Dick's memories of dingo hunting.
Recorded by Dean Turner, 1989
I think Schofield's hut was built when I was in Tasmania some time after 1942 by Stan and Wallace Schofield, soon after Gavel's lease was split up.
When I first went up there, there was a dingo roaming in those hills killing sheep and one thing and another. Anyway they couldn't catch him, they had dog trappers from Cooma and Tumut and all around and they couldn't get him. So they decided they'd have a drive for him.
They got together about 60 blokes, 20 or 30 were drivers and the rest were shooters. They drove from away out near the Kiandra road, the other side, just about Rock Forest there, and they came right through that Estates block up the hill. Right through that and out on the Bugtown Road. They never got him, nobody ever caught sight of him. The shooters were all told not to fire a shot unless it was at the dingo. And there wasn't a shot fired, so they knew he hadn't been spotted.
Anyway, a lot of them, about half of them, decided they wouldn't stop for another drive and they'd go home. And I said to them there, I said to Frank Russell and one or two others while we had our dinner there on that road, "Listen, if that dog is about, I said he's in that Bugtown Hill!"
Anyway, they ended up agreeing with me.
Because, how I reckoned he was in there was because every time that a mob of sheep came up that road and into a paddock or anywhere on the Nungar Plain there would be sheep killed; on the same night they were put there. So I said, "that dog's not travelling very far, he's close at hand. He comes out, out of that hill, onto the road and he gets the smell of the sheep and he follows them in".
So they went around and they had the drive and they drove that hill out and out he came. And Aub Russell, that was an uncle of Greg's, he was standing sort-of on the road and he was looking up the road to where some of the other shooters were. And this dog came out and he sat up right in the middle of the road and old Aub just happened to turn round and saw him and he gave him one, knocked him over, and he gave him another one before he could get back onto his feet. He got 60 or 70 pounds from the fund donated by the people who had the leases up there. That was about 1933.
That was the only dog we ever had trouble with and we knew it was only one dog that was doing it all because every time we found a sheep that had been killed or bitten he'd been caught in the hip just down below the tail and when you skinned that sheep, right behind the ears on the neck you'd find all the teeth marks of the dog. He'd also open them up in the flank and all he'd take was the gall fat out of them, he wouldn't take anything else. And they found out when they caught him why they couldn't trap him. He'd been caught in a trap before and he had two or three toes cut off where he'd just got nipped by the trap. He was too cunning for them. They used to set the traps on trails and things like that and they could track where he'd come right up to the trap and then walked right out round it.