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Article: Tembadau Country

Tembadau Country

    An Interview with Chris Burns 

    Tell us a little about what motivated you to go on a Banteng safari in Australia?

    I have wanted to explore the top end of Australia for over a decade now but was busy with expeditions to southern Africa. With the onset of global travel restrictions, I targeted local adventure and booked a hunt that is arguably one of the last untouched wilderness hunts you can have in Australia. The banteng is a majestic bovine that behaves more like a deer, with their burnt orange to black bodies and white underbelly and socks, they are a striking animal to lay eyes on in the wild. Chasing them around the scrub for a week in July felt like an expedition worthy of my pursuit. 

    How did you prepare for the hunt?

    Initially my mate Jared made contact with our outfitter, I followed his lead and trusted that he had selected the best in the area. I’d followed Nick (our guide) for a few years on social media and knew he was a solid guy to hunt with. My preparation for this top end adventure started with continuing my fitness routine. I was planning to photograph a hunt in NZ earlier in the year so I maintained my fitness to ensure I would have the best time possible on the banteng hunt. Obviously, a vast selection of gear gets packed for a hunt like this so in the lead up I grabbed new boots, a mozzie head net, a better head torch and a pair of Outlaws from Skeleton Optics. We were planning to hunt and fish in the Northern Territory sun so a good pair of sunnies were a must.

    What were the highlights of your safari experience and what did you learn from it?What were the main challenges and rewards of hunting banteng in the Northern Territory? 

    When I book a guided hunt to an uncharted area my number one goal is to learn as much as possible about where I am and what I am doing. I find it helps me to take in a lot more of the environment and remember the safari for years to come. It might be annoying for the guide but it’s a process that ensures I get the most out of my limited time on the hunt. Banteng were introduced to this part of Australia by the British in an attempt to establish a military outpost. The outpost failed and the 20 or so Banteng were cut loose to form the genetically pure animal we chased close to 200 years later. They haven’t spread out like many of the other introduced species and are only around 250km from their original release point. They were wary like a deer but as large as a buffalo, nibble through the bush and difficult to approach once they spotted you with their amazing eyesight. Targeting soaks and natural fresh water was where most of our efforts were applied. The reward for placing oneself in an amazing place like the Cobourg Peninsula is more than just squeezing the trigger, our crew made a great connection with our guide, we laughed for the entire week, enjoyed catching fish from the Arafura Sea, witnessed many beautiful sunrises and sunsets plus I caught my first barramundi. It truly was a week of first's and the perfect maiden expedition north, it was more than what I imagined it to be.

    What recommendations would you give to other hunters who want to hunt Banteng in Australia?

    After experiencing such an amazing week in the northern territory wilderness, I could highly recommend that anyone looking at experiencing a Banteng hunt should start with Nick from The Last Frontier Safaris. I had an amazing time there and his operation is first class. If you’ve already booked I would recommend that you pack a pair of Crispi Attiva Mids and also a pair of Skeleton Optics sunnies. These two items were the most utilised from what I packed.

    List 5 things you would not go to the NT without?

    1. Skeleton Optics Outlaws (Original Outlaws Blue Gun Edition)

    These were incredibly handy when travelling via boat to remote parts of the concession. Not only were they great in eliminating the glare they were comfortable, clear and stayed put. I used them in the bush while hunting too. They were never far away on this hunt.

    Image by Nick Joyce, Edited by Chris Burns

    2. Crispi Attivas

    I loved these boots for my top end hunt. They come off easily for stalking that last few metres and when accessing the boat. Comfortable out of the box and lightweight, perfect for the hot conditions up there.

    Image by Nick Joyce, Edited by Chris Burns

    3. Dust Proof Travel Bag

    The red dirt gets everywhere! Pack a dust proof bag if you’re worried about gear getting ruined by fine bulldust.

    4. A Sense of Adventure

    I don’t leave the house without a little sense of adventure. It’s the main reason that I explore remote wilderness areas while hunting. I hunt for adventure!

    5. Good Company

    The crew I hunted with got along extremely well. We all joked and laughed, it was refreshing. Our guide was great and by the end of the safari, it felt as if we had been friends for years.  





    Chris Burns is a cinematic photographer and Storyteller. Chris is passionate about capturing hunting in a positive light. It drives him to be innovative while documenting hunting adventures. Inspired by the thought that the journey is the destination, Chris Burns’ creative direction delivers authentic storytelling through adventures that connect with audiences globally. At the heart of his work is a sense of curiosity and a desire for exploration meaning he is equally as comfortable trekking through the bush on a multi-day backpack hunt as he is on a quiet afternoon capturing images at the range. 

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