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I'd arranged to meet Sheila at Gargrave at 9:00am, but as I hadn't finished work until 7:30pm the night before, and it was raining, I had left unloading my car until the morning, so re-arranged the meeting time.

 

I finally arrived at 12:00pm, and Sheila had already set her long net round a stack of silage bales, and was waiting with her 4 lurchers.

 

We started by entering my ferrets (Bandito & Jilly) under the silage.

After around 5 minutes of entering the ferrets into every available gap, a faint squeal was heard, the rabbits kept working the stack for 1/2 hour, but no rabbit emerged, so we moved to try the warrens.

 

We set the long net in a semi-circle around a warren with approx 20 holes, that is under a large Nettle patch.

The other half of the warren is boundaried by a Hawthorn hedge on the land's boundary, next to the road.

Sheila entered 2 albino jills with collars in the lower end of the warren, I entered 2 sable jills with collars in the upper end of the warren.

 

After a couple of minutes, the Nettle stems started to jerk. Bandito had flushed a rabbit to a hole that was covered with laid down stems, and it was trying to bolt through them.

I reached for the rabbit as it broke through.

Bandito was holding the rear end, I grabbed the middle, and Spock rushed in and grabbed the rabbit too, catching my hand in the process.

I let go, Spock let go, the rabbit jerked, got loose from Bandito's grip, and made a dash from the warren.

As it approached the long net, Lucy and Spock cut off it's route, the rabbit turned, and ran across the top of the warren, only to disappear in a centre hole.

That must have been the luckiest rabbit on the planet that day.

 

We carried on ferreting the warren, and had got a rabbit that Bandito had flushed from the same hole as earlier, but this time I managed to get the rabbit without Spock biting my hand.

 

After about 10 minutes, another rabbit bolted, and was running straight towards the net at the lower end of the warren.

It turned right at the net, and followed it right to the end, shot through the gap, under the farm gate, across the road, and into the neighbouring field.

It was very possible it was the same rabbit that had escaped capture earlier.

 

Sheila realised she'd left her spade in the van, and I'd left mine in my car, so I walked the mile back to the motors to get one.

I figured it was quicker to drive back to the warren, and park right outside the warren.

As I got out of the car, Sheila called out

"We've got one squealing!"

It wasn't a rabbit, it was one of her jills being picked on by Jilly.

We stayed at this warren for about an hour altogether, then went to try the other silage stack.

 

Jenny the owner (Editor of Ferrets First magazine) came to see how we'd progressed, we paused for bacon butties, then tried the silage bales.

We didn't produce any rabbits from this stack either, so we packed up and I headed home.

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