Australian Hunter

Exploring the limits

For years my ‘go to’ hunting rifle was a Brno combination in 7x57 and 12-gauge, topped with a 2-7x40mm scope or red dot. Versatility was added with a .22 rimfire insert for the shotgun barrel. The set-up was perfect for snap shooting game in long grass or stalking a mob of pigs.

As south-west Queensland dried up, grass and low vegetation thinned out while sight lines became longer. Opportunities for a second or third shot at increasing range arose more often. Careful landowners saw the warning signs and managed for the long term. Feral game scattered to source food and water. Dwindling numbers meant that survivors were experienced or lucky. The lucky learned from experience and developed skills at adapting to the changing environment.

Pigs also became harder to hunt. Environmental pressure encouraged night activity and the lack of ground cover made them wary by day. Dry channels grew to be useful to track between favoured locations. Home ranges increased in size with overlap onto the territories of other pigs with fewer litters dropped. Stalking by day involved good fortune or spotting pigs before their senses detected the presence of a human.

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