Fortunes Change


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IT had been raining for the past five days and I was starting to go a bit stir crazy hanging around the house, so when the sun came out on Sunday afternoon I had to get out.

I had a game camera looking at a nearby dam that I wanted to move due to there now being enough water about for the deer not to have to drink there.

That would be a good way to kill an hour or two. I can drive to within 200m from the dam which is in a thick scrub gully on one of my red deer blocks.

It is an old logging track about six kilometres long that snakes its way from one side of the property to the other. From one end the dam is only about 900m in but I reckoned I’d go the long way in the hope of getting a look at a deer or two.

As luck would have it a tree had fallen over the track and I was without a chainsaw. Checking the GPS I was just over 800m from the dam in a straight line and probably double that when you take into account the hills and gullies.

Oh well, I could use a bit of pre rut exercise and the walk wasn’t going to hurt me after the silly season.

I grabbed my Badlands pack, Steiner binoculars and 30-06 and started towards the dam. The January sun was doing its job and it was as muggy as hell as I climbed the first ridge. The wind was in my face so I was going slow trying to spot a deer or dog in the thick stuff.

A couple of hundred metres away I could hear the frogs enjoying the new water in their hole and I knew I would be able to see the dam in 50m or so.

I scanned the bush with my binos every couple of steps until I was at the water’s edge but nothing was about. There was a big black cloud moving in from the north; not wanting to get soaked, I collected my camera and started up the hill on the other side.

Picking as straight a line as the country would allow me I marched towards the Hilux along the top of a thick ridge. I was moving along, not really hunting but still quietly watching my step when a dingo bitch stood up from her bed under a log only 15m from me.

She wasn’t quite sure what had woken her and was looking to my three o’clock in that “I’m about to bolt” pose when a 150gn Core-Lokt projectile took her out.

I had dropped to one knee and found her in the scope the moment the rifle came up – they don’t come any easier. Most of the dogs in this area are mongrel cross-bred things but this bitch was about as close to pure dingo as I have shot, a beautiful animal indeed.

After a couple of quick photos (I was still watching that cloud) I quickly scalped her to claim the bounty and continued on my way.

As I walked I thought to myself how quickly your luck can change.If that log hadn’t kept me from driving any closer or if there hadn’t been a little break in the weather I wouldn’t have been on that ridge to put another scalp on my belt.

No sooner had I jumped in the ute and the aforementioned cloud opened up dumping more rain on this already drenched part of Queensland.

Sometimes I guess you just get lucky.  

Daughter dog caller

I had only been home from work about 10 minutes when my eldest daughter Emily said she could hear dingoes howling up the paddock.

It was late in the breeding season and the dogs had been going nuts at night echoing their serenades off every ridge. We decided to go for a quick look. With my rifle in one hand and four year old in the other, we made our way in the direction of the dogs.

I reckoned they were in the creek somewhere but there was a mob of nervous weaners between us and the creek so we were going to have to get them to come to us.

We hadn’t bothered with camo, so with me wearing high viz and Emily in a pink T-shirt we nestled in amongst a fallen limb in behind a big gum.

I told Emily to let out a couple of howls and almost immediately the cattle began to run across in front of us.

Emily kept calling and only a minute or so later two black dogs appeared up out of the creek in front of the weaners turning them back towards us.

One dog stayed back while the other couldn’t resist coming in for a closer look. I let him come to about 150 yards then stopped him with a whistle.

As soon as he pulled up I let fly and dropped him where he stood. Working the bolt I swung onto the second dog only to see the back end of it disappear back into the thick stuff.

The dog turned out to be one of the biggest I have taken and has been confirmed as being responsible for killing pet/working dogs in the area (as well as God knows how many head of livestock). He had also made an appearance on a trail cam from time to time.

Needless to say Emily was over the moon after calling in her first dog. 

This article was first published in the July 2014 issue of Sporting Shooter magazine.

 


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