Turns out Justice Antonin Scalia was an avid hunter…
And a member of a hunting group whose origins date back to the 1600s.
The International Order of Saint Hubertus was founded in 1695 by Count Franz Anton von Sporck in what was then the Kingdom of Bohemia, then territory of the Habsburg Empire, now the modern Czech Republic.
The Order was a knightly order with an emphasis on hunting and activities related to the pursuit and management of game animals. In the Middle Ages and again with the revival of interest in the forms of chivalry in Europe, hunting was considered a basic preparation for warfare and was held among the highest activities a gentleman could pursue. In addition, Count von Sporck was also a prominent patron of music, having commissioned numerous Vivaldi operas and the four Bach minor Masses for performance at his private Opera House in Prague.
The Order counted among its original members Emperor Charles VI and many of the other noble families of the Holy Roman Empire. After nearly 250 years of honorable existence, the Order was banned by Adolph Hitler for refusing to accept Nazis as members after the Anschluss joined Austria to Germany. The biography of Count von Sporck, the Institution of the Order by him and its existence until World War II are chronicled in the History section of this website.
About Scalia’s involvement…
Justice Antonin Scalia spent his final hours at a Texas ranch in the company of a secretive society of hunters that has existed for more than 300 years.
Several members of the 35-strong hunting party at the Cibolo Creek Ranch where Scalia was found dead are known to be current or former members of The International Order of Saint Hubertus.
John Poindexter, the owner of the ranch, is known to hold a leadership position in the Order, as does C. Allen Foster, a prominent Washington lawyer and Scalia’s traveling companion for the trip.
Foster traveled on a private plane to the ranch with Scalia after he opted to leave his U.S. marshal detail behind, while Poindexter was the man who found the Supreme Court Justice dead in bed on the morning of February 13.
Ranks in the Order include Grand Prior, the most senior position, Grand Master, and Knight Grand Officer – though it is not clear which of these roles the men occupy.