Upper Murray sheep and beef producer, Craig Clothier, has been farming his 600 ha property at Ournie for only three years, but has been baiting for foxes for the past two.
And his work has paid off. Not only has he seen a significant drop in fox numbers, he has also won the Murray Local Land Services Fox Dog Lotto competition, picking up a $2,000 voucher to a rural merchandiser of his choice.
Craig chose Hammonds Hardware in Tumbarumba.
All landholders who participate in Murray Local Land Services Feral Fighters baiting programs are automatically entered into the competition, with weekly winners picking up a bag of dog food and the final winner decided by a draw.
Craig bought 30 baits this year, after laying 100 in 2019, saying that there had been a noticeable reduction in fox numbers on his property.
“Last year we had about a 70 per cent take-up of the baits, which was a good result, and this year only 14 of the 30 were taken, but I targeted a certain area this year where there’d been foxes, and I got a 100 per cent take-up in that spot,” he said.
Craig sees a lot of value in the baiting program.
“I’ll keep doing it each year,” he said. “I’d encourage other farmers to take part as well, because it helps to keep the numbers under control.”
“It’s an easy process to get involved, and it just becomes another part of your operation.”
By joining Feral Fighters, landholders receive free training in the use of baits, free biosecurity farm gate signs and up-to-date information and support from Murray Local Land Services.
Ordering and collecting baits is as simple as a phone call to one of the Murray Local Land Services biosecurity officers.