25 years....

havgunwilltravel

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Aug 9, 2012
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Australia
Its been a hectic past 8 months, plenty of hunting and some really nice trophies have been taken in many locations. I've just got in from a great trip into the outback and I thought its about time I post up another hunt report.
A friend of mine from Europe came over for a couple of weeks hunting. He had just graduated from college with a medical degree and was keen to burn powder and see Australia. First up was a sambar stag and we had a few opportunities before he finally took a very good stag hunting one evening with our mate. With the hard one done it was time to point the 4wd north and head into the outback to a great property my mate has been hunting for years. With 12 hours behind the wheel we pushed on as far as we could into the night before rolling out the swags on the side of a remote track for a couple of hours sleep.

It was looking green after 7 inches of much needed recent rain fall and game was on the move. Kangaroos, emus, foxes, rabbits and goats were sighted along the way. We knew things were going to be tough with water everywhere and we just had to cover ground looking over as many billies as possible in the hopes of finding some good goats amongst those we could locate.

Before we got to our campsite we glassed a few goats way out on a flat and one of them was limping, but he had wide flaring horns and was a belter. He could have easily been the best goat of the trip we might find so there was no hesitation on whether to try for him. There was a lot of open ground between us, so we looped around behind a big timbered ridge coming out in front of the where the goats were headed. Mark carried the Tikka T3 and I was thinking if we turn this guy up it will be an incredible start. But as we sorted our way through the goats feeding off the flat the big guy was nowhere to be found. We pushed on and looked over a lot of goats, but he had beat us into cover and we decided to leave him be as we had the property owner to meet and ear marked this billy for a return hunt on the way out.
Shortly after a fox was found sniffing around an old kangaroo carcass and Mark took care of him.

The property owner was a great guy and gave us use of a hut that had a generator and all the gear. It was a luxury for us as we planned on sleeping under the trees on a river bed in our swags.
Unpacking gear took very little of our time before we unloaded the bikes and headed straight off into the hills. My mate had taken many huge billies off this property hunting with his dad over the years and he knew it very well. Goats were sighted and we looked over a few herds with smaller younger males. We then decided to climb into some escarpment country and see what we could turn up. The first gorge produced a few younger animals and the second valley found us glassing a pair of billies. The better of the two wasn’t big, but he was heavy and as we weren’t sure what we would find we decided to take him and work our way up. The stalk was straightforward and Mark had his first billy with the little .223 doing its job. He was very happy with his animal as goats of any species are eagerly sought after by European hunters.

We continued on to some amazing escarpment country looking over lots of goats but not finding any mature billies before arriving after dark to light the camp fire, crack open a cold beer and enjoy the million star view above.
Next morning we were away before the sun was up and it was cold, but clear skies above. It didn’t take long to find goats and we glassed a lot of animals before locating a solid billy in bachelor herd. The wind was swirling but we cut around and got set up on him and after a little shoot out Mark had another nice billy on the ground.

We continued on and headed to a very remote section of the 125,000 acre property. More billies were located and we glassed many goats trying to find that billy with a little extra horn.
It was good to let walk a few goats that held promise for the future.

Down the very far corner we found a small herd of billies and one had a busted horn whilst the other side had a nice curl to it. This old billy was clearly not going to get any better and would make a nice unusual trophy so a stalk was put on and he was taken with a shot to the lungs. The little 50gr pill from the .223 outperformed itself again.

Mark was extremely happy with his billies and the hunt but we pushed on with the bar set that bit higher now. It was big or bust from here on in and we went to work turning up billies and looking over every goat we could find. One massive herd of goats ran across a big flat headed to the safety of thick cover and as I looked them over in the Leicas I noticed a twisty horned goat that looked very good. But he was side on only quartering slightly and this didn’t give me a good angle to judge his width on. Front on or going away is much better but we didn’t have this option. My mate also thought he looked very good and we agreed we better shoot him as he had plenty of weight and did appear to twist well back out after his first curl. It was my turn behind the trigger and I didn’t have much time before they were into the trees. On the run at 150 metres I gave some lead and missed him, next shot I pushed the crosshairs further in front and sent a bullet into a nanny that had covered the billy, things were getting a bit desperate by now but the third bullet found its mark and hit him in the chest. He tumbled over and we were very happy to see him pile up. Walking up to him we weren’t quite sure how wide or good he was but we knew he was the better goat we had seen out of a few thousand animals.
This was a similar view to when we walked up to him.

I grabbed his horn and pulled it out to see the other unbroken and just as good. I was estatic to say the least.

I don’t get excited and jump around when I have taken the life of an animal, no matter where or how big it is, but since I was a kid I had dreamed of taking a billy wider then the 40 inch mark and this goat smashed it. Twenty five years of hunting for a goat of this size brought out a good celebration amongst us and we all knew that I would likely never take, let alone see a goat of this size again no matter how many trips I made into the outback.

Lots of pictures were taken and I was very grateful for my mate who gave us the opportunity to hunt with him.

That afternoon found us back out in the escarpment country glassing till sunset and looking over more goats, but no big fellas were seen. It was probably the prettiest place I had ever hunted in the outback and the views were amazing.

Finally getting back to camp in the dark we had had put in a big day but been well rewarded. The property owner came up to have dinner with us and we all enjoyed a few beers. He thought it was the second biggest billy to come off the place in over 40 years.
 
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havgunwilltravel

Active member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
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Location
Australia
Next morning we changed gears and spent some time along the creeks trying to get Mark a pig, a lot of sign was seen but no animals.

We then continued on the search for billies looking over some more promising animals. These were left in the hope that they might keep on growing and still be around in a few years. But with goats very nomadic there will be no guarantee of this.

This black billy would have been a nice goat if he hadn’t of busted a few inches off one horn.

We then thought it might be fun to step it up a couple gears and see if the kid from Hungary could catch a billy or two with his bare hands. He was apprehensive at first but we talked him into it.
We cruised around on the bikes looking for a decent goat in semi open country and after a bit of searching found a likely animal. Some moto work on the bikes got us close and then it was a foot race with a team effort to catch the goat.
Mark didn’t know what to think when we got a couple pictures taken and then let the billy go to re join his herd.

But we talked him into having another crack and by now he seemed to be getting the hang of it as soon enough goat number two gave us a good run before he too got ran down. Three fingers from us each meant he went 33 inches across the horns. Life is all about having fun and we like to make the most of every adventure we go on.

It was a great afternoon out on the bikes and we went to get a feed of crayfish from one of the dams and then looked for a pig right on dark. A few were seen but we didn’t fire a shot hoping to locate a boar.
Next morning we decided to try for a pig again on the creek and Mark eventually got the crosshairs on a young sow. He was very happy to get a pig in Australia and almost got a solid boar but it was too fast in the tight cover.

That afternoon we checked out some really neat caves with indigenous artwork and spent our time packing up for the drive home.

We allocated a morning to go look for that big wide billy with the limp out the front, but a thunderstorm came through and we had no chance of getting into his area. The rain resulted in a 250 kilometre detour to get home but it matter.
It had been an amazing hunt with great mates and one ill never forget. Every time I head into the outback I realize just how lucky we are to have such diversity amongst the animals of Australia and such freedom to hunt them year round.
Good luck to everybody with their upcoming hunts.
 
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Big Fin

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Dec 27, 2000
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15,124
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Bozeman, MT
Wow, that is a cool story. If that does not make you want to experience Australia, not sure what would. Congrats on your great success.
 

fishing4sanity

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Joined
Mar 9, 2011
Messages
5,036
Location
eastern Washington
Thanks for sharing your adventure and great photos! I always enjoy seeing your pics of Australia, it's on my bucket list to visit there someday and this report makes me want to go even more.
 

putm2sleep

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Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
2,559
Location
Colorado
Always enjoy your postings and love your stories man!
Kickass and thanks for taking me along on your/the hunt!
 

1_pointer

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Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Messages
18,123
Location
Indiana
Super! Looks like a great time in some cool country AUS has definitely risen in my books at places I want to hunt.
 

Randy11

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Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
6,109
Love your write ups...

Looks like an awesome trip and some very cool critters. Congrats on that billy, he's impressive to say the least.
 

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