Monday, 19 October 2015

A quick stroll in our central tablelands

I had almost forgotten what it felt like to wander through the timber, skip across ancient granite boulders, sneak through bracken and blackberry choked gullies. I hopped out of the Toyota at dawn and compared to home, it was intensely cold. 

It has been well over a year since I was out for a hunt and the best I could do with a week off work was a one day trip; at least it was only a short drive from home, 170 short kilometres...  Never mind, now that the new house is "kind-of-finished" I hope to be making the trek out west more often, burning powder by the tin-full and hopefully filling my game bag.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Living With The Enemy: Hunting

Tonight on Australia's SBS, we were very fortunate to see a wonderful episode of Living With The Enemy that focused on the polar opposites of the hunting world: Felicity Andersen, activist with Animal Liberation Victoria and Steve Lee, contract shooter living in central western New South Wales.

I had a feeling of what was to come, and I was far from disappointed. I found it hard not to find the program immensely entertaining! Steve Lee, country singer, contract shooter and licensed pyrotechnician remained good humoured, tolerant and even understanding of the activists viewpoint.  His position didn't change, but he gave them time to speak and he listened.

Felicity Anderson was excited and motivated for the first 30 minutes, and then we saw her mood turn to dread as they headed out of her comfort zone - entering properties illegally, stealing property, tending to diseased animals that might be better off euthanised and cuddling animals at rehabilitation centres - to a western NSW property where they planned to camp and spend a couple of days hunting.

It all got worse for Ms. Anderson when Steve was joined by The Honourable Robert Borsak,
Member of the Legislative Council for their hunt.
In one scene, the afternoon pig hunt (seriously, go straight to 37:18), the boys manage to deck a couple of pigs...

And Robert Borsak is calm, considered and direct -
"Sshh, sshh, sshh, pigs...  BOOM... yeah got him."

Ms. Anderson is clearly emotional as she slaps her forehead -
"Oh fuck!"

Steve Lee is excited -
"Did you get two in one shot? Get out of here..."

Ms. Anderson cant stop apologising to the pigs -
"Oh my God I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry... fucking hell you're animals..."

And back to Robert -
"Don't swear at me. Grow up. Turn away if you don't like it."

And again to Ms. Anderson -
"I should have stayed with that bastard... I should have stayed with him and because I didn't they're dead."

Clearly Ms. Anderson is responsible for the death of these pigs and the boys were free to head off, skipping through the paddocks without a care in the world; certainly not carrying any sort of burden as a result of their successful stalk.

Make some time fellow hunters, this is definitely worth watching. Some good points made by the hunters and some of the usual liberationists' rhetoric which in context, made for an enjoyable hour in front of the box. The program will be available to watch for the rest of October at the link below and you can purchase the episode through iTunes.

Looking forward to your feedback on this one!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Too busy not hunting

Has it really been three months?

Today I opened the safe for the first time in a long time.  I held my breath as the heavy door swung open, expecting to see a build-up of scaly red rust rather than the deep blue-black lustre that greeted me.  Thankfully the damp weather that’s hit Sydney this past six weeks has not brought the scourge of oxidation to my small collection of hunting rifles and shotguns.

Regrettably, I’ve been too busy not hunting.

Friday, 23 May 2014

A bad year in review

I feel like a broken record, scratched, repeating, I'm not in the greatest condition, worn out with a load of scuff marks. The last year or so has brought new meaning to the term "...a long day at the office..." and as someone who doesn't shy away from hard work or long hours, I’m buggered! 

I hate to sound morbid or sombre, it really isn't in my nature, but we've had a very average year and amongst many other things, my hunting has suffered. A week off hunting is hard to come by when juggling work, family and the ills and ailments that befall us every now and then. In 2013 I've hardly been able to put together a plan for a hunt, let alone get out there. Even my writing - and there's never been much of it - has all but stopped this year.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Time out hunting

We had a great hunt over the Easter long weekend. There were a few photos from our hunt that I really thought worth sharing. We hope you enjoy these...

This fox met his demise in thick scrub some time ago.  Poison? A bullet? A slow and lingering death? It doesn't matter so much now.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Time away & a mixed bag hunt

A bunch of public holidays have come together and with a couple of carefully planned annual leave days I find myself off for ten days - more than enough time to hunt, spend some time with my girls and get a few things done as well.

Now by writing this, there's a very important chapter I've conveniently skipped - ten days on the chital - however I will come back to that shortly, might as well get on with the new news for now. It's April here in the Great Southern Land. With April comes Autumn, a significant drop in temperatures and with that, the rut kicks off for our fallow and red deer herd. I haven't been out with my father for a couple of years so we made plans to head out to a mate's place - 10,000 acres of rugged mountains towering over the Liverpool Plains.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Getting back into it

My eyes are stinging as the salty sweat pours in. It’s hot. Really, really hot. 43°C kind-of-hot. My morning hunt started before first light peeped over the horizon and I had expected to be done well before lunch. The only relief from the intense heat is the cold shower in the shearer’s quarters; as I tap away I stand under the running shower every five minutes or so. It could be worse, but it could be a whole lot better.