Modified traps hit the mark

Modified traps hit the mark


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Barney Rutledge spent much of his youth trapping wild dogs on sheep properties in the Quilpie and Jundah districts.

Barney Rutledge spent much of his youth trapping wild dogs on sheep properties in the Quilpie and Jundah districts.

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BARNEY Rutledge spent much of his youth trapping wild dogs on sheep properties in the Quilpie and Jundah districts.

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BARNEY Rutledge spent much of his youth trapping wild dogs on sheep properties in the Quilpie and Jundah districts.

He claimed over 100 scalps as a young man but when the wild dog population was brought under control in the late 1950s, Mr Rutledge gratefully put his lane traps in the back of the shed on his 45,000ha property, Moble, 60km south west of Quilpie.

The traps had been gathering dust there until 2010, when wild dog numbers again increased to distressing levels in the Quilpie Shire.

Mr Rutledge's son, Brian, said his father, now aged over 80, wanted to start using his lane traps again but found it increasingly difficult to set the traps on the ground.

Brian, who is widely known for his welding skills and creative metal art, said his father hit upon the idea of developing a set of levers that would enable him to set his lane traps at a more comfortable height in the back of the ute.

"The idea and design was Dad's and we just wanted to share it because I think there would be plenty of other older people out there that are starting to trap again and are having trouble setting their traps," Brian said.

"I have a hip problem and can't bend down either so together we were finding it difficult to do the trapping that we now need to do.

"It's a very simple concept that makes setting lane traps simple and easy for the not so supple. Two levers push the spring down and they have a chain hook on the end so that you can set the trap and then take the levers off.

"Dad sets them in the back of the ute and then transfers them to a pre-dug hole."

Brian welcomed anyone interested in the concept to contact him.

"We don't think it has much commercial value - anyone could knock them up in under an hour but we wanted to share the idea," he said.

"If anyone wants drawings or diagrams I'd be happy to help them."

Brian said wild dogs had not been a problem on Moble in his lifetime but he was now keen to use the lever system to learn the art of trapping from his father.

"Dad's probably trapped five dogs in the past few years and we currently have a professional trapper working on the property who has caught a few," he said.

"We've got about three or four dogs still on the place and that's three or four too many, particularly as we are about to start lambing."

"Dogs have never been a problem in my lifetime so I'm now trying to learn how to trap from Dad and these levers have made that much easier."

The story Modified traps hit the mark first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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