Well where do I start.. field sports, now I know that one word covers so many aspects parts being ferreting, shooting, fishing, hunting with birds of prey, stalking for that elusive deer and many more but for me that one word seems to mean one thing..
Quality time enjoying something that I love it’s being out and just enjoying our lovely UK countryside. Now some people think it’s all about the catch they think landing that fish is what it all comes down to but for me this just isn’t the case it’s just every aspect the build-up before I’ve even left the house the excitement of getting all the fishing gear ready to the nervous drive wondering what’s waiting to greet me at the riverbank arriving and watching to see those dark colourings swim along the river bed trying to work out where you need to cast your bait to seeing that fish and trying to cast to under that hanging tree at the other side of the bank and getting that perfect cast that strikes you lucky.
It’s the same with ferreting and shooting over the years you hear that old gent down the pub” back when I was a nipper we had 50 rabbits ferreting one morning” or one I’ve heard more than one occasion its “we went out and shot 100 rabbits years ago on a night time but you don’t get that now a days” now if you’re doing this for pest control I fully understand your reason for shooting so many a night or in the day but for me I’m quite happy to bag a couple of bunnies and even if I don’t I’ve still enjoyed being out. I think people get to caught up with numbers they get worried they won’t get enough to brag about their day out to their friends thinking their friend will think less of them for catching a few rabbits
For me to get out in the field sometimes on my own sometimes with my father who got me into the different sports to that man i owe a hell of a lot!! Or sometimes going out with friends who I’ve met from one field sports or another it’s great I’ve won already by being out smelling some proper country air none of this fume clogged air you get in the city! But when your sat quite on a summers evening in a corner of a field with the birds singing the odd sighting of deer breaking cover from the woods to graze to Mrs Fox carrying out her parenting duties with her little of half-grown cubs.
To watching rabbits play in front of you bouncing about and chasing after each other is simply amazing and only a certain amount of people have the pleasure of seeing this site for me I feel free as corny as it sounds it’s true there is no place I’d rather be than watching all these things happen in front of me lots of occasions I’ve preferred to watch those rabbits play or those cubs pounce on each other and cause chaos for their mother rather than shooting them.
They will be there another day after all won’t they?! This is why I think it’s so important to get the young ones involved get them out learning all field sports and for them to see the scenes that I and many generations before me have witnessed it and for them to see all this with their own eyes not just being told about it after all these are the people that are going to be following on from our footsteps. And don’t want them to miss out on what happened in the countryside. Well I will leave that with you just wanted to explain it’s not always about the catch for me it’s about enjoying being out doing something I absolutely love not what you catch or amount you catch..
This is as you might have guessed something to do with ferrets. Yes your absolutely right!
Rabbits live an a large underground network of tunnels called a warren.
This is a technique where you put nets over each rabbit hole and then enter a single ferret or sometimes more if it’s a big rabbit warren and then stand back and wait silently for the ferret to work around the warren find the rabbits and chase them out and in turn the rabbits bolt then hit your carefully set net the draw cord of the net draw together and get tangled up.
Then the person ferreting will then hold the rabbit and humanely dispatch it. ferreting was and still is very common with youngsters getting into the sport with their fathers, uncles granddads and so on a starting platform into all other fieldsports as it were. When speaking to the older type of gent 9 times out of 10 they had started off by ferreting it seems to be a passage way into a ever-growing community of hunting I myself started this way with my dear father spending Sundays out in the field putting our skills against the elusive rabbit!
Times like that are priceless! but among youngsters with their hunting partners its used by poachers more than often these particular people would creep around the edges of fields set nets enter a ferret catch a few rabbits For the pot and be off the land before the local Bobby or keeper had chance to catch them.
Using this technique proved effective as there are no loud bangs from a shotgun going off it’s all very quiet but still can put a few rabbits in the pot for tea! Now although poaching still happens to this day it’s less common than it was back just a few years ago now the thing I can’t stress enough is permission, permission, permission you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law by poaching.
What I can advise you do is read Mr Rob Collins article on the ways of approaching farmers and land owners and gaining that invaluable piece of paper allowing you to be on that certain piece of land. Once you’ve gain this you can ferret as much as you like! Now that does sound good doesn’t it? As the old saying goes it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Anyway until next time.