Field & Game Australia

A Future for the History of Hunting

The Wetlands Environmental Taskforce's Australian National Hunting Archive (ANHA) is receiving a funding boost thanks to a Victorian Government grant.

Located in Victoria, the ANHA is Australia's most comprehensive and valuable collection of works on the social history of hunting in Australia, containing over 4,500 books and 20,000 paper and electronic documents that demonstrate the role hunting has played over time in the Australian social fabric.

Field & Game Australia's history and experience with sustainable hunting, effective game management, and conservation through wise use helped with recognising the importance of the archive, and the importance of hunting to Australian society.

Victoria's first game manager, Mr Max Downes, has worked tirelessly over many years to accumulate the impressive collection and is passionate about enabling the public to better understand the ecological and social role that hunting wildlife has had in the history of Australia. The funding will play an important part of the ANHA, following on from years of passionate and dedicated work by Max.

The ANHA documents the experience of Arthur Bentley BEM who authored the definitive text on Wild Deer in Australia in 1967 and who was recognised for services to Australian hunting in the Queens Birthday Honours List in 1975. It also includes the works of Otto Ruf, one of Australia’s best known taxidermists.  

Its fundamental purpose is to preserve important historical records for the study of hunting as part of Australia’s environmental history.

Minister Jaala Pulford said “Hunting remains an important part of our nation's social, cultural and traditional heritage. This project protects and digitises the history of Victorian hunting for future generations to enjoy, learn from and share."

The ANHA was established by Field & Game Australia as a project of the Wetlands Environmental Taskforce, and is also supported by our colleagues at the Australian Deer Association. The ANHA funding demonstrates the effect that collaboration between experienced hunting organisations can have for the preservation of the history of hunting in Victoria: our history.

The Labor Government's Sustainable Hunting Action Plan commits to support the ANHA by helping develop an electronic catalogue system of historical information that can be accessed by the public, and that is exactly what this grant will do.

You can read the full media release at

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