Efficient rat-catcher

Cuttle Cove, Preservation Inlet, on the West Coast of Southland. - Otago Witness, 12.2.1919.
Cuttle Cove, Preservation Inlet, on the West Coast of Southland. - Otago Witness, 12.2.1919.
Discarding all extraneous aids, and relying solely on a quick eye and a pair of strong hands, an employee of a local grain and wool firm has acquired quite a reputation as a rat-killer.

The plan adopted is very simple. Before the men stop work at night a high-sided truck which has brought in a line of chaff is run into the "gully'' and left there for the rats to assemble. When the men come on next morning the system of attack is at once proceeded with. All the sacks of chaff are taken out of the truck, with the exception of one at each corner. The rat-catcher then gets into the truck and the massacre starts. Cautiously lifting a sack the catcher observes a rat. A quick grab, and a rat is almost simultaneously dashed against the side of the truck. The rats run from one sack to the other, and the escapes are practically nil. The "bag'' on Friday morning was 35 of all sizes.

Mt Burke shearers marooned

A correspondent informs up that two musterers, two shearers, and a cook from the Oamaru district, at present in the employ of Mr James Craig, of Mount Burke Station, had a novel experience during the recent flood. The water from Lake Wanaka rising, the cottage in which the men were sleeping was surrounded to the depth of about 6ft. About 3 o'clock in the morning the five occupants of the cottage deemed it expedient to strike out for dry land with all they could carry on their shoulders and to make for the dwelling of Mr Craig, who obligingly did all he could for them. Later in the morning a boat was rowed round the cottage to collect the men's belongings from it. In one room a chest of drawers was, amongst other objects, floating on the top of the water, while a bed was floating outside the cottage. A man from an adjoining hut had to be rescued after daylight in a trap skilfully handled by the driver. Residents of over 30 years' standing say that the lake was much bigger than they had ever seen it in the past.

Kea killing subsidy sought

A circular was received from the Lakes County Council by the Bruce Council yesterday asking for the latter body's support of a proposal that the Government be asked to subsidise the destruction of keas to the extent of 3s per head in addition to the 2s paid by the council and 5s per head paid by the Lakes Kea Club. Cr Boyd moved that the council support the proposal, and this was seconded by Cr Russell. Cr Clark, in opposing the motion, said it would appear that they wanted to be spoon-fed by the Government in everything. Why should the Government be expected to come to their assistance in all their little domestic affairs? The people held runs in the Lakes district on a cheap lease, some paying practically nothing for them. There was just as much reason for asking the Government to destroy rabbits and small birds as there was to ask it to subsidise the destruction of keas. It was a wrong principle to run to the Government for everything. The motion was defeated by six votes to four.

Deer problem in Lindis

Settlers in the Lindis and Morven Hills district are evidently in for a bad time next winter from the ever-increasing deer herd (states the Cromwell Argus). With the copious rains, many fine fields of turnips are coming away, and already these are being continually raided by deer from the surrounding hills. - ODT, 5.2.1919.

 

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