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Sunday, 12 December 2010

Just a quick one.....

Well, many apologies to anyone who has been popping on and waiting to read another thread, due to work commitments and some very bad news about my father I had to take time away.
The news is good though, my father who was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach has had his operation and things are looking good....Its a long road to recovery but the first steps have been taken. As for the ferreting well that will recommence on Saturday 18th December....or this Saturday to be exact!!
Thanks to all the new members who have joined recently and I hope to have time over the next few weeks to contact you and welcome you to this site.
Again I'm very sorry for not being round but play will resume forthwith ;-)

Happy Hunting!!

p.s a new permission has raised its head, so we have plenty of land to mooch around over the coming months, I hope you'll all be there to follow the action.

Monday, 6 December 2010

My Carp Fishing Book

Well after many years of writing and rubbing out and rewriting!!! I've finally got my story about the life and times of one of the Bivvie Brigade, packed full of humour and with moments were a single tear will roll down your face, this book is the first part of a two part story following my ups and downs as a fisherman.

Feel free to pop on the below link and get one ordered.......signed copies available   ;-)

Tight Lines

This has now entered a second print, the next book is due out in April-May with a few others to follow, one on Hunting and one for all you hunters out there, its a hunters cookbook, with all the finest recipes for Rabbit, Venison and other game.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

A New Magazine

A great new magazine has come out this month, for anyone who is interested in it see below

The newest quarterly magazine solely for the fieldsports enthusiast. Written by sportsmen who take an active role in keeping alive our way of life.

   Every issue is packed from cover to cover with articles ranging from the "how to" piece and the "funny story" that happened whilst out in the field. At the same time dealing with issues of the political nature that threaten our sport.
   With articles only being written by truly enthusiastic sportsmen, you know it will be worth reading and based upon actual knowledge and experience.
   With articles written about subjects ranging from the working Lurcher to our sporting history, pro pest control and shooting disciplines, The Warren has something for everyone.
We will try to promote all aspects of fieldsports, but to do this in an accurate  way  we need to hear from those who undertake these sports.

A link to the website

I have written a piece in the first mag and look forward too writing a lot more, the guys who produce the magazine are Over The Hedge Publications, and in December are releasing my first book for me, its a Carp Fishing story, based on my life as a Carp angler before everything went pear shaped, the second book will tell the story of how it all went a little too far.......more to follow!!

Happy Hunting

Monday, 15 November 2010

Somewhere totally different!!

A couple of hours up the motorway is a place I travel to each year and spend a weekend with some great friends, its one of those weekends were the rabbits are just a bonus to the craic we have!

It starts with a day of ferreting and ends with another excellent day of ferreting, and this year we will be concentrating on some hedgerows, not sure how the photo's will look as I forgot my camera and had to use my phone!

As can be seen, the hedges were very long, and bloody prickly, blackthorn and nettles, what a lovely combination when purse netting!!

The dog always knows which hole is about to be used as an exit!!

The rabbits were flying out of the hedgerows

I think this photo best shows the length of the hedgeline, I'm about halfway along this one!!

This is the end of day shot for the first day, I think it was 25 rabbits with one Myxi victim!

The second day was the same farm but a different hedgerow, again it was nice and long, and again was going to take the day to complete, the weather had changed, it was still a nice day but winter had arrived and with a vengeance!!

I love doing hedgerows, especially this time of year, you can actually see what you are doing without a mass of leaves everywhere

as usual whenever theres a great deal of hedgeroots, one of the ferrets decides your gonna need to dig to get to it

And dig we did.........

...............and did!!!!

but its always worth it when you find the prize at the bottom of the hole!!
and by the end of the weekend, we had a shedful of rabbits, 67 in total, so the next few days will be spent turning them into good wholesome food.
Catching them is great fun, but surely the most enjoyable task is turning them into something that most people wouldn't eat because its a fluffy bunny!! Can't understand how they can eat meat that has been forced to ingest growth hormones and that has travelled halfway round the world in a container that doesn't decompose for around 60 years (yes I mean Polystyrene), yet turn there nose up at something that is fat free, helps to lower cholestrol and has lived a full and active life until its final day eating natural foodstuffs and running round in a totally cage free environment!! but hey ho, theres nothing more strange than the consumer!!

Happy Hunting.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Its work work work!!

Really sorry haven't had time to post anything recently, but I've been incredibly busy at work, but I can guarantee that this weekend is a full on rabbiting's to follow!!

I managed to do a lot of mooching this week on quite a lot of land that I have picked up close to home. The hot spots have been found and noted, plenty of places to sit in wait with the air rifle, quite a few places to try snaring and even better theres plenty of warrens to get the ferrets some exercise!!

So although its been a quiet couple of weeks on the blog, I can see the next few weeks making up for it, even had a call to sort out a pair of squirrels, so i'll make sure I get that on here, and include the recipe of my famous Southern Fried Squirrel's on mouth is watering just thinking of them ha ha

Monday, 1 November 2010

A day out with the ferrets part 2

Well after the first part of this session, mostly centering around walling for rabbits, we decided to pop over to the large open warren we had ferreted earlier on this year, the problem back then was that the area was quite badly flooded, and even though the warrens were partly under water, they were still being used by a small population of diehards!!

The size of this warren is hard to convey, its bloody huge doesn't really get it across!!

on this side of the warren there are lots of open holes which stretch back in some places a good 10 feet, and down nearly as deep!!

The hollow in the centre is where the field floods, the warren surrounds this on all sides

As can be seen here this is the largest of the warrens here, we are surrounding it with longnets and then dividing it off with stop nets, the odd purse net will be used to stop hole jumping

These next 2 photo's show the expanse of this collection of warrens, this whole area has to be netted at the same time, so as rabbits don't hop from warren to warren

It takes around 60-70 pursenets and 250 yards of longnet to complete the job, and after all that, the tally of rabbits from this one set of warrens was.........2, not the best rabbit to man hour percentage, but hey it was fun setting it all up!!

After this massive bag was added to the total (LOL) we moved on to another wall job, again in the same field as this warren, but nearer to one of the becks

These holes on the river bank are where we enter the ferrets, they lead up and under the wall, longnets are set either side with a stop net set just at the wall end.
This wall has produced a few bunnies for us in the past, and it didn't fail this time either!

As we set up the nets on the wall we spotted 2-3 rabbits watching us from this area where the farmer has dumped parts of a building that fell down.
We would love to ferret this area, but if it came to digging for a ferret we would be buggered!! it is 8 feet tall and pure rubble and steel columns, JCB required!!

The wall is around 50 yards and is a mish mash of holes, passages and run throughs. When the ferrets run along here you can here there chattering, a noise they make when they are excited or just having fun.

This is the area that the rabbit came from, the grass here showed plenty of movement, so we expected more than 1, but the rain has started and I think the rabbits vacate this very mushy field and move higher up the hill. We shall see next week as the hill is the next place we plan to ferret.

The local cow population had turned up and as soon as we turned our backs they were trying to eat the longnets!!
Not what we wanted to catch in the nets, but I suppose it would feed us for a while!!

Under this tree resides a small population of rabbits, the only problem is they tend to stay under the tree, and digging under tree's is hard unless you have a pet beaver!! Thankfully today the ferrets were hiding in the walls, and after moving a few stones we found the cornered conies!!

Well at the end of the day we caught 12 rabbits from here, not a lot, but obviously we had got here too late, the waters were rising and the rabbit population was moving on, we made a mental note to try again next year around June-July, when we checked our watches it was only 1 o'clock so we planned to stop off at another farm on the way home, well it was still dry and early so why not.

This farm runs downhill all the way down to a steep drop down to the river, we set longnets along the top and bottom of this drop then closed it off with longnets at the sides and inbetween to sectionalise the overall warren.

The leaf litter and twigs didn't make the using of long nets easy, but we stuck at it as the rain had now started and was becoming more and more persistant....and to be honest I didn't want to be rolling round in the mud under brambles and holly bushes to set purse nets!!

You can see by the angle of the hazel pole that the hill is fairly steep, and was now becoming very slipy due to the rain

We only managed to catch one before I fell arse over t*t over one of the longnets whilst retrieving a ferret that had escaped without being seen, I was covered in mud from head to toe, hopefully it would make me look younger when I washed it off, soon after this one of the ferrets came from under the confines of a tree collarless, when we checked to see where it was it registered at about 7 feet below a tree root system, I tried to dig from the side and in, but after about 4 foot I hit a solid layer of stone, I couldn't get round, under or past it, so David chalked it up as a loss. It was now persisting it down with rain, so we gave up, packed up and beggered off.

Total catch for the day was a very unlucky 13, I bloody hate that number as i'm very superstitious about things like that, but now I hate it for other £60 worth of lost collar GGGGGRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

This is the picturesque view at the bottom of the hill, where the two rivers meet there is a lovely a still patch that is calling out to be fished......maybe one day!!

Happy Hunting.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

A day out with the ferrets

Well a very early start this morning as the designated driver turned up in British Summer Time mode!!!! How many times over the last week have we been told to put our clocks back and to enjoy an extra hour in bed.......must pay more attention David ha ha

Anyway, we had time for a few coffees whilst we loaded the pickup with the usual bits and pieces, which meant I would be p**sing like a racehorse for the rest of the day!!

We got to the farm for just after 6.....the time I was supposed to be picked up.....and were shown to a few new warrens that had enlarged over the past months, this side of the farm gets badly flooded over the next few months and the rabbits tend to move on, so its best we hit it hard and make a dent.

A nice wall section for a change, the rabbits were rattling around in the walls in a bid for freedom

There has always been a fascination for me when it comes to ferreting walls, I think its the total randomness of where the rabbit will appear from!

The ferrets are easy to track using the Deben Ferret Finder, the MK3 has made our job so much easier

looking for the front door!!

As always, a dig is afoot.....and as usual theres as many stones underground as there is above!!

And for my next trick.........

.........Taa Daaaaa!!!

Oii whos nicked me dinner!!!!     

Not exactly sure what these where, but I can't imagine they are tasty......time to dust off my Collins book of Mushrooms!!

Hope you enjoyed this, another post will follow tomorrow, 2 more warrens from this excellent days ferreting!! one of them has to be seen to be believed for its size.

Happy Hunting

Friday, 22 October 2010

A new permission

Its always nice to be given somewhere new to play!! And when someone mentioned the words Rabbits, Lifting and uncontrollable I started to salivate!!

This is what we found...........

The only words I could think were, Honeycomb and Crunchie!!!!

I think a night on the rifle or air rifle with the trusty lamp may be on the cards here, I just have a feeling its gonna be hard on the ferrets if we use them....the opportunity for hole hopping is phenomonol here, I'll let you know how we get on when we finally hit it hard!!

Happy Hunting

Monday, 18 October 2010

Another air rifle foray

Well I was short of a plan, work was slow, so the vehicle was loaded with various bits and pieces. Air gun on top just in case something popped up on the horizon.
The weathermen had finally got it right and the sun was shining.....for now!! When we come to this bit of land we always tend to have a look round all the collective permissions in the area, well it is a 1.5 hour trek!
We arrived around 8am and a good walk round revealed plenty of rabbits, I walked back to get the air rifle and was greeted by a large boom, the farmer at the back in all his wisdom had placed one of those gas scarers in the middle of his field.
I grabbed the rifle and had a stroll round of the field that was now devoid of any sort of wildlife at all, totally disheartened I set off back when I heard a familiar noise and a flap, I stopped and crouched down, looked in the direction of where the noise had been and there it was, I steadily lifted the S410 and scoped into the head.

 Tonights dinner was not going to be wrapped in cellophane after all!!

Further along one of the locals had come in for a closer look, there is nothing more special than creeping up close and personal to something that is naturally one of the most jumpiest of creatures!!


Happy hunting people

A day out with the air rifle

Well nothing much on this week so I decided to take my air rifle out for a bit of fun and scoping up, firstly to a spot where I could check my aim with the S410

Not much about at the moment, on this plot of land, Myxi has hit hard which is an awful shame, just seems like a waste of good meat to me!!

A few walks round the farmland and finally I have spotted something to test my scope out, a lone rabbit that looks healthy enough. Its very strange, and I don't know if its just me, but when I'm sat plinking a few pellets at paper targets, my breathing is fine and I don't shake at all, but once a rabbit is in my scope I can never seem to pull it all together till I repremand myself!!

But this time the rabbit is in my sight, and I have sorted myself out into a comfy position, checking for brambles and other spiky things that make shooting a problem, the bead is in the right place and the sound from the rifle is minimal, so surgical is this game since the invention of Pre-Charged Pneumatic Rifles.

The result.....

Tea will be served with buttery mash, carrots and peas, with a nice rich gravy!!

Happy Hunting

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A ferrets new start

Its been a while since I took a fresh new ferret out with me, but today had a definate rabbit catching feel to it, so car loaded and ferret housed off we set.

 Its only a small warren so its perfect to try out a newbie!!

 The small jill was entered slowly, in she walked, and out she backed, then back in just a little further, and again out she backed.......but this time a whiff of rabbit must have stirred something in her mind, and off she shot.
With a pitter patter and a rumble the first rabbit hit the net, but the jill was nowhere to be seen, other things on her mind no doubt, then out of another hole she popped, quick sniff and roll around and straight back in!

A nice start for the little jill!!

Again the thumping of feet and then quiet, a quick check with the ferret finder and a depth of 2 foot is noted. Not a big dig and its always a good way to warm up!!
Shovel in and a foot down, check the depth and ferret is moving, this time rabbit hits net and it has a passenger, the ferret is firmly attached to it!!

Two in the bag, not a bad first trip!!

Well don't want to push her, so after gutting my soon to be lunch, her reward is the livers and kidney. Content is she and so am I, this is the start of a long and happy relationship between man and beast.

The thing is now, what do I call her, my other ferrets were named by my kids and followed a Harry Potter theme. We have Harry the Polecat and Albus Dumbledore, an Albino of course!! So what about Minerva McGonagall .............i'll let you decide!!