Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The farm

Loyd kindly provided us with a top notch double barrel toot.
It certainly beats digging a hole for the camp throne.

This old bus was used as a camp by some irish workers a long time ago.

Just one of the big machines used for cropping.

The bore drain irrigates the wheat.

Loyds collected some toys since the last time I was here.

Those wheels would make for a hard ride.

We saw Ben on the way around & he pointed us towards the back paddocks for more pigs.

They are using "sausages" to store the wheat these days.

Mick was trying to tune his 30-30 Marlin.

We saw silos being constructed.


We all watched the skies as a spell of rain could end the trip for us. The rich black soil turns into sticky black goop with a bit of water on it. Luckily we had only a few light falls through the afternoon and evening. I'm sure Loyd might have wanted more.

The wheat looks pretty good so far this year

It got heavier that night. And damn cold too.

We almost packed up at this stage

Things cleared up after a while..


Kevin mentioned to Loyds son in law Ben that he'd brought his yabby traps with him, but didn't expect too much being as it was winter. Ben informed him that his chances might be good downstream from the artesian bore. The bore pumps out steaming hot mineral rich water providing useful irrigation. The yabbys seemed to have adapted to year round warm water and grow to a decent size. They provided a pleasant change from camp oven cooking (no offense Craig)

The bore is hot enough to cook in I would think

It was hot enough for a bath a little up from here

Traps baited an set. Now the wait.

Jake tests the waters depth

The next day we were pleased to find a good haul

Enough for one and a bit each

Sweet chili sauce on the plate improved flavours

The Hunt

The boys were keen to go. So was I.

Tom wrestled this big spotty for a while.

Kevin and I got this one off the quad.

A fast chase through the lignum by the creek got this fellow.

This little sucker provided us with pork roast.

Tom put his shotgun to good use.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Camp

Craig is an artisan with camp oven, providing prodigous and tasty meals night after night.
I made my 2nd ever attempt at damper with good results judging by the speed at which it disappeared.

I managed a photo just in time.

Micheal & Tom enjoyed the comfort of the Isuzu Hilton,

Complete with hot running water and TV.

I made do with my little tent, and a good sized tarp to keep the dew/rain off.

The bush shower was welcome after a day of mud and dust.

Bender makes our hot water while...

...Craig and Josh make bullets.

Kyle and the boys got some practice in on the pinger

Gearing up for the hunt.

The farm is extensive, over 22000 acres last count. It's probably larger that that, but regretfully Loyd the owner was away at Royal North Shore hospital caring for his lovely wife Meryl, so we couldnt verify that. Meryl had suffered an accident that had almost cost her a leg and at last report was taking her first steps on a frame. Our thoughts are with both Loyd and Meryl and we wish her a speedy recovery.

The majority of the farm is well ploughed and under crops like chickpea, wheat and soybean. There is still a lot of swampy areas and lignum scrub that remains undeveloped, and the wild pigs make the most of the more remote parts of the property.

Our intention was to bring their population levels down somewhat.

Making Camp

Kev's father has been shooting on this property for many years, and gradual additions to the camp have been made over time. Its well laid out with a windbreak & campfire area, a lean-to roof over a good sized table and a poly pipe "tunnel" which allows a large covered area for sleeping.

Moree Trip

My good friend Kevin invited me on a hunting trip to a property between Moree and Collerenebri.

We'd Done the same expedition in 07 but he'd been busy in 08 with a new family addition.
I had a few weeks to prepare and looked forward to it, as we had a great time previously.

Kevin was bringing his 3 boys, Jake - Zac & Kyle.

We all gathered at Macksville for an early start. Try 3am for early.

Kevs cousin Craig was there again with young Josh, and Micheal with his son Tom in the big Isuzu truck.

We fuelled up and made good time up through the waterfall way out of Bellingen. We passed Dorrigo in the cool of morning, then out of Tingha Craig noticed some noises from the right front wheel of the Rodeo. We pulled over and inspected the bearing, which looked somewhat the worse for wear. Craig inspected and reassembled it.

Craig decided to push on to Inverell and contact NRMA road service from there.
The mechanic met us in the Mcdonalds carpark and proceeded with the repair.
The inner cone of the wheel bearing had spun and welded itself to the axle stub.

He spent over an hour helping us out, even though NRMA only allow thirty minutes and 30$ to the mechanic, but in his words "he liked to see people get going".

A top bloke who went to great effort, above and beyond the call of duty.

With the help of a large hammer and cold chisel, the bearing cone came away.
A new bearing from REPCO was found and fitted, then we were off again.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, apart from my testing the limits of my fuel economy in the Hilux. I found I could expect 464kms of hard driving before running on fumes.

A topup on all tanks then out to Burragillo.