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Camel hunt report
Contributors to this thread:
benno 05-Feb-12
Bowboy 05-Feb-12
ozzyshane 05-Feb-12
benno 05-Feb-12
INbowdude 05-Feb-12
Florida Mike 05-Feb-12
Steve H. 05-Feb-12
Outdoordan 06-Feb-12
midwest 06-Feb-12
BULELK1 06-Feb-12
leo17 06-Feb-12
Surfbow 06-Feb-12
Sage Buffalo 06-Feb-12
PAstringking 06-Feb-12
benno 06-Feb-12
Gus 06-Feb-12
benno 06-Feb-12
gil_wy 06-Feb-12
swp 06-Feb-12
Buffalo1 06-Feb-12
bghunter 07-Feb-12
joehunter8301 07-Feb-12
benno 07-Feb-12
From: benno
Well the weather is finally coming to the party and improving the camel hunting out here in the Australian desert

"Forecast for Alice Springs

Friday Sunny. Light to moderate southeast winds. Max 36 UV Alert 8:40 am to 5:00 pm, UV Index predicted to reach 16 [Extreme] Saturday Sunny, hot. Min 16 Max 40

40C = 104 ºF which is nice and toasty. And best of all forces the camels to remain within about 20 miles or so of water. There arent too many watering points out where we were hunting. Finally after months of rain and cooler weather its all coming together =)

Its a bone crunching 220 mile trip on dirt out to my mate Jamie's place but what else would you be doing directly after knock off time on a friday afternoon? Nothing I can think of =)

The next morning had us out at first light doing more driving to find the animals. We spotted a mob about 500 yards away feeding away from us and the chase was on.

Anyone who hasnt hunted camels might be surprised at the speed with which they casually browse alone. It took me nearly 2kms of jogging and sneaking then jogging and sneaking again to close to within 50 yards on a camel that was still moving away.

I ranged a bush in front of it, drew, waited till it pulled level with the bush and gave a camel call challenge. It stopped, its big boof head swung around to look back over its shoulder but Id already pinned for a hard quartering shot and the arrow was on its way.

I wish I could say it was a perfect shot but I somehow pulled it a bit and ended up getting only one lung (although it was over 1m of penetration thru gut, liver and the lung end on. The camel gave a kick then trotted up to join the mob. I got my mate on the radio and let him know their direction of travel then followed up just keeping them in sight

A bit of a walk later the bull pulled up and I slipped in for the finisher.

shot was good and tho the camel leapt up it was down again very shortly!

Meat recovery the hard way without proper packs to carry the meat in =)

Another 100 miles or so up the road we got caught up with Jamie's brother Quintin and his lovely fiance Nganapanpa. They soon had the rough bush truck ready to go after some minor repairs.....

We had a great afternoon of hunting some really really rough back country. The animal numbers were good and we saw one huge mob of around 50 head all running together.

Quintin nailed 3 with the rifle and we spent a couple hours cutting them up and loading eskies with meat. Didnt bother with pics - rifle shot etc.

Both Jamie and I had good chances each with the bows but just couldnt quite get inside the 65 yards or so which is too far for me. And both times each mob had 6 or 8 animals in them and you cant move without one of those big heads looking down on you from somewhere then the game is over..

Anyway the next day had us out on daybreak again, it was a bit cooler and we soon found lots of animals moving about. The first mob was about 800 yards off but browsing fast in our direction. We left the car and moved quickly some 200 yards or so into good cover in their path or travel. This big fella wandered thru within range.

And Jamie nailed it nicely. you beauty.

I also got a chance shortly after on another mob and took off after them. It worked out well and I sunk a heart shot in on a big blonde bull.

Gotta love it when you can collect the arrow on the other side, it doesnt happen often enough! 220g broadhead, 600g all up - 75lb bow.

Unfortunately I was already a long way off in the scrub and with Jamie busy on the knives so I could only get an average photo as he had stiffened to much to set upright once we got back.

And that was pretty much it for the hunting. A couple of hours to prep the meat for chilling, swap a blown tyre on the car and settle in for 3 and half hours drive back to town.

It was great to see some good numbers getting about again and catch up with the boys out there. Plus the freezers will be full for a while now =) cheers benno

From: Bowboy
Great story and photos! Congrats on the camel!

What's camel meat taste like?

From: ozzyshane
Benno way to go ...how is the new curve going got it ready to slay a camel yet Thanks Shane

From: benno
Yeah its ready mate, it shoots nice. But its so hard to get to 50m on the camels let alone 20m which I need with the curve. And Like i said in the story - I havent really been seeing animals of late so I havent bothered taking it. Next time round I might give it a run .

From: INbowdude
Way to go Benno! Good on ya an your mates.

From: Florida Mike
Awe here we go... Benno strikes again! Congrats Benno! Mike

From: Steve H.
The thoughts of camel hunting makes my palms all sweaty (and not for the heat)!

From: Outdoordan
Nice job Benno! The badlands bino case looking sweet! Hope it is working out for ya mate!

From: midwest
Great, benno!

Man they have some teeth on 'em do they not!

Cool read benno.

Good luck, Robb

From: leo17
That seems really cool

Is there a season for them or can you pretty much hunt em all the time.

What would be really nice is if you could ride a tame camel and shoot one of those wild ones off of it. Kinda like decoying but much bigger than my primos whitetail decoy. : )

From: Surfbow
Wow! How much do those things weigh? 900-1000 lbs or so?

From: Sage Buffalo

From: PAstringking
very cool

From: benno
OutdoorDan - That badlands case was a good tip, thanks bloke. It stays closed when Im running and doesnt bounce around like most other binos in harness do when im running.

Leo17 - the season is all year every year, no tags as many as you can shoot. They are feral and the areas we hunt get regularly chopper shot and the carcasses left to rot. Some rifle shooters hunt there as well and often get 50 to 100 animals of a hunt. We tend to only take what we can use, either for trophys or meat.

Surfbow The largest bull camels taken local and slaughtered commercially went a bit over 1500lbs. Most of the larger ones we are getting are more like 1200lbs.

From: Gus
Benno: how's the meat taste to eat? just curious

From: benno
Its a red meat without any game taste to it, I;ve served it many times as beef and people cant tell that its not. The fat is white and hard sort of like lamb. I use it for everything, sausage, ground meats, corned and smoked, rolled roasts, camel bacon even.

Its all good hey. cheers ben

From: gil_wy
Awesome! That looks like some serious fun!

From: swp

From: Buffalo1
Neat hunting adventures. Benno, thanks for sharing. I believe with the opportunity, a bunch of Southern Rednecks could give a whole new meaning to "smoking a camel!!"

From: bghunter

How many Camels have you taken with your bow in a year? It seems you chase them on a regular basis and seem to be pretty good at it too.

I cant wait to get back to the South Pacific and hunt again, there is just something about it there. Must be the way you guys talk.

Good on You

There is a camel down the road from where I have been workin and everytime I drive by and see it I think of you benno. They are a lot bigger than you think and seem like they would be so much fun to hunt. Awesome story

From: benno
BGhunter - mate I honestly dont know how many I have taken. Ive been hunting them over the last 6 years and have photos of about 100 on the ground. But then there are always some that dont make the albums for whatever reason.

We love to see you guys over here hunting, PM me if u want to try for camel. If I cant do it my mate Jamie will help you out. Its a rush =)

cheers benno

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