Trapping is still 'a must' for Qld

ON THE HUNT: Wild dog trapper Gordon Gee.
ON THE HUNT: Wild dog trapper Gordon Gee. Allan Reinikka ROK100915awilddog

GORDON Gee trapped 430 wild dogs, wore out two cars and worked into the late hours of the night during his two years trapping in Rockhampton and he did not get paid a single cent.

All for the sake of protecting residents, their pets, and livestock from the region's wild dogs.

The trapper, who was previously based in Cawarral, said news of the Longreach fencing was great but trapping still remained the most effective way of keeping wild dog numbers at bay. He said the fencing would prevent dogs from entering certain areas but they would still breed in areas that could not be fenced.

"The dogs will be controlled and pushed out of areas that they are living in and are going to go into areas that are not fenced,” Gordon said.

"Consequently, people are probably going to stop baiting and are going to try and rely on fences, which I then believe will increase the dog numbers in inaccessible areas.” Gordon said he believed trapping was an important part of controlling wild dog numbers because when done properly "big numbers” of dogs could be culled. "The dogs are there and you can't be out there 24 hours a day chasing them, so if the traps are in place you're pretty much hunting 24 hours a day,” he explained. "You're not relying on a daylight to dark process, so once that trap's in place, it's there until that dog's caught.” Over his years of trapping, Gordon has found dogs tend to go on a seven-day circuit, usually coming back to where they started at the end of the seven days. Using his knowledge of wild dog patterns and contacts, it has allowed him to build up an idea of where and how the dogs work. "We've had reports of dogs in certain areas and then once you get to know enough people in the area you get to communicate between people, I had that in Rockhampton,” he said.

"One farmer would ring me up, then another would, so I started working out where the pattern of the dogs were, where they were working.

"So then I could start to try and trap more successfully because I knew where the dogs were heading rather then trapping blind, which was rather difficult.”

Gordon believes local councils should look into setting up a database to track movements of dogs so trappers could make quicker and more precise catches of dogs. "Make a report and say that pack of dogs is here and I could have located my traps on the property according to that because they are creatures of habit.

"That was what I was trying to set up (in Rockhampton) but it just didn't happen.”

"We could work patterns out but without funding it was impossible, I couldn't afford to do it.” Bounties are something Gordon said councils really needed to consider. While most councils around Queensland have bounties in place, areas such as Rockhampton where Gordon was trapping do not.

"If we had a bounty it would encourage people to get out and trap,” Gordon said.

"By the time I finish work, I go out and I trap till 11 o'clock a night, I don't get paid,” he said.

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