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Sunday, 14 September 2014

A new permission.......And its lifting!!

After a long time away from our rabbiting permissions, Dave and myself finally got out and knocking. We tried a couple of farms further up from where we already have permission, both were keen to get rid of as many rabbits as was possible.

The land is quite hilly, and there are features that will at times make this a very difficult area to control. Last night was a calm evening and was to stay dry, so I armed myself with my air rifle, and Dave gave the long nets a try.

We had a good walk round when we got there, finding out were the concentrations of rabbits were, then taking note were we could hold up for a time and try and ambush them. We found our spots and went our different ways. I chose a small hill which would give me a good view of two woods which surround one of the fields. These woods also contain the warrens were the rabbits are at their most secure, we can't obtain the permission on there just yet.

As can be seen, if I keep low here the rabbits can be almost on top of me before they relies I'm there! And with there being no wind, scent wasn't a big problem.
After a good few hours sat here I'd got a good tally going, 5 of the rabbits I had shot fell back into the woods, these had to be left for the evenings carnivores, as we under no circumstances can enter these fenced off areas.

This was the right hand side of the wood, in the end I placed 2 air rifles out as the light lowered to save on movement noise when turning from side to side

Dave had sat behind a wall and had kept perfectly still, even though he was being eaten alive with the local midge population, after a couple of hours the rabbits had regained their confidence and had started leaping over the wall and returning to eating the grass. After a short time, they made their way out further into the field, and with this Dave set the net out, having rushed out today, he had chosen the quickset, which being noisier than traditional had a detrimental effect on numbers of rabbits caught. 100 yards of net walked out and a long walk through the fields resulted in only a couple of rabbits being seen and none in the net. on the plus side a few ran up the hill to were I was waiting!

We then had a wander round with the lamp and the air rifle, we use the Deben lithium battery and a Light Force lamp, cracking stuff when a full night of power is needed, but a few seasons have taken their toll and as we were lambing Dave noticed the connection heating up. The wire had come loose from its solder and was creating a short.
With this we packed up, knowing that we really should have been better prepared, I'm spending today checking batteries and sorting nets, we don't want to be caught short again in the future.

After a great evening our total tally was 6 in the bag, 7 left to the foxes and a rake more that will be on the cards for next time.

Happy Hunting.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Its Been A Long Time Coming, But I'm So Glad It Did!!

 The day started cold and windy, very windy, but at least it wasn't raining....YET!!
We had a few new recruits to try out, last years Kits, so we headed for a few smaller warrens.

We had met another friend who wanted to try his dog out alongside ferrets, it was a very quick dog, but an ankle problem was slowing him down, and we decided to net the holes so as not to cause the dog further discomfort

It wouldn't be a day out ferreting without a dig, and on a day as cold as today it was a welcome sidetrack.
Only three foot down but a nice way to warm up, we were onto five rabbits now and one of Daves creations came in very handy for carrying the rabbits, its a plaited twine rabbit carrier, if anyone would like one they can leave a message on here and i'll let you know colour availability

This wall section never fails to produce a few rabbits, it has holes both sides of the wall and a few bolt holes into the wall!
When you enter the ferrets it really is a case of watching everywhere, you just don't know when or where a rabbit will exit from

I decided to use one of my young Jills and its Mother, putting a collar on for the first time can be quite traumatic, a ferret that doesn't nip can become a whole different animal whilst trying to fasten this to it. As my finger found out. Its still sore now as I type this ha ha

With the collar on, both were entered into the same hole, in a hope that one will lead and the other follow, the young Jill was wary at first but soon entered her first warren and ran round it like a seasoned pro.
We had five rabbits from here and I was most impressed by her first outing.

We moved further down the hill and decided this would be the last warren as the wind and rain were now getting worse, it was becoming hard to stand in the same spot!
Buzzing from her last catch I entered my young Jill and Dave entered one of his, both ferrets did the business and.......

........Two more rabbits were in the bag. Thankfully, and we don't say this a lot, it had come to an end, we were both cold and soaked, but happy that our young workers had taken to their new roles with vigour.

Thirteen overall, but with one given to a friend, for dog food, we had Twelve remaining.
Hole dug and rabbits gutted, we went home and skinned them ready for their use in the catering world. Its good to know that someone somewhere is enjoying one of natures finest meats.

Until next time, Happy Hunting