Filled with an enormous respect for their quarry, Darren Pointon and Jordy Oostrom use modern methods to catch the wild dogs that no-one else can.

Story + Photos Mandy McKeesick

On a steep track winding up Cooroy Mountain, between Noosa and Gympie in south-east Queensland, Darren Pointon and Jordy Oostrom are on the trail of a killer. Known as the Black Dog he has been wreaking havoc for a decade, slaughtering koalas, platypus, domestic animals, calves and sheep. But now he has met his match. Jordy, lean and strong, walks along the track with a wiry hound named Scruffa, looking for subtle signs only the experienced tracker will recognise. Darren, sporting battered Akubra and bushy red beard, sets up a trail camera, supervised by a solid working dog called Foxy. The men are true bushmen and relish the coming battle of wits against the wild dog.  

Darren and Jordy work across Queensland trapping feral animals, but specialise in wild dogs and, in particular, those dogs that no-one else can catch. Rather than seeing their quarry as just cold-blooded killers, they have enormous respect for them. 

They were both introduced to this lifestyle in their childhoods. “I hunted with my Dad all my life from a time when he had to carry me into the bush,” Darren, who grew up near Kilcoy, says. “I sold my first dog scalp when I was 12, grew up howling dogs and hunting deer, and when I was 17 I learnt the trapping trade from an old government dogger.” Thirty years later he runs Out N About Trapping and Outfitters, based at Goomeri, catching dogs for anyone from private landowners to government organisations.

This story excerpt is from Issue #131

Outback Magazine: June/July 2020