Trail Camera MMS Alerts for Predator Hunting

This morning I was up at about 5AM.  I had some breakfast and brewed a pot of coffee while waiting for first light, which is around 05:50 at the moment.  My last sip of coffee was interrupted by the chirp of my mobile phone; a photo had just been sent to me.

It was from the MoonDyne Ghost Eye trail camera positioned over the dead cow that lies about 500 metres from my back door.  The photo showed a black wild dog approaching the bloated carcass from downstream in the creek.  Perfect timing I thought.

Within a few minutes I turned my vehicle into the gate of my neighbour’s farm, and just about ran over a large black wild dog.  A second, smaller black wild dog scurried across the track to follow its big companion.  I was still a hundred metres or so from where I park the vehicle and walk down the spur to the gully where the dead cow is.

After a quick sniff at the carcass, the dogs had come up the spur to the ridgeline to meet me, as it were.  My rifle, bolt and ammo were still separately locked-up in the rear of my truck.  I whistled and the big dog stopped to look back at me.  Looking over my shoulder at the dogs, I hastened to get out my gear, slide the bolt into the action and pop in the magazine.

By the time I had accomplished that the pair had drifted into the fringing jungle and disappeared.   I was not a happy camper, as they say.  If the rifle had been available, I would have got both those dogs.  Never mind.  That’s hunting.  A bunch of cows were milling about near the gate I climbed over.  After I retrieved my rifle and put the bolt and ammo in once more (I always unload my rifle and put it through a fence before getting through, myself) I figured the wild dogs had probably alarmed the cattle and they had moved up close to the road in response.

I stalked the carcass and then sat near it with a 3D camo poncho, face mask and mitts.  The pong was really bad and there were vast numbers of flies buzzing happily about in swarms.  There was no shortage of mosquitoes either and these set about biting my wrists and around my exposed eyes.  I just had to put up with that; you can’t wear insect repellent or swat annoying bugs when you are staking out a kill.

A light shower of rain came through, but the jungle over me let hardly any through to wet me.  After an hour or so I was happy to leave the stench and mosquitoes and hike back up the hill.  The grass is thick and mostly knee-deep, with bigger clumps here and there.  Another light shower came drifting through as I slogged up the steep slope.

I walked around one of the bigger clumps of grass as I neared the gate.  The cattle were still gathered there and looking restless.  One, with a pretty, white face seemed particularly anxious and I looked at her wondering what her problem was.  Suddenly I sensed a movement near my foot and, startled, I looked down at a dark brown, dog-sized animal curled up behind the prominent clump of grass.  I had come very close to stepping on it.

It was no wild dog however, but a newborn calf, slick and wet, curled up and still too weak to stand.  No wonder the white-faced cow was agitated.  The wild dogs had most likely sensed her calving and quickly abandoned their sniffing about the rancid carcass to come looking for some tender fresh meat on the ridge top.

My timely arrival may well have saved the little bundle of bovine joy.  I walked on to the gate and was pleased to see the mother hasten over to sniff and lick her baby, reassuring herself that all was well, before moving off about twenty metres to stand guard.  I will return dawn and dusk for the next few days and hope to eliminate that pair of black wild dogs before they kill any more calves.

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