WET SEA­SON SET TO FIRE AS DAR­WIN’S WOMEN GET IN­VOLVED IN HUNT­ING GAME

Sunday Territorian - - FRONTIER FISHING & HUNTING - BART IR­WIN

WE have only three weeks to go of the short­est ever goose sea­son that I can re­mem­ber.

The mag­pie geese were late to turn up fol­low­ing a very good breed­ing sea­son.

The third big­gest Wet cre­ated a very long breed­ing event.

In May, when I flew over the Fin­niss to Moyle River tran­sects in the Wet sea­son aerial sur­vey con­ducted by NT Parks and Wildlife staff, I saw va­cant nests and young fledglings scur­ry­ing be­hind par­ent birds through the grass. Those nests were ob­vi­ously built a few months ear­lier.

Other nests had par­ent birds build­ing them or ex­posed eggs eas­ily seen from 60m above.

I sus­pect on see­ing how young some of the birds I have bagged since Oc­to­ber that later breed­ing con­tin­ued right into the Dry sea­son. This is why a Dry sea­son count would have given the best in­for­ma­tion about the over­all pop­u­la­tion this year.

The good rains we have had since Oc­to­ber 1 have been very en­cour­ag­ing. It is look­ing like La Nina will kick in as pre­dicted and we will have another good Wet sea­son.

If this oc­curs, breed­ing will con­tinue un­abated. I am doubt­ful the ma­jor­ity of the mag­pie geese that went on hol­i­days to Queens­land, NSW and West­ern Aus­tralia will re­turn.

If La Nina also cre­ates good rain­fall in those states there will be no en­vi­ron­men­tal trig­ger though to send them home to us.

What has been en­cour­ag­ing is the num­ber of Grey Teal turn­ing up around Shoal Bay.

It may be the in­cen­tive to hunt duck that is cre­at­ing what I term to be ‘a va­grant’ in the Top End be­com­ing fa­mil­iar in hunter’s bags.

The other big pos­i­tive has been the emer­gence of the Dar­win Women who Hunt and Fish Face­book page.

This is a sen­sa­tional de­vel­op­ment that shows that hunt­ing is not con­fined to ma­cho red­necks, but is in fact ac­cept­able and fun for our fair ladies.

The best thing is that the mothers of our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions will be teach­ing sons and daugh­ters the joy of the out­doors, hunt­ing and mak­ing a meal from those ad­ven­tures to be shared to­gether. I can see that hunt­ing is in good hands.

Damo from Coolalinga Guns and Ammo re­ported that Lam­bell’s La­goon was on the im­prove, lots of black duck in the bil­l­abongs at Shoal Bay and geese still work­ing over the wind­fall left af­ter the mango har­vest.

Grant at Fish­ing and Out­door World was out at Har­ri­son Dam last Sun­day arvo but had to scat­ter be­fore a storm hit. He saw birds fly­ing but ex­pected more would have got up af­ter the storm when it would have been closer to the evening flight time.

“Lam­bell’s La­goon is per­form­ing bet­ter now and Shoal Bay will have even more duck and geese fol­low­ing the 8m tide on Tues­day evening,” he said.

Weekly rain­fall recorded to Thurs­day morn­ing: Gunn Point 21mm, Howard Springs Na­ture Park 96mm and Mid­dle Point 69mm.

NT Field and Game are hold­ing the spe­cial Sun­day prac­tice this morn­ing from 9am till noon. Nor­mal weekly Fri­day night prac­tice con­tin­ues at the NT Field and Game range, Mick­ett Creek Shoot­ing Com­plex, Brandt Rd, Knuckey La­goon. This is the best place for hunters to get all the Goose Gos­sip ev­ery week. The Christ­mas shoot is on next Sun­day from 8am. Join Field and Game, www.nt­fiel­dandgame.com.au Join SSAA, www.ssaa.org.au Join Aus­tralian Deer As­so­ci­a­tion www.aust­deer.asn.au Like NT Field and Game on Face­book. Email: nt­fiel­dandgame@gmail.com Or fn­flodge1@big­pond.com

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