Most of you would have worked out by now that I do stupid shit on motorcycles. It’s always been like that, and only the Road Gods know why I’m not yet dead.
Still and all, one of the stupidest things I have ever done on a motorcycle was to go hunting on one. With a brace of guns (a 12-gauge pump-action and a .308), and a pair of like-minded, similarly-armed individuals.
It was a long time ago.
Back when a man could tie a firearm to his motorcycle and ride somewhere and shoot things like feral animals and bottles and the moon, if he was so moved by the vapours of the night.
Of course, such things are no longer possible. I understand the Safety God would now take a dim view of wild-haired, helmetless youths roaring around deserted roads on loud motorcycles in the dead of night with high-powered rifles.
But back when I was doing that sort of thing, the Safety God had not yet ascended the Throne of Australia, and His concerns were not my concerns.
So my two companions, let me call them Branko and Dragan, headed west one afternoon at the start of winter on high-powered Japanese motorcycles with guns tied to the seats.
We also had a sleeping bag each, a bottle of Stone’s Green Ginger Wine in case it got very cold, and every intention to kill at least three large feral animals, tie them to our bikes, and return to Sydney covered in gore and glory.
One could possibly blame the cinematic masterpiece that was The Deer Hunter for instilling us with this purpose. That big ’59 Cadillac roaring into town with a deer tied to its bonnet was something I had to do. But I didn’t have a Cadillac, and deer were hard to come by around Dubbo back in the 80s.
I was OK with that. A feral pig or a big kangaroo would do just as well, and if a GSX1100EX isn’t the Cadillac of motorcycles I don’t know what is.
So we rode out past Dubbo, and by the time we got out past Dubbo, it was 10pm, and pretty much zero degrees. We had found a deserted dirt road running off the highway (yes, this was all pretty much make-it-up-as-you-go shit), and there seemed to be kangaroos around, judging by how many near misses we’d had just getting there.
So we had a few sips of Stones, unpacked the guns, loaded them, slung them across our backs (two each), and idled off up the dirt road.
We couldn’t really ride much faster because the wind-chill was appalling. We couldn’t wear helmets, because you can’t aim a gun with a helmet. And we couldn’t wear gloves, because you can’t fire or reload a gun with gloves. Interestingly, you also can’t see very well when the liquid in your eyes keeps freezing, while your nose gushes icy snot, and your hands are burning and aching and not really controlling the bike in any meaningful way.
The entire exercise was quickly becoming pointless. But nothing on this planet is more pig-headed than armed young men in the middle of the night. So we rode on.
Animals leapt out at us, and went belting across our path. Each time that happened, we’d grab the brakes with frozen hands, the bikes would slide to a stop, then we’d go fumbling for the guns and there’d be yelling.
“Turn the bike! I need light! There! There! No! There! Are you blind? THERE!” Just understand there was an F-word before and after every non-F-word.
The F-words became more frequent when we started dropping the bikes in our efforts to kill things, and we resorted to blazing away into the night at where we thought the animals might be. Which was after they had run across the road, we had dropped the bikes, and they had disappeared into the darkness.
It wasn’t long until we had smashed all of our mirrors, broken all of our levers, bent our handlebars, and in my case, left a lot of my hand-skin glued to the frozen barrel of my .308. We had also dropped ammo, lost our sleeping bags, and Dragan had ripped open his chest when he fell off his bike and shattered the bottle of Stones he’d had tucked into his jacket. He looked like slasher victim, which he was, in a way.
I think we were about 20-odd kays up that dirt road before we decided we’d had enough hunting for the evening.
We’d run out of ammo (or lost it), Dragan was bleeding profusely, but it was so cold his blood was flowing slowly, and none of us wanted to damage the bikes anymore. We still had a 500km ride to get home.
We lit a fire. We drank the two remaining bottles of Stones, and we fell asleep about two am, stinking of blood, gunpowder, and frostbite.
Best night ever.
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Boris is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.