Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back from a Hunting Trip

Okay, I KNOW I didn't tell you I was going away. Not sure why, I think I just ran out of time ... but I do hope everyone had a great Easter.

Anyway, I'm back!!!

The destination was Perenjori again (last blogged about here).

I drove to my shooting mate's place and we loaded up his car and headed off on the Friday morning. It was a nice drive and surprisingly quite quiet on the roads (especially once we got past New Norcia).

We arrived at the caravan park at a good time and checked into the accommodation and had a cuppa. At about 5pm we headed out to the farm for a look see.

I had different ammo for the lever action .22 so we set a target up at 50m to sight it in. We then had a bit of a drive to see what was around.

Within a few minutes we spotted two small flocks of goats. They were too far for a good shot (even with the 30-30) so we decided not to disturb them.

Once it got dark we began to see foxes. We did a bit of fox chasing across the paddocks ... which was a lot of fun and I managed to get a few shots off with the .22 but I missed :(

After one of the fox chases I spotted a rabbit and managed to nail it!

We only stayed out until about 9pm and then headed back for some dinner and an early night.

Saturday morning saw us up and out at 6.30am, just as the sun was coming up - the sun rises are as stunning as the sunsets in that part of the world.

We headed back to where we saw the goats the day before without success. As we drove around the farm I spotted another larger flock off it in the distance. We drove close and then got out to stalk them, however, for some reason a herd of horses on the property decided to take a run behind the goats, which spooked them and they were off.

We headed around the hills to try and cut them off, but misjudged where they were going to come out. We again gave chase but didn't managed to get a good shot off.

After a couple of hours driving around without success we headed back to the gate where we bumped into the property owner's brother. He explained that the owner was in Perth for the weekend and he had come across to check the pumps and water tanks for the cattle.

As my shooting mate had been coming to the property for the last 20 years and was on good terms with the whole family, he was asked to keep an eye on the pumps and tanks which would save the brother a 120km round trip each day. My mate, of course, agreed.

We then headed back to the caravan park for a cuppa, brekky, shower and nap and to wait for some other friends who were coming up for a quick visit.

We met up with the caretakers at the caravan park and extended an invitation to them for a beer which they took us up on later in the day. While we were chatting and drinking our friends turned up so we did a bit more chatting (and no more drinking).

It was about 6pm when we decided to head back to the farm. We took both vehicles out to the shearing shed, and planned to leave my mate's one there and do some spotlighting from our friends' ute. However, our friends were having problems with their ute. Initially they thought it could be fixed, however after a few scavenger hunts through the shearing shed and some jiggery pokery on the ute it was clear that it was a job for daylight, at least.

We headed to the property's house and were lucky to find a dual-cab ute sitting there which my mate has standing permission to use. We all piled in and headed down the drive back to the paddock, only to discover a flatish tyre. So back to the shearing shed. However, while we could locate a compressor, we couldn't locate the correct attachments to pump up the tyre ... so back to the house again.

Luckily my mate had the right fittings and a compressor which runs off his battery in his vehicle, so we pumped up the tyre and then finally made it out onto the property!

Unfortunately it was quite a windy night and not many animals were out and about. My friend got a shot or two off at a couple of rabbits but that was about it.

Around mid-night we decided to head back to the caravan park to get some sleep and see what the morning brought.

We had suggested to one of our friends that he joined my mate on the Sunday morning goat hunts, but as there was no sign of him at 6.30am, I decided to go instead.

We got to the farm in good time, and had a look at where we had see the goats previously, no luck. So we decided to do a bit of a drive around, my mate was just saying to me to keep a look out on the left when I spotted a flock of about 15 on the right. They had also spotted us so the chase was on!

We went around a hill or two to try and keep them away from the fence line and trees and managed to get into a good shooting position. I let off a shot with the .22 and downed one. We then took off after the others, I got another one with my next shot. I then passed the gun to my mate who downed another. Again off after the remaining flock and my next shot took out a nanny with two kids, and then I got another billy.

The remainder of the flock had disappeared by this time.

So we went to ensure that they were all dead and to see what meat we could get. My mate took out the two kids which were hanging around the dead nanny. The billy needed another shot to finish it off, but the others were all dead.

We decided to take the kids for meat, along with a couple of legs from the others. The butchering took awhile and by the end of it we were ready to head back to the caravan park for shower, cuppa and brekky.

Our friends were up and about when we got back (it was about 9am) so they decided to contact the RAC (automobile service club) to see what could be done about their ute.

We were expecting a LONG WAIT (which would give the guys time to tow the ute back to the caravan park rather than trying to explain where on the property it was), however, the local mechanic lived across the street from the caravan park and was there in 15mins.

So my friend and the mechanic headed out to the ute and we sat and waited to hear what was going to happen. We had just decided to head out to the farm to show my other friend around when we got a call from them telling us they were towing the ute back and that they needed to call the RAC again to arrange a tow back to Perth.

Again when they contacted the RAC the service was fantastic. The tow truck driver had to come from another town 80kms away, but he was willing to plan to arrive to give my friends time to go back out to the property for a look around.

So we headed off again. We took the guns, however all animals were hiding. Our friends enjoyed the drive around and all too soon we had to head back to the caravan park, only to discover that not only had the tow truck driver arrived but the ute was already on the back of the tray and ready to go.

My friends were getting a ride back with the tow truck, so we all said a quick goodbye and they were off.

My mate and I decided to crash for a couple of hours and then head out again to the farm.

On the way back out, we stopped by the water tanks to check on them and discovered a small leak in one of the pipes leading to the tank that the cows were drinking from. As there is no mobile service in the paddocks we headed back to the house to call the property owner's brother. He asked us to keep an eye on it and to let him know what the situation was in the morning.

So back to the paddock again. This time we spotted a few more rabbits which I managed to get (well two out of the three) but they were too little for meat. We saw some foxes in the distance. My mate managed to get a good shot off on one of them (at about 200m with the 30-30) we saw the fox go down, but didn't manage to find the carcass.

On the way back to the road we spotted an emu. The property has a destruction licence so I was able to take aim. I managed to miss it, but then noticed another emu wondering along the fence line of the paddock. Managed to get that one, and on the drive back saw another one which my mate managed to knock over (we used the hornet on these).

We decided to call it a night (as it was around midnight again) and head back to the caravan park.

On the Monday morning we were planning another 6.30am start, but were both too tired to rush. We had to pack up and check out anyway so it was about 9am before we got going.

We headed back out to check on the water tank and discovered that the leak was affecting the supply of water. So back to the house, and when my mate chatted to the brother he was asked to fix the pipe. So back up to the shearing shed to try and find a joiner and an adjustable spanner, then back to one paddock to turn the pump off, then the other paddock to cut and fix the pipe and then back again to turn the pump back on and then back to the house to report on progress. During all this driving around we spotted another group of emus.

So after all the chores were done and phone calls made we decided to go and see if the emus were still in the paddock where we had spotted them. We were quite disappointed to see that they weren't. However, in the distance we saw a lone one (still in the same paddock, just at the other end of it). We decided to give chase. I had a few shots at it, but failed to connect. Then my mate decided to give it a go, while driving at 50kph (luckily the paddock was pretty clear) and he took it down with a shot.

We had just driven up to it to check that it was dead when we spotted another 9 emus in an adjoining paddock. My mate managed to get one straight away and then we jumped in the car and gave chase. Between the two of us we made quick work of the other 8 - not that I'ld admit it, but my mate took out more than I did.

After checking that they were all dead we were heading back to the main road when we noticed a leaking pipe. Apparently we had driven over it and it had split. So again we jumped out and repaired it!

Before leaving we decided to head back to the other pipe we had repaired to ensure that all was in order. Then back to the shearing shed to drop the adjustable spanner off and one last look at the property before heading back to Perth.

It was a great weekend and I had lots of fun. Looking forward to doing it again soon.

Some Pictures
- Pink & Greys in a Tree

- A Calf

- Our Friends Heading Back to Perth

- A Banksia


Old NFO said...

WOW- and interesting weekend and lots of back and forth!!! I'm sure the owner and brother both appreciated the assist!

LOL- WV- cheers

DaddyBear said...

Sounds like a great weekend. Having access to hunting land is really an asset that must be treasured.

Crucis said...

Are Night Vision devices legal in Australia? Farmer Frank uses them to hunt feral hogs at night. A NVG mounted with a holo sight would help hunting at night.

My last hunting trip was for Prairie Dogs in eastern Wyoming a few years ago. Think it may be time for another. :-)

commoncents said...

THANK YOU for posting this! I really like your blog!!

Common Cents

ps. Link Exchange?

phlegmfatale said...

Great account of what sounds like a fabulous shooty getaway. Well done on plugging that emu- emu are evil. Love the pics on that other link, too-- the flowers look spectacular. (though I know it's Fall there and probably not so colorful now?)