Feral dog a frightening size

CAUGHT IN THE ACT: Andrew Costello with the largest wild dog he has seen.
CAUGHT IN THE ACT: Andrew Costello with the largest wild dog he has seen. Contributed

THANES Creek woolgrower Andrew Costello has been shooting and trapping wild dogs for more than 20 years so it takes a bit to rattle him.

But he admitted to being a "little unnerved" when he shot a 41kg wild dog, which had been killing his Merino wethers in a paddock bordering the Gore Highway.

"It is the biggest dog, by a long way, that I have ever shot," he explained.

"She stood 80cm at the shoulder and that's just a scary size.

"She exhibited all the traits of a wild dog: she wasn't friendly towards people, she wasn't hanging around houses, which domesticated dogs tend to do."

The dog was almost double the weight of an average dingo.

Former DPI wild dog researcher Damian Byrne said dingoes usually weighed in around 23kg and tended to be skilled hunters, varying their diet between wildlife and easier options such as sheep.

In comparison wild crossbred dogs tended to favour more defenceless prey such as sheep and goats, Mr Byrne explained.

Meanwhile Mr Costello described the wild dog he killed as "aggressive and fit" making her what he considered to be the "ultimate sheep killing machine".

He said the bitch was believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least 20 full wool wethers during the past fortnight.

With the sheep valued at around $80/head plus wool, the tally has a despairing impact on landholders already battling a downturn in both the fine wool and live sheep markets.

Yet the upside of the latest wild dog episode for Mr Costello and fellow wool grower Ian Cullen, who were both involved in the tracking process, was the high level of community co-operation.

Neighbours travelling the Gore Highway first called the Costellos just minutes after seeing a "large, black dog"

crossing the highway near Glendon.

Other reports followed and, with the help of fellow trapper, Mr Cullen, who runs sheep on leased country at Glendon, they were able to establish the dog's pattern.

"Dogs do tend to develop habits and hers was to be out in the paddock killing sheep between dawn and about 7.30am," Mr Costello said.

"We had tracked her from the paddocks back into Duraiki State Forest several times over the past fortnight.

"Yet when we finally shot her, we were very pleased we hadn't had any close encounters with her in the scrub."

Their success came after five early morning starts to scout the paddocks bordering the highway around the Glendon campground turn-off.

"It's fine getting up to stoke the fire when it's freezing, it is a very different thing to be out in it," Mr Costello said.

"But, thanks to things like mobile phones and people's willingness to call in sightings, we were successful this time.

"That doesn't mean we can rest: Trying to stay on top of the wild dog problem means control - trapping, shooting and baiting - is ongoing."

He said landholders in the Thanes Creek and Karara region shot or trapped about 25 dogs already this year.

"Last year I got six dogs in six weeks and that was a particularly terrible time," Mr Costello said.

"I do believe things like the council bounty have had a positive impact on wild dog numbers and anything that helps is a good thing."

Meanwhile he urged landholders to attend workshops like the AgForce organised one at Killarney this week to improve their knowledge and skills of wild dog control.

Topics:  feral animals livestock sheep wild dogs

Warwick driver wins Wallangarra billy cart race

Cyril Brown, from Warwick, claimed the Border 1000 at Wallangarra on Sunday.

THE rain didn't deter Warwick driver, Cyril Brown.

Jury sworn in for Warwick indecent treatment trial

The alleged offences took place on a day in 2015.

The trial is expected to last a day.

Alleged Warwick arsonist set to face judge

A house fire overnight in Warwick is being treated as suspicious

A MAN accused of burning down his Dragon St home will be sentenced.

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

PICS: Campdraft action gets underway at rodeo

Some of the action from the campdraft first round at the Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft this morning.

Check out the pics galore from the morning's action at the campdraft

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.