AUSTRALIA: Northern Territory In The Build Up

Mark R

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Hi everyone, just back from the Top End of Australia after a long time locked down with Covid19. As soon as our region was open to the NT I booked tickets to visit my daughter and get a bit of Magpie Goose shooting in. This time of the year it is very hot and humid with just occasional storms to cool things off so the goose shooting was hot but carried out late afternoons and into dusk. Steel shot #2's and bb's were the ammo of choice with full chokes for these big buggers and it was fun. The last 20 minutes before dark were the best as the birds moved off the orchard and headed back to the swamps for the evening. While I was there I got a chance to head down to Katherine and head out with Alex Jagers of Big Country Safaris for a day hunt with my new Winchester Model 70 Alaskan in 375H&H loaded up with Woodleigh Hydro's.
We were looking over buffalo, scrub bulls and maybe a pig or wild dog if they showed. Did I say a big day? We left town at 3am, travelled out to the area and arrived just on daylight. Immediately we were looking at buff. We toured around in the 42 degree temps in the Hilux looking over buffalo bulls and scrub bulls. If one took my fancy it was coming home with me.....Did I mention hot??? About midday as the sun was at it's worst we crested a rise and down below us were 3 scrub bulls lazing in the shade. They also figured it too hot to do much else. These guys are usually very switched on and difficult to get near but being so hot allowed me to quickly exit the ute and move in for a shot at a huge horned scrubber. The first shot entered front on pretty well and the bull shuddered but moved off with his mates for about 40m before stopping as he was hard hit and waiting to bleed out. I moved up quickly and put another shot into his shoulder which put him down for good.
We caped this bloke out in the extreme heat and put the skin into an icy brine and continued on our scout of the hunting area.
After a lot of miles, one scrub bull and 3 wild dogs we finally arrived back at Alex's place at 8pm that evening. What a day. What a great day......
I absolutely had a ball, saw plenty of good buff and scrub bulls. My return will be immanent but will include some friends and more time. The Northern Territory is one of my favourite places in the world... I did get to see my daughter for 3 weekends in a row as she was teaching at a community school on an Island that was difficult to access, so she came back to the mainland. Looks like she may be home for xmas as well now that restrictions on travel are easing here!!!!!

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Dr Ray

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Hi everyone, just back from the Top End of Australia after a long time locked down with Covid19. As soon as our region was open to the NT I booked tickets to visit my daughter and get a bit of Magpie Goose shooting in. This time of the year it is very hot and humid with just occasional storms to cool things off so the goose shooting was hot but carried out late afternoons and into dusk. Steel shot #2's and bb's were the ammo of choice with full chokes for these big buggers and it was fun. The last 20 minutes before dark were the best as the birds moved off the orchard and headed back to the swamps for the evening. While I was there I got a chance to head down to Katherine and head out with Alex Jagers of Big Country Safaris for a day hunt with my new Winchester Model 70 Alaskan in 375H&H loaded up with Woodleigh Hydro's.
We were looking over buffalo, scrub bulls and maybe a pig or wild dog if they showed. Did I say a big day? We left town at 3am, travelled out to the area and arrived just on daylight. Immediately we were looking at buff. We toured around in the 42 degree temps in the Hilux looking over buffalo bulls and scrub bulls. If one took my fancy it was coming home with me.....Did I mention hot??? About midday as the sun was at it's worst we crested a rise and down below us were 3 scrub bulls lazing in the shade. They also figured it too hot to do much else. These guys are usually very switched on and difficult to get near but being so hot allowed me to quickly exit the ute and move in for a shot at a huge horned scrubber. The first shot entered front on pretty well and the bull shuddered but moved off with his mates for about 40m before stopping as he was hard hit and waiting to bleed out. I moved up quickly and put another shot into his shoulder which put him down for good.
We caped this bloke out in the extreme heat and put the skin into an icy brine and continued on our scout of the hunting area.
After a lot of miles, one scrub bull and 3 wild dogs we finally arrived back at Alex's place at 8pm that evening. What a day. What a great day......
I absolutely had a ball, saw plenty of good buff and scrub bulls. My return will be immanent but will include some friends and more time. The Northern Territory is one of my favourite places in the world... I did get to see my daughter for 3 weekends in a row as she was teaching at a community school on an Island that was difficult to access, so she came back to the mainland. Looks like she may be home for xmas as well now that restrictions on travel are easing here!!!!!

Very good
Thanks for posting
 

Dr Ray

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I find the NT heat and humidity very hard going.
Cairns is ver similar in latitude but it sure is cooler here.
Last year I shot a big scrub bull at 8 in the morning in early November.
I was in a lather of sweat within minutes just cutting up the bull.
I’m going in the cooler month of June.
 

Uncle Sauce

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Congrats - thanks for sharing the great photos!
 

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Nice bull, congrats.

By the way, I am green with envy, different regional lockups are preventing me to do my planned hunt.
 

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Yikes! Nearly 108 F! That’s hot!
You did great! Looks like a fun time chasing so many species...water buff, wild dogs, geese, brush bulls! Envy even if it was hot as blazes!
 

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Congrats, thanks for the pictures!
 

Mark R

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I find the NT heat and humidity very hard going.
Cairns is ver similar in latitude but it sure is cooler here.
Last year I shot a big scrub bull at 8 in the morning in early November.
I was in a lather of sweat within minutes just cutting up the bull.
I’m going in the cooler month of June.
Yes Dr Ray, May to September is much nicer for sure but we have to experience the build up a few times. As a side note when I got home to NW Victoria, we copped our hottest November day on record. 46 degrees Celsius.
 

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Congrats on a great hunt, photos and getting to see your daughter! Definitely a dream hunt for me, especially if there was some saltwater fishing thrown in. But not in that heat...I become a sweaty, whiny baby when the mercury hits 25C! By the way, on different nature programs I’ve watched, bower birds always collected blue objects, your pic has one with all white ones. Was it a Satin Bowerbird?
 

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Mark R, that was a hell of a hunt. Do you realize that you've made us all jealous? Thanks for "taking" us along.
 

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Sounds like a lot of fun. despite the heat. Congrats.
Bruce
 

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Nice pics. Thanks for sharing
 

Mark R

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Congrats on a great hunt, photos and getting to see your daughter! Definitely a dream hunt for me, especially if there was some saltwater fishing thrown in. But not in that heat...I become a sweaty, whiny baby when the mercury hits 25C! By the way, on different nature programs I’ve watched, bower birds always collected blue objects, your pic has one with all white ones. Was it a Satin Bowerbird?
Not sure on that one, we never saw the bird??
 

Bearbait1

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OK, I’ll ask it. What is ”the build up”?
 

Mark R

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OK, I’ll ask it. What is ”the build up”?
In the north of Australia it's tropical, so they have a dry season and a wet season. The rains start about December but the proper monsoonal rains begin after xmas usually. The 'build up' is the build up to the wet season when temps and humidity are high and tempers can get frayed. It's taxing on the mind and body, bloody unpleasant really;)
 

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