Australia: Asiatic Water Buffalo Combo

6 Hunting Days
Additional Species Available:
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1,000,000 private acres south of Arnhem land bordering a large National park and home to Australia’s new #1 Archery Buffalo at 110 4/8 DP taken 2018!

TRIP DURATION  6 Hunting days, fully guided.
PHYSICAL LEVEL Easy to Medium
PRIME TIME While technically open year-round, prime hunts occur from late May into August
WILDLIFE STATUS Wild, Free-ranging & Introduced (mid 1800’s)

Package Highlights:

This remote wilderness hunt on the far side of the earth has all kinds of bonus inclusions ensuring a hassle-free adventure and overall great outback experience! At over 2000+ lbs, these Water Buffalo are the largest hoofed mammals in the world! They were introduced from Indonesia in the mid 1800’s as a source a protein for the mining communities in Australia’s Northern Territory, and went feral before too long. The same with Scrub bulls.

This is largely an archery hunt with only very limited (if any) rifle hunting options each year, catering specifically to passionate bow hunters looking for massive, top-end trophy free-range Water Buffalo. The hunting is incredible as the vast million+ acre hunting concession just south of Arnhem land borders a large National Park and boasts a very healthy Buffalo population. Most of our hunters either take two free-range trophy Buffalo with a bow, or add a Scrub bull or five animal cull hunts to their package. Some of the bonus perks include feral hog and wild dog hunting, as well as Barramundi fishing at no extra cost!

Another big perk are the charter flights between Darwin and MacArthur river, also included in each package (an approx. $1400 value), saving you the long bumpy, and dusty drive from Darwin to the buffalo grounds. Hunt from a mobile series of tent camps along the river, rotating hunting area across the vast concession, always staying close to buffalo. Cook over an open fire to complete this outback experience! Traditional or compound bow as well as Crossbow hunters are all more than welcome. Arrows should be 550 grains or more and be of fixed 2 blade solid construction. Other combination options while down under would include free-range trophy Chital or Axis deer in Queensland, Sambar Stag hunts in Victoria, or Javan Rusa Stag hunts on the beautiful island of New Caledonia where hunters can see 500-2000+ Rusa per day!

Typical Day & Tactics:

Upon arriving to Macarthur River, hunters are greeted by the outfitter and it’s just a couple hours in the Land Cruiser to reach the general hunting areas. Once in camp, settle in for the evening, and any remaining daylight allows hunters to shoot their bows or perhaps even sneak out for a quick little scouting mission before dusk.

Wake up before light, have a simple breakfast and leave camp by dawn only driving a short distance before proceeding on foot. These Buffalo are hunted using spot and stalk tactics. Begin by walking dry creek beds checking billabongs for wallowing buffalo, or glassing the vast floodplains and sneaking through bedding areas with the wind in your face. A typical morning sees 50+ Buffalo, and its not unusual to inspect over 100 animals each full day. For any hunters having difficulty walking great distances, its not a problem as most of the hunting areas are accessible by 4×4 vehicles. Its often that hunters spot and glass buffalo from the vehicle before planning and initiating a stalk.

Mid-day usually finds hunters back in camp to avoid the heat and strong mid-day sun.  This is the perfect time to kick off your boots for lunch, cool down with a swim in a clear spring fed billabong, or flick a few lures hoping to hook into a Barra if you haven’t already chosen to take a midday siesta instead. Prepare to head back out in the field early afternoon and continue playing cat and mouse with these huge buffalo until dusk. Once the buffalo are down, turn your attention to scrub bulls, feral hogs, and wild dogs. Trophy preparations are laborious given the massive size of these buffalo, but once all is complete, hunters are shuttled back to MacArthur River by the outfitter in time to catch the return charter to Darwin.

Landscape & Climate:

This is a land of extremes that ranges from flooding to fires in an annual cycle. The terrain is generally flat and sandy. During the prime Buffalo season, its very dry, and the ephemeral creek and river valley systems lined with Pandanus or Screwpine provide a great environment in which to hunt.  Dry open flood plains mixed with dense forest and long grassy tidal meadows makes for great archery stalking cover. Most abundant here are the Ironbark trees, and the rest is generally mixed varies of eucalyptus. In addition to buffalo, scrub bulls, feral hogs and wild dogs, expect to encounter Red and Grey Kangaroos, Wallaby’s, Cockatoo’s, Kookaburra and the colorful Bee Eaters. Black headed Pythons, Goannas, Bull sharks, Fresh and Salt water Crocodiles also call this remote wilderness home.

Conditions during the hunt are warm and dry, with typical daytime highs getting quite hot, but then cooling down in the evenings and overnight. Rain would be highly unlikely and little more than a light sweater is needed in camp during the cooler hours. For detailed weather data, Wikipedia is an excellent resource for historic weather trends found in the “Climate” section available for any city worldwide.

Meals & Accommodations:

Accommodations are mobile tent camps to stay on the buffalo, but with every comfort while afield. This region of Australia sees virtually no permanent structures due to the annual process of both floods and wild fires. Hunters sleep in raised 12×14 foot tents complete with cots and 4-inch foam mattresses. All sleeping bags, pillows or bedding linens are also provided. A gravity shower, portable outhouse, generator and solar powered lights, freezer, refrigerator, water pump and charging station provide all that’s needed. While hammocks, a central fire pit, tables and lounge chairs complete this outback style mobile hunting camp. Nestled in the heart of the of the outfitting area, spend the week only minutes from the Buffalo!

The camp cooked meals are rustic and wholesome. Breakfasts are generally light. Cereal, toast and fruit namely. Once back for a midday, a bacon & eggs brunch can be prepared, as well as sandwiches, usually with corned beef or chicken, lettuce tomato and cheese. For dinner, use some traditional outback open-fire cooking techniques. Never a set menu but with popular items such as steak night or oven roasted chicken, lamb or pork roasts or buffalo spaghetti! Grilled or crumbed Barramundi is also delicious promoting hunters to spend more time fishing.

Key Equipment Suggestions:

This hunt requires a slightly more detailed equipment list; a 65lbs draw weight bow or more is preferred, along with 12 arrows tipped with 550 grain broad heads of fixed 2 blade solid construction, a good internal-frame day pack, 10x binoculars, rangefinder, hydration bladder/water bottle, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, a headlamp, comfortable walking boots and a digital camera would make up some of the most essential items.

Pricing

2×1 Archery Hunts: 6 full days – x1 Buffalo + Hogs/Wild Dog/Fishing – May – August = $8850

1×1 Archery Hunts: 6 full days – x1 Buffalo + Hogs/Wild Dog/Fishing – May – August = $9850

1×1 Trophy Rifle Hunts: 6 full days – x1 Buffalo + Hogs/Wild Dog/Fishing – August only = $10,500

Included

  • Round trip charter flights between Darwin & MacArthur River (an approx. $1400 value!)
  • Round trip airport pick-up and drop-off services from MacArthur Airport
  • All meals and tent camp accommodations during the hunt
  • Trophy fees for x1 Water Buffalo, Hogs, Wild Dogs & Fishing/equipment & tackle
  • Professional guiding with experienced & specialized archery-oriented head guide or outfitter
  • All ground transportation while hunting
  • Skull & hide preparations for 1 buffalo + taxidermist pre-shipping inspection & vet certificate

Not Included

  • Travel to the destination city of Darwin, Australia
  • Any pre and post-hunt meals and accommodations
  • Trophy fees for any additional game animals harvested
  • Gratuities to guides and staff
  • Caping of an additional Buffalo ($500) or Pigs & Wild Dogs ($200)
  • Taxidermy and trophy export
  • Personal side ventures or tourism
  • purchases of a personal nature, alcohol, souvenirs etc.

Additions

  • Extra hunting days: $500/day (If possible dependent on flight availability)
  • Non-hunting observer days: $300/day
  • Trophy fees for additional game species:
    • Additional Water Buffalo $2,250
    • Scrub Bull $750
    • Cull Package (5 animal combination of Buffalo/Scrub bulls – guides choice) = $2,500
    • 5-day Chital (Axis) deer combo hunt (available in June) = $2,800

Destination City

Hunters are asked to arrive at the airport in Darwin, Australia, and then connect to that charter flight onto MacArthur River where they are greeted by the outfitter. The hunting areas are located approximately a 2 hour’s drive NW of MacArthur River.

Travel Suggestions

Darwin is easily reached by multiple airlines. Top options from North America tend to depart from either Los Angeles or Vancouver, with best connections in Australia occurring in Brisbane. The Charter flight from Darwin to MacArthur River is approximately 1.5 hours.

Airport Shuttles

Round trip airport shuttles between MacArthur River and the hunting areas are available and already included with every package

Special Info

Passport and ETA visa required for travel to Australia. Immunizations may be required for certain destinations.