AUSTRALIA: Northern Territory Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Australia & New Zealand' started by Dr Ray, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,942
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    This trip started in the planning about six months ago. The day before my son and I were to arrive in Darwin, I received a text to say the hunt was canceled. What!!!! Never rely on friends to organize things!

    I was devastated but contacted other friends to see what they could do at such short notice. But fortunately, they could help. The day after the arrival at Darwin we visited a private property to see whether we could catch up to four “meat” buffaloes. Judging by the footprints in the mud, I guess we missed them by several hours. Damm!

    The interesting thing was that we found a dead freshwater crocodile belly-up floating in the creek. There were no bite marks on it so we suspect it ate a cane toad and was poisoned. No we didn’t shoot it. Cane toads were introduced into Australia from Hawaii to eat cane beetles. Unfortunately they are everything else and have become a major pest, killing Australia’s wildlife.

    The following day we walked into various areas where buffalo were usually. No luck! Try another area. Still no luck. The areas of scrub and open plains are horrendous in size and our host, Clint didn’t have a chance to scout ahead of our trip. The swamps were showing signs of a very big wet season and we were bogged on 1 occasion. We saw nothing for the first day at all other than a few wallabies.

    The next day saw us checking a swamp area and its surrounding scrub. There were fresh buffalo tracks including the tracks of a small buffalo. The other tracks indicated that they were a number of dingoes in the area but all just kept going and going. We were thinking that we wouldn’t see anything.

    We finally went to a dry looking scrubby area that had been burnt. Clint said that this area often had scrub bulls in it. We stopped the 4wd near a creek and heard a mooing sound – but only for a few seconds. I thought it sounded like a cow. For once, the wind was exactly right for a stalk toward the sound. We had a “fix” (coffee/tea) and then began the stalk after allowing the beast to settle down assuming it heard our arrival.

    Chilli, the half dingo-cattle dog was excited to see wallabies but that was all. As we spread out to stalk toward where we assumed the beast was, my son, Craig, indicated that we had to lower ourselves and he whispered to me that there was a wild beast over there, pointing in the direction. Clint held Chilli to ensure she wouldn’t spook the beast while I swapped my 375 H& H magnum for the 270 Craig was carrying. Craig commenced his slow stalk.

    He went from tree to tree and kept as low as possible utilizing the scrub to his advantage. The beast was facing away from us and feeding and the only movement was the swishing tail. I could not see the head of the beast as it was always feeding directly away from us. The wind was still right for the hunt (which is unusual but much appreciated). I could see Craig going from tree to tree and raising the 375 but then lowering as he was moving to his right and closer. The scrub was certainly hindering the stalk but, then again, it kept Craig hidden and camouflaged too. A very good point I must add.

    After many, many minutes that seemed like hours, I lost sight of Craig who was slipping closer to the beast but to my right. I could see the beast feeding but still could not see the head as it was facing directly away from me and in shade. The only reason Craig saw it initially was due to the fact that he saw the movement of its tail. I now picked up Craig to my far right and he squatted yet again to try for a shot but stood up.

    The beast was on to him now! AND, now I saw that it was no cow but a bull in prime condition. It was looking at Craig and I started to cycle the bolt on my Sako 270 topped with a Swarovski 3.5-18 scope. I thought if Craig’s not going to shoot, I will because the bull was about to run. Bang went the 375 sending the 300 grain bullet on its way. The bull fell heavily and I started to run toward the downed bull What now! The bull struggled to its feet and started to run!

    I thought that he bull was hit very well and hard by the way he fell to the ground. The bull ran and then turned to face Craig who then fired again. Two hits and the bull ran but suddenly stopped to face Craig and then fell over. By now Clint, Chilli, Craig, and myself were at the bull. The first shot was a high lung shot and the bull, full of adrenaline, ran even with the second shot. Craig’s first shot was too high through the lungs and the second shot was too far back (a point he learned when he studied the bull on the ground).

    Both bullets completely exited which was disappointing especially as Ridgewalker wanted to see the photos of the mushroomed 300 grain Nosler partitions. I had to buy factory loads and could not get the Woodleighs as I hoped in time. Clint went and retrieved his Hilux 4wd to drag the bull to a better location not far from where the bull had fallen. Clint set up a shadecloth for us and we began to butcher the bull. This took a long time and my back still aches (mainly from a spine injuring fall when I was 15). I am truly grateful that Clint could drive the Toyota to the bull because to carry the meat out was going to take a mighty long time (the understatement of the year).

    The temperature at Darwin, even though it’s the “cool” season, was 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 F). Craig from Melbourne was finding it hard going because of the heat. The effort was worth it as we packed heaps of prime beef into the cool bins to transport to base. The dingoes would have dined well that night and maybe a few wild pigs as well. There was plenty of scraps for them and for a few nights I assume. Happy dining dingoes!

    The scrub bull was a welcome hunt but obviously we really wanted a buffalo each. However, with short a short notice hunt, we are very grateful to Clint (and not forgetting Chilli).

    IMG_2020.jpg Buffy.jpg

    Buffy the 18 year de-sexed male buffalo.


    IMG_2008.jpg Freshwater Croc.jpg

    A freshwater crocodile found dead in a creek.


    IMG_2049.jpg Chilli.jpg

    Chilli the guide's dog. Chilli is half dingo and cattle dog. (Australian cattle dogs were bred from the dingo).


    IMG_2051.jpg typical creek.jpg

    A typical creek in the NT. Now, what could possibly hurt you?



    Scrub and open "pockets" typical of the NT.


    IMG_2059.jpg Typical countrside.jpg

    Thick scrub which is, to say the least, difficult to hunt in.


    Myself and son, Craig (with his foot on the bull) along with Chilli at the wild scrub bull.


    IMG_2036.jpg myself and bull.jpg

    Myself photo-"hogging"`the wild scrub bull hunt. (LOL)!


    IMG_2032.jpg Craig & Clint.jpg

    Craig and Clint the real hunters!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2018

  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,548
    Video/Photo:
    53
    Likes Received:
    6,298
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    Well done! Don't think I'd want to face off with one of them pissed off and me holding a .270 however.
     
    Anthony George and Dr Ray like this.

  3. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,942
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    He was absolutely in prime condition and when I saw him through the scope just prior to Craig shooting him, believe me, I was thinking the same.
    We also carry tourniquet bandages because if something did go wrong we needed to make sure we didn’t bleed out.
    I believe soldiers in war zones carry them too!
     
    Anthony George likes this.

  4. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,942
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    You may notice Craig has a close resemblance to Tom Cruise (except Craig is a lot taller)
     
    Anthony George likes this.

  5. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,942
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    When that bull spotted Craig he reminded me of one of those bulls that are "engaged" in the bull fights. He was sure alert and stood his ground. I thought he may have charged and that's why I started to cycle the bolt on my 270!
    The photo doesn't show the how thick the horns are. I estimated that the bull was around 10-12 years of age judging by the teeth and the condition of him.

    IMG_2010.jpg Buffy being fed bread.jpg IMG_2028.jpg Craig & Bull.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2018

  6. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    897
    Video/Photo:
    7
    Likes Received:
    857
    Location:
    Canterbury, New Zealand
    Hunted:
    NZ
    Nice looking bull! A NT hunt is up there on my bucket list. Pity your mate cancelled on you at the last minute.
     
    Anthony George and Dr Ray like this.

  7. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,942
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    Let’s say that it’s not the thing to do.
    A buff would have been nice but the scrub bull was good too.
     
    Anthony George likes this.

  8. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    4,687
    Video/Photo:
    182
    Likes Received:
    4,412
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hunted:
    South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
    Excellent report Dr Ray! Wish I could have been there. It sounds like a fun hunt in a wild place!
    Also it looks like some great eating too!
    Congratulations to you and Craig for pulling off what could have been a disaster when your friend backed out at the last minute!
     

  9. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,942
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    Certainly got a lot of beef. It’s just a pity the Noslers exited as I was keen to see the performance as in the mushroom and how they held together.
    The NT is challenging to say the least. Ps my back is still aching from bending over cutting up the animal. I’m lying in bed typing this 9pm eastern oz time Tuesday)
    In future I will take my Sako 338 Winchester magnum as a backup rather than the 270.
    The way the bull looked at Craig just before the first shot was something I will never forget.
    I think if Craig had been closer I’m fairly sure the bull would have charged.
    Ridgewalker you and I need to hunt the NT!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2018

  10. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2016
    Messages:
    489
    Video/Photo:
    11
    Likes Received:
    224
    Member of:
    BASC, SCI
    Hunted:
    Europe
    Great hunt guys! I do want to get to the NT one day!


    Scrummy
     
    Anthony George and Dr Ray like this.

  11. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,329
    Video/Photo:
    38
    Likes Received:
    3,116
    Location:
    Ontario
    Member of:
    OFAH, DSC
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Canada, USA
    Great report, and I am glad your son was successful. Very happy you had time with him in the field!
     
    Anthony George and Dr Ray like this.

  12. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    21,631
    Video/Photo:
    411
    Likes Received:
    14,187
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
    Thanks for the trip into the territory. It is always pleasure to see what hunts are like around the world.
    Congratulations on your Beef acquisition.
     
    Anthony George likes this.

  13. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,601
    Video/Photo:
    131
    Likes Received:
    7,181
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Member of:
    Life Member Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, NRA, Huntin' Fool, DSC and Pope and Young Club
    Hunted:
    USA, Mexico, Canada, RSA, Australia NT
    Great story! Counting the days until I get there!
     
    Anthony George and Dr Ray like this.

  14. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    8,032
    Video/Photo:
    303
    Likes Received:
    6,601
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe
    Congrats!!! Man I want to hunt in the Northern Territory, its on my short list!
     
    Anthony George likes this.

  15. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,089
    Video/Photo:
    81
    Likes Received:
    2,594
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(2) New Zealand
    Nicely done sir. Great recovery from your friend dropping the planned hunt. Always better to get something rather than nothing. Congrats
    Bruce
     
    Anthony George likes this.

  16. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    1,134
    Video/Photo:
    173
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Hunted:
    Canada(Sask./B.C.), Namibia, RSA(Eastern Cape) USA(Texas)
    @Dr Ray that looks like a supremely fun hunt! Nice animals, that scrub bull is the slickest looking one that I've seen pics of I think. That would be such an adventure hunt! Love the pic of Chilli...she looks like a real firecracker!
     
    Anthony George and Dr Ray like this.

  17. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    13,130
    Video/Photo:
    215
    Likes Received:
    9,371
    Member of:
    Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
    Hunted:
    South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
    Thanks for sharing the story sir!
     
    Anthony George and Dr Ray like this.

  18. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    4,427
    Video/Photo:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3,476
    Location:
    Grosse Ile, Michigan
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
    Your story is proof positive of the old adage about taking what the "bush" gives you. Is beef better than buffalo as far as eating goes?
     
    Anthony George and Dr Ray like this.

  19. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,942
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    I’ve only eaten buffalo once. I found it to be better than beef but, that’s a very small sample.
    I’m hoping to be able to get s buff next time.
     
    Anthony George likes this.

  20. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,942
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1,343
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    First time since January 2002.
    Craig is a mighty long way from where I live and he’s a line training captain on Airbus. That means he had a roster that changes from month to month and with his young children,he cannot get away much.
     
    Anthony George likes this.

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice