Working on bait lines

Info' for New Baiters

If you are new you will be paired with someone wise in the arts of baiting. Please fill in the health and safety form if you haven't done so, so we have contact numbers for you.

Bring a medium sized back pack or old school bag and goodboots scrubbed cleaned of soil.Have a drink and a snack in your pack and clothing for wet weather. Wear something to protect your legs which allows you to push past cutty grass. We have gloves to protect your hands, or bring your own gardening gloves.

Bring old plastic bags if possible to put the old bait into.

An apron with front pockets to put bait into can make things quicker than taking a pack off and on at every station.

When you go down the line you will need a Bait line repair kit , a hammer, secateurs and one bait station as well as carrying in one bag of bait per station

Bait line repair kits.

These are plastic sealed containers which containextra pink tape,6 nails with white spacers, 6 pink triangles, 4 white triangles, staples to attach triangles, and a marking pen.

Take one of these with you when you go down a bait line. Add additional pink tape as needed, and reattach triangles and stations as necessary. When you do this do not nail them on too tightly, allowing for tree growth.

Bait stationsTake a bait station andfloor piecewith you in case there is a missing station (At times pigs rip bait stations off trees and they may not be able to be found again.)

Hammer and SecateursIf you have a hammer bring it with you (put pink tape around it so you don't leave it lying in the bush) Similarly secateurs which can be helpful for tidying up a line.

Three to four times a year the entire network of baitlines, amounting to around 250Km, has to be travelled in order to place fresh bait in the bait stations. These lines travel in straight lines through the rain forest. The route makes few concessions to physical obstacles, so it often involves scrambling over and under fallen trees, rocks, and stream banks. The footing is often slippery and uneven.

The Physical Requirements:

If you are over 14 and under 45, of no less than average physical ability (as regards strength and coordination), and fit enough to walk briskly for two hours, then you will be able to handle any of these tasks.

If you are over 45, then the harder lines require you to have above average physical fitness and coordination, or to be an experienced and active tramper.

There are some easier lines, however, so if you have any doubts about your suitability, discuss it with us and we can arrange for you to go with an experienced volunteer and try yourself out.

The Process:

Pellets of bait, in pre-packaged plastic bags are taken out by teams of no less than two volunteers. Getting to the start of a line can be a short walk, but typically would involve walking for around 20 minutes, travelling on one of the park tracks.

Each station on the line is checked. If the bait is either eaten or deteriorated it is replaced. Most lines have around 18 stations, and it will take around an hour and a half to complete. The whole trip, then, is typically around three to four hours.

The gear you need to have:

Robust boots, with a good tread on the sole. In dry conditions an agile person will be able to manage with sports shoes on most lines, but boots are always preferable, and in winter are essential.

Backpack, able to carry two or three kilograms of bait (fills about two thirds of a supermarket bag), plus a waterproof parka, snack, drink, warm top.

Gardening gloves are invaluable, because much of the slippery stuff in areas where the vegetation you will be grabbing to steady yourself has sharp edges (kiekie is the name of this culprit). We can supply gloves but encourage you to bring your own.

Choose clothing that you don't mind becoming wet and muddy. Leggings or over-trousers are popular extras.

The pay-back:

* You get a full body work-out!

* And at the end there's a relaxing chat and a sausage (never will a sausage taste so good). Yes, we can supply vegetarian sausages, too.

Next: working on trap lines

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