The noted conservative jurist and avid hunter passed while on a Texas ranch surrounded by members of the International Order of St. Hubertus.
Founded in 1695 by Count Franz Anton von Sporck, a noted patron of the arts in Austrian Bohemia, the order of sportsmen whose motto is “Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes” (Honoring God by Honoring His Creatures) was disbanded by Hitler in 1938 for refusing to accept Nazis, but was reestablished after World War II.
As reported by the Washington Post, John Poindexter, the owner of the ranch, and C. Allen Foster, a Washington lawyer who traveled there with Scalia by private plane, hold leadership positions within the Order.
Poindexter downplayed any involvement of the Order with the hunt and distanced the group from any association with the late Justice.
“There is nothing I can add to your observation that among my many guests at Cibolo Creek Ranch over the years some members of the International Order of St. Hubertus have been numbered,” he told the Post. “I am aware of no connection between that organization and Justice Scalia.”
The knightly order, in which members wear green robes emblazoned with the crest at ceremonies, is named after Catholic Saint Hubert, an Eighth Century Belgian nobleman who, according to legend, saw a crucifix standing between the antlers of a stag while on a hunt and was converted. The imagery has been used extensively to represent hunters and hunting, who Hubert is the patron saint for, and appears on everything from church icons to Jägermeister labels.
With branches in 13 European countries and the U.S. the modern Order’s stated purpose is, “the promotion of sportsmanlike hunting and fishing, strict maintenance of traditional customs and ceremonies, wildlife conservation in connection with hunting and establishment of good fellowship amongst sportsmen all over the world.”
As such, the order sponsors hunting opportunities around the world.
Speaking of promoting hunting, Scalia himself was a lifelong sportsman and even reached out across the ideological space in the nation’s high court to become hunting buddies with liberal Justice Elena Kagan, who before coming to the bench had not even fired a gun.
An interview below with Kagan from 2013 relates her hunting activities chasing birds, deer, and antelope with Scalia.