The long anticipated tour de force to the NT on a cull hunt with the YB and I to Matt's Boar camp finally arrived and after packing the Prado on the Tuesday night and still reloading for the .270 and 30/06AI till about 12am and adding stuff I thought we may need. I hit the sack about 12.30am and about 5 hrs later the alarm went off and after a quick feed hit the bitumen. I set a target of 1000 -1200 klms a day and when the tank on the Prado went to the extra tank (180 litre tank on the Prado) I filled the tank back up theory being that it's cheaper to put $120 -$150 in the tank instead of $300+ in 1 hit. Fuel ranged from $1.47 a litre at Mt. Isa (cheapest for the whole trip) to the dearest $1.89 a litre at 3 Ways.

       The 1st stop for the trip was at Tambo for the night at the caravan park at roughly 7.30 pm (1130 km's approx.). Up at 5.30am and off for another long day on the road and finally pulled up about 55klms from Barkley Homestead on the 3 Ways side of it at about 11.30 pm and parked in a car/truck bay for the night which left us about 8 hrs on the road to Katherine the next day. We pulled into Longreach for a quick look at the QANTAS display and out side of Winton there was a paddock with camels in it apparently resting there before the camel races at Bedourie and Winton in the next couple of weeks. Out the other side of Winton there was a roadtrain bogged at the road works as well.

     

       On the way up we ran into The Animal towing his trailer but as we came up behind him (didn’t realise it was him at 1st)I said to Nick:”Look at the axles on this trailer in front, they’re skewiffed to the right at a weird angle!” It was as we were overtaking that we realised that it was Rod. We pulled over to the side of the road and had a look at the trailer. It had detonated a tyre earlier that day and it looked as though it also caused the leaf spring to snap and the locating bolt in the spring pack to snap causing the axle to shift backwards and outwards.

       We did some quick repairs and continued on into Katherine where we booked into Knotts Crossing resort for the night. After we’d settled in we then decided to go out for a bite to eat before settling down for the night before heading out the hunting grounds the next day with Matt. It was at this stage while working out where to eat that 1 of the darker coloured people walked past Rod and grabbed him on the arse to which Rod replied: “Like a bit of white meat do ya?”. My 1st words to Rod were to keep it quiet as we were outnumbered by half of Katherine at that stage and we did a tactical withdrawal to the rear and grabbed a feed and went back to the resort and hit the sack.

The Cull begins:

       Matt rocks in the next day around 1.30pm and after a quick coffee and a bite to eat Matt draws a mud map of how to get out to the place we were hunting on and then we follow him to the service station where we grab some spare parts and tyres and some jerry cans of fuel off Matt to run out there as he had to wait for 2 more clients to turn up from Darwin and off we, Rod and his son go on the 2 hour trip to the property go turning up there at approximately 4.30-5.00pm after crossing the Daly River. This is Rod crossing and it was flowing pretty well with a very strong current.
          
       Looks easy but trust me about half way across it gets a little deeper and faster running and the pucker valve starts sucking air a little quicker.
We finally get to the base camp and after greeting Mark Rohde (from here at AHN) we settle in awaiting the start of hostilities the next day. That night Nick opened up the account by spearing 5 cane toads, sort of an Eco Warrior.

       The next day started with a 5.00am wake up and brekky before heading off in 1 of the camp Tojo’s to 1 of the many bait stations set up on the place. The party consisted of Mark as the guide, Rod, my YB and I. We arrived at the 1st bait station and as we started to walk to the 1st bait about 400 yds off Rod calls me and says: “Look at this!” I turned around and there not more than 10 metres away was a wild dog just standing there looking at us. I turned to Mark and asked him if it was alright to shoot it and he replied that it was and so slamming a 165gn GameKing into the chamber I did a quick aim and fired: “BOOOOM!” the 30/06AI rang out and the shot landed just under him and with a huge yelp the dog took off like a space shuttle but pulled up about 100yds out for another look when Rod let drive at it with his PH .303 which just missed him and that was enough for this dog as he sped off like a stolen car. We walked up to the baits after Mark checked it out with his bino’s and had a look at what was left of the donkey and horse carcasses and that wasn’t much with pig and dog tracks surrounding them. We left these and walked down to the river and saw another dog but it wasn’t sitting around too long so it was back to camp for a late smoko.

       Later that arvo we saddled up again and went looking for horses or donkeys to shoot to freshen up the bait stations and out in the middle of a paddock we saw 3 horses watching us. Mark told Rod and myself to chamber a round and follow him Indian file towards the horses who were starting to get a bit agitated as we got closer. We stopped about 150yds away and Mark told us to stay still as the Stallion came charging out at us challenging us, bad mistake as Rod had 1st shot and drove a 180gn pill out of .303 into it. The stallion stumbled, turned and ran a short distance where both Rod and I drove 2 shots into it and dropped it. The other 2 horses started getting a tad edgy and started to move off and Rod and I drove a couple of shots into them and dropped them as well. That took care of fresh baits and so it was back to camp for a late feed and getting ready for a late arvo hunt on some different baits. Rod decided to stay in camp as his feet were killing him so Mark, Nick and me headed out to another bait station with the 30/06AI and the CMC Mountaineer in .270 stuffed with 130gn Gamekings.

       We arrived near the baits and walked up them and about 100yds out Mark indicated that there were about 6 or more pigs on the baits and if Nick wanted to bag a pig this was it. Mark gave Nick instructions on how he wanted him to do things so he and Mark snuck forward with me behind them and at 10 metres Mark pointed out a sow sitting on her bum chewing on a festering bit of horse. Nick used a sapling as a rest and lined up on the sow and drove a 130gn GameKing into it’s neck and dropped it on the spot and at the sound of the shot I stepped out from behind Nick and dropped a sow on the run and then turned to my right and drove another round into another sow which dropped, got up, ran a bit and dropped again and then got up and that was the last we saw of her, tough bastards these grunters. The look on Nick’s face was that of someone who’d just won a gold medal in the Olympics except this was his 1st ever pig.
Day 2:

       Started much as Day1 with a early start off to a bait station to check it out but with no result pig or dog wise but plenty of sign of activity so we headed out looking for more wonkey’s and horses to freshen up the bait stations. This proved fruitless so it was back to camp for a late lunch and a break before heading off to a
creek that Mark wanted to check out. Nick, Rod, Mark and myself pulled up about 1klm away from the creek and started walking it with Mark using his Swarovski bino’s regularly. We hit a bit of an open patch on the creek with some sand and rock and a large open area so Mark started checking for sign in the sand on the creek bank and creek bed and suddenly found a few fresh pig tracks and then in a little feeder offshoot he spotted a very fresh wallow in the sand. Mark motioned us to be ready and we started to walk up it very slowly with Mark glassing every nook and  cranny. He then motioned us to walk up on the high bank and
then suddenly not more than half a dozen steps and a big black boar exploded out from under the bank below us. I threw the 30/06AI up and in the ‘scope at a range of less than 10metres fired at the arse end of the boar and hit him in the back end which slowed him down. Meanwhile Rod let drive at the boar with his PH.303 as well and the shot just sailed over it’s back which then made the boar turn right which gave me the perfect side on
shot and I smashed his shoulder with the next shot which dropped him instantly. Now it got real entertaining as at the sound of my shot as another smaller boar burst out virtually under Nick and Rod’s feet. The brown boar hit the water like a bomb and as it cleared the creek on the opposite Rod let drive and hit it in the rear quarters slowing it slightly and then fired again and just missed. By this time I had swung around and as I let go so did Rod and we virtually hit the boar at the same time and dropped him on the spot, talk about an adrenaline rush, who needs drugs for a buzz when stuff like this happens.

       After the backslapping and pic taking Mark knocked the head off the black boar so that he could boil the tusks Out. After getting back to camp a late feed was had and we then headed out for a session on some bait stands. This turned out to be fruitless as the only thing that got fed was the bloody mozzies but hell it was a very eventful day with my biggest pig to date. At this stage Matt had to return to the kids and missus for a bit of R&R and taking care of business and in the meantime Matt’s guide, Pete and his partner Meagan turned up from Matt’s Buffalo camp at Gan Gan a couple of hours out of Gove as there were no clients for a week so Pete came across to help out guiding the other 2 blokes Andrew and Greg from Sydney.


Day 3:
       Started out as usual with Mark and Pete firing up the kettle and after a quick feed of cereal and crumpets Pete took off in 1 direction with Andrew and Greg (who were having a good trip as well) and Mark ,Rod, Nick and I headed off to another bait station. As I was 1st shot I loaded a round into the chamber and with the bolt up on a live round so that all’s I had to do was push the bolt down to fire I followed Mark with Rod following towards the bait station about 3-400yds away. About 100yds off the baits Mark started glassing and suddenly turned to me and whispered that to our right there was a pig about 100yds roughly, feeding and not in much of a hurry. In the early morning light the sun hadn’t cleared the horizon yet but it was getting light and the sow was only a black blob until I put the Leupold 6X Compact on here just on her right shoulder and touched the Timney trigger and with a loud crashing BOOOOM! In the early morning light a 165gn GameKing crashed into her shoulder and she staggered forward a couple of steps and fell over with her back legs kicking fresh air, dead before she hit the ground. She was in good condition and roughly about 65kgs as were all the pigs we shot. We went and checked the baits and seeing nothing went back to the Tojo where Nick and Rod’s YB were waiting for us.

       At this stage Rod wasn’t feeling real confidant with his PH .303 as he reckoned that he wasn’t hitting where he was aiming and Mark reckoned he was sure that he’d seen a cloud of dust not far from us when we hooked into a mob of donkeys earlier that were about 100yds off.
Rod asked me if he could borrow my 30/06 as he was next shot and I ran him through how the old girl worked. We drove from the bait station and were heading back to camp for a bite to eat when across the road in front of us at a creek crossing a small mob of pigs crossed the road and headed off into the scrub next to the creek. Mark hit the brakes and Rod, Nick, Mark and I headed off into the scrub at a point where we reckoned we might head off the pigs. I gave Rod my rifle and he followed Mark into the thick stuff along the creek.

       We stalked in and then just to our left some movement proved to be the mob of pigs and Mark directed Rod to shoot the 1st pig he could see and as Rod moved forward a large sow showed herself for a couple of seconds and Rod raised the 30/06AI and let drive at her. A solid hit and a very loud squeal indicated a wounded pig as she kept going but dragging a rear leg as she started running as Rod fired and he hit her a bit far back. Rod chambered another round and moved forward and tripped falling forward Mark and I just stood there gobsmacked as this could’ve been bloody dangerous but all was well as Rod didn’t have his finger anywhere near the trigger and the bolt was still up still it could’ve been “interesting”. We snuck around checking under bushes and fallen logs and although there were signs of drag marks and blood we searched for
nearly 20 minutes but came up with nothing, BUGGER! A possibly badly wounded pig wandering around and no sign of it, which in this thick
scrub could prove very dangerous.

       Back at camp we had another late feed and Pete’s partner Meagan knocked up a salad for us, actually she fed us fairly well during the whole time we were there and provided some monster feeds to keep us going, thanks Meagan. Mark said he wanted to check a creek out after a feed
and with this Rod declined the next tour of duty as his knees were killing him after his fall earlier in the day so Mark, Nick and I saddled up and drove off to the creek that Mark wanted to check out. Half an hour later we pulled up near the creek and wandered down to start stalking along it.It was covered in tall lignum type stuff and visibility was limited to about 5 metres or so tops so every step was done with as much care as possible in the dead leaves. About 50 metres into the stalk Mark stops and starts glassing the banks of the creek both on top and under the banks looking for any pigs that may be resting up in the shade out of the heat when he takes a step forward and the grass in front of us explodes with about 6 pigs taking off in all directions but offering no chance of a shot as the grass/lignum was way too thick to get a decent shot away, BASTARDS! Scared about 10 year’s life out of me and Redman plus Mark was pissed about blowing a chance to nail more pigs. Ahhh well that’s hunting at its best I suppose with success also comes failures and that’s what makes it such a great teacher for patience and observation.


       As I hadn’t fired a shot we continued on hoping that the pigs may have stopped a bit further on but it wasn’t to be and after 100 yards or so I was walking behind Mark when I heard a rustle on the opposite bank and swinging around to my left I looked for the source of the noise and bugger me a bloody Whip Snake about 1 metre in length comes across the creek bed and towards us. I called to Mark “SNAKE,SNAKE!” and he turned around and just as he asked where I pointed at a spot about 1 metre in front of us as the bloody thing went across our track. This normally wouldn’t be too bad but Mark was wandering about the place in thongs (must be a Territory thing).

       We went on for a bit more but seen bugger all except for some tracks so we headed back to the ‘cruiser for a drink and a think about the next line of attack. Mark reckoned we should try a bit further on this creek system so we headed off and about 10 minutes later we pulled up and
started walking the creek. We walked for about 100 metres or so with Mark glassing the undersides of the banks when as we rounded a corner Mark stops and glasses up a head of us and turns to me and indicates that there is a mob of pigs in the shade of a tree in the creek bed dozing about 50 metres or so further on. We climb up the right side of the bank and take our boots off and start walking in the sand towards the pigs. That bloody sand was f&*king hot and it was a bit of an effort to keep quiet but the chance at flattening a few more pigs was worth it. At roughly 20
metres Mark had a quick look through his bino’s and motioned me to take the shot at the pigs and as I lined up on a pigs head a large sow
stood up and presented a beautiful side on shot and I drove a 165gn Game King into the base of her neck dropping her on the spot.

       At the sound of the shot pigs exploded everywhere and in the mad arse panic I tried to chamber another and absolutely screwed the whole bloody deal up as I fumbled around like a 15 year old trying to undo his 1st bra on the girl next door. Pissed off I walked off down to the pig with the rifle shouldered and Mark and Nick in front of me when both Mark and Nick yelled “PIG!” As another sow was up against the bank just in front of the sow I shot and as I again f&*ked around trying to get the rifle off my shoulder and aimed at the sow she was gone in a second, FAAAAAAAARK,! This was getting to be a PITA big time, anyway I added another pig to the tally but to cap it off we left the bloody camera
back at the car which was a good 1klm or so away, talk about when it rains it pours. Went back to the ‘cruiser and headed back to camp for a
feed before the afternoon entertainment began.

       We discussed battle tactics with Mark and he reckoned a trip to another bait just before dark and wait for the pigs or dogs to come in was the go so that set us up. Around 3.30 -4.00pm we loaded up the ‘cruiser with water and 3 deck chairs and headed out to the next bait station and
arrived there jumped off the ‘cruiser and slowly walked in to the baits slowly with Mark glassing regularly till we got to the baits and set up about 10 metres off the baits downwind and waited.

       It was Rod’s shot 1st and it was here that I left my 30/06AI at camp and bought the CMC Mountaineer .270 for Nick to shoot. Rod by this time decided to hire a camp rifle a .308 Remington 700. I was observer with Mark so sat back a bit and looked and waited for something to appear.
About a ½ hour passed before Mark whispered to me and Nick and Rod that there were pigs inbound on our left about 150yds out. This was going to be very interesting as on their present course they would cut across the wind and get our scent as well so Mark told Rod and Nick to get ready and for me to move behind him as I’d be in the line of fire so I quietly scrambled across and behind Mark and we waited for the pigs to appear. The lead sows came into view about 20 metres out with 1 sow closer at about 10 metres and with them about a dozen or so slips that wouldn’t have been more than a month old at the best. One of the sows on our far left cut the breeze and stopped with her snout in the air and looked directly at us and the sow next to her stopped turned and was just about to take off when Mark hissed “NOW!” and Rod stood up from his deck chair and drove a 150gn Federal Factory load into the closest sow’s head and dropped her on the spot.Nick fired the .270 at a sow and hit her in the ribs and she took off heading towards the river which was about 500+ yards away over a small crest. Mark told us to walk as the Nick’s sow was hit hard but not going all that quick and we sighted her about 100 yards away standing on the crest of the ridge leading down to the river.

       Nick moved to a sapling and lined up the sow with me telling him to aim at her right shoulder. Nick lined her up in the ‘scope and as he fired she stepped forward and the 130gn GameKing caught her just back behind the ribs again and she disappeared over the crest towards the river
“SHIT!” Another wounded pig but this time the tracks were more defined and there was a bit more blood to follow over open sandy ground but
the tracks led straight into some real thick bushes now it was going to get REAL interesting. We stood there for a moment discussing tactics and Mark suggested that we spread out a bit and with fingers on the trigger Rod, Nick and I were about to move in when Mark asked if he could use
the .270 and shoot the pig as he was the guide to which we all agreed that it would be a better idea as both Rod and Nick have never faced a
wounded angry pig in stuff where a long shot may be measured in feet or inches. We moved back 20 metres or so in case the pig charged
out and watched Mark stalk in and about 5 metres in he raised the .270 and fired and the sow hit the deck dead.

       After the mandatory backslapping and congratulations especially for Nick as this sow was bigger than his 1st sow estimated at 85kgs we headed back to the ‘cruiser and back to a hot shower and another huge feed and to catch up with Greg and Andrew who were really getting stuck into the feral horses and donkeys plus a few wild dogs.

Day 4: (Quadrella Day we cleaned up big time)

       This day started out as the others with a early 5am rise, breakfast and off to a bait station. We arrived near the bait station dismounted and with Mark leading the way I, Rod and Nick started the 400 odd yard stalk to the bait station. About 100 metres off the baits Mark glasses it and
turns to me and says that there is a mob of pigs feeding so I close the bolt on the 30/06AI and we stalk in stopping to glass to make sure that there are no pigs we haven’t seen that could ruin the stalk in and to make sure that the pigs weren’t moving out. At 20 metres Mark motioned me to move forward and sneaking to a small sapling to my left I snuck up to it and spotted a huge razorback boar at the back of the mob. This fella had my name on him and as I put my foot down to use the sapling my foot landed on top of a dry leaf “CRUNCH!” it sounded like a gunshot and at the noise the pigs were up and off especially the razorback that hit the after burners and was gone. Mark hissed out to wait as a small boar stopped about 50 metres out and I drilled it in the shoulder and dropped it on the spot.

       To say I was pissed off at my carelessness was an understatement as this razorback stood about half a shoulder over any pig in that mob but wait a second Mark starts waving to Rod that there is still another pig on the bait oblivious to the racket going on so Rod moves forward and fires and at 20 metres the boar drops on the spot. We go the boar and seeing what looked like a decent set of hooks on it we were soon disappointed as the tusk on 1 side was small but growing back and when we turned it over to look at the other tusk we found it was completely missing. Rod at this stage was starting to shoot with a lot of confidence with the .308 and this was reflected a lot more as the rest of the week panned out and he started dropping horses and donkeys.

       After checking out the 2 pigs we walked back to the Tojo and headed out to the baits where Nick got his 1st ever pig. We pulled up short of the bait and walked in with Mark glassing but it was to no avail as there wasn’t a thing in sight but we walked in anyway to check the condition of the baits and saw that they needed freshening up so more donkeys or horses were to be sacrificed for the good of the hunt. Jumping back in the ‘cruiser the 4 of us headed off past the baits and crossed a creek heading to a bit of new ground that Mark had recently guided a client onto and had taken a good boar from there. We bumped and bashed along for about 10 minutes when Mark stopped the ‘cruiser and we got out and walked a creek for about 10 minutes for no result. Got back in the ‘cruiser and headed off towards some hills when Nick suddenly yells “DOG!” and looking behind us here was a wild dog staring at us. Mark slams the brakes on and I whip the 30/06AI up and put the crosshairs on its chest and fire at a range of 10 metres and the Game King slams into it and as the dog falls backwards it’s trying to bite the thing that blew a hole in its ribs.

       We moved on towards the boundary fence and after 10 minutes or so driving along the fence line we stopped to pick up some firewood for
the camp and then noticed a couple of horses in the background which caused a bit of panic as we jumped back in the ‘cruiser and started to
head towards them but they wouldn’t stop and after a couple of hundred metres we gave up and headed back to camp for lunch. After lunch Mark took Rod, Nick and I to another area looking for horses or donkeys for bait and after driving around for a bit Mark stops the ‘cruiser and starts glassing a ridge line and announces that there is a horse amongst some trees and behind him on the ridge line is more donkeys and horses. We look at the stallion amongst the trees about 150 metres away and Mark starts to head towards him in the ‘cruiser. Rod and I get ready and as Mark stops about 100 metres from the stallion, the stallion starts to head towards us as he see’s us as a threat to his mares and stops about 50 metres away as Mark tells us to both fire on him at once. We both fire at once and the stallion goes down solidly hit in the chest with a 150gn .308 pill and a 165gn pill out of my 30/06AI. Mark tells us to reload and wait and about 2 minutes later a mare comes down from the ridge to look for the stallion and stops about 50 metres away from us and as Rod couldn’t see her properly for a clear shot I lined up on her lower chest and dropped her on the spot.

       During all this a mob of ‘roos were standing there watching us not even interested in moving and as we moved towards where the donkeys
were still standing on the ridge they still stood there. We stopped about 50 metres from the donkeys and Rod lined up on the 1st one and dropped it on the spot where upon I let go and in the space of about a minute or so 3 donkeys were despatched with 1 shot each. We found that by hitting the donkeys high in the chest/shoulder area they just dropped instantly and with the horses a low chest shot had the same effect. We could’ve taken a couple of more donkeys but Mark didn’t want any more as we had enough to replenish the bait stations so the 2 other donkeys that were hanging around were spared and still the mob of ‘roos were hanging around watching us.

       


       After Mark GPS’d the spot where the donkeys were so that he could get them later we headed off again with Mark saying that he was going to drop Rod and I off at 2 bait stations for a bit of a late afternoon wait. Mark dropped me off at the bait station and I grabbed a bottle of water, a torch and some RID repellent and ammo and climbed up the ladder and set myself up for the long wait as Mark, Rod and Nick headed off to drop Rod at the next bait station and Mark and Nick were going back to pick up the horses and donkeys we had just shot and then come back and pick us up. Sitting in the stand over a couple of very smelly putrid baits was a real challenge but the wait was worth it as after half an hour a movement to the right about 100 metres out caught my eye and a black boar emerged from the tall grass along the creek and very casually made his way towards the bait. About 50 metres out he had a bit of a sniff of the air and then rubbed his bum on a log and then walked up to the baits and just out from them he found a bit of meat and started chomping on it before moving up to the nearest carcass and as he was about to chew on it I levelled the ‘scope on his left shoulder and at 10 metres from above him I dropped him on the spot with a shot through the top of the shoulder down through his chest.

       I got down from the stand and moved the boar away from the baits to a spot10 metres away as Mark had mentioned that if any other pigs smelt another boar’s scent they wouldn’t come in so I moved him away and climbed back up to the seat and commenced to wait for whatever came in. About ½ an hour passed and with the setting Sun another boar came in from almost the same spot and as I watched him he did
virtually the same thing and rubbed his bum on the same log and then walked up to a small sapling and after rubbing his face on it gave it a flogging with his tusks and then walked up to wards the baits, stopped sniffed the wind and then started to walk towards the boar I’d just shot.
Thinking that this would scare him off I tried to swivel around in the chair without making any noise but I couldn’t get a comfortable position to fire but at the last moment he changed direction and headed to the baits and stopped just in front of me. He then took a step forward and that’s when I let drive at his left shoulder and instead of dropping on the spot he spun around and headed towards my stand dragging his left front leg and as he passed underneath me I lent forward a bit and let drive directly down through his back at which he did a bit of drifting and broadsided, fell over
right next to the boar I’d just dragged off the baits. Now that’s what I call considerate as I didn’t even have to get down off the stand to move him off the baits.

       At this stage of the day the Sun had set and now the moon was starting to rise.The mozzies were starting to get a tad too friendly so I sprayed myself with RID and had a drink of water and sat back and waited for Mark and Nick to turn up not thinking that much else would happen after 2 shots going off so close to each other and the fact that I couldn’t be that lucky to score a 3rd shot, shit I couldn’t win Lotto if I was the only one in it.
Well, didn’t I get that wrong as I could hear a noise at the baits and in the moonlight I couldn’t see any dark shapes denoting a pig so I carefully picked up the torch and with the rifle aimed both at where the noise was coming from and hit the light and there, caught in the light red handed was a wild dog and the look on it’s face was priceless as it froze for a second looking straight at the light with a bit of the carcass in it’s mouth probably thinking “Oh Shit this ain’t going to end well!” but I let him go as I was hoping for another possible crack at a pig.

       Didn’t have to wait long as a noise on the baits dragged me out of a snooze (bloody long days do catch up) and looking thru the scope on the rifle I could barely make out a shape and it was that bloody dog back for round 2. I was debating about giving it a real bad case of indigestion when a grunt and a dark shape just out from the dog got the heart racing as a boar was there looking at the bloody dog chewing on the carcass.
I slowly raised the rifle and looking through the 6x Leupold Compact I could make the pig out in the moonlight and as he was facing me I aimed at his chest and fired. At the shot I lost sight of the pig as a sheet of flame and recoil made me lose sight but the bloody dog got the shock of it’s life as all’s I heard was “YIPE,YIPE,YIPE” as the dog must of shit itself and headed off into the scrub at the speed of light. The boar dropped on the spot and not long after that I could hear the ‘cruiser coming up the track to pick me up. Mark and Nick pulled up with 2 horses and a donkey
still on the back of the ‘cruiser and after checking out the 3 boars Mark cut their heads off so as to boil the heads to get the hooks off them.


       We left 2 horses at this bait station and headed off to pick Rod up and when we got to him he had nailed a sow off his bait, so we dropped the donkey on that bait station and finally headed back to camp for a very late feed and beers and a shower before hitting the sack for the 2nd last time as the next day was our last. Most nights we were serenaded to sleep by the Daly River Canine Orchestral Group or the bloody Curlew Choral Society’s favourite songs, did make it a bit hard to sleep but after belting around the scrub all day sleep came very easily and so on the last day and another early start, Mark, Rod, Nick and I loaded up and headed out.

       Well we checked out a couple of baits with nothing happening and came back to camp, had a bite to eat and headed out to a new spot to check it out. We drove out to the boundary on this spot and parking the ‘cruiser we started walking along what I reckoned was about the best looking bit of creek with long grass, plenty of water and cover. After walking for about 15 minutes or so we just happened to look up at the side of a small hill and there on the side of it was 6 donkeys slowly making their way away from us. We decided to follow the creek along using the scrub
and creek bank as cover to get closer to the donkeys and after 200 metres or so walking along the bank a loud crash and splash into the water had us ready with the rifles looking along the bank expecting to see a pig break out from cover but it turned out to be a freshwater croc that Mark had just caught the tail end of crashing into a log and then hitting the water, bloody mongrel handbags!

       We quickly recovered our composure and looking for the donkeys again we just caught the sight of the last of them disappearing over the brow of a hill about 200 metres so we hot footed it to where we last seen them and carefully stuck our heads over the crest of the hill to find that they weren’t there but had kept going on over a series of gullies till we found them in a small valley about 150 metres away looking at us. We moved slowly up to a couple of saplings for a rest and Rod lined up a donkey and let go. A couple of minutes later 6 donkeys lay on the ground with Rod and I having to finish 2 off. That was unfortunately that as far as shooting anything else that day and after walking back to the ‘cruiser which took about a ½ hour or so we clambered into the ‘cruiser and headed back to the camp for the last time, tired but happy as it was a week of 1st’s for the 4 of us and most important the YB got his 1st pigs and is now hooked on swine hunting. Back at camp, we sat down with Greg and Andrew, Mark, Pete and cracked a few beers to celebrate what was an excellent week of hunting and the final tally ended up as,

Cane Toads: 7

Wild Dogs: 6

Donkeys: 13

Horses: 21

Pigs: 32

       It’s here that I must add that you will need a certain degree of fitness as there’s a bit of leg work involved and the heat does take its toll so keeping hydrated is a must. The camp is comfortable and there’s showers, dunny, fridges and the sleeping arrangements are tents with beds and laundry facilities as well.The tucker is good and it’s a bit laid back but when you go out to hunt your gone most of the day and lunch and tea are at
odd times but your there to hunt not eat.

       Finally a big thank you to Matt, Mark, Pete and Meagan for making it a cracker of a week for all of us especially for a 14 year old boy who won’t forget this for a long time to come, regards

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