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The Northern Territory: by Bill Mcleod

27/08/2020 1:49 PM | Bob McMillan (Administrator)

Seems I’m still on the cattle theme.
Doug and I were fishing up in Arnhem Land and loving every minute of it. While working in Australia years before all you would hear about was fishing for Barramundi. The Aussies really rated the Barra as a sport fish. Finally I had the chance to go. The fishing was brilliant both in the billabongs and out into the Arafut sea. What I didn’t anticipate was the variety of fish species targeted, how much fun it is to lure a cobia out from under the wing of a manta ray or having a bronze whaler broach fully out of the water within a metre of your elbow when you are in a six metre open boat.
The guides were excellent, Mike wouldn’t hesitate to call you a dickhead, put his elbow in front of your face and show you how to catch a fish. He said  one day why didn’t you blokes go for a buff, we said we,d tried but the company said No.
Typical Aussie, he said f—- em, I’ll take you. Next day he’d squared it with the company, that night we were hunting. Met his local mates who had two Ruger 308s, the flat deck cruiser and the spotlights. When in Oz do as the locals do. We found a small mob of buff but nothing presented a shot. Ages later found a lone bull out in a swamp. The order was given to fire. The specially prepared monolithic ammo didn’t chamber in my rifle so a quick swap to ordinary soft points. The bull started to move off.  Doug and I fired simultaneously and the bull went down.  I could see that it was not finished so fired again. This clearly wasn’t going to work so I jumped off the cruiser and waded out through the swampy reeds using the beam off the spotlight which the local still on the cruiser was directing at the buff. Each time the bull put its head up or tried to get to his feet I would fire a shot into its neck.  About halfway out to the bull I thought this is ridiculous, wading through a swamp which could have crocodiles lurking, shooting at a wounded bull with an ineffective rifle and trying to see in the patchy light of a spotlight that I wasn’t even holding onto. All I could think was You started it, you finish it. So I kept going till I was right next to the bull. The last shot was down his ear hole. Then he lay quiet.  Made my way back to the cruiser where everybody was happy it was resolved.
In the morning we butchered the bull for dog tucker. Arnhemland was an amazing place to hunt and fish.

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