I set off & collected Sheila from Bolton on the
way to Whitechapel.
I took my air
rifle (Falcon Raptor FN19-RB 8 shot), 2 of my poley jills (Bandito & Jilly) and my lurcher (Flash).
Sheila took her air rifle (Falcon Raptor FN19-RB
single shot), 2 of her ferrets (Demdyke & Little Joe) and her lurcher pup
We arrived at 1:20pm, were greeted by the lady, and then we headed towards
the rabbit warrens. We netted the 1st large warren we got to, and I
also netted the 3-holer (the 2-holer, I dug into last month). With around 20
nets set, I entered Bandito with her locator collar on.
After a few minutes, a little rabbit bolted, it hit the net and then slipped
it. Flash chased it across the wooded banking, with Bryn following, but returned
Bandito was underground for over 20 minutes, so I located her, she was still
on the move, and 10 foot deep. I tracked her for a couple of minutes, and said
"I think she's heading for the big hole!"
The big hole was where a couple of holes had collapsed in, and Sheila put 1
of my 6 foot fox nets across it.
There were a few faint thuds underground, and then a rabbit hit the fox net.
Flash grabbed at the net, and the rabbit slipped. So she went chasing again.
Once more she came back empty-handed.
Bandito carried on working the warren, and I tracked her for a couple of
minutes. Another rabbit bolted, and Flash pinned it in the net, I took it from
her, and despatched it.
At last, 1 rabbit was in the bag.
Bandito re-entered and after a couple of minutes, another bolted. Flash ran
to pin it in the net, and as she got there it slipped. Flash made another grab,
and got it this time.
2 rabbits were now in the bag.
Bandito then decided the warren was empty, so started across the banking in
search of more holes. Bryn followed, never made any attempt to grab for her, but
jumped back every time Bandito turned and looked at him.
I started to gather the nets, while Sheila tried the 3-holer with Little Joe,
but there was no-one home.
While Sheila was putting her nets back in her net bag, I walked across the
bank with my air rifle & Flash in search of another warren.
I heard some crashing in the tree branches, so started searching for a
squirrel. I never saw it, so called Sheila that I'd found another large bury.
I went back to gather my ferrets & nets, then headed to the large bury I'd
found. Sheila isn't as nimble or as quick on her feet as me, so I put my ferrets
& nets at the foot of a tree, and went to look over the fence into the next
field. It was well grazed, and had a lot of Thistle patches and a couple of
nettle patches, so I went in search
of sitting bunnies.
I steadily watched for movement or ears poking up, with Flash at heel. Then I
spotted a pair of ears about 20 yards away. A quick hand signal to Flash to make
her stay, and I slowly raised the rifle.
At 6x magnification, I could clearly see the rabbit's head, so placed my
sight post (my scopes don't have crosshairs, just 3 posts, 2 horizontal and 1
vertical from bottom to centre) and squeezed the trigger.
rolled over, and lay dead.
3 rabbits were now in the bag.
I looked round the field for about 5 minutes, spotted a couple of rabbits
crossing the boundary, and when I looked over the boundary, counted 9 rabbits
running for cover into the Brambles & Gorse.
I headed back across the small field, and heard some rustling, so went to
investigate. A cock Pheasant took flight as I approached, but hadn't come from
where I heard the rustle. A couple more steps closer and 2 hen Pheasants took
flight. I still wasn't at the location of the noise, then another cock Pheasant
I got about 4 foot from the noise in the nettle patch, when a rabbit bolted.
The big buck was pursued by Flash, but turned and headed for the fence where the
large buries were. Flash didn't stand a chance on this one.
I returned to Sheila, and we started netting the holes on the lower warren, there were around 20,
and I entered Bandito
She searched the warren, but came up empty handed, as I worked the lower
warren she was making her way back up the banking. She got to the last section
and a rabbit bolted from an un-netted hole, and went under the fence and across
the field I'd just searched.
Sheila & I then netted the top bury, and Demdyke was entered. A rabbit bolted
and headed down the banking with Flash & Bryn in pursuit. It made it into the
lower bury, and back-netted itself (back-net is when a rabbit gets caught as it
tries to go in a hole that's netted), I pulled on the drawstring and felt the
tension release. The rabbit had slipped the net, and got into the bury.
I re-entered Bandito, and she bolted a rabbit, it came out, got caught in the
net, and as I approached decided to go back in the hole. Went over the top of
Bandito as she came out, and slipped the net.
Sheila then spotted a rabbit acting odd at an exit of her bury, and as she
approached wondered why it wasn't bolting into the net. Demdyke was hanging onto
its back end, the rabbit broke free and was caught in the net. It squealed as
Flash pinned it, and Sheila took it from her and despatched the huge buck
(possibly the one that bolted from the Nettles about 10 minutes earlier.
4 rabbits were now in the bag.
Bandito was now refusing to enter, so I put the collar on Jilly and entered
her. She went straight to ground. Sheila came down the bank and entered Demdyke
too. After a couple of minutes a rabbit bolted, and was pinned in the net by
5 rabbits were now in the bag.
We called it a day, as it had reached 4:30pm. We headed back to the house,
had coffee & biscuits with the lady, and I was informed that I'd also been given
permission to hunt the farm next-door, which has large fields, plenty of cover
and a quarry.