Relics of the fur trade
Until the 1950s, Tasmania had a lucrative export fur industry, centred on hunting of the wallaby, pademelon, brush and ringtail possums. The thickest, most valuable furs were obtained in the highlands in winter.
Many wallabies and pademelons were caught in a necker snare, or in the footer, leg or treadle snare. The necker snare consisted of a steel wire, brass wire or hemp noose which caught the animal by the neck as it moved to or from its feeding grounds at night, breaking its neck or strangling it. The footer snare had a noose of strong linen chord attached to a bent sapling. It was placed to catch the animal by the leg, leaving the hunter the task of killing his prey.
The remains of a pole snare on
the February Plains, 2011 (above)
A hunter’s hut was often accompanied by an attached or separate skin shed, on the walls of which the skins were pegged out to dry. The skin shed featured acentrally-placed fire but no chimney, the smoke escaping through the cracks in the boards which held the skins. No chimney was attached to the fireplace.
Disused Lionel Connell-Dick Nichols hunting hut near Lake Rodway in 1943 (photo by RE Smith, left) and in recent times (below).