Kevin Gleeson of Mary River Safaris in Australia has asked us to clarify the issue of banteng hunting. He writes, You were correct in your previous reports when you wrote that there are only two operators licensed to hunt banteng on the Coburg Peninusla (Peter Davidson and Brenton Hurt). But that overlooks the fact that I have a herd of banteng as well. Banteng were released in the area where I hunt from various locations in 1999, originally into two large cattle-fenced areas, similar to Coburg but not as large. One area is 10,000 acres. The other is 23,000 acres. They have been managed since this time to sustain a healthy and viable hunting population with total numbers increasing every year. Banteng are released from these areas each year, and now approximately 40 percent of our total banteng herd are free-ranging outside these fenced areas. The same is true of our large buffalo herds, which have no respect for fences. At any given time approximately 20 percent of these herds are inside cattle fences, and the other 80 percent are free-ranging. Note that only approximately eight percent of Mary River Station is cattle-fenced.
This season, five of my hunters took monster buffalo scoring 116, 112, 109, 97 and 94 SCI. These scores are a long way above the annual average taken here in the Northern Territory.
By the way, a little known fact about the Coburg Peninsula is that the banteng have been kept there due to a fence at the narrow part of the peninsula. In recent years, this fence has lacked maintenance and some animals have moved through this fence barrier and roam south of the park. These animals, although few in number, are subject to heavy poaching and are hunted with no controls.