Episode 9, Season 1

Scrub Bull

Behind the Scenes

Jump to
The Hunt

Remember earlier in the season, when Dad and I hunted water buffalo in the Northern Territory? We promised you then that there was a second half coming, with even more animals and a deeper insight into the amazing wilderness of the Australian Outback. Well, here it is guys, Part 2 of our Northern Territory adventure.

It is hard to truly fathom how big, remote and unpopulated the Outback is until you are there. Out here, properties are so big, they don’t measure it in acres or hectares; they measure it in square kilometres. And this hunting concession is a whopping 220,000km2 – that’s about 85,000 square miles (or slightly bigger than Idaho!). 

When you get lost out here, there are no road signs to point you in the right direction. We didn’t even have a real GPS in the car (though I’m determined to buy myself a Garmin Rhino now). All we had was Jonathan’s ‘GP-Guess’ to find our way back to camp and thankfully, it never let us down. 

The other thing that really gets you out here is how many animals there are compared to humans. 

I know this is a hunting show, not a Maths class, but here are a few facts that might blow your mind: 

  • 245,000 people live in the Northern Territory, spread out across 1,420,000km2 – that’s a population density of roughly 0.17 per square kilometre. 
  • The Northern Territory government estimates there is between 3 and 6 feral pigs per square kilometre. Even taken at the lower end of the estimate, pigs outnumber humans by roughly 17 to 1. 
  • There are over 5 million feral donkeys in the Northern Territory. Animal rights groups have suggested rehoming feral donkeys rather than culling them, but that would require each person in the Northern Territory to take on 20 donkeys each.
  • Each donkey also consumes around 2.5 tonnes of food per year. With 5 million donkeys to feed, that’s 12.5 billion tonnes of food that could have gone to feed native wildlife and domestic livestock. 
  • Pigs and donkeys are just two of many feral and introduced animals. Others include sambar, rusa and chital deer, camel, feral cattle, buffalo, horse, pigs, goats, cats, wild dogs, fox, rabbits and a number of introduced birds.
  • There are so many introduced animals in the Territory that they are having an adverse effect on native wildlife. A recent study into the environmental impacts of feral animals in Kakadu reports that, between 1996 and 2009, while introduced wildlife numbers grew at astronomical rates, native mammal numbers fell by 75 percent. 

The NT needs more hunters to visit, and to help control some of those numbers, as there simply aren’t enough hunters in the Territory alone to do the job alone. 

In this episode, Dad and I made a small dent in the feral numbers, culling some sick and injured buffalo and donkeys, taking out some feral pigs, and getting two massive, angry scrub bulls on the ground.

The People

The following people appeared in this episode. Click on their photos below to follow them on social media. 

Rod
Rod Byfield
Jess
Jess Byfield
Jonathan
Jonathan
Nondas
Nondas
The Location

Deep in Arnhem Land on the banks of the Waterhouse River is Wugularr, the Aboriginal community we stayed with on our hunt. Around 112kms north west is Katherine, the nearest town, while the ‘big city’ of Darwin is 512kms due north. 

As I mentioned above, the concession itself is 220,000 square kilometres. If you wanted that in acres, it’s about 54 million acres. 

We hunted with our guide, Nondas and his brother-in-law, Jonathan, who is part of the Wugularr Aboriginal Community. 

HuntShack acts as agent for Nondas, and handle any bookings. A trophy water buffalo or scrub bull hunt starts at $8000. We also offer meat hunts and cull hunts. 

Water buffalo and scrub bull hunts 

Our guide is Nondas and his brother-in-law, Jonathan. Jonathan is part of the Wugularr Aboriginal Community. 

HuntShack acts as agent for Nondas, and handle any bookings. A trophy water buffalo or scrub bull hunt starts at $8000. We also offer meat hunts and cull hunts. 

The game animals

In this episode, Rod and Jess hunted scrub bull, Asiatic water buffalo and feral donkey.

The scrub bull is considered one of the most dangerous animals in the Australian bush – yes, more dangerous than our snakes, spiders, crocodiles, drop bears and anything else that tries to kill you. Where our other dangerous creatures will usually only attack if provoked, scrub bull have a reputation for seeking out a fight, and will often charge with little provocation.

Many of the scrub bulls in the Northern Territory are descendant from the Brahman cattle, and most likely either escaped or were set free from one of the many cattle stations located in the Top End. The recent escapees still bear their brands and tags, while the long-termers (or clean skins as they are known locally) have been bred wild for generations. 

NAME

Asiatic Water Buffalo

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Bubalus bubalis

RECOMMENDED FIREPOWER

Firearm - .300 Win Mag or larger / Bow - min. draw weight 70lbs

OPTIMAL HUNTING SEASON

July - September

WHERE TO HUNT

Northern Territory, Australia

NAME

Donkey

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Cervus elaphus

RECOMMENDED FIREPOWER

Firearm - .270 or larger / Bow - min. draw weight 50lbs

CONSERVATION STATUS

Feral Pest

WHERE TO HUNT

Northern Territory, Central Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia

NAME

Scrub Bull

Breed

Brahman cross - Zebuine-taurine hybrid beef cattle

RECOMMENDED FIREPOWER

Firearm - .300 Win Mag or larger / Bow - min. draw weight 60lbs

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not at risk - (assessed by FAO)

WHERE TO HUNT

Northern Territory, Australia

Gear List

Below is a brief overview of the camo and gear we were using in this episode, along with links on where to buy. Some items may no longer be available so we will try to give you the next best option. However items used like the Under Armour Women’s camo are no longer available in any form. 

Clothing
Equipment

Below is the equipment we used in this episode from guns and packs, to binos and rangefinders. 

Watch the full episode (members-only)
The full episode is only available to members of I Am Hunter. Please log in or join I Am Hunter to view.
Where can I watch this episode?

Watch on I Am Hunter

If you're an I Am Hunter member, you can watch the full episode right here on our website. No need for any other membership or subscription.

Watch on MyOutdoorTV

For $99 a year, stream episodes of I Am Hunter on MOTV, along with over 15,000 other hunting and outdoor programs.
Episode Sponsors
Garmin

Garmin make durable devices engineered on the inside for life on the outside. Their products go wherever you go and track your precise location in the process. Go farther than ever before when hunting and finding adventure.

Winchester

Winchester have been supplying quality ammunition and firearms in Australia since 1967. Other brands include Browning, CZ, Steyr, Huglu, Norma ammunition, ADI gun powders, and Meopta optics.

Burris

Burris wide range of optics are built tough to provide a lifetime of reliable performance in the field. The company has so much faith in their products that they provide a lifetime guarantee on all of their optics.

Foodsaver

FoodSaver is a leading producer of vacuum sealer systems that help you preserve food freshness and flavor, and limit waste. We use their GameSaver as its built tough for use in the field, and even comes with a 12V adaptor.

Mansfield Hunting and Fishing

Situated in Victoria's High Country, Mansfield Hunting & Fishing stocks a huge array of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. I Am Hunter members enjoy a 10% discount on any purchases made in-store or online.

What is I Am Hunter?

I Am Hunter has a lofty goal to change the way hunting is perceived in the community. Hunters can find a wide range of tools and resources to help them improve their skills and become positive role models and advocates for the hunting community. 

I Am Hunter is a member-supported website. By paying a small monthly or annual fee, members help keep most of the content free, which in turn helps to spread a positive message about hunting with the wider community.

In return, members enjoy exclusive rewards and benefits including member-only content, discount codes, and giveaways. 

Related content

Our other channels

Facebook

Follow us on Facebook

Instagram

Follow us on Instagram

YouTube

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Get our newsletter

Get our free monthly newsletter direct to your inbox

Listen on iTunes

Listen to our podcast on iTunes.

TV series

Watch I Am Hunter episodes on My Outdoor TV (MOTV)

Before you go...

Would you like to create a positive voice for hunting while enjoying exclusive rewards and benefits?

Recent

DON'T MISS A THING

Get all the latest hunting news direct to your inbox. 

Categories

Before you go...

Would you like to create a positive voice for hunting while enjoying exclusive rewards and benefits?

Categories

Recent

Don't miss a thing

Get all the latest hunting news direct to your inbox.