Mathews Inc.
Bowhunting Kansas Live - 2008


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Australian sunrise

A goal of mine was to kill a mature buffalo and when I had a nice one I would only focus on bigger bull since I can shoot more than one. I am also open to the idea of Pat Jr. shooting one too. I think he can do it, so does Mick - especially after he saw Patrick's incredible accuracy with a bow. The only one that wasn't sure was Patrick himself. At first he wanted to see me shoot one and I think it may have spooked him a bit. I don't believe he realized just how massive they are until he saw one up close. If the right bull and the right situation shows up it will be his decision with no pressure from either Mick or I. My son is confident, but he's also very level headed so he won't do anything beyond his abilities.

We spent most of today fishing and relaxing at this little slice of paradise.

Another goal of mine was to enjoy my time together with my son. So rather than trek all over Australia looking for a 100 incher, we took today off to fish that little spot of paradise - you know, the one with the waterfall. Mick and I took the Land Cruiser while Pat Jr. drove Mick's 4-wheeler behind us. We got to the waterhole early in the morning and before long we were catching fish. This was a dream for a fisherman. It was entirely possible a lure had never hit this water before and the fish reacted just like I anticipated - by hitting every lure we through at them. It was so much fun I barely took a photo. We stayed there a few hours and Pat chose to stay behind to see if he could hook a big Barra. Mick and I took the 4-wheeler out for a quick spin to see if we could find a buffalo.

At first we found scrub bulls including one that looked just like a Banteng but he was just a look-a-like. We then spotted some buffalo but nothing I wanted to shoot. As we headed back to the waterfall we spotted a big bull. He was probably in the mid 90's but he was onto us already and ran off before we had time to even think about him. He was nice.

We headed back to the waterhole for lunch where Mick cooked the fish we had caught that morning. It was quite a feast! We took a quick nap and were feeling adventurous. So we climbed to the top of the waterfall where a series of pools were formed in the rocks. Pat and Mick stripped down to their boxers and went for a dip. We stayed on top of the cliff for at least 2 hours before climbing back down. I would post photos but I'm pretty sure there are laws about that...

It was a slow hunting day but a special one. I am still on the hunt for a 2nd bull but deep down I hope we find a good situation for Pat. Tomorrow we are heading down to explore a new area where Mick saw several big bulls. My son and I are having the time of our lives. Bowhunting Australia is far better than we imagined. The country is beautiful, the animals are plentiful, and the overall atmosphere is relaxing and laid back. I couldn't have picked a better trip to share with my son.


Is 14 too young for dangerous game?

One of the decisions my son and I would face was whether he could shoot a water buffalo - and more importantly - should he?

I would never consider this for a Cape Buffalo or any of the African dangerous game. But after hunting these bulls for several days I am confident he could do it and that it wouldn't put him or anyone else in danger. My son is an excellent shot and he holds it together well under pressure.

If something goes wrong Mick can back him up with the rifle. The only question that remained was if his equipment was up to the task.

The decision is up to Patrick whether he wishes to try for one.

Penetration Testing with Pat Jr's equipment

When I shot my buffalo we took a couple of practice shots on my dead buffalo to see how well his equipment would perform. The verdict was so long as he had a good, close, broadside shot his equipment was adequate.

Video: Pat Jr's Penetration Testing on my buffalo



Facts about Bowhunting Australia's Northern Territory

For me, part of the appeal to hunting a foreign country is the opportunity to experience local methods, different species, and cultural differences. Australia is far different than the US when it comes to hunting. All I could think of was Braveheart yelling out "FREEDOM". And while the Aussies were quick to disown Mel (he was born in the US and is completely insane), they are quite happy with their unregulated hunting. In fact, their heads were ready to explode when I explained to them some of the regulations and norms that US hunters live with. I don't know which shocked them the most, the fact that I couldn't hunt on Sundays or that the State mandates the exact time -to the minute- when I must stop hunting each day. Here's a brief list of some of the changes. (Note this is for the NT. some differences exists in other regions of Australia)

Hunting & Fishing Licenses - not required.

Big Game Tags - not required.

Regulations - none, other than the taking of Australia's Native species are prohibited.

Bag Limits - none, you can shoot as many feral animals as you want.

Seasons -no seasons. You can hunt 24/7 all year with any weapon.



Next - Day 9

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