Hunting Tales

by Digger

When you have waited all week for the weekend to come round for a day out ferreting, checked the weather knowing some may not want to come if there's the slightest hint of rain, you phoned and told the land-owner / farmer that you're coming, he told you where he's seen the most rabbits (normally hundreds) you start making arrangements for who is taking ferrets, nets, who's going in what car, who is picking up who, where and what time you're going to meet allowing half an hour for the late ones: there's always one!

Saturday comes round: more drop out due to shopping, picking up the kids, can't be bothered to make it or can't get up.... anyway you find two of you turn up with enough equipment to go ferreting.

One or two rabbits running about as you arrive: heart starts racing, looks good. Put collars on the ferrets, check to see if they are working, yep, how many times have other people done this only to find they don't work. It's only when you put them down the hole that you find this out, you're then in trouble. Set nets, clear the holes, set up a long nets. Right; quick drink for you and ferrets, down they go, wait, rumble, rabbit in the net, don't forget foot down the hole to stop another escaping.

More rabbits coming out or should I say bolting, net setting, ferrets doing well, pick up move on ready for the next bury. Repeat as the day goes on, more rabbits building up, a good bag.

Great to see rabbits back-net when you have moved on leaving them down from previous warren, also hitting the long nets at speed, looking into a dug hole and finding more than one rabbit.

This next lot of holes looks good, nets set, holes cleared, ferrets in....wait, nothing, ferret comes out no rabbits, funny, take a look round, peg holes over each hole, nets found further along, someone been here before, farmer did not tell me this. He's happy someone controlling his rabbits. Looks like they have left a few behind for us, which is great.

We have had a good day with the ferrets, who have worked hard; we have had a good time and not too many digs, found a few rabbits for the bag, keeping the farmer happy.

Having enjoyed the countryside out ferreting, the field craft of knowing where the rabbits will bolt, looking for runs, tunnels through the hedge, escape routes, pop holes, and setting nets over each hole or run to catch rabbits.

Take collars off the ferrets, give them a drink and some liver for a reward, tidy up the net bag.

Home, game dealer, ferrets away, nets away, some hung up to dry ready for next time, how many people cant be bothered to do this, thats why they rot. Beer. Sleep.


(First published in NFWS News - #96 Spring/Summer 2013)