Word from Australia is that a severe cyclone slammed that country's northern coast last month, including Gurig National Park in the Cobourg Peninsula, which is where banteng hunting is conducted. In an e-mail at press time from Matt Graham, operations manager for Hunt Australia, we learned that one of the two banteng camps there, Territory Buffalo Safaris, was severely damaged, along with parts of the local ranger station and the waiting area at the airstrip. Another camp called Smiths Point, operated by Peter Davidson, reportedly lost a shed but was otherwise undamaged. These are the only two licensed hunting camps on the Cobourg Peninsula, and all outfitters use the services of one or the other of these camps for hunts there.
"Peter was going out to Cobourg this week to investigate personally, but he was not concerned about being able to operate this season, beginning in just a few short weeks," Graham said in his e-mail. Hunt Australia uses Davidson's camp for all its banteng operations.
Obviously, there is no reason at this point to consider canceling a banteng or water buffalo hunt in this part of Australia, but booked clients may want to check in with their outfitters. Working in hunters' favor is the fact that dry conditions prevailed before Cyclone Ingrid dumped heavy rainfall on the area. There was some minor flooding initially, but water levels are expected to fall rapidly.