Complicated wild dogs issue needing ‘layered’ approach
Professional trapper calls for combination of baiting and trapping to manage pest populations
THE issue of wild dog management in the North Burnett is not as simple as originally implied and Out N About Trapping and Outfitters trapper Darren Pointon said the issue was multi-layered.
Mr Pointon has worked for the North Burnett Regional Council in the past and is mostly called in as a follow up to baiting programs or goes into areas where bait can’t be used or they are having big issues.
“Baiting has been an ongoing project for years and will continue to be into the future,” Mr Pointon said.
“My take on it is that there is no silver bullet; baiting will get some dogs and 1080 will work and has worked but it won’t be a full fix without combining baiting and trapping or a variety of control methods.”
Mr Pointon said he had seen people baiting regularly and still losing livestock.
“Which is costing the farmers a fortune in lost livestock,” Mr Pointon said.
“Any person that relies on just 1080 baiting will get a rude awakening.”
Property manager Roland Briggs agrees with Mr Pointon’s views.
“Losing calves is losing a lot of money which then can’t go back into the industry,” Mr Briggs said.
“Everyone thought that the 1080 was the magic bullet so the let their control measures run down and now they can’t sustain the losses.”
Mr Pointon said on average he would take 300 plus dog scalps a year and it would take more than just bounties and baiting to manage the wild dog population.
“It’s not about the bounty but about getting everyone to coordinate together, whether that is a baiting program followed by professional trappers, there’s got to be a fine balance.”
Mr Pointon said while baiting got some dogs it won’t get them all.
“I know people who put baits out and the dogs come along and sign post it, so that’s a dog that has figured out what is going on, probably through poor practise,” Mr Pointon said.
“It is the same as poor practice setting traps in the ground, it has to be done correctly.”
Mr Pointon said a combination of the normal control measures followed up with professional trappers will help producers get back on level ground instead of relying solely on baiting.
He said the absence of dogs on one property also did not indicate an absence of wild dogs in the area.
“The population densities can change at times, with a mob getting taken out in one area a new mob may move in which is what we call a vacuum effect,” Mr Pointon said.
“And if you just use bait it may not be that you have got the dogs away from the area but instead have bait shy dogs which are the ones we are called into take care of.”
Mr Pointon will continue his work educating people.
COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION: A professional trapper demonstrating the right way to set a tarp on the ground.