The hunting concession spans in excess of 1400 square kms of a variety of terrain, dependant on location. Open tropical savannah, permanent River frontage country, thick stands of old growth forest, swamp margins and semi-open stands of Tropi-eucalypt timbered country is all well represented.
The hunting concession has never been developed, grazed, fenced or farmed in any way. This is Aboriginal land, utilised by the Nomoorididi people of Arnhemland in a manner in keeping with long held traditions and customs.
We are privileged to have exclusive hunting rights to this land, granted by the Nomooorididi people, who encourage and support Trophy hunting for buffalo and other game, and whose long held traditions and respect for their country have salvaged this piece of pristine wilderness where sportsmen and women can experience a true wilderness hunt adventure.
Due to the remoteness and wild nature of the country, vehicular tracks are limited and access to remote areas can be time consuming, requiring long 4x4 drives through rough, and often unchartered bush.
Hunters are advised that for the very best of results, a medium level of fitness with the ability to walk medium to long distances whilst on the trail is highly recommended, though hunts are tailored to individuals' fitness levels.
Within our booking period there are three quite distinct hunt experiences available.
Early season, beginning of June to mid July,
Mid season, end of July through to mid September,
Late season, end of September to end of October.
June-July inclusive Early season hunts represent quite challenging hunting conditions as the undercover growth ( native grasses ) will still be quite high, thick and green. Surplus waters from the wet season ( Dec – March ) will have filled all depressions giving the animals of the region multitudes of options for feeding and watering, meaning they need to travel less and have more cover. Buffalo, and all other game, are at this time of the year in the very best of physical condition while reaping the rewards of the bounty that the wet season provides. Wild boar can be particularly challenging to locate during this period, as their movements are mostly nocturnal. The great attractions of early season hunts, for many hunters, is the fact that contact with game will inevitably be at close quarters, with animals who, because of the good conditions, are low stressed and easier to approach. These conditions, combined with perfect hunting temperatures that average in the high 20c make the ideal scenario for the traditionalist double rifle enthusiast who wants close-up, big game action. Average distance for shots on buffalo in the early season is between 20 – 60 yds.
August-September inclusive Mid season is the beginning of the weather in Arnhemland warming up. Most of the temporary sources of water have dried, and areas of open grasslands that have been burnt by us, begin to grow back. Travelling around the concession becomes much easier as wet areas dry back, and the animals begin to travel further for their needs, therefore increasing our contact with them. The average daily temperatures for hunts at the end of September will hover around 31 – 33 c. Nights can still be quite cool and pleasant. The level of cover available to the game and the hunters is drastically diminished, as a result, stalks are more challenging to execute and shots tend to average a bit longer than early season hunting.
Shots out to 100yds, and slightly beyond, are not uncommon. Locating wild boar during this period can be a much higher percentage activity, due to the diminished water sources.
October-November inclusive Late season hunting can be a real double-edged sword. Hot daily temperatures of 33 c tend to deter a lot of hunters who miss out on the opportunities provided in this period. With all but permanent water sources dried, lone, remote area bulls are forced out of their sanctuaries and by chance of frequency our paths happen to sometimes cross. Final stalks can be very challenging as there will be very little left in the way of cover, for both man and beast. Buffalo will begin to congregate in larger herds, as the locations for suitable feed and water have reduced significantly. Animals will have a higher flight response than early season hunting, as they are now travelling further ( working harder ) for daily requirements. Despite all the negatives, this is an awesome period for targeting big trophy bulls for hunters who can tolerate the conditions.
Success rate for all hunters to date (2008), including all periods of the available season has been in excess of 100% (some of our hunters take more than one bull) for buffalo over 90 S.C.I points.
The Asiatic/Australian water buffalo is a heavily-built, powerful animal capable of outrunning a horse over 100yds. Not dissimilar in shape and size to the Cape buffalo, the Asiatic buff give up nothing to their African cousins in terms of toughness or potential threat. Often, we have hunters with prior exposure to Cape buffalo hunting, who are amazed at the tenacity and resilience of our Aussie buffalo. We recommend the very heaviest calibre the client is comfortable in shooting with and have a conditioned minimum of .375 H&H with 300gn projectiles, in the interests of humane dispatch and successful recovery. The 450-400, 416's, 404, 458, 470 and 500, when combined with accurate shot placement and adequate projectiles have all proved reliable buffalo stoppers.
Our focus on trophies is for age and mass in the bases. Typically, the lunar shape of horns prevails, rather than the sweeper, with acceptable trophies starting with 17" bases and a horn length of 30" + per side. Such a bull will score 94 s.c.i points, where the minimum S.C.I record book requirement is 80 points. A percentage of the seasons take will exceed the 100 point range, with our annual average hovering just under that figure. Such a buffalo, when taken in ethical hunting circumstances, in a wilderness scenario is an outstanding trophy animal any hunter can be proud of.
The Wild Oxen (Scrub Bull) of Arnhemland is a grossly undervalued game animal.
For most hunters who judge this animal from its resemblance to the domestic strain, the Wild Oxen holds little appeal and an extremely challenging, and potentially dangerous hunt opportunity goes begging.
Wild Oxen are a very large bodied, powerfully built bovine with a very high flight response, capable of an amazing turn of leg speed. In far fewer numbers than the Buffalo in the region, opportunities for Wild Oxen trophies are much more difficult to produce, therefore highly prized when they do occur.
The Wild Oxen has an incredible level of tolerance for poorly placed (and well placed, for that matter) shots regardless of calibre being used, and often, decisions to take one of these incredible game animals results in “exciting circumstances".
Southern Safaris Australia has taken several outstanding world class Wild Oxen Trophies, with the potential for more, in remote yet unhunted country, being very high. Typical trophies will have horns 10 – 16 “ in length, with 8 – 10 “ bases. Standard buffalo rifles and calibres are recommended.
Quality trophy boar, ranging in body weight from 60 - 90+ kg’s, carrying tusks that measure 6 - 9“ when extracted, make a unique and worthwhile addition to any Arnhemland hunting adventure.
Southern Safaris Australia has quality, reliable bolt action rifles in .375 H&H available for guests who wish not to travel with firearms. Firearms are provided for loan, free of charge, guests simply pay per box for ammunition. We provide Federal Premium ammunition, loaded with Barnes XXX’s at store prices.
Also included in your Arnhemland hunting adventure package is freshwater fishing for Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Saratoga and other species at the successful conclusion to your hunting objectives, or as a relaxing diversion from regular activities. All fishing gear is supplied, free from any charge, on a replacement cost if broken or lost.