This post is part of a series from my time in Arnhem Land. Previous post: “Working On a Buffalo Hunting Safari Camp”
Just a disclaimer: I do not condone hunting as a sport. I got quite a lot of negative feedback from my last post, which I completely understand. My job as a blogger and my mission as a human is to venture into the unknown, learn as much as I can about anything and everything and to take my readers/viewers along for the ride. This opportunity to venture into Arnhem Land, where even Australians cannot enter was an experience which I just had to share with everyone. I never killed an animal during my time or agreed with the practice. I went to learn and see what it was all about. I hope you all enjoy my tales!
Even though I am totally against shooting animals for “sport” I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to go out with the group on a real hunt.
I didn’t know quite what to expect on this venture, all I knew is that I just wanted to take it all in. This hunt would be done on foot. Through the thicket, keeping low, keeping quiet. The baking heat would push us all to our limits.
After driving for around an hour and a half, we arrived at a natives home. Customarily, Simon informed the locals that hunting would be taking place near their property. Afterwards, I climbed back onto the trailer with penny and ducked my pelvis down so my head wouldn’t meet anymore branches as we followed a track through the low hanging tree’s. Simon and Bill were lucky enough to be sat in the front. Undercover. But the ladies were on the back. Open to the elements. That was fine. We were women, tough women. Bring on the branches.
Owch. They really hurt. Woman power, eh?
The drive was exhausting from being beaten by mother nature and fighting off the biting weaver ants. We arrive at an opening and Simon briefed us on the hunt. Stay close. Most important. Do not separate from the group.
We trekked through the bush for around 2 hours with no sign of even a young buffalo. We stopped for a break. Weaver ants covered the trees and Simon educated us on their citrusy taste. If they bite you, bite them back. Weaver ants are proper bush tucker!
So I did. Wow. All I need now is some gin to wash down this lemon taste and we have a party.
Penny had her bow ready but for her first kill, she would be using a hunting rifle. Bill said he would wait till tomorrow for his chance of getting a prize. We sight our target. We stay low. The wind wasn’t right. It would take our scent right to the prey. We had to circle round and hope the wind didn’t change again. The strong back of the buffalo was towards us and Simon and Penny crept forward.
I was yet to enjoy myself in the way my companions were. I just don’t get it. Sure it’s an adrenaline rush for some. Takes you back to your ancestors with the rush of the hunt. But we had evolved. We weren’t killing for survival here. They were killing for a trophy. Penny and Simon stooped down around 100m in front of us. Bill and I hung back, hiding within the trees. Their target stood around 120m from them. A real shot, even for an experienced hunter. Penny had yet to kill her first animal.
Suddenly the wind changed and the mighty beast spun around and stared right at them. Before we knew it the buffalo took off with a mighty gallop before landing down around 30m away. Penny had sunk that bullet directly into the buffalos chest. Causing the heart to explode. Simon guaranteed the sharp gallop away was a reflex and it had died before he even knew what had happened. I found none of this comforting.
Comforting? This animal was dead. Lying at our feet, soon to be hacked apart.
The head and cape taken to hang above the fire place. It will become to centre for conversation, friends will look with awe and admiration. This isn’t a sport. You shot a defenceless animal. I just don’t get it.
We finished up the night with beers and conversation of the day around the camp fire. What a way to spend the day. This month, is going to be very interesting. Whether I agreed with hunting or not, I was learning. I kept an open mind and asked a million questions. Already, I was so glad I had taken this job. Little did I know what was to come. Crocodiles, bush fires and coming close to death. Oh boy.
Next Post in this series: “I was the most isolated person in Australia | Arnhem Land“
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