Outlook: Bullocky

In Australia, an ox is referred to as a “bullock” and a teamster is referred to as a “bullocky”.  The use of large spans of bullocks was common much later than here in the U.S. and the few remaining “bullockies” still work them this way, very similar to the old “bullwhackers” of the U.S..

Here is a fantastic video of one such bullocky from 1969.  It was made by The Commonwealth Film Unit and directed by Richard Mitchell.  As I watch, it is interesting to note the similarities and differences with our cattle, equipment and methods here today.  I imagine that man was every bit as tough as the thick greenhide plaited whip he is cracking!

“Vic Deaves is a fourth-generation bushman. For as long as he can remember, his family has lived off the land, often as timber-getters in the coastal valleys of New South Wales. Vic is a bullocky, one of the last of his kind. With his team of bullocks he drags logs out of the valley too choked and precipitous for mechanised transport. It’s a way of life that is dying and part of Australian history will die with it.”

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