“At times I have 180-200 traps set and I know where every one is. It’s all GPS-ed up here,” says Don Sallway, tapping his head. “I have around seven million acres stored away.”
Don is a dogger – a dog trapper – and he’s the top dog in his field.
During his 20-year career trapping wild dogs on properties throughout south-west Queensland, the 52-year-old has regularly caught twice as many dogs as his nearest rival.
When Don has finished laying a trap, it’s impossible to tell he’s been there.
Several years ago, after laying traps on another property, a tractor and 4WD drove through and busted them all.
“They told me they couldn’t see the traps. What were they expecting? A cage and a dish of milk?”
Don is a hired gun, working for property owners who form a syndicate and contract his services.
Each contract lasts between two and three months and he is paid per kill, the cost of which is split between the local shire council and the syndicate.
Don has averaged over 600 kills for the past few years and, at $500 per dog and $100 per puppy, it seems good money.
Considering he is the best dogger by a country mile, he could easily ask for double that but he has been charging the same his entire career.
And he works hard for his money.