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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.