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Thread: Pest Controllers Endorsement

  1. #1
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    Pest Controllers Endorsement

    Hi everybody,

    First post here, so I hope I have got this in the right place etc.

    Just wondering if anyone has experience getting the pest controllers endorsement as a farmer? I have got a real problem with pigs here currently. There has never been any in the 40 years my family has farmed here, but a couple years ago some showed up (my neighbour released them I have been told) and the population is growing very quickly. Currently I have a Howa SA in .223 with some detachable magazines, but ultimately the reload/re-acquire target is too slow and I can get a few at a time, the rest disappear back into the timber. I'm lucky if I can come across them every 3 months or so, even with going out a couple evenings per week, so you can see how the ones escaping are multiplying faster than I can get down on them. They do huge amounts of damage to the pasture in the wetter months, at this time of year they mostly tear up all the wetlands we have fenced off/planted. There is now enough of them that they are running in multiple groups of a dozen or so, plus piglets, as seen spotlighting a couple weeks back.

    I have spoken to the local arms officer, he said to his knowledge they are only giving this endorsement to professional pest controllers (even though NZ Police website says it's available for 'owners/managers of agricultural businesses'. The main problem I can see on the application form is that I need to have 3 referees, one of whom held an E-Cat when that was a thing. I don't know such a person, let alone one who also knows me well enough to be my referee. Seems like this is one of those things that's 'available', but isn't actually available.

    I would appreciate any advice, even if it's that I'm wasting my time trying to go down this track.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    ill be interested in this. Also welcome to the forum
    22 hornets and most things 6.5

  3. #3
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    Thermal? Or let some pig hunters loose?

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I have had a few hunters with dogs come through, honestly it seems like I can do better with a gun than they can with a dog. Even multiple dogs seem to only bail a single pig, helping all the others to learn from the experience/become more wiley. Thermal seems pretty expensive honestly, and I wasn't very impressed with the one someone brought out here which cost about $7k apparently. I have considered a drone to fly around scouting for them, as tripping over them in all the nooks and crannies on this place is a major hurdle. But all that technology costs quite a lot of money.
    Last edited by Johnny Booger; 17-01-2021 at 09:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    how about a couple of traps as well might have to attack it from a few angles since we have had our effective tools taken off us. possibly look at a lever action could be an option as well?
    Kiwi-Hunter likes this.
    22 hornets and most things 6.5

  6. #6
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    Few traps around the farm should do some good depending on you trap you can catch half a dozen to ten a time, won’t work every night but should be effective

  7. #7
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    Thanks, yes I'll probably have to look at trapping too.

  8. #8
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    Quite a few Central Otago farmers have gotten P's from what I hear. I'd be talking with a supplier, if they want to make a sale they'll have the oil on how they guys are doing the licence business.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Tentman, good idea.

  10. #10
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    Thermal and night shooting is the way to go. Had a farmer up north who had a issue with pigs eating lambs. Me and a mate went out with the thermals shot 7 pigs for the night farmer brought a thermal the next day. Is after having hunters with dogs coming out regularly

  11. #11
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    A farmer (land owner occupier) can apply for a p endorsement the criteria are different and easier to meet but a bit more restrictive than for to professional pest controller doing it for hire or reward. Ben Waimata has his a pm to him might be informative.

  12. #12
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    Not sure if it helps but what would a professional pest controller cost to get him in say 2-3 times the first year. Save the cost of a semi plus the extra cost of upgrading the storage etc.
    I was down otago way 3 years back with a professional shooter about lambing time. A station holder pointed us at a mob of pigs living in the rubbish grass and on some steeper country.
    We got in close and the professional got me in on the boar at about 20 mtr which I got along with 2 sows to follow (243win). He did some finishing shots in the boar and took out all 8 piglets out to about 80 mtr.
    Point being he knew how to shoot running targets, was fast at mag changes and did not let anything get away.
    Z

  13. #13
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    This is a topic I see cropping up regularly. Pigs are a new issue in many places due to releases and removing pigs for control purposes and the mind set around that is very different to doing it for fun. I consider that good pig dogs are a part of the equation but I also consider them as the option for when you are targeting one pig or have removed the bulk of them first. Or you just educate and move them around as you say. There is also a ton of difference between good pig dog and pig hunter abilities and unless you know what a good one is you run the risk of more education etc etc. If you are trapping or shooting then keep dogs away full stop. However indicator dogs with professionals in the right situation can be a lot more deadly and much lower impact. Thermal at night as someone said is a very good way to hit a number and not just singles. If you can get in close enough a tight choked semi shotgun with buck shot can be very effective (but noisy). Depending on the pigs they can be way more likely to run flat out at the first shot and so a shotty in the middle of them can be really useful when stuff happens. I use a powerful small LED torch on the gun or rifle and a thermal to find and sneak in. The torch means I use my standard day time set up and it is quicker when stuff is running around me. Trapping can be a very good way of removing numbers and pre feeding with maize etc to desensitize them is well worth doing. An auto feeder helps here. The best traps are big pens with a big entry gate and the feed in the middle. The key here is to get the lead pigs and not just the silly ones. The best way is to activate the trap door remotely yourself when you have what you need inside. You want all or most not some. Thermal again is really handy for this. I use a trail cam near the feeder to help tell me what is about and when. If you feed them enough you will almost tame them up. If it was me I would be putting my money in to a good trap and feed set up and either thermal or hiring someone with for when needed. The XP50 is about $8K and really high definition. Not sure what the poor $7K one would have been. You get what you pay for with thermal. I know some top performing professional people up your way if you need someone. Unfortunately not every 'professional' is like that with a bunch of new entrants. Hope this helps. Cheers
    Flyblown and Ned like this.

  14. #14
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Most of your options have been described, good suggestions by @Hiawatha above.


    Simple fact is you will need a combination of all the suggested methods, in a well thought out pest control plan. I would suggest the following:


    Feed out grain regularly in two or three spots close to the bush edge where you see rooting. Smear pig shit on your boots and gloves and only go to the feed dump on foot to place grain. Otherwise observe from a distance or if you want to get closer, sit on the quad, don’t get off. Absolute minimum of human scent in the bait areas. High quality trail cams are helpful, but don’t place them too close to the baits, put them on game trails into the baits, and leave them alone. Otherwise you just fill the card with hundreds of photos of little pigs. Bluetooth download cameras are the best, you must not go marching up and down around the cameras and baits else your scent will spook the pigs.


    Acquire a proper pig trap as described above, with a remotely controlled actuation and an auto feeder that re-baits around midday. Acquire a thermal monocular. Yep, this problem is going to cost you time and money. Bait the trap with the same kind of grain in the same area, and leave the trap alone for several days. Hang a couple of goats or similar in the trap, you want something to keep them interested. Try and avoid at all costs going to the trap - you must keep your scent away from it. Best bet is to erect / load / test the trap just before a decent rain.


    You need to catch as many of the suckers and weaner pigs in the trap as possible, plus as many adults as you can obviously. The objective of the trap is numbers, not size. When you have successfully done this, now is the time to call in the expert pig hunter - he needs to be ready to go the minute a bunch of the small pigs are gone. A proper pig hunter’s experienced dogs will only target large pigs, and you need to go get the sows. The guys I hang with would clean out a block of adult pigs in two or three nights over a week no problem, hunting on horseback at night with a mix of dogs with different skills.


    After proper pig hunting is complete, then revert to patrolling baits at night. Numbers should be down and mature, experienced pigs will be very uncomfortable and will probably have fucked off for a good while. Repeat the cycle with the trap in a different location. Your reconnaissance should tell you what’s left - the type and amount of pig mark around baits. Again, the absolute minimum of your scent is critical. Run good pig dogs through the block regularly, now its all about keeping up the pressure, making the pigs feel unsafe.


    We often think that an AR15 or similar is the answer... it’s not. To be honest, I think its often a distraction for inexperienced guys. Close to bush edges, you’ll get one or two, the rest are gone. Fact is, a good shooter with a bolt gun, especially a straight pull carbine with a red dot, can do just as well on a mob of pigs. I use a powerful medium range rifle with strong ballistics good for several hundred metres - daytime patrols with lots of glassing ahead will often turn up pigs a good distance away - that’s when to shoot them, easy as. Practice on gongs.


    Flushing pigs with good dogs to shoot them on the run isn’t that hard, the hard part is to be a competent running pig shooter. The critical thing is to only shoot at them on open ground a good way from cover. If you miss the first shot you’ll get another chance - but if they’re close to cover you’ll struggle, whether you’ve got a semi-auto or not. It is very frustrating watching a mob evaporate after one fudged shot.


    Pigs are a pain in the arse, but not that hard to clear out of a block with the right tools and approach. I spend a lot of time on carefully managed pig country - I just recently left a Taranaki farm where pigs had suddenly become a problem just before lambing. We shot some with thermal in August, then subsequently a combination of trapping and hunting with dogs, and a few more shot, was enough to clear most of them out. Earlier this month we put out some dead ewes where they were used to rooting for porina bugs in spring / early summer, and I shot four medium pigs from half a click, middle of the day. They will be back, but a good relationship with a competent pig hunter will encourage them to bugger off again sharpish.


    It’s hard work, and a team effort, but it can be done.
    Just...say...the...word

  15. #15
    Walking my rifle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Booger View Post
    Hi everybody,

    First post here, so I hope I have got this in the right place etc.

    Just wondering if anyone has experience getting the pest controllers endorsement as a farmer? I have got a real problem with pigs here currently. There has never been any in the 40 years my family has farmed here, but a couple years ago some showed up (my neighbour released them I have been told) and the population is growing very quickly. Currently I have a Howa SA in .223 with some detachable magazines, but ultimately the reload/re-acquire target is too slow and I can get a few at a time, the rest disappear back into the timber. I'm lucky if I can come across them every 3 months or so, even with going out a couple evenings per week, so you can see how the ones escaping are multiplying faster than I can get down on them. They do huge amounts of damage to the pasture in the wetter months, at this time of year they mostly tear up all the wetlands we have fenced off/planted. There is now enough of them that they are running in multiple groups of a dozen or so, plus piglets, as seen spotlighting a couple weeks back.

    I have spoken to the local arms officer, he said to his knowledge they are only giving this endorsement to professional pest controllers (even though NZ Police website says it's available for 'owners/managers of agricultural businesses'. The main problem I can see on the application form is that I need to have 3 referees, one of whom held an E-Cat when that was a thing. I don't know such a person, let alone one who also knows me well enough to be my referee. Seems like this is one of those things that's 'available', but isn't actually available.

    I would appreciate any advice, even if it's that I'm wasting my time trying to go down this track.

    Thanks!
    Mate feel free to send me a PM if you like, we just cleaned up a pine block in the Waikato and I can probably get the owner or the manager to give us a reference. We just shoot everything dead, none of this business of leaving some for next time etc and no dogs, we bring a few shooters for a few times and shoot everything that we can find. We use nigh vision and some other means

    Ill be keen to have a look at the issue and see if this is something we can deal with or not.
    No cost to you, we keep the meat

    Cheers
    F
    Walking my rifle

 

 

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