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Wabbit Season: 1910

Wabbit Season: 1910

Circa 1910. "Rabbit-hunting party of six men, with bicycles, guns and dogs, including rabbits strung between two tents. Possibly Christchurch district." Now where'd we put that cookbook? Glass negative by Adam Maclay. View full size.


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Bikes and Class

Would the guy in the high-buttoned jacket have been a beater for the hunt, hired by the other guys? I have no ideas whether wabbit-hunters usually need beaters, but if so, that could explain why there are one too few bikes. The other men's wearing spiffy clothing and boutonnieres on a hunt makes me guess that they're middle class rather than upper class, though perhaps bicycles were so prestigious at this time that young aristocrats used them to go hunting--in adventuresome New Zealand if not in Britain.

More on the Rabbits

My Australian Mother has told me about the Hare problem in the Sydney area (NSW) of the 30’s and 40’s. They are cousins of the rabbit, but larger and much more aggressive…more like small ‘roos’, short for kangaroos. The destruction of many gardens and vegetable plots was a common occurrence.

When I started hunting as a young boy at 10 y/o I went after American rabbits with my 16 gauge shotgun….a big mistake as I found; too many lead pellets left in the meat. I soon switched to a .22 rifle and only had to find a single round. I viewed this photo of the 12 gauge double barrels stacked together with that thought.

We really don’t eat much rabbit in this country….mostly in the South, and then I find it at Mexican restaurants here in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin. It is a delicious treat!

Nothing is missing

The young man with the Mao style jacket is the only one properly dressed for the hunting trip but alas, is just a servant.

A plague of rabbits

@solo: New Zealand definitely has problems with overpopulations of introduced rabbits, to the point that the official government Encyclopedia of New Zealand refers to periodic population booms as "plagues."

These guys are certainly doing their country a favor.

Stylish campers

Ties, pocket squares, and boutonnieres on a camping/hunting trip. Boy, times have changed.

Resisting oversimplification

Only the ignorant equate New Zealand with its larger neighbor, Australia, but this photo reminds one that the latter (and larger and more climatically diverse, etc.) was nearly over-run by imported bunnies in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, such that wholesale carnage had to be brought down on the voracious immigrants. Did New Zealand experience a similar problem, or are these hunters merely scaring up the ingredients for jugged hare?

The Bicycles

look to be as well maintained as the rifles.

Sorry Bugs

You can't counter this by yelling "Duck Season!" no matter how we love the classic cartoons. Merrily these guys roll along with bicycles and strung bunnies. Ugh.

Something's Missing

I see six men but only five bicycles and five guns. One of them must be a vegan.

Slow Hares

I guess since they had no fast food outlets, rabbits would be the only way to go. It seems much more fun than standing in line, but if you're really hungry the wait would be terrible.


The biscuit manufacturer is Aulsebrooks, a name well-known to generations of New Zealanders.

Elmer Fudd

would be very jealous of these guys!

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