Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/226

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199
KANGAROO-HUNTING.

very fast pace; and in the densely wooded coast country, there is ample scope for proving the mettle of one's horses, in leaping across water-courses, and rocky brooks, clearing Mien trees, and thorny bushes, and galloping down steep ranges. A well trained dog, in coming along-side of a kangaroo, springs on that animal whilst in the air, seizing it near the root of the tail; the weight of the dog, brings him to the ground, when the former instantly lets go the tail and festens on the throat. In effecting this manoeuvre, an awkward dog is frequently torn, or ripped open, by the kangaroo's hind legs, which are armed with hooked claws of great size. It is no uncommon occurrence for him to stop and stand at bay against a tree; when a dog ventures to attack the kangaroo whilst in this position, he generally suffers for his temerity; and it is necessary, on such occasions, for the sportsman to dismount, and approaching from behind, cleave his skull with a couteau de chasse, or tomahawk. He sometimes rushes into a pond of water when pressed hard, and has been known to drown dogs which swam to attack him.

The small brush kangaroo, or Pademella, is easily killed by the blacks who hunt them in the brushes, in the way I have before described; the whites, however, find it rather difficult to shoot them, on account of their being so much concealed by the fern, matted creepers, and briars. On starting one in the brush, it generally rushes into the thickest part of