Archive for July, 2007

Muster

July 22, 2007
We’ve just been on muster of the camels from Stuart Creek Station. What a sight. Hundreds of camels all being mustered into yards, drafted, sorted, tagged etc.
The muster started with Phil Gee finding the camels on motor bike on the 700sq km property which is owned by BHP.  They are rounded up and then pushed into yards using four wheel drive vehicles. Dust flies everywhere as the camels, in this case about 300 camels being mustered this time, are charging their way towards the yards. Radio chatter between the vehicles is fast and cars are darting every which way to ensure the camels get into the yards.
 
Over the next few days of the muster the camels are drafted in the yards, some are tagged and all is recorded for the records held on each individual camel. Very professionally done.
 
Stuart Creek Station is a pilot station for the emerging camel industry as a major source of meat products and live export. With over a million camels in the deserts in Australia and the number growing, it makes good sense that these animals are used for meat to keep their numbers in check and to provide employment in the outback. Sure beats culling where the taxpayer is the loser, the public misses out on profit and the only benifit is we provide food for the crows and the maggots.
 
The meat is tender and quite sweet. The trick is how it is cooked. Thinly sliced, quick cook on one side, quick cooked on the other with some salt and you have some most delicious tender meat. Overcooked camel will make it very tough and this is where many people who cook camel for the first time go wrong. Try it. Ask your butcher to order some in. You will love it. You wouldn’t pick the texture from beef but if cooked right, it is more tender than beef.
 
Camels are so adapted to desert and arid zone conditions that they are thriving. By organising a coordinated pastural industry, we can make good use of these animals. Don’t get me wrong, I love camels and you never eat your pets, but the feral numbers are increasing and they are an introduced animal to the deserts and becoming an environmental problem. We need to be sensible with how we treat this marvellous resource. Also, they are much more gentle on the environment than other introduced animals. I was so surprised to see the country at Stuart Creek Station, to see the amount of vegitation and grasses in a prestine state.
 
We have also bought a new camel called Charlie. An older camel who will steady the string down for the expedition. Phil has also kindly offered a working camel on loan for the first half of the expedition. Two older and more experienced camels in the string will teach our camels some good working habits.
 
With just over a month to go before we walk the 800km’s to Alice as a part of the camels training, our season here in William Creek is fast coming to a close.
 
Feel free to check out the photos on the muster. It was a terrific time with plenty of action and definitly something different.
 
Love you all
Russell and Ros
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