Wild dog trapping success for Neilrex grazier

A wild dog attack on his sheep in 2014 gave Neilrex grazier Simon Beer the incentive to hone his skills and successfully trap wild dogs on properties throughout the area.

Mr Beer of “Lonsdale” at Neilrex and two neighbours lost 160 sheep over 10 months to a lone wild dog and said it took three different trappers to catch the animal.

“They weren’t killing for fun they were just killing to eat which was probably a good thing,” Mr Beer said.

Using different lures and techniques is what Mr Beer believes led to the successful result for the third trapper, John Ward of Coonabarabran.

“John put his own traps in and used different techniques,” he said.

“He used dog urine, dog blood and faeces to get the wild dog to come closer.

“They are a territorial animal.

“They go in to mark over top or smell a different scent.”

Mr Beer went on to complete a trapping course with Mr Ward in 2016 funded by Central West Local Land Services.

He then attended another five-day dog trapping course near Broken Hill in 2018 funded by Australian Wool Innovation before holding a three-day trapping course on his own property in conjunction with Central West Local Land Services, National Parks and Wildlife and other landholders.

In August last year Mr Beer helped neighbours Chris and John Burke trap a wild dog on their property.

“Chris had shot one in the paddock and then the cameras and photos helped to get the other one.”

In June this year he trapped one for another landholder in the region between Dunedoo and Mendooran.

“(Central West Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer) John Ellis knew that dog was coming to the area they had spent seven weeks monitoring the area with cameras until they knew it was coming there before I got there,” Mr Beer said.

“I worked with John regularly, we had a lot of communication and he did a lot of the ground work.

“I’ve learnt so much since 2014. The first time I got one he was so much bigger than I thought so I had to move the trap further away.

“Cameras are the greatest tool to help us to be honest.”

Mr Beer is involved in his local pest animal management group, the Merrygoen/Neilrex Pest Animal Group.

“In our little pest animal group we have got cameras for everyone this last year.”

Central West Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer Luke Milsom worked with Mr Beer in establishing the Merrygoen/Neilrex group and supporting their endeavours.

“Central West Local Land Services works with landholders to help train them in pest animal management techniques to build their capacity to control problem animals,” Mr Milsom said.

Reports of wild dog sightings in the Central West have halved from this time last year which the agency believes can be at least somewhat attributed to coordinated pest control efforts with landholder groups.

“We have implemented aerial baiting in conjunction with on-ground group baiting and then trapping from landholders like Simon to stay on top of the wild dog and fox populations,” Mr Milsom said.

“Reports of sightings around Dubbo district have gone from 16 last year to seven this year and the Dunedoo/Mendooran area have gone from eight last year to three this year.”

The agency can help landholders in the region to find their local pest animal group and advise landholders of training and funding opportunities that become available, he said.

“We are looking to run more wild dog trapping training in future and would encourage interested landholders to register their interest with their local biosecurity officer,” Mr Milsom said.

“Once you are trained you know what you are doing, you know what you are looking for and you can be prepared for any wild dog problems that might arise.”

Central West Local Land Services will also be conducting another round of targeted aerial baiting in August.

To speak to your nearest Central West Local Land Services biosecurity officer call 1300 795 299.

ENDS

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