McIntyre's pre-muster - the event you haven't 'herd' of
WHILE the region prepares for this year's Gympie Muster, there is another quieter - and important - muster which is about to happen.
This is the muster of the McIntyre family, who have been herding their cattle down Amamoor Creek Rd for more than 10 years to keep cows and revellers alike safe, and will do so once more on Sunday.
While the cattle roam the sides of the road for 51 weeks of the year without problem, the high volume of Muster traffic becomes a serious issue made worse by the attitude of some drivers who believe they own the road.
"They think the cattle should give way to them,” Ian McIntyre said.
He said the whole road was very busy, so the cattle were yarded to keep them off the road for the Muster.
However, despite how busy it gets they have been mostly lucky over the years.
"We've only ever had one hit on the side of the road,” he said.
Having started helping the original landowners move the cattle, Mr McIntyre and his wife Therese were happy to take over the task themselves, and have made it into a family affair.
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Usually helped by their two sons and one of their partners, this year they will be joined by their grandchildren as well.
It will be the first time three generations of McIntyres will be mustering before the Muster.
Consisting of about 90 cattle and calves, the herd will be walked about 2km down the road to Blacksoil, where they will then be locked up for the week.
Mr McIntyre said it usually took an hour "if they co-operate”. But there is a plan B just in case.
"If they're not agreeable then they ride on the truck,” he said.
Admitting the Muster had the potential to cost them financially due its impact on their herd, Mr McIntyre said they had no issue with the event being held.
"We just absorb it. We've got a rapport with the Muster committee,” he said.
"All I ask is they tell us what they're doing.”
Mrs McIntyre said there was an added benefit in locking the cattle up for the week, as some Muster attendees unfortunately had a habit of littering the area with rubbish - something which could have a nasty impact on their herd.
There was also a tendency for the cows' lick troughs and their fencing to disappear from their property, often reappeaaring as beer coolers or firewood.
While they appreciate everyone is at the Muster to enjoy themselves, Mrs McIntyre asks that revellers have some consideration for other landholders' property.