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The Diary of James Brogden, August 1871 – December 1872

21 November 1872

21 November 1872

True to time we start early, - our horses rather the worse for wear, but not bad ones to go, except the one I had, which had a propensity to stumble. A ride of about 12 miles brought us into the native bush, - where we arranged the resting-place of the “frog” leaving our guns also in charge of the driver. We picked up three other men on the way, old hands at a Kangaroo hunt, and then rode silently along with 2 Greyhounds only. Suddenly one of the men put spurs to his horse, and cried “Who-oop”, and away went a Boomer Kangaroo, the dogs in full chase. page 109 Then came a charge through the trees, - madly riding as if it were clear space, - but the horses knew the bush, and dexterously swerved to avoid the trees. While thus in pursuit we had to keep a sharp look-out for the direction, rabbit holes, and branches, as well as the safety of our head. My brute had no fore legs worth the name;- three times she came down with me, and it was as much as I could do to hold on. It was a sharp run, but unfortunately just as the dogs were coming up to the Kangaroo, another (a small one) jumped up, and drew off the dogs to follow it. Soon it was caught and skinned, the hams and tail being eatable were taken home as game. We then rode away a considerable distance, say four miles to get into undisturbed ground. By and bye, we sighted 6 or 7 more with their heads high up among the fern. Our huntsman had a splendid sight. We rode as far as possible under cover to approach them, but they got wind and bolted. Altho’ we separated one from the rest, we could not get near it. As we rode along, we picked up two pretty little Bandycoats, and some of the “Moa-porks” Birds flew away as we rode but these we could not get. When Lunch-time arrived, we found that the circuit we had made had brought us near the place, - and we then discussed the chances for the afternoon, which were considered poor. Dunny stayed with Mr Gosling to shoot Parroquets, Honey birds, Miners, &c. and had a loaded rifle ready for larger game. We had not got more than half a mile away before we started 8 or 9 kangaroos page 110 When we had separated one, and had got the dogs fairly on the run, away it bounded and turned to go close to Dunny, who was by a Creek some 20 to 25 feet wide. We soon gained on it, as did also the dogs. “Bang” went Dunny’s rifle as by one prodigious bound, the animal cleared the brook. The fire swiped, and the dogs, left far below, lost him in the fern. We looked for him a long time, and as there was no time for another start, we hastened to find our way out of the Bush, no easy thing for a stranger to accomplish. So after Tea we took Train again for Melbourne.