When we decided we were going to the Northern Territory we looked into not only fishing spots but areas where we could hunt Magpie geese. We have spoken to friends that have lived in the territory and said that the locals recognise these game birds as a delicacy and waterfowl should be on your bucket list to hunt and cook. After doing some research on hunting magpie geese we found out the requirements.
You need to apply for a recreational permit to hunt waterfowl in the Northern Territory. This permit will be accompanied by details of the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act and By-laws. In that document there are location maps of hunting reserves in the Northern Territory.
You must have a firearms licence to fulfil the requirements for a waterfowl permit. Conditions in the Northern Territory for the waterfowl hunting season is reassessed every year and open seasons are dependent on the basis of scientific evidence in regards to nesting seasons.
Each year the Department of Natural Resources count geese from the air. These aerial surveys give a robust estimate of the total geese numbers on the floodplains in the Top End of the N.T between the Moyle River in the Southwest and Murganella in the Northeast. For more information go to www.denr.nt.gov.au
These birds inhabit swamps, billabongs and wetlands to congregate to their aquatic feeding grounds. It is truly amazing to see thousands of birds honking across the sky and knowing that a few birds that are hunted out of the thousands won’t deplete the goose population. Set yourself up near a waterhole on dusk or dawn and you should pick yourself up a feed of magpie geese.
The waterfowl season for 2017 opened on the 27th October to 23rd December with a daily limit of three geese. The majority of hunters will skin the bird and take the breast and legs for meat to use in a stir fry or marinate. Some like to pluck and roast the whole goose. The dark textured game meat is very similar to that of a duck and cooked slowly the meat remains moist.
These birds are nice baked or traditionally grilled on an open fire. We cut our bird down the breast bone with the kitchen shears to butterfly. Then injected the meat with a master stock and marinated the goose overnight. The following evening we light a fire and slowly grilled the goose over a bed of coals which added extra flavours to the meat by infusing the goose with smoke. To check out the recipe for the master stock marinate, go to game recipes.