The first day is already exciting, just waiting to see if you get into a big shark. Can't wait for the rest of the hunt it is one I hope to do one day in the future.
Have a fun hunt and I will be looking forward to the rest of the posts.
BTW, luv the feature cover photo.
Looks like a great time.....I wouldn't imagine many boys that are your son's age will be able to go back to school in the Fall with a "How I spent my summer" story that can compete!!
I am surprised that you released that Queensfish....it looks like you have quite the gill grip on that sucker!!
Is it safe to assume that you are using the exact same rig that you used for your cape buffalo?
my guess is at the end of this trip you will say this will be the best trip you have ever taken since Patrick is sharing it with you and it is a true adventure (not that the gators and hogs with him haven't been, but this will be different).
Good luck! What an adventure!
sounds like the first two days have already been amazing and i am pretty sure the others will be too.
at long last i have something useful for this computer to do and thats to tune in every day so you better post plenty.
all the best and heres to you smoking one of those h2o buffalo.
My close mate Andy will be with you on the water buff I think, make sure his hair doesn't get caught in yer cams when you hit full draw! LOL
Pat jr. is a very fine young man and he is as keen as they come. He was always willing to listen and learn and never complained once, even when on a bit of a death march to far out swamps in very hot and humid conditions and also when I got us bogged 200m out of camp. He loved his fishing big time and I am sure he is still smiling when he thinks about some of the lunkers he pulled in.
You guys are always welcome back and next time we will taste some of the other fine hunting opportunities we have on offer and maybe get you back up there to get one of those blasted sharks attached to your bow.
Looking forward to following along on the rest of the trip and I also wish that we had some more time up there. Sure was an action packed couple of days though and thanks for coming down
Julie: Did you see that quote from above about Pat Jr.?? I bet you have the same results! LOL! It's always a pleasure as a parent when folks outside of the family appreciate all the great parenting work you both do! Can't wait for the next day and the next!! Charlie
Is there a travel day or two before the water buffalo bowhunt will start?
How big are the King brown's? The Inland Taipan is another one that you really want to avoid.....
Is the stream that you are camped next to fresh water, or is it a brackish tributary? How far are you from the ocean? How far inland will the saltie's travel? Are these the gharials (or however it is spelled)?
Judging by the insect netting, bugs must be a factor some of the time. You're sleeping rather close to the water, isn't that a concern based on the saltie's?....or don't they leave the water at night?
How are you getting internet access out in the bush?
Jake-Just keep up the pep talk:)
Either way speed it up man the wait is killing me.
Pat Jr. is a blessed young man to experience all of the outdoors he has at such an early age.
In fact I was looking at the ground so much after the fourth snake, that I almost missed spotting the pig I shot. Snake paranoia is not a fun thing when it kicks in, but normally you don't come across many at all. We covered a heap of ground the day before and saw none and in my many hours of time spent in the Aussie bush, snake's have been a rare occurance, all except that one day of course
You were right.....that bull didn't go very far!!
Kudos to Pat Jr. for shooting the action so smoothly. Takes an advanaced presence of mind.
I'm curious about the arrow's path to the vitals. Obviously you were shooting at a slightly downward and strongly quartering away angle, based upon how the bull was bedded when you shot. From the location of the entrance wound and the fact that the arrow went in up to the nock, it looks as though it would barely have penetrated far enough forward to get into the vital organs. And yet, it was a mighty quick kill. Can you tell us which organs your broadhead got?
Can you also tell us a little about the cost of the hunt. I don't know if I'll ever be able to afford an Africa cape buff hunt, but I want to kill a big wild buffalo with my bow at some point. Is the Aussie buffalo hunt a good deal less expensive than an African buffalo hunt, or not that much difference?
Those buffs must be so wide they can't lay over on their side!
Many more animals like that and you'll have to start bumping stuff to another wall....
Best of Luck, Jeff
Question – What are "trooper shafts".
Thanks for sharing your hunt with us.
Best of Luck, Jeff (Bowsite Sponsor)
What a testament to "take a kid hunting!"
I'm hopeful that both you and Pat Jr get further opportunities on Buff before the long journey home
Best of Luck, Jeff (Bowsite Sponsor)
Do NOT get the idea that all of Australia is this regulation-free! Where I have visited in NSW and Vic, there are TONS of regulations. Hunting (as a NR alien) in those states is complicated and paper-work intensive!
And getting trophies home is even more complicated!
What did you guys do with the meat from those animals and also could you give me an idea of what a hunt like that costs. Looks like a lot of fun for sure. Pulling for Pat Jr. now!
As a basic guide, getting your own guns into Australia is a big hassle, so if you are planning a rifle hunting trip, then it is best to know someone or use a gudie. If you want to bring a hand gun then you can basically forget it. As far as bowhunting is concerned, we have no regulations as to the transportation and use of bows, bar minimum poundage in a couple of states for deer.
Queensland has the same regulations as Northern Territory when it comes to feral game. Basically it is none, you can go for your life. In Queensland there are large herds of Red, Chital, Rusa and Fallow deer, plus absolutely tonnes of pigs and goats and other ferals. Cape York is a pilgrimage few serious bowhunters miss out on doing at least once in their lives. No bag limits at all in Queensland.
In NSW, to hunt all feral species you do not need a license except for hunting deer. For deer on private land you need a G license and for public land, of which there is a lot now, you need an R license. Both of these can be obtained on line www.gamecouncil.nsw.gov.au There is a season for Red and Fallow deer in NSW from March 1st to October 31st and all other deer species are open all year, with no bag limits on any species. There are also large herds of Rusa and some Sambar and Chital in NSW, plus heaps of pigs and goats and other small game.
In Victoria there is a lot of public land available and to hunt both public and private land in Victoria you need a Victorian game license, which can be purchased over the counter, or on line, at www.dse.vic.gov.au This website has plenty of info and the following link has all the hunting info in it http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/DSE/nrenrt.nsf/LinkView/FF005D6524DBDDA3CA2573750023299B7380F92E35E27D99CA2573750023D375
Victoria is home to mighty Sambar deer and they live in beautiful alpine areas where you can hunt them backpack style and they also have the only huntable hog deer herd in the world. There is a season for hog deer for the month of April only and it is private access or ballot only, although some ranch style places have them too. Red deer have a season in Vic and there are Fallow as well. Pigs and goats are in Victoria as well.
South Australia has some great opportunities for deer and Western Australia has a few, WA has a lot goats and pigs in the northern half of the state. Tasmania is the only state where it is illegal to hunt deer with a bow.
So there is a rough description and as I said, I would be happy to help with any queries any may have, including info on guides and the like.
In the 60's and 70's, buffalo numbers were out of control in the Northern Territory and there was also a break out of Tuberculosis, so there were mass culls put in place by the government. Some meat farms still thrived, but as they collapsed the buffalo were left to roam once again and this, mixed with the wild ones that remained, as they do have a huge range, the herd has recovered very well.
Now the buff, although still culled in certain areas, are seen as a valuable resource and are managed for hunting purposes in the main, though most station owners still give them a touch up as they compete for food and damage land and fencing.
The Northern Territory has also the only huntable population Banteng in the world and these hunts are quite expensive due to their rarity, but they are in an area near where Pat first went and there are also buff and heaps of pigs available on these hunts too. This would be a true wilderness adventure in the area known as Coburg Peninsula. A few guides operate Banteng hunts. By the way, there are tonnes of camels to hunt as well in the interior part of the state
When I was a kid coming out of college, I had a bit of starter $ saved up. Had big dreams of doing a round-the-world DIY hunt hitting NZ, Aus, and RSA, job offers and the like got in the way, but did a fair amount of research on the regs and whatnot - would've been a doable adventure moreso if not concerned about importing the trophies. . .
hats off to Pat Jr. for being honest in his assessment of his interest in trying to take one of those things. a lot of young guys would not have the brains or confidence to make that decision in the field. says a lot about him and his dad.
Will try again – Anyone know what are “trooper shafts”?
Nice to hear there is still a place in the world that is sportsman friendly with some sanity to their game laws and regulations.
But to strengthen our claim to hunt the level headed support of bowhunters from places like the US that are going to help us keep hunting strong in Aust.
Hunts documented such as this one are a great way of highlighting the right ways in which bowhunting is carried out :)
Pat Jr- I wish most adults were as level headed as you are young man. Your parents must be proud. Congratulations again!
-Cheryl n Matt
I think it would be helpful if you could break down the costs associated with this hunt. Possilby commenting on in country flights, costs and the cost of various services associated with this hunt.
Very cool hunt and excellent coverage by Pat on what they experienced during their adventure.
One of the best yet. Thanks for sharing
Logistically these are big hunts and they are conducted in vast wilderness and mostly run over 10 days. To get yourself there in your own car from a southern state would already get you into a couple of thousand dollars, and then you need to get access which is very hard, so the guided option is quite good. Also having all the gear to be comfortable and be able to survive out in that remoteness is another big cost.
In country flights would cost between 4 and 600 dollars Australian, return, and there are always specials on in this department. Most American's that I know that have come have booked themselves a combination ticket from the states with all connecting flights already organised. This is a smart option as this will allow you to carry your full international compliment of luggage with you wherever you go without paying excess. The only issue though is that you are locked in and to change anything form your itinerary would cast a heap. Just ask Pat as he dearly wanted to come earlier but the conversion cost was massive.
Another note is that flights to remote areas, if a guide is not driving you, are lightweight affairs and it would be best to check with your guide before leaving in this regard.
One other that you would be crazy to not do is to go fishing in northern half of the country. It has truly some of the best fishing you can ever hope for. I do know that Mick from, Trophy Bowhunts, is now looking at providing 3 day house boat trip's at the end of the buff hunts and this would be a very sweet time indeed.
There are several Buff guides and only a couple who have access to Banteng and these hunts, due to their rarity do get up there in price. They are usually buff/banteng/pig combos.
Most guides do not charge any extra for shooting pigs on any hunt and this is a cool thing as some places are crawling with them.
Must do trips to Oz usually include either the going to the Northern Territory as Pat did, or to go to Cape York for awesome wild toothy boars and Barramundi fishing. These are two pilgrimages that most Aussie bowhunters make at least once in their lives.
There are also 6 deer species out here that are awesome to hunt and guiding operations can cater for most species. As I have stated before, I would be more than happy to help anybody with any specific information they are after and also to put them in contact with the appropriate connections.
Antarcher. The fishing sounds great. One of my must do list is to fish for Marlin in Austrailia. Combining it with a hunt would be even better. I know it is not the best time for the "bite" but what are those options during a hunt like this.
Also, when Pat was hunting there were some burns going on, by the aborigines I think. Question, the meat is an issue here due to cold storage. I understand that this basically is a cull hunt for non native game. The question is do the aboringines not want the meaat? The native population in Africa kills for that stuff and I was wondering why the native people do not do the same in Australia.
I would also like to know the relationship between the sport hunter and the native population in that area.
I appreciate the wealth of knowledge that you bring to the subject.
Marlin fishing can be pretty hot up and down the eastern seaboard, Queensland right down the southern NSW, but this in summer and it is the wet in the tropics at that time and access is impossible. Good spots on the east coast are around the Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour, Port Stephens, South West Rocks, Jervis Bay and Bermagui, just out of interest.
In the Northern Territory and north Western Australia there is awesome fishing to be had and there are some great sailfish fisheries around if that takes your fancy. There are also pleny of top fishing guides in NT itself.
The burns were happening all over the top end and this is done each year and in some areas it is very well coordinated. I remember very well driving out to camp and seeing nothing but small spot fires burning away in the darkness, it was like you were driving through space, very surreal. Pat and junior Pat missed it as they were out due to jet lag, so I was glad to hear they got to see it as there is no other light out there what so ever.
Meat time: Logistically it is a nightmare out there in terms keeping meat cool. You are seriously hundred's, if not getting over a thousand kilometer's, from the nearest towns. A big beast like a buffalo would be impossible to keep cool as the temp's up there hardly ever get below 30degC. There have been buffalo farms in the past and these were setup with abbotoirs and the like and chiller trucks would come and get them. In the wilderness though you can forget it.
Usually most hunts will take a young animal, usually a bull, to eat and these are given to the aboriginals. I have been told that the locals will not take off you, or eat, a mature bull or cow as they say it is very, very tough and not very tasty.
One big thing here in Australia that is different to the States is that all of our hunted game are introduced species. The agenda of many a government is extermination, so people see it as though you are doing the country a favour by taking out these beasts, especially the pigs as they are nigh on impossible to control and do a lot of damage. In the national parks in the Territory, helicopter culls are conducted in order to keep numbers in check. Some people call our game feral, but like to stick to the word game, as that is what they are.
Australia does not have a single hard hoofed native animal, so our plant life has adapted to this and the hard hoofs of ungulates and the like do affect their growth. Still some of these animal's have been here for over 150 years, so I like to think the introduced animal's are earning their place and everything is adapting.
The native population and the sport hunter is a quiet relationship where they never really bother each other. Access is almost always gained on a who you know basis and recommendations are a must. They do get trophy fees, when it is a paid hunt, and things in this department are changing as the commodity value of the game is becoming a valuable income. Some outfits in certain areas insist on having Aborignal's along as guides, like in Africa. This is becoming a rule in many areas.
The top end of Oz is a true wilderness adventure and going by Pat's excellent recount I am sure you can appreciate it for what it was. I am hanging to get back there myself
Throw in the hogs, crocs, and dingos and you've got plenty of "pucker factor" without having to worry about black mambas.
I also like the reasonable trophy fees, and not having to worry about all kinds of gov't red tape.
Best of Luck, Jeff (Bowsite Sponsor)
Great information, thank you. I knew about the Black Marlin in Cairns. That has always been one of my goals to go there and fish for those huge blacks and even the scores of little ones.
I appreciated the great rundown of some of the things to do.
Pat did an excellent job on his report and it really sounds like he and Pat Jr. had a wonderful and exciting trip. Reading it just took me to wondering about other things and you did a great job filling in some details.
Certainly a trip worth taking for anybody.
there is some fantastic deer hunting here that really should not be overlooked that provide totally free range/wild opportunities on deer species that from what I can tell are classed as 'exotic' over there in the US :)
They should be important to you. Actually you have an almost overlooked treasure there in OZ. Only been there once, and on tour with the wife and stuff. Never got to do the outback stuff (that is probably a wrong term) but always wanted to.
Just seeings some of what Pat saw would be incredible with or without the hunting part.
Yep, all those deer are classified as exotics over here. On large enough ranches they are a challenge, well not the park deer (fallow) but the chital are. Nothing replaces free range for a true hunt though.
OZ is on the to do list, but I must admit I would start with the Black Marlin and work my way to the hunting. Wife and I have caught blacks but no real big ones, 250lbs, a grander would be fun even if it beat either of us.
Jr's hunts were awesome too, and he sounds like a kid with a good head atop his shoulders. I say put his first hog video in place of the whitetail that has been killed 2.345 million times ont he homepage! lol
I am very proud of Pat Jr making the tough call.
Shows sense, and maturity. He's a great kid and an awesome hunter!
Firstly a huge thanks to Pat & Pat Jr for coming downunder and sampling some of our Hunting and fishing. I was very impressed with your dedication to the sport and the lenghts you guys go to give your readers the full story. A true pleasure.
Thanks to Antonio for helping me out by answering some of your questions. We just got back from a Cape York Hog hunt and Ant will be doing up a story for everybody.
I see a few guys want to know the costs for a Buff Hunt so I will fill you in.
Basic Hunt: 6 Full Days Hunting 2011 $5500 2012 onwards $6000 plus Trophy Fees:-
Hunt includes internal Airfares from Darwin to Hunting Area by Jet. All food and drink included plus Bush Camp as described by Pat (There will be 2 Camps) No Alcohol due to being restricted Area.
Trophy Fees: Buff to 85SCI $500 86 to 99SCI $750 100+ $1000 Scrub Bulls $400 Caping Fee (If Required $200) Full shoulder Mounts approx $2000 including packaging ready for shipment.
Shipping unknown until final weight known. Would expect to your door approx $600 to $1000. All prices US.
I can add a 3 day Houseboat for some great fishing at the end of the hunt for an extra $1000.
2 hunters and 2 guides...If you require a specialised trip please send an e-mail and I can give you a price.
Hope this helps
Cheers Mick Trophy Bowhunts Australia