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Australian Water Buffalo Safari – NT Australia
by David Shashy

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David Morris, Chris Dorsey, Larry Sletton and I went on a terrific five-day water buffalo safari “Down Under" at the beginning of August. David, Chris, and all took two great bulls each. All six were taken on camera by master videographer Larry Sletton of Orion Multimedia. There is certainly no shortage of great buffalo bulls at Conway Cattle Station near Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia. The ranch is approximately 325 kilometers south of Darwin NT Australia, a six hour drive to camp from the Darwin Airport. The road trip seemed easy after 24 hours or so of flying time, plus layovers, from the U.S. to Darwin! Aside from arriving in Australia without my favorite buffalo rifles the travel was pleasantly uneventful.

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The weather was superb for our entire safari. We enjoyed clear cool mornings and warm afternoons, plenty of sunshine. It`s the dry season in the Northern Territory and buffalo were concentrated near remaining sources of water during midday when they returned from their favorite feeding grounds. Conway Cattle Station`s 360,000 acres of free range buffalo turf is rich with many species of wildlife and other game. Scrub bulls, wallabies, red rock kangaroos, wild boar, feral donkeys, and an array of colorful birds dotted to open range land. The cattle station lands are burned yearly to provide excellent nutrition and new green growth for the cattle and free ranging herds of grazers. We were in nearly constant contact with wildlife each day from early morning when we hit the bush until dark each evening.

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I took my two great trophies on the second and third day of the safari. Both of my bulls were taken by spot and stalk methods, unlike hunting African Cape buffalo pursuit, which often includes tracking for miles before contact is made. At noon on the second day expert PH Yogi lead the way to my first heavily broomed mammoth trophy buffalo bull, great horn mass and character. This bull was a true old bruiser, likely 2000 pounds gross body weight or more.

We took my second big buff around 2:00 PM our third day of hunting after retrieving my lost rifles from a drop off point chosen by the airline, two hours from camp. This very remarkable second old bull, 50 inch wide tip to tip, had terrific horn length and good mass as well. I was seriously in the grips of "bull fever" when finally I squeezed the trigger on this second great trophy as we had stalked to within 60 yards down wind of the bedded beast in the heat of the day. We waited for the bull to stand for a shot. Minutes of waiting seemed like hours. Finally he stood. Luckily, on both bulls my first shots were on the money and both bulls were in the pot, never leaving our sight.

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As we drove back to camp on day three just after taking the wide buffalo that Yogi appropriately named "Airplane", his tremendous headgear strapped to front bumper of our land cruiser, we encountered another giant bull. Got him on film possibly as a future suspect for David or Chris. But upon arrival at camp near dark David Morris showed up not to be outdone. David grinned ear to ear as we all celebrated not only my exceptional trophy but also two incredible bulls that David took that same day! This left Chris Dorsey as the only hunter in camp with another bull to chase. Chris had taken his first extraordinary bull on day two.

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On our last afternoon of the Down Under buffalo safari Chris arrived back in camp with a sack full of pride and a huge smile, sporting a huge bull strapped to the front of his land cruiser that was likely the best of the bunch taken all week. Massive, wide, old, gnarled……… everything you could ask for in a trophy water buffalo bull!

If you`re looking for a great experience and you can sleep on a plane, give water buffalo hunting at Conway Cattle Station in the Northern Province of Australia consideration. You likely will not be disappointed. Never a dull moment in the Outback. Take a walk-about. Carry a big gun!

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Posted by David Shashy on 09/06 at 02:57 PM
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