Thankfully this weekend was to change all that, the weather was dry but with a coolish wind. David and myself had planned to visit a farm that for many years has not had the number of rabbits it has been used too, probably because of Myxi and bad weather!
We planned on a small visit, with just four ferrets, 2 of which had only been out once before, just a few purse nets and a long net.....just in case! Like I've said, it wasnt an all out ferreting frenzy, just a chance to get out and share a few hours alone on the hills.
Just looking round the first area we stopped at, the amount of fresh diggings was phenomenal, the rabbits had truly come back with a vengeance.
The farmer asked for them removing and thats what we were here to do.
As I was peering over a wall, a rabbit which had been sat motionless in this backsit in the grass darted off and away.....I wonder if it knew how lucky it had been!
These were the sort of open warrens we were dealing with, very rocky with a sandy earth holding it all together, these rabbits need to have very tough paws to dig in this environment.
A view out over the moors, this is why I enjoy so much being outdoors round these parts!!
It may look cloudy, but the wind was unseasonally warm.
Time to get netted up, a spare net was left for when the rabbits started piling out of what we hoped was there stage exit!!
As you can see, the soil here is very sandy, if it wasnt for the stone it would be a pleasure to dig.
..........and dig we did, not very deep, around 2 feet thats all.
And again, the rabbits didn't want to move, they were quite content to plug there backs into stop ends
Whenever we open a warren, we are always careful to plug the whole with a stone and then backfill, this prevents a stopend being created, and a possible trap end for the ferret.
A Small Tortoiseshell was sheltering from the wind in one of the rabbit holes, the bright sunshine was lovely and warm when it came out.
we'll give this hole a miss, it would be wrong to disturb such a magnificent but short lived creature.
As can be seen, this warren is big enough to require a longnet or two, with a scattering of pursenets for good measure.......
.........Thankfully the Bunny Bus isn't too far away, walking is such hard work at my age ;-)
David retrieving the first rabbit from the net, the ferret was still attached as it leapt from its hole!
Just a single hole in the middle of the field, but it still produced a rabbit.
David just entering a ferret into a very shaly set of holes, these were 3 holes that on previous trips hadnt been here. It pays to look around when ferreting.
I love walling, and collapsed walls always hold a rabbit or two, this one was no exception, we used the longnets down one side.......
........and purse nets above it, the rabbits had burrowed right under the access track, this would need back filling once emptied.
The truck is never far away, its great when farmers allow you to enter their fields with a vehicle, it means you can carry more gear than is usually possible.
A very contented 'Me', 3 rabbits from a stop end, I had to dig a second hole as I couldnt reach far enough in, after this photo was taken, another ferret was entered and another rabbit had pushed its way into the stop end!!
Another single hole in the middle of the field, this time nobody was home.
Its hard work all this fresh air and driving....as can be seen by Daves relaxed approach.........
...........until he spots a rabbit hitting the net, he set off like Daley Thompson.........
.......he was definately faster than a netted rabbit!!
the holes here all ran into each other, it was like a honeycomb
I had to take this picture, Dave doesn't do digging......but boy can he lean on a shovel ha ha
Daves dig resulted in a nice fat rabbit......
......which the ferret wasn't for giving up!!!
A great little catch here, Dave had spotted a hole within the wall, we entered the ferret by the yellow purse net, it went up and across, lots of knocking within the wall, and Daves lucky wall net resulted in a rabbit!!
Well worth another rest mate!!!!
End of day, 18 rabbits in the bag. A very nice result for four hours work.
A very happy farmer, and a freezer full of good wholesome rabbit meat.