AUSTRALIA: Feral Cull Hunt In The Northern Territory

Laurie Colgrave

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After lots of planning & some interference from covid we were on our way to the NT to complete some donkey culling at a brand new location. After two very long days which included border protection passes & tyre/wheel dramas we finally reached our destination. We were immediately assaulted next day with 36 degree heat after leaving August maximums in Central QLD of 20 degrees!
.308 Norma.jpg

The first few days were just getting to know our way around this big place. Aerial culling before we arrived impacted on the numbers a bit but there were plenty of donkeys just a bit more bush between them.... The property manager gave us some free rein with the numerous scrub bulls on the place stating that if they have horns & aren't brahman we could shoot them with due care & attention. These old warriors were a great challenge & certainly spiced up the hunting plenty.
custom .308 Norma.jpg

custom 9.3x62.jpg
I used two rifles on this trip a Sako AV .338W & my custom FN 9.3x62. My hunting mate was using a custom .308 Norma mag with a long tube. We decided to carry the bigger calibres for several reasons, the likelyhood of scrub bulls, practice for a future African adventure & more efficency culling mobs of donkeys. As the trip progressed the competition over rifle/cartridge combinations eased somewhat with some key learnings along the way. The .308 Norma (a .300 Mag) is very sudden on donkeys using 180 grain Speers/Woodleighs. On the heavier bulls with 220 grain Woodleighs this cartridge was noticeably gentler in terms of hitting power, most bulls requiring several good shots to anchor them. The .338W was also deadly on the donkeys with 225 grain pills but much more authoritive on the big bulls using the Woodleigh 250 grain Woodleigh round nose. I had plenty of the 250 grain protected points loaded but the RN was so effective I stuck with it! The 9.3x62 using 250 grain PP Woodleighs already proven previously was the most dynamic donkey bang flopper on this trip. The lone scrub bull shot with the 9.3 was the also the quickest of all to yield with a chest shot, I used a 320 grain Woodleigh PP.
nasty young bull with .338W.jpg
old warrior.jpg

testing the 9.3x62.jpg
big bull .308 Norma.jpg
another big 'un .338W.jpg
We spent fourteen days total on the property most of these slogging through hundreds of kilometeres daily going between watering points. We had a day on horseback assisting the station moving weaners over 20 km (1700 head) my bones reminding me savagely of my 59 years. We socialised & toured around but all too quickly it was time to head back home. More border protection passes & the dreaded unpacking.... I was a fantastic trip, I hope the few photos do some justice the fine animals!
.338W.jpg
 

PaulT

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Well done Laurie, great pics, great report.

Good on you and your mate cleaning up a heap of ferals.
Numbers are on the rise in certain areas and as you mentioned, even with areal culling, difficult to keep in line.

There appears to be an "early" Wet this year, meaning better conditions and more breeding.

Thanks for posting.
 

gillettehunter

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Thanks for sharing. Looks like you had a great time. Sounds like a lot of fun to me. Nice pics. Always interesting to get a bit of shooting in and see what actual bullet performance is on animals.
Bruce
 

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Looks like you and your mate had a great time. Do you already have your arrangements made for net year's hunt?
 

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It seems that you guys had lots of fun and good shooting. Congrats !
 
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After lots of planning & some interference from covid we were on our way to the NT to complete some donkey culling at a brand new location. After two very long days which included border protection passes & tyre/wheel dramas we finally reached our destination. We were immediately assaulted next day with 36 degree heat after leaving August maximums in Central QLD of 20 degrees!
View attachment 376442
The first few days were just getting to know our way around this big place. Aerial culling before we arrived impacted on the numbers a bit but there were plenty of donkeys just a bit more bush between them.... The property manager gave us some free rein with the numerous scrub bulls on the place stating that if they have horns & aren't brahman we could shoot them with due care & attention. These old warriors were a great challenge & certainly spiced up the hunting plenty.
View attachment 376443
View attachment 376444I used two rifles on this trip a Sako AV .338W & my custom FN 9.3x62. My hunting mate was using a custom .308 Norma mag with a long tube. We decided to carry the bigger calibres for several reasons, the likelyhood of scrub bulls, practice for a future African adventure & more efficency culling mobs of donkeys. As the trip progressed the competition over rifle/cartridge combinations eased somewhat with some key learnings along the way. The .308 Norma (a .300 Mag) is very sudden on donkeys using 180 grain Speers/Woodleighs. On the heavier bulls with 220 grain Woodleighs this cartridge was noticeably gentler in terms of hitting power, most bulls requiring several good shots to anchor them. The .338W was also deadly on the donkeys with 225 grain pills but much more authoritive on the big bulls using the Woodleigh 250 grain Woodleigh round nose. I had plenty of the 250 grain protected points loaded but the RN was so effective I stuck with it! The 9.3x62 using 250 grain PP Woodleighs already proven previously was the most dynamic donkey bang flopper on this trip. The lone scrub bull shot with the 9.3 was the also the quickest of all to yield with a chest shot, I used a 320 grain Woodleigh PP.
View attachment 376439View attachment 376440
View attachment 376446View attachment 376447View attachment 376448We spent fourteen days total on the property most of these slogging through hundreds of kilometeres daily going between watering points. We had a day on horseback assisting the station moving weaners over 20 km (1700 head) my bones reminding me savagely of my 59 years. We socialised & toured around but all too quickly it was time to head back home. More border protection passes & the dreaded unpacking.... I was a fantastic trip, I hope the few photos do some justice the fine animals!View attachment 376445
@ Laurie Colgrave
I must have missed your phone call to go with you mate. Ha ha ha ha.
Looks like you had a great time.
How did the 9.3 for on the donkeys.
I reckon the Whelen would have been in its element.
Bob
 

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