The International Order of St. Hubertus

The Venerable Order of St. Hubertus (the name later changed to International Order), was founded in 1695 by Count Franz Anton von Sporck. It brought together sportsmen from the noble families of Austria, Bohemia, Hungary and other countries/territories and holdings of the vast Habsburg and Holy Roman Empires. (The Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI was an early member.) It's named in honor of St. Hubertus (Hubert) [1] the patron saint of hunters and fishermen. Its motto is “Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes,” in English “Honoring God by Honoring His Creatures.”

In 1938, following the Anschluss (annexation of Austria by Germany), the Order was banned by Adolf Hitler for refusing to accept Nazis as members (Hermann Goring [or Goering], who fancied himself an expert hunter, had the Grand Prior executed when he was denied membership.)

At the end of the Second World War, with central Europe in chaos, surviving members of the Order were asked by Halvor O. Ekern, chief political advisor of the American Armed Forces in Austria, to use their skills and weapons to help provide much needed food for a starving populace.

Restituted (restored to its former prominence) on May 1st 1950 at the request of Chancellor Figl of Austria, the organization had the word “International” replace "Venerable" to better reflect its growing multi-national character. (Influential non-Germans were invited to join, they included Halvor O. Ekern [see above], Llewellyn E. Thompson [American Ambassador to Austria], Baron Harold Caccia [British Ambassador to Austria] and General Mark W. Clark chief of U.S. Occupation Forces [in Austria] and U.S. High Commissioner for same.)

[1] Hubertus is honored by sport-hunters as the architect of ethical hunting behavior, his legacy, held in high regard, is still a cornerstone of German and Austrian hunter education courses.

* The American chapter of the Order was founded in 1966 by generals and diplomats who had served in Europe during and after WW2. (Since then they have been joined by a long list of the rich and powerful.)

* On February 13, 2016, conservative leaning U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep at the Cibolo Creek Ranch in Texas. He was there to participate in organized shoots of pheasants and chukar, allegedly in the company of members of the International Order of St. Hubertus
John Poindexter, the owner of the ranch, is purported to be a ranking member.

Though conspiracy theories abound, Scalia, suffering from a number of maladies (high blood pressure, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), was deemed to have passed away of natural causes. The family requested that there be no autopsy.

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