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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Winter is a coming.........

We had been given a new permission right next to one of the farms we had done a few weeks previous, due to work commitments neither Dave or myself had had time to walk round and check were the rabbits were living.
 It was a very cold Saturday morning, 0° the car was registering, as we got out the Ranger our faces felt the chill of the air starting to bite.

With this cold front came dry weather though, possibility of sunshine to warm us up whilst looking round this new permission. The sun was rising, but the mist was not for going away.
As we looked round we found a wall that had quite a few holes in the bottom of it, rabbit faeces was scattered around with the odd bit of fur stuck to the wall were the rabbit had scuffed against when entering. On one side we laid a longnet, as the holes were only in the walls.........

.........and on the other we placed a longnet and also a handful of purse nets on the holes that had been made in the stony ground.

It was the females who would be used for this job, they are much smaller than males and are better suited for the tight gaps that are present within dry stone walling, we never force them into the wall, instead we lay them at it and let them use their noses, if theres a rabbit in there they will certainly find it!

With only 1 rabbit in the wall we follow one of the newly formed roadways down to another end of the land, we saw a few holes on the edge of the road but decided that they had not started using these yet.
You've heard the saying 'All the gear and no idea' well we had no idea were these rabbits were hiding!! Many times we had watched from higher up the hill, another farm we work, and watched the rabbits always heading downhill in this direction, but where did they go to once here. We decided to leave this area till we had done a spot of watching, and walking round without all the gear weighing us down.

So back up the hill to our usual farm

We found some new scattered holes, usually just a handful of nets and one ferret needed to check if anyone was home......
.........and as can be seen from this photo, as I clicked the camera a rabbit exited straight into a waiting purse net, Lee was quick off the mark to cover the hole with his foot whilst the new net was laid over it, you can see here we had nets waiting next to the holes, we sometimes do this if we have heard a lot of movement below ground, it saves on lost rabbits, it also means we can get away with not setting up a long net.

This wall has produced many times for us before, one hole in the foreground which leads into the wall and out the other side of it, but on this occassion we were left with our cold hands firmly stuck in our pockets!

A small warren which is getting bigger every time we visit gave us another chance to stand a chat, rabbits over here are getting harder to find, even though we can see lots running round when we first get there, they truly are the masters of evading us.

One mound that usually gives us a rabbit or two, we circle it with the longnet as the holes are many, sometimes 3 together that would be impossible to purse well enough for the nets to work 100%. Yes there may be a case of hole hopping but that is par for the course.

Here David is removing a rabbit from the net, I love it when a plan comes together!!

This warren has been void of rabbits the last few times we have ventured up here........

 .........but with fresh scrapings of earth here and there it would be rude not to give it a go!
Thankfully it a gave us another rabbit on the score sheet.

This metal drinking tank has produced in the past, but it was not to do the same again today!

 Even the 'Old Faithfull' fallen wall failed to produce for us today

We weren't giving up all hope yet though, and with one last warren to do before the warmth of the vehicle, we laid the purse nets and set the trap!

Lee was soon emptying a net, with Dave shouting out reassuring comments like 'Hurry up i'm fecking freezing' and the likes.
Not our best day by a long shot, but on a cold morning, 6 rabbits in the bag meant our ferrets would eat like kings tonight, and I know I would certainly be running a hot bath when I got home, not as cold as when it snows, but that ice chilled wind certainly gets into your bones!

Possibly a change in venues next week, lets see what phone calls come in this week.

Happy Hunting.

1 comment:

  1. It was A bloody cold morning i have been up there when the snow is down and it not be that cold.But we had a crack and that new permission owner was happy to see us there and was not bothered about us only catching 1 rabbit Thankyou chris and lee for coming over.I am going to have a walk out over it with the dog and gun to see if i can find the little buggers