The game management policy is based on the recommendations of the Eco study augmented by specific expert inputs as and when required. Typically two trustees manages the portfolio closely with major decisions and strategic direction still under the auspices of the whole Management team.
One question which also seems to pop up regularly is what we do about tick control. There are a variety of ways to combat ticks. We use a number of methods which we describe in more detail lower down.Each method works to some extent, but not perfect for all species at and ages, so the variety is part of the solution.
The oldest one is a “Duncan applicator”. Then we also have a few variations on the idea of “Oom Gielie se voerbak”. Rikus donated the original and Jacques manufactured higher and wider versions working from the same principle, but targeting a different variety of animals. The most dynamic one works on a tread plate principle. Each method is described in more detail below.
The one mostly used on Highlands is a device called a “Duncan applicator”.
Fluid is placed in the top supply tank and made to flow/ooze down the shaft spiral and eventually into the catch-up tank from where the excess can be recovered for re-use. This post is now positioned in the middle of a food container where salt or lick is placed to lure game towards the post. Special tick control fluid which costs (an attempt to make the info inflation proof :-)) about 5 times as much as Coca Cola and set to drip some 40 drops per minute. One tank cycle should last about a week. In the process of eating from the container the buck gets some of the medication on its neck or ears and this works pretty much like the “top spot” kind of tick control used on domestic animals. The majority of Duncan applicators have a steel drum as food container where rust – especially when using salt in the feed – can be a problem. We also have some which uses tires as container and hence last a while longer. All these animal pictures were taken with a pre-set camera automatically triggered by the animal’s movement. As you can see, some animals do not only get anti tick on their necks and ears…
Oom Gielie se voerbak
While Oom Gielie is unlikely to win product name prizes, his device holds value. The edges have rollers in them and these rollers run in a bath of tick repellent. Much like the old post office envelope wetting rollers (if you recall them you are also old 🙂 ).
In the middle there is an area for food so when the animals reach over the edge, their necks touch the top edge of the roller and turns it to apply to the neck area. The third kind is activated by the weight of the animal as it steps on the plate. This in turn sprays the animal from nozzles positioned to aim one from above and one from below. To get the animals to step on the plate, a form of brush wall is erected on both sides while the plate is buried in one of the game trails