There may be a minor delay with shipments from Australia due to those new EU regulations requiring agents to register with TRACES. Graham Williams of Australian Buffalo Hunters sent word that Australia has taken this issue very seriously and operators there have worked with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) to fully comply with the new regulations so they can ship their 2011 trophies. Williams says the process has taken time, requiring AQIS to get clarification from the EU on various points and develop a whole new system to deal with the requirements. "Although this has taken longer than expected," writes Williams, "we hope all will be registered very soon and then our 2011 EU trophies can get moving. Plus, we will have a more consistent process in place for exports to the US and other countries as well."
Williams also offered a quick report on the water buffalo hunting season in Northern Territory. He says a generous wet season from November 2010 through March 2011 led to lots of feed, tall grass and abundant water sources during the "dry" season of June through September. That contributed to what he describes as an abundance of fat, healthy trophies this season. "Normally we have low vegetation and wear shorts while hunting," he writes. "This year, long pants were a must to prevent shredding of legs and possibly upsetting an unseen snake in the tall grass." Williams casually added that he only had one buffalo charge in the high cover this season from what he says was a 54-inch bull. Hunt reports from Australia have been slow coming in this season. If you were there, send us your report!