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Saturday, 17 September 2011

I should have brought flippers!!!

A day out with young Joe and David had been arranged and the weather promised to be wet.....but we are bloody nutters so we decided to go rabbiting anyway!!

As I got the tackle ready a gorgeous rainbow popped up showing the two different types of weather that would follow us round today!

As its still early in the season the vegetation hasn't died back yet, the nettles and thistles were very abundant in the areas we needed to be.
A quick look over the wall and even more rabbits were showing there faces.....check out the black one towards the middle of the picture. Black rabbits have always carried a bad luck omen with them, to catch and kill would bring a death to the family of the catcher, it was said.
It is also said that the Myximatosis flee was dropped from trains on the back of black rabbits to spread the disease.......but who really knows!!

After the first storm passed over we got down to the serious job of catching a few, see how I have created a long net with a very loose bottom (ooerr missus) line, this helps when running out over uneven ground, as long as the top line is tight it will still catch every time.

 The length of this warren can be seen in this photo, in the time it took us to ferret each and every hole we were pounded by two more storms, very heavy and very wet!!!

Never a good place for a dig, but Joe's ferret 'Nutjob' had decided to hold one in a stop end......right underneath one of the tree's main roots.....Happy digging Joe!!

The rabbits were coming thick and fast today, at this point we had about 8 rabbits, just after this photo was taken the sun decided to come out and leed us into a false sense of security!!

Blue skys and my jacket drying in the suns rays, the clouds had totally disappeared and we were left with a very warm and not at all wet day..........but that would all change before we got this warren finished!!

Just a few holes left and Dave was letting last years Kits have a play round, letting them take in the smells and get used to what hopefully will be a very productive first season for them.

End of Day shot and the rain had returned just to wet us through to the skin before we got in the car! The end of day total was 14 rabbits in about 4 hours ferreting between storms.
Wet clothes but very happy faces, farmer will be well pleased, if we can get this number and more each time we visit, his problem will soon be over.

Happy Hunting

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A little training for the pup!!

 This week i've decided its time to train my young bitch the arts of bushing and hopefully in an attempt to help me speed up the time spent netting up on rabbitless holes, i will see if I can get her to smell whats home. Well thats the plan anyway, its going to be a long windy road and i'll probably have a lot of swearing that needs to be deleted, but hey ho

First off, for the last 2 weeks she has been playing with and retrieving a rabbits pelt. This is a skin I have wrapped around a small ball, it will help her get the smell I need her to track, it also makes this part of the training fun.

After that I tried her in the field, at this time I am still stock training her, so I will keep her on the lead any time I think she may chase sheep, cows etc.

 This shows Lucy sat back from a hole in a warren that the ferret has been entered into, Lucy is ferret trained and will allow the ferrets to run over her and even bite her without any thought of retaliation.
I wanted her to learn from the other dogs what this game was about.

Once she had seen the dogs catch a rabbit, I let her play with the pelt ball and get the smell in her nose, we then went a short walk to a small warren I know usually contains a few rabbits.

She was shown a warren we have previously ferreted, I know some of the holes are just diggings and are not used by the rabbits.

She searched a few holes but this one took her fancy........... much so I thought I was going to lose her.

I removed her from the area and tied her to the spade so she could watch, I then entered a ferret and was most pleased when a small female rabbit was quickly dispatched from the hole. We did this only once, and will do it again before the weekend, that way she is not getting to hyper and making yapping noises in excitement, she will realise after a few times out that stealth plays a big part in the catch, she was also rewarded 2 of the rabbits feet as a treat, she loves them.

To Be Continued.............

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Rabbit Casserole

Last weeks rabbits were skinned, gutted and boned, so I had a look at a few of my Recipes that I keep in my little black book and found one for Rustic Rabbit Stew.

1 Rabbit (Boned)
4 large Carrots (Chopped)
Small Bag New Potatoes (Halved)
1/2 Bag Frozen Peas
Large Onion (Chopped)
2 Chicken Stock Cubes
Mixed Herbs
Salt and Pepper

I used a fish pan to cook mine, everything in at the same time, top up with water to cover and cook at 120-150°c for around 2 hours or until cooked to your liking.

As easy as that, and heres my finished casserole

As the weeks go by, i'll share a few of my recipes for any game we catch. If your stuck for a recipe for any game, drop me an e-mail/message on here and i'll see what I have.

Happy Eating

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The season starts again!

Well I was very lucky to get a phonecall late last night to accompany a mate on a bit of his land, always happy to help I duly accepted. I was out for a curry and ale this evening but it wasnt going to be a late one.......who was I kidding 4am this morning I led my head on my pillow and at 8am my alarm went off (thank god it was a late start) I was still a little worse for wear but I soon woke up after a strong coffee.
9.30am and Brian was at the door and loading the van with ferrets, nets and a shovel.

Once we got there the dogs started marking a few holes, so we net up and entered the ferrets. The dogs were great, well behaved and listening for any movement....we didnt have to wait to long!!

There was a noise like a Jamaican steel band, and when we lifted the corrugated steel we could see why, 2 holes that a rabbit was trying to leave and failing!!

The dogs were marking holes and thankfully each time we entered a ferret, we were duly rewarded with a rabbit.

But as can be seen here, sometimes the little buggers get away..........mainly because both dogs were on the opposite side marking a rabbity rumbling underground!

As ever, a few digs were on the cards, there always seems to be a lot of stop ends when fence line ferreting, thankfully the ferret kept hold till I got to it!

And here he is, still not wanting to let go! Not bad for his first outing.

My favourite tools, I never leave home without them

Heres one of the escapees that never made it, thankfully Brin managed to catch it before it found another hole.

And heres one that Smudge caught, it was Smudge's first day out ferreting, and he did fantastically, it was great to see the dogs and ferrets working as a team, especially when they dont normally work together.

Here was one that the ferret had chased out and the dogs caught out in the field. We left a few holes unnetted so as to give the dogs a chance at a run.

 And heres the end of day shot, 6 rabbits in total with 3 of the blighters escaping to fight another day.
Well done to all 3 dogs today, the Collie cross having left earlier to go and retrieve wood pigeons for its owner..........the lucky bugger!!

My 2 Females, Lightning and Snowy. Snowy was on deaths door just 3 weeks ago, and a visit to the vets and a few doses of Penicilin later and she's back on the mend.
Snowys sister died 2 months ago and I thought this might have been the start of Snowy's demise, but she's proved to be a fighter and did well today.

So hopefully a bit of lamping this week with the dogs and rifles will start this season off with a proper bang.

Happy Hunting