(page 2)

   "A little over 40 years ago I became a sheep holder myself.  Just as I was getting nicely stocked up, in one year I had 442 sheep killed, and continued to lose from 60 to 80 annually.  I (while a tenant) erected two miles of wire netting fence from my house to the Weavers Creek, cleared the fallen trees off to the river, built automatic traps, and so mitigated the trouble that I have since leased a lot of that Crown Land, and erected on it about six miles of galvanised wire fencing.  To talk of putting these animals on the wholly protected list is neither more nor less than an infringement of the liberty of the subject, and if such is done, and I have any more sheep killed, I shall claim compensation from the Crown, even if I have to follow them to the High Court" - Robert Stevenson, White Hills.
The Mercury, 20th July 1928 (p. 3).

    In the Colonial Times of the 6th September 1836 (p. 7) is an article describing a new method of vermin control for wild dogs, tigers and devils:

    "We have been requested to give publicity to the following manner of destroying wild dogs, tigers, devils, etc., the great enemies of the flocks of this Colony.  When it is known that animals of the above description are in the neighbourhood, a man on horseback should drag a trail of some kind, either a paunch, or any stinking animal flesh; this trail should extend some distance, and be made in the form of a cross, in the centre of which poisoned meat or traps may be laid.  Great care should, be taken by the person making the trail not to touch the ground, or the meat, or the trap, for the vermin scenting the human touch would not come near.  When the trap or poisoned meat is prepared, the dogs or other vermin when beginning to hunt at night will come upon one of the cross trails, and will most certainly hunt about the line till they come to the trap or meat.  Dogs and indeed all wild animals are more acute in their scent and hearing than are those domesticated, and the success of the plan depends principally on the caution employed.  The devil and tiger are most ravenous, and will soon fall upon the meat, or into the trap, whereas the dog must be extremely, keen set before he will do so.  The wild dog being however such a destroyer of sheep is worth a little trouble to get rid of, and should it be found that no poisoned bait will tempt him, and that he is too cunning for a pit-fall or man trap, you have a certainty of a shot at him if you will keep sheltered from the sight at a gun-shot distance from the trail, taking care not to cross the trail, and to be to the leeward.  It is natural for all vermin to hunt on such a scent as above described, and although they will sometimes smell and turn over the food without eating, still you may depend as a certainty on shooting or trapping.  Of course success is more likely to follow, if the neighbouring flocks are well watched, or taken from that part of the run, for then the voracious appetites of the vermin render them much more daring than where fresh fat mutton is to be had for a run.  It is needless to remark that this plan costs little, or nothing, and is a common method of destroying vermin in several parts of the continent, there can be no reason why it should not succeed equally as well in Van Diemen's Land.  Thousands of foxes are in some parts of France annually killed in this manner, as are also wolves; and surely, if the cunning fox can be so trapped the stupid tiger or thick headed devil would be more easily ensnared.  We have however given publicity to the plan, and the sheep owners will, if they try, find it more effectual than all the dog acts that could he framed in preserving their sheep from the ravages of the vermin".

illustration of thylacines chasing sheep - Heinrich Leutemann
Source: Heinrich Leutemann, "Die Welt in Bildern" (The World in Pictures), from the German magazine, Münchener Bilderbogen (1864).

    An article entitled "Hunters Paradise", from the Examiner newspaper of the 13th April 1929 (p. 6) reports:

   "Hyenas or Tasmanian wolves, native devils, and eagles were plentiful, and a large number of the two first mentioned were captured in pits with swinging tops, and the latter were snared at the entrance to yards enclosed with brush.  A number of trees near the woolshed at Waterhouse were decorated with heads of these animals as trophies".

    The North West Post of the 22nd February 1915 (p. 2) states:

    "The other day while Mr. F. Dempster was out on his run, he shot a native tiger which measured 7 feet in length.  When skinned it was found that three bullets had entered the skull, thus proving the tenacity of the life of the species".

    The thylacine was an easy target of blame for the failings of the stockmen.  Its predation on livestock was grossly exaggerated to cover for poorly managed estates, feral dog kills, poor pasture, rural depression and rustling.

    In the Wellington Times and Agricultural and Mining Gazette of the 3rd June 1893 (p. 3), an article entitled "Desperate Encounter with a Native Tiger" states: 

    "We have been supplied with particulars of a recent encounter with a native tiger which seems to upset the theory, often sought to be established, that the animals are not ferocious, and will not attack human beings.  This statement may, under ordinary circumstance be true, and may only be subject to exceptions in cases of danger and anxiety, as in the present instance. 

    Mr. Simon Power, in the employ of Mr. H. R. Hethewic (possible misspelling) in the Evandale district, on visiting the snares one morning found a dog tiger in one of them.  The animal, which was dead, was taken out and the snare re-set.  It might here be stated that like the majority of snares to catch tigers, it was set on a log which crossed a small river.  On returning to the snare some time after, a buck tiger was caught, and he was lying in the water with the snare round his neck, and apparently dead.  Mr. Power walked along the log towards the snare, and without the least warning the tiger sprang at him, caught him by the right shoulder with his teeth, tearing away a large piece of the coat, and severely lacerating the right side of his face with its great paws.  Mr. Power's position now became serious, as the tiger, in making another desperate spring, broke the snare and caught him by the right arm near the wrist.  By an almost superhuman effort the infuriated brute was shaken off, and Mr. Power grasped it firmly by the tail, by which means he was able, although not without the greatest difficulty, to overpower it.  By this time both the man and the tiger had become desperate.  Mr. Power still held on to the animal by the tail, and eventually pulled it on to the bank of the river, where he quickly turned it over and broke its back.  The fight was now done as the tiger died, and when measured was found to be 5ft 4in from the nose to the tip of the tail".

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