Good early rains have goose hunters egg-static

Sunday Territorian - - SUNDAY - By BART IR­WIN

THE fac­tors that con­trol our hunt­ing prospects an­nu­ally are: Habi­tat, cli­mate, weather, wa­ter lev­els, ac­cess and breed­ing.

Most of these fac­tors are in­ter­twined and purely nat­u­ral. Some we can in­flu­ence but never con­trol. One we would like to con­trol.

Last Wet Sea­son was the big­gest dud in 30 years for those that de­pend on rain.

The Top End weather and cli­mate re­volves on a pat­tern es­tab­lished eons ago. No one can de­ter­mine ex­actly what may oc­cur and fore­casts are still good guesses based on the best avail­able science.

I was filled with trep­i­da­tion go­ing into this year’s sea­son. Noth­ing new in that be­cause I am a born wor­rier.

I seem to worry for ev­ery goose hunter in the NT and be­yond our borders.

One old timer though gave me early hope when he said usu­ally the poor Wet is fol­lowed by good rains early in the sea­son.

Well one thing is sure; we have had record Novem­ber rains across the Top thanks to an early weak cy­clone. May they stay weak and just give us our ‘‘egg lay­ing rain’’.

Ge­orge from Field and Game ad­vises that some bags of geese were taken at Shoal Bay, but birds weren’t as plen­ti­ful as ex­pected. Howard Swamp hunt­ing re­serve had some birds too.

‘‘Har­ri­son is still very low, but big mobs are com­ing over the Ade­laide River along Beatrice La­goon ac­cord­ing to one source,’’ he said. ‘‘ New­com­ers, should be care­ful though of the sticky black mud track.

‘‘I saw very good num­bers of geese on Shoal Bay but too high for me to con­sider and there­fore it was a quiet morn­ing. I did have good in­tel­li­gence about big num­bers of grey teal in the dis­trict but I only saw two small mobs. Quiet mail: Pink eared duck are at Howard Swamp.

Mid­dle Point near Har­ri­son Dam and Lam­bell’s La­goon re­serves seems to have been in a rain shadow for the past year but leads the tally this week thanks to the rain god.

Moon phase: Wax­ing cres­cent to first quar­ter on Tues­day. Weekly rain­fall to Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 5: Gunn Point 38mm, Shoal Bay 12mm, Howard Springs Na­ture Park 21mm and Mid­dle Point 115mm.

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Pic­ture: BRAD FLEET

Goose hunters are hop­ing the good rains early in the sea­son will lead to egg-lay­ing

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