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TAS Country : December 9th 2010
14 Tasmanian Country Friday, December 10, 2010 YOUR SAY firstname.lastname@example.org Dover chickens safe from foxes TALLY HO: Huntsman Tony Weatherill with the hound pack at the Adelaide Hunt Club. I think it is doubtful if there are any foxes south of Hobart, and as for Bruny Island, that's just a joke.' AS a professional huntsman, now retired, I would like to mention some of my experiences regarding foxes. WhenIlivedintheUKI worked at two hunt kennels as a whipper-in. There was at that time 145 packs of foxhounds in England and Wales and 12 in Scotland, also 20 packs of harriers. The harriers hunt both hares and foxes and are in size halfway between a beagle and a fox- hound. Foxhounds are the size of a Labrador. Since the ban on hunting, the foxes have increased in numbers, they have moved to the cities living on the rubbish dumps. Hunting kept their numbers down. If a farmer complained to us about foxes on his land and knew where there was an earth, we would go there with the Jack Russell terriers, put them to ground as you would a ferret, dig down to the fox. I always carried a revolver on my saddle, made compulsory by the RSPCA. The terriers today wear a radio col- lar, this lets you know in which direction to dig. We were not allowed to hunt these foxes, known as a bagged fox. I remember one fox, he always when hunted would climb into the fork of a tree. The hounds would try to climb the tree and would stand there bay- ing at him until the gamekeeper came out with a ladder, then he would jump into the middle of the pack. They never caught him. He would then go to ground in a badger set, which is rather like a wombat burrow, and far too deep to dig him out. Why did he never go there first? We always joked about it and said our fox has gone to ground up a tree. The last 10 years before I retired, I was huntsman for the Adelaide Hunt Club, where I hunted foxes and also a drogue, which is what they are supposed to be doing in the UK since the ban on hunting. A drogue is a sheepskin boot worn by a horse and soaked in aniseed. The rider would set off over a course of jumps. The hounds hunt entirely by scent. I have a hobby farm in the country near Dover. I can't speak for the rest of the country, because I don't live there, but here there are no foxes here. I have not heard the unmistak- able wailing of a vixen since I left South Australia. I have not lost any lambs and my ducks and chickens are free range. I don't even fasten them up at night. If there were foxes here they would not just take one, a fox in a poultry shed kills the lot, biting there heads off.I think it is doubtful if there are any foxes south of Hobart, and as for Bruny Island, that's just a joke. It is no wonder devils have to be bred elsewhere, I think the 1080 takes care of them here. TONY WEATHERILL Dover Cover costs first INTERESTING to note the aspiring expectation of a 29 per cent boost in milk production by Tasmanian dairy farmers. One can only half imagine how the levy takers' eyes bulged at the thought, given that they get their ''share'' first whether there's any left over for the dairy farming families to cover their costs. Many paragraphs have been written regards their exploding costs since it was stated 12-18 months ago, that it costs 40 cents to produce a litre of milk and the current payment is about 35 cents. With an average debt around $1 million, it would be rather distressing to learn how much, or rather how little, they have reduced it over the last two years. Perhaps a more equitable distribution would be for dairy farming families to get at least their costs FIRST and the levy takers find a bit of bale twine to hold their tweeds up. C. WATSON Nabowla Let's hear from you Send your opinion to letters to the editor, Tasmanian Country, 93 Macquarie St, Hobart, Tasmania, 7000, fax to (03) 62300711 or e-mail us at email@example.com. Letters to the editor are submitted on condition that Tasmanian Country and licensed third parties have the right to reproduce them electronically. suzuki.com.au $4,440 NO MORE TO PAY ON AUSTRALIA S No 1 SELLING FARM BIKE ur hands on Australia s elling farm bike. ^ DR200SE Trojan is available for the me price of $4,440* no more to pay. r purchase between October 1 and r 24. o More to Pay Price is the recommended retail price inclusive ealer delivery. Final costs may vary according to individual nd actual price may vary between dealers. 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These unique shelters offer •Protection from extremes •Pasture management options in adverse weather conditions •Improved effluent management You are warmly invited to come and see the herd home for yourself and the reasons why it is an important part of Lyndon's farm system. Guest presenters include Ian Gillingham (NZ) and consultant Basil Doonan (Davey and Maynard) Friday 17 December 11.00 am - 2.30 pm 81 Warrentinna Road Winnaleah RSVP TIAR on 6430 4953 or Rob La Grange on 0408 563 762 y) Lunch provided
December 2nd 2010
December 16th 2010