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Forum Index > Medium and large game hunting > Drought over. Lots of rain = dense bush = short shots and good swimming.

Drought over. Lots of rain = dense bush = short shots and good swimming.

20 Dec 2021
@ 02:04 pm (GMT)

Todd Free

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From 2017 -2019 the entire property I hunt at was cleaned up by bushfires, all 2600 acres. Amazing changes. After both fires it rained within a week or two (despite being well into a drought) then followed up a couple times to help establish regrowth. The eastern part of the property was so dry walking without making noise prior to the fires was near impossible. Everything cracked loudly under foot, even the lichen!

The rain returned about a year ago now and the place has been transformed. The creek that splits the property east to west has been flowing continuously for over a year. Since 2004 I had never seen it flow, just trickle for a day or two after a random rainfall. Now there are many small waterfalls, cascades and good clean non-stagnant swimming holes everywhere. The level of flash floods that have been through has left debris so high I have a hard time picturing the amount of water that would have had to have passed through some spots.

I have built a camp along the creek since the fires and have used material from the two derelict "houses" that were consumed by the fires. The houses have been empty since 2002 and were addition after addition attached to existing structures by non-qualified builders using materials they could scrounge up for free. The fires were a good clean up for them! Sadly I was in the process of removing all the hardwood flooring from the original one-room homestead so we could re-use it. I had 95% removed and piled up when the fires went through. Would have made a nice deck overlooking the creek!

Due to the granitic soils that cover the property, when it gets regular rain, you can bog a horse. Vehicle travel is not an option now, except for a quad with a trailer. Have risked it once and this resulted in my truck sinking up to the frame on flat (not low area either) ground that did not appear wet. Surface cracked, up came what looked like runny cement or liquefaction from an earthquake and that was it. Had to hike out 5km and wait 2 weeks to return and attempt to get it out.

Currently the undergrowth is thick, green, 2m high and results in stumbling onto prey usually within 30-50 yards. There is the possibility of long range shots shooting from one rock outcrop to another but since 2010 this has not happened. If I see goats etc I will try to move further away to get a longer shot and put all Nathan's teaching to use, but alas most times this means 300-450 yards. I practice long range at 515 to 865 shooting paper in one of the only paddocks clear enough to allow that distance.

Spent this past weekend there. It was 32C in the shade so I stalked the creek and stopped to cool off many times. Culled 3 young goats and saw the hind quarters of a mob of pigs that saw me before I did them.


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