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Some Of My 2004

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Some Of My 2005

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Some Of My 2006

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I set off with Dave and picked Sheila up from Bolton and drove down to Cheshire.

I took my new air rifle (Falcon Raptor FN19-RB 8 shot), 2 of my poley jills (Bandito & Jilly) and my lurcher (Flash).

Dave took his new air rifle (my old BSA Mercury S)

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 at 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 rabbits.

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 & Jilly 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 speed.

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 ferrets.

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 rapidly.

15ft...

12ft...

8ft...

6ft...

2ft...

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.

The 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 down.

 

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.

Sheila scrambling under the Hawthorn Me, Bandito and our catch

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