The NSW Hunter Education Handbook

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					The NSW Hunter Education Handbook
This publication was produced by
Game Council NSW
PO Box 2506
Orange NSW 2800
Phone: (02) 6360 5100 Fax: (02) 6361 2093

                                            V.1 11.05
                                  The NSW Hunter Education Handbook

                                                                                                               UNIT 4.2
LIST OF CONTENTS                                             INTRODUCTION
Glossary of Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.1        In today’s busy world, it can be difficult to
                                                             find the time to go hunting. Getting away
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.1   means reorganising schedules, putting
Learning Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.1        matters on hold and then catching up on
                                                             our return. All the more reason to plan
Key Hunting Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.2         our hunting trips carefully and to make the         HUNTING
                                                             most from them. It is no fun to come home
The Basics of Your Checklist . . . . . . . 4.2.2
                                                             from a hunting trip sunburnt because we
Hunting Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.5          forgot our hat, a welter of sand fly bites
                                                             because we forgot our repellent and with
Learning Exercise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.7        blistered feet because our hunting boots
Example Assessment Question . . . . . . 4.2.7                were past it.

References for Further Reading                               LEARNING OBJECTIVES
and Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.7
                                                             This unit of study will help you:
Self Assessment Checklist . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.8
                                                             • Become familiar with the range of
                                                               equipment available to hunters.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS                                            • Construct your own “must have”
                                                               hunting equipment list.
Billy stick – A Y shaped stick for lifting a hot
billy off the camp fire. It also helps prevent hot           • Become flexible and adaptable in
water splashing everywhere when pouring from                   preparing equipment for specific
the billy.                                                     hunts.

Debris – Dirt, bark, leaf fragments.
Esky – portable ice chest for cold storage of
Folder – Hard plastic loose-leaf document file
for important hunting information.

V.1 11.05                                                                                                    4.2.1
                              The NSW Hunter Education Handbook

KEY HUNTING PRINCIPLES                               Packing crates
                                                     Max and Peter are camped on the Wonnangatta
Weather                                              River. It has been a hard day’s hunt and both
The climate where you are going to hunt may be men are slumped in folding camp chairs, each
very different to where you live. For example, if with a mug of billy tea to hand, waiting for the
you live in Coffs Harbour and hunt in the Snowy fire to die down so that the damper can go on.
Mountains you are in for a winter temperature        The damper is ready in the camp oven with the
shock. Always keep the possibility of changing       lid off and Peter has placed it in a handy spot
weather conditions in mind and address the           next to his chair. He looks down to see a brush
need to take appropriate clothing.                   tailed possum helping itself to a few mouthfuls of
                                                     damper. Remember that although you are there
Attention to detail                                  to hunt, the possums, rats, mice, blowflies and
                                                     ants are there to make a meal out of you and
A hunting trip is not a competition to prove that yours. Plastic tubs with lids, Eskies, canvas and
you can live in the bush Tarzan style. It is true    Hessian bags are useful to pack your gear into
that while you are in the bush you will not have for transport and then double up to protect your
5 star accommodation but you can make                stores from pilfering by the furry ones.
yourself surprisingly comfortable with simple
equipment. After each hunting trip, ask yourself Finally
what simple things you could have prepared           Ask yourself what special gear you need to take
beforehand to make the trip more comfortable. for this particular hunt. Think about the game
For example, a billy stick saves you from            that you will encounter. A .22 rimfire is great for
accidentally getting burnt fingers. If you pay       rabbits but no good at all for feral pigs.
attention to all of the little details then you will
end up having a great time.                          THE BASICS OF YOUR CHECKLIST
Checklists                                           Licences, permissions, notifications, maps
Your vehicle is packed and you are a hundred         From time to time you will be asked to show
kilometres or so out from home and you start to      your firearms licence, a landholder’s permission
ask yourself some overdue questions: did I pack      to hunt letter, your game licence, game bird
this or that bit of gear, have I got my map? It is   licence or other special permits necessary to
much more reliable to use a checklist as you         legally take the species you are hunting. Forms
pack your vehicle. Try to keep your hunting gear     are a way of life and you need to plastic-pack
together and ready to go. Rather than do last        your documents. As you are packing your
minute repairs and replacements before a trip,       documents, remember to ring the owner of the
do them when you return home from a trip.            property on which you have permission to shoot.
Remember, it is a long way from your hunting         Check with them on the local weather. Ask them
camp to the corner shop.                             if there is anything you can bring them from
                                                     town. Tell them what time you expect to arrive.
                                                     Ask them if there is anything they want you to
                                                     watch out for as you hunt.

4.2.2                                                                                             V.1 11.05
                           The NSW Hunter Education Handbook

                                                                                                         UNIT 4.2
Clothing                                              condensation can make them damp inside.
                                                      Test the different choices to determine
The basic message is warm and dry or cool and         which suits you best.
comfortable. A bush hat or peaked cap is
mandatory. If hunting in thick heavy brush,           Hint: A roll of foam of your preferred size,
scrubbed soft cotton, woollen or polar fleece         thickness and density is bulky, but a cheap
clothing cut down on noise. Bushes rubbing past       reliable alternative.
nylon parkas can be extremely noisy and will tip                                                           HUNTING
off game animals that you are there. Camouflage
                                                      Boots                                              EQUIPMENT
clothing will allow you to stalk much closer to       Always take at least two pairs, of different
animals. However, it can be dangerous to use          design and swap them daily on extended
cammo if other hunters are in the area, as they       hunts as this will give your feet a chance to
will also have trouble seeing you. In such cases      rest. Also, if one pair packs it in, or begins
blaze orange bush shirts are the way to go so         hurting you feet you are still covered.
you will be seen and be safe. Many hunters            Today there is a huge choice of boots of
prefer to wear a double pair of woollen socks         various weights and stiffness, with a variety
inside quality, soft leather, hunting boots. Always   of sole patterns. Try to find boots that have
pack at least one complete change of clothes          a well-gripping sole, the classic Sherpa
together with wet weather gear. A separate            pattern is a reliable one. Generally the
hunting belt for your knife, ammo pouch, water        more you pay, the longer they last, if not
bottle and binocular pouch will save you from         abused. A good pair of boots can seem
the need to hitch and unhitch your trouser belt.      expensive but it can end up being the
                                                      cheapest buy over their lifetime. The type
Sleeping bags and camp beds                           of boot you choose will depend on the
                                                      country you are hunting. For example, in
You can pick the person in your camp who has          steep rocky ground you should wear a
cold bedding. It’s the one who wakes up to stoke      boot that has a thick firm sole and one that
the fire in the wee small hours. Getting a good       gives good ankle support. Stalking on dry
night’s sleep is important if you expect to hunt      crackly flats will require a thin soled boot
hard the following day. Being warm, dry, and          with good foot “feel” and you may even
free from mozzie attack needs a bit of thought.       choose to make the last approach silently
The final decision on the type of sleeping gear to    on your socks. Areas where you repeatedly
pack will depend on whether you will be vehicle       have to wade across rivers are hard on
based or back packing. Buy the best sleeping          boots. Synthetic boots will dry quicker and
bag you can afford, preferably a good down one        will drain water better, thereby putting a
and invest in a Gortex cover bag to keep it dry.      stop to the squelching noises that will
Dacron bags are heavier but will stay warm if         betray you to game. To prevent toe blisters
wet. Camp stretchers and airbeds can be cold          it is best to lace up your boots with your
unless insulated with a thick under blanket or        foot firm against the back of the boot
roll of carpet. Airbeds and the thinner               because this will take pressure off your
Thermarest mattresses can get holes in them. It       toes. Double the laces through the eyelets
is not nice to wake up lying on the hard ground.      at the angle of your foot and ankle. This
Swags are waterproof but bulky and                    stops the laces from re-spacing later and

V.1 11.05                                                                                              4.2.3
                              The NSW Hunter Education Handbook

causing free-play of the boot on the foot. Any        slowly. Check that nothing has been left behind
boot should feel TOTALLY comfortable when new         when finished. Pack your recovery kit into an
and wearing two pairs of socks. Wear them             easily accessible place in the vehicle so that you
around the place, wet them and walk them dry          do not have to unload everything else to get at it.
at home to completely form them to your feet          Attending a course on four-wheel driving and
before you go. When back packing, your feet will      vehicle recovery may save your life. Four wheel
swell from your pack’s weight and those boots         driving can be dangerous and the vehicles will
that fitted very snugly with a single pair of light   definitely not go anywhere, despite what the
socks will become torture devices.                    novice might think or have been told.

Food                                                  Camp equipment
Take plenty of it. Plan your supplies on a per       Firstly, you may choose to avoid taking tents by
person, per meal, per day basis. Carry at least      staying in shearers quarters or empty farm
three extra day’s food in non-perishable form        cottages. If a camp under canvas is preferred or
such as cans, dry rice, pasta, cuppa soup            necessary then a small trailer will give you space
packets, etc, in case of emergency. Remember         to take all the gear necessary for a comfortable
that you will be spending much of your time          base camp. Remember to allow half a day to set
eating out of your daypack so be sure it contains    up a camp under canvas and a bit less to break
snack foods such as dried fruits, nuts, chocolate,   camp. Plan your arrival so that you can select a
eggs (hard boiled in shell) muesli bars, damper,     safe site and set up your camp in daylight. Avoid
or boiled rice. For your daypack it is best to       camping under large river gums, trees that are
avoid fruit that will bruise or make a sticky        dead or have dead limbs, or where fire hazards
leaking mess and over weight thermos flasks will     exist. Avoid dry creek beds for your camp
feel 10 times as heavy once you start walking        because it might not be dry by morning if there
out. Several small popper packs of fruit drinks      is rain upstream. Tents tarped over with a poly
can be convenient.                                   tarp guarantees your bedding will stay dry. A tent
                                                     should be chosen that has good cross ventilation
Vehicles                                             options, the ability to withstand extreme wind
Only take fully serviced reliable vehicles into the and it should be simple to put up, with strong
bush and always remember to tell someone             poles and plenty of thick long and short steel
where you are going and when you expect to be pegs. A spade or trowel, peg hammer, axe and
back. Where possible organise the hunt so that chainsaw, tripod and barbie plate, gas camp
you have access to two vehicles in case of           stove, a kitchen box with pots, pans, oven,
mechanical breakdowns. Take as much fuel as          plates, cutlery etc, as well as a table, folding
you need, leaving yourself with a comfortable        chairs, washing dish, bucket and water jerry and
safety margin. Your most common problems will some form of lighting completes the camp gear.
be getting bogged in mud or sand, staking tyres, Or you can live more spartan.
and flat batteries. Simple solutions are to stay off
wet paddocks and to stay on easy tracks. Make
sure you are fully equipped with the necessary
recovery gear and spares and be sure to know
how to use it all safely. When stuck, don’t rush
the recovery. Stop, think out a plan and hasten

4.2.4                                                                                               V.1 11.05
                              The NSW Hunter Education Handbook

                                                                                                            UNIT 4.2
HUNTING EQUIPMENT                                         Firearms and associated equipment
                                                          Commonly you will need to take 2 or 3
                                                          firearms into the field. Don’t forget to
                                                          bring their bolts and enough ammo. To
                                                          hunt small and large game, you may
                                                          require a shotgun, a rim fire rifle and a
                                                          centre fire rifle. These will need to be            HUNTING
                                                          reasonably secured while in the base camp
                                                          and this can be achieved by the use of
Above: Vehicle recovery gear should include wheel         trigger locks, plus storing spare firearms
chains, winch and slings, chainsaw, axe, shovel and a
range of spares to cover most eventualities.
                                                          in a locked vehicle or fully enclosed
                                                          lockable trailer. Always secure your
                                                          ammunition in a separate lockable
                                                          container. Do not, under any
                                                          circumstances leave unattended firearms in
                                                          your tent. Spotlights are prohibited under
                                                          the terms of Schedule 1 of the Game and
                                                          Feral Animal Control Regulation 2004 for
                                                          use on deer.

                                                          Hunting packs
                                                          These are a personal choice as to type and
                                                          size and what you carry in them. Canvas or
                                                          nylon packs can make noise in scrubby
This badly bogged vehicle will be on the road in a few
minutes with the correct recovery gear.                   areas, so wool or polar fleece covered
                                                          ones should be considered. Remember
                                                          that all that stuff adds up in terms of total
                                                          kilos, especially when carried all day and
                                                          up and down hills. Your hunting pack will
                                                          carry your survival kit, food and drink,
                                                          knife, spare ammo, camera, binoculars,
                                                          meat recovery gear, torch, and don’t forget
                                                          the toilet paper. You may prefer a bum bag
                                                          or kit belt. Check out what others use, test
                                                          the various options and learn to vary and
                                                          limit what you carry according to the
                                                          circumstances and where and how you are
                                                          hunting. Always err on the side of safety
Snow falls are common in alpine areas. You can be         when deciding what not to take.
safe and comfortable in bad weather with the right
equipment.                               Photos: D Reid

V.1 11.05                                                                                                 4.2.5
                             The NSW Hunter Education Handbook

Meat, hide, and trophy recovery, storing and        HUNTING EQUIPMENT
transporting equipment
You intend to return with several hundred
dollars worth of game meat. The meat will be
from selected prime animals and will be
wrapped and packaged similar to the meat you
buy at the local butcher shop. To do this
successfully you need to become “apprenticed”
to an experienced hunter for one or two trips.
Experienced hunters are skilled craftsmen.
Remember it is a privilege to be able to            Small game dressing setup. Small game hanger (with
accompany one. Keep your mouth closed and           paper towel), plastic wrapper bags and cutters attached
                                                    to bull bar. From left to right on ground, hares and
your eyes open. Take a notebook to jot down all     rabbits to be dressed, cool box, water, hunting pack
the simple tricks and make a record of the gear     and plastic tub for waste.
they use. For example, a very effective meat saw
is made from a special braided wire. It weighs
next to nothing and fits easily into the hunting
pack. You can assemble a camp butchery kit in a
soft carry bag: Steel, knives, cutting boards,
disposable gloves, freezer bags and labels and
marker, paper towel, cloth game bags, meat
hooks, hanging cords and offal bags. For trophy
care you will need to take four kilos of cooking
salt packed in a satchel.

First Aid                                           Large game dressing equipment for use in the hunting
                                                    camp base. From left to right, steel, bone saw, hod
Take time out to do a First Aid course. Avoid the   (knife holder), pointed boning knife, curved skinning
toy First Aid kits. For example, what do you do     knife and broad slicing knife.
when hunting in thick brush and a bush springs
back and lodges debris in your eye? This is
painful and needs attention using the eyewash
cup and mirror from your well-equipped First
Aid kit.

                                                    Camp cooking equipment. Note the fireplace surround
                                                    is clear of combustible litter, the fire is contained and
                                                    protected from wind. All this equipment can be folded,
                                                    packed in hessian bags and moved from site to site.

4.2.6                                                                                                   V.1 11.05
                           The NSW Hunter Education Handbook

                                                                                                       UNIT 4.2
                                                      Hunting Projects folder and have a copy in
                                                      your gun cupboard. Tick off each item in
                                                      pencil as you pack them. When finished,
                                                      rub out the ticks and it can be recycled for
                                                      the next trip’s preparation.

                                                      EXAMPLE ASSESSMENT QUESTION
                                                      A hunting equipment checklist includes           EQUIPMENT
                                                      licences/permissions/maps, clothing,
                                                      boots, sleeping bags, vehicles, food,
Hunting belt with knife, stone, 8x binoculars and     camping equipment, guns, packs, meat
ammunition pouches. The number of pouches and         and hide recovery gear, and first aid items.
items you choose to carry on your belt may be varied to
suit your personal requirements.                        True or False?
Photos: M Draisma                                     In preparing for a hunt, list four important
                                                      steps to take.
Construct your own hunting equipment                  REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING
checklist.                                            AND LEARNING
The hard way is to do it from scratch. Much           1. Absalom. J. 1992 Safe Outback Travel,
better to refer to checklists available in reliable   The Five Mile Press, Balwyn, Vic.
hunting textbooks and to modify those lists to
your own particular hunting needs. Remember           2. Australian Bowhunters Association
the list will be different on different hunts! You    National Bowhunter Education Manual.
will need more than one list. It is recommended       ABA. 3RD Edition.
that you consult the text A guide to Hunting          3. Harrison, M and Slee, K 1995 The
and Shooting in Australia. pp. 113-114 as the         Australian Deerhunter’s Handbook,
starting point for your own customised                Donprint:ADRF Croydon Vic.
equipment check list. The Australian
Deerhunter’s Handbook is another good                 4. Smith, G 1992. A Guide to Hunting and
reference text. Work back through this unit           Shooting in Australia: Sporting Shooters
making notes of the equipment you wish to             Association of Australia Publications Unley.
include in your own checklist.                        SA.
Enjoy past memories and future dreams as you          5. Electronic Journal: The Shooting
make up your list. The enjoyment of all things is     Industry on-line. ProQuest Information
as much in the anticipation and preparation as it     and Learning Company: San Diego (Note:
is in the actual doing. Also, remember to take a      This is an electronic data base for firearms
camera so that you can record your new                retailers and access is restricted to
adventures for future review. To avoid losing         subscribers)
your checklist, keep it in a plastic jacket in your

V.1 11.05                                                                                            4.2.7
                               The NSW Hunter Education Handbook

                          SELF ASSESSMENT CHECKLIST                            True   False

        It is much more reliable to use a checklist from which to pack
        your vehicle.

        When hunting in thick heavy brush, scrubbed soft cotton, woollen
        or polar fleece clothing cut down on noise.

        Wear a double pair of woollen socks inside quality, soft leather,
        hunting boots.

  4.    Firmly lace your feet into the toes of your hunting boots.

  5.    Food. Take plenty of it.

        Where possible, organise the hunt so that you have access to two
        vehicles in case of mechanical breakdowns.

        Plan your arrival so that you can select a safe site and set up your
        camp in daylight.

  8.    Hide unattended firearms in your tent.

  9.    Experienced hunters are skilled craftsmen.

      A guide to Hunting and Shooting in Australia. pp. 113-114 is a
  10. good starting point from which to develop your own customised
      equipment checklist.

4.2.8                                                                                         V.1 11.05

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