CYCLONE MARCUS - MICKETT CREEK COMPLEX
BCH ACCREDITATION COURSES
ACCREDITATION COURSE FOR 20 MARCH WAS CANCELLED TO AVOID UNCERTAINTY !!
WAS RESCHEDULED FOR THURS 22 MARCH AT 1900 HRS. SUCCESSFUL SESSION HELD.
SEVERAL WHO HAD BOOKED AND PAID FOR 20 MARCH WERE NO-SHOWS ON 22 MARCH. NO PROBLEM - JUST ATTEND INSTEAD ON TUES 10 APRIL OR TUES 1 MAY BUT WE WOULD APPRECIATE ADVICE ON INTENTIONS PLEASE SO WE KNOW WHAT NUMBERS TO EXPECT.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEBSITE. NEXT FURTHER SCHEDULED COURSES STILL TUESDAY 1 MAY - PLUS TUES 15 MAY AND TUES 22 MAY both at 1900 HRS - RIFLE CLUB BUILDING.
As promised to various participants in the hunting program the NTFC has prepared a summary of Hunting Return results identifying various categories of feral animal sighted and taken.
While the results of this are interesting and offer some guide as to outcomes it became obvious during the summary process that our reporting proforma and submission arrangements needed some fine tuning. Outcomes which have probably skewed the results include ...
## Animals sighted is interesting vis-a-vis the particular party concerned but is of limited use when combining the results of various parties. i.e. the same group of ten horses may have been seen by five parties on separate visits within a short period but simply adding these to show a 50 horse result is not useful
## Even within a single party of three for example, some Returns showed the individual non-duplicated sightings of each member while in other cases each member lodged a return showing, for example, the same ten horses resulting in a "count" of 30 for that party. If various parties similarly doubled up the ten horses may well turn into a hundred or more sightings.
# The forms had separate columns for "taken" and "sighted". Some groups might have shown 4 as "sighted" and the same 4 as "taken", while others would only show the number of animals sighted but not taken in that column.
# Some groups lodged a single Hunting Return for the whole group while others were completed by each member thereof.
# Not all groups or individual members lodged returns - either through being overlooked or through having a "nil" overall result.
To make these Returns more useful then there will be various changes in arrangement and wording. These will include showing which area was hunted and the date of hunting, only ONE return required of each hunting group per visit, qualifying the "sighted" column by showing "sighted but not taken", the names of the party lodging the return, and introduction of a firm rule that further Hunting Permits to individuals concerned will not be issued unless a return has been received in respect of the last hunt.
Prospective hunters should contact Parks & Wildlife BEFORE setting out in order to receive fire warning updates. Best contact points are BATCHELOR OFFICE (Norm) @ 89 760282 or WALKER CREEK OFFICE @ 89 782302.
In the meantime enter with care, keep watch on smoke and be well aware of the location of recently burned areas in case a refuge is needed. Should go without saying also to be careful at camp sites not to leave vehicles sitting over dry grass and have swags etc set up in clear areas.
Helpful hint, if you do get absolutely trapped, starting a small fire in your immediate area between you and an approaching fire may result in an already burned safe area when the large flame front approaches you. Always carry matches or a lighter.
Please note as well that, for safety and insurance cover reasons, a minimum hunting party of two is required in relation to park entry. Interstate licenced hunters also need to be (NTFC) Accredited and Permitted and MUST be accompanied by an appropriately Licenced, Permitted & Accredited NT resident hunter. Must be at least one NT hunter for each interstate participant.
AND PERMIT APPLICATION FORM PDFs FOR SUCH BOOKINGS ARE ATTACHED TO THIS LINK ...
WITH THE WET SEASON HERE AND AFTER SOME SIGNIFICANT RAIN ALREADY IN THE ADELAIDE RIVER REGION WE CEASED ACCEPTING FURTHER BOOKINGS FOR THE (2017) YEAR FOR ACCESS TO THE LITCHFIELD HUNTING AREAS. WE WILL MONITOR THE SITUATION AND ADVISE FURTHER ON 2018 AVAILABILITY DEPENDING ON PREVAILING AND FORECAST WEATHER.
A recent enquiry was received in relation to apparent "Cleanskin" cattle in designated hunting areas. While these animals may be taken it is the hunter's responsibility to ensure they are, in fact, cleanskins BEFORE taking a shot !! Animals may only be taken within the Hunting Area (Nth, Cent,or Sth) as designated in the permit.
It should be stressed that while most of the tracks appear passable with care some of them are deceptively smooth or clear with some hard to see deep ruts. Please keep speeds to a minimum even if sections appear to be clear; at least until you have traveled over them once. If, as well, there have been any recent fires in the area there are likely to be trees over tracks. Some areas can also be quite boggy after any decent rain (especially in Central & Southern blocks) and you should pack some recovery gear in that event. Northern Territory Firearms Council volunteers and Parks & Wildlife Rangers have improved some of the rougher creek crossings etc. but they are definitely not suitable for anything but good four wheel drives. Rangers advise 5 crossings in total have had recent major work done to ease the angles of approach and departure, with geo mat and rock base installed. A good representative example of this crossing work is as follows ...
Mobile phones are out of range in the area. Travelling with an EPIRB (and plenty of drinking & washing water) is recommended. Avenza Maps still works on your mobile as it works off satellites.
We are advised it is not unusual to find WW2 Unexploded Ordnance in the area but authorities not too fussed as long as it is left alone. Has been through 70 years of bush fires etc and unlikely now to be an imminent danger unless interfered with. Just advise GPS coordinates (include specifying map datum and if possible some sort of ground / track marker to physically indicate where) to NTFC please but do nothing else. (REFERENCE FURTHER COMMENTS AT END OF SECTION)
ADF personnel exploded some 11 items of UXO in October 2017 and access to the Central & Southern blocks was closed for that day. All went as planned with no side issues.
WE REITERATE AS WELL PLEASE - DOGS AND QUAD VEHICLES ARE NOT PERMITTED IN CONJUNCTION WITH BCH ACTIVITIES IN THESE BLOCKS. Vehicles are to be left at camp sites and hunting carried out on foot. Some hunters have been "luckier" than others in terms of animals seen and the "lucky" ones seem to be those who walk more than 100 metres from their vehicles !!
A JPEG map of the hunting areas is as follows and a link to a higher quality PDF map is HERE
Access to the BCH Accreditation Handbook (downloadable PDF) is available through the following LINK
Our BCH Coordinator, Brian Boyle, has now set up an NTFC BCH Facebook Page which will have Course Accreditation Dates & Locations
SUBSEQUENT COURSES will depend on enthusiasm / numbers for the above resumed session and will be in response to demand. Courses will be held every week or so when the hunting season recommences after the wet.
KEEP WATCHING THIS SPACE !!