News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 28, 2012

REDNECK QUAKER: Hoosiers try their hunting skills down under

KENNY BAYLESS
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — How would you practice with a bow and arrow to harvest a kangaroo? Jump up and down while shooting or mount a set of springs to your shoes?

A couple of Indiana Rednecks stepped off an airplane in Emerald, Australia thinking “What are we getting into this time?”

There are 46 species of roo. The big “Red” stands 6 foot tall at 150 lbs and is on the top of our list, along with wild boar and dingo.

After the flight to the last town into the outback, the seasoned outfitter had driven 180 miles to greet us. After 24 hours on flights, what’s another 3-hour drive?

The hunting lodge sits on 10,000 acres with the longest fence in the world bordering it, to help keep the Dingo’s away from sheep country. Hot spur camp was a welcome site in its own paradise, carved out of an unforgiving land. A three-story lodge sporting numerous big-game trophies as well as green grass and fruit trees situated on a hill overlooking its domain.

The hunting guide, Mike Mackay is outstanding! In 1990 he guided a client in Alaska to harvest the World Record Grizzly, and has cheated death three times from a buffalo attack, a heart attack, and a broken back. He is a great cook, feeding us large portions of beef and potatoes. A book should be written about him!

There is an abundance of critters like Kangaroo, several species of stag deer, wild boar, dingo, emu, fallow deer, exotic birds and wild horses, even camels!

The first morning before getting into the hunting jeep a gray roo was taken next to camp with an arrow through the hips. They are a very hard animal to put down.

One day a beautiful blue roo was shot going into a grassy area as it was about to be finished off, to our surprise a dingo came out of nowhere and attacked the roo, it got an arrow in the side also, but he left without slowing down. That situation was like winning the lottery; dingoes are hard to take with a gun at long distance and never with a bow.

Roo valley had hundreds in it from the favored grasses and habitat, but no big reds.

Land is measured in miles not acres and we were on an average ranch of 40 miles square at roo valley. The North Territory, buffalo camp took up 832,000 acres. Mike has a private airplane.

To be stranded in the outback with a bottle of water and literally 90 degrees in the shade makes you think of your loved ones. There are soft spots a four-wheel drive jeep will drop into the floor boards to. After hours of jacking, digging, and cutting trees to crib with, we got out.

Blue, Grey, and average sized Red roo’s were harvested with a bow and gun.

A large wild boar got lucky; slipping into tall grass with tunnels in it and couldn’t be coaxed to charge or show himself.

Oh yeah, this was another wild cat venture thought up by Steve Reedy, I need to quit listening to him.

Good Day Mate, we had a bloody good time!