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Australian hunting


We offer several very good outfitters for Australia. The premier animal to hunt is the Asian Water Buffalo. Here is a good description of this magnificent animal:

The wild Asian buffalo weighs 800 - 1200 kg (1800 - 2600 lb). It is a massive, powerful animal, with the widest horn span of any bovid - more than 6.5' (2 m). The wild Asian buffalo is very dependent on the availability of water. Historically, its preferred habitats were low-lying alluvial grasslands and their surroundings. Riparian forests and woodlands were also utilized. The wild Asian buffalo eats grass and leafy aquatic vegetation. It is mainly a grazer, feeding in the morning and evenings and lying up in dense cover or submerging in wallows during midday. During the midday heat, the wild Asian buffalo frequently wallows in water or muddy pools, sometimes almost completely submerged, with only its nostrils showing. In addition to keeping it cool, wallowing helps to remove skin parasites, biting flies, and other pests.

In addition, there are wild boar, wild cattle or scrub bull, banteng. There is also optional Estate hunting for Sambar, Javan Rusa North Island or Malacan Rusa, Axis Deer, Hog Deer and Blackbuck. A normal buffalo hunt is 7 days with two days travel. Additional animals will need additional days and cost extra. Boar-$500, Scrub Bull-$850, Second buffalo-$3500.

A typical price for a buffalo 1X1 hunt is $9,000. A 2X1 hunt is $8,000 each. A combination hunt of Buffalo, scrub bull and boar is 1X1-$10,000, 2X1-$9,000 each. These prices are 2012. 2013 prices may change.

The hunts take place on large tract of land of hundreds of thousands of acres called "cattle stations". These areas are very wild and primitive with free ranging animals.
Hunt destination origin starts at Darwin. Transport to hunting area is by vehicle or private air charter where not accessible by road.
Please call 803-648-6797 for more details

Testimonial and huting story from a client

You know you’re in the outback when:
 
1.      The lounge (take that loosely) singer uses a didgeridoo.
2.      Outback is a place and state of mind versus a restaurant.
3.      Bleeding gum is a tree and not something you get when you don’t floss.
4.      There are two basic seasons:  dry and hot and wet and hotter.
5.      Billabong is a body of water and not a clothing line.
6.      The warning signs by the “swimming hole” state that the government has done its best to make sure there are no salt water crocodiles in the river and that the fresh water crocodiles are okay to swim with as long as you don’t harass them.
7.      The fish hitting your crank baits are barramundi and not large mouth bass.
8.      The Aborigines (a few) still wander the bush and cook turtles and small crocodiles over fires.
9.      The creatures crossing the road in front of you are not deer, rabbits or mice they are wallabies and wallaroos.
10.  The prey of the day is Asian water buffalo.
 
I went to the Australian Outback with a goal of taking a water buffalo with my bow.  Alas, it ended up that I got one with a rifle on day 9 of a 5 day hunt after I wounded one with my bow on day 4.  Unfortunately that bull was never recovered.
 
Getting to the Northern Territories is no easy feat, but I won’t bore you with those details.  I was picked up in Darwin and we drove about 5 hours to a small resort (their rendition not mine) in a place called Mataranka.  We hunted from there on a station (large cattle concession) called Cave Creek.  Each morning we’d drive about 45 or more minutes to get to where we hunted.  I was hunting with a Kiwi from New Zealand named David Musgrave.  He’s the same guy I hunted with in New Zealand a few years ago.  David is not a drive around kind of guy, he’s the get out and hike kind of guy.  We were off to a good start since that’s my idea of hunting.  Of course I like to take enough water and food to make it comfortable where David generally figured that one water bottle each and a granola bar was enough. That was fine if we went back to the vehicle for lunch, but that wasn’t always the case.
 
Each day was hot (90-95 degrees) and the ground was basically flat, but the hiking wasn’t necessarily easy.  You’d go from uneven rocky to grassy to dried out broken ground, but thankfully there were no mountains to demoralize you so it was more a matter of staying motivated and not overheating.  Generally motivation was easy since there was plenty of game to see, but in the heat of the day everything slowed down.
 
We got into buffalo every morning and every night, but sometimes we’d hike for hours and hours to find buffalo.  I saw hundreds of buffalo over the course of my stay.  A few times a bull would turn and come towards you.  When they got inside 100 yards and were walking at you you’d take notice.  I loved it.  I also saw lots of wild hogs, wild horses, wild donkeys and wild cows.  Just about everything on the concession is considered a pest since they damage cattle fences and eat the grass.  We found lots of animals that were just shot dead and left as we wandered.  It’s a different mentality than we have, but it’s what their rough Australian life consists of.
 
On the evening of day one we got within 80 yards of a group of bulls that were feeding. Two big bulls fed within 80 yards before the wind got us.  That was my first good look at a water buffalo.  Realize that all buffalo are impressive, but picture the difference between Rick Johnson and Gary Geiger.  Both are impressive in stature and persona, but Rick stands out a little more by his mere size and muscle mass. That’s what a big bull looks like and the closer you get the more impressive they look.  The normal problem was finding herds versus single bulls.  Sneaking on a herd is really hard and we got busted many times by multiple eyes, ears and noses.
 
On day two we got within 60 yards of a bull, but backed off when we decided it wasn’t big enough.  On day three we were walking through a bedding area and came upon a small herd.  When the wind shifted all the others took off, but the bull just stood up and turned to face us.  Again we were at 60 yards and that was close enough for me.  He just stood there and stared at us.  There are no predators in Australia except people and many of the bulls obviously have no fear of anything.  We backed off when we decided he was broomed off.
 
At about 0855 on the morning of day 4 we saw a single bull feeding alone.   We worked the wind and got around on him so we could take a look.  He was in tall grass (pretty rare since most of the grass is burned off to stimulate growth).  When he raised his head we got a decent look.  Not the biggest bull we’d seen, but really good enough for a bow kill.  He had great mass, but was broomed off a bit.  We hid behind a tree and he slowly fed towards us.  At 46 yards he turned broad side.  I drew, took a breath and released.  My arrow hit at the perfect height, but I was disgusted to see the arrow hit left of target.  There was good penetration, but probably a paunch hit.  Off he ran.  We found a little blood and his tracks.  Buffalo don’t bleed much due to thick skin and a heavy fat layer so all we really had was tracks.
 
We searched 8 hours that day and 7 hours the next day.  We followed his tracks for miles, but eventually lost his tracks in a heavily tracked area.  We hoped he’d die and we’d find birds circling his body, but that never happened.  At this point my hunt was supposed to end, but my PH (professional hunter) invited me to stay and hunt with his next client.  I had a day off while he went and got the hunter and then off we went to hunt again.
 
The hunter was from Wisconsin and chose to use the gun the PH provided.  I was not impressed with the rifle.  It was an ancient Ruger in .308 with a 3x9 Tasco scope.  Did I mention the broken stock?  On the morning of day one we got the hunter on a nice bull and he went for a head shot.  He seemed to hit the bull in the horn because he got back up after falling and disappeared.  We never saw him again.  They checked the zero and it was off. They adjusted and that night I used it on a hog.  I had a good hit on my first shot, but shot over the hog on a follow up shot even with a good rest.  Now both the hunter and I had our worries over the gun.
 
In the late morning of day 1 we got the hunter on a big (really big) bull, but he didn’t have the shot he wanted so no shots were fired.  Day 2 and day 3 of the other hunter’s hunt were productive in there being lots of buffalo, but not any big ones.  Over the period of these days we were back in the area where I’d hit my bull each day and no new sign, no birds and no dead buffalo.   At some point the PH told me that if the Wisconsin hunter got his bull that he’d let me take one with the rifle.  I was excited to say the least, but unless the Wisconsin hunter scored I’d be going home empty handed.
 
On the morning of day 4 (my day 9 of hunting) we found some buffalo. We stalked and re-stalked the buffalo as they spooked.  Eventually we got close enough. The hunter shot and it looked like a good hit by the buffalo’s reaction. He then took about 5 more shots, but I’m not sure if any of them hit even though the hunter was using a rest and was inside 100 yards.  I know I saw at least one bullet hit dirt over the buffalo. The buffalo walked slowly into some brush and we thought he’d bed down. Wrong answer!  He ended up walking out slowly without us seeing him.  We started tracking from that point on.  Over the next 4-5 hours we tracked him 1.5 km until he walked to a river.  We lost him at the river. We searched up and down the river, but never found his sign again.
 
This was the last days hunting for the Wisconsin hunter and I’d long given up on a chance to get a buffalo. We made a long circle and had stopped to talk over our options since we only had a couple hours left. We were not being quiet when suddenly the hunter pointed to a spot about 150 yards from us and said he saw a buffalo.  It was about 1330 and hot. The buffalo was up and feeding.  There was no reason for him to be up and feeding, but he was and in an area with plenty of trees and tall grass.  Perfect for a stalk.
 
The PH asked the hunter if he was ready to try again and the hunter turned to me and asked me if I wanted to take the buffalo.  DUH!!!  I guess the hunter figured that he’d had his chances.  I took the rifle and we started the sneak.  We got to about 70 yards and I thought we were golden.  The PH turned to me and said he wanted me to shoot the buffalo in the head.  Sure I thought, but can the gun produce.  We then kept sneaking.  The buffalo had no idea we were there.  At that point I still hadn’t even looked at his horns and didn’t know how big he was since he was broadside.  We stopped at a tree about 35 yards from the buffalo.  The PH took a look and said the buffalo might be a little broomed off.  Whatever!!!  It was the last hour of the last day type of thing.  I told him I didn’t care.  I leaned around the tree and shot the buffalo under the ear.  He swung around wildly (about 180 degrees) with blood flying out of his mouth and nose and went down.  Sure enough he got back up.  I shot him 3 more times in the body and he finally went down for good.  He was bigger than we thought at about 102 inches (green scored).  We saw bigger, but he’s still a gold medal bull and I couldn’t be happier.  Okay, that’s a lie.  If I’d have made a clean shot with my bow or at least recovered that bull I’d be happier.
 
Lessons learned:
 
-Water buffalo are just as tough as cape buffalo.
-Water buffalo are bigger than cape buffalo.
-Hunters are some of the best people in the world (I already knew that).
-A hard earned trophy is the best trophy.
-Australia is wonderful (overall:  see next bullet notation).
-Aborigine women can pee standing up (disgusting).
-A baby donkey might be the cutest animal ever.
-I’d go back in a minute