Paul arrived at my
house @ 10:00am, despite the horribly wet weather.
By 11:00am the rain
had eased off a bit and the sky was beginning to look a bit
brighter, so we set off to the farm.
My youngest son
(Nathan 11) and eldest daughter (Becky 9) came with us,
Paul took his air
rifle, I took my air rifle, 2 of my ferrets, ferret locator and a
big bag of purse nets (about 60)
When we arrived at the
farm, the rain had eased off a bit more, so we wandered round the
land with the air rifles for a bit.
There were a few
rabbits out, but they were very wary, and getting within range was a
We walked around
the farm, and got soaked from the rain, so I suggested we split up
for an hour, meet back at the farmhouse, then providing the weather
had improved, we'd try the ferrets.
When we met up @ 1:30,
both Paul and I had managed to shoot 2 rabbits each, but only 1 was
retrieved before it made it underground, the buries are everywhere
and being new to the land I hadn't found them all yet.
The wind picked up,
blew the clouds away, and the sun came out, this was looking better,
so after a flask of tea and a chat with Jim (the landowner) we
headed to the nearest warrens.
As we approached we
saw 2 rabbits dive down the holes,
so we knew some were
I showed Paul, Nathan
& Becky how to set the nets, and we netted the 3 warrens together.
Then came time to
enter Jilly (my 5yr old ferret) with a collar on.
Into the 1st
warren (6 holes) but nothing came out, so we moved about 10 yards
along the banking to the next set of 8 holes.
Within 30 seconds of
Jilly entering, we heard a rabbit squealing, and it just poked its
head out of a pop-hole, then was dragged back in again by Jilly.
There were a few more
thumps & bumps, then all went quiet, after a couple of minutes the
thundering sound of rabbit was heard again and rabbit #2 hit the net
and it pursed nicely.
I swiftly grabbed the
rabbit in the net, and despatched it with my cosh, while my foot
blocked the hole.
While removing it from
the net, I heard thundering again, and another hit a net, I dropped
the dead rabbit, still pursed in the net, and quickly despatched #3.
Another rabbit hit a
net, the peg wasn't deep enough in the shale-like soil and the
rabbit rolled down the banking, pursed in the net.
I dropped #3, and
tried to grab the trailing chord & peg, but the rabbit found its
footing and ran back up the banking and slipped the net just before
We now had 3 holes
un-netted, so I went to the 1st, got rabbit #2 out and
quickly reset the net, then onto rabbit #3 and quickly reset that
We now only had one
hole un-netted, as it was laying in the grass at the top of the
banking, so I sat beside that hole.
Thundering was heard
again, and I was sure a large rabbit was going to bolt from the
un-netted hole, but it didn't.
A tiny rabbit slowly
crept to the entrance, so I scooped it up by hand, despatched it,
and tossed #4 down the bank to Becky.
Paul chuckled, as he'd
never seen anything like it before.
As I turned back to
look at the un-netted hole, another tiny rabbit appeared, so that
was scooped up and despatched and tossed to Becky too, that made #5,
I was beginning to wonder if a full litter was going to be caught
like this, but Jilly came out of the warren, so we moved to the
12 holes we had
netted, about 20 yards away, and once again Jilly was entered.
She was in & out of
the holes, but there were no sight or sounds of rabbits, and she
seemed certain that no-one was home in this warren, so I trusted her
I decided to try the
middle warren again before we lifted all the nets, as I was sure
there was still a rabbit at home.
Jilly was entered
again, after a few minutes the thumping was heard, then again near
another hole, and then again, 7 foot deep, right under my feet.
A minute later the
rabbit #6 hit the net, and was despatched.
So we pulled all the
nets, and I headed to a 4-holer at the other side of a few trees,
while Paul had a roam with his rifle.
As I neared the
warren, 3 rabbits were sat outside it, and I scoped on the biggest
35 yards, and the
pellet hit home, and rabbit #7 slumped on the spot, the other 2 sat
I quickly re-cocked my
rifle, and took aim on the 2nd, sat 20 yards from me, but my aim was
poor, and I missed.
Both dived into the
warren, so I collected #7 and netted the 4 holes.
I thought Hugo could
have a turn at hunting, so I opened his compartment on my ferret
box, but he was fast asleep, so I got Jilly out again.
After a couple of
minutes, a rabbit hit a net, but was small enough to slip the mesh,
and it ran down the bank into another warren.
I knew 2 had gone in,
so I waited for the 2nd to come out.
It wasn't long, and
the small rabbit hit a net, and again slipped through the mesh, and
went into the same hole at the bottom of the banking.
Jilly came out, so I
pulled the nets, and we called it a day.
I'll be returning
through the week as the rabbits need removing en-mass.
I'll be taking
ferrets, lurcher and my air rifle.
7 rabbits in the bag
(2 with rifles & 5
Many disagree with killing rabbits at this time of year, because of the young.
But when a farmer wants the rabbits kept under control (which by law he has to) he is kept happy by a large cull, which in turn keeps you happy because it means you keep the permission.