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Wild dog trapper becomes prey in Patrick Estate attack

UNWELCOME PEST: Trent Hogan has warned wild dogs are becoming an increasing problem in the region after getting attacked while setting traps last week.
UNWELCOME PEST: Trent Hogan has warned wild dogs are becoming an increasing problem in the region after getting attacked while setting traps last week. Tom Threadingham

TRENT Hogan's part-time venture almost became a life sentence in a bizarre wild dog attack.

For the past three years Mr Hogan has gone about his part-time business of wild dog control by setting up traps on farmers' properties.

However, what was a routine morning of trap setting in Patrick Estate quickly turned into a kill or be killed scenario.

RELATED: Wild dogs attack school's alpacas, killing one

Leaning over his trap, Mr Hogan became the target as he was taken by surprise by a wild dog.

"I put my trap in and I had my axe to put the stakes in but I forgot my lure, so I had to go back to the truck to get my lure and I took my axe and everything back to the ute," he said.

"(I came back) and was kneeling down putting the trap in and I did not hear a thing and it came up and it must've stalked me.

"It jumped on my back and pushed me forward on to my trap.

"I rolled over and it just came at me from the side. I put my hand up to push its head away and I had my knife with me and I got my thumb inside its jaw.

"Then I got my knife and got it on the neck and shoulder.

" It took off and I was off after it and I ended up getting it.

"I was shaking when it happened.

"I'm just lucky it didn't come in and grab me on the neck. If it grabbed me on the neck I was gone."

The attack has shed light on what Hogan claims is a growing concern in the region.

"Wild dogs have become a massive problem. In this area alone they'll go for anything easy first.

"If you've got sheep they'll attack the sheep and if the farmers move the sheep then they move onto the calves," he said.

"The problem we've got out here is that they're not dingoes, they are hybrid wild dogs.

"They've got no fear of man and they'll just take whatever they can get and if they're not getting livestock they're taking out the native wildlife.

"Out in this area we've been trapping around here for about three years and it's getting a lot worse. There are more and more."

Mr Hogan said landholders needed to be vigilant in reporting sightings in order to control the problem.

"Landowners need to report and work with council by reporting more information, data and dog activity on their property and if they can relay that to council then the council can put in place management programs, which blokes like me and Chris (business partner) can then undertake," he said.

"If council can get this data and this information and get these management plans in place, which involves all the farmers in the area, then we can start making a difference."

Mr Hogan said he planned on holding town meetings in both the Lockyer Valley and Somerset regions to share information and gather ideas on how to control the problem.
 

Topics:  somerset regional council, wild dog


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