Sheila took her 2 air rifles (Falcon Raptor FN19-RB
single shot & Weihrauch HW77) but only used the Falcon.
We arrived just after
10:00am and started off by notifying the landowner we had arrived. We were told
that some of the fields had been mown, so we were hopeful of a large bag.
We decided to start
the potato field with the air rifles. I drove us back down the long drive
and parked nearer the spud field. The farmer was tending to his mowing machine,
he said some of the fields were 1/2 mowed, so we set off in search of the
We headed across the
last few fields, and the grass was still long.
As soon as we entered the
spud field, Dave & I
spotted 2 rabbits out in the open. As we crept closer to get within range, they
bolted and disappeared into the Stinging Nettles. We ventured across the field,
and another bolted from behind a potato plant, Flash
spotted it and
set off in pursuit, but didn't stand a chance. It made it to the long grass, and
into a bury.
We decided to head
up the field, and sit in ambush, Sheila headed up
the right-hand side, watching the hedgerow, Dave &
I headed for the left-hand side.
We put up another
rabbit, and Flash chased it, again it made
it to a bury.
We all got in to
position, and waited. The farmer had sorted the mower and was working in the
next field. There was a lot of noise and commotion.
After well over half an
hour of waiting in ambush, no rabbits had showed, so we gathered together, and
headed back to the car, and had a spot of lunch.
We discussed our
tactics, and came to the conclusion that the mowing must have put the rabbits to
ground, so decided to switch to ferreting.
We went back up the
drive and netted the large bury on a banking, Bandito
were entered to see if anyone was at home...
I heard a faint thump,
and quietly said "There's one here!" then Bandito bolted a young rabbit,
from an un-netted hole. Flash set off in
pursuit but returned because the rabbit went through the wire fencing. Bandito emerged and set off in pursuit, I
caught her and re-entered her. Sheila ended up
running after Jilly at one point, and had
trouble catching her. She's used to her ferrets coming out casually and milling
around waiting to be picked up, but mine
get very excited when on a scent and will try to run after the rabbits at full
After a couple of
minutes of Bandito & Jilly popping in & out rapidly, I heard some faint
thuds. Flash heard it too and was ready.
I said 'She's
on another!" then a rabbit hit the net, Flash
dashed in & pinned it, I scrambled under the Hawthorns and relieved her and used my priest. It was a
large milky doe.
Both ferrets came
out and started wandering about on the surface, and nothing else had bolted
so we collected the nets and ferreted the other warren close by, after 5 minutes
or so, we heard some crashing through the undergrowth and Bandito darted out after a rabbit that we
didn't see. Dave retrieved her and we collected the
nets, Sheila almost got stuck under 1 of the
Hawthorn bushes trying to retrieve 1 from its base.
Dave & I couldn't do much for laughing, so I
grabbed a photo.
We tried a couple
more buries, but had no luck, so headed back to the potato field, with the
I netted the holes
that the rabbits had ran in to, and entered Bandito
in the 1st single-holer.
I tracked her
underground, to see where the tunnel led, there was a faint thud, then she
started back up the tunnel.
I followed with the
locator and kept watching the depth. She had been over 15ft deep because the
locator couldn't detect the transmitter on her collar, then she was rising
The rabbit hit the net, Flash pinned it,
Bandito emerged and I relieved them both from the little rabbit.
If Flash hadn't have pinned it, it would have
slipped the net. Its head and front legs were through the mesh, and another
second or 2 and it would have been free again.
I collected Bandito and headed to a small group of 3
holes where Dave was and she was re-entered, Sheila was watching a netted single hole I had
found on the boundary.
Dave tracked her underground, while I went back for
the net from the single-holer. He followed her as she headed down the field at
top speed, then he lost her, she must have been over 15ft deep again.
I took over the
locating and quickly searched the area, but couldn't get a fix, so headed
towards the boundary.
locator found her, she had followed the bury right to the boundary, about 25
yards from where Sheila was, and she was about to
disappear in to a huge nettle patch. We quickly decided to stop ferreting this
bury, and headed for the last bury I had found in this corner of the field.
As we approached, Dave saw a patch of Nettles act strangely, so we
circled it and started trampling the stems. Dave
headed towards the centre, and the Nettles moved again. Flash shot in, rushed through the Nettles and
stopped right at the edge of the patch. "She's got it!" called Dave, and he went to retrieve it. As he got there, Flash stood up and darted out in to the open
again. She lost the rabbit and none of us saw where it went.
We reached the last
bury, and netted up all the holes we could find, there were about 7, and there
was plenty of freshly excavated sand. In went Bandito
again, and I tracked her once more. She went about 3ft in, then came back out,
so in the next hole she went. Same again, so I put her to the next hole. She ran
in and out, but didn't go any distance. We tried all the holes, but none of them
went anywhere, so we figured it was a very new bury, and gave up.
We packed up and
headed back to the car.
As we headed through
an un-mowed field, I saw a rabbit set off for the hedgerow, and disappear, but
no one else saw it, nor did Flash, who was
happily bounding about.
Because the land
isn't a working farm, we figured the mowing must have caused the rabbits to
retreat elsewhere while there was disturbance.
This land will be
excellent Winter hunting grounds, but we'll have to keep showing our faces to
keep the permission, so we can ferret it big style when the foliage has died
When we'd seen the
rabbits in the open, I'd taken a shot, but didn't hit it. After a couple more
shots, the gun hissed when I shot it.
The pellets were
jammed and were backing up in the silencer, I prized them out with the tip of my
knife, the tried a couple more shots. All seemed OK.
A couple of hours
later I had another chance of a shot, and the pellet jammed again, I went to get
my knife, but had lost it. So borrowed Sheila's.
These were well jammed in, so I left it until I got home.
At home I took the
silencer off, and uses my barrel rod to try dislodge the blockage. After about
1/2 hour, I'd managed to get about 6 pellets from the silencer, which were all
compacted into a large lump of lead.
When I'd bought the
rifle, I was given 1/2 a tin of Crosman Acu-Pel, but I'd used them up, and had
reverted back to my favourite pellet Eley Wasp.
I never checked the
size difference, mine were 5.6mm but the Acu-Pel were 5.5mm. I tried some 5.5mm
Wasps in it, and haven't had a problem since.
So now I'll have to change from my
5.6 mm to 5.5 mm.