors of Stock are Inspectors under the Rabbit Nuisance Act.
Rabbit Agents —  Fairlie: W. Johnston; Timaru: D. Elliot; Waimate: E.F. Sullivan
Inspector's of Stock - Canterbury District Timaru: J.C. Huddleston; Fairlie: F. Mackenzie

New Zealand Official Yearbook  1906
Rabbit Agents — Fairlie, W. Johnston; Waimate, E. F. Sullivan
Inspector's of Stock -  Timaru, J. C. Huddleston; Fairlie, F. Mackenzie

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1907
Rabbit Inspectors. Fairlie, W. Johnston; Waimate, E. F. Sullivan;
Inspectors of Stock. Timaru, J. C. Huddleston; Fairlie, F. Mackenzie

New Zealand Official Yearbook 1908
Rabbit Agents. Fairlie, W. B. Manning; Waimate F. A. Macdonald
Inspectors of Stock. Timaru, J. C Huddleston; Fairlie, F. Mackenzie

New Zealand Official Yearbook  1910 Inspectors of Rabbits and Noxious Weeds
Fairlie, W. B. Manning; Timaru, J. C. Huddleston; Waimate, F. A. McDonald;

Dish for cold weather

Auckland Star, 15 May 1899, Page 7
Hare soup can be made, and is of course best made, from a fresh hare; but it is more often made from the remains of jugged or roast hare. In this case, cut out the best pieces of meat from the back, put them aside, and put the bones and the rest of the hare to boil in some good stock. The quantity must depend on what is left. Also, put in with it a dessert Spoonful of mixed sweet herbs; also, if possible, chop up a small piece of lean ham. When it has boiled some; time, strain it off, take out the bones and scrape the meat off them, and rub all the meat and ham through a wire sieve into a basin. Add the soup to this, and colour with a few drops of' 'caramel' (burnt sugar mixed with water). Don't make the soup thick. Dissolve also a teaspoonful of red currant jelly in the soup, and add a glass of port wine. If the soup is made from roast hare, the flavourings for jugged hare must be added: such as cloves, a little cinnamon, and extra onion. Season with pepper and salt.

In the early days when people where hungry that ate what was available. We no longer see jugged hare being prepared - skin and gut the hare, dredge with flour and cook in boiling butter. Put in stewpan with thyme, six cloves, two onions, 3 tsp allspice, salt and pepper and cover with water and simmer about four hours and add port wine 10 minutes for end and 2 tbsps red current jelly. On Sherwood we always killed our own sheep for mutton and Mum always enjoyed fried sheep kidneys for breakfast, the smell was foul. The suet, fat around the kidneys, was always saved and taken to the house, and rendered down for cooking. Lily Ann was a good cook and Enid. The big beautiful meat pies where in a pie dish was 18' long with homemade pastry. We always had plenty of apples and were kept cool in a cellar dug into the side of a hill. Lily Ann made baked apples- she would peel and core the apples, wrap in pastry and pour golden syrup over them.

Otago Witness 21 Oct. 1887. Good quality bowler hats were made from the waterproof underbelly fur of rabbits and hares.

Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run

The rabbits are winning

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