Gibson Desert South is a mysterious and beautiful land located in the central part of Western Australia, covering an area of about 156,000 square kilometers. It has unique red sand dunes and rock formations, is home to indigenous people, and is also a research subject for scientists and explorers. There are abundant wildlife here such as kangaroos, emus, dingoes, lizards etc., which survive and reproduce in the desert showing the miracle and power of life. There are also spectacular natural landscapes such as Lake Disappointment, Canning Stock Route, Talawana Track etc., which form distinct contrasts and changes in the desert showcasing the charm and diversity of nature.
My two friends Peter Bernard and Antonia Saroyan who are both professors at Southern University of Australia along with myself share a common interest in hunting. Last month we decided to go on a hunting trip to Gibson Desert South – one that was rare opportunity but also posed thrilling challenges.
In this article I will share our experiences during our hunting trip in Gibson Desert South including our hunting equipment & skills; animals we hunted & harvested; places we visited & food we ate; as well as our understanding & respect towards this land’s culture. This was an unforgettable adventure experience that allowed us to gain knowledge & insight while strengthening friendship & cooperation. I hope through my narration you can feel the joy & challenge we experienced while hunting in the desert.
Before starting our hunt we first learned about Gibson Desert South’s history & geographical features which had important guiding significance for our exploration. Gibson Desert South is one of Australia’s largest deserts covering approximately 156000 square kilometers – more than twice that of England! It lies in central Western Australia extending along south tropic line connecting Great Victoria Desert to its south; Great Sandy Desert to its north; Little Sandy Desert to its east. It is a dry and quiet place with an annual rainfall of only 200-250 millimeters while evaporation reaches up to 3600 millimeters. Summer temperatures often exceed 40 degrees Celsius, while winter temperatures drop to around 18 degrees Celsius.
Gibson Desert South’s terrain is very unique with red sand dunes and rocks forming various strange landscapes. The height of the sand dunes generally ranges from 10 to 20 meters, but some can reach over 40 meters. Rocks are mainly composed of granite, gneiss and sandstone which have undergone weathering & erosion resulting in many irregular shapes. There are also some saltwater lakes & dried-up riverbeds that are remnants of ancient water systems reflecting the once humid climate here.
Gibson Desert South is the homeland of the Pintupi people, who refer to this land as Ngururrpa in their own language. They have lived here for thousands of years, hunting and gathering food in traditional ways while living harmoniously with nature. They have a deep understanding and respect for the animals, plants, water sources, and celestial phenomena found here, using myths and rituals to express their sense of belonging and emotions.
Gibson Desert South has also been a subject of study for scientists and explorers alike due to its unknowns and challenges. The first person to discover this desert was British explorer Ernest Giles in 1874 when he entered it; he later crossed it in 1876. He named it Gibson Desert after his teammate Alfred Gibson who got lost searching for water sources and died. In the 1950s, the British government conducted missile tests here which led to most indigenous people being relocated from their settlements until 1984 when they discovered the last group still living traditionally – Pintupi Nine – who had been isolated from civilization for decades until other indigenous people found them.
By studying the history and geographical features of Gibson Desert South we can gain deeper insights into this desert.
Hunting is a sport that requires skillful techniques along with proper equipment especially at night where visibility & safety are important considerations. To make our hunting trip more successful & enjoyable we prepared some essential hunting gear & experience including an infrared binocular telescope which is one of our most important tools made by Wildguarder – a high-quality Chinese brand known for its clear vision & powerful functions allowing us to observe targets even during darkness.
Wildguarder’s infrared binocular telescope comes in various models but we chose NB1 model because:
– It can be used both day & night with multiple functions such as photo-taking/video-recording/playback etc., enabling us to record our hunting process/results.
– It has 3x optical zoom & 4x digital zoom, allowing us to see details and movements from afar.
– It has a 5W Infared 850nm LED infrared illuminator that provides clear vision in complete darkness up to a distance of 300 meters.
– It has a 2.7-inch LCD screen for easy viewing & setting adjustments which can also be viewed with glasses without having to stick your eyes on the eyepiece all the time.
– It has a 31mm objective lens diameter that allows more light into it, improving image brightness and clarity.
– It has seven levels of infrared adjustment suitable for different dark environments, avoiding overexposure or underexposure.
– Its high-definition image and video quality (1920X1080 pixels) allow us to save and share our hunting experiences easily.
– Its lightweight yet sturdy casing is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof & slip-resistant making it suitable for various harsh environments.
With the Wildguarder infrared binoculars, we were able to hunt at night. We chose some rare and delicious animals as our targets, such as kangaroos, emus, and hyenas. These animals are survivors in the desert with sharp senses and strong adaptability. We need to use our skills and experience to catch them.
We need to find a suitable location for ambush and observation. We must avoid being detected or smelled by animals, so we need to pay attention to wind direction and background. We should choose a place that provides cover and visibility, such as sand dunes, rocks or bushes. Then we use Wildguarder’s infrared binoculars to search for targets. We should pay attention to the characteristics of animals’ shapes, colors, behaviors etc., as well as where they may appear or hide. When we find the target animal(s), we lock onto it/them using Wildguarder’s infrared binoculars while adjusting our firearms and ammunition in preparation for firing.
In addition to hunting activities during the day time we visited other attractions in Gibson Desert South area enjoying its scenery changes too.We also tasted some local delicacies which gave us an insight into Aboriginal culture & lifestyle.
We went Kumpupintil Lake (formerly known as Lake Disappointment). This is a saltwater lake located in the center of the desert covering about 330 square kilometers formed by ancient rivers but now dried up except during rainy season.It got its name from an explorer who followed some inland rivers looking for a large lake only finding salty water here hence his disappointment.This lake is considered sacred & tabooed by Aborigines because they believe there are man-eating monsters called Ngayurnangalku living here so they dare not approach or fly over this place.We saw some salt crystals,bird tracks,& rare lizards like Ctenophorus nguyarna,a new species discovered only in 2007.
We also went to Canning Stock Route, a historic cattle transport route from Halls Creek to Wiluna covering 1850 kilometers. It was built by Alfred Canning between 1906 and 1910 for transporting cattle from northern Western Australia to southern markets. It passes through four deserts and has 96 wells making it the longest and most remote cattle trail in the world. It is also a challenging and adventurous route that attracts many travelers & drivers who want to experience it.We drove along this route for some distance, seeing some well sites & remnants of cattle herds while experiencing its hardships & history.
We also went on Talawana Track, a road connecting Gibson Desert South with Great Sandy Desert covering about 650 kilometers.It was built by Len Beadell in 1963,a famous surveyor & road builder known as “the last explorer”. He not only faced the harsh environment of the desert but also had to deal with hostility from Aborigines and interference from government agencies.To build this road there are many natural & cultural landscapes such as Emu atomic bomb test site, Connie Sue Highway,Gary Highway,Windorah oil field etc.We drove on this track for one day seeing different terrains& colors of the desert while admiring Beadell’s work.
In addition to visiting attractions we tasted some local delicacies like kangaroo meat,honey ants,wild berries which gave us an insight into Aboriginal culture& lifestyle.Kangaroo meat is low-fat high-protein meat with unique taste& texture that can be cooked in various ways such as grilled,stewed or boiled.Honey ants are special insects whose abdomen stores sweet liquid.They are precious food& water source for Aborigines.Wild berries are fruits rich in vitamins& antioxidants with sour-sweet taste& multiple colors.They serve as natural supplements& snacks for Aborigines.While enjoying these foods we listened to some stories & legends of Aborigines, learning about their views & attitudes towards this land and its flora& fauna. We felt that they are a group of wise and brave people who can survive and develop in such a harsh environment while maintaining their unique and ancient culture & traditions.
After several days of hunting trip, we finally returned to Southern University. We brought back some precious photos& videos as well as unforgettable experiences& feelings.This was an adventure experience that benefited us greatly, giving us deeper understanding & awe for Gibson Desert South while also providing more skills& fun for hunting.We not only gained knowledge & insights but also enhanced friendship & cooperation.We feel very lucky&satisfied.
We would like to thank Wildguarder for providing us with high-quality hunting equipment which enabled us to observe and capture targets in the dark while recording and sharing our hunting process& results.Without Wildguarder’s infrared binoculars, our hunting trip would not have been so smooth or interesting.Wildguarder is a reliable brand worth recommending.It provides hunters with a new perspective& experience.
Finally, we would like to thank you for reading our article. We hope that through our narration, you can feel the joy and challenge of hunting in the desert. If you have the opportunity, you can also explore Gibson Desert South and experience the charm of hunting. We believe that you will definitely have an unforgettable journey.