AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

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william williams

AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by william williams » Fri May 18, 2012 1:56 pm

Aussie Buffalo Hunters


Thrown by his horse a crushed chest, along with a buffalo horn plunged through his chest.
Death, was instantaneous. That was the finding of the court coroner.

It was in the early nineteen sixties in the Northern Territory not very far south east of Darwin around what is now called Kakado; Where the buffalo hunters camps were.

Away out there where only flies, mosquitoes, and buffalo lived, was a group of men, buffalo hunters sitting round a smoky campfire, quietly drinking beer and remembering their mate, killed by a rogue buffalo just a week ago.

Now the men that worked those buffalo camps, the men I knew, were rough and rugged. They were a strange breed of men never caring about tomorrow, as they maybe killed or worse, maimed.
Their horses were tough and wiry maybe a little scrawny, unruly, bad-tempered but every rider knew his horse and trusted him to do his work

Now, I have told a little about the men and their horses. Now, I will tell you about an average day for the Australian buffalo hunter

The morning started a little before daybreak.
Breakfast was black tea and cold damper, a serve of stew made of buffalo meat, spuds and veggies.
The pickup team, who collected the carcases would move on down to the plains to where the Buffalo wallowed in the mud.
These men stayed in the Tea Tree scrub where they were well hidden from the buffalo.
While the shooters rode, further on looking for a mob of buffalo.

When found, the shooters would sit in their saddles, hidden down-wind, looking at the wallows and the buffalo, quietly talking to each other how their attack would be.
Usually one would take the right flank and the other the left.

Now they would check their rifle, then quietly they would leave the cover of the Tea Tree that was full of mosquitoes only to be greeted by the flies.
They would spread apart as they rode quietly onward to gain the upper hand.
Quietly they would ride as they slowly closed the gap.

The buffalo wallowed in the mud, for protection from the flies never thinking at that moment that death was on its way.
The buffalo sensed the shooters and their bellowing shattered the morning calm.

The riders dropped their knotted reins upon their horse’s neck; the horses knew what was expected of them and accelerated. The men glued to their saddles with rifle in their hands and rode as only possessed men can after those lumbering beasts.

Up along-side the beast they rode, evading the buffalo’s great horns.
They would fire, the beast dropped in death sliding on the ground.
Their horse may jump a hidden ditch a drain a log or veer but nary a rider would move in his seat as they charged on to the next buffalo.
Without a second glance they’d wheeled the mob and repeated it or stopped if the buffalo gained the scrub.

When finished they would turn, look back, only to see the mounds of death.
Quickly they would ride back and bleed the gruesome mounds. Their work was now done.

The carcasses were taken back by the pickup team to where the meat and hides were packed by others at the plant.

Now you readers can appreciate why these riders have my respect. While the ground they cross is covered with dead grass, it’s full of hidden holes, logs, gutters, roots, cracks so wide that you would shake.
Still nary a rein they would hold. They’d kept riding fast across those rough and often boggy grounds trusting to their horse. With the rifle, that they would with use both hands, they would ride watching their prey while moving as one with their horse.

These men are marvels, tough as teak. Their horses were well worth their weight in gold.

Up the in the Northern Territory, the work was tough, and not for the faint hearted.
But there was work then for men who can really ride, and shoot straight, whose daily work in my opinion. Might make the man from Snowy River shake in fear?

Written by Bill Williams June 03 ©

Dennis N O'Brien

Re: AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by Dennis N O'Brien » Sat May 19, 2012 10:29 am

Brings back memories Bill.

Rimeriter

Re: AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by Rimeriter » Sat May 19, 2012 3:46 pm

What happens these days Bill ?

r.magnay
Posts: 1377
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:41 pm
Location: Port Lincoln SA

Re: AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by r.magnay » Sat May 19, 2012 4:00 pm

...they were so good at their job Jim that they shot out all the buffs, now they are unemployed, hey Bill?.... ;)
Ross

william williams

Re: AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by william williams » Sat May 19, 2012 5:48 pm

Yes Ross. But If I may say so Ross, we did do a good job at thinning them, but we never shot them out because the primitive motorized buff catchers started to catch them and they were caught alive inoculated and placed behind wire fences. At the time we shot them because of the worry of brucellosis abortus and TB along with the threat of Blue tongue disease as well and Anthrax.
It was a dirty filth, stinking job, fly’s mosquitoes and the stench of death when you were near the portable breaking down works thank god most of the time we were camped up wind well away from all that.

Bye the way Ross My best days kill was 16 and my mates was 17 but generally we would get between 6 and 12 between us but that was not every day fore there were often days of zero if we could not be sure of 6 kills the truck would not come.


Bill Williams

manfredvijars

Re: AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by manfredvijars » Sun May 20, 2012 8:54 pm

Thanks for sharing that Bill ...

We had a bit of a run out at Auvergne, (West of Timber Creek and South of the Victoria). The bloke in the picture is Lloyd Fogarty who managed Auvergne for over thirty years before moving to Timber Creek ...
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r.magnay
Posts: 1377
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:41 pm
Location: Port Lincoln SA

Re: AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by r.magnay » Mon May 21, 2012 6:49 am

...there are Fogarty's that own a lot of country around here Manfred, the father, who may well be Lloyd, bought one for each of his kids, all six or seven of them I think!
Ross

manfredvijars

Re: AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by manfredvijars » Mon May 21, 2012 7:42 am

That would be him Ross. His father, Mick, ran Argyle Downs and he got Lloyd, his son, to run Auvergne. After the AA Coy sold Auvergne, Lloyd purchased some property at Timber Creek and I believe he was able to set all his five kids up. Lloyd (sort of) retired to the Gold Coast in the 90s.

That pic was taken in the late 60s. A mate and I had just finished a stint on the McArthur and we were making out way West, popped in and were invited out on a 'yippee' shoot to knock over some buffs that were causing some problems. I didn't get a look in.

r.magnay
Posts: 1377
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:41 pm
Location: Port Lincoln SA

Re: AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by r.magnay » Mon May 21, 2012 10:27 am

.... :oops: OK, 5 ....I have been known to skite a bit..... :roll:
Ross

manfredvijars

Re: AUSSIE BUFFALO HUNTERS

Post by manfredvijars » Tue May 22, 2012 9:26 am

... Mate that's not skiting, that's memory loss. I think many of us get it at sometime or other ... :D

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