A Hard Day's Work / by Alex Metcalfe

Musterers at Work

It won’t get you laid and it ain’t pretty” Don informed me.

“You don’t do it for the money, you do it for the lifestyle.”

He was right; working twelve hours a day, in a merciless sun with little cover and temperatures reaching 40+ degrees among terrified wild animals isn’t for everyone. Injuries are common among musterers; broken ribs, wrists, concussions and gorings. If an animal escaped I saw more than one friend go head to hoof with the beast to get it back.

But, there is an immense satisfaction at the end of a hard day’s work. When the animals are safe on the truck or in their pens, the dogs are fed and your telling stories round the campfire. I would do it all over again, just to see the stars.

There is an old romantic conception in the trade, of life in the saddle. It was the closest I saw too of white Australians coming to finding a connection with the land that others before them had so readily embraced.

The Northern Territory, Australia 2015.