I haven't penned anything about hunting for eleven years although I've hunted everything from lion, elephant (unsuccessfully) and rhino to suni and blue diuker during that time. If your readers wish to hunt trophy buffalo in remote wilderness, I have a true wild adventure to share with you.
This summer I had the opportunity to hunt buffalo, feral wild ox and hogs with Simon Kyle-Little owner and operator of Australian Big Game Safaris. Hunting takes place on 2.2 million acres of aboriginal conservancy located in Arnhem Land in the Northwest Territory, where he has guided with exclusivity for 26-years. This hunt is not for the weak at heart. Each day we tracked eight to twelve miles through paperbark and ironwood forests, jungle strewn with pandanus palms and massive salt flats and flood plains. On the fourth day I took the buffalo trophy I had been searching for, an old, smart and cagey fellow with heavy horns. During the hunt I saw hundreds of buffalo, including four big 100-class Bulls - astounding!
For the next three days we focused on wild Ox. This hunt ended almost storybook like. After hunting hard and covering many miles of remote country looking for these elusive animals we crossed the track of a fantastic bull on the way back to the hunting vehicle, in the last few minutes of the last day. After a short stalk I dropped the Ox not a quarter mile from the vehicle. True wild Ox have incredible eyesight, acute hearing and well-developed olfactory glands. Collecting the Ox was the icing on the cake of this superior hunt. I also was fortunate to kill two boars with good teeth.
Besides for buffalo, Ox and hogs the back country is home to kangaroos, wallabies, fresh water crocodiles and salties that can grow to twenty feet long, a large variety of birds and in the evenings a chorus of howling dingoes.
Kyle-Little is an excellent PH, full of knowledge, energy, enthusiasm and he is jovial company. The camp is rudimentary, but the food was plentiful, the sleeping arrangement clean and bug free and all the support equipment and vehicles worked all the time.
A 25 minute charter flight from Groote Island is necessary to reach camp. The charter service pilots are uniformed and professional.
The Northern Territory water buffalo are native to India. In 1824, sixteen buffalo where established on Melville Island just north of Darwin. That settlement was abandoned in 1828 and the buffalo were removed to Raffles Bay on the mainland, which in turn was abandoned in 1830. With millions of acres of swampy ground and tropical climate providing natural habitat that exists nowhere else in Australia, and freedom of disease and immunity from attack by predators the buffalo became quickly established and have thrived by the thousands.